Open Access

Inside the State, against the State

The Critical Use of Legal Means by NGO Advocates inside French Immigration Detention Centres

Nicolas Fischer

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Nicolas Fischer, Inside the State, against the State (20.04.2024), Beltz Juventa, 69469 Weinheim, ISSN: 0341-1966, 2022 #1, S.53


Beschreibung / Abstract

Drawing on document analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, this paper analyzes the tensions and paradoxes experienced by lawyers from an independent Human Rights organisation who daily work inside a French immigration detention centre, and provide legal relief to deportable immigrants awaiting their forced removal. On the one hand, these lawyers are activists who see their own job as one of critical advocacy which leads them to legally challenge deportation orders before court. But this mission, on the other hand, is an official one, and compels them to join the regular team of the centre and accept its rules. This strictly legalist perspective is both a strength and a limit to their everyday action, and modifies their capacity to change the fate of detained immigrants.

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