The article is dedicated to legal argumentation research via methodology of the general theory of law. General notion of argumentation is elucidated. It is defined by the scholars through the following notions: «methods of reasoning», «methods of persuasion», «act of reasoning», «act of persuasion» and «the communicative activity». The comparative analysis of «argumentative terms» in few languages is provided in the article. The etymologies of the terms «argumentation», «reasoning» and «justification» help to determine the notions denoted by these terms in English. To understand what is argumentation F. Van Eemeren’s research of argumentation is very helpful. It is devoted to peculiarities of the term «argumentation» meanings in few European languages. In Ukrainian the term «argumentation» is used as a synonym of «reasoning» as well as «motivation». In English the term «justification» is also used to denote argumentation in law. The second issue covered in the article is what makes the argumentation legal? There are few standpoints to answer this question. With the purpose to answer this question properly it is necessary to steer from understanding of legal as determined by legal regularities. Anyway, in Ukrainian there are two terms «pravovyi» and «yurydychnyi» used with the term «argumentation». The term «pravova argumentaciya» denotes wide notion which includes argumentation by different arguments including moral, social, legal and others. Whereas «yurydychna
argumentaciya» denotes narrow notion – argumentation by legal arguments only. Legal argumentation was subject of the research by prominent foreign scholars, namely, N. MacCormick, R. Alexy, A. Peszenik, A. Aarnio, M. Atienza, E. Feteris and others, as well as national, namely M. Koziubra, L. Luts’, V. Kistyanyk, R. Liashenko, O, Shcerbyna, O. Yurkevych. Mainly in legal researches the scholars avoid defining legal argumentation. Instead they propose theoretical model, which is used to test if something is legal argumentation or not. The analysis of legal argumentation definitions (if proposed by the scholars) let us determine the set of phenomena, denoted by the term «legal argumentation» in legal researches. They are the following: 1) reasoning; 2) persuasion; 3) discourse; 4) dialogue; 5) trial, 6) the activity of putting the arguments (or theses and arguments). These phenomena are enshrined in definitions of legal argumentation. The correlation of legal argumentation with legal reasoning as well as proving and motivation might be regarded in general and special legal contexts. In general legal context legal argumentation and proving are parts of legal reasoning. In the special legal context, namely judicial, reasoning of judgment is associated with proving, whereas argumentation is associated with motivation of court’s judgment.
Keywords: argumentation, legal argumentation, legal reasoning, legal justification, proof, legal motivation, persuasive force of legal argumentation