Policy Press

Racial Justice and the Limits of Law

By Bharat Malkani

Published

Apr 23, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529230741

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 23, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529230734

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 23, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529230758

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Apr 23, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1529230758

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Racial Justice and the Limits of Law

Racial justice is never far from the headlines. The Windrush scandal, the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, and racism within the police have all recently captured the public’s attention and generated legal action. But, although the ideals of the legal system such as fairness and equality seem allied to the struggle for racial justice, all too often campaigners have been let down by the system.

This book examines law’s troubled relationship with racial justice. It explains that law’s historical role in creating and perpetuating racial injustices continues to stifle its ability to advance the cause of racial justice today.

Both a lawyer’s guide to antiracism, and an antiracist’s guide to legal action, it unites these perspectives to help both groups understand how to use the law to tackle racial injustices.

"Malkani authoritatively deploys critical race theory to construct an engrossing history of litigation challenges to the violence of slavery, colonialism, and immigration control. This is an account of the successes and failures of those who use the law in pursuit of racial justice that is at once sobering and uplifting.” Patricia Tuitt, independent legal academic and Vice-Chair, Executive Committee, Liberty

"An essential read for anyone who is interested in issues of race, racism, and antiracism. Malkani navigates several registers beyond law with ease and demonstrates an inimitable grasp of how law is both implicated in and perhaps also a route to racial justice. ... an invaluable reminder in our current times when law seems hopelessly complicit in racism."

Shreya Atrey, University of Oxford

“Shifting between law’s role in constructing racial hierarchies and law’s function in confining racial justice, the book offers a compelling and thorough analysis of antiracism in contemporary legal relations.” Shaimaa Abdelkarim, University of Birmingham

Bharat Malkani is Reader in Law at Cardiff University. His research connects human rights with criminal justice, with a particular focus on racism, miscarriages of justice and the death penalty. He has published widely on these topics, and has engaged with lawyers, charities, policy makers and international organisations on a variety of human rights and criminal justice issues.

Foreword by Leslie Thomas KC

Introduction

1. Racial Justice and Law: A Paradoxical Relationship

2. Racial Justice and Law: The Colonial Era

3. Racial Justice and Law: The 1900s and 2000s

4. The Use of Law to Tackle Racial Injustices: Contemporary Struggles

5.: Antiracist Lawyering

Conclusion