Jurisprudence

“Peace! I Hate the Word!” A Few Thoughts in Favour of Conflict

Anthony Freda, Peace Prize

The world is riven by con­flict. The re­cent events in Ukraine are just the most re­cent ex­ample. The value and ne­ces­sity of con­flict should not be sub­sumed within the en­tirely un­der­stand­able de­sire to pre­vent vi­ol­ence. I want to argue that peace, as a goal, is not some­thing worth striving for. It is dif­fi­cult to com­ment crit­ic­ally on…

The Insecurity of Public Interest: Criminal Law and Dumpster Diving

Paul May outside Iceland

The idea of in­sec­urity seems to have an ever in­creasing hold on our con­tem­porary so­cial ima­ginary, a tend­ency which is now reg­u­larly used by the au­thor­ities in order to le­git­imise a spe­cific no­tion of public in­terest. Last week, this no­tion came to the fore when the Guardian news­paper re­vealed that three men were ar­rested, de­tained and very…

For a Theory of Destituent Power

Kelesidi_Bliss_Watercolour-on-paper_40x40-24ddadf7

A re­flec­tion on the des­tiny of demo­cracy today here in Athens is in some way dis­turbing, be­cause it ob­liges to think the end of demo­cracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hy­po­thesis I would like to sug­gest is that the pre­vailing gov­ern­mental paradigm in Europe today is not only…

The Five Extraordinary Features of the Sochi Winter Olympics

Circassians March for No Sochi 2014

Introduction On 7 February 2014, the Sochi Winter Olympics will com­mence. It is es­tim­ated that these games will cost at least US$51 bil­lion — the most ex­pensive in his­tory — costing Russia more than the $40 bil­lion that China spent on the 2008 Summer Olympics. The UK spent some US$15 bil­lion on the Summer Olympics in 2012. Sochi was selected…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence II: ‘We Have Become Simulacra’

Untitled

If freedom, as Deleuze claims, is to en­gage in jur­is­pru­dence, do we not en­counter a paradox in the al­li­ance between Alain Badiou and Jacques Vergès? A paradox that strikes at the heart of the co­lo­nial and jur­idical situ­ation of a col­on­ized people? If Vergès in­sti­tutes a rup­ture within jur­idical reason ren­dering the judg­ment of an Algerian National Liberation fighter…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence: The Event of Law and The Law of The Event

Verges 3

In a lec­ture pub­lished in the Cardozo Law Review in 2008, Alain Badiou ar­tic­u­lates his un­der­standing of Being, Event, and Simulacrum in re­la­tion­ship to Logic and Law. With an in­cred­ible power of pre­ci­sion, Badiou re­minds his audi­ence of Aristotle’s three main pil­lars of the pro­cess of thought (Identity, non-​contradiction, and the ex­cluded middle), which he then…

The Law of the Commons: Climate Change Protest in Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh

On Thursday 17 October the com­munity of Buckfastleigh, South Devon, heard the fate of their town, their live­li­hoods, the pro­tec­tion of their im­me­diate en­vir­on­ment and sur­rounding eco­sys­tems, presented to them in the much awaited de­cision of a plan­ning ap­peal in­quiry that took place over the heat of the summer, 25 June – 19 July 2013.1 The plan­ning in­quiry was an…

Notes on the Thought of Walter Benjamin: Critique of Violence

violence-solves-everything

“Critique of Violence” (Zur Kritik der Gewalt)1 is no­torious for its ob­scurity, which, at least partly, is due to the im­possib­ility of trans­lating sev­eral of the key terms used by Benjamin into English. The im­me­diate en­cap­su­la­tion of the task of a cri­tique of vi­ol­ence con­veyed in the German title and the first couple of sen­tences is…

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…

The Dark Shores of Europe

document

This was August 2008 at Koraka’s Cape beach in Lesvos. A local farmer told me that he saw a pros­thetic leg on the beach. He said that the leg be­longed to a boy, around 13 years old, who ar­rived on a rubber boat with his family. The coast­guard were just be­hind the boat as it was ap­proaching the beach.…

Prisoners’ Hunger Strike in California

PelicanBaySHUExerciseYard

Daletha Hayden hasn’t hugged her son in four years. Since 2009, the only face-​to-​face con­tact they’ve had has been through thick glass. Even phone calls are not al­lowed in Tehachapi State Prison’s isol­a­tion unit. Despite the sep­ar­a­tion, she said she has seen the ef­fect sol­itary con­fine­ment has had on him. “He has these bouts of…

Law and The Senses: Symposium, Performance, Phenomenon?

