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30/06/16 What’s the Difference between ‘DEBATE’ & ‘ARGUMENT’?

e-legal lesson

Debate is a verb and a noun, and it is mostly used in this sense in England whereas in the U.S., argue and argument are more frequently used.

British lawyers sometimes use debate where American lawyers would write oral argument or argue. E.g., “Since the matter has been debated, it may be desirable for me to say that I accept counsel’s view that the test of practicability is that of workability.” (Eng.) / “I would refer first to contracts for the sale of goods which were touched on in the course of debate.” (Eng.) Here’s an example of the ordinary American usage: “It became clear, in argument of this case before the appeals court, that appellant had not clearly stated his position in his brief.”

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