In the Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, has published a very thoughtful assessment, from “a literary perspective,” of Maksymilian Del Mar’s Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (Hart, 2020). It commences:
But what, it might be asked, does a book that offers a detailed, case-specific account of the linguistic and cognitive dimensions of judicial inquiry in the field of twentieth-century common law practise have to interest a scholar of sixteenth-century literature and politics? The answer, it turns out, is a great deal, not least because many of the roots of both modern legal conventions and early Tudor literature, deep and long-lasting in the first case, relatively newly formed and close to the surface in the second, can be traced to the legal training, the moots and disputations of the early-modern Inns of Court, an institution in which both Del Mar and I have an abiding scholarly interest. But, more generally, what is not to like for a literary scholar in a book that talks about genres, figures, metaphors, audiences and performances, scenarios, figures and tropes, and which discusses the literariness and narrativity of inquiry, and its ‘poetic character’?