Juridical exceptionalism in Australia: Law, nostalgia and the exclusion of others

Billings, Peter (2011) Juridical exceptionalism in Australia: Law, nostalgia and the exclusion of others. Griffith Law Review, 20 2: 271-309.

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Author Billings, Peter
Title Juridical exceptionalism in Australia: Law, nostalgia and the exclusion of others
Journal name Griffith Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-3441
Publication date 2011
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 271
End page 309
Total pages 39
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Taylor & Francis Australasia
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Federal government interventions designed to address irregular maritime arrivals and socio-economic conditions in particular Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory have been characterised by juridical exceptionalism -the partial suspension or withdrawal of the juridical order. Perceived emergencies -broadly, border (in)security and physical (in)security -have resulted in the creation of legal spaces in which 'Others' are constituted within and without the juridical order by the sovereign. This article critically explores these exceptional spaces -'offshore excised places', immigration detention centres and 'prescribed' parts of the Northern Territory -and investigates the ethical, political and historical rationalities underpinning them. Crucially, this includes consideration of how social memories have influenced the regulation of irregUlar maritime arrivals and the creation of emergency response laws in the Northern Territory. It is argued that social, 'governmental' memories about the efficacy and legacy of law/policy responses to border insecurity and the socio-economic problems facing Indigenous communities have, to a degree, been infected by nostalgia. This yearning for the restoration of past experience is associated with a sense of loss, including a loss of state sovereignty due to irregular maritime arrivals, a loss of control over (conditions in) Aboriginal communities and a loss of national unity and identity. This longing has activated politician's 'retro' ideas and the refashioning of legal responses to current social dilemmas. Arguably, such strategies risk discounting or excusing the failings of past social policies, leaving individuals to bear the adverse effects once more.
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Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Mon, 12 Sep 2011, 13:47:04 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law