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Revolting consumers: a revisionist account of the 1925 ban on photography in English and Welsh courts and its implications for debate about who is able to produce, manage and consume images of the trial

Mulcahy, Linda (2018) Revolting consumers: a revisionist account of the 1925 ban on photography in English and Welsh courts and its implications for debate about who is able to produce, manage and consume images of the trial. International Journal of Law in Context, 2018 (4). pp. 1-22. ISSN 1744-5523 (In Press)

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1744552318000241

Abstract

This article offers a revisionist history of the banning of photography in English and Welsh courts in 1925 and explores the contention that a complete rationale for the ban has never been adequately articulated. While existing accounts of the ban have placed emphasis on the outrage caused by press coverage of a handful of sensational murder trials, this article offers the first comprehensive analysis of photographs of trial scenes in the decades leading up to the ban. In doing so it argues that the exposure of the legal system to scrutiny by the press and public, made possible by new technologies and reporting practices, was much more pervasive than has previously been suggested. It also contends that although parliamentarians claimed that the purpose of the ban was to protect vulnerable members of the public, it actually did a much better job of preserving the interests of the legal, political and social elite, including judges, against a backdrop of fears about an increasingly disrespectful populace. More particularly it is suggested that the ban allowed the state to take back its monopoly over the production, management and consumption of images of judges and other key actors in the courtroom in an effort to re-impose social order and retain the mystery of law.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/internatio...
Additional Information: © 2018 Cambridge University Press
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
T Technology > TR Photography
Sets: Departments > Law
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 10:47
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 10:54
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/89510

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