Dr Michał Dudek
Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Abstract: The aim of this article is to discuss the infrequent, but noticeable, practice of inserting photographs in court decisions. Against the background of the few existing studies on this practice, which seem to be overly case-specific, this article proposes a more general, even universal list of problems connected with it. It addresses a short list of questions about the inclusion of photographs in court decisions, such as, for instance: “Why do judges include in court decisions photographs concerning the case-relevant facts?”; “Who are the addressees of these photographs?”; “What is the source of the photographs used and are all sources allowable?”; and “How come that some segments of court decisions are accompanied by relevant photographs and others are not?”. A discussion of these and other questions enables the conceptualisation of many problems connected with inserting photographs in court decisions – most notably, that of the criteria of choice, which previously has not been explicitly addressed, but barely hinted at – and leads to the conclusion that the practice in question, surrounded by many controversies, should be discontinued.
Keywords: law, visuality, court decisions, photographs
Published: Number 2(17)/2018, pp. 60-74.
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