At the time, digitization had facilitated visual, audiovisual, and even multisensory communication—even in an otherwise predominantly verbocentric legal context. Yours truly was convinced that visualizing and audiovisualizing legal contents would enable legal practitioners to better explain and illustrate legal concepts, problems, and proceedings for the benefit of lay people e. Laypersons, I suggested, should also be supported in outlining legal concepts and problems relevant to their case, and in visualizing in digital or analog form their goals and ideas.
This, I was convinced, would help lawyers and judges to establish whether laypersons had actually understood the legal contents affecting them. Multisensory legal communication, I argued, would make it easier for laypersons to make meaningful decisions, for instance, in family law disputes separation, divorce , labor law, corporate law, as well as in conflicts involving other areas of the law, criminal proceedings, etc.
Richard Sherwin – CRASSH
Especially in the US, various scholars proposed measures for alleviating the most serious distress. Thus, special provision for law students would probably have been superfluous, indeed exaggerated. While this is probably true, it would have been useful had law professors motivated and instructed their students to do specific physical exercises. Becoming an integral part of professional life, these exercises would have helped avoid stress in the legal profession, or at least reduce it to a manageable level.
The visual politics of terror
Located on the periphery of established scholarly discourse, these publications initially only included journal articles and blog posts, with monographs and essays following later. The production of legal visualizations drew on the findings and insights of visual design visual communication ; 89 that of legal audiovisualizations legal videos, legal films, audiovisual legal animations on audiovisual design audiovisual communication, film studies ; and that of legal games legal gamification 90 and legal virtual realities 91 on game design 92 and interaction design e.
Still, I believed it would merely be a matter of time before legal videos were produced systematically, perhaps even for video walls in government buildings, courthouses, parliaments, etc.
Writing in , Hibbitts , an American legal historian and legal information scientist, remarked:. This gave the subject two faces, one looking forward, the other backward. On the one hand, this idiosyncratic Janus head now turned its attention to what had long been thought and done in terms of visualizing, audiovisualizing, and multisensorizing legal contents.
On the other, it contemplated what was being thought and done, as well as what needed to be considered and undertaken in this direction. Regardless of whether one looks back into the past, at the present, or into the future, the same questions remain crucial. For the sake of simplicity, I formulate them here in the present tense, however without aiming to exclude either the past or the future: Which legal contents are visualized, audiovisualized, and multisensorized?
Which types of legal visualizations, legal audiovisualizations, and multisensorizations are produced? Why are legal contents visualized, audiovisualized, and multisensorized? What are the effects of visual, audiovisual, and multisensory legal products? I have already explained that art history and design were hugely important for visualizing, audiovisualizing, and multisensorizing legal contents.
The sociology of scientific knowledge discourages great hopes in this respect: 20 th and 21 st century scholars, as suggested, faced a deluge of literature. Countless scientific texts were courting the scientific community, forcing scholars to devote their time and energy to a very limited number of publications and to confine themselves to what best suited their own research and teaching purposes.
More than half of all publications are never quoted, i. The unmanageable amount of legal information compelled legal scholars to pay all but selective attention to other sources, leaving no time to consider visualization, audiovisualization, and multisensorization from the perspective of the digital humanities and digital law. My only hope was that my essay would be received in , or later, as a document of the times, from which insights into the history of science might be gained: an essay for posterity, thus, not one for the present world.
Your questions have certainly aroused mine: Lacking an earthly Internet connection, I would be interested to learn more about the state of legal scholarship in They crowd my—well, actually our—otherworldly space. As former members of the earthly scientific community, we are buzzing around in this space. We mumble—and keep muttering—critically as if we were no different, as if our opinions still enjoyed currency on earth.
Meanwhile escaped from corporeal imprisonment, our souls are simultaneously male and female. No old boys lift young boys onto university chairs anymore. I would not fear communicating with intelligent software, which might have replaced your neural networks by now. Some of us consider the title hubristic and feel that the author ought to have placed Deus between citation marks.
Nevertheless, we are discussing certain passages, including the following:. Brunschwig—Nicolas R. From a legal perspective, the visualization process raises several basic questions: Who visualizes legal professionals, law students, lay persons, e. Why for which reasons and purposes are legal contents visualized?
