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Legal Discourses

Marcus Galdia

The book approaches law from the legal-linguistic perspective. Its aim is to clarify the processes in which the meaning of law emerges in legal discourses. In order to enable the understanding of law as a discursive practice, professional and non-professional discourses are analyzed. With this aim in mind, the author focuses on the epistemological consequences of the discursiveness of law. Other relevant legal-linguistic operations such as legal interpretation or legal translation are scrutinized in terms of their theoretical prerequisites and their practical consequences. Their analysis also shows the potential and the limits of law as a social and as a linguistic phenomenon that is determined by its discursiveness. Finally, the book demonstrates how the discursiveness as the distinctive feature of law establishes the connection between the science of law and other social sciences.
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Part 7: Legal Narrativity or Law as Literature


Part 7:  Legal Narrativity or Law as Literature

7.1  Narrativity of law

Legal discourses rely on narrative materials that in their entirety display all the content-related aspects of legal texts. These aspects were until now only marginally or subliminally mentioned in this book where structural and logical aspects dominated the analysis. Narrativity of law is not less important because discourses are not only practices; they also are practices ‘about something’. This something that could be called ‘discursive content’ cannot be determined arbitrarily. Perception and the more active reception of discursive contents follow rules and rules can be approached in a structured way. The perception of legal discourses is an act of taking into consideration of a legal discourse; it is insignificant in our context as it is rarely creative of further legally relevant contexts. Not much follows therefore from this uninterested perception. The reception of legal discourses equals in most cases the reception of narrative aspects of law because the more abstract discursive features rarely interest the broader public or even the professionals of law. Narrativity concerns the spoken and the written form of legal ontology. In the legal-linguistic research the spoken form is predominantly analyzed in discourse analysis (Anesa 2009, 2012). Furthermore, law is often present in both forms simultaneously, for instance when the accusation act is read in a court by the public prosecutor. After all, law is regularly also received in written form; it is therefore also literature (Galdia 2009: 270). This literary...

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