Creating Legal Worlds: Story and Style in a Culture of by Greig Henderson

By Greig Henderson

A felony judgment is initially a narrative, a story of proof concerning the events to the case. Creating criminal Worlds is a examine of the way that narrative operates, and the way rhetoric, tale, and elegance functionality as crucial parts of any criminal argument.

Through cautious analyses of remarkable circumstances from Canada, the USA, and the uk, Greig Henderson analyses how the rhetoric of storytelling usually consists of as a lot argumentative weight inside of a judgement because the good judgment of criminal differences. via their narrative offerings, Henderson argues, judges create a normative universe – the realm of correct and unsuitable during which they make their decisions – and model their very own judicial self-images. Drawing at the paintings of the legislation and literature stream, Creating felony Worlds is a resounding argument for paying shut cognizance to the function of tale and elegance within the production of judicial decisions.

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But if his purpose is to prevent “a precipitately decided sexual assault conviction” against Mr Ewanchuk, then his alienation of the mainstream lay and legal audience of a generally liberal Canadian society is an ill-conceived strategy, a strategy that invites judicial review, and gets it. Too dark to contemplate is the possibility that McClung’s purpose may be little more than to luxuriate in the sheer syllables of vituperation and that his concern for Mr Ewanchuk’s fate is more rhetorical than real.

It was bluebell time in Kent. Mr. and Mrs. Hinz, the plaintiff, had been married some ten years, and they had four children, all aged nine and under. The youngest was one. The plaintiff was a remarkable woman. In addition to her own four, she was foster mother to four other children. To add to it, she was two months pregnant with her fifth child. On this day they drove out in a Bedford Dormobile van from Tonbridge to Canvey Island. They took all eight children with them. As they were coming back they turned into a lay-by at Thurnham to have a picnic tea.

So even though Dershowitz avers that “human experience cannot be cabined into the structure of narrative” (105), that is precisely what his argument is doing. All writing is genre-bound. The genre in this instance may be more akin to the Chekhovian play, the existentialist novel, or le nouveau roman than to the classic realist novel, but the very positing of the category of contingency cabins human experience into the structure of a carefully constructed though putatively random sequence of events.

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