A Short History of the British Critical Legal Conference or, the Responsibility of the Critic


The article offers a brief history of the Critical Legal Conference and the emergence of general jurisprudence as a main theoretical school in legal scholarship. It charts the aesthetic, ethical and the current political phase of the school. In the current situation of economic and political crisis, the intellectual and the critic is called to abandon the facile position of neutrality and assume the responsibility of resistance and radical change.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Boyd White, James. 1990. Justice as translation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Chomsky, Noam. 1967. The responsibility of intellectuals. New York Review of Books, 23 February.

  3. Cover, Robert. 1985–1986. Violence and the word. Yale Law Journal 95: 1602.

  4. Derrida, Jacques. 1990. The force of law. Cardozo Law Review 11(5–6): 919.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Douzinas, Costas. 2000. The end of human rights. Oxford: Hart.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Douzinas, Costas. 2002. Postmodern just wars. In Law after ground zero, ed. John Strawson. London: Glasshouse.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Douzinas, Costas. 2012. The poverty of (rights) jurisprudence. In The Cambridge companion to human rights law, ed. Conor Gearty, and Costas Douzinas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Douzinas, Costas, and Adam Gearey. 2005. Critical jurisprudence. Oxford: Hart.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Douzinas, Costas, and Ronnie Warrington. 1990. Postmodern jurisprudence. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Dworkin, Ronald. 1986. Law’s empire. London: Fontana.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Foucault, Michel. 1990. Qu'est ce que la critique? Critique et Aufklärung. Bulletin de la société française de philosophie 84ème année, n°2, Avril-Juin.

  12. Foucault, Michel. 2004. Society must be defended. Hammondsworth: Penguin.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Gordon, Colin. 1980. Afterword. In Power/knowledge, ed. Michel Foucault. Brighton: Harvester.

  14. Guehenno, Jean-Marie. 1995. The end of the nation-state, trans. Victoria Elliott. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  15. Kafka, Franz. 1977. Letter to friends, family and editors. Schocken Books.

  16. Lacey, Nicola. 2006. A life of HLA Hart: The nightmare and the noble dream. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  17. Legendre, Pierre. 1995. The other dimension of law. Cardozo Law Review 3–4: 943.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Plato, 1956. Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. Loeb Classical Library, Heinemann: Harvard University Press.

  19. Posner, Richard. 2002. Public intellectuals: A study in decline. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Said, Edward. 1996. Representations of the intellectual. The 1993 Reith Lectures. London: Vintage.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Strauss, Leo. 1965. Natural law and history. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Costas Douzinas.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Douzinas, C. A Short History of the British Critical Legal Conference or, the Responsibility of the Critic. Law Critique 25, 187–198 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10978-014-9133-9

Download citation


  • Aesthetic
  • Critical Legal Conference
  • Ethics
  • Law and humanities
  • Politics of resistance
  • Responsibility of the critic