This chapter examines language’s role in the formation of legal categories. It situates itself within the tension that exists between the certainty that seems to exist when applying legal categories (as realised through principles, rules or standards) and the ambiguity that necessarily comes with them. This chapter holds that legal categories are not just subject to whims of negotiated power dynamics and firm political choices but under-girding those choices are the dynamics of how human beings - i.e. lawyers, lawmakers, jurists, judges, and their respective staffs – operationalise the cognitive processes that enable category building and their application to legal decisions. We focus on the process of law making by cognitive category making. We promote a methodological intervention to examine the processes of classification and categorisation of legal principles to explore the politics of legal practice in action as, in part, an embodied cognitive process. Although public hearings, consultation, and deliberation are all part of the legal process, we focus on how law is performed as a written exercise with the goal of understanding the law through its use of linguistic choices. The result an exploration of how that language displays the cognitive underpinnings of legal category making and the development of legal institutions, legal rules and, more broadly, the law itself.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Madsen & Slosser: Institutionally Embodied Law: Cognitive Linguistics and the Making of International Law
Mikael Madsen (Univ. of Copenhagen - Law) & Jacob Livingston Slosser (Univ. of Copenhagen - iCourts) have posted Institutionally Embodied Law: Cognitive Linguistics and the Making of International Law. Here's the abstract: