Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 125-165

First online:

Towards a Formal Account of Reasoning about Evidence: Argumentation Schemes and Generalisations

  • Floris BexAffiliated withInstitute of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University
  • , Henry PrakkenAffiliated withFaculty of Law, University of Groningen
  • , Chris ReedAffiliated withDivision of Applied Computing, University of Dundee
  • , Douglas WaltonAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Winnipeg

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper studies the modelling of legal reasoning about evidence within general theories of defeasible reasoning and argumentation. In particular, Wigmore's method for charting evidence and its use by modern legal evidence scholars is studied in order to give a formal underpinning in terms of logics for defeasible argumentation. Two notions turn out to be crucial, viz. argumentation schemes and empirical generalisations.