Deborah Charles Publications
Abstracts' Library

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Hilary Nettleton, Sandra Walklate and Brian Williams, "Three models of probation involvement with victims of crime", in "Social Work Law: an Interface for Policy and Practice Development", Liverpool Law Review XIX/2 (1997), 203-217: Probation managers and practitioners have differing views about the appropriateness, ethics and methods of involvement with victims of crime. Using interview data, we consider the reasons for this wide range of opinion, and illustrate three distinct approaches taken in practice. Victim contact work is important and sensitive, but is viewed with considerable suspicion by many in the Probation Service. Some political, ethical and practical reasons for this concern are discussed.

Kai Nielsen, "Is Global Justice Impossible?", Res Publica IV/2 (1998), 131-166: This article (moving away from ideal theory) asks whether global injustice can be overcome or at least to some extent ameliorated. It shows the very real sources of scepticism about the prospects of that. In this context the state of the world impossibility argument and the political will impossibility argument are explained, examined and crucially distinguished. It is argued that the state of the world impossibility argument is unsound and it is further argued that it is the political will unachievability argument that provides the crucial intellectual impediments to believing that more egalitarian arrangements are possible and desirable that would lead to an ordering of things making for something approximating global justice. The political will unachievability argument contends that this is neither possible nor (even if possible) desirable. The widespread belief that this is so presupposes socialism's political unachievability. It is argued against this that what is taken to be unachievable may not be so and furthermore that (a) this achievement is desirable and (b) that, without it, there are no prospects for global justice.

Enrico Pattaro, "Towards a Map of Legal Knowledge", in Law and Language. The Italian Analytic School (click here for further details): The paper develops a critical analysis of Bobbio's theory of the tasks of legal philosophy and the nature of legal dogmatics. Then a map of legal knowledge is proposed by distinguishing legal philosophy, legal ethics, general theory of law and legal dogmatics. e-mail: pattaro@cirfid.unibo.it

George C. Pavlich, "Political Logic, Colonial Law and the 'Land of the Long White Cloud'", Law and Critique IX/2 (1998), 175-206: Colonial discourses produce particular political rationales to justify, and to direct, proposed expansions over other lands. This paper focuses on a political rationality enunciated in a discourse seeking to deploy a British colonial legal system over Aotearoa/New Zealand. It focuses on the colonial discourse's development towards the end of the 1830s, and charts several founding precepts. The discussion indicates how, by defining "New Zealand" society as intrinsically anarchic, this colonial discourse comes to declare colonial state law as necessary for the "orderly progress" towards a "civilised" society. Such foundations are challenged from the apparatuses of a different archive, an "outpost", where the erstwhile discourse is confronted through the horizons of more recent one. Here, the paper shows how traces of modern political discourses (including cameralist notions) continue to haunt, in quite fundamental ways, specific political features of contemporary political logics and orders. Possible ways of transcending the auspices of the erstwhile colonial discourse are entertained as a prelude to contemplating political rationales in postcolonial contexts. e-mail: g.pavlich@auckland.ac.nz

Mark Pawlowski, "The Application of the Doctrine of Mitigation of Damages to Leases", The Liverpool Law Review Vol. XVII(2) [1995], 173-188: There has been a growing trend both in England and in the Commonwealth jurisdictions to emphasise the duality of character of the lease as both creating an estate in land and also as giving rise to contractual promises between landlord and tenant. This trend has led to the judicial acknowledgment that a lease may be subject to the contractual doctrines of frustration and repudiatory breach. The recent English decision in Hussein v. Mehlman [1992] 2 EGLR 87, acknowledging that a lease may be terminated by the acceptance of a repudiatory breach, marks a significant step forward along the path of the "contractualisation" of leases. To what extent, however, will other contractual doctrines be admitted in the leasehold context? This article focuses on the question whether (and to what extent) the contractual principle of mitigation of damages should apply to leaseholds. Apart from the English position, a number of Commonwealth authorities are examined. It is concluded that there is little reason to deny the parties to a lease the full range of contractual principles and remedies.

Colin Perrin, "The Silent Responsibility of Law", International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. XI no.31 (1998), 39-47: Following Jacques Derrida's argument, from the first part of his 'Force of Law: 'The Mystical Foundation of Authority'', this research note takes up the problem of law's responsibility. Eliciting the background to Derrida's argument in his earlier work, ' we signify when the present cannot be presented'. And it is this responsibility that is considered here, in the relation between signification and presentation, through what Maurice Blanchot calls 'the silence of the word silence'. Law cannot be responsible. This word cannot be silent. But it is in the inadequacy of this word - in its inadequacy to 'itself - that it is silent because it speaks. And this is how silence is: in the passivity of a response that cannot be passive, and in the responsibility of a law that cannot be responsible. e-mail: s9701974@pop3.unsw.edu.au