Pietro Paolini - Allegory of the Five Senses

The an­nounce­ment of the event ‘Law and the Senses’ at the University of Westminster sounded in­triguing. The call for pa­pers asked: What is Law’s re­la­tion­ship to senses? In a sense, Law, the an­aes­thetic par ex­cel­lence, is con­stantly en­gaged in numbing the sense into common sense; ma­nip­u­lating, chan­nel­ling and con­trolling the sens­ible; in­serting prop­er­ties and for­bid­ding con­tacts; dis­sim­u­lating vi­ol­ence, reg­u­lating sounds…

Boston Marathon Bombings: the Emergency Declaration as a State of Exception

Martha Rosler: Gray-Drape

At the end of the 60s, American artist Martha Rosler pro­duced a series of pho­tomont­ages titled House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home. One of those im­ages, “Red Stripe Kitchen”, shows two GI sol­diers rum­ma­ging through the im­macu­late kit­chen of what looks like a typ­ical American bun­galow. It was dis­played re­cently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as…

The Reactionary ‘Freeman-​on-​the-​land’ and a Political Fracture

Sean Keating

The Irish Times re­ports over 100 ‘Freeman’-style ar­gu­ments used in the Irish courts this year, citing the Law Society Gazette [for the tra­di­tional legal re­sponse see here and here]. Last Tuesday, Francis Cullen (36) was sen­tenced to an­other three months in Mountjoy Prison for re­fusing to re­cog­nise the court’s jur­is­dic­tion. He claimed, ac­cording to the…

Suárez and Rouse: Masculinity, Sport and Rape Apologies

Nancy Fouts

As Luis Suárez joined Johan le Roux and Mike Tyson in the an­nals of sports-​biting his­tory this week, across the water in Northern Ireland Alvin Rouse con­tinues to play in goal for Ballinamallard United Football Club, des­pite fa­cing three counts of rape, two of sexual as­sault, one of causing a person to en­gage in a sexual act…

Abandonment: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Fernand Léger 1942 Dance

In his dis­tinctive con­cern for ety­mo­logy, Nancy notes that aban­don­ment con­tains the se­mantic unit bandon, which is ‘an order, a pre­scrip­tion, a de­cree, a per­mis­sion, and the power that holds these freely at its dis­posal.’ (Nancy 1993, 44) A ban in this con­text should be un­der­stood as a gen­eral pro­clam­a­tion of the sov­er­eign rather than spe­cific pro­hib­i­tion. To abandon, there­fore, is…

Jurisfiction: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Jurisprudence

Jean-​Luc Nancy notes three ways that fic­tions have been as­so­ci­ated with law: 1) jur­is­pru­den­tial ex­er­cises that re­quire ima­gining the ex­tent of the ap­plic­ab­ility of the law, 2) the mys­ter­ious ground of the con­sti­tu­tion, and 3) in Roman law, the ex­ten­sion of the law to cases it did not cover. (Nancy 156) Beyond this, Nancy demonstrates…

Right & Rights: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

pittorecaravaggesco-lamortedigiacinto

Nancy re­peatedly re­jects the banal politico-​legal in­sist­ence on human rights as the solu­tion to every an­swer, sug­gesting that such a move is in­tim­ately bound to the ‘with­drawal of the polit­ical’ (See Politics/​The Political). However, he does not re­ject rights out of hand. In a re­cent text en­titled ‘From the Imperative to Law’, he ex­plains that: The force…

The People’s Law Tribunals in Pakistan

Okara 09/01

QM: A set of move­ments you have been in­volved with in Punjab is the sath, a form of people’s law. What is a sath and how does it trans­late? What areas are gov­erned by sath? What is your in­volve­ment? Finally, can you ex­plain how the ex­per­i­ence of law and justice dif­fers between state law and the people’s sath?…

We must resist the cunning of judicial reform

Indian women mourning gang rape victim, New Delhi, 2 Jan 2013, Photo by Dar Yasin | AP

The death of the 23 year old woman fol­lowing the brutal gang rape and as­sault on a moving bus on 16 December 2012 at a hos­pital in Singapore early this morning [Ed. Friday 28th December 2013] leaves all of us in states of deep mourning. This is a polit­ical death. Rape and murder of women is polit­ical vi­ol­ence against…