March 9, 2015

Narrative In Trial Discourse

Marcelo C. Galuppo, UC Minas; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and University of Baltimore School of Law, has published Mimesis, Imagination and Law. Here is the abstract.

This paper assumes that a trial consists of a narrative that encompasses other narratives held in the Lawsuit. As such, the first question that arises is whether it is possible to transpose events into discourse, i.e., if it is possible to represent mimetically the reality in the judicial discourse. In order to this narrative process be legitimate, it needs to present narrative coherence so that it makes possible that other narratives (plaintiff`s, defendant's, and witnesses' ones) be understood as dialectically overcame in sentence’s narrative. Imagination plays a key role in narratives, and especially in judicial narratives, linking the events, disconnected and isolated in themselves, into a coherent, meaningful whole. This paper assumes that not only the phenomenology of trials can be better understood if one takes them at as a narrative, but also that Judge's (and Jury's) imagination plays a major role in building the meaning of this narrative. This perspective also rejects the traditional positivistic view that court decision may be an objective description (neutral) of the facts involved in the case.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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