Author: Peter Goodrich
Taking as its exemplum the use of images in judicial decisions, this article argues that the ratio decidendi of legal precedent should be supplemented with the imago decidendi, the figure or depiction that motivates judgment. Drawing upon the history of legal humanism, and particularly the tradition of juristic emblems, it is argued that an adequate understanding of case law rules and decisions requires attention to the imagery that conceives and propels the reasoned deliberation that follows. To adequately apprehend the transmission of law in a digital age requires acknowledging that images think differently, that the ambulation of the eye in the image is very different to the linear glance of the text.
Author: Peter Goodrich

The digitization of law and of law reporting has greatly facilitated the transmission and use of images in legal decisions. While advocates have long been aware of the persuasive value of graphs, photographs, film, animatrix, the manipulation of images in judicial decisions has received little sustained attention. This article reviews the literature on the visual turn in legal studies and applies its lessons, historical and theoretical, to the apprehension of the juristic value and precedential status of images in judgments. The visual apparatuses of law are increasingly becoming its primary mode not only of transmission but also of reasoning, authorizing and judging. Such a dramatic shift in forum and medium to the online and digital necessitates a comparable transfer of method, a movement to sensuous apprehension, ad apparentiam, by appearance, in place of the traditional hermeneutic ad similia, or by analogy.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Art and Law
In: Imago Decidendi
In: Imago Decidendi