Basic freedoms cannot be abandoned in times of conflict, or can they? Are basic freedoms routinely forsaken during times when there are national security concerns? These questions present different conundrums for the legal profession, which generally values basic freedoms but is also part of the architecture of emergency legal frameworks.
Unleashing the Force of Law uses multi-jurisdiction empirical data and draws on cause lawyering, political lawyering and Bourdieusian juridical field literature to analyze the invocation of legal norms aimed at the protection of basic freedoms in times of national security tensions. It asks three main questions about the protection of basic freedoms. First, when do lawyers mobilize for the protection of basic freedoms? Second, in what kind of mobilization do they engage? Third, how do the strategies they adopt relate to the outcomes they achieve?
Covering the last five decades, the book focusses on the 1980s and the Noughties through an analysis of legal work for two groups of independence seekers in the 1980s, namely, Republican (mostly Catholic) separatists in Northern Ireland and Puerto Rican separatists in the US, and on post-9/11 issues concerning basic freedoms in both countries