Law and Critique 12 (2):159-183 (2001)

“Deconstruction is justice”. How are we to understand this striking and extraordinary sentence Jacques Derrida has written? Whose justice? Which deconstruction? The article asks these questions by thinking the continuity and discontinuity between Jewish, especially rabbinic, thinking and Derrida's writing. The article approaches Derrida's ethico-legal thinking through the tradition of Judaismby putting the sentence ``deconstructionis justice'' on the stage of the Jewish jurisprudence, which may be revealed as utmost important in relation to deconstructibility of law and undeconstructibility of justice. The main question is, how Derridashares the tradition of Judaism. If deconstructive legal studies promises to take justice seriously then it have to understand Derridean deconstruction of law being “based” on the double tradition of the philosophico-phenomenological and Abrahamic thinking. The article concentrates on the Abrahamic tradition in Derrida's thinking. The first part of the article asks after the mystical foundation of law and its relationship to the writing of law. The second one asks the principle of justice. The third part addresses the problem of the time of justice and its relationship to messianism. All in all, the article traces through the writing, principle, and time ofjustice possible chiasmas of Derrida and the Jewish jurisprudence.
Keywords deconstruction   deconstructive legal studies   Derrida   Jewish jurisprudence   Judaism   justice   messianism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1017934400730
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