The Devil's in the Detail: Including 'irrelevant' details in homicide narratives.

Plastow, Christine (2019). The Devil's in the Detail: Including 'irrelevant' details in homicide narratives. In: Edwards, Mike and Spatharas, Dimos eds. Forensic Narratives in Athenian Courts. Routledge, pp. 40–54.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/Forensic-Narratives-in-A...

Abstract

The question of relevance in the Athenian courts has been contended in recent scholarship. The traditional view held that the forensic speeches were littered with material highly irrelevant to the case at hand, and thus that there cannot have been any restrictions placed on the relevance of material presented to the courts, or that if there were restrictions, they were almost entirely disregarded. 1 More recently, scholars have reassessed this ‘irrelevant’ material through a different frame, and suggested that, although it may not fit modern legal standards of relevance, it would be admissible to an ancient Athenian court operating under rules that allowed only relevant material to be mentioned in court. 2 The question of whether this rule existed, and if so, whether it was regularly broken, is still under debate.

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