Preface for: Kafka's Law: 'The Trial' and American Criminal Justice

Preface in Kafka's Law: "The Trial" and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-35

53 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2014

Date Written: August 25, 2014

Abstract

Justice Kennedy famously claimed that Kafka's great work, "The Trial," expressed the reality of the American criminal justice system, at least from the defendant's point of view. This essay, the first sections a book just released by the University of Chicago Press, first summarizes the book's argument that the Justice got it just right, and then provides a close reading of "The Trial." This reading agrees with Hannah Arendt's view that the novel is centrally about institutional issues of justice and that it provides an "organizational gothic" vision of contemporary bureaucratic governance in criminal procedure.

Keywords: Kafka, Trial, Criminal Justice, Police Interrogation, Prosecution

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Burns, Robert P., Preface for: Kafka's Law: 'The Trial' and American Criminal Justice (August 25, 2014). Preface in Kafka's Law: "The Trial" and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2014) ; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2480479

Robert P. Burns (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6613 (Phone)
312-503-8977 (Fax)

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