his book develops an account of legal reasoning based on underlying narrative patterns, and compares other such approaches in legal philosophy, psychology and history. Download full ToC and Preface from http://www.legaltheory.demon.co.uk/books_lfnc.html.
Later reprinted by Deborah Charles Publications (and not available from Amazon), this book expounds and comments on the application of Greimasian semiotics to a legal text, as found in the article by Greimas and Landowski in Greimas, Sémiotique et Sciences Sociales (1976), compares this with the semiotic presuppositions of Hart, Dworkin, MacCormick and Kelsen, and offers my own analysis of the implications of such semiotic analysis for legal theory, including some more recent radical non-positivist accounts.
This book reviews the classical schools of jurisprudence with particular reference to their linguistic presuppositions, and summarises an alternative account based on Paris school semiotics. Detailed ToC available from linked web page. NOT available from Amazon.
Originally written in 1990, this reviews largely late 20th century debates on the study of law as Logic, Discourse, or Experience; the Unity of the Legal System and the Problem of Reference; Semiotic Presuppositions of Traditional Jurisprudence (Austin, Hart, Kelsen, Dworkin, Legal Realisms); then turns to legal philosophies explicitly Employing Forms of Semiotics (Kalinowski, the Italian Analytical School, Rhetorical and Pragmatic Approaches, Sociological and Socio-Linguistic Approaches, Peircian Legal Semiotics, Greimasian Legal Semiotics and Aesthetic/Symbolic Approaches). A major section then offers (from (...) a largely Greimasian point of view) some hypotheses for legal semiotics on the Problem of Reference, Semantic and Pragmatic Levels, Semiotic Groups and “The Legal Culture”, Normativity and Justification, and finally considers the implications for particular legal phenomena: the “Legal System”, Legal Institutions, Legal Codes, Legal Rules, Rights, Courtroom Behaviour: Witness and Counsel, The Judge: Justification of Decisions on Law, and the Criminal Justice Process. A conclusion addresses the status of legal semiotics. (shrink)
This account of civil liability for animals in a range of ancient, mediaeval and modern legal systems (based on a series of studies conducted early in my career: (s.1)) uses semiotic analysis to supplement the insights of conventional legal history, thus balancing diachronic and synchronic approaches. It reinforces the conventional historical sensitivity to anachronism in two respects: (1) (logical) inference of underlying values from concrete rules (rather than attending to literary features of the text) manifests cognitive anachronism, an issue manifest (...) in biblical scholarship’s discussion of the stoning of the homicidal ox in Exod. 21:28 (s.2); (2) the application of modern notions of literal (rather than narrative) meaning not only manifests a semiotic anachronism but here also obscures the institutional origins of many of the rules in a system heavily reliant on self-help and informal settlement. (shrink)
Introduction.Bernard S. Jackson - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (3):421-423.details
This Special Issue reflects a very special occasion. On 13 January 2012, the Tilburg Law School marked the retirement of Associate Professor Dr. Hanneke van Schooten and the recent publication of her latest book, Jurisprudence and Communication (Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publications, 2011) with a special colloquium, at which Dr. Van Schooten summarised the findings of her book, and four colleagues offered responses to it, three (by Jackson, van Roermund and Witteveen, here developed further). -/- .
This article is partly an exercise in academic autobiography, seeking to make sense of the different ways in which I have applied semiotics to secular law on the one hand, Jewish law on the other. The very fact that it can be applied to both shows that its claims are methodological. But it also indicates a possible reformulation of the semiotic issues in philosophical terms: we may view the relationship between the semantic and pragmatic levels in terms of the relationship/balance (...) between certainty/truth (the semantic level) on the one hand and trust (the pragmatic level) on the other. What may distinguish the secular and religious systems is the manner in the issue of trust is be ideologically concealed. (shrink)
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of "simple meaning'' (peshat), its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and (...) refuses to equate decision-making with justification. (shrink)
This article examines a summing up by a judge to a jury in the Liverpool Crown Court, with particular reference to the distinction between communication and signification, and the fact that such summing ups are normally delivered entirely orally.
The modern conception of the "Rule of Law'' takes law to consist in rules known in advance. This latter characteristic assumes that, for the most part, the meaning of such rules is unproblematic (Hart's "core of settled meaning''), this usually being understood as a function of "literal meaning''. A quite different model exists in the Bible: the early rules display "oral residue'', and their meaning, I argue, is constructed in "narrative'' rather than "semantic'' terms: instead of asking: "what situations do (...) the words of this rule cover?'', we should inquire: "what typical situations do the words of this rule evoke?''. (shrink)
In this paper, I ask whether mishpat ivri (Jewish Law) is appropriately conceived as a “legal system”. I review Menachem Elon’s use of a “Sources” Theory of Law (based on Salmond) in his account of Mishpat Ivri; the status of religious law from the viewpoint of jurisprudence itself (Bentham, Austin and Kelsen); then the use of sources (and the approach to “dogmatic error”) by halakhic authorities in discussing the problems of the agunah (“chained wife”), which I suggest points to a (...) theory more radical than the “sources” theory of law, one more akin to the ultimate phase of the thought of Kelsen (the “non-logical” Kelsen) or indeed to some form of Legal Realism (with which that phase of Kelsen’s thought has indeed been compared)? I finally juxtapose an account based on internal theological resources (a “Jurisprudence of Revelation”). Downloadable at at http://www.biu.ac.il/JS/JSIJ/jsij1.html. (shrink)
This is a response to Lindgren’s article in the same issue (“The Consequences of a Pragmatic Turn for Semiotics”, at 293-301), on the nature of Greimas’ claims to the autonomy of semantics (with comparison to Searle on literal meaning) and to the “universality” of narrativity as underlying all meaning.
