Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law

Overview

The law is a symbolic construction and therefore rests on a variety of undertakings. What gives law its meaning is, for some, ideology, and for others, the welfare of the majority. However, what is manifest is a conception of the law as a material structure that carries symbols of everyday life. The analyses that are made in the law and semiotics movements show that the law's symbolism cannot be understood by reference only to itself, a strictly 'legal' meaning. It is a symbol that conveys life, a symbol that in ...
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Overview

The law is a symbolic construction and therefore rests on a variety of undertakings. What gives law its meaning is, for some, ideology, and for others, the welfare of the majority. However, what is manifest is a conception of the law as a material structure that carries symbols of everyday life. The analyses that are made in the law and semiotics movements show that the law's symbolism cannot be understood by reference only to itself, a strictly 'legal' meaning. It is a symbol that conveys life, a symbol that in itself is contaminated with life, politics, morality and so on. Contemporary Issues of the Semiotics of Law is a collection of different papers examining the institution of the law, in combination with, and as part of, a multiplicity of sign systems. The law can be understood as part of a global system of meaning; and despite the homogenizing threat of globalization, the play of legal meaning retains a socio-historical specificity. The global issues of human migration, human rights, colonization and transnational power are played out in local spaces, in the public discourses through which they are given localized representation, in moments of activism, and as a tool of subversion. The law is a rhetorical device which at once constitutes these global and local truths but which is also constituted by them.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction : law's garden of forking paths 1
1 Refugee meanings 19
2 Citizens, immigrants, anarchists and other animals 35
3 The dialogistic nature of Brazil's arbitration law 9.307/96 57
4 Constitutional 'communarchy' : a constitution with Chinese characteristics 71
5 The quest for certainty in recent US constitutional scholarship : original intent and the practice of constitutional 'creativity' 85
6 Celebrity as authority in law 95
7 Writing around the censor : gypsies, thieves, and rebels in early modern Spain 113
8 Subversion in the world of order : legal deconstruction as a rhetorical practice 127
9 The substantive issue and the rhetoric of the abortion debate in Ireland 141
10 Wealth of terms - scarcity of justice? : term formation in statutory definitions 165
11 Enduring signs and obscure meanings : contested coats of arms in Australian jurisdictions 179
12 Critical race reggae : the sound of a narrative 197
13 Cromer's Olde England and the Dome's new Britain : two same/different imageries of the law of Britain's empire 213
14 Law in the age of images : the challenge of visual literacy 231
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