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Truth Does Not Matter: Legal Storytelling in the Japanese Drama “Legal High 2”
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Chinese.
2018 (English)In: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, ISSN 0952-8059, E-ISSN 1572-8722, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

People expect that the truth can be revealed in a trial and the decision then is made based on the truth. However, such expectation is a fantasy because the truth has disappeared since the moment when an incident occurred. What are left about this incident are merely fragments (witnesses and evidences) that need further interpretations. Interpretations are open to possibilities; possibilities mean different stories. That is to say: there is no truth (or there are many truths) but stories; truth actually does not matter in law. Law is asked to re-construct the truth logically, based on facts, and without being affected by what outside the law, and then a fair and just legal decision can be made. The idea of storytelling, from the perspective of literature—literary narrative, on the other end is opposite to legal narrative that: a story does not need to be true or real; a story can be as bizarre as it can get as long as it is explainable and acceptable when the story comes to law. In a Japanese drama “Legal High 2” a black widow spider woman is accused of murdering her fiancée and his daughter. Since this woman is the only suspect and has been involved in many marriage fraudulent cases, the prosecutor proves that she is the murder based on the motivation and evidences found (the poison she bought from internet) in the crime scene. However, the defense attorney for getting this woman acquitted tells a story absolutely different from the prosecutor’s based on the same evidences. Therefore, in this present paper I am going to discuss that: how literary narrative and legal narrative in a law drama create both legit but opposite stories that challenges the idea that law and its language is a tool used to pursue the truth based on logics and facts. And, I will compare the similarity and the difference between literary narrative and legal narrative, from the both sides of legal theory and literary theory about language, to examine the idea of “truth” in law and in literature about law.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Netherlands: Springer, 2018. p. 1-18
Keywords [en]
Law and literature; Court-room drama; Story-telling; Truth and justice
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-28993DOI: 10.1007/s11196-018-9595-4Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85057298455OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-28993DiVA, id: diva2:1267382
Available from: 2018-12-02 Created: 2018-12-02 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Hu, Lung-Lung

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