Skeleton Argument

UK and Irish courts generally do not use the detailed narrative style legal briefs common in the United States and other jurisdictions. Instead outlines of the arguments the party intends its Barristers to present are drafted and presented to the court as Skeleton Arguments. The court will usually in its Directions set a date for the submission of skeleton arguments before trial. It should be contrasted with the narrative pleading style common in other jurisdictions and in international arbitration and reflects a historic preference for oral pleading and argument and, as is sarcastically sometimes described, the melliferous tones of the barrister.

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