Narratives in Flux

Legal Language, Digital Technologies, and the Climate Crisis


  • Pauline Phoa Utrecht University


Narratives, Legal hermeneutics, Discourses, Digitalisation, Sustainability


This article argues that legal language tells stories and presents a certain world view, and that the changing circumstances ‘out there’ in the real world require a corresponding change in the legal narrative/narratives contained in law. By changing circumstances I mean the so-called twin transitions of the increased and ever-increasing importance of digital technologies in society, and the ever-increasing urgency of the climate change crisis. For jurists to be able to handle these challenges, we need to train our awareness of the narratives and normative qualities of our legal language, so that we are able to critically assess whether our vocabulary and regulatory toolkit is fit for the future.