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ABS236 - Do defense lawyers plead with Vygotski in crime court ?

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4:10 PM, mardi 29 août 2017 (20 minutes)
The aim of that abstract is to present how the defense lawyer’s pleading in crime court can be called “art” the way Vygotsky defined it in The psychology of art, that is to say as a social technique of the feeling. We observed how the shape given to language, took or not advantage on the material, in other words how the way the lawyer makes his pleading can act on the juror's intimate conviction. The shape here would be a polemical way of expressing conflictualities (Markova, 2007), and resolving them by using rhetorical processes, including two concepts of social psychology, the concept of third parties’ voices (Grossen, 2011) and the concept of Witcraft (Billig, 1996).

To study that process, we’ve chosen the French case of the Courjault affair.
We met Me Leclerc, Veronique Courjault’s lawyer, and discussed with him the transcription of his pleading.
That research also contributes to understand how the form of language expression has a psychological function. In that manner, this study places itself in the field of the symbolic activity (Kostulski, 2011)

The material:
- Interviews with 25 lawyers from the Paris Bar on pleading, and 2 with Me Henri Leclerc.
- One whole pleading transcripted.

We can assume that the defense lawyer’s pleading is a piece of art able to act on the juror's conviction by a movement called « deliberation art ». Following Vygotsky, we've demonstrated the materiality of this art, although it appears as a kind ephemeral because it was not created to last.
Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM), Paris
Centre de Recherche sur le Travail et le Développement, CNAM Paris. (Paris, France)