Kangaroo Courts represents the height of the recent work that Desmond Manderson
has developed around the nexus between ‘law and literature’ and the rule of law.
Manderson’s approach to this matter is unique in taking seriously both literary
theory and the aesthetic aspects of literary texts—strange though it may seem,
this is an authentic revolution in the field of law and literature. Manderson rightly
observes that back to their very origins the discourses constructed around the
conjunction of ‘law and literature’ have suffered from two structural weaknesses: first
‘a concentration on substance and plot’ and second ‘a salvific belief in the capacity
of literature to cure law or perfect its justice’ (Manderson 2012a, 9). The first fails to
question the ‘mimetic fallacy’ that regards the imitation of nature or reality as the
main function of art (Manderson 2011, 108-118; 2012a, 10-17). The second fails to
question the ‘romantic fantasy’ that sets the purpose of art in ‘healing the world’s
wounds’ (Manderson 2011, 118-121; 2012a, 17-20).