Volume 11, 2001
Social and Political Philosophy
On the Limits of Law at Century’s End
In this paper, I examine the generally accepted idea that law has definite limits to what it can be used to achieve. Toward this end, I discuss the limits of law as suggested by the Truth Commissions and the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC), and summarize the divergences between law and the TRC. I suggest reasons why law may not serve or may underserve the purpose of healing and reconciliation in our time and conclude that the TRC is at best a reminder to us of the limits of law as a principle of social ordering.