The symptoms of the just: psycho-pass, judg(e)ment, and the asymptomatic commons

Hourigan, Daniel (2018) The symptoms of the just: psycho-pass, judg(e)ment, and the asymptomatic commons. In: Law and justice in Japanese popular culture: from crime fighting robots to duelling pocket monsters. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Milton Park, United Kingdom, pp. 19-31. ISBN 978-1-138-30026-2


Set in a hypermodern and isolationist Japan, the first two seasons of the Psycho-Pass anime confront the spiralling consequences for the possibility of just law in the world of a panopticon—the Sibyl System—that gazes upon all people through a matriculated psycho-emotional ‘cymatic’ scan. Psycho-Pass challenges conventional approaches to law and justice in three interconnected ways: the reconfiguration of the sovereign through the cybernetic Sibyl System and the largely unconscious corporeality of Japanese citizens as a politico-legal body; the erasure of courts and displacement of the central zone of legal power into a type of surveillance that compels compliance through coercion, thereby raising the spectre of moral accountability for just violence in the absence of a positivist legal doctrine; and the Sibyl System functions as a legal formalism unmoored from social recognition and thereby constantly stalked by wider social recognition as a threat to its legitimacy and air of justice. This chapter investigates the tensions that envelope the spiralling psycho-legal effectiveness of the Sibyl System in the first and second seasons of Psycho-Pass.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this record may not be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 04:39
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 22:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: law, philosophy, literature, anime, cultural studies, jurisprudence
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200524 Comparative Literature Studies
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

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