An English translation, entitled The Making of Law: An Ethnography of the Conseil d’Etat (2009), of Professor Bruno Latour’s important work, La Fabrique du droit. Une ethnographie du Conseil d’Etat (2002), is now available for sale in the U.S. Click here for the publisher’s description of the English translation.
This work is an important empirical study of legal information behavior, as well as a significant contribution to legal ethnography.
This work also appears to provide empirical support, and a social-scientific theoretical and methodological framework, for certain arguments respecting the importance of social groups in law in connection with the interpretation of legal language and other aspects of adjudication.
For example, Dr. Latour’s work appears to provide a social-scientific justification for Professor Stanley Fish‘s theory of legal interpretive communities (as expressed, e.g., in his 1989 book Doing What Comes Naturally) as constituting a key component of the context that determines the meaning of legal language, and as furnishing constraints on the interpretation of such language.
Dr. Latour’s work thus seems of interest not only to legal informatics researchers, sociologists of law, law and psychology scholars, and others interested in the empirical study of law-related behavior — including legal decisionmaking — but also to law & literature scholars, legal communication scholars, and others who study legal language and its interpretation.