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rebut (a presumption) vs. refute (a presumption)

English translation: Depends on whether the meaning is to disprove or take issue with

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19:24 Sep 9, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general) / international law, refugee law
English term or phrase: rebut (a presumption) vs. refute (a presumption)
Opinions or references, anyone? The author and translator have seen both terms in scholarly texts discussing international and human rights law. Example: "If the Member State applies presumptions in the procedure, it must be possible to rebut/refute the presumptions in the asylum procedure."
Paoletrix
Sweden
Local time: 18:32
English translation:Depends on whether the meaning is to disprove or take issue with
Explanation:
New York Times Manual of Style and Usage - rebut/refute: Rebut, a neutral word, means reply and take issue. Refute goes further and often beyond what a writer intends: it means disprove, and successfully. Unless that is the intention, use rebut, dispute, deny or reject.

In your case, it seems to me the intended meaning could either be to disprove or take issue with.
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 11:32
Grading comment
Since I wanted usage references (and not a dictionary definition, which I already had), I've selected your answer and agree that it was a fine explanation. "Rebut" is the word we chose, and "rebut" is certainly not off-base, as we found a host of documents from (among other sources) scholarly journals and the ICJ using "rebut" in the sense in which it is used here. Thanks, Kim!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +5Depends on whether the meaning is to disprove or take issue with
Kim Metzger
4 +4rebut vs. refute
Isabel Hohneck


  

Answers


21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
Depends on whether the meaning is to disprove or take issue with


Explanation:
New York Times Manual of Style and Usage - rebut/refute: Rebut, a neutral word, means reply and take issue. Refute goes further and often beyond what a writer intends: it means disprove, and successfully. Unless that is the intention, use rebut, dispute, deny or reject.

In your case, it seems to me the intended meaning could either be to disprove or take issue with.


Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 11:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 118
Grading comment
Since I wanted usage references (and not a dictionary definition, which I already had), I've selected your answer and agree that it was a fine explanation. "Rebut" is the word we chose, and "rebut" is certainly not off-base, as we found a host of documents from (among other sources) scholarly journals and the ICJ using "rebut" in the sense in which it is used here. Thanks, Kim!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lori Utecht/Vívian M Alves: nicely explained
1 min

agree  Rusinterp
1 hr

agree  Refugio: Right, to argue against or to argue against successfully.
2 hrs

agree  jennifer newsome
5 hrs

agree  RHELLER: I agree but people often use them as synonyms (rebut is more "challenge")
18 hrs
  -> Many native speakers often use words incorrectly: flaunt/flout, etc.
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
rebut vs. refute


Explanation:
Main Entry: re·but
1 : to drive or beat back : REPEL
2 a : to contradict or oppose by formal legal argument, plea, or countervailing proof
b : to expose the falsity of : REFUTE
intransitive senses : to make or furnish an answer or counter proof

Main Entry: re·fute
1 : to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous
2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of <refuted the allegations>

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Note added at 46 mins (2005-09-09 20:10:40 GMT)
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The procedure for a rebuttal is determined by law. Only specific evidence is allowed for a rebuttal while one can refute allegations or presumptions using new/previously unknown evidence.

http://library.findlaw.com/2001/Jan/1/128568.html

Trial

After the case has proceeded through discovery, it will be placed on the court docket and a trial date will be assigned. Jury and non-jury trials follow the same general rules of order. Generally, the trial proceeds as follows. The plaintiff's attorney followed by the defendant's attorney each make opening statements, explaining what he or she intends to prove. The plaintiff's witnesses and evidence are introduced, examined and cross-examined. Then, the defendant's witnesses and evidence are introduced, examined and cross-examined. Finally, both the plaintiff and defendant are allowed to introduce rebuttal evidence. After all the evidence has been submitted, each side presents a closing argument summarizing the evidence most favorable to their party. Generally, the plaintiff makes the first closing statement and has a right of rebuttal after the defendant's closing argument.

and:
http://public.findlaw.com/library/legal-system/civil_stages_...

After the plaintiff concludes its case-in-chief and "rests," the defendant can present its own evidence in the same proactive manner, seeking to show that it is not liable for the plaintiff's claimed harm. The defense may call its own witnesses to the stand, and can present any of its own independent evidence in an effort to refute or downplay the key elements of the plaintiff's legal allegations. Once the defense has rested, the plaintiff has an opportunity to respond to the defense's arguments through a process known as "rebuttal," a brief period during which the plaintiff may only contradict the defense's evidence (rather than present new arguments). Sometimes, the defense may in turn have a chance to respond to the prosecution's rebuttal.

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Note added at 13 hrs 39 mins (2005-09-10 09:03:44 GMT)
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sorry...I just saw the link of the first entry is missing:
http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va...


    Reference: http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va...
Isabel Hohneck
Germany
Local time: 18:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: German

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp
1 hr
  -> thanks

agree  Michael Fratus: I do believe you are most certainly correct. In this case, it is a matter of law.
10 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Bonita Mc Donald: Very well researched
10 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
11 hrs
  -> thanks

neutral  RHELLER: noun rebuttal is a legal term with a very precise meaning and does not apply here// because a rebuttal is a prepared statement given by a attorney pleading a case in court (that's like comparing A play to the verb to play)+repel is totally off-base here
18 hrs
  -> and why not?
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