Law’s discursive distancing from justice in the colonial present: the case of Israel’s legal practice in the West Bank and Gaza

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Law plays a fundamental role in the Israeli settler-colonial project. The belief that the state is governed by law, unlike its neighbouring countries, is a prominent feature of the Israeli society’s self-image. The underlying assumption is that law - as a set of rules, institutions and procedures - marks civilisation and is, as such, superior and just. In September 2000, in response to the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Israeli military legal system advanced the idea that the country was involved in ‘armed conflict short of war’ - a shift to a far more militarised framework. This shift facilitated a discursive separation of law from morality and justice. This paper investigates the role of law in colonial and settler-colonial projects, reflecting on the position of notions of morality in these contexts, and interrogates the discursive change unfolding in Israel as a reflection of a colonial present.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 8 Jul 2019

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