Normative conflicts in legal reasoning

Artificial Intelligence and Law 1 (2-3):209-235 (1992)
Abstract
This article proposes a formal analysis of a fundamental aspect of legal reasoning: dealing with normative conflicts. Firstly, examples are illustrated concerning the dynamics of legal systems, the application of rules and exceptions, and the semantic indeterminacy of legal sources. Then two approaches to cope with conflicting information are presented: the preferred theories of Brewka, and the belief change functions of Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson. The relations between those approaches are closely examined, and some aspects of a model of reasoning with normative conflicts are outlined. Since this model takes into account an ordering of the involved regulations, criteria to order legal norms are finally specified.
Keywords non-monotonic reasoning  belief revision  rules and exceptions  normative conflicts
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