Social & Legal Studies

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Book Review: The Colonial Politics of Hope: Critical Junctures of Indigenous-State Relations
  • Territoriality and Status in Human Rights Litigation: The Case of Israel/Palestine

    Both territoriality and political status serve as parameters for determining the extent of a state's obligation to uphold human rights. Scholars have shown that different actors may manipulate the scope of these parameters to serve their particular purposes. Based on interviews with lawyers from Israeli human rights organizations, this article shows how they also manipulate the relationships between these parameters. When representing different clients, lawyers from Israeli human rights organizations accentuate one parameter over the other, demand congruity between them, or reject both. The findings highlight how the movable intersections between territoriality and political status facilitate a multitude of discursive strategies from which lawyers can pick and choose, to address political predicaments they face in their praxis. Furthermore, by judiciously applying these strategies, lawyers are able to mobilize the indeterminate relationship between political status and territoriality to destabilize what they perceive to be the unjust boundaries promoted by the state.

  • The Life and Times of Human Rights Organizations: Organizational Biographies and the Sociology of Human Rights
  • Deservingness on Trial: Neutralisation Techniques in Public Housing Jurisprudence

    How do judges formulate their written decisions when rejecting plaintiffs’ requests in a welfare context? In this paper, based on our thematic analysis, we show how judges construct a nuanced concept of ‘welfare deservingness’ to narratively mitigate their own moral and emotional tensions when making decisions on remedies in public-housing cases. Deploying a notion borrowed from criminology—‘neutralisation techniques’—we discuss the material and symbolic implications of this concept, contributing to the theoretical discussion of both poverty law and legal professionalism. We claim that judges use ‘neutralisation techniques’ to negotiate, justify, and explain their decisions while attempting to avoid or lessen the dilemmas they typically face, given the scarcity of housing resources and their inability to grant material assistance. Employing these techniques, the judges create ‘deservingness spectrum’ that enables them to essentially subvert the binary division of accepted/denied cases. At one end of this spectrum, the denial of the plaintiff's ‘victim’ status is enacted through the negation of symbolic deservingness and, thus, the denial of housing is framed as a warranted sanction on the plaintiff's reproachable character. At the other end, the techniques allow the judges to recognise ‘symbolic deservingness’ while still not providing material aid. Judges are therefore able to preserve their professional status and sense of moral rectitude when making such unenviable housing decisions. More broadly, our analysis offers a novel lens through which to critically understand judicial decision-making in welfare jurisprudence.

  • Moving Beyond Formal Truth Practices and Forensic Truth in the Syrian Conflict: How Informal Truth Practices Contribute to Thicker Understandings of Truth

    Truth is a central concept in the struggle for justice for Syrians. Many justice actors have turned to the tools and rhetoric of transitional justice to further the quest for justice and truth. Yet, while doing so has allowed them to generate some international attention for victims, the transitional justice paradigm has several pitfalls. For one, the dominant understanding of truth and truth-seeking embraced in formal mechanisms tends to be narrowly defined as forensic truth. We argue on the basis of interviews with Syrian justice actors and artists that informal, including artistic, practices can entail a thicker understanding of truth. They have the potential to disrupt several shortcomings of forensic understanding of truth and formal practices. They can ‘presence’ experiences of harm, accommodate multivocal truths, and enable epistemic resistance. Therefore, we consider how transitional justice as a field of scholarship and practice could better engage with truth-seeking in inconclusive contexts where formal truth mechanisms may be unavailable.

  • Feminism and Counter-Trafficking: Exploring the Transformative Potential of Contemporary Feminism in Portugal

    Focusing on the Portuguese case, this article explores the role of feminism in counter-trafficking. Through analysing feminist discourse on human trafficking, the article interrogates feminism's ability and its limitations in challenging or reinforcing some of the most controversial policy outcomes. The article argues that, due to a structural weakness within feminism itself and the profound institutionalisation of counter-trafficking, any possibility of challenging dominant discourses on trafficking remains a distant dream. Rather, counter-trafficking attempts ultimately help create a controversial neoliberal space that strains feminism's transformative potential while simultaneously strengthening bureaucratic state feminism.

  • Book Review: Reimagining the Court of Protection: Access to Justice in Mental Capacity Law
  • Book Review: Liability for Transboundary Pollution at the Intersection of Public and Private International Law (Hart Monographs in Transnational and International Law)
  • Bringing Sociology of Law Back into Pierre Bourdieu's Sociology: Elements of Bourdieu's Sociology of Law and Dispute Transformation
  • Law and Legitimacy in Administrative Justice Research

Featured documents

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT