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Forensic Representations of Identity: The Imago, the X-Ray and the Evidential Image
Abstract: The invention of photography in the nineteenth century is generally considered to have affected a sea change in evidential reasoning and in the courts' relationship to technology. This paper argues that in the use of fact x-rays provided a more revolutionary change in the forensic and trial processes. In order to analyse this more thoroughly, radiography needs to be situated in the following contexts. First the genealogy of the legal image and its relationship to death has to be examined. Second, the x ray has to be considered as part of a process that requires of the forensically endowed viewer something other than what was required of observers of the legal theatre.
The Deception of Cadence: Toward a Dissonant Law
M Paola Mittica
Abstract: The use of musical metaphor is a recurrent theme in the history of political thought, but it also shows up in jurisprudence, where in recent years it has been coming into increasingly frequent use, taking on a particularly prominent role in Law and the Humanities. This article analyses the nexus between harmony and dissonance as a metaphor for the relation between system and complexity, monism and pluralism, and inclusion and exclusion in connection with legal discourse, or between law and 'non-law'. Ultimately, the goal is to have a better understanding of the relation between social complexity and legal regulation, and the question, in that regard, is whether the intelligence of the musical arts can prove useful to the intelligence of the legal arts.
Representations of Governance in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe: The Iconography and Dramatic Presentation of the Sovereign Ruler
Christopher Harding and Nicola Harding
Abstract: It is conventional wisdom in the history of international law and relations that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries patterns of governance in Europe were transformed, a complex and multi-layered system of political authority being superseded by a more unified structure of exclusive authority vested in the form of the sovereign state. The outcome of this process is easier to appreciate than the means of its achievement. How did such ideas about governance take root and consolidate into a consensus among political leaders across Europe? The discussion in this paper examines a range of media which may have been significantly exploited in early modern European society for the dissemination of argument and ideas about governance. Two major forms appeared to be utilised for this purpose: visual art, with its rich iconographical content; and various types of dramatic presentation capable of communicating with both elite and popular audiences.
Killing the Queen: ‘It lawfully maie be done’
Abstract: The case of Mary Stuart offers a privileged view of the roles played by the Inns in the years leading to her trial. It was argued at length in pamphlets, treatises, petitions, and occupied a major part in the proceedings of several parliamentary sessions. Closely connected with the issue was the "liberty of the House", freedom of speech. Among numerous faults, Mary was "An enemy to England", and a foreigner: whether this could bar her or not from inheriting the crown made a moot point, discussed in Plowden's crucial treatise on the succession. Various incidents suggest that news and arguments circulated from Commons to commons. That the legal issues must have made a fascinating theme for pro et contra debate appears in Queen Elizabeth's complaint that "yow lawiers are so nice and so precise in sifting and scanning every word and letter, that many times yow stand more upon forme then matter, upon syllabs then the sense of the lawe". The lawyer who had given her and his fellow MPs assurance that the transgressive deed "lawfully maie be done" was dead before the actual trial, but his colleagues who had repeatedly demanded the head of Mary brought the procedure to its required conclusion.
Literature in Law: Exceptio Artis and the Emergence of Literary Fields
Ralf Grüttemeier and Ted Laros
Abstract: This article explores the possibility of examining literary trials from a field theoretical perspective. It argues that literary trials can function as a barometer of ideas about institutional autonomy of the literary field and about conceptions of literature. Efforts to answer such questions can profit from the currently growing digitalisation of historical press data. The 1919/1920 pornography trial concerning the Dutch translation of Henri Barbusse's novel L'enfer is used as a case study to explore whether the rise of the concept of exceptio artis can be seen as a decisive step in the recognition of the literary field by the field of power, possibly not only in the Netherlands.