Location

Brock University

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

15-5-1997 9:00 AM

End Date

17-5-1997 5:00 PM

Abstract

This paper examines the functions of narrative within written legal argumentation. My purposes are these: 1) to repudiate common assumptions that differentiate "argumentation" and "storytelling" in the law; 2) to begin to theorize anew how legal argumentation functions; 3) to explore the difficulties of evaluating the law's argumentative narratives, and 4) to trace some of the anxiety that judges themselves reveal about their roles as storytellers. I conclude that narrative is necessary to law's claims to authority, even as it complicates our understandings about how legislative policy decisions produce effects, and even as judges themselves seek to mask its importance.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Response to Submission

Jacqueline Macgregor Davies, Commentary on Matthewson

Reader's Reactions

Jacqueline Macgregor Davies, Commentary on Matthewson (May 1997)

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 17th, 5:00 PM

Outdoing Lewis Carrol: Judicial Rhetoric and Acceptable Fictions

Brock University

This paper examines the functions of narrative within written legal argumentation. My purposes are these: 1) to repudiate common assumptions that differentiate "argumentation" and "storytelling" in the law; 2) to begin to theorize anew how legal argumentation functions; 3) to explore the difficulties of evaluating the law's argumentative narratives, and 4) to trace some of the anxiety that judges themselves reveal about their roles as storytellers. I conclude that narrative is necessary to law's claims to authority, even as it complicates our understandings about how legislative policy decisions produce effects, and even as judges themselves seek to mask its importance.