Legal Discourse

Studies in Linguistics, Rhetoric and Legal Analysis

  • Peter Goodrich

Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    1. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 1-8
  3. Linguistics and Legal Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 11-31
    3. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 32-62
    4. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 63-81
  4. Legal Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 85-124
    3. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 125-157
    4. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 158-204
    5. Peter Goodrich
      Pages 205-212
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 213-266

About this book


Lawyers and the law have long been the object of popular criticism and satire for the obscurity and incomprehensibility of their language. Legal Discourse provides a novel historical and systematic account of the language of the legal institution together with a sustained criticism of legal exegesis and `legalese' more generally. In the first part of the work the doctrinal history of the legal discipline and its concepts of language, text and sign are examined and assessed. In the second part the contemporary disciples of linguistics, discourse analysis and communication studies are brought to bear upon the task of constructing a theory of legal discourse as a linguistics of legal power.


communication communication studies discourse Institution language linguistics politics

Authors and affiliations

  • Peter Goodrich
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Newcastle-upon-TyneUK

Bibliographic information