Wednesday, 11 February 2009

exploding part 2

this is a really weird week - an inside-out week. one of the courses i'm taking this term, the before mentioned post-apartheid jurisprudence, runs from 6 - 9, mon- thurs this week, reading week. i'll say.

in a brilliant preparatory move i booked the week off work. i'm home all day (frantically reading) and then go into london all evening. trains are much nicer this way.

the course is incredibly interesting, on a lot of levels. it's taught by a south african scholar from pretoria (hence the one week thing). it's lots of legal theory, but in a real context which makes it more pragmatic, and gets us into all kind of sticky theoretical corners which is fun. we're looking at the intersections of law and politics, constitutional systems, judicial activism, how societies are transformed (or not), the effects of authoritarianism and colonialism and racism on humanity and our ability to transcend/fix/deny these things - all in the sense of the post-apartheid legal system. the reading has been illuminating; well chosen articles that have really made me think. there's only about 12 of us so there's room for discussion.

i find myself fascinated, in a moth-to-candle sense, by the idea of change, of re-structure. can we change, tweak systems of law or politics to enact a new result? or does the neo-liberal privitising/corporate/money system now bulldoze across any ideas of incremental, or even whole-scale change? is there any way to reconcile the open wound of colonialism? or will we, like the bankers in today's paper, just offer platitudes of regret and carry on as normal? and what will be the repercussions of that (as i am fairly confident that is what is/has/will happen/ed/ing)?

and that's just the start! the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

on a lighter note, apparently british critical lawyers* are known as britcrits. which makes me smirk.

*a term used to describe people who think that law and politics are to a certain extent inseparable and changeable, and the sooner we admit the fact and get on with things, the better - i paraphrase, obviously