Advanced

The targeted killing judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court and the critique of legal violence

Gunneflo, Markus LU (2012) In Law and Critique 23. p.67-82
Abstract
The targeted killing judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court has, since it was handed down in December 2006, received a significant amount of attention: praise as well as criticism. Offering neither praise nor criticism, the present article is instead an attempt at a ‘critique’ of the judgment drawing on the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin’s famous essay from 1921, ‘Critique of Violence’. The article focuses on a key aspect of Benjamin’s critique: the distinction between the two modalities of ‘legal violence’—lawmaking or foundational violence and law-preserving or administrative violence. Analysing the fact that the Court exercises jurisdiction over these killings in the first place, the decision on the applicable law as well as... (More)
The targeted killing judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court has, since it was handed down in December 2006, received a significant amount of attention: praise as well as criticism. Offering neither praise nor criticism, the present article is instead an attempt at a ‘critique’ of the judgment drawing on the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin’s famous essay from 1921, ‘Critique of Violence’. The article focuses on a key aspect of Benjamin’s critique: the distinction between the two modalities of ‘legal violence’—lawmaking or foundational violence and law-preserving or administrative violence. Analysing the fact that the Court exercises jurisdiction over these killings in the first place, the decision on the applicable law as well as the interpretation of that law, the article finds that the targeted killing judgment collapses this distinction in a different way from that foreseen by Benjamin. Hence, the article argues, the targeted killing judgment is best understood as a form of administrative foundational violence. In conclusion Judith Butler’s reading of Benjamin’s notion of ‘divine violence’ is considered, particularly his use of the commandment, ‘thou shalt not kill’, as a non-violent violence that must be waged against the kind of legal violence of which the targeted killing judgment is exemplary. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
folkrätt, targeted killing, Israeli Supreme Court, Legal violence, Divine violence, Critique of violence, Judith Butler, Aharon Barak, Walter Benjamin, public international law, rättsvetenskap, law
in
Law and Critique
volume
23
pages
67 - 82
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84856100394
ISSN
0957-8536
DOI
10.1007/s10978-011-9097-y
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2af36ac0-e42e-498b-ad2e-cf6a6c214113 (old id 2296916)
alternative location
http://www.springer.com/alert/urltracking.do?id=L50161aM94b108Safbfe0a
date added to LUP
2012-01-19 13:07:35
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:17:16
@article{2af36ac0-e42e-498b-ad2e-cf6a6c214113,
  abstract     = {The targeted killing judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court has, since it was handed down in December 2006, received a significant amount of attention: praise as well as criticism. Offering neither praise nor criticism, the present article is instead an attempt at a ‘critique’ of the judgment drawing on the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin’s famous essay from 1921, ‘Critique of Violence’. The article focuses on a key aspect of Benjamin’s critique: the distinction between the two modalities of ‘legal violence’—lawmaking or foundational violence and law-preserving or administrative violence. Analysing the fact that the Court exercises jurisdiction over these killings in the first place, the decision on the applicable law as well as the interpretation of that law, the article finds that the targeted killing judgment collapses this distinction in a different way from that foreseen by Benjamin. Hence, the article argues, the targeted killing judgment is best understood as a form of administrative foundational violence. In conclusion Judith Butler’s reading of Benjamin’s notion of ‘divine violence’ is considered, particularly his use of the commandment, ‘thou shalt not kill’, as a non-violent violence that must be waged against the kind of legal violence of which the targeted killing judgment is exemplary.},
  author       = {Gunneflo, Markus},
  issn         = {0957-8536},
  keyword      = {folkrätt,targeted killing,Israeli Supreme Court,Legal violence,Divine violence,Critique of violence,Judith Butler,Aharon Barak,Walter Benjamin,public international law,rättsvetenskap,law},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {67--82},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Law and Critique},
  title        = {The targeted killing judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court and the critique of legal violence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10978-011-9097-y},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}