Suspended in Gaffa: legal slowness in the acceleration society 1
This chapter focuses on the interaction between social acceleration, law and the judiciary. Times are changing and social acceleration, as is extensively theorized by Hartmut Rosa, has become a structural feature of contemporary society. Law, in a modern society, makes a substantial contribution to the dynamic stabilization of that society. The time differential, between slow law and its fast(er) societal environment, denotes the nature of the relationship between law and the rest of society in terms of legal slowness. The (re)production of legal operations requires a different amount of time than those of the economy, or of politics, and so on. This Eigenzeit, the temporality inherent in the systemic processes, is in fact the manifestation of the temporal autonomy of a system. The discrepancy between the moderate tempo of law and the accelerating tempo of society urges an inquiry into the state of the authority and autonomy of the judiciary and the legal system.