Critical Legal Education

Nelson Mandela: The Lawyer’s Ideal

Nelson Mandela at work in the Johannesburg office where he and Oliver Tambo practised law together during the apartheid era. Photograph: Jurgen Schadeberg

Today [Ed: 5 Dec] marks the loss not only of one of the greatest fig­ures of the 20th cen­tury, but also one of the greatest law­yers. Most would readily agree that Mandela was a great leader and a great statesman. Indeed, I still re­member when as a child I watched on TV with tears of joy as Nelson Mandela danced at…

Michael Gove: Education, Re-​moralistation and Foreign Policy

Gove-in-bin

“Disgrace, you’re a dis­grace!” jeered Michael Gove to Tory back­benchers after the British government’s de­feat over in­ter­ven­tion in Syria. Those who are aware of the Education Secretary’s thoughts on for­eign policy would have been un­sur­prised by this over-​excited re­sponse. It is widely ac­know­ledged that Gove is the cabinet’s leading neo­con­ser­vative and cham­pion of Bush era doctrines of…

Adjunct, Class, Fear

adjunctdefinition

The biggest obstacle to or­gan­izing ad­junct (part-​time and full-​time non-​tenure-​track) pro­fessors, who now com­prise 75% of the fac­ulty in higher edu­ca­tion, with part-​timers working for $2700 per course on av­erage — is fear. Most people as­sume that ad­juncts fear re­tri­bu­tion for boat-​rocking of any kind. That worry is not un­founded, since ex­amples of such re­tali­ation abound. However, many ad­juncts feel para­lyzed by a deeper, unspoken…

The Political in the Contract Classroom

pruitt_igoe_collapses

When we started ‘The Public Life of Private Law’ one of the con­ver­sa­tions we wanted to have with par­ti­cipants, and with others fol­lowing the series, was about teaching private law from a crit­ical per­spective. In par­tic­ular, we wanted to think about how those of us who fell into teaching private law through a mix­ture of ne­ces­sity and serendipity, but…

Decolonizing the Teaching of Human Rights?

Mestizaje - Guayasamin

According to the new Bolivian con­sti­tu­tion, edu­ca­tion is “one of the most im­portant func­tions and primary fin­an­cial re­spons­ib­il­ities of the State”; it is “unitary, public, uni­versal, demo­cratic, par­ti­cip­atory, com­munit­arian, de­col­on­izing and of quality” (art. 78, I); and, throughout the en­tire edu­ca­tional system, it is “intra-​cultural, inter-​cultural and multi-​lingual” (art. 78, II), where its “inter-​cultural character…

A Boycott of Academic Ranking Systems?

University 68

Universities and in­sti­tu­tions of higher edu­ca­tion across the globe are being im­pacted by struc­tural change, guided by prin­ciples of the en­tre­pren­eurial uni­ver­sity. The im­pos­i­tion of New Public Management prin­ciples means that uni­ver­sities are in­creas­ingly being man­aged like private en­ter­prises. Resources are being al­loc­ated ac­cording to per­form­ance re­cords and target agree­ments. Academic cap­it­alism has entered Germany,…

‘Adjunct’ Faculty in the Neoliberal University

college-grad

Chris from Remaking the University writes to in­tro­duce a post by Ivan Evans, pro­fessor of so­ci­ology at UC San Diego. Tarak Barkawi’s opinion piece, “The Neoliberal Assault on Academia,” pro­duced a long dis­cus­sion on sev­eral lists be­cause of its claim that fac­ulty have played a central role in shifting their uni­ver­sities to­wards rev­enue met­rics and ma­na­gerial as­sess­ments of intellectual…

Occupy Wall Street and the Left

Occupy Oakland - Rich Black

Occupy Wall Street, for all its talk of ho­ri­zont­ality, autonomy, and de­cent­ral­ized pro­cess, is re­cen­tering the eco­nomy, en­ga­ging in class war­fare without naming the working class as one of two great hos­tile forces but in­stead by presenting cap­it­alism as a wrong against the people. It’s put­ting cap­it­alism back at center of left politics — no wonder, then, that…

Dissensus, the Right to Education & A New Latin American Student Movement

Chile, Police & Protestors Clash

Recently, there have been the rum­blings of an emer­gent pan-​Latin American stu­dent move­ment. Crucially, this po­ten­tial move­ment co­heres around the de­mand for a right to edu­ca­tion. In Colombia and Chile a new front is being fought against the cre­ation and main­ten­ance of private edu­ca­tion and the im­plicit com­modi­fic­a­tion of learning. However, this emer­gent trans-​continental rights-​demand is not…

Disrupting Links: Gender, Identity and Security

X-ray art by Nick Veasey

This paper is about, as the title in­dic­ates, dis­rupting cer­tain per­vasive and seem­ingly ob­vious links.[1] First, the link between gender and iden­tity, wherein gender is as­sumed to be a stable, re­li­able de­term­inant of an iden­tity that also as­sumed to be fixed. Following from the as­sumed fixity of iden­tity comes a link to se­curity, wherein the more precise…

Use of Private Law to Control Student Occupations

Les Beaux Arts

I have been won­dering about teaching one of the secret lives of private law; the use of the law of tort, con­tract and equity to reg­u­late on-​campus stu­dent protest. There is a growing on­line archive — of blogs, media re­ports and uni­ver­sity press re­leases — which de­tails how these private tools for the de­fence of “uni­ver­sity prop­erty” have been used…

Zizek on Equity & Trusts… well almost…

Zizek toilet training

Equity is some­thing of a problem. Aside from the blatant pat­ri­archy of the Presumption of Advancement or Common Intention Constructive Trusts, it is often a little dif­fi­cult to smuggle crit­ical (legal) theory into an Equity and Trusts course. A long time ago now, Cotterrell wrote: Legal doc­trine is ideo­lo­gic­ally im­portant not only for what it ex­presses but also…