Dr. Colette R. Brunschwig of Universität Zürich Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät has published Multisensory Law and Legal Informatics – A Comparison of How These Legal Disciplines Relate to Visual Law, Jusletter IT, 22, Feb. 2011. Here is the abstract:
This paper discusses how multisensory law and legal informatics deal with the flood of legal information and the complexity of law. Failing a comparison to date how these legal disciplines relate to visual law, and how they attempt to provide lawyers or laypersons with adequate coping strategies, this paper aims to contribute to filling this research gap. It draws on insights from various disciplines, such as legal informatics, legal theory, multisensory law, and so forth. Key findings include that there is a similarity between multisensory law and legal informatics regarding the general function of their visual products. Given this finding, this paper provides a first systematic knowledge basis for multisensory law and particularly for its relationship to visual law. It builds specific systematic knowledge about the subject matter and cognitive interest of multisensory law and its branch «visual law.» It contributes to the current understanding of legal informatics and clarifies how legal informatics and visual law are related. What are the implications of the findings presented here? They challenge the (still) prevailing verbocentric legal paradigm by advocating a shift toward a multisensory legal paradigm. The new paradigm does not refute well-founded and indispensable verbal legal communication. Rather, it stands for blending established with multisensory modes of legal communication. In terms of the sociology of science, such a paradigm shift would imply that the growing number of uni- and multisensory legal phenomena would gain the necessary scientific attention. Particularly as visual, audiovisual, and tactile-kinesthetic legal phenomena are gaining increasing significance in the legal context, it is simply not possible to think them away from jurisprudence (Rechtswissenschaft) and legal practice. Without intending to diminish the lasting significance of legal informatics for ICT-based uni- and multisensory legal phenomena, this paper suggests subsuming all the uni- and multisensory legal phenomena under multisensory law, whether they are ICT-based or not. This – highly debatable – suggestion is based on the observation that the established disciplines of the applicable law and the basic legal disciplines fail to adequately explore the legal or legally relevant phenomena at stake, at least as regards certain subject areas of multisensory law (the law as a uni- and multisensory phenomenon in the law and the law as a uni- and multisensory phenomenon).
Thanks to Dr. Brunschwig for notifying us of this paper.