Law and lawyers

‘The prerogative of the wig’

in Men on trial
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This chapter explores how, through legal practice, the law comes to embody particular social relationships, notably those between coloniser and colonised, the social classes, and men and women. This process of embodiment of social hierarchies by ‘the law’ enables both its culture and the capacity of individuals to receive justice from it. To make this argument, it explores how lawyers and judges come to personify the law for the public in the press. Yet, legal space is not made by lawyers alone. Thus, ‘the law’ brings its own logic and is shaped by the social elite, the burgeoning public and juries. The latter were not just contexts that the law operated within, but became the law as they were drawn into its practice and representation.

Men on trial

Performing embodiment, emotion and identity in Ireland, 1800-45

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