Strafferettens fortellinger

Narratives in the Criminal Process

An international conference organized by the research project «A Narratology of Criminal Cases»

Narratives in the Criminal Process


The international conference «Narratives in the Criminal Process» will be held in Bergen on 30 November – 1 December 2018.

The theme of the conference is narratives in criminal law and the criminal process. The theme is inspired by Peter Brooks’ claim that «law needs a narratology» and the realization that narratives are still a theoretically underdeveloped aspect of legal processes.

Central questions are: What kinds of narratives are operative in the criminal process? What is the significance of narratives in the legal process? What kinds of narratives are most effective in the court room? How do narratives influence the decision making process of judges and jurors? What characterizes the court’s own narratives in judgements and judicial opinions? How do narratives shape press reports about criminal cases?

Key note speakers are Jeanne Gaakeer (Rotterdam) and Matías Martínez (Wuppertal).

The conference is open to the public.

Conference Program


Friday, 30 November

08:30Registration and Coffee
09:00Words of Welcome
 Key Note Lecture
09:15Judicial Narration as Explanation of Facts and Circumstances by Jeanne Gaakeer (Rotterdam)
 Parallel Session 1
10:15The Story in the Judgment and the Standard of Proof by Bjørn O. Berg (Trondheim)
10:35The Court’s Account of Events in the Norwegian Criminal Judgment by Erlend Liisberg (Bergen)
 Parallel Session 2
10:15The CSI Narrative and Its Possible Effect on the Criminal Process by Ivana Marković (Belgrade)
10:35Sevlegutten’s Legacy: Between Court-Proceedings and Oral Tradition by Silje Warberg (Trondheim)
 Plenary Session
11:30Between Structure and Action: Using Narratives to Explain Legal Reason by Hans Petter Graver (Oslo)
11:50Narratives in Court: The Different Perspectives of the Prosecutor, Defence Lawyer and the Judge by Tor Langbach (Trondheim)
 Parallel Session 3
13:30Narrativity, Truth and History: Epistemic Reflections on the David Irving Libel Case by Vidar Halvorsen (Oslo)
13:50Language Games in the Courtroom by Line Norman Hjorth (Bergen)
14:10To Love or Not to Love. The Legal-discursive Afterlife of Narratives of Love in Belgian Marriage Fraud Investigations by Mieke Vandenbroucke (Ghent)
 Parallel Session 4
13:30‘Two Suspicious Persons’ and the Rise of the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission by Per Jørgen Ystehede (Oslo)
13:50Stories of Crime and Criminal Justice: News Values and Narrative Opportunities by Tara Søderholm (Oslo)
14:10How to Tell the Story of a Trial and Why – The Narrative Structure of Journalistic Court Reporting by Corina Löwe & Beate Schirrmacher (Växjö)
 Plenary Session
15:15Stories, Law and Justice: The Place of Narratives in the Field of Law and Humanities by Arild Linneberg (Bergen)
15:35Anchored Narratives 25 Years Later by P.J. van Koppen (Maastricht/Amsterdam)
16:15Open Forum and Wrap Up
 Evening Program
17:30Pizza at Bien Centro
19:00 Debate at Litteraturhuset. Panel: Matías Martínez, Greta Olson, P.J. van Koppen

Saturday, 1 December

 Key Note Lecture
09:00Is There a Language of Truth? by Matías Martínez (Wuppertal)
 Parallel Session 5
10:00Criminal Law: Between Fiction and Values by Michał Peno (Szczecin)

Comparative Legal Narrative: Framework for First Instance Proceedings by Helena Whalen-Bridge (Singapore)

 Parallel Session 6
10:00Storytelling in Court Cases Concerning Violence Towards Police Officers by Julie Høivik (Oslo)
10:20Narratives on Abuse in Investigations and Trials by Gunilla Byrman & Joacim Lindh (Växjö)
 Plenary Session
11:15Narrating Culpability in the Case of Susanne from Mainz: Immigration Fears and Reported Details by Greta Olson (Giessen)
11:35Narration or Subsumption? Two Operations of Imputing Crime and Punishment by Werner Gephart (Bonn)
 Parallel Session 7
13:15Speech Representation in Written Judgements by Espen Ingebrigtsen (Bergen)
13:35Quotations in and of the Witness Statements in Criminal Trials by Audun Kjus (Oslo)
 Parallel Session 8
13:15Using Artificial Intelligence in Narratives in the Criminal Process by Chen Meng Lam (Singapore)
13:35Narrated History in the Court Records of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) by Marlene Weck (Freiburg)
 Plenary Session
14:30Narratives of Guilt and Innocence: The Evidentiary Power of Narrative in Wrongful Conviction Cases by Ralph Grunewald (Wisconsin-Madison)
14:50Narrative in the Judgment by Frode Helmich Pedersen (Bergen)
15:30Open Forum and Wrap Up
 Evening Program
19:00Conference Dinner at Colonialen, Litteraturhuset