“Deconstruction, Justice and Law”

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

When Derrida is explaining the concept of “deconstruction is justice,” firstly we need to look at what makes up this concept. Law is not justice. Law is a calculation that makes decisions in the present but they are always made within a sense of justice.  Law and justice work mutually together. The process of law is to make decisions that are just. Justice is incalculable. Justice appears though law and its given decisions. Deconstruction relies on the existence of human values that transcend any given culture. Justice is human values. Subjects of justice are those who can feel and experience justice and injustice. Deconstruction is relevant to justice because we can deconstruct the boundaries of who we consider a proper subject of justice. With human nature we limit the subjects of justice, but with the concept of deconstruction, we are able to question those limitations, leaving more and more subjects, (women, children and animals) to be treated with justice other than white, European men.

With deconstruction resting on the existence of human values, and justice being a human value, it is fair to say that not all will have the same definition for what is justice. Each individual will  of what justice really is. And through time and from culture to culture, ideas change and justice is never fixed. Justice is not a settled concept.

I agree with Derrida’s concept, “deconstruction is justice.” With each individual having their own ideas and thoughts of what is justice, one may feel like justice has been brought forth, where another may feel like justice wasn’t served. Justice will have a different meaning through out time and through out culture.Just like deconstruction, justice is an open-ended term. Deconstruction is justice.

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One response to ““Deconstruction, Justice and Law”

  1. This is a good start to thinking about the relationship between law, deconstruction, and justice.

    It is possible to read (about) Derrida and come away with the impression that because justice is ‘always becoming’ and impossible to define with precision, we are left with a purely relativist understanding, whereby justice means whatever a given person wants it to mean at a given point in time. This interpretation robs justice of its power.

    But note that Derrida also insists that justice is ‘that which will not wait’. The *pursuit* of justice is a powerful and insistent force – a responsibility we owe to the future.

    So, justice influences our decisions but cannot itself be captured by a decision – legal or otherwise.