Which legal contents are visualized? These can be enacted norms, sections of court orders and rulings, legal scholarship research and teaching , state and private legal practice contracts, etc. Which semiotic code is used? Which visualization methods are applied?
In which medium does a particular visual product manifest itself mediality? In which semiotic code does this product appear codality? Who are the recipients e. How does the visualization affect its recipients how do the recipients experience the visualization? How do they behave towards it?
Whereas the initial wavers of computational humanities concentrated on everything from word frequency studies and textual analysis classification systems, mark-up encoding to hypertext editing and textual database construction, contemporary Digital Humanities marks a move beyond a privileging of the textual, emphasizing graphical methods of knowledge production and organization, design as an integral component of research, transmedia crisscrossings, and an expanded concept of the sensorium of humanistic knowledge.
And, unlike field notes, for example, video recordings make it possible to repeatedly watch the interaction and to scrutinize even the smallest details of the temporal and spatial organization of the event. Still, as Peter von Matt , former chair of Modern German Literature at Zurich University, recently observed: 49 Entire [university] chairs thrive on producing semiotic concepts and dismantling their predecessors.
Students believe in this enterprise, orient themselves accordingly, write dissertations about it, and one day they are forced to realize that no one cares less about their doctrine of scientific salvation. Which research subjects mattered most to the new appointments? How far were their research priorities linked to the DH? Thus, did their research and teaching provide fundamental insights into the development of the law, its structures, functions, and effects? Or did their scientific activities instead promote knowledge that could be applied to legal practice?
It is, in my view, urgent to reconnect papyrology and Roman law: […]. Papyrologists, in particular, have been left abandoned to their own forces, without the assistances of legally trained experts [sic] facing an enormous mass of documents whose nature is prevalently legal. Rather, they must learn to leave the comfort zone, to openly confront and fight against all the humiliations and injustices of real life. Thus, for instance, Volpato observed in 71 One feature about legal outputs is their unabashed textuality.
It is still uncommon to see advice, advocacy or judgments presented as videos, animations, graphs, or simulations.
In informatic terms there is a strong rigidity about which channels and codes are appropriate and a resistance to testing the communication efficiency of trying something else. Writing in , Hibbitts , an American legal historian and legal information scientist, remarked: 80 In the twelth and thirteenth centuries, the immediate European progenitors of our culture turned increasingly to writing to help preserve information and customary lore that had been primarily perpetuated and celebrated in sound, gesture, touch, smell, and taste.
Once this corpus was inscribed, and thus removed from its original multisensory context, it slowly but indubitably became the creature of the medium [i. The law was meant to enter the senses, to manifest itself to the senses. Thus people became aware that on the other hand they themselves knew how to imprint their thoughts and feelings on the law. Your questions have certainly aroused mine: Lacking an earthly Internet connection, I would be interested to learn more about the state of legal scholarship in 88 Can legal scholarship now be divided into analog, digital, and nanotechnological streams?
If so, does digital law encompass digital legal dogmatics and the basic legal disciplines such as digital legal history, digital legal theory, digital legal philosophy, digital legal sociology, and digital legal psychology? Does the database now form a network with other legal image databases—under the aegis of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History?
Has this verbo-visual legal database meanwhile become a model for designing other verbo-visual and audiovisual legal databases? Has this developed into a research center of its own? Does it still exist and, if so, how is it related to the basic legal disciplines now being taught and researched at the University of Zurich?
Nevertheless, we are discussing certain passages, including the following: 93 Yet even cyborg engineering is relatively conservative, inasmuch as it assumes that organic brains will go on being the command-and-control centres of life. But when law migrates to the screen it lives there as other images do, motivating belief and judgment on the basis of visual delight and unconscious fantasies and desires as well as actualities. Law as image also shares broader cultural anxieties concerning not only the truth of the image but also the mimetic capacity itself, the human ability to represent reality.
What is real, and what is simulation? This is the hallmark of the baroque, when dreams fold into dreams, like immersion in a seemingly endless matrix of digital appearances. When fact-based justice recedes, laws proliferate within a field of uncertainty. Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque offers a jurisprudential paradigm that is equal to the challenge that current cultural conditions present. Richard K. The New Paradigm.