“Neither legal interpretation nor the violence it occasions may be properly
understood apart from one another.” (Robert Cover)
Discuss Cover’s statement by reference to Judith A. Baer, (2011) ‘Feminist Theory
and the Law’ in The Oxford Handbook of Political Science, Robert E. Goodin, ed.
(OUP, 2011) and Remi Joseph–Salisbury, Laura Connelly and Peninah WangariJones (2020) ‘“The UK is not innocent”: Black Lives Matter, policing and abolition
in the UK’, 40 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal 21.
Law theories are essential to understand because they maintain law and order. The study of theoretical law is known as legal theory, and it is seen that considerable literature is available on the law and legal theories. The scholars have tried to explain the complex laws and the theories in the general form to understand the terms and conditions (Davies, 2017).
The legal theories require a deeper understanding of legal reasoning, legal systems, legal systems, and law in society. The legal assumptions and the legal theories are different for the different nations, but the common thing is to protect the people from the threats and provide them safety (Tebbit, 2017).
The authors have made efforts to bring out the productive material in law and legal theories. (Blake, 2004) has explained the mental disability law, and it has been seen that the social issues of disabled people are essential to understand. The author has published several practices and interventions through which the law can entertain the disabled persons of society. The author has explained the promising policies in the paper.
(Steven and Oklays, 2016) have conducted an experimental quantitative study. It has been observed that the paper reaches out to the readers to understand the duties and responsibilities of corporate lawyers. The authors interviewed almost 57 corporate lawyers, and their duties were evaluated .
The purpose of mentioning the readings and experiments from the different scholars is to make sure that the legal theories are diverse and used in different life fields. The legal theories are required to discuss the various legal aspects and assist the citizens in following the law for the betterment.
The purpose of the paper is to compare and contrast two of the notable readings regarding legal theory and the law. Robert M Cover is a well-known activist and law professor dealing with the law throughout his life. The main focus was to elaborate the violence and its effects on mankind.
He contributed a lot towards the legal theories and tried his best to make the people understand the nature of violence and the adverse effect on the world. He made a statement that became quite famous, and several scholars have published various papers in that context. He said that
“Neither legal interpretation nor the violence it occasions may be properly
understood apart from one another.” (Robert Cover)
The statement showed that the author had conveyed the message that violence and legal interpretation should not be overlapped because they are quite apart from one another. There is a need to understand them properly.
The violence does not occur occasionally, and the same is the case with the legal interpretation, but they are different and require proper understanding. The readers and the public must understand them. The violence is usually based on discrimination that may occur because of specific reasons (Daekin, 2017).
The statement by Robert has to be implemented in two of the readings where feminism and the black lives of the UK have been discussed. Judith A Baer has published an article known as Feminist Theory and Law, where she has explained the emergence of feminist law and the female’s efforts during the movement for their rights.
Male supremacy and dominance have always made women suffered from inferiority. Robert’s statement can be viewed in the context that male supremacy may seem like an ordinary matter for the male community. Still, the legal interpretation and the violence behind this dominance are not easy to ignore (Rhee, 2017).
Feminist theory and the law. In The Oxford handbook of political science
The feminists in America sat in a meeting in 1848, and they listed the factors that are compelling to reform the laws and the legal interpretation. It has been seen that the women were not allowed to have high education, they were not allowed to have a vote of marriage and divorce, and there were many other things that the women had faced.
The women came out as an advocate of their rights, and they have shown that the scholarship movement for feminists was their right because Robert has taught in his legal interpretations that pain and violence cannot be stopped till the efforts are made to do so. The feminists have always tried to maintain equality between both sexes because the legal interpretations and legal theories have never defined that the male is superior to the women.
Violence is never the product of women, but the feminists had proved that they wanted their rights, and they will strive hard to bring the changes in policies and laws. American feminists adopted the good approach to feminism as they came out with innovations and ideas for the equality of both genders.
As explained by Baer in her article, the presence of bias has always referred to male dominance, and women are seen as a matter of violence and harassment. The violence needs to be stopped, and rights are given. Robert’s statement has a message for everyone, including the women, that life does not require to be ended in pain, but it requires raising the voice for their rights and dying with the satisfaction that they are equal to men.
The author has explained various examples where the feminists came forward to distinguish women’s place in society and make sure that they are equal to men. The laws defining human rights have always used the term humans instead of men, so the feminists came out with the ambition that equal rights and equity between the two genders are always a matter of great concern.
The concept of gendered equality needs to be achieved because Robert’s statement showed that violence does not occasionally occur if it is not stopped. It needs to be stopped, and the women need to raise their voices. Otherwise, things may get worse.
The author has discussed another essential concept, and it is about sameness vs. difference in the sexes. It has been seen that gender bias and differences exist in the sexes since the beginning, and the world has seen several advancements and trends have bee shifted to modernism, but the dominance of males never ends.
The dominance has always brought violence in society, and legal interpretations are brutally ignored. The author has elaborated the details of the difference of sameness vs. difference. The early version of difference vs. sameness started a debate of gender equality in the law. Robert has spent the whole life in the law’s implementation, and he tried for the equality of law and legal theories throughout his life.
He has seen that life cannot be easy for women if they are not given equality. The feminist movement and the advocates are making the right approach by raising the voices for their rights. Moving on, there are two types of arguments found in the literature.
Some scholars believe that if gender equality is to be implemented, women should not be treated with unique benefits and behavior. Still, they should be equally treated like men under the law. On the other hand, other experts believe that women require special behavior and incentives in society.
They are fragile, and they should be treated differently. Throughout the article, Robert’s statement can be implemented to favor that the women are not fragile, but the violence should not be tolerated. The legal interpretations and the laws should be implemented in society at all levels (Baer, 2009).
“The UK is not innocent”: Black Lives Matter, policing and abolition in the UK” by Joseph Salisbury
Coming towards the second article, “The UK is not innocent”: Black Lives Matter, policing and abolition in the UK” by Joseph Salisbury. The author has claimed that racial discrimination is not the issue of the USA, but the UK seems not to be innocent in this context.
Violence and racial discrimination are commonly found in the UK, where black lives are threatened. Black lives are found everywhere, and debate on the rights of black lives has existed since the start. The matter of great concern is to know why blacks are considered inferior to whites.
Robert has talked about violence in his statement, and the word violence can be discussed in a broader context. The blacks are always the subject of violence in society, and they have to face the brutal cruelties and behavior of whites and other races in the society. Discrimination is seen in every nation and every society.
The author has analyzed the black lives protest and the meaning of protest in the UK. The blacks have started the protests, and they have been raining their voices for rights since the revolution of the 21st century. It is to be noted that they had protested a lot in the previous ages but could not get a positive response so far.
The article has started with an emotional incident of the death of George Floyd that causes considerable tension and anger among the blacks, and it leads them to start the series of protests in the UK. Undoubtedly, blacks have already been facing severe threats to their survival in different communities. Still, the murders and the cruel behavior in the United Kingdom were intolerable, and the blacks came out of their houses to protests against it.
The initial paragraphs of the article have determined that the author has talked about the discrimination in the context of Robert’s statement that claims that the violence should not be tolerated. Still, there should be efforts against it, and people should know about their rights.
It is heartbreaking to know that the police always have a bad connection with the blacks, and there have been specific issues that blacks face in the name of so-called justice and the investigation. There are only 27 days in 2019 where the police avoid killing someone in the United States.
The violence has been excessively seen in the UK and USA as the blacks have to suffer from police brutality and murders by police 1908 times more than the whites. The whites and blacks both are discriminated against since the start, and the blacks must not sit calmly on the discriminative behavior with them.
Thinking about the causes of such behavior, it has been seen that the color of skin judges blacks and the so-called standards of society have started the discrimination. Robert’s statement and the article agree that the protection of rights is necessary, and violence should not be tolerated.
Another perspective is that violence is remote and unreal, and it cannot be felt until it is experienced. Two aspects have to be seen and explained by Robert Cover, and these include the whites often underrate that violence because they do not feel it and do not have experience about it, so it seems unreal and remote to them. It is further seen that the legal interpretations are also seen as unexpected because it is seen that only blacks have to experience the pain and the violence (Salisbury, 2020).
Analyzing both the articles, it is found that the female and blacks both have to face discrimination at various levels, and it seems not to be ended till they come out for the survival of their rights. Though they have been out and making efforts to get their rights, it seems impossible because of the remoteness of violence and the experience of pain by the victims. It is seen that the criminals and the powerful community should avoid discrimination and should not be triggered towards the biasness.
Robert Cover is one of the successful activists and he has made a huge success in his early life. He has always talked about the violence and the legal interpretations. The experiences of violence are adverse and the pain often leads to death. So, it is the right of everyone to be the part of just and equal system.
It is seen that Cover’s statement can be implemented in the justice and equality system. It is known that the women and blacks often have to face the pain that nobody can imagine except them. They are usually taken for granted and the legal rights are often underrated. So, they should be given equal rights and they should be given the justice. The racial discrimination should be ended and the people should behave equal with them.
Baer, J. A. (2009). Feminist theory and the law. In The Oxford handbook of political science.
Davies, M. (2017). Law unlimited. Taylor & Francis.
Deakin, S., Gindis, D., Hodgson, G. M., Huang, K., & Pistor, K. (2017). Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of law. Journal of Comparative Economics, 45(1), 188-200.
Joseph–Salisbury, R., Connelly, L., & Wangari-Jones, P. (2020). “The UK is not innocent”: Black Lives Matter, policing and abolition in the UK. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.
Meredith Blake, and Aandrew Ashworth, ‘Ethics and the Criminal Defence Lawyer’ (2004) Legal Ethics 7:2, 167-189.
Rhee, R. J. (2017). A legal theory of shareholder primacy. Minn. L. Rev., 102, 1951.
Steven Vaughan & Emma Oakley ‘Gorilla exceptions’ and the ethically apathetic corporate lawyer, (2016) Legal Ethics, 19:1, 50-75
Tebbit, M. (2017). Philosophy of law: An introduction. Taylor & Francis.