From: rmbayi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mbayiha cyuma)
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 00:19:18 -0500
1) i am wondering if there is any 1 out there who may be aware of any
critical reading of the legal system *THROUGH* Foucault.
2) also, i have just read an article by P. Gabel & P. Harris,
["Building power & breaking images: Critical legal theory
and the practice of law" in Critical Legal Studies, edt.by
Allan Hutchinson (Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield,1989)].
they propose a power-oriented approach to law practice instead of a
rights-oriented legal practice.
they are persuaded that:
"if the legal system is understood as nothing more than people in rooms who
deploy their power through authoritarian symbols and imaginary laws, every
social conflict that is channeled into such a room becomes an opportunity
to challenge the dominant consciousness in a public setting..."
their program is hence 1 of "gentle" deconstruction of the courtrooms in
order to erode the symbolic power of the State's authority from the bottom
the proposed "radical" practice of law aims at building up the power of
popular movements by
1)stressing the political realities involved in apparently "solely
criminal" cases, in order to undermine the atmosphere of neutral
application of objective laws & insisting that behind each individual case
there is a social reality that the law is trying to hide and suppress;
2)politicizing the local courtrooms and other "legal" public spaces that
are "currently colonized" by government officials;
3)de-professionnalizing the lawyer-client relationship.
Now, i can't get rid of some scepticism. In spite of the generosity of
their program, they seem too narrowly focused
on the superstructural level of society. But then, i wonder,
wouldn't they reply by saying that they precisely BRING the
rest of social dimensions into the courtroom?
PS: any info on critical legal studies literature WELCOME.