Creating Spaces in Law as a Practice of Theatrical Jurisprudence

  • Marett Leiboff (University of Wollongong Australia)


Theatrical Jurisprudence tends to be thought of as a practice of law in its most visible setting – law displayed in the courtroom and rendered live and lively. Theatrical Jurisprudence, however, operates in a different register, a practice that animates the practice of law as something more than bare interpretation, making live and lively the unconscious interventions deployed by lawyers or judges to animate the bare and abstract forms of legal method found in legal doctrine, principle, or rule. Yet most lawyers and judges would vehemently deny that they do anything other than assess, analyse, or apply the law using those rigid reasoning techniques. In this essay, I suggest that law has to theatricalize in order to open up new spaces for justice and uncover some examples of the subtleties of that theatricalization – both good and bad.

Keywords: Theatrical Jurisprudence, law and the body, cabaret, 1977, Street March Bans, the Go-Betweens

How to Cite:

Leiboff, M., (2023) “Creating Spaces in Law as a Practice of Theatrical Jurisprudence”, Documenta 41(2): 7, 187-205. doi:

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Published on
20 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed