CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

Translating Dark into Bright: Diary of a Post Critical Year

Translating Dark into Bright: Diary of a Post Critical Year

This video-diary describes and performs an act of translation. What are we attempting to translate? Dark possibilities into bright. Theory into life. Life into theory. The written into the visual. This short film - the first in a series - is an attempt to capture fragments of a reading project that emerged from a disenchantment with critical theory. As we tried to trace out a post-critical legal hermeneutics, we found ourselves on a journey through texts that inhabited hope, that concretized the utopian. We did so in a year where hope and utopia were particularly difficult to glimpse. By journey's end, we returned home to critical theory, even as we found its universe of possibilities had expanded.  https://youtu.be/2xq5kBWzwM4 André Dao and Danish Sheikh are PhD candidates at Melbourne Law School and members of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities. 

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ARTICLES

The De-Aging of the World

The De-Aging of the World

Social age does not coincide with physiological age. But the degree of the discrepancy varies according to historical period, including its social context and the other collective circumstances surrounding it. The same applies to societies. The industrialized world in...

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CLC Dundee: undeed and duende.

CLC Dundee: undeed and duende.

Had the virus not intruded, I, and many of CLT’s readers, would be in Dundee right now, for the annual Critical Legal Conference, an event that has happened every autumn since the mid-1980s. The CLC has often proclaimed its non-existence for all but three days of the...

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An Escape Route for Brazil

An Escape Route for Brazil

Brazil is at an existential crossroads, the magnitude of which we can only begin to imagine. This is a country where the pandemic has caused one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. With only about 2.8 percent of the world population, Brazil accounts for...

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What Kind of Justice for a ‘Global New Deal’?

What Kind of Justice for a ‘Global New Deal’?

Delivering the 2020 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres recently set out a wide ranging critique of the current global order, characterised by pervasive, institutionalised inequality, and failed, nationalistic responses...

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Marxist Legal Theory: The State

Marxist Legal Theory: The State

Key Concept This is part of a series of key concepts in Marxist legal theory organized in collaboration with our friends at Legal Form: A Forum for Marxist Analysis of Law. All articles in this series, including the present one, will appear concurrently on Legal...

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The Statues of our Discontent

The Statues of our Discontent

Statues look a lot like the past, which is why, whenever they are called into question, we turn to historians. The truth is that statues are a thing of the past only as long as they stand quietly in squares, as indifferent to us as we are to them. At such times, which...

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Postcolonial Liberalism’s Double Binds

Postcolonial Liberalism’s Double Binds

“We need Covid Trials. In an international court,” is Arundhati Roy’s “post-lockdown reverie”. She wants the Indian government to be held accountable for its treatment of migrant workers as refuse and the ongoing assault on the civil rights of dissenters in the wake...

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Roland Barthes: Myth

Roland Barthes: Myth

Key Concept Human communication is multi-layered, as our language relies on complicated systems of signification; for example uttering a given statement using specific terminology might indicate the ideological tendencies of the speaker. And like any other...

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Marxist Legal Theory: Security

Marxist Legal Theory: Security

Key Concept This is part of a series of key concepts in Marxist legal theory organized in collaboration with our friends at Legal Form: A Forum for Marxist Analysis of Law. All articles in this series, including the present one, will appear concurrently on Legal...

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Remembering Peter Fitzpatrick (II)

Remembering Peter Fitzpatrick (II)

I read for a PhD under Peter’s inimitable supervision at Birkbeck from 2005 until late 2008, at which point I told him that I had to return to Australia to finish the dissertation because the birth of my first child, Phoebe, was imminent. It sounds like I took drastic...

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Institutional Vandalism: The University & Covid-19

Institutional Vandalism: The University & Covid-19

The Guardian’s 29 May article (‘Soas to slash budgets and staff as debt crisis worsens in a pandemic’) has brought attention to a worrying development, which risks seeing losses of livelihoods and expertise at a unique and world-renowned institution. The danger is...

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Beyond Brutality

Beyond Brutality

I write this at great distance from the uprisings now taking place across the US sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. I am thousands of miles distant and witness police repression, and the anger of the protestors, via old and social media. I am a white...

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OVER A DECADE OF ARCHIVES

On Colonial Universality and other Legal Prerogatives: Reflections on Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of Modern Law

Following the death of Peter Fitzpatrick this month, we are reposting this series on The Mythology of Modern Law (first published on CLT on 3 August 2018) to mark the 25th anniversary of the book.2017 marked the 25th anniversary of Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of...

Against Agamben: Is a Democratic Biopolitics Possible?

Giorgio Agamben’s recent intervention which characterizes the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as an exercise in the biopolitics of the ‘state of exception’ has sparked an important debate on how to think of biopolitics. The very...

Law is a Fugue

BWV 895 Law is, metaphorically speaking, a fugue.Desmond Manderson has previously deployed the fugue metaphor to describe the mode with which he would present the aesthetic dimensions of law and justice. Here I am intensifying the metaphor in direct relation to...

Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction

Key Concept Img: Annie Vought | annievought.com Deconstruction by its very nature defies institutionalization in an authoritative definition. The concept was first outlined by Derrida in Of Grammatology where he explored the interplay between language and the...

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

The Cupcake as Object The cupcake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-like” ideal should be, it is something spongy, moist, characterized by excess, collapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, meringue, and cream. It is something sickly and wet that...

White Feminist Fatigue Syndrome

In her recent piece in Comment is Free, "How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden - and how to reclaim it” Nancy Fraser draws on her own work in political theory to argue that feminism at best has been co-opted by neoliberalism and at worst has been a...

Decolonizing the Teaching of Human Rights?

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);...

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics

01. INTRODUCTION: On the Conjuncture 1. At the beginning of the second decade of the Twenty-First Century, global civilization faces a new breed of cataclysm. These coming apocalypses ridicule the norms and organisational structures of the politics which were forged...

Coughing out the Law: Perversity and Sociality around an Eating Table

It was lunchtime at Sydney’s David Jones, Australia’s up-market department store chain. So I headed down to the ‘food floor’. Whenever I have to shop at DJs I try to make sure I go there around midday, precisely so I can go down to the food floor and order the...

Palestinian Resistance: The Political, Social and Human Right of Self-Defense

Once again the bombs are falling on the Gaza Strip, a stretch of territory excised from Palestine proper as a result of continuing illegal and illegitimate actions by Israel. In fact, Gaza has become a closed ghetto, first cut off from Palestine in violation of the...

Punk, Law, Resistance … “I have set my affair on nothing”

1. I, Punk In 1977 I was sixteen. Everything I have to say about punk is coloured by that fact, because sixteen was precisely the right age to be if punk was going to have a decisive impact on you. Because punk was not about your social class, gender or race, it was...

Anonymous & the Discourse of Human Rights

In the last months, we have seen the emergence of ‘Anonymous’. In particular, in the days after the widespread attack on Wikileaks (following their publication of leaked US diplomatic memos) they emerged with a fairly credible threat to take down major global internet...

Power, Violence, Law

Over the last two hundred years, the theory of right, now known as normative jurisprudence, has discovered its vocation in a frantic attempt to legitimise the exercise of power. It carries out this task by declaring that law and power are external to each other...