Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Latour and the Passage of Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kyle McGee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697908

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697908.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 25 May 2020

On Devices and Logics of Legal Sense: Toward Socio-technical Legal Analysis

On Devices and Logics of Legal Sense: Toward Socio-technical Legal Analysis

(p.61) 3 On Devices and Logics of Legal Sense: Toward Socio-technical Legal Analysis
Latour and the Passage of Law

Kyle McGee

Edinburgh University Press

Kyle McGee argues for the enrichment of socio-legal studies by re-evaluating the operation of rules in legal enunciation, particularly in the ‘judicial Umwelt’. Opposing the tendency to black-box legal rules, prevalent in doctrinal as well as critical or socio-legal research, McGee develops a new articulation of the content of law that would not, in his view, countenance the reduction of law to information. In a departure from his more exploratory book on Latour and legal theory, he focuses here on the means of formal legal speech, walking very slowly, ‘intolerably’ slowly, through the weeds of a US trial court’s opinion in a class lawsuit concerning injuries and property damage suffered by residents of a small community allegedly resulting from a chemical company’s pollution of nearby aquifers. Narrating the slow composition of a legal trajectory out of a multitude of non-legal actors and the court’s methodical de-stratification of complicated levels or planes of enunciation, McGee introduces the jurimorph as a semiotic tool for capturing the peculiar translation that must precede entry into the trajectory and which results in a new legal figure – a value-object or, in later stages, after certain trials have been met, an obligation. The litigants propose competing sequences of value-objects, each leading to the endorsement of their respective positions; the court must submit the virtual sequences to tests, and draws out, actualises, only one pathway of obligations leading to the instauration of a principle.

Keywords:   Actor-network theory, Jurimorph, Bruno Latour, Modes of existence, Class action, Environmental law, Semiotics of law

University Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .