The Effect Of Narrativisation On The Comprehension Of Jury Instructions
The Effect of Narrativisation on the Comprehension of Jury Instructions Sally Nelson Forensic Linguistics, CLCR, Cardiff University
Narrativisation of judicial directions <ul><li>‘ Narrativisation’ Hypothesis (Heffer, 2005): </li></ul><ul><li>Juror comprehension improves when judges’ deliver instructions in a ‘narrative’ style which accommodates the reasoning strategies typically used by lay people, compared to a decontextualised ‘legal’ style used by the legally trained. </li></ul>US Standardised ‘Pattern’ instructions read verbatim England and Wales Judge’s sum up each case, reviewing the evidence. Vs.
Design <ul><li>Three summings-up were drafted, each systematically varying by degree of narrativisation: </li></ul>1 Only the legal directions from the Specimen Directions 2 Integrating specific evidence from the case into the Specimen Directions 3 Integrating specific evidence and using narrativising features e.g. vocatives and discourse markers
<ul><li>Comprehension assessed by multiple-choice, paraphrase and novel- scenario tests: </li></ul>
Mock jurors watched a simulated rape trial prior to receiving one of the three summings-up. Procedure