Necati Polat, "The Same and the Similar: Nihilism and Mimetic Hostility", Law and Critique Vol.V/2 (1994), 219-239: A recent rhetoric of so-called nihilism in legal theory seems merely to reproduce one of the fundamental contradictions of the traditional rhetoric: a distinct hostility, towards representation, mimesis, a pattern indicated on the basis of Western philosophy in the writings of Jacques Derrida, the philosopher who, paradoxically, has consistently been invoked by the very "nihilists" to refute the claims of the traditionalists on the workings of law. The essay aims to trace the specific pattern that seems to mark the arguments about nihilism. First it presents some of the references in the debate to the Nietzschean formulation of the concept. This is followed by a discussion of the critique of nihilism by Heidegger. The essay then points out the logic which forms the core of the pattern - a logic of betrayal. This logic is responsible for the understanding of the nihilistic conception as one of presence and evasion. The presuppositions of presence in the nihilistic conception revive the traditional notion of identity, of the same. And evasion signifies a revival of the traditional concept of autonomy: as a presumed exception to the primordiality of the mimetic, the similar, evasion becomes a condition of discursive validity. Two intertwined paradoxes are therefore formed. As presencing, nihilism signifies re-presencing while de-presencing. As evasion, nihilism signifies mimetic uneasiness, even hostility, in the face of a discourse that is at the same time committed to the idea of the primordiality of the mimetic. This logic typically marks Peter Goodrich's work.

Necati Polat, "The Law and its Readings: Realism, Verifiability, and the Rule of Law" , International Journal for the Semiotics of Law / Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique Vol. X no.30 (1997), 293-316: Realism bases its rule-scepticism chiefly on the generality of the propositions of law. The essay argues, on the other hand, that the generality argument follows from a formalistic conception of the rule of law. This conception presupposes a characteristically unrealistic dichotomy between the law and its readings, the text and its interpretations. The essay discusses Paul de Man reading Rousseau on laws. It then passes on to indicate the pictorial notion of language which underlies the dichotomy. To probe into the realist predicament premised on a markedly formalist, pictorial notion of language, the essay focuses on the writings of Scandinavian legal realists, to whom a critique of legal language from this perspective has been far more central than in American legal realism. The critical attitude towards legal language by Scandinavian legal realists ­ which is not dissimilar to the critique in Wittgenstein's early work ­ is contrasted with the approach favoured by the later work by Wittgenstein on rule-government. While the early work assumes an intrinsic relationship between language and its other, the rule and that which agrees with it, the later work refers to a relationship that is more political, or made, than technical. Concluding, the essay builds on deconstructive strategies to briefly sketch a concept, or non-concept, of the rule of law which will hint at the true dimensions of the violence that in each case characterizes the rule of law. e-mail: polatn@rorqual.cc.metu.edu.tr

Michael Preston-Shoot, "W(h)ither Social Work? Social Work, social Policy and Law at an Interface: Confronting the Challenges and Realising the Potential in Work with people Needing Care or Services", Liverpool Law Review 18/1 (1996), 19-39: This article identifies key challenges facing social work, particularly focusing on legalism, social work's organisational context and values, and the resources available to meet people's health and social care needs. The paper then identifies four elements available to social workers, other professionals, and users of services in articulating and defending the values and rights in the delivery of social welfare. The paper suggests that other professional groups face questions and demands similar to those which confront social work and, accordingly, must also engage in debates about the objectives of welfare. e-mail: M.PRESTONSHOOT@livjm.ac.uk

M. Preston-Shoot. "Editorial: Mapping Social Work Law: Definitions, Developments and Dialogue", in "Social Work Law: an Interface for Policy and Practice Development", Liverpool Law Review XIX/2 (1997), 115-119: This article provides a definition for social work law and discusses recent developments in teaching law to social workers. It reviews some of the reasons behind social workersí wariness of the law. Finally it identifies the development work which has sought to strengthen this subject discipline, and to provide social work and legal practitioners with the confidence and skills to work together on social policy questions and practice issues.e-mail: M.PRESTONSHOOT@livjm.ac.uk

Jiri Priban, "Doing What Comes Naturally, Or A Walk on the Wild Side?: Remarks on Stanley Fish's Anti-Foundationalist Concept of Law, its Closure and Force", Law and Critique IX/2 (1998), 249-270: 'The article deals with current schools of legal philosophy and theory which are significantly influenced by the post-structural turn in the concept of law. This turn is illustrated by the works of the American literary and legal scholar, Stanley Fish. The text is centred around a difference and arguments between the anti-foundationalist, pragmatic concept of law as worked out by Stanley Fish, and the theoretical-ideological adoption of post-structuralism by some of the most representative members of the Critical Legal Studies Movement. The first part consists of a comparison between the anti-theoretical approach of Stanley Fish and ideological critical and politicising attitudes of the Critical Legal Studies Movement. However, Fish's concept of law goes beyond the limited borders of legal theory and, paradoxically, shows some common features with the general social systems theory of the German sociologist, Niklas Luhmann. The second part of the text therefore analyses relations between Luhmann's concept of autopoiesis and Fish's understanding of law as a closed context of interpretive practices. The third part of the text then concentrates on a mutual inspiration between Stanley Fish and Jacques Derrida in the field of definition of 'the force of law'. In spite of acceptance of many standpoints of Stanley Fish, the author of this article concludes by a critique of law's closure as defined by Stanley Fish and by a rejection of the restrictive function of force in the legal context which dismantles law's heterogeneity and the art of human memory.


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