Event Date: 24 May 2013
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
Birkbeck School of Law presents:
Annual Law Lecture 2013
Is there a right to disobedience and resistance?
Speaker: Professor Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck)
‘The ‘new world order’ announced in 1989 was the shortest in history coming to an abrupt end in 2008. From the Arab spring, to the indignados and Occupy, protests and uprisings have erupted all over the world. History, recently declared finished, has been reborn as we move into an age of resistance and change. New forms of resistance appear regularly. Their timing is unpredictable, their legal position problematic but their occurrence certain.
The lecture examines the (legal) right to resistance. Permanent revolution is the condition in modern science and art. In law, the right has been written off but cannot be wished away. it has turned into a ghostly norm, a void at the core of law that keeps it from ossifying. Despite the reservations of philosophers and lawyers, resistance has become the modern expression of free action when the order of the world decays. The ‘right to resistance’ remains the highest form of political freedom and moral responsibility. As right and as event, resistance acts like a ghost which supports all other rights. Despite its disavowal, resistance returns from time to time like the repressed.’
Welcome by Professor Patricia Tuitt (Birkbeck).
Introduction by Professor Patrick Hanfin (Birkbeck):