I thank Susan Silbey for organizing a conference panel on law and architecture that stimulated my thinking on the subject.
Judging in Place: Architecture, Design, and the Operation of Courts
Article first published online: 14 OCT 2012
© 2012 American Bar Foundation
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 1014–1028, Fall 2012
How to Cite
Bybee, K. J. (2012), Judging in Place: Architecture, Design, and the Operation of Courts. Law & Social Inquiry, 37: 1014–1028. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2012.01327.x
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 14 OCT 2012
What can judicial architecture tell us about how courts function? In this essay, I examine Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process, and the Place of Law (2011) by Linda Mulcahy and Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (2011) by Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis. I argue that both books develop an understanding of judicial architecture as a socially contingent form of communication. I relate this expressive theory of architecture to older arguments about design and construction articulated by poet and novelist Victor Hugo and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I also briefly explore the connections between this developing “jurisprudence of what's real” and more conventional forms of law-and-courts scholarship.