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FAQ: Skeleton arguments

Posted: 8 December 2014

The Law Society Library outlines effective construction of a skeleton argument.

Skeleton arguments are intended to provide a short and succinct account of the areas of controversy in the case. They are not often used before district judges, magistrates or registrars, but are usually required for hearings before High Court judges and are often used for hearings before county court judges.

Detailed commentary on skeleton arguments is available in:

Rose, Pleadings Without Tears (8th ed) (2012) chapter 12.

Goodman, Effective written advocacy: a guide for practitioners (2nd ed) (2012) part 1.

Precedents for skeleton arguments can be found in:

Goodman, Effective written advocacy: a guide for practitioners (2nd ed) (2012)

Part 3 contains various worked examples of skeleton openings, submissions and arguments in various courts.

Examples of arguments designed for submission to a number of specific courts and tribunals are outlined below, this is not a comprehensive list, particularly of Atkin’s Court Forms.

Asylum and Immigration:

A number of precedents can be found in Atkin’s Court Forms, Volume 22 (2012 reissue).

Appeals:

A permission to appeal can be found in Atkin’s Court Forms, Volume 5 (2004 reissue) Form 52.

Employment Appeal Tribunal:

Cunningham, Employment Tribunal Claims (4th ed) (2014) precedent 13.10.

Judicial review:

Southey, Judicial Review (2nd ed) (2012), pages 311-315.

Magistrates’ Court (appeal against abatement notice):

Atkin’s Court Forms , Volume 19(3) (2011 reissue), Environment and Public Health, Form 56.

The Law Society’s Library maintains a database of enquiries called Common Queries. These include results from research to find forms, precedents, rules, regulations and guidance. These records can be freely accessed via the library catalogue, Library Knowledge Base.

Copies of all documents listed here can be e-mailed via Lawdocs, our document supply service. Click  here for more details.

For further help and enquiries please contact the Law Society Library on 020 7320 5946 or e-mail us .

Disclaimer

This FAQ is compiled by the Law Society Library. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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