n South African Journal on Human Rights - Law's time, particularity and slowness

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



The article compares law's time and its effects on how we understand and approach law and legal interpretation, to other concepts of time. It explores two trends: one, asking for a disruption of a chronological and a linear conception of time that could contribute to an acceptance of the notion of multiple truths and fluidity of meanings and the other, supporting the notion of slowness, where difference and particularity can be explored and recognised in contrast to law's speed, universalisation and generalisation. It contemplates how events and interpretations of art can illustrate a way of disrupting chronological time, and by lingering, of showing greater attentiveness. The article investigates and tentatively suggests other ways of or attitudes to legal reading and interpretation, always keeping the limits and the violence of the law in mind. Artist William Kentridge's observation that '[t]he more general it becomes, the less it works' stands central to the concern with particularity.

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