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Reform we deserve

This semester in Jeffery Shantz special topics class on dissent and criminalization my group, for our term project, were takes with discussing government surveillance on those who are opposed to the pipelines. To aid in our research of how the government watches protesters we used the Access to Information Act; we were able to get a hold of a previous request that had been filed with the National Energy Board. The documents we received were heavily redacted several pages were just blank. Any time there was information that we deemed to be important it was redacted.

It was at this point that I realized that the ATIA was inefficient; in class my suspicions were further confirmed. There have been many attempts at changing the ATIA, but none have become law. In 2004 a private members bill was introduced into parliament that was designed to change the Act. The bill was going to change the name of the Access to Information act to the Open Government Act, hardly a big change; however, it did propose monumental changes (Douglas & Loranger & Litwhick, 2012). The bill was going to expand the governmental departments that citizens were able to file ATIs with (Douglas & Loranger & Litwhick, 2012). It doesn’t specifically list what agencies would be affected by this change, but its not conjecture to say crown corporations could have been included. It would be interesting to see the practices of ICBC or BC Hydro. This bill would have also made it a requirement of the Commissioners office to create a list every year of what departments comply with the requests they receive, and which don’t (Douglas & Loranger & Litwhick, 2012). This is an effective tool to make organizations comply with requests to information. Public pressure can be applied to these organizations to answer why they are not open, as they need to be; public pressure is a great toll to humiliate and demand that an organization fulfill the requirements that is bound by law to comply with. This new law would also have made the deliberations between ministers, when discussing policies, available to the public (Douglas & Loranger & Litwhick, 2012). This would allow the public to see what ideas the ministers considered, and how they arrived at the final decision.

In the Bok’s article on government secrecy an explanation if offered that could explain why government is hesitant to reform the Access to Information Act. It is stated that the government when deciding on new policies lists all the options that are on the table; some of these options can be a bit extreme, but need to be considered (Bok, 1989). For example, if North Korea tests a new missile ministers might discus bombing their capital, and command and control centers. To the public this might seem extreme and will portray the government as monsters; however, it is unlikely that the government will do this, but do need to discus it to see if it is a possibility. With the new law the discussions that minsters have would be available to the public, so this could be why the government does not want to reform the ATI laws. The Access to Information laws do need to be changed. They are no longer up to par.

Bok, S. (1989). Secrets: on the ethics of concealment and revelation. New

York: Vintage Books.

Douglas, K., & Loranger, E, & Lithwich, D. The Access to Information Act and

Proposals for ReformThe Access to Information Act and Proposals for

Reform. Reterived from http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/Research

Publications/2005-55-e.htm#a8

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ATI/FOI Requests: Why we should continue using them.

The fear of having using the ATI/FOI right is a concern for some people who seek employment with the government as the feel they will be “put on the radar”, decreasing their chances of seeking employment with the government. In the directive on the Administration of the Access Information Act, which was taken into effect on May 5, 2014, states in section 7.4.1 under the heading protection of applicant’s identity it states that it should be “limiting, on a need-to-know basis, the disclosure of information that could directly or indirectly lead to the identification of a requester, unless the requester consents to the disclosure”(Government of Canada, 2014). Though they indicate it is on a need-to-know basis, it does not indicate why and when this information can be used as a need-to know basis. The employees are responsible to complete the request no matter who the requester is, and should only be able to identify the applicant based on the information that he or she has provided in the initial request. However, this can be a concern, that I have experienced recently. I had taken the Criminology 4900 Special Topics class where we were taught how to conduct an Access to Information Request. My focus was on the sharing of information between different agencies and also documents which reveal the number of extraordinary renditions which have taken place in Canada since September 11, 2001. I had sent out my request to two different agencies, the RCMP and CSIS. I did not experience any difficulties from the request that a made with the RCMP, but for CSIS I experienced a very unique incident. I had given my gmail address to contact me if they need any clarification, however I received an e-mail from the Access to Information to my hotmail and kwantlen e-mail accounts. It was very concerning, the e-mail had stated that “the gmail e-mail address written on your request is not clear. If this e-mail finds you, could you kindly reply from your gmail address. We would like to clarify your request”. It was very concerning to me that they were able to find both my kwantlen and hotmail e-mail addresses, and it just shows that the employees have a lot of access to our personal information that they are able to collect and contact a person with information that was not provided to them, so I do understand when a student will not conduct an ATI/FOI request in fear that they may prevent them from getting a future job at a government agencies.
I can see ATI/FOI request being used as surveillance, especially after the September 11, 200l attacks in New York. Privacy rights were “…originally envisioned as a means for individuals to secure a personal space free from state scrutiny are being configured by corporate and state interests”(Haggerty, K.D., & Ericson R.V., 2006, P.10). Though privacy laws that have been in placed in protecting our information, the state uses their power to breach in the name of protecting the country, and infringing on our the rights as citizens. We have the right to this information, but we are scared to use because of the fear that it may back fire on us in the near future. However, I will argue that this should not prevent one from getting a job in a government field. The government and the state is holding back information from us, and also redact the information that we are not “entitled” to, therefore, we have not done anything wrong when requesting information. I find it that if more students took the initiative to conduct the ATI/FOI requests on a topic that they are curious about, or want to know what has happen, they will be more accountability in the government. Bok makes a good point in her article when she states that “…public access to government information is indispensable in the long run for any democratic society”(Bok, S., 1989, P.179). We live in a democratic country in which we should be not be afraid to voice our concerns and opinions. ATI/FOI are great tools to get information and understanding about a topic, and brings in accountability in the government.

