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Alternative Fakten: Pitavals ‚Histoire de Frillet‘ und die Frage der Perspektive

Sebastian Speth

Pages 381 - 401

The Trump Administration justified the argument of ‘alternative facts’ as ‘good legal practice’. This article reconsiders this kind of argumentation and aims at investigating the commonalities of law, journalism and literature in altering narratives. Lawyers telling alternative stories based on evidence are perceived as practitioners of good legal practice. However facts are only ever postulated by the judge who puts an end to the hermeneutic efforts of interpretation. The following analysis focuses on a historical crime case regarding a law-disobeying prosecutor from the Ancien Regime. The scandalous distortion of facts even lead to a translation printed in the ‚New York Times‘ back in 1875. But it is not only since the former procureur du Roi Frillet that the files have been manipulated: All trial files – including the files used by Pitaval – already prove to be rhetorically overformed and juridically perspectivised. None of them is authentic or consists of mere facts besides their use within the proceedings.


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