Levinas and the possibility of justice

Author: Loumansky, Amanda

Source: Liverpool Law Review, Volume 27, Number 2, July 2006 , pp. 147-171(25)

Publisher: Springer

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I consider the question of whether critical legal theory can amount to more than an obstructive exercise and point to an alternative approach to the problem of institutional justice. I am not trying to redeem critical legal theory neither do I attempt to exonerate it from the charge of obstruction or as Drucilla Cornell terms it, negative dialectics. However, I share to some lesser degree the concern that it ought to be possible to offer more than the exposure of camouflaged injustice. By camouflaged I mean that branch of jurisprudence, positivist in outlook and tonality that maintains and defends the violation of the other as an integral and necessary aspect of law and further argues that as such it is entirely ethical. I examine a number of different perspectives to this seemingly impossible challenge. Borrowing from and adapting their theses I then go on to suggest my own solution for applying alterity to juridical encounters with the Other.

Keywords: Levinas; alterity; momentary principle of justice

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10991-006-9002-1

Affiliations: Email: a.loumansky@fce.bbk.ac.uk

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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