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Dissociative grammar and constitutional critique

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  • Introduction: Adorno’s words could be read alongside Klare’s critical focus on the political and moral dimensions of adjudicative law-making generally, and South African constitutional adjudication in particular. Klare (1998:150) asks: “Can we describe a method of adjudication that is politically and morally engaged, but that is not illicit ‘judicial legislation’. Is there a post-liberal account of the rule of law suitable to the political challenges South Africa has set for itself?” In response, he calls for politically engaged forms of constitutional legal adjudication that conform to legal process in their efforts to spur social changes on a scale greater than liberal reform, but short of revolution. Coining the phrase “transformative constitutionalism” to signify “an enterprise of inducing large-scale social change through nonviolent political processes grounded in law”, he engages head-on a question that has dogged neo-Marxist approaches to law: “[Is it] possible to achieve this sort of dramatic social change through law-grounded processes?” (ibid).

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    © 2013 George Pavlich et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Pavlich, G. (2013). Dissociative grammar and constitutional critique? In K. van Marle & S. Motha (Eds.), Genres of critique: Law, aesthetics and liminality (pp. 29-46). Stellenbosch: Sun Press.
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