Keeping Hold of Justice

Encounters between Law and Colonialism
Jennifer Balint, Julie Evans, Nesam McMillan, and Mark McMillan


Keeping Hold of Justice focuses on a select range of encounters between law and colonialism from the early nineteenth century to the present. It emphasizes the nature of colonialism as a distinctively structural injustice, one which becomes entrenched in the social, political, legal, and discursive structures of societies and thereby continues to affect people’s lives in the present. It charts, in particular, the role of law in both enabling and sustaining colonial injustice and in recognizing and redressing it. In so doing, the book seeks to demonstrate the possibilities for structural justice that still exist despite the enduring legacies and harms of colonialism. It puts forward that these possibilities can be found through collaborative methodologies and practices, such as those informing this book, that actively bring together different disciplines, peoples, temporalities, laws and ways of knowing. They reveal law not only as a source of colonial harm but also as a potential means of keeping hold of justice. 

“In short, Keeping Hold of Justice makes a sophisticated and innovative contribution to multiple fields and most especially to sociolegal studies.”
—Susan F. Hirsch, George Mason University

“The authors’ encouragement to take the methodology, and to apply it across different arenas of law, meant I related their ideas to my own thinking and my research. It is an inspiring text . . . There is no book that is comparable, in terms of its connections between transitional justice, international justice, and the role of law in colonialism.”
—Elizabeth Stanley, Victoria University Wellington

Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies in Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences, at the University of Melbourne.

Julie Evans is Principal Fellow of Melbourne Law School and Criminology, School of Social and Political Sciences, at the University of Melbourne.

Mark McMillan is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Education and Engagement at RMIT University.

Nesam McMillan is Senior Lecturer in Global Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Product Details

  • 218 pages.
  • 4 b&w photos.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12627-9

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  • Law; colonialism; Justice; Structural injustice; structural justice; Collaborative methodology; Settler colonialism; Minutes of Evidence; Law and history; art; postcolonialism; legal archives; Indigenous law; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda;