Deborah Charles Publications
Abstracts' Library

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Bernard S. Jackson, "Envisaging Law", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law VII/21 (1994), 311-334: This paper considers the nature and use of images in justice, rather than particular images of justice. We can distinguish three different types of question regarding the relations between the linguistic and the visual in respect of the legal system: "cultural", "causal", and "physiological" questions. By "cultural", I mean the attitudes expressed within particular cultures (national, professional, etc.) towards particular forms of sense construction: in this context, do they claim some privilege for language or for visual representation? By "causal", I mean the causal relationship between sensory data inputs and the sense actually constructed (within any particular semiotic group): in this context, is there evidence to suggest that visually-constructed images have greater potency in the construction of legal sense than do linguistically-constructed images? By "physiological", I mean those processes within the brain which are activated in the transformation of sensory inputs into perceived sense. I illustrate each of these separate questions, and ponder to some degree their inter-relationship. e-mail: bsj@legaltheory.demon.co.uk

B.S. Jackson, "The Literary Presentation of Multiculturalism in Early Biblical Law", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique VIII/23 (1995), 181-206: This paper argues for an integral relationship between law and narrative in the Bible. Two events within that narrative history stand out: the creation of the world (the foundation of universal history) and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (the foundation of their particular history). This distinction forms the organising structure of the Decalogue itself. The Decalogue refers explicitly to the exodus (in introducing the "particular" laws) and creation (in introducing the "universal" laws). Moreover, the particular and the universal laws invoke quite different forms of semiosis: the former involve the construction of the Israelites' particular sense of the sacred, through feelings of loyalty and the use of body language, smell, taste, speech and time; the latter consist in action qualified as bad by a cognitive process. The Israelite v. stranger opposition continues to structure the law codes: the "love commandment", for example, is separately stated in Lev. 19 in relation to a "neighbour" and a "stranger". e-mail: bsj@legaltheory.demon.co.uk

Bernard S. Jackson, "Truth or Proof: The Criminal Verdict", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. XI no.33 (1998), 227-273: In the light of current controversies in the English-speaking world, this article offers a semiotic analysis of the meaning of the "not guilty" verdict (professionally constructed as relating only to proof), and compares the understanding of the "guilty" verdict (which even professionals construct as making truth claims). The public policy argument is compared to a jurisprudential debate (Kelsen, Bulygin) about the status of facts proved in the legal process and related to philosophical discussion of the nature of "truth". A central, underlying issue is the relationship between language and "reality", so often discussed in semiotics as a problem of conceptualising "reference". Though the emphasis here is on the construction of "concepts" ("guilty", "not guilty"), so that the semiotic analysis focuses largely on the "paradigmatic" axis of signification (that of the semiotic square), it becomes apparent how closely related are the differences in concept construction to the pragmatics of discourse: who is constructing the concepts, and for what purposes. Behind such concept formation, I suggest, there reside implicit narrativisations of pragmatics. The argument is illustrated by reference to the problems surrounding a recent English cause célêbre, the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. e-mail: Bernard.Jackson@man.ac.uk

Bernard S. Jackson, "With Reference to Touchie", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. XI no.31 (1998), 79-93: In response to John C.W. Touchie, "Jackson on the "Decisions" Underlying the Application of Rules", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. X no.30 (1997), 317-335, Jackson argues that Touchie's critique overlooks Jackson's fundamental starting point in his original critique of MacCormick's account of the justification of legal decisions (once rendered "easy") through the normative syllogism. This starting point is the distinction between semantics and pragmatics, and the nature of "reference" within pragmatics. Prompted by Touchie's observation that "one could not be within the sphere of "pure" grammar and at the same time not obey the rules of grammar", Jackson restates his position using the Chomskian distinction between competence and performance. While logic as a system operates without the intervention of "decisions", logic in use is part of the pragmatic dimension of language, which requires consideration of the identity and purposes of its users. e-mail: Bernard.Jackson@man.ac.uk

Fiona Jenkins, "Luxemburg, Weil, Arendt: Heroines for a Humanist Feminism?" (Review article of Andrea Nye, PHILOSOPHIA), Res Publica III/2 (1997), 229-237: In reviewing Nye's contribution to feminist scholarship in a humanist spirit, I argue that whilst providing a useful survey of the writings of Luxemburg, Weil and Arendt and a timely reminder of their relevance to political theory and philosophy, Nye's work is insufficiently reflective about certain fundamental feminist questions, particularly about the limitations of a feminine marginality which is here celebrated for its critical potential. e-mail: fiona.jenkins@philosophy.usyd.edu.au

