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New Directions in Law and Literature$
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Elizabeth S. Anker and Bernadette Meyler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456368.001.0001

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Pictures as Precedents

Pictures as Precedents

The Visual Turn and the Status of Figures in Judgments

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter 10 Pictures as Precedents
Source:
New Directions in Law and Literature
Author(s):

Peter Goodrich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456368.003.0011

Contemporary expansion of the use of images, photographs, film, animation and other visual media in legal argument has given rise to a practice and subdiscipline of visual advocacy. Less studied and commented on, this scopic dimension to legal practice has also resulted in an increasing use of images in judicial decisions. Recent case law provides examples of an image of an ostrich with its head buried purportedly remonstrating against failure to cite binding precedent, a smiling emoji in a decision relating to child custody, numerous splash pages and online order icons in cases relating to consumer purchases over the net, and many further instances of pictures coming to play the law. This chapter directly addresses the role of the eye and the impact of the visual upon the reasoning of judgments, as also on the status and import of precedents that include pictures.

Keywords:   precedent, images, reasons for deciding, visual inferences, ratio et imago decidendi, justice and vision

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