References:

Bok, S. (1989). Secrets: on the ethics of concealment and revelation. New York: Vintage
Books. – pp. 3-14 and pp. 171-190
Government of Canada (2014). Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Retrieved from https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc- eng.aspx?id=18310&section=text
Haggerty, K. D., & Ericson, R. V. (2006). The New Politics of Surveillance and
Visibility. In R. V. Ericson & K. D. Haggerty (Eds.), The new politics of
surveillance and visibility (pp. 3–25). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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Welcome Fall 2014 CRIM 3305 Students!

Welcome to Law and Society@Kwantlen. If you are enrolled in my CRIM 3305 Law & Society class in the Criminology Department of KPU, you will soon be a contributor to this blog. Please feel free to browse through the posts (written by students from previous classes) and get a feel for the place.

Your course syllabus (starting at p. 13) provides details on how to sign up for the blog. It should take a few minutes. Remember: you may post under your own name, or create an alias. My recommendation is to sign up as soon as possible, so that when you decide to write your first post you can dive right in.

In many ways, your posts for this blog will resemble short research and commentary papers. They will be responses to ‘food for thought’ questions that I will post throughout the semester. Unlike a traditional paper, though, the blog format allows you to embed video, images, and hyperlinks. It also means that your posts will be visible to a broader public audience, including your colleagues in the class. I will use the ‘comment’ function to add feedback in response to your posts, and you are encouraged to reply to my comments and to add comments in response to others’ posts.

Please stop by my office hours or speak to me during class if you have any technical questions about how to use this site.

Sincerely,

Mike Larsen

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State of Exception: Japanese Canadian Internment

Japanese Canadian Internment refers to the detention camps that were set up all over Canada during World War II; British Columbia was home to the largest camp grounds for the reason that B.C. was the closet province to Japan (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). These camps confined all Japanese people beginning in January 1942 due to the attack on the American Naval base in Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). The government had allowed the confinement of the Japanese Canadians without any charge some were even deported  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). The War Measures Act was enforced during this time in response to the attack and for the protection of the country; this act allows the government to gain powers deemed necessary in a state of war and evoke rights of those deemed a threat  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). This act normally affected males ranging from 18 – 45 years of age; however, women and children were being affected as well  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). Anyone of Japanese origin, who even owned land, had it confiscated from them. There was great fear that the coast lines were being monitored by Japanese for Japan’s Navy to make its way which resulted in restricting the presence of Japanese people near the coast line and if any had owned boats, they would be confiscated as well  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). There were roughly 29,000 Canadians of Japanese descent living in Canada during the time of the war; they already had very limited rights such as no right to vote and the right to various professions but they were still required to pay tax (Rita Dhamoon, 2009).  Racism towards Japanese people was evident before the WWII; however with this attack at Pearl Harbour, the legitimization of enacting the War Measures Act only increased the racism  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). Japanese Canadians were referred to as “enemy aliens” during this time.  Referring to the Japanese people as enemy aliens was a way to revoke any form of citizenship they had and were known as “a person of Japanese race” by the Federal government with the exception of a Japanese female who had married a Caucasian male  (Rita Dhamoon, 2009).

