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The expression of legal argumentation: Towards a methodology for narrative studies of ‘discourses of subsumption’

Artikel i övriga tidskrifter
Författare Erik Björling
Publicerad i International Journal of Legal Discourse
Volym 1
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 117–132
ISSN 2364-8821
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Juridiska institutionen
Sidor 117–132
Språk en
Ämnesord subsumption, legal argumentation, legal discourse, jurisprudence, civil procedure, narratology, flat ontology, law as expression
Ämneskategorier Allmän rättslära

Sammanfattning

This article focuses on methods for studying legal argumentation in civil law case law material, more specifically argumentation as part of a discourse of subsumption as it is performed in civil procedure case law. The discourse of subsumption is described as revolving around a logic where legal norms are separated from non-legal norms and then matched with facts that are separated from non-(relevant)facts. The article describes theoretical and methodological possibilities of rewriting the discourse of subsumption into a discourse that approaches law as a normative and continuous process of ‘becoming’ rather than a discourse that revolves around the ‘existence’ of law. The advantage of such a reconstruction is that the focus on the process of ‘becoming’ provides answers to ‘how-questions’ rather than ‘what-questions’. By studying case law material, not as an argumentation based on the representation of law but as an expression of legal argumentation, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding on how subsumption is performed and what kind of normative transformation it entails. The theoretical framework of the paper builds upon the notion of a flat ontology and discourse- and narratology-terminology. Methodological concepts such as legal enthymemes, narrative dissonance and overdetermined subject positions are presented as concrete tools to understand problematic aspects within the discourses of subsumption, revealing normative aspects of legal argumentation that is not openly legitimated within a discourse that revolves around the ‘existence’ of law.

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