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Legal Institutions and Collective Memories

Legal Institutions and Collective Memories

Paperback Onati International Series in Law and Society (Paperback)

Edited by Susan Karstedt, Contributions by Heribert Adam, Contributions by Emilios Christodoulidis, Contributions by Stanley Cohen, Contributions by Roger Engelmann, Contributions by Carol A. Heimer, Contributions by Kathy Laster, Contributions by Juan Mendez, Contributions by K. Plett, Contributions by Kim Lane Scheppele

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  • Publisher: Hart Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 428 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 21mm | 390g
  • Publication date: 30 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 1841133272
  • ISBN 13: 9781841133270
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 1,418,159

Product description

In recent decades the debate among scholars, lawyers, politicians and others about how societies deal with their past has been constant and intensive. Legal Institutions and Collective Memories situates the processes of transitional justice at the intersection between legal procedures and the production of collective and shared meanings of the past. Building upon the work of Maurice Halbwachs, this collection of essays emphasises the extended role and active involvement of contemporary law and legal institutions in public discourse about the past, and explores their impact on the shape that collective memories take in the course of time. The authors uncover a complex pattern of searching for truth, negotiating the past and cultivating the art of forgetting. Their contributions explore the ambiguous and intricate links between the production of justice, truth and memory. The essays cover a broad range of legal institutions, countries and topics. These include transitional trials as monumental spectacles as well as constitutional courts, and the restitution of property rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Australia. The authors explore the biographies of victims and how their voices were repressed, as in the case of Korean Comfort Women. They explore the role of law and legal institutions in linking individual and collective memories in the transitional period through processes of lustration, and they analyse divided memories about the past and their impact on future reconciliation in South Africa. The collection offers a genuinely comparative approach, allied to cutting-edge theory

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Author information

Susanne Karstedt is Professor of Criminology at the School of Sociology and Criminology at Keele University.

Table of contents

Introduction: The Legacy of Maurice Halbwachs SUSANNE KARSTEDT Part I: 'The Truth and Nothing but the Truth': Truth and Justice between the Past and the Present 1. Unspeakable Memories and Commensurable Laws STANLEY COHEN 2. An Emerging 'Right to Truth': Latin-American Contributions JUAN E MENDEZ Part II: Divided Memories, Contested Truths, Silenced Voices 3. Reflections on Law and Memory EMILIOS CHRISTODOULIDIS AND SCOTT VEITCH 4. Divided Memories: How Emerging Democracies Deal with the Crimes of Previous Regimes HERIBERT ADAM 5. Common Past, Divided Truth: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South African Public Opinion GUNNAR THEISSEN 6. From Silence to Testimony: The Role of Legal Institutions in the Restoration of the Collective Memories of Korean 'Comfort Women' YOUNG-HEE SHIM Part III: Law, Memory and the Politics of Culture and Identity 7. Negotiating the Past: Culture Industry and the Law HEINZ STEINERT 8. Australia's Sorry Judges: Nationalism and Collective Memory KATHY LASTER 9. Experienced Authenticity of Culture and Legal Liberties ARTHUR L STINCHCOMBE Part IV: Creating and Restituting Rights after Abusive Regimes: Bridges between the Past and the Future 10. Constitutional Interpretation after Regimes of Horror KIM LANE SCHEPPELE 11. Paying for Past Injustices and Creating New Ones: On Property Rights Restitution in Poland as an Element of the Unfinished Transformation GRAZ* YNA SKA?PSKA Part V: The Stores of Memory: Files, Individual Biographies and Collective Memories 12. Biographies, Legal Cases and Political Transitions CAROL A HEIMER AND ARTHUR L STINCHCOMBE 13. Biographies and Resumes as Part of Life under Communist Rule in the Czech Republic JIR' INA SIKLOVA 14. The 'Stasi Records', the Public and Collective Memories: The Inspection of Personal Records ROGER ENGELMANN 15. The Art of Forgetting: The Communist Police State as a Non-reality ANDRZEJ ZYBERTOWICZ Part VI: Failing Memory: The Law and its Past 16. The Loss of Early Women Lawyers from Collective Memory in Germany: A Memoir of Magdalene Schoch KONSTANZE PLETT 17. Putting the Nazi Past Behind: Juvenile Justice and Germany's Changing Political Culture RUTH G HERZ