The living conditions on the camps were less than ideal but extremely harsh; some were placed in farm areas where people were living in barn yards and stables and others were living in poorly put together shacks made of thin planks and no insulation (McCallister, 2006). Families were crammed into shacks with little to no privacy at all and were expected to pay rent at times (McCallister, 2006). The locations of these camps were on mountains and areas where the weather during winter was extremely cold and with little form of protection from the heat (McCallister, 2006). The sanitization of the camps were also hazardous, there was not consideration whatsoever in providing any decent needs (McCallister, 2006). There was a communal tap for water in some camps and for those camps who were not provided with water, people had to go to nearby lakes or rivers for their supply (McCallister, 2006).

The actions of the Canadian government in 1942 to are a clear example of the government enacting sovereign power in the state of an exception; in this case it was a response to the attack on Pearl Harbour during World War II (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). The War Measures Act allows all the actions of the government towards the Japanese people found to be legal. After the attack it was found that the Japanese people residing in Canada may pose a potential threat during the war. There was fear of espionage and sabotage against the Canadian government which would make then the next target (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). Many Japanese people worked in fisheries and owned boats, an order was placed by the government that their boats be confiscated and banned from the coastal areas (Rita Dhamoon, 2009). There was fear that the Japanese Navy was making its way over and having Japanese people near the coast would pose a threat (Rita Dhamoon, 2009).  These were the main reasons for why such actions were taken against the Japanese people. Referring to the Japanese people as “enemy aliens” directly links to Agamben’s term homo sacar (Pavlich, 2011). This was the government’s way of riding the Japanese people of any status and placing them in a separate category of their own where they had no rights and were wanted out of sight by the Canadian government (Pavlich, 2011). The camps that the Japanese people were forced to reside on depicted the image of bare life; they were just there with very little (Pavlich, 2011). The necessities they received were of bare minimum, they were forced in the labour, and forced to pay for certain amenities while making little to no income. The poor conditions of the camps were the least of the governments concern, it is a normalized exceptionality as referred by Agamben; these camps allow for sovereign power to be exercised (Pavlich, 2011).

Various quotes retrieved from http://canadianjapaneseinternmentcamps.wordpress.com/

Roy Ito, We Went to War. The Story of Japanese Canadians Who Served During the First and Second World Wars. 1984.

“The deep rooted fear and hatred of the Japanese that went back for half a century had climaxed in a manner that was perhaps inevitable. The animosity had been nurtured by many men, twisting facts and playing upon racial prejudice until the people of British Columbia perceived the distortions as the truth.” 

Angus MacInnes, Member of Parliament from British Columbia, 1943.

“I see no reason why we should deal with the population of Japanese origin among us any differently from the way in which we deal with those of German and Italian extraction. If we deal with them differently – and we have done so – we do it an account of racial prejudice.”

Prime Minister Mackenzie King, House of Commons, 1944.

“The sound policy and the best policy for the Japanese Canadians themselves is to distribute widely as possible throughout the country where they will not create feelings of racial hostility.” 

Kitagawa, Muriel. Letter to the Custodian of Enemy Property, 1943

“You, who deal in lifeless figures, files, and statistics, could never measure the depth of hurt and outrage dealt out to those of us who love this land. It is because we are Canadians that we protest the violation of our birthright.”

Kogawa, Joy. Naomi’s Road, 1986

“Every morning I wake up in a narrow bunk bed by the stove. I wish and wish we could go home. I don’t want to be in this house of the bears with newspaper walls. I want to be with Mommy and Daddy and my doll in our real house. I want to be in my own room where the picture bird sings above my head….But no matter how hard I wish, we don’t go home.”

Thomas Reid, Member of Parliament for New Westminster, January 15, 1942

“Take them back to Japan. They do not belong here, and here, and there is only one solution to the problem. They cannot be assimilated as Canadians for no matter how long the Japanese remain in Canada they will always be Japanese.”

Takashima, Shizuye. A Child in a Prison Camp, 1971

“I have to pay taxes, but have never been allowed to vote. Even now, they took our land, our houses, our children, everything. We are their enemies.”

