Peter Goodrich has written an extensive review of Alain Supiot’s Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law in the Modern Law Review.
“What is important to Supiot and what needs to be stressed is that dogmatics potentially provides a space within which to conduct a debate about the social value of specific institutions, and now of network or relay. Dogmatics should not be understood as a substantive set of beliefs or practices, prophecies or revelations, so much as it should be apprehended as a space for a certain species of deliberation, for an openness to the questioning of institutional claims to authority and the diverse exercises of social power. Where the market impacts lives, where conflicting interests potentially change the social structure, then there needs to be a safe or at the least a rationally designated, structured social space within which to address the competing values and the potential consequences of corporate or individual practice. Put most simply, legal dogmatics, the work of the jurist, is a bulwark against the not uncommon fantasies of subjective or corporate omnipotence. As Supiot puts it, the first act of the totalitarian is to kill the juridical subject and in effect to abolish the law. Such is the classical state of iustitium, of suspension of law during which time the will of the sovereign is all, without deliberation and undisputed by any other institution.”