'Ce Qui Arrive'. Deconstruction, Invention and the Legal Subject of R V R

By Lloyd, Chris | The Australian Feminist Law Journal, December 2012 | Go to article overview

'Ce Qui Arrive'. Deconstruction, Invention and the Legal Subject of R V R


Lloyd, Chris, The Australian Feminist Law Journal


Abstract. Acknowledging Jacques Derrida's insistent claim that deconstruction 'happens' as a metaphysical occurrence, this article seeks to examine deconstruction's happening to law. Through an examination of the English criminal law case R. v R [1992] 1 A. C. 599 the article seeks to investigate deconstruction's happenings with regards to the origins, fictions, exceptions, inventions and potentialities found within the case. Tracing Matthew Hale's performative utterance regarding marital immunity from rape through common law history the article questions the significance of deconstruction's workings in the case. Inquiring further into the case's disclosure of fictional origins, instances of exceptional affirmation and moments of emancipatory feminist potential, the article then asks if the case is illustrative of the radical potential inherent in deconstruction's metaphysics for creating 'true' invention in law.

The late critical theorist Jacques Derrida opened his 1967 monograph, Of Grammatology, with an assertion on the concept of writing which would reverberate throughout his oeuvre for nearly 40 years. Due to Derrida's thought being crucial to the argument made with regards to law in this paper, his assertion recalls repeating:

... one says "language" for action, movement, thought, reflection, consciousness, unconsciousness, experience, affectivity, etc. Now we tend to say "writing" for all that and more: to designate not only the physical gestures of literal pictographic or ideographic inscription, but also that totality of what makes it possible ... And thus we say "writing" for all that gives rise to an inscription in general, whether it is literal or not and even if what it distributes in space is alien to the order of the voice: cinematography, choreography, of course, but also pictorial, musical, sculptural "writing."1

This crucial passage posits Derrida's account of writing. Writing, so conceived, produces all inscriptions; from those fundamental to the 'living cell,' to those found in the 'theory of cybernetics.'2 Inscriptions are then vitally important for Derrida because they allow for the bridging of 'spacing [espacement or 'the becoming-space of time or the becoming-time of space (temporisation). ,'3 Hence inscriptions, held within writing, allow for the instances of 'Now A? 'Now W and 'Now C to be bridged, in turn allowing for the production of material existence in time.4 Consequently, phenomena manifests through inscriptions, within what is known as language, 'comprehended^ by writing.5 History's entire materiality is accordingly enveloped by Derrida's account of writing. In short 'history as writing.'6 This theoretical grounding led Derrida to claim that deconstruction is merely 'at bottom what happens or comes to pass [ce qui arrive].'7 It is thus 'neither a theory nor a philosophy ... neither a school nor a method,' but rather 'what is happening today in what they call politics, diplomacy, economic, historical reality, and so on and so forth.'8 Deconstruction's mechanisms merely occur and so provide for, but also limit, all phenomena: 'these limits came into being at the same time as the possibility of what they limited, they opened what they finished and we have already named them: discreteness, differance, spacing.'9 Stated concisely, when an inscription bridges the spacing of time it 'succeeds only in/ by being effaced. It happens and comes about only by effacing itself.'10 Deconstruction illustrates that this 'erasure belong[ing] to its structure' u occurs to all inscriptions and thus to all matter. Deconstruction thus happens via spacing; 'the first word of any deconstruction.'12 This meta-truth conditions all metaphysical social phenomena, including the phenomenon in focus within this paper: law. Of concern in this paper, then, is deconstruction's happening to law. As is perhaps well known to accustomed readers, 'Reconstruction is the law'13 but also '\d\econstruction is justice?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'Ce Qui Arrive'. Deconstruction, Invention and the Legal Subject of R V R
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.