In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Dr. Colette R. Brunschwig about visual law and legal design. Colette is one of the pioneers in Legal Design, she has been exploring the visual, audiovisual and multisensory design of legal or legally relevant content since the 1990’s.
A good legal picture tells more than a 1000 words. That’s why visuality is a central feature of legal design. Where legal pictures can communicate legal information so efficiently that collective understanding of the key issue is created within seconds, unclear text-only legal documents can leave parties disputing over different interpretations of them for years. Visuality, however, is still a rarity in legal communication. The future of law does look brighter though, as there are signals towards a visual and even audiovisual and multisensory design of law.
Many people associate legal design especially with legal visualizations, such as different visualisation methods that can be used in contract design. However, legal design can go beyond visualisation. In this episode our guest Colette R. Brunschwig explains how visual law and legal design are similar, but also what differences there are between these two.
Almost all the theories assume that legal designers are humans, but, the ongoing technological development initiates multisensorization, such as humanoid robots. We also discuss this in the episode, because Colette has estimated in her previous work that humanoid robots could be used for visualising contracts. Are there such robots already somewhere? What will it take for the legal society to recognize human robots as legal designers?
Colette R. Brunschwig is a Senior Research Associate at the Legal Visualization Unit of the University of Zurich, Department of Law. She is responsible for the content management of the Legal Visualization Unit’s legal image database. Her research focuses on law‘s visualization, audio visualization (videos, films, audiovisual animations, and so forth), and multi sensorization (virtual realities, humanoid robots). Her publications, postings, and presentations at national and international conferences strive to promote, expand, and intensify the ongoing debate on these subject matters.
Selected Recent Publications
Brunschwig, Colette R. Visualisierung von Rechtsnormen: Legal Design, Zurich: Schulthess, 2001 [PhD thesis]
“Multisensory Law and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: How Family Mediators Can Better Communicate with Their Clients.” Phoenix Law Review 5, no. 5 (Summer 2012): 705-46.
“Law Is Not or Must Not Be Just Verbal and Visual in the 21st Century: Toward Multisensory Law.” In Nordic Yearbook of Law and Informatics 2010-2012: Internationalisation of Law in the Digital Information Society, edited by Dan Jerker B. Svantesson and Stanley Greenstein, 231–83. Copenhagen: Ex Tuto, 2013.
The complete list of Colette R. Brunschwig’s publications is found on Researchgate.