Japanese Canadian Centennial Project, 1978.

“Let us break this self-damaging silence and own our own history. If we do not, estrangement from our past will be absorbed and driven deeper, surfacing as a fragmentation in ourselves and coming generations.”

 Bibliography

McCallister, K. (2006). Photographs of a Japanese Canadian internment camp:mourning loss and invoking a future. International Visual Sociology Association, 133-156.

(2011). Contested Sovereignties, Violence, and Law. In G. Pavlich, Law and Society: Redefined (pp. 152-166). Ontario: Oxford University Press.

Rita Dhamoon, Y. A.-L. (2009). Dangerous (Internal) Foreigners and Nation-Building: The Case of Canada. International Political Science Review, 163-183.

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Law, Sovereign Power, and States of Exception

The case study I have will review that provides the invocation of a state of exception is the 9/11 terrorists attack on the United States. On September 11, 2001 a terrorist group hijacked four planes, two of which they flew into two skyscrapers in New York City, another plane into the Pentagon destroying a part of it, and the fourth plan crashed in Pennsylvania. The death toll amounted to nearly 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks. The President of the United States at the time of attack was George W. Bush and as a result Bush declared a state of emergency, “Now, therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of American, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the law of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001” (Washington’s Blog, 2010).

This historical case of a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States demonstrates the exercise of sovereign power and the creation of a state of exception firstly by the public’s understanding that once President Bush proclaimed a national emergency he active some 500 dormant legal provisions, including those allowing him to impose censorship and martial law. These provisions include enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal constitutional processes, enabling the President to “assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; restrict travel; and in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American Citizens” (Washington’s Blog, 2010).

President Bush launched the war on terrorism on September 20, 2001; he launched 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan to deal with terrorist groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The President also established an office of Homeland Security within the presidential Executive Office, leading to Homeland Security creating a Terrorism Screening Center to “consolidate the Government’s approach to terrorism screening.” As a result the No Fly List has been increasing with names of people preventing them from flying because they are now on the Terrorist Watch List, primarily due to having an Arabic sounding name. Homeland Security has also increased the security screenings ongoing at the airport, and there have been multiple expensive additions to ensure the likes of 9/11 do not repeat. I strongly believe that since the President has the power to decide on an exception, such as declaring a state of emergency, I argue that the President either intentionally or unintentionally created international racism towards Muslims, Sikhs, Hindu’s, and other South Asian races. This was executed by declaring publicly that Muslim faith was directly associated and valued by the terrorists, on international television about Muslim belief’s, and how these terrorists were believers of Allah, but besmirched Allah. The President did state that Muslim religion was respected and practiced amongst many in the world including the United States, but this created tension moreover solving the issue and placed blame and slandered the religion and it’s followers. This is a display of sovereign power, starting from George Bush and leading to mass incarcerations of Muslim’s, new stereotypes being created, innocent people placed on no fly lists, and the general society around the entire world gaining a new negative perception of Muslim’s and people who they believed are of Muslim faith. It would never be possible to generalize a certain race on such harsh assumptions until a sovereign declared so, thus leading to the term terrorist and Muslim becoming synonymous around the world after this state of emergency was declared.

Through this exercise of sovereign power and creation of a state of exception the President created a United States military prison, referred to as Guantanamo Bay, located in Cuba that was established to detain dangerous prisoners, interrogate them and prosecute prisoners for war crimes. A prison run by the United States placed in Cuba by state of exception by the President of the United States. This prison was also a forefront of punishment to captives believed to be associated with terrorists groups, they were detained, stripped of their bare life; homo sacer essentially losing all their rights. Detainee’s could be held indefinitely, they had lost their status, basically creating a legal black hole where the detainee’s had no choice but to do as they were told by the United States government officials, until they had enough information to release these individuals.

This sovereign power was justified rhetorically through an appeal of necessity, from the President at the time George W. Bush stating “I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these building down will hear all of us soon.” On September 11, 2001 George Bush was told “American is under attack,” and Bush said he then thought “They had declared war on us, and I made up my mind at that moment that we were going to war” (Walsh, 2008). This sole sentence portrays sovereign power, one individual waging war against terrorism and immediately initiating tactics such as sending U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, and approving harsh interrogation techniques.

