Legal Argument in Advocacy: The Classics Revisited |

Legal Argument in Advocacy: The Classics Revisited


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This course provides practical tips for preparing and arguing appeals effectively and successfully. It covers many aspects of the appeal process, with a particular focus on how to effectively engage with the court.

Ethics In Litigation

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How do lawyers’ duties to the court interplay with those owed to clients? This course explores lawyers ethical duties in the context of litigation and explores the tension between these different obligations.

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Legal Argument in Advocacy: The Classics Revisited

Christopher Shanahan SC was admitted to the WA bar in 1984 and the High Court of Australia in 1990.  He has practiced as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers since 1994.

Course Summary

This course provides practical techniques designed to assist lawyers develop their advocacy skills by examining the structure and core elements of legal argument.

Course Details

From the beginning of human society, civic life has been defined by argument.  Argument seems intrinsic to the human condition and has dominated social and political life since classical antiquity.

There are a number of different forms of classical argument, including debate, rhetoric and dialectic.  Understanding the nature and structure of these classical forms of argument can greatly assist lawyers in enhancing their advocacy skills and developing an effective style of legal argument.

This course seeks to provide a new, practical approach to how advocates describe and engage in legal argument by utilising rhetoric and dialectic.  Having set out the framework for this new approach, the course discusses the ways in which advocates can employ these classical styles in different stages of proceedings, with a particular focus on opening addresses, closing addresses and appellate argument.


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