Figures of refutation
Whilst refuting the other side's argument can come up in any part of a trial or skeleton argument, it is most likely to be used in witness handling, particularly in cross-examination and also in the closing speech. It is therefore good to know about the different techniques of refutation, given how commonly an advocate will use these in a legal setting. The following figures may be used if you are looking to refute, reject or deny something:
Accismus - this is a feigned refusal of that which is earnestly desired.
Anthypophora- one asks and then immediately answers one's own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections)
Anticategoria- this is a retort in which one turns the very accusation made by one's adversary back against him.
Antirrhesis - this involves rejecting reprehensively the opinion or authority of someone.
Apodioxis (rejectio) - this involves rejecting someone or something (such as the adversary's argument) as being impertinent, needless, absurd, false, or wicked.
Apophasis / expeditio - this involves the rejection of several reasons why a thing should or should not be done and affirming a single one, considered most valid.
Diasyrmus - this involves rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.
Dicaeologia - dmitting what's charged against one, but excusing it by necessity.(think R v Dudley and Stephens, where they ate the cabin boy)
Elenchus- this is a logical refutation, such as citing a recent Supreme Court judgment that over-rode the authority cited by your opponent.
Erotema - this involves affirming or denying a point strongly by asking it as a question.
Excitatio - to excite an audience, especially out of a stupor or boredom, using (among other proposed strategies) a digression that denies or prohibits something.(think the case William Penn where the jury were told they would get no food, no drink, no cigarettes until they came back with a decision that the judge liked)
Litotes - this is deliberate understatement, often achieved by way of denying the opposite of something.
Metastasis -denying and turning back on your adversaries arguments used against you.
Procatalepsis - this involves refuting anticipated objections as a way of taking the sting out of them.