Faces of Judicial Anger: Answering the Call

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS AND PRIVATE LAW, Myriam Jézéquel, Nicholas Kasirer, eds., Les Éditions Thémis, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2007 Last revised: 12 Feb 2009

See all articles by Marie-Claire Belleau

Marie-Claire Belleau

Laval University

Rebecca Johnson

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law


Law and justice have a complicated and paradoxical relationship to anger. On the one hand, law seeks to suppress anger, and on the other hand, tries to channel it. In this paper, we interrogate the practices of judgment whereby wrath is (and is not) made judicially manifest. We begin with some comments on the tools available for uncovering the presence of judicial emotion, and the kinds of questions that can inform an inquiry into judicial anger. Our goal is to sketch out the beginnings of a method for making visible that anger. We follow that discussion with a performance of the method we propose, interrogating the four opinions generated by the five Canadian Supreme Court justices who sat in judgement in R. v. F.F.B.

Keywords: law, emotion, wrath, vengence, virtue, vice, witnesses, justice, judges, public/private, judicial opinions, judicial biography, text, rhetoric, conventions of legal writing, public law, private law, dissent, concurrence, narrative, sexual assault, trauma, evidence, R v. F.F.B.

Suggested Citation

Belleau, Marie-Claire and Johnson, Rebecca, Faces of Judicial Anger: Answering the Call. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=973850

Marie-Claire Belleau

Laval University ( email )

Quebec G1K 7P4

Rebecca Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 2400, STN CSC
McGill at Ring Rd (Fraser Bldg)
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3H7
250-721-8187 (Phone)
250-721-8146 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uvic.ca/rjohnson/

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