Marlene Dumas, The benefit of the doubt (Rechtbank ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 1998)

Court judgments cannot be analysed merely as law, but also as text. Analysing the ambiguities, inconsistencies, the silences and neurotic repetitions in these judgments/texts allows for different kinds of analysis than those made possible by restricting the analysis to the legal take-away. While this genre of analysis is decidedly doctrinal, its focus is on how the legal outcomes of judgments are made to be obvious and self-evident. In my work I use such analysis to better understand case law on irregular migration (Coloniality and Recent European Migration Case Law, 2022; Bifurcation of people, bifurcation of law, 2018; Analysing European Case Law on Migration, 2014; Structural Instability, 2009) and on gender (Gender, Sexuality, Asylum and European Human Rights, 2018; Gender and Refugee Status, 1999), while I have also applied it to expose the pro-state bias in the case law of the highest Dutch court in migration and asylum cases (Het hoger beroep in vreemdelingenzaken, 2002; De Nederlandse rechter in het vreemdelingenrecht, 2014).

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VU researchers working on related topics: Marcelle Reneman.