International Conference on Multisensory Law

January 27 & 28, 2014, hosted by University of Zurich, Department of Law

Chair: Dr. Colette R. Brunschwig

Like all people, lawyers are multisensory beings and live in a multisensory world. Human and thus also legal and legally relevant communication involves the production and perception of messages, as well as the five senses: hearing, vision, touch, and even occasionally taste and smell.

Among other skills, legal literacy involves reading and writing legal and legally relevant texts. In the legal context, the verbocentric paradigm remains dominant to this day. It implies that legal actors, whether they are legal scholars or practitioners, equate the law with written or spoken language. Given the advent of the digital media and their implications for the law, some scholars, however, suggest that a visual turn is also occuring in the legal context.

Hence, this conference seeks to promote particularly that legal discourse which explores the law as a visual phenomenon. As audiovisual, visual-kinesthetic, tactile-kinesthetic and other multisensory forms of legal and legally communication are emerging, this conference further sets out to study the law as a multisensory phenomenon. Such a perspective is most promising, since this fledgling legal field draws on insights from non-legal disciplines that the established legal disciplines usually neither consider nor adopt.