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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
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ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Peter D. Rush and Andrew T. Kenyon

The contours of the question of transmission or jurisdiction receive a particularly sharp delineation in a recent judgment from the annals of contempt of court. How can…

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The contours of the question of transmission or jurisdiction receive a particularly sharp delineation in a recent judgment from the annals of contempt of court. How can the solicitor scandalise the court, without destroying the law? Consider Anissa v Parsons. It involves the doctrine of contempt by scandalising – the most feudal of the three legally recognised types of contempt used to keep “the streams of justice clear and pure.”5 And the question that the judgment confronts is the technical and representational ordering of law, and specifically the articulation and disarticulation of two orders – that of the court and that of law.

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Book part

Abstract

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Book part

Abstract

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Peter J. Hutchings

The Siege opens with news footage of the bombing of military dormitory barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (on June 25, 1996). Whatever the genesis of the screenplay may…

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The Siege opens with news footage of the bombing of military dormitory barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (on June 25, 1996). Whatever the genesis of the screenplay may have been, the release of a film some two years after the actual event which inspired some of its story is remarkably quick by Hollywood standards (where the average development time of any project is three years). An interesting film on its initial release, it now screens like a premonition, or a blueprint. The fictional alleged perpetrator of the bombing – which was actually the work of Al Qaeda – Ahmed bin Talal is secretly kidnapped by U.S. forces, and taken to the U.S. The drama which then unfolds involves the operations of a network of terrorist cells – all trained by the CIA to destabilize Saddam Hussein – demanding bin Talal’s release through an escalating series of bombings in New York City culminating in the destruction of One Federal Plaza, the imposition of martial law in Brooklyn, and the detention of all Arab-American adult males in makeshift camps set up in sports stadiums.

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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William MacNeil

This article1 is offered up in the spirit of what the High Kings of Gondor might call a weregild.2 That is, I hope, in this article, to clear a debt: a debt, long overdue…

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This article1 is offered up in the spirit of what the High Kings of Gondor might call a weregild.2 That is, I hope, in this article, to clear a debt: a debt, long overdue, much like that owed by the Armies of the Dead to Isildur’s heir, Aragorn son of Arathorn. I reference The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Tolkien, 1994) because this article is, in the main, about Tolkien and his oeuvre as an astonishing instance of what might be called lex populi. But this article attempts more than just another cultural legal reading of a popular literary and cinematic phenomenon.3 What, in fact, it proposes is nothing less than a practical demonstration of what it means to read jurisprudentially. In so doing, I hope to repay some of the theoretical debt that jurisprudence (and law-and-literature) has incurred, and owes so clearly to literary criticism, cultural studies and Continental philosophy. For far too long jurisprudence has been content to absorb the lessons of these other disciplines’ versions of textual theory – of the play of the sign, the dissemination of meaning, the deconstruction of logos – without propounding its own topoi let alone interpretive paradigms. Such topoi, of course, jurisprudence has in abundance: in notions of a “higher justice”; in concepts of law’s connection with morality; and, especially, the law’s role in inaugurating “the social.”

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Michael FitzGerald

In the drama of the evidentiary process, it would hardly be thought exceptional that the judge’s intuition of the formal order of things – which is to say, their…

