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The scene of the crime: police photographs, visual culture and sexuality

Citation: Janes, Dominic (2015) The scene of the crime: police photographs, visual culture and sexuality. Legal Information Management, 15 (1). pp. 15-18. ISSN 1472-6696


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

Visual materials are often neglected by legal researchers. However, attitudes to appearances played an important role in the way in which many criminal investigations were undertaken, notably in the years prior to the Sexual Offences Act (1967). Analysis of aspects of visual culture played a role in the detection of many forms of illegal behaviour and the resulting materials provide a valuable resource for the contemporary researcher. These issues are explored through a case study that involves reading between a painting by the British expressionist Francis Bacon (1909-92) and a photograph in the National Archives taken during a police raid on a London flat in 1927. Article by Dr Dominic Janes (Birkbeck, University of London).

Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article which will be published in a special issue of Legal Information Management in 2015. It has been developed by the author (Dr Dominic Janes) from a paper he gave at “Law, Gender and Sexuality: sources and methods in socio-legal research” a national socio-legal training day held at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on Monday 19 May 2014. The workshop was jointly organised by the British Library, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Socio-Legal Studies Association.
Creators: Janes, Dominic and
Official URL:
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Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: art, evidence, homosexuality, police, visual culture
Divisions: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
  • March 2015 (published)


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