Linking pre-trial and trial
In the literature one finds a lot of criticism against the “talk bias” of
courtroom studies. The courtroom occurrences, it is asserted, reduce the course
of activities to the exchange of (transcribed) turns while excluding the other
layers of discourse involving co-present bodies, filed documents, or technical
Our project picks up on these criticisms by inventing two major extensions of
regular courtroom studies: We, firstly, extend the notion of participation towards
assemblages of human and none-humans. Agency is distributed on assorted means
of production. We, secondly, extend the courses of activity towards the wider
production-processes of verbal contributions. Although uttered in court, most
contributions only partially derive from the very event.
This extensions call for a sound integration of pre-trial and trial.
Cases are only in certain respects local products. One finds a good
deal of preparation-work invested into legal arguments, stories, witnesses
etc. Cases are becomings that exceed the very instant of the trial.
One finds, furthermore, pre-established accounts that, although not
explicated in court, confront any in-court performance with binding
and potentially threatening contrasts.
The concepts developed on these grounds take into account these wider
extensions while at the same time respecting the dynamics and contingencies of
the days in court. I employ the notions of career, mobilisation, and materialities
of discourse to explore the tensions of process and event. Here lies the conceptual
challenge of the law-in-action project: to relate the proximity and its hidden continuities,
the dispersed investments and the local payout, the processes of production and consumption.
Special Issue on "Law and Biography" in BIOS
Call for Abstracts/French-German Conference on “Enfermement/Freiheitsentzug”
My ethnography on the English Crown Court procedure by BRILL
Our comparative ethnography of criminal defence work in different procedural
regimes by PALGRAVE
Teaching in SS 2011
Scheffer: „Einführung in die Institutionelle Ethnographie“ Kurs in Moodle
Scheffer: „Was tun Verfahren? Eine sozialwissenschaftliche Debatte“ Kurs in Moodle
Scheffer: „Arbeitskreis politische Ethnographie“ Termine in Moodle