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Editor-In-Chief:

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Gregor Bachmann
Nina Boeger
Matthias Casper
Helge Dedek
Hans-Michael Heinig
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Frank Schorkopf

Senior Editors: 

Besty Baker
Jurgen Bast
Gralf-Peter Calliess

Patrycja Dabrowska
Elisa Hoven
Jen Hendry
Malcolm MacLaren
Stefan Magen
Ralf Michaels
Christoph Safferling
Emanuel Towfigh
Floris de Witte

Associate Editors:

Anna Katharina von Oettingen 

The Law Before It is law: Franz Kafka and the (Im)possibility of the Law’s Self-Reflection


By Gunther Teubner
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Suggested Citation: Gunther Teubner, The Law Before It is law: Franz Kafka and the (Im)possibility of the Law’s Self-Reflection, 14 German Law Journal 405-422 (2013), available at http://www.germanlawjournal.com/index.php?pageID=11&artID=1515
The article offers a novel interpretation of Franz Kafka’s celebrated parable “Before the law”. It is inspired by recent developments in European legal theory, particularly by the work of Jacques Derrida, Niklas Luhmann and Giorgio Agamben. It suggests a dual role change in the confrontation of the parable’s protagonists - the “man from the country” and the “law”. According to this interpretation it is not a specific individual  that stands “before the law” but it is the legal discourse itself that is in a desperate search of its law, and the parable’s “law” for its part is not a generalized and distant authority (power, morality, religion etc), but  the valid and positive law of our times.  The article asks the question: What happens within the mysterious relationship between “Law AND law” which has always preoccupied legal theory when that relationship is subjected to the nightmarish logic in Kafka’s universe? 



 
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