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Imagining alternative visions of justice: an exploration of the controversy surrounding Stirling Lee's depictions of Justitia in nineteenth-century Liverpool

Mulcahy, Linda (2013) Imagining alternative visions of justice: an exploration of the controversy surrounding Stirling Lee's depictions of Justitia in nineteenth-century Liverpool. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 9 (2). pp. 311-329. ISSN 1743-8721

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Abstract

In recent years there has been a burgeoning interest in the relationship between law, art and politics. New work in the field encourages us to explore the ways in which art can pose a threat to the supposed rationality of modern law by appealing to imagination and emotion. This article explores these general themes with reference to a specific controversy about a series of bas relief sculptures depicting Justitia which were placed on the side of what was arguably the most spectacular law court to be built in England in the nineteenth century. Although this episode has been explored by art historians, hardly any attention has been drawn to what the episode reveals about the political work that art was, and is, expected to undertake on behalf of the elite and legal establishment. This article attempts to bridge that gap by exploring the extent to which the creator of public artwork, so often a handmaiden of the State when helping us to imagine justice, is also capable of presenting us with subversive images of our Goddess which can, and should, disturb us.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://lch.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2011 SAGE Publications
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
K Law > KD England and Wales
Sets: Departments > Law
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2012 10:13
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/46057/

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