This terrible thing we’re witnessing now is
Not unique; you know it happened before
We’re not at a loss how to think about it
We’re not without guidance…
Anne Carson, Antigonick (2012).
International law can, and times has, involved the performance of another way of living with, of accepting, uncertainty…
Anne Orford, The Destiny of International Law (2005).
We in the postcolony currently inhabit times constituted by the aftermaths of the catastrophic failures and tragic reversals of countless projects of global redemption and by the bereavement of their promised futures. As Simon Critchley observes, the experience of disorientation produced by such tragedies acutely raises the problem of action: “[E]xpressed in one bewildered and repeated question . . . what shall I do?” This essay takes this problem as its central concern by asking specifically how international lawyers should act in these “tragic times.”