The Language of Violence at Court
Because language is an essential tool for the expression of ideas, language is able to shape thought. The language of law – the methods of discursive action that courts utilize in understanding, mediating, and ruling on violence – is perceived to be the discourse of violence at court. Wittgenstein's (1958) principle that a rule cannot determine its own application can be demonstrated through the discursive practices of the courtroom, since there are always consequential practices corresponding to a certain rule. Many of the processes of courts and the language used in such settings, as asserted by Rock (1993), are intended to tame savage feelings, and probably even lessen the degrees of conflict. This chapter illustrates the important role of language in court and how this may also serve as a measure for mediation.
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