Gerry Johnstone, "Towards a Revised Image of Therapeutic Approaches to Crime", Law and Critique, vol. 7, no. 2 [1996], 193-216: Today, therapeutic interventions into the lives of offenders tend to be seen and understood as methods of social control which - although they do nothing to remove the real causes of criminality - render deviants more docile. This essay questions the adequacy of this view, arguing that it is based upon a partial and mistaken image of the nature of therapeutic interventions. Critical criminology and socio-legal studies, in particular, has failed to grasp the true nature of the practice of treatment in penal settings, in at least two ways. First, it has tended to direct its criticisms towards 'hard' medical therapeutic approaches to crime, thereby ignoring and deflecting critical attention away from the 'soft' social therapies which are much more common in practice. Second, even when it does examine sociotherapeutic approaches to crime, it tends to misinterpret their objectives and operational principles. It tends to assume that all therapeutic interventions into the lives of offenders share the same objective: to eliminate or at least control those tendencies which render the person a danger or nuisance to society. This paper argues, however, that in much sociotherapy, the aim is to add something to the offender, namely the social habits and competencies which an individual requires in order to participate in productive and fulfilling social relationships. Mailing Address: Gerry Johnstone, Law School, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom; E-Mail Address: J.G.Johnstone@law.hull.ac.uk

Mario Jori, "On Touchie, Logic and the Universe", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. XI no.31 (1998), 59-65: My bottom line is the following. I think that Touchie's central argument against Jackson is wrong, but in being wrong he raises several important points about Jackson's epistemology and legal theory. Touchie's central argument is that Jackson cannot argue both that reference always requires individual choices, and at the same time that (pure) propositional logic, being a rigorous calculus, does not require such choices or decisions. According to Touchie, Jackson can either be "sceptic" or "non-sceptic" about both logic and reference. On the contrary, Jackson says that interpretive decisions are required only by reference, the applying or interpreting or ascribing words and sentences to actual facts. Where Touchie in my opinion is wrong is about formal logic. Pure formal logic is indeed a rigorous calculus involving no choices apart from accepting the rules of the logic game. On the other hand, I agree with the other part of Touchie's argument, that the amount of choice required by concrete acts of reference (ascribing language to things) can be variably reduced by making the language more precise. I agree that such interpretive choices can be reduced to a practical nil for the normal purposes of particular kinds of descriptions (the easy cases in jurisprudence and the normal cases in ordinary life and language). e-mail jori@fildir.unimi.it

Eva M.B. Joyce, "The Law of Gift and the Law of Theft", The Liverpool Law Review xviii/2 (1996), 207-212: It is argued in this article that the criminal law of theft and the civil law should "march hand in hand". The recent case of Mazo [1996] Criminal Law Review 435 is analysed in terms of the reasons given by the court of Appeal for allowing the appeal against conviction and there is a response to part of the commentary on the case by Professor J C Smith. The civil law involved in the case is the law of gift; the effect of the decision is that the law of theft and the law of gift are not in conflict, but the point is made that there should not be conflict between theft and the civil law generally, that the criminal law ought to be based upon civil law concepts because they determine the distinction between 'mine' and 'thine'.Miranda Kaye, "Equity's Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Debt", Feminist Legal Studies V/1 (1997), 35-55: The practice of creditors requiring that women assume liability for the debts of their (male) partner can be termed Sexually Transmitted Debt (STD). STD is a stark confrontation of the public and private spheres. When the law considers the private arrangement made between the woman and her partner it is in the context of a public dispute between the bank and the woman (and possibly her partner). The paper considers why women are more susceptible to STD than men and concludes that this may arise due to a power imbalance created by gender. The paper discusses the case-law in the area, particularly post Barclays v O'Brien, and concludes that equity is not redressing the gendered power imbalance experienced by women in STD situations. As such equity currently is not fulfilling the maxim 'equity is equality'. Until equity's conceptualisation of inequalities includes the gendered power imbalance, it has little potential as a cure for STD and the focus must start to shift to prophylactic action to reduce the incidence of STD.



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