Adjudication in Action: An Ethnomethodology of Law, Morality and Justice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Adjudication in Action

An Ethnomethodology of Law, Morality and Justice, 1st Edition

By Baudouin Dupret


374 pages

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Adjudication in Action describes the moral dimension of judicial activities and the judicial approach to questions of morality, observing the contextualized deployment of various practices and the activities of diverse people who, in different capacities, find themselves involved with institutional judicial space. Exploring the manner in which the enactment of the law is morally accomplished, and how practical, legal cognition mediates and modulates the treatment of cases dealing with sexual morality, this book offers a rich, praxeological study that engages with 'living' law as it unfolds in action. Inspired by Wittgenstein's later thought and engaging with recent developments in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, Adjudication in Action challenges approaches that reduce the law to mere provisions of a legal code, presenting instead an understanding of law as a resource that stands in need of contextualization. Through the close description of people's orientation to and reification of legal categories within the framework of institutional settings, this book constitutes the first comprehensive study of law in context and in action.


Honourable Mention, American Sociological Association's Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis Book Awards, 2011-2012 'Based in the analysis of work, sequential organization and membership categorization in a collection of Egyptian legal proceedings including a trial for perversion and debauchery (homosexuality), Dupret gives us the most sustained attempt yet at a praxeology of judicial activity, re-specifying such legal objects as fact, person, intention, cause and judgement in relation to morality (above all), rationality, normality, language, context, rule, action, and text. It’s a remarkable tour de force.' Peter Eglin, Wilfred Laurier University, Canada '… informative and stimulating… ’Adjudication in Action’ is a very welcome contribution to the ethnomethodological and sociological coverage of actual practice(s) of law in courts and related pre- and post-courtroom bureaucratic activities…' Symbolic Interaction

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: a grammar of law in context and action; Part I Law and Morality: Bases of a Praxeological Approach: Law and morality: constructs and models; The morality of cognition: the normativity of ordinary reasoning; Law in action: a praxeological approach to law and justice. Part II Law in Context and in Action: Law in context; legal activity and the institutional context; Procedural constraint: sequentiality, routine, and formal correctness; Legal relevance: the production of factuality and legality. Part III A Practical Grammar of Legal Concepts: From law in the books to law in action: Egyptian criminal law between doctrine, case law, jurisprudence, and practice; The natural person: the contingent and contextual production of legal personality; The production of causality: a praxeological grammar of the use of causal concepts; Intention in action: the teleological orientation of the parties to criminal cases. Part IV Praxeological Study of Judgments on Morality: Morality on trial: structure and intelligibility of the court sentence; Questions of morality: sequential, structured organization of the interrogation; The categories of morality: homosexuality between perversion and debauchery; Conclusion: the morality of judgment and the judgment of morality: a praxeological approach; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Baudouin Dupret is Research Director at (CNRS), France, Professor in the Department of Economic, Social and Political Sciences and Communication at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, Director of the Centre Jacques-Berque, Morocco, and author of Droit et Sciences Sociales.

About the Series

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis are cognate approaches to the study of social action that together comprise a major perspective within the contemporary human sciences. Ethnomethodology focuses upon the production of situated and ordered social action of all kinds, whilst Conversation Analysis has a more specific focus on the production and organisation of talk-in-interaction. Of course, given that so much social action is conducted in and through talk, there are substantive as well theoretical continuities between the two approaches. Focusing on social activities as situated human productions, these approaches seek to analyse the intelligibility and accountability of social activities ‘from within’ those activities themselves, using methods that can be analysed and described. Such methods amount to aptitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies that members of society use, rely upon and take for granted in conducting their affairs across the whole range of social life.

As a result of the methodological rewards consequent upon their unique analytic approach and attention to the detailed orderliness of social life, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis have ramified across a wide range of human science disciplines throughout the world, including anthropology, social psychology, linguistics, communication studies and social studies of science and technology.

This series is dedicated to publishing the latest work in these two fields, including research monographs, edited collections and theoretical treatises. As such, its volumes are essential reading for those concerned with the study of human conduct and aptitudes, the (re)production of social orderliness and the methods and aspirations of the social sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Public
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General