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Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law

Editor(s): Anne Wagner, Tracey Summerfield, Farid Samir Benavides Vanegas
Media of Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law
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Published: 20-09-2005
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 286
ISBN: 9781847312068
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Oñati International Series in Law and Society
RRP: £30.59
Online price : £24.47
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Loren Epson

About Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law

The law is a symbolic construction and therefore rests on a variety of undertakings. What gives law its meaning is,for some, ideology, for others, the welfare of the majority. However, what is manifest is a conception of the law as a material structure that carries symbols of everyday life. The analyses that are made in the law and semiotics movements show that the laws symbolism cannot be understood by reference only to itself, a strictly legal meaning. It is a symbol that conveys life, a symbol that in itself is contaminated with life, politics, morality and so on. Law and Semiotics is an obvious meeting point between traditions, because it is the place where all the discussions about the law can find a common language.

This is a collection of different papers where the institution of the law is investigated, in combination with, and as part of, a multiplicity of sign systems. Firstly, law can be understood as part of a global system of meaning (Part I) ; and, secondly, that despite the homogenising threat of globalisation, the play of legal meaning retains a socio-historical specificity (Part II). The global issues of human migration, human rights, colonisation and transnational power are played out in local spaces, in the public discourses through which they are given localised representation, in moments of activism, and as a tool of subversion. The law is a rhetorical device which at once constitutes these global and local truths but which is also constituted by them.

Table Of Contents


Law's Garden of Forking Paths by Anne Wagner, Tracey Summerfield and Farid Samir Benavides Vanegas

Part I: The Interpretation and Pertinence of Law in the Global Age

1. Refugee Meanings by Ian Duncanson

2. Citizens, Immigrants, Anarchists and Other Animals by Annabelle Mooney

3. The Dialogistic Nature of Brazil's Arbitration Law 9.307/96 by Celina Frade

4. Constitutional 'Communarchy': A Constitution with Chinese Characteristics by Deborah Cao

5. The Quest for Certainty in Recent US Constitutional Scholarship: Original Intent and the Practice of Constitutional 'Creativity' by Frederick P Lewis

6. Celebrity as Authority in Law by John Brigham and Jill Meyers

7. Writing Around the Censor: Gypsies, Thieves, and Rebels in Early Modern Spain by William Pencak

Part II: Cultural and Symbolic Analyses of the Law in Context

8. Subversion in the World of Order: Legal Deconstruction as a Rhetorical Practice by Joanna Jemielniak

9. The Substantive Issue and the Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate in Ireland by Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy

10. Wealth of Terms-Scarcity of Justice? Term Formation in Statutory Definitions by Richard Foley

11. Enduring Signs and Obscure Meanings: Contested Coats of Arms in Australian Jurisdictions by Richard Mohr

12. Critical Race Reggae: The Sound of a Narrative by Aaron RS Lorenz

13. Cromer's Olde England and the Dome's New Britain: Two Same/Different Imageries of the Law of Britain's Empire by Ronnie Lippens

14. Law in the Age of Images: The Challenge of Visual Literacy by Christina O Spiesel, Richard K Sherwin, Neal Feigenson

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