Brief Description of Course: This course is about legal world-making and judicial self-fashioning, about how judges create normative universes for us to live in and fashion ethical images of themselves as judges every time they decide a case. Its enabling assumptions are that judicial writing is a form of narrative and rhetoric, that storytelling in law is narrative within a culture of argument, and that narrative is an integral element of legal argument. Topics to be explored include the illuminative power of concepts drawn from narratology and dialogism; the function of style in the rhetoric of judgment; the rhetoric of causality, intention, and voluntariness in the language of the law; and the ways in which judges express and repress issues surrounding violence, sexual assault, and sexual behaviour.
Required Reading: Law’s Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law, ed. Peter Brooks and Paul Gewirtz. Various judgments, stories, and articles to be distributed in class or downloaded.
First Three Authors/Texts: “Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law” (Gewirtz); “The Law as Narrative and Rhetoric” (Brooks); Lloyds Bank v Bundy (Lord Denning).Method of Instruction: Seminar
Method of Evaluation: Seminar presentation (10-15 minutes), seminar paper (5-7 pages), class contribution 40%, term paper (10-12 pages) 60%.