Monthly Archives: March 2014

Kate Sutherland

Peter Fitzpatrick on “Kafka and the question: Can there be a rule of law?”

Kafka and the question: Can there be a rule of law?
Professor Peter Fitzpatrick
School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
12:30 – 2:00 pm
Room 2027, Osgoode Hall Law School

Kafka’s ‘The Problem of Our Laws’: ‘…it is an extremely painful thing to be ruled by laws that one does not know’. We know very little of the law that rules us. Every time we take a ride on a bus or order goods online, for example, we become bound by a complex of laws that we know not of. And do we not have to seek specific legal decision because the law is so often found to be uncertain? And can any law in its application to an ever-changing world ever be certain? Yet we are supposed to live in a society ultimately ordered, endowed with stability and even created though a rule of law. How then can there ‘be’ such a rule of law? And how does Kafka answer the question?

Peter Fitzpatrick
 is currently Anniversary Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London and Honorary Professor of Law in the University of Kent. 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 more 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.

All are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided. 

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