Unsettled facts: on the transformational dynamism of evidence in legal discourse

Kozin, Alexander V (2008) Unsettled facts: on the transformational dynamism of evidence in legal discourse. Text and Talk, 28 (2). pp. 219-238. ISSN 1860-7330

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Abstract

In this article I conduct an examination of discursive identity of a legal ‘object’ in the course of its treatment by various figures in the legal process. The need for this examination arises from a widespread concern about the effects of creating ‘records’, i.e., transforming spoken discourse by way of documentation into ‘evidence’. After a brief review of the current discussion about this phenomenon, I argue that the identity of textualized evidence is upheld by way of references to other texts, all of which create a field of signification within which an object under discussion (evidence) shows different facets without however losing its identity. In order to support my argument, I offer an analysis of ethnographic data pertaining to a specific criminal case. My objective for the analysis is to trace the status of a specific discursive identity after its enunciation during an attorney–client conference. My findings indicate that textualization should be understood not as a form of fixity for discourse, but rather as semantic pivot that provides for different ‘argumentation figures’ within the referential grid of the legal case.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: discursive identity; legal discourse; textualization; transformation; figure; arguable
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Alexander Kozin
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 08:40
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 06:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/65105

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