A syllogism is a form of logical reasoning that hinges on a question, a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion. If properly plead, every legal action seeking redress of a wrong or enforcement of a right is "a syllogism of which the major premise is the proposition of law involved, the minor premise is the proposition of fact, and the judgment the conclusion." More broadly, many sources suggest that every good legal argument is cast in the form of a syllogism.
Fundamentally, the syllogism may be reduced to a three step process: 1. "law finding", 2. "fact finding", and 3."law applying." See Holding (law). That protocol presupposes someone has done "law making" already. This model is sufficiently broad so that it may be applied in many different nations and legal systems.
In legal theoretic literature, legal syllogism is controversial. It is treated as equivalent to an “interpretational decision.”
- Gold, Michael Evan (October 15, 2018). A Primer on Legal Reasoning. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. pp. 82–84. ISBN 9781501728617.
- Lamphear v. Buckingham, 33 Conn. 237, 248 (Conn. 1866).
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- MacCormick, Neil (January 2010) . "3". Rhetoric and The Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal Reasoning. Oxford Scholarship Online. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571246.001.0001. ISBN 9780199571246.
- Stelmach, Jerzy; Brozek, Bartosz. Methods of Legal Reasoning. Dordrecht: Springer. p. 27. ISBN 9781402049392.