Grasping Legal Time. Temporality and European Migration Law

January 26, 2023

12:00-2:00 PM (EST)

Lecture by Martijn Stronks, Assistant Professor of Migration Law, Amsterdam Centre of Migration and Refugee Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Moderated by Ayelet Shachar, R.F. Harney Chair in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies

Time is one of the most important means for the exercise of power. In migration law, it is used for disciplining and controlling the presence of migrants within a certain territory through the intricate interplay of two overlapping but contradicting understandings of time – human and clock time. This lecture explored both the success and limitations of the usage of time for the governance of migration. The virtues of legal time can be seen at work in several temporal differentiations in migration law: differentiation based on temporality, deadlines, qualification of time and procedural differentiation. Martijn Stronks contests that, hidden in the usage of legal time in migration law, there is an argument for the inclusion of migrants on the basis of their right to human time. This assertion is based in the finite, irreversible and unstoppable character of human time which is to be distinguished from the general character of clock and calendar time.

Martijn Stronks is Assistant Professor of Migration Law at the Amsterdam Centre of Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on the legal and philosophical underpinning of the regulation of international mobility. His book Grasping Legal Time. Temporality and European Migration Law appeared in the Asylum and Migration Studies Series of Cambridge University Press in 2022. Martijn is currently starting a project focusing on the human right to time.

Co-sponsored by the Global Migration Lab, Munk School, and the Transformations of Citizenship, Leibniz Research Group, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Lecture recording