Memory Laws: Mapping a New Subject in Comparative Law and Transitional Justice
Forthcoming in U. Belavusau & Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias (eds.), Law and Memory: Towards Legal Governance of History (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
29 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2017 Last revised: 25 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 1, 2017
This research paper is a draft version of the forthcoming introductory chapter for the volume “Law and Memory” published by Cambridge University Press (2017). The paper, in its first section, systemizes the genesis and history of memory laws, and explains the proliferation of this Western phenomenon within diverse legal systems. It traces the role of the Holocaust in the turn to law within both international and national regimes after World War II. The paper also examines the mechanics of that spillover in various legal settings. In the second section of their introduction, the editors summarize accounts presented in the aforementioned book, and explore claims about the benefits and flaws of legal intervention into the marketplace of historical ideas. In conclusion, they ponder the current place and prospects of memory laws as a dynamic subject of both law and transitional justice. That subject is driven by continuous inter-disciplinary input from lawyers, historians, and scholars from various branches of social sciences.
Keywords: Memory laws, politics of memory, duty to remember, historical memory, transnational justice, right to truth, freedom of speech, censorship, genocide denial, Holocaust denial
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