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Legal-Lay CommunicationTextual Travels in the Law$
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Chris Heffer, Frances Rock, and John Conley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.001.0001

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‘Theatricks’ in the Courtroom

‘Theatricks’ in the Courtroom

The Intertextual Construction of Legal Cases

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter 5 ‘Theatricks’ in the Courtroom
Source:
Legal-Lay Communication
Author(s):

Katrijn Maryns

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.003.0005

Katrijn Maryns’s chapter focuses on the interdiscursive construction of identity in criminal cases, using excerpts from several murder trials. She specifically examines intertextuality in order to analyse legal space as a polyphonic arena where multiple voices compete for influence and control. Maryns analyses audio and video recordings of barristers’ pleas in the Belgian Assize Court, in which barristers constantly incorporate others’ voices into their own. These intertextual linkages between spoken and written discourses demonstrate a striking ambiguity between orality and textuality: in Belgium, police interrogations are not recorded, there are no official rules for report writing, and verbatim representations are rare. Nonetheless, the courtroom speakers she observed reconstructed verbatim oral dialogue from the written reports and used these ‘everyday’ re-enactments as evidence and identity-building resources in their legal arguments.

Keywords:   Intertextuality, interdiscursive, orality, textuality, indexing, criminal trials, lawyers

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