Premise In Legal Reasoning
In legal reasoning, a premise refers to “a statement or proposition that serves as a basis for an argument or conclusion, it is a proposition that is assumed or accepted as true in order to support a conclusion that is being made”.
In legal reasoning, premises can take many forms, including legal rules, facts, evidence, and policy considerations. For example, in a legal argument about whether a defendant is guilty of a crime, the premises might include the ELEMENTS of the crime, the TESTIMONY of witnesses, and PHYSICAL EVIDENCE presented at trial.
These premises, when combined with legal reasoning and analysis, are used to support a conclusion about the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
Premises are essential to legal reasoning because they provide the foundation upon which legal arguments are built. They are the building blocks of logical arguments, and they serve as the foundation upon which conclusions or inferences are drawn.
In legal reasoning, premises are the legal principles, rules, or facts that are used to support a legal argument or analysis.
1, A premise in a legal argument might be a legal principle that states that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This premise would then be used to support the argument that a defendant in a criminal case should not be convicted unless the prosecution can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
2, Also, a premise in a legal argument might be a legal principle that states that all contracts must be written in order to be enforceable.
This premise would then be used to support the argument that a contract between two parties is not valid and enforceable hence it isn’t in a written format.
In conclusion, it is important for lawyers and judges to carefully evaluate and scrutinize the premises in legal arguments to ensure that they are reliable and relevant to the legal issue at hand. This is done through legal research, analysis of case law, and consideration of relevant statutes and regulations.
By carefully examining the premises and ensuring their accuracy and relevance, lawyers and judges can arrive at sound legal conclusions and decisions.
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Student at Rivers State University Nigeria