Law, space and power: spatiality in the European Court of Human Rights judgments on homosexuality

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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which technologies of power, and their operation in and through spaces, constitute ‘deviance’ in central cases on homosexuality of the European Court of Human Rights. To do this, the article deploys two concepts from Michel Foucault: heterotopia and panopticon. The European Court of Human Rights has sometimes been accused of dealing with cases relating to homosexuality in terms of the public/private dichotomy. Both heterotopia and panopticon question this division and show that this division is not as clear as is sometimes portrayed. While spatial arrangements affect the ways in which an individual is defined as ‘deviant’, the spatial analysis also illustrates the ways in which legal cases can be considered heterotopic themselves, this way contributing also to the discussions about the relationship between law and disciplinary power.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGender, Place & Culture
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • heterotopia
  • homosexuality
  • law
  • Michel Foucault
  • panopticon

Field of science

  • Law

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