Deborah Charles Publications
Abstracts' Library

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Nicola Lacey, "Mapping Modernities", Law and Critique Vol.V/2 (1994), 209-218: My paper was an extended review of Peter Wagner's book A Sociology of Modernity: Liberty and Discipline (Routledge 1993). The book gives an account of the development of modem societies through three distinctive stages of restricted, organised and extended modernity, and argues that the current developments towards 'postmodernity' are better understood as a further reinterpretation of the modern tradition itself. The argument is developed through the analysis of a wide range of social, political and economic institutions. My review gives a positive assessment of the book, and attempts to draw out the implications of its argument for law.

Alessandra Lippucci, "Cybernetic Analysis and Human Agency", Res Publica IV/1 (1998), 77-116: The concern of this paper is that the cybernetic method introduced into legal theory by postmodern theorists such as Niklas Luhmann and Gunther Teubner treats society as a complex of autonomously evolving systems whose fate human agency - the basic precept of democracy and human rights - is helpless to affect. As a function system, the legal system is one of the specialized social systems (the family, politics, economics, science, religion) that members of a society have developed over time to facilitate their sociocultural evolution. Luhmann and Teubner use the biological theory of autopoiesis developed by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to explain how these function systems evolve self-referentially through symmetries in their communicative networks, even though the original theory of autopoiesis holds that only individual living systems evolve in this self-organizing way. The paper argues that because only human actors have the capacity to alter function systems, their mediating role with respect to these systems must be incorporated in any cybernetic account of the development of the legal system. Relying on the work of Eric Jantsch and Edgar Morin, the paper cites a variety of sources of human agency - including the capacity for meta-evolution - that enable law and other function systems to co-evolve in ways that fall between the optimism of existentialism and the pessimism of postmodernism. e-mail:lippucci@mail.utexas.edu

Alexander Cernera Ljungstrøm, "The Silent Voice of Law: Legal Philosophy as Legal Thinking", Law and Critique VIII/1 (1997), 71-95: This paper use the late philosophy of Martin Heidegger to argue that ethics and justice are present in our sensitivity to thinking. Law is the law of Ereignis, the event, a play without rules, and the call of justice is a trans-social responsibility towards the other, installed by mortality. Legal thinking is a path not a method, rooted in our listening to the voice of others. This voice is silent since it has not yet entered language and legal thinking returns to it and unfolds out of thinking into Being, a nearness that motivates and structures the event of language. Our nearness to the other as the happening reflects the basis of legal thinking as a philosophy of presence. The silent voice of law speaks because it happens at the limits of language, and gives rise to an ethics as poetic thinking.

Elena Loizidou, "A Phantasmatic Moment: The Defence of In-Sanity", Law and Critique VIII/2 (1997), 115-140: The article problematises the defence of insanity. It re-visits and re-examines debates criticising the defence and it re-visits and re-examines how the defence defines the criminally insane. In its re-visitation it opens up the space to read the defence as a linguistic construction that frames the criminally insane offender. It reads the framing or the invention of the criminally insane as a process where criminal law or rather the language of criminal law abstracts the actions of the insane defender and relocates them into the empty category of the defective mind. This process is read as a misappropriation of the generic term of justice for it displaces it to the space of justice as law. In its conclusion it attempts to re-think this movement, this re-location and its possibilities; in other words it attempts to imagine how the actions of the criminally insane could be read by law otherwise, as potentialities of the accused's subjectivity, as a movement towards an ethical dimension of law. e-mail address: e.loizidou@lancaster.ac.uk

Andrea Loux, "Idols and Icons: Catharine MacKinnon and Freedom of Expression in North America", Feminist Legal Studies VI/1 (1998), 85-104: This article re-situates Catharine MacKinnon and her work on pornography in the particular and peculiar social, cultural and legal context from which it emerged--the United States. The article asks why MacKinnon's controversial work is so popular amongst a segment of US women law students, seeking an explanation in the culture, politics and educational practices of the self-proclaimed "elite" law schools of the U.S. academy. The article goes on to examine the Canadian experience of incorporating MacKinnon's pornography theory into constitutional law and the recent case brought by the gay and lesbian bookstore, Little Sisters. The article concludes with a discussion of the lessons that can be learned by British feminists from the North American experience as we prepare to create a uniquely British culture of rights with the incorporation of the ECHR.

Anamaria Löwenthal, ""An Indian flaming body" - citizenship and/or counter culture expression?", paper delivered at IASL Conference, Såo Paolo, August 1997: In this paper I study the situation of the Indian people nowadays in Brasil. The legal discourse says they are citizens but at the same time Brasilian Indian people belong in fact to a counter culture. Recently some young people killed an Indian who was sleeping at night in the street. They set him afire and he died. What is the meaning of this incident? We must rethink the situation of Indian people in Brasil making a comparison between official-law values and counter-culture values; official power discourse and social reality.

Laura Lundy, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast, "From Act to Order: the metamorphosis of education legislation", in "Education Law", Liverpool Law Review XX/1 (1998), 63-93: Education law reform for Northern Ireland usually begins at the point where the legislative process for England and Wales ends. Once an Education Act is enacted at Westminster, the policy process appears to kick-start across the Irish sea with the Department of Education for Northern Ireland formulating similar proposals for Northern Ireland. However, in Northern Ireland there a number of forces at play which frequently result in the implementation of distinctively different legislative provisions. A good illustration of this is the Education Reform (NI) Order 1989, which was intended to mirror many of the changes introduced in England and Wales by the Education Act 1988. This article explains the differences between the two education systems; charts the progress of three specific policy initiatives contained in the Education Act 1988 (the national curriculum, grant-maintained schools and open enrolment) after they were proposed for Northern Ireland; and analyses the factors which contributed to the transformation of the relevant provisions from identical twins to close (or sometimes distant) cousins. The article indicates that a key factor in the process of transformation was the influence of the Northern Ireland churches within the education system and suggests that, when arguments are presented in the language of discrimination and minority rights, concessions can be wrought even from governments who are committed to a particular strategy of educational reform. e-mail: l.lundy@qub.ac.uk



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