Peter Fitzpatrick

Peter Fitzpatrick is currently Anniversary Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London and Honorary Professor of Law in the University of Kent. In 2007 he was given the James Boyd White Award by The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities. He has taught at universities in Europe, North America and Papua New Guinea and published many books on legal philosophy, law and social theory, law and racism, and imperialism, two of the recent ones being Law as Resistance (Ashgate, 2008) and with Ben Golder, Foucault’s Law (Routledge, 2009). Outside the academy he has been in an international legal practice and was also in the Prime Minister’s Office in Papua New Guinea for several years. He has given talks frequently in Canada and in 1987 was Visiting Social Sciences Professor at Carleton. In 2003 he was the Annual Distinguished Visitor at the University of Alberta.

Reading Radically: On Mandela’s Law and Derrida’s Justice
Remarking radically on the similarity between literature and law provides a focus that fuses Mandela’s conception of law and Derrida’s of justice – fuses them to the effect that justice is found to be intrinsic to law, and so much so that law takes on the resistant, even revolutionary, force associated with justice. Whilst this ‘law’ hardly corresponds to standard notions, nonetheless this is a reading of the law that will claim to be both accurate and operative. It is a radical reading of the law in that it would go to the root of law (and borrow the etymology of ‘radical’: radix, root). The work that impels this reading is the surprisingly neglected ‘The Laws of Reflection: Nelson Mandela, in Admiration’ by Derrida.