Towards a Theatrical Jurisprudence: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Towards a Theatrical Jurisprudence

1st Edition

By Marett Leiboff


208 pages

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Hardback: 9781138672789
pub: 2019-03-03
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This book brings the insights of theatre theory to the jurisprudential, in order to elaborate a new practice of responsibility. The theatrical, which here forms the basis of a theatrical jurisprudence, draws upon the forms of theatre theory that took shape in the 20th century, as they constitute training in a particular form of morality, inculcating a sense of responsibility beyond the self. Such forms of conduct are deeply resonant with the intentions of the jurisprudential, but with one key difference. The training of the performer is one that is rigorous and demanding, working with the body as well as demanding an awareness of self in and through time and space. This, then, is a training designed to inculcate responsibility through the body as well as the mind. Law necessarily discards the body as having no role in its interpretative practice. Indeed bodies are abjured by law, theologically, philosophically, politically and pragmatically. The body might be the subject of regulation and control, but the one thing that law and its jurisprudents seek to avoid is their own bodily responses and reactions. In contrast, theatrical jurisprudence is grounded on the materiality of bodily encounters. Demanding a self-awareness and responsiveness on the part of the lawyer and jurisprudent, it insists on bringing a deeply engaged self-awareness into law’s interpretative practices.

Table of Contents

1. The theatrical as jurisprudence

2. Law’s dramatic pretence

3. Law’s lost presence

4. The moral theatre

5. The encounter

6. Reclaiming the holy lawyer

7. Towards a theatrical jurisprudence

About the Author

Marett Leiboff is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wollongong, Australia

About the Series

Space, Materiality and the Normative

Space, Materiality and the Normative presents new ways of thinking about the connections between space and materiality from a normative perspective. The series is concerned with addressing the use, regulation and experience of space and materiality, broadly understood, and in particular with exploring their links and the challenges they raise for law, politics and normativity.

Space, Materiality and the Normative welcomes analyses of space–materiality–normativity links from any institutional setting (financial market spaces, organisational spaces, urban space, legal space, mediated space, architecture, etc.). Proposals can be theoretical, discussing various conceptual strategies to study the use, regulation and experience space and materiality; they can be historical, outlining changes in how spaces are governed; or they can assume a more contemporary-diagnostic approach, investigating, for example, the emergence of post-national architectures or post-capitalist urban spaces. Submissions are welcomed exploring the following themes:

  • The changing politics of space, bodies and objects
  • Embedded normativities of spatial governance and resistance
  • Megacities and the regulatory (and experiential) challenges they give rise to
  • Spatial atmospheres, how they are experiences and governed
  • The links between space and materiality
  • Colonial and postcolonial spaces and materialities

The book series is intended as a critical interdisciplinary series, at the interface of law, social theory, politics, architecture, geography and urban studies.

For further information on the series, or to discuss a possible contribution, please contact the Series Editors at:

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, School of Law, University of Westminster, email:

Christian Borch, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, email:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Performance
LAW / Jurisprudence