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Reading the Legal Case: Cross-Currents Between Law and the Humanities

Edited by: Marco Wan

ISBN13: 9780415737289
Published: November 2013
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2012)
Price: £39.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780415673549

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Reading the Legal Case: Cross-Currents in Law and the Humanities re-examines the seemingly familiar notion of a ‘legal case’ by exploring the histories, practices, conventions and rhetoric of ‘case law’.

The doctrine of stare decisis, whereby courts are bound by precedent cases, underpins legal reasoning in the common law world. At the same time, the legal case is itself a product of institutional and linguistic practices, and raises broader questions about the foundations and boundaries of law.

The idea of the ‘case’ as an ordered, closed narrative with a determinate outcome is, for example, integral to medical, psychoanalytic, as well as forensic discourses; whilst the notion of the ‘strange case’ is a popular one in the English fiction of the late nineteenth century. What is at stake in the attempt to categorise or define a situation as a legal case?

Is the notion of binding precedent in ‘case law’ really distinctive to the common law? And if so, why? What can the concept of a ‘case’ in other disciplines and discourses tell us about how it operates in law? With contributions from legal philosophers, legal historians, literary critics, and linguists, this book moves beyond the jurisprudential discussion of the nature and authority of the legal case, as it draws on insights from philosophy, m linguistics, narratology, drama, and film.

Jurisprudence, General Interest
Introduction: Re-situating the Legal Case within the Humanities, Marco Wan

Part I Philosophical Interrogations of the Legal Case: Reading Legal Case Reports, Alan Durant
On Lapsus Judicii: Notes on Law in the Making, Thanos Zartaloudis
Revisiting Obscenity Cases: Insights from the Sorites Paradox, Janny Leung

Part II Linguistic Dimensions of the Legal Case: How to Do Things with Cases, Kenji Yoshino
The Rhetoric of Law in the Warren Hastings Impeachment Trial, Anthony Carty
Sir William Jones and the Translation of Law in India, Robert Young

Part III Novel Cases: Stare Decisis, Binding Precedent, and Anthony Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds, Marco Wan
'Binding' Precedent: Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Scott Veitch
On Trial in Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease, Katherine Isobel Baxter

Part IV The Legal Case on Stage and Screen: The Dramatic Imagination and the Dream of Law, Paul Raffield
Brokeback's Bareback: Rum, Sodomy and the Lash in (Queer?) Legal Fictions, William MacNeil
The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth: the Case of Close-Up, Maria Aristodemou

Part V Key Cases in Historical Perspective: "I crave the law": Salomon v A Salomona& Co Ltd (1897) as a socio-cultural event, Christopher Hutton
Stare Decisis in China? The Historical Development of the Guiding Cases System, Ping Yu