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Deborah Charles Publications
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Rolando Gaete, "Telling Stories about Cardot", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law V/15 (1992), 283-290: click here for extended abstract.

Rolando Gaete, "Technological Thinking and the Identity of Modern Law" (Abstract of paper presented at the Association's Lesbos Conference, July 1992): The language of Modern (Western) Law is humanist. Not only does it regulate a state and a society based on law and on the presumption of human rights; its internal categories assume the notion of person. Kant's distinction between thing and person is an essential aspect of the law. Modern law is an anti-totalitarian law. Yet it is the law of the age whose truth, in Heidegger's words, is revealed to us by technological thinking. This thinking is essentially totalist. Heidegger did not write about the law, and the paper explores the implications for our understanding of Modern Law that can be drawn from Heidegger's analysis of modern humanism. The paper relies mainly on Heidegger's " Letter on Humanism" and "What is Called Thinking" and examines the inescapable reversals of the Kantian categories of subject and object and of means and ends in legal discourse. In the techno-managerial age, the destiny of the subject is to become an object of its object and this reversal is reflected in the pragmatic thinking behind human rights decisions today. Finally the paper raises the question about the possibility of an ontological understanding of the Being of human beings, which is different from the dominant rights-fundamentalism and irreducible to it; rather, it is about a less doctrinaire interpretation of human rights, which would understand them as organisational techniques.

Rolando GAETE, "Staged memory, counterculture and human rights atrocities", paper delivered at IASL Conference, Såo Paolo, August 1997: Since WW2, records of horror and human rights atrocities have multiplied, whether in images shown by TV correspondents or in the drier reporting of human rights bodies. Among the latter, Truth Commissions have become increasingly a dominant mode of "witnessing the truth". But this witnessed Truth is subjected to what I will call the laws of controlled catharsis and coercive forgiveness and to strict laws of representation. Yet horror cannot be represented, it can be denied. Deniability and indifference (even "compassion fatigue"), other words silence, are the dominant effects of these processes of controlled representation. Following some elements in the thinking of Blanchot and Bataille, my paper shows how a counterculture emerges as an excess of signs that controlled representation cannot exhaust, not so much as a claim to alternative truth as a catharsis and a therapy that are transgressive of (other than) institutional truth. It will also explore how counterculture offers a different memory, which both denounces the monology of Truth as a part of the disaster and offers itself as a restitution.

Edward Garrett: "All Done With Mirrors" (a review of Alan Haworth's Anti Libertarianism: Markets, Philosophy, and Myth, London and New York: Routledge, 1994), Res Publica III/1 (1997), 121-127: Alan Haworth's book is a timely and thorough analysis of libertarian theory. This review attempts to do two things. (1) It gives a close critical account of Haworth's discussion of the fundamentals of libertarian thought, in particular his argument that libertarianism rests on three theses (the reducibility thesis, the invisible hand thesis, and the freedom thesis), that are too insubstantial to bear the theoretical weight placed upon them. (2) It attempts to suggest that there is a further, more significant aspect to Haworth's critique which involves him considering how libertarian 'theory' (for whether it is a coherent philosophical theory is precisely what is at stake) tries to revise our notions of who we are and what our morality might be, through the creation of what is essentially a libertarian mythology. By separating out these two aspects to the book the review attempts to show how the first aspect might be better understood when informed by the second.

Adam Gearey, "Finnegans Wake and the Law of Love. The Aporia of Eros and Agape", Law and Critique VIII/2 (1997), 245-267: Finnegans Wake can be read as an engagement with the roots of the Western legal tradition and the refiguring of the law of love given in the Gospel. The Wake presents the law as an aporia between Eros and Agape, an irresolvable contradiction between the bodily and the spiritual, the word and the text. Finnegans Wake is a testimony to the female messiah whose coming is a celebration of a law which is linked to the mother and the daughter rather than the father and the son. Thinking the aporetic law of love opens Christianity to an alterity that challenges the conventional construction of the theological/legal tradition which follows St.Thomas Aquinas and develops new possibilities for contemporary endeavours to invent an ethic of alterity.

Adam Gearey, "'Mad and Delirious Words': Feminist Theory and Critical Legal Studies in the work of Peter Goodrich", Feminist Legal Studies VI/1 (1998), 121-133: This paper attempts to locate Oedipus Lex and The Courts of Love within Goodrich's oeuvre to date, and to argue that feminist critical theory is essential to Goodrich's attempt to create a genealogy of the common law. This genealogy is both backward and forward looking: it recovers a memory of a different understanding of law, and invents a different fate for the legal subject and the future of the institution. It draws on a form of psychoanalysis that is influenced by continental thought, in particular that of Luce Irigaray and Pierre Legendre, and concentrates on a nexus of concerns that focus on the image and the figure of the female as opening a critical space in law's history and traditions. This is a scholarship that reveals what was lost or buried deep in the constitution of legal modernity; the 'minor jurisdictions' exemplified by the Courts of Love. At stake is an alternative form of legal discourse that recognises that human relationships have to be founded on an ethics of difference that recornises the eroticised, gendered body as much as the immortal soul. e-mail: A.D.Gearey@ukc.ac.uk

Philippe Gérard, "Democracy and the Legitimacy of Law", in Law and Power, ed. Tuori, Bankowski and Uusitalo (Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publications, 1997), 175-184: This paper deals with the possible justification, from the point of view of democracy, of the legitimacy claim which is inherent in any legal norm. It suggests that this justification can be found in a rational process of will-formation based on the principles of equality and autonomy which characterise democracy. However, since democracy also implies a context of radical uncertainty within which the legitimacy claims appear as intrinsically disputable, it is argued that the rationality of this will-formation process cannot be assessed in the light of consensual theories of validity. e-mail: gerard@sunstation.fusl.ac.be

Letizia Gianformaggio, "On Moral and Legal Justification", in Law and Language. The Italian Analytic School (click here for further details): The essay distinguishes first between foundation and justification of norms. To found a norm amounts to ascertaining its existence; to justify it amounts to showing that it is to be accepted. Normative systems are either static or dynamic. The author challenges the traditional criterion of the distinction between both systems. In her opinion a more sound criterion obtains, namely: inside static normative systems everybody is allowed to issue norms, through a procedure of justification, and there is no peculiar way of founding norms - just in order to know them - different from justification; inside dynamic normative systems foundation and justification of norms is to be distinguished in fact and not only conceptually, and only authorized bodies, who do not necessarily need to justify their choice, have normative power. e-mail: gianformagg@sivax.unisi.it

Judy Grbich, "Taxation Narratives of Economic Gain: Reading Bodies Transgressively", Feminist Legal Studies V/2 (1997), 131-168. Click here for extended abstract.



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