Legislative Practice as Discursive Action: A Performance in Three Parts

Timothy Corcoran

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Paralleling Henry and Milovanovic's theory of constitutive criminology this paper considers several dialogic relationships created in and through an engagement with the Governing Principles of the Penalties and Sentences Act, an example of penal legislation practiced in the Australian State of Queensland. Fairclough's method of Critical Discourse Analysis is enlisted providing the discussion with three prominent discourses performed in the text: purposive, individualising and moral/behavioural. The discussion proposes that dealings with the text both inform and prepare responses across a variety of relational situations involving the State, society, those directly engaged with the criminal justice system and the Act itself. Of specific concern is how the legislation discursively limits or permits action within these relationships whilst ignoring its own constitutive force and relational responsibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)263-283
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Law
    Volume18
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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