In a conference broadcasted around the world, I have provided a YouTube link for the speech where President Bush states to the Taliban publically to deliver to the United States authorities, all the leaders of Al Qaeda who hide in their land and to also hand over every terrorist and in their support structure to the appropriate authorities. President Bush states “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people,” (Patriotic quotes, 2001) I enjoy this quote because it clearly depicts the issue of declaring a state of emergency and the simplicity of declaring a war on terror by Mr. Bush himself in comparison to a permission slip, that elementary students get filled out by their parents to go on a field trip, this comparison is directly linked to George Bush as sovereign power and does not need to seek permission, he can do as he pleases simply by stating national emergency for U.S. troops and sending them on a “field trip” to Afghanistan and Iraq.

YouTube links:

References:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/yes-america-is-still-in-an-official-state-of-emergency

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/12/09/the-war-on-terror-is-critical-to-president-george-w-bushs-legacy

http://www.usa-patriotism.com/quotes/bush-gw.htm

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War Measures Act and the Japanese Internment

On December 7 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, an American Naval Base in Hawaii. This attack led to drastic responses of the Government of Canada as well as the B.C. Provincial Government. The Federal Cabinet Minister from British Columbia, at the time, Ian Mackenzie responded with what is now viewed as an illustration of direct racism and promotion of hatred towards a population.

“It is the government’s plan to get these people out of B.C. as fast as possible. It is my personal intention, as long as I remain in public life, to see they never come back here. Let our slogan be for British Columbia: No Japs from the Rockies to the seas.'”

(Mackenzie, 1941)

This attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbour brought upon a fear that Japanese Canadians anywhere near the West Coast would pose a threat to the safety of Canadians; although this was not felt by all members of society. Even the Royal Canadian Navy and the RCMP did not believe that this was the case and deemed the Japanese population not be a substantial threat to national security or to the British Columbia population (Taylor, 2004). The Prime minister at the time, despite this knowledge, or lack thereof, ordered the Japanese Canadian population to “be treated in the same way as nationals from Germany or Italy” (Taylor, 2004, p. 9).

William Lyon Mackenzie King utilized his powers on January 14, 1942 under the War Measures Act in order to deal with those who were deemed, by him and other high-ranking individuals, to be enemies of the state. The War Measures Act is a Canadian Statute introduced in 1914 that gives the cabinet absolute authority to do what is thought to be needed in order to ensure the “security, defense, peace, order and welfare of Canada”. As the Prime Minister it gives him the power to set out laws for specific areas or groups that violate existing laws and the charter. Mackenzie King passed the order in council that restricted Japanese individuals from being located within 100 miles of the Western Coast of B.C. This was declared and decided by the person with sovereign power thereby following Carl Schmitt as the sovereign is the individual who can define an exception. This is directly linked to the prime minister utilizing the war measures act to invoke laws upon the Japanese population in Canada that were in clear violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

The Second aspect of this decision by William Lyon Mackenzie King is that of him directly deciding the actions of what was to occur with the Japanese population. This was the placement of these individuals in internment camps such as the one that was set up at Hastings Park where they Japanese were forced to sleep in barns or outdoors. This was among other internment camps that were created that humiliated and excluded the Japanese population from regular activities (Taylor, 2004). This decision from the sovereign also captured over 1,200 Japanese boats to keep them from being out off the coast as potential ways of getting messages 

On August 4th 1944 William Lyon Mackenzie King declared in the House of Commons that:back to Japan. This created a region, and laws in which the Japanese would be punished if they violated without specific allowance from the RCMP; which would last until the order of councils were revoked by the cabinet.

“It is a fact that no person of Japanese race born in Canada has been charged with any act of sabotage or disloyalty during the years of war.”

(Prime Minister Mackenzie King , 1944)

In September of 1988 the Prime Minister set out to make things right, Brian Mulroney with an address stating:

“I know that I speak for Members on all sides of the House today in offering to Japanese Canadians the formal and sincere apology of this Parliament for those past injustices against them, against their families, and against their heritage, and our solemn commitment and undertaking to Canadians of every origin that such violations will never again in this country be countenanced or repeated. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s remarks to the House of Commons, Sept. 22, 1988”

(Mulroney, 2008)

The Prime minster at the time of the incident, Mackenzie King, felt that his actions were in fact in the best interest of the Canadian people at the time of his decision. His address to the House of Commons in 1944 showed that no actions by any Japanese Canadians in any way tried to be a detriment to Canada during the war. Brian Mulroney was the Prime Minister who offered an apology for the occurrences and followed with a promise that similar incidents would not occur again. Both of these exemplify the realization from the sovereign that their actions were absolute yet they differ with regards to their overall view of what occurred.

