Duty to Rescue? Exploring Legal Analysis Through the Lens of Photojournalists’ Storytelling Dilemmas

Iselin M. Gambert (2014) Duty to rescue? Exploring legal analysis through the lens of photojournalists’ storytelling dilemmas, The Law Teacher, 48:2, 140-153, DOI: 10.1080/03069400.2014.914688

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-47

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-47

19 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014 Last revised: 23 Nov 2014

See all articles by Iselin Gambert

Iselin Gambert

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: May 22, 2014

Abstract

In depicting scenes of tragedy, what happens when photojournalists become the story? Do photojournalists have a duty to rescue those they photograph? Should they? This article will use a series of iconic images – and the stories of the photojournalists behind the camera – to illustrate how exploring these questions can be a provocative vehicle through which to engage new law students in legal writing and analysis. The article focuses on an exercise that centers around a fictional “Duty to Rescue” statute modeled after European statutes of the same kind. The exercise is anchored by four images – three still photographs and one image that is part of a short documentary film – of people in tragic and near-death situations. The article explores ways to use the stories behind these images to engage law students in the question of whether the photojournalists who took the images had violated the fictional Duty to Rescue statute, and concludes with a discussion of ideas on how the basic exercise can be modified and/or expanded, including but not limited to raising issues of morality-based lawmaking, ethics, fairness, and differences in law across cultures.

Keywords: legal analysis, legal education, legal writing, teaching, photojournalism

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K10, K19, K3, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Gambert, Iselin, Duty to Rescue? Exploring Legal Analysis Through the Lens of Photojournalists’ Storytelling Dilemmas (May 22, 2014). Iselin M. Gambert (2014) Duty to rescue? Exploring legal analysis through the lens of photojournalists’ storytelling dilemmas, The Law Teacher, 48:2, 140-153, DOI: 10.1080/03069400.2014.914688; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-47; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2484183

Iselin Gambert (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/Faculty/profile.aspx?id=6839

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