This summary explores a large body of published work that has sought to develop
both teaching and research in what has been termed film and the law or perhaps
more accurately ‘cinematic justice’.
The first section outlines the diversity of methodological approaches that have been
used in the area generally but also within the submitted pieces that form the main
body of the work.
The second part outlines the problems in identifying the core material that now forms
the basis of the subject. It charts the attempts to expand the base beyond courtroom
drama and explores the engagement with areas of film theory. A thread that runs
through the published work from start to finish has been identifying what a legal film
is or might be. At the start this was not explicitly recognized as a question of genre,
there was no established framework to apply. A large part of the scholarship has
involved analyzing films and searching out common elements and ideas in order to
invigorate the process.
The third section addresses the synthesis of teaching and research that has always
been a central feature of the enterprise. Developing a new ‘pedagogy’ for legal
teaching seemed important - then became outdated - but now, it is argued, has the
potential for a rebirth. This section makes the case for new thinking about using
television material to explore the ideology within legal portrayals. The summary also
reflects the author’s highly significant role in the contribution to the development of
the area more generally.