References
Mackenzie, I. (1941). Japenese Internment. CBC News. Retrieved November 2013, from http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP14CH3PA3LE.html
Mulroney, B. (2008, October 29). 20th Anniversary of the Canadian Government’s Formal Apology for Japanese Internment during World War II. Retrieved 2013, from Government of Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/asian/20years-jap.asp
Prime Minister MacKenzie King . (1944, August 4). Retrieved from House of Commons address : http://www.japanesecanadianhistory.net/the_war_years.htm
Taylor, M. (2004). A Black Mark: The Japanese-Canadians in world war II. Oberon Press.

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by | December 5, 2013 · 2:47 am

Sovereign Power and State of Exception

As citizens of this country or any other country, we are subject to the rules and regulations of that country. These rules and regulations are what we agree to follow in order to be citizens of a country, it is somewhat like a contract that we enter into with the government in order to receive protection in exchange for things like, paying taxes, serving your country in war, being part of a jury, and obeying the laws of the country. We as Canadian citizens are fortunate enough to live under the protection of the charter of rights, however there are some individuals who are living in this country that are not citizens or considered “homo sacer” and therefore are not offered any of the rights that protect citizens. These individuals have not gained citizen statues and consist of migrants, refugees, and illegal immigrants. The government my also attempt to use it s powers to deport these individuals and use its powers to make that happens, however, these individuals are not helpless in these situations.

There are certain ways that individuals are able to exercise forms of resistance against the government in events such as deportation, for example, migrants may get rid of documents that are used as identification. By getting rid of these documents, these migrants make it more difficult for the government to carry out its deportation acts since the act of deporting an individual requires proper identifying documents. The requirement of these documents falls under the international legal order. Other forms of resistance can be: not paying taxes, and not serving the country during times of war.

The act of homo sacer does not simply exist for individuals who are not citizens of a country, citizens can also be stripped of their rights and fall under the status of homo sacer, for example if a citizen commits a crime that result in that persons rights being taken away. Another example of people who had their identities stripped were the Jewish during world war 2. Before being sent to the concentration camps, Jewish men and women were stripped of their legal rights by the government.  This suspension of rights would be referred to as a state of exception.

The state of exception is used by the government as a way to suspend the rights citizens, and gain control until that suspension is lifted. Although the government may claim that it is done for reasons of national safety, one is left to believe that it goes too far in terms of violating the basic human rights of individuals or in extreme cases using it as a tool for unethical practices such as the Nazi regime did. However, with this state of exception there is a great risk of resistance. If certain kinds of individuals or ethnic groups are having their rights violated chances are that these groups will unite and attempt to rectify this in different ways, that could ultimately result in violence.

When trying to address the ability of people to move from the status of homo sacer to a legal status without a decision from the sovereign, one is forced to believe that this is a near impossible task to do. Since it is the government that ultimately determines who is eligible to become a citizen, the chances of an individual who is an illegal immigrant, migrant, or refugee becoming a citizen are extremely low. The government needs to keep track of its citizens, and it does so through various forms of documentation, and in terms of gaining legal status without the decision of the sovereign it just does not seem likely without obtaining the proper documentation and identification. One would argue that without a decision being made from the government, then legal status is difficulty to obtain since it is the government that is responsible for granting and denying legal status, legal status granted from any other entity would simply be a meaningless title.

Resources:

Ellerman, A (N/A). Undocumented Migrants and Resistance in the State of Exception. University of British Columbia. 1-25. Retrived from http://aei.pitt.edu/33054/1/ellermann._antje.pdf

Ownbey, Carolyn (2013) “The Abandonment of Modernity: Bare Life and the Camp in Homo Sacer and Hotel Rwanda,” disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory: Vol. 22, Article 5. Retrived from: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/disclosure/vol22/iss1/5

Pavlich, George (2011). Law & Society Redefined. New York: Oxford University Press.

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