This work provides a formal model for the burden of persuasion in legal proceedings. The model shows how the allocation of the burden of persuasion may induce a satisfactory outcome in contexts in which the assessment of conflicting arguments would, without such an allocation, remain undecided. The proposed model is based on an argumentation setting in which arguments may be accepted or rejected according to whether the burden of persuasion falls on the conclusion of such arguments or on its complements. Our model merges two ideas that have emerged in the debate on the burden of persuasion: the idea that allocation of the burden of persuasion makes it possible to resolve conflicts between arguments, and the idea that its satisfaction depends on the dialectical statuses of the arguments involved. Our model also addresses cases in which the burden of persuasion is inverted, and cases in which burdens of persuasion are inferred through arguments.
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