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In the drama of the evidentiary process, it would hardly be thought exceptional that the judge’s intuition of the formal order of things – which is to say, their sufficient standing-to-reason – should falter when confronted with the sprawling and confused immediacy of stubborn matter-of-fact. The circumstantial given is a bewildering Gordian Knot of data; the analytic legerdemain of localising our attention and following one of its threads cannot reduce the tangle into which it soon recedes. And in comparison to the knot’s multiplicity, our scope for unifying abstraction, or “large-scale” comprehension, is limited and flickering. We possess fragments of intuition, and fragments of formal connection between these fragments. But the panorama is merely agglutinative – the fragments do not congeal into one perfect, self-evident totality. And an offhand remark amongst the lectures of Alfred North Whitehead suggests that this defect is of more than methodological significance – even when one takes one’s example from arithmetic: “the snippet of knowledge that the addition of 1 and 4 produces the same multiplicity as the addition of 2 and 3, seems to me self-evident” (Whitehead, 1968, p. 47). And yet we would disclaim any such self-evidence were larger numbers involved – only skeptically could we hazard a guess. So, he continues, we have recourse to “the indignity of proof,” securing our opinion through the rationality of calculation. Nor is it so much that proof and method are chastening of themselves – the nemesis, the sting of the creatural condition is rather having to prove, the imperfection of finite judgment and the infinite possibility of perfecting it. This predicament was already known to Sophocles; if humanity “holds out” against the overwhelming by its inventiveness, by finding a means in to mêchanoen technas, the machinations of technique, it is because our ultimate condition with regard to the overwhelming is amêchanôs, aporos, resourceless and without means.

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Thomas L. Dumm

What may be another kinship of law and death? To suggest that death is a work may allow us (I hope misleadingly) to suggest, by way of something more than coincidence …

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What may be another kinship of law and death? To suggest that death is a work may allow us (I hope misleadingly) to suggest, by way of something more than coincidence – but less than perfect parallel – that law is the very definition of absolute limit. In this sense law would be death’s shadow, a shadow cast by the sun of life as it shines on death, a sun toward which Giorgio Agamben seems to have been moving in his recent writing. (1998) And yet, as if in presumptive rebuttal, Michel Foucault convincingly suggested years before Agamben’s intervention, in a meditation on Maurice Blanchot, that “The law is the shadow toward which every gesture necessarily advances; it is itself the shadow of the advancing gesture” (Foucault, 1987, p. 35). Every gesture directs our attention away from the sun’s light and toward the cave of the everyday, where the fire may come, when it comes and if it comes, from places otherwise.

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Edward Mussawir

If it has become possible in recent times to talk of a jurisprudence of Franz Kafka,1 it should be realised firstly that two things dear or indispensable to the writer…

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If it has become possible in recent times to talk of a jurisprudence of Franz Kafka,1 it should be realised firstly that two things dear or indispensable to the writer will have long been disfigured in the study of law: desire and its assemblage. “For spiritual nourishment,” he writes of his legal education I have nothing but sawdust, which, to crown it all, has been chewed over already by thousands of mouths before me (Kafka, 1966, p. 94, as cited in Legendre, 1997, p. 101).Jurisprudence, after all, would be a very specialised field in which one must speak a very specialised and sober language; a particular form of expression inseparable from a particular investment of desire. But Kafka’s problem with legal studies, if it can be viewed as a problem of sawdust, would not be for example what else one can chew, but simply this: how else to put one’s mouth to use? In other words, how to invent a mode of expression as the only real way to desire, or alternatively how to desire as the only real way to express oneself. For this, one always finds a machine – literature, letters, childhood or animal machines perhaps, as Kafka discovers for himself. And of course the various juridical machines through which desire is assembled and organised according to strict formalisations of content and enunciation. Jurisprudence would still not have come close to laying its hands (or its mouth) upon this assemblage in which it, as a small or even marginal component, discovers its functionality: a legal assemblage of desire.

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Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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Lee Godden

What is this tide of history that washes over the continent of Australia after 1788 destroying in its wake much of the indigenous people’s relationship with land and…

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What is this tide of history that washes over the continent of Australia after 1788 destroying in its wake much of the indigenous people’s relationship with land and waters? Now only remnants, fragments of a former aboriginal inscription of law/lore remain evident in the Australian physical and metaphoric landscape.1 In Law, the “tide of history” has been extended from its original voicing in Mabo v. Queensland [No. 2] (1992) to become a justificatory strategy for the limitation of responsibility and a concurrent apologia that simultaneously acknowledges a previous aboriginal connection with land but denies its current legitimacy.2

Details

Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

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