Do trials have real winners? - On the harmonisation of interpretations and the construction of pseudo-consensus in legal discourse

Monica Den Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, narrative coherence has been looked at as an institutional strategy "in anticipation" of the verdict rather than "in retrospect" of the crime or charge. The analysis of binary notions has been instrumental in the reconstruction of the coherence between the narrative(s) and the theoretical outcomes of the criminal trial. As the abstraction and polarisation of narrative versions focus on the achievement of professional consensus, the verdict, which is almost always based on the selection of a binary option does injustice to any narrative which is unfolded in the court-room. Whether the defendant is acquitted or convicted, therefore, does not make him a winner or a loser, as his personal experience is "abducted" and institutionalised for the facilitation of smooth institutional decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do trials have real winners? - On the harmonisation of interpretations and the construction of pseudo-consensus in legal discourse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this