A Pragmatic Analysis of Legal Proofs of Criminal Intent

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A Pragmatic Analysis of Legal Proofs of Criminal Intent is a detailed investigation of proofs of criminal intent in Israeli courtrooms. The book analyses linguistic, pragmatic, interpretative and argumentative strategies used by Israeli lawyers and judges in order to examine the defendant’s intention. There can be no doubt that this subject is worthy of a thorough investigation. A person’s intention is a psychological phenomenon and therefore, unless the defendant chooses to confess his intent, it cannot be proven directly – either by evidence or by witnesses’ testimonies. The defendant’s intention must be inferred usually from the overall circumstances of the case; verbal and situational contexts, cultural and ideological assumptions and implicatures should be taken into account. The linguistic analysis of these inferences presented here is necessarily comprehensive: it requires consideration of a variety of theoretical frameworks including speech act theory, discourse analysis, argumentation theory, polyphony theory and text linguistics.

Subjects: Applied linguistics; Forensic linguistics; Pragmatics; Communication Studies

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Haifa

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