The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance: Reflections on the Legacy of the Rivonia Trial (Hardback) book cover

The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance

Reflections on the Legacy of the Rivonia Trial

By Awol Allo

© 2015 – Routledge

360 pages

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Hardback: 9781472444608
pub: 2015-08-07
$148.00
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315615073
pub: 2016-03-09
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About the Book

Fifty years before his death in 2013, Nelson Mandela stood before Justice de Wet in Pretoria's Palace of Justice and delivered one of the most spectacular and liberating statements ever made from a dock. In what came to be regarded as "the trial that changed South Africa", Mandela summed up the spirit of the liberation struggle and the moral basis for the post-Apartheid society. In this blistering critique of Apartheid and its perversion of justice, Mandela transforms the law into a sword and shield. He invokes it while undermining it, uses it while subverting it, and claims it while defeating it. Wise and strategic, Mandela skilfully reimagines the courtroom as a site of visibility and hearing, opening up a political space within the legal. This volume returns to the Rivonia courtroom to engage with Mandela's masterful performance of resistance and the dramatic core of that transformative event. Cutting across a wide-range of critical theories and discourses, contributors reflect on the personal, spatial, temporal, performative, and literary dimensions of that constitutive event. By redefining the spaces, institutions and discourses of law, contributors present a fresh perspective that re-sets the margins of what can be thought and said in the courtroom.

Reviews

"Allo argues that in what came to be regarded as “the trial that changed South Africa,” Nelson Mandela summed up the spirit of the liberation struggle and the moral basis for the postApartheid society, invoking law while undermining it, using it while subverting it, claiming it while defeating it, and opening a political space within the legal. Contributors to this volume return to the Rivonia courtroom to engage with the event, reflecting on its personal, spatial, temporal, performative, and literary dimensions."

Law and Social Inquiry Journal

About the Author

Awol Allo is Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

About the Series

Critical Studies in Jurisprudence

The Edinburgh/Glasgow Law and Society Series provides a forum for interdisciplinary study in the philosophical, political and sociological traditions of thinking about the law. It is these linkages and intersections that the series sets out to chart and explore, in the tradition of research undertaken in the Law Schools of Edinburgh and Glasgow for over twenty years. The series covers a broad field that includes legal reasoning and the ethics of rule following, public law and democratic theory, socio-legal studies and the sociology of punishment, crime, crime control and policing, the politics of transitional justice, as well as the sociology and anthropology of law. The Series places special emphasis on the function of law in its political dimension and with it, in the uses of critical legal theory, capturing something significant of the orientation and the priorities that animate research and teaching in both Law schools.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW052000
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW075000
LAW / Public