Legal Discourse Analysis


1. To enable students to understand the autonomous nature of discourse as a support for meaning, as well as diverse theoretical approaches to analysing discourse and capture its meaning.
2. To enable students to apply previous knowledge to the interpretation (dogmatic) of the legal discourse, as well as to its analysis in a non-dogmatic perspective (sociological, historical, readability, communicative effectiveness).
3. To initiate students in the learning of techniques of formalization of speech appropriate to legal reasoning.
4. To put students in contact with the theory and practice of content analysis in legal texts.

General characterization





Responsible teacher



Weekly - 3

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Letizia Gianformaggio, Lógica y argumentación en la interpretación jurídica, Doxa 4 (1987): 87-108.

Frans H. Van Eemeren, Crucial Concepts in Argumentation Theory (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2001).

Maria Luísa Malato / Paulo Ferreira da Cunha, Manual de Retórica e Direito (Lisboa: Quid Juris, 2007).

Frederick Schauer, Thinking Like a Lawyer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009).

A. Castanheira Neves, Digesta, Vol. 2.º (Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 1995).

Lilian Bernejo-Luque, Giving Reasons. A Linguistic-Pragmatic Approach (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011).

Fábio Trubilhano / António Henriques, Linguagem Jurídica e Argumentação (São Paulo: Atlas, 2015).

Marcin Lewi?ski / Dima Mohammed, ?Argumentation Theory?, The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (John Wiley and Sons, 2016): 1-15. (DOI: 10.1002/9781118766804.wbiect198)

José Lamego, Elementos de Metodologia Jurídica (Coimbra: Almedina, 2016).

Risto Hilpinen, Deontic Logic, in Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).

Jerzy Stelmach / Bartosz Brozek, Methods of Legal Reasoning (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006).

Chaim Perelman / Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Traité de l?argumentation. La nouvelle rhétorique (Paris: PUF, 1958).

Robert Alexy, Theorie der juristischen Argumentation. Die Theorie des rationalen Diskurses als Theorie der juristischen Begründung (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1983).

Eveline T. Feteris, Fundamentals of Legal Argumentation. A Survey of Theories on the Justification of Judicial Decisions (Dordrecht: Springer, 1999).

Écio Oto Ramos Duarte, Teoria do Discurso e Correção Normativa do Direito (São Paulo: Landy, 2003).

Manuel Atienza, Las razones del derecho. Teorias de la argumentación jurídica (Ciudad de México: Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 2003).

Manuel Atienza, El derecho como argumentación (Barcelona: Ariel, 2006).

Manuel Atienza / Juan Ruiz Manero, Las piezas del derecho: teoria de los enunciados jurídicos, 2.ª ed. (Barcelona: Ariel, 2007).

Alda da Graça Marques Valverde / Néli Luiza Cavalieri Fetzner / Nelson Carlos Tavares Junior, Lições de Argumentação Jurídica. Da Teoria à Prática (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Forense, 2015).

Maria Clara Calheiros, A base argumentativa na decisão judicial, Julgar 6 (2008): 69-76.

Mathias Klatt, Making the Law Explicit. The Normativity of Legal Argumentation (Oxford: Hart, 2008).

Flacia Carbonell, Christian Dahlman, Eveline T. Feteris (eds.), Legal Argumentation Theory: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives (Dordrecht: Springer, 2013).

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical classes, with a strong incentive to student participation.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on the final written exam.

Subject matter

The contents are organized in an integrated way, aiming to allow the students the access to different problems of legal reasoning. In a first stage, students will be faced with different notions of argumentation studies and discourse analysis. In a second stage, they will accompany the process of law-applying through different instruments and discourses of law, in a sort of introduction to legal methodology. In a third stage, they will have contact with different instruments of the logical reconstruction of law and argument, including the theoretical aspects of legal argumentation. Finally, they will be challenged with various problems inherent in the discursive process of law-applying, including experiences with techniques of argumentation of various order.


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