Law and Society@Kwantlen

Deconstruction is Jusice


Food for Thought: 

Explain, in your own words, the meaning of Derrida’s claim “Deconstruction is Justice”. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain.

With this week’s final musing, I agree with Jacques Derrida’s claim that “Deconstruction is Justice” because justice is not identifiable or calculable as law is. Law is clear cut and has set rules and regulations. However, justice is not so straightforward because when justice is done, each scenario or outcome is different. There is no one set of rules to define such. According to Pavlich, “law does not guarantee justice any more than justice guarantees good law. Because justice is incalculable, one can never declare that I am just, or that this law/decision is just. One could say that it is legal or that it conforms to rules, statutes and conventions” (Pavlich, 2011, p. 173). That quote illustrates that like words, justice has different meanings to individuals.

According to Jacques Derrida deconstruction is, “precisely a way to think about what is involved when ordinary flows of language are disrupted. Deconstruction is not a method or some tool that you apply to something from the outside [and it] is something which happens and which happens inside (Pavlich, 2011, p. 171). This illustrates that deconstruction delivers different meanings to things when they are picked apart. Derrida illustrates one “can never settle definitions absolutely” (Pavlich, 2011, p. 169). And that words, lead from one definition to another and so on and so forth. For example, if a decision is passed down onto a case, each individual will view justice as something different. Derrida goes on to state that deconstruction is not predetermined and will continue to have different meanings to everyone.

How one interprets the law, will lead to justice being served. The judge who is overseeing a case will make his or her decision after hearing all the facts presented to them and the outcome will be, what the judge deems to serve justice. However, with that being said others involved may not be happy with the decision because their definition of justice is or was different than that of the judge.

Derrida’s claim that “deconstruction is justice” is not a simple text to understand and requires more depth and knowledge because it can be a bit confusing because law and justice continues to progress; therefore laws and decisions must be picked apart for further development and understanding.  Justice is not stagnant or a fixed entity because it continues to evolve with every case and decision.


Pavlich, G. (2011). Law & Society Redefined. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.