Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 169–192 | Cite as

Sketching Women in Court: The Visual Construction of Co-accused Women in Court Drawings



This paper explores the visual construction and representation of co-accused women offenders in court drawings. It utilises three case studies of female co-defendants who appeared in the England and Wales court system between 2003 and 2013. In doing so this paper falls into three parts. The first part considers the emergence of the sub-discipline, visual criminology and examines what is known about the visual representation of female offenders. The second part presents the findings of an empirical investigation, which involved engaging in a critical, reflexive visual analysis of a selection of court drawings of three female co-offenders. The third part discusses the ways in which the court artists' interpretation, the conventions of court sketching, and motifs of female offenders as secondary actors, drew on existing myths and prejudices by representing the women as listening, remorseless ‘others’.


Female co-offenders Court drawings Visual representation Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birmingham City UniversityBirminghamUK

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