Anthropologists are chronologically only the latest to have adopted justice (and injustice) as an object of (critical) inquiry. Even among anthropologists, however, the radical critical cry that law is the instrument par excellence of control and repression, has today fallen out of fashion. Starting from the Afghan case, in this paper I reflect on law as a potential source of violence and as an anti-value – in the sense of being in antithesis with accepted social values – in the contemporary global scenario. My focus here is neither on the uses that can be made of law nor on the outcomes of its interpretation and application. Rather, I am interested in what law can generate when it betrays social values and sentiments of justice.

Antonio De Lauri

Senior Researcher, Coordinator; Humanitarianism and Borders