Monday, March 28, 2016

Fernandez on Henderson, "Creating Legal Worlds"

Over at JOTWELL, Angela Fernandez (University of Toronto - Law) has posted an admiring review of Creating Legal Worlds: Story and Style in a Culture of Argument (2015), by Greig Henderson (University of Toronto - English Department). Here are the first two paragraphs of the review:
Creating Legal Worlds, a new book by Greig Henderson, an English professor at the University of Toronto, is about rhetoric and the law and how story-telling is intrinsic to the law. Henderson revisits famous cases (and introduces readers to new cases) in which judges use a variety of rhetorical techniques to engage in persuasive (and, it turns out, at times, not so persuasive) story-telling.
Legal scholars will find value, especially for teaching, in Henderson’s analysis of judgment-writing as craft. However, I think the book has especial purchase power for legal historians, who can contrast Henderson’s approach to cases with the way they generally approach cases and their context. Rather than emphasizing the details of a case and its surrounding circumstances, Henderson emphasizes the technique of the judge as a writer. He explains the literary and rhetorical techniques that judges use (consciously and unconsciously) in order to paint a scene, play on a presumption or prejudice, generate empathy or reassurance that the right result has been reached with cool, clear and unemotional speech.
Read on here

No comments: