Images in Law  book cover
1st Edition

Images in Law

ISBN 9781138264496
Published November 14, 2016 by Routledge
328 Pages

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Book Description

What does 'the law' look like? While numerous attempts have been made to examine law and legal action in terms of its language, little has yet been written that considers how visual images of the law influence its interpretation and execution in ways not discernible from written texts. This groundbreaking collection focuses on images in law, featuring contributions that show and discuss the perception of the legal universe on a theoretical basis or when dealing with visual semiotics (dress, ceremony, technology, etc.). It also examines 'language in action', analyzing jury instructions, police directives, and how imagery is used in conjunction with contentious social and political issues within a country, such as the image of family in Ireland or the image of racism in France.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, William Pencak and Anne Wagner. Part 1 Images of Law: Deep structures of Empire: a note on imperial machines and bodies, Ronnie Lippens; Intervention and the new imagery of World Order, Wouter G. Werner; Key words in Chinese law, Deborah Cao; Visual semiotics of court dress in England and Wales: failed or successful vector of professional identity?, Shaeda Isani; The drama of the courtroom, Annabelle Mooney; Digital visual and multimedia software and the reshaping of legal knowledge, Neal Feigenson; A Las Meninas for the law, Christina Spiesel. Part 2 Legal Language in Action: Legal language in action: raising basic awareness about and understanding of competing legal systems in the legal classroom, Nicola M. Langton; Discourses of the ideal and the actual in the courtroom: the conflict for jurors in 'making sense' of general instructions, Philip Gaines; Jurors' recorded deliberations: an analysis, Paul Robertshaw; 'Let me see your hands': the grammar of physical control in police directives, Philip C. H. Shon; Images of the Irish family: a 'slightly' constitutional arrangement, Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy; Images of racial discrimination in France, Anne Wagner; Law's trouble with images: fetishism and seduction from Athens and Jerusalem to Madison Avenue, Robert A Yelle. Bibliography; Index.

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Anne Wagner, is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics., Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, France. She is the President of the International Roundtables for the Semiotics of Law and board member of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (Springer). Her main research interests include legal language, law and semiotics, contemporary legal theory, law and literature. She is one of the co-editors of Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law (2005, Hart Publishing, London), and editors of special issues published in the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. She has also published extensively on these issues in a variety of scholarly venues. William Pencak is Professor of History at Penn State University, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in New York City in 1978. Although his major field is early United States history, he has written extensively on semiotics and served as President of the Semiotic Society of America in 2000-2001.


'A collection of fascinating studies of not only what the law is, but, more so, what the law looks like. Medical metaphors relating to political systems, Chinese characters and legal tradition, lawyers' dress code, digitally-produced evidence, racial discrimination in France, and the presentation of the family in Irish law are just some of the images discussed in the book.' Dennis Kurzon, University of Haifa, Israel 'This edited book is comprehensive, accessible, and insightful. The editors have assembled and organized a first-rate anthology which surely will be both source material as well as an exceptionally accessible introduction to the study of law by the use of semiotics. The well-versed scholar as well as the uninitiated in the semiotics of law will find it tremendously useful in gaining or extending his/her understanding in this discipline. This book will be a mainstay for some time to come.' Dr Dragan Milovanovic, Professor, Northeastern Illinois University, USA 'This collection could profitably be drawn across a range of disciplines and at both under- and postgraduate levels. It sets up a range of spaces for discussion and I hope that there are additional volumes that maintain its eclectic approach to a fascinating area.' International Journal for the Semiotics of Law