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Law Stories examines the attraction and construction of narratives about the law in popular fiction and non-fiction across a variety of media including film, TV, novels, short stories, memoirs, true crime writing, and journalism. The analysis of these cultural products informs a closer attention to the way legal institutions and processes use story-telling and produce narratives in the form of case reports, reform proposals, and public inquiries. For example, the law reform story of the decriminalisation of homosexuality after the Wolfenden Report of 1954), or the revelation of institutional racism in the police force in the MacPherson Report of 1999. The module will be taught across 10 seminars. Students will be able to choose at least two of the works we study each year. The total number of works covered will vary from year to year depending on the kind of work studied (e.g. a season of The Wire (HBO: David Simon, 2002-2008) will take longer to study than Orson Welles' film adaptation of The Trial (1962); by the same token, Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) will take more time to read than Lord Denning's judgment in Miller v Jackson [1977] QB 966, or a chapter in Rosemary Hunter's Feminist Judgments (Hart, 2010) The module is assessed by one 5000-word essay worth 100% of the grade. In order to prepare students for this assessed work, they will have the opportunity to submit and obtain feedback on a formative exercised.

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