Digital visual media have implications for the law. Also, the interest in visual legal communication is growing both within and outside the legal context.
In light of these observations, this paper addresses various related questions: Is there already a trend toward visual legal communication practices? If there is, what does this trend look like? If no such trend exists at present, what might it look like in future? Do the established disciplines of applicable law and/or the basic legal disciplines explore these sensory legal communication practices? If they do, which specific legal disciplines are these?
The principal findings of this paper are: first, a trend toward visual legal communication practices exists, and these practices manifest themselves both within and outside the legal context.
Second, whereas these practices are interconnected, delimiting them from each other sometimes proves difficult.
Third, the established disciplines of applicable law and/or the basic legal disciplines explore most visual legal communication practices.
No single legal discipline, however, covers all these practices. Instead, most disciplines refer only to specific visual legal communication practices. In addition, these disciplines explore these practices merely as a sideline. In other words, their main research focus lies elsewhere. Consequently, these phenomena need to be studied more intensively. There is a strong need for a legal discipline capable of exploring all visual legal communication practices. Visual law should be assigned this task.