After a section of Methodological Preliminaries, I consider Truth and Argumentation in the Jewish Legal Tradition, under the following subheadings: Truth in Judaism, Truth and Norms, Truth and Language, Truth and Logic, Truth and Argumentation. I thus use an external framework in order to pose questions to the Jewish legal tradition, and identify internal resources which may provide partial answers to these questions. But are these partial answers so peculiar, theological, culturally contingent as to lack any value in terms of (...) a potential contribution to these same issues as posed within Western jurisprudence? This may be doubted, given the West’s adoption or construction of the divine right of kings on the one hand and of holistic theories of interpretation on the other, derived from the Bible and later Jewish tradition, mediated and fortified through a Christianised Rome. (shrink)
“Brother Daniel” (Oswald Rufeisen) was a Jew with an extraordinary record of resistance to the Nazis in the 2WW, who ultimately took refuge in a monastery and became a Catholic priest, After the war he sought to emigrate to Israel and to claim citizenship as a Jew under Israel’s Law of Return. This article examines the judgments in the case, in part from a semiotic analysis of the opposition between Jew and Christian in the judgments, as well as their construction (...) of time in the context of the religious identity of the “Jewish state”. (shrink)
The author has higher degrees in both Law and Iranian Studies, and here presents a comparison of the role of the judge (sometimes linked to ‘jurists’ or ‘legal scholars’, e.g., p. 2) in Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian traditions, including his relationship to experts in legal doctrine (here termed ‘Jurisprudence’) in the various traditions. His principal theoretical aim is to counter the categorisation of these legal traditions as “religious legal systems”, thus “giving the impression that it is religion which is their (...) most important feature”. (shrink)
Despite the efforts of some modern Jewish law scholars, it is difficult to apply models of secular jurisprudence (whether positivist or Dworkinian) to the Jewish legal system. Internal analysis suggests that the “secondary rules” of the system are far too fragile. Rather, the system appears to privilege trust over objectively determinable truth. (But perhaps trust is a concept to which greater attention should be paid also in secular jurisprudence, as a legal realism informed by semiotics might maintain.) The practical implications (...) of this difference are here illustrated both from research on reform of Jewish marriage law and recent developments in the area of law and religion, in the wake of Archbishop Rowan Williams’ advocacy in 2008 of a model of “transformative accommodation”. (shrink)
In considering Van Schooten’s study of the Eric O. case (s.1), I ask whether the different approaches taken by the two different “legal institutions”—the prosecuting authorities on the one hand, the courts on the other—are reflective of different images of warfare (a semantic difference) or of the different images each group holds of its own role (a pragmatic difference). If we consider these two “legal institutions” as distinct semiotic groups (s.2), is there an inevitable “communication deficit” between them (and the (...) public)? (shrink)
This article summarises ten central aspects of a Greimasian-based semiotics of law, and applies them to ECHR 6 & 12, including a semiotic analysis of differences between the English and French versions.
This short article offers a summary comparison of the narrative syntagm of Greimas (Contract, including competence), Performance and Recognition) with MacCormick’s institutional theory (institutive, consequential and terminative rules) and introduces the symposium articles by Anna Pintore, Monica den Boer, François Paychère, Bert van Roermund and Geoffrey Samuel.
In this article, I seek to expand an earlier semiotic analysis of the “not guilty” verdict (ss.II-III), and bring it into relation with both a jurisprudential argument about the status of facts proved in the legal process (s.IV) and philosophical discussion of the nature of “truth” (s.V).
This article reviews the opportunities for legal semiotics to contribute to legal philosophy, legal sociology, the reading of legal texts and the analysis of legal language (with bibliography) and surveys the institutional development of legal semiotics.
This article explores the construction of identity in the Hebrew Bible in terms of different forms of opposition between “us” and them”, with sections on the Bible’s narrative history, the structure of the Decalogue, “Neighbour” and “Stranger” in Leviticus 19 and the Covenant Code, Exodus 23:1-8 and the Conceptualisation of Litigation, The Influence of the Other, Conclusions.
This responds to the article by J.W.C. Touchie in this journal at 10 (1997) 317-335 commenting on my debate with Neil MacCormick regarding the linguistics of the normative syllogism, and in particular the notion of reference in the philosophy of language.
This article explores the roles of linguistic and visual images in the construction of legal sense, distinguishing the cultural, causal and physiological levels, with illustrations from both modern and Biblical law, and concluding with a section on the interaction of the levels as reflected in feminist jurisprudence.
Responding to MacCormick’s article in the same issue (“Narrativity and the Normative Syllogism”, at (163-74), I seek to identify and respond to M’s account of my position on reference (correspondence theory and reality) and on the role of reference (more properly, its absence, as M agrees) in the normative syllogism.