Question: What has fiction got to do with law?This is an open-ended question that invites a variety of responses including the role of fiction in law, fictions of the law, fictions about the law, and myths, narratives and language. You may want to explain and explore one of these themes or compare and contrast them, for example the role of narrative in Indigenous and in Western ideas of law; or the difference between fiction and law.
Suggested relevant course resources.
Irene Watson, Aboriginal Peoples, Colonialism and International Law: Raw Law (Taylor & Francis, 2014) ch 3.
Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are (Read-aloud YouTube video. Recommend you look at this with the sound turned down)
Robert M Cover, ‘Foreword: Nomos and narrative’ (1983) 97 Harvard Law Review 4.
You can access PDFs of the following cases as shown in the Research Skills Workshop. Extracts of these cases are available in the preparation for seminars, weeks 4 and 6.
• Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1.
• Chester v Waverley Corporation (1939) 62 CLR 1.
Additional suggested readings.
Maksymilian Del Mar, Artefacts of Legal Inquiry: The Value of Imagination in Adjudication (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2020), Introduction.
Desmond Manderson, ‘From Hunger to Love: Myths of the Source, Interpretation, and Constitution of Law in Children’s Literature’ (2003) 15(1) Law and Literature 87.
Desmond Manderson, ‘Literature in Law – Judicial Method, Epistemology, Strategy, and
Doctrine’ (2015) 38 University of New South Wales Law Journal 1300.
Elaine Scarry, ‘The Made-Up and the Made-Real’ (1992) 5(2) The Yale Journal of Criticism 239.


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