How the law reasons is central to its legitimacy. This article examines how legal reasoning is characterized by two types of logic, deductive and inductive, which are apparent in the legal system of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The article goes on to suggest that the interaction of deductive reasoning in the form of presumptions and inductive reasoning in the form of proof give rise to a third type of logic, abductive logic, defined as the ‘best’ estimate on current knowledge. It then examines how this three-fold combination of ideas is displayed in WTO law and explores what implications this has for understanding of the WTO legal system.
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