Judicial Images
Production, Management and Consumption

Judicial Image Exhibitions

A long history and a global future. In England there is a long history, beginning in the 14th century, of making visual images of named or identifiable judges. The range of images is diverse, probably beginning with effigies and other funeral monuments, paintings, etchings, photographs. Most recently judges are to be found on a variety of screens: in cinemas, television, computers, smart phones. Making visual images of judges is not just an English thing. It is widespread. Modern communications provide opportunities for the global circulation of judicial images. 'Judge Judy' may be on a screen in any part of the globe at any time of the day or night.

Why focus on these images? The judge epitomizes key values and virtues of the justice system: impartiality, rule based justice and legitimate authority. The visual image of the judge has long performed an important symbolic role legitimising power and shaping understanding of authority. Judicial image making and image management is a fundamental aspect of judicial practice and the interface between the judiciary and mass media. We seek to explore how official and unofficial images of the judiciary are created, managed and consumed.

Who is watching? The audiences for these images are multiple including fellow judges, lawyers, litigants, trial spectators, local elites and the general public. Technology now enables you to watch judges from the comfort of your home 24/7. The topic is complex and underexplored.