Grasping Legal Time: A Legal and Philosophical Analysis of the Role of Time in European Migration Law.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VUAcademic

Abstract

This book is about time, law and migrants. It consists of a legal and philosophical scrutiny into the question: why do migrants receive stronger rights over the course of time in European migration law? That migrants receive stronger rights over time is easily proven, much more difficult is the question why this is so, or even, what time is and what it means in law.

In order to answer these questions the author first attempts to disentangle the meaning of time in European migration law. He argues that although time is commonly perceived to refer merely to the clock, the reference to human time remains hidden. In the latter perception, time is not understood as the lapse of time on a clock, but rather, the focus is on the lived experience of a human being. Moreover, human time is marked by temporality, the need for a temporal present that implies a past and a future. It is in a moment, that one can discern the past from the future.

In this book, it is argued that legal time combines human time and clock time. While legal terms clearly refer to clock time, law takes temporality from human time. Only at a legal moment, that fixates the relevant past and creates a reasonable expectation of the future, can a legal decision be made. Since the general legal rule should always be transposed to the concrete circumstances of the case, a legal decision is necessary and therefore a fixated moment is required..

The clear problem is that time goes on, and circumstances change. Although the list of legal measures to deal with lapse of time is sheer and endless, law can never fully grasp it. This slippery character of time is both success and pitfall of a legal system that seeks control over its subjects. The legal analysis in this book bears witness to the legal possibilities for manipulating time to reach different policy ends. At the same time, it clearly shows that migrants nevertheless generally receive stronger rights over time.

It is within this quandary that the question why migrants receive stronger rights, is situated. In the philosophical part of this book this question is addressed by a scrutiny of the relation between time and the migrant’s identity, and time and legal control. The author argues that in order to have an understanding of the durable identity of a migrant who lives in a given territory, it should reflect his temporal experiences. When people live over a longer time in a certain place, their experiences will slowly but gradually become part of their identity. In order to find their way around, they will endeavour to grasp the streaming reality in which they live. They will identity the people they meet and the surrounding environment. Yet, the point is, that slowly but surely this understanding will become evident, whereas it is still needed, it will slowly sink to the background of one’s life. Simply because people cannot have equal attention for everything, all the time. Over the course of time, experiences will become selbstverständlich, the author argues. They will become a selbstverständlich part of their lives and identities. And it is this very Selbstverständlichkeit that holds together someone’s identity over time, as the implied meaning of a live that comes along with every narrative explication of it. The author claims that as long as someone is present in a territory, over the course of time this will imply that his experiences with ‘others and the outside world’ will become slowly but gradually selbstversändlich.

Yet, this is only one part of the answer. If it is a convincing understanding of the relation between time and the migrant’s changing identity, this is in itself not an argument why the law should acknowledge this change with the grant of a (stronger) residence permit. Since the entire project is based on a non-normative approach, the author searches for an argument for the legal inclusion of this “changing” migrant in the relation between time and legal control. The starting point for the analysis is the observation that legal control of the presence of irregular migrants is based on two contradictory understandings of migration law.

On the one side it is argued that irregular migrants should never be regularized since that would undermine the system of migration control. On the other side it is suggested that a system that neglects actual life within the territory, loses its force. The author argues that in both situations time can become a problem of legal control over the presence of migrants in the territory. On the one hand the presence of migrants residing unlawfully in the territory over a long period of time shows a lack of force to remove them, and hereby control the entry and stay in the territory. On the other hand, if residence permits were automatically donated after a lapse of time who does not to those disobeying the initial decision to refuse entry would seriously affect the power of state control at the earlier moment. So both scenarios lead to lack of control and the author argues that this cannot be resolved for it reflects the enigma of time. One cannot simultaneously grasp streaming time and the moment of time.

Yet, in this enigma, the key for the central question of this research is to be found. Within the troublesome relationship of time, identity and law, a solution is offered as to why migrants receive stronger residence entitlements over the course of time. The proposed answer is: because the temporal experiences of migrant’s within a territory become inevitably a selbstverständlich part of their identity, therefore, they become entangled with the identity of others. Over time it becomes more difficult to disentangle the lives of the people living in a territory. Their lives within the territory will gradually become more and more distinct from the initial legal categorisation. The grant of stronger rights to these people is a means of regaining control while acknowledging the changed situation (and consequently, immediately losing control). Granting stronger rights to migrants is therefore the regularization of lawful resident migrants in order to prevent loss of control over the course of time.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Battjes, H., Supervisor
  • Slingenberg, Lieneke, Co-supervisor
  • Groot, G.A.M., Co-supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date3 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017

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migration
migrant
time
Law
residence permit
experience
grant
time experience

Cite this

@phdthesis{cf0e6828ef6c439ba4d92cd275ab431c,
title = "Grasping Legal Time: A Legal and Philosophical Analysis of the Role of Time in European Migration Law.",
abstract = "This book is about time, law and migrants. It consists of a legal and philosophical scrutiny into the question: why do migrants receive stronger rights over the course of time in European migration law? That migrants receive stronger rights over time is easily proven, much more difficult is the question why this is so, or even, what time is and what it means in law. In order to answer these questions the author first attempts to disentangle the meaning of time in European migration law. He argues that although time is commonly perceived to refer merely to the clock, the reference to human time remains hidden. In the latter perception, time is not understood as the lapse of time on a clock, but rather, the focus is on the lived experience of a human being. Moreover, human time is marked by temporality, the need for a temporal present that implies a past and a future. It is in a moment, that one can discern the past from the future.In this book, it is argued that legal time combines human time and clock time. While legal terms clearly refer to clock time, law takes temporality from human time. Only at a legal moment, that fixates the relevant past and creates a reasonable expectation of the future, can a legal decision be made. Since the general legal rule should always be transposed to the concrete circumstances of the case, a legal decision is necessary and therefore a fixated moment is required.. The clear problem is that time goes on, and circumstances change. Although the list of legal measures to deal with lapse of time is sheer and endless, law can never fully grasp it. This slippery character of time is both success and pitfall of a legal system that seeks control over its subjects. The legal analysis in this book bears witness to the legal possibilities for manipulating time to reach different policy ends. At the same time, it clearly shows that migrants nevertheless generally receive stronger rights over time. It is within this quandary that the question why migrants receive stronger rights, is situated. In the philosophical part of this book this question is addressed by a scrutiny of the relation between time and the migrant’s identity, and time and legal control. The author argues that in order to have an understanding of the durable identity of a migrant who lives in a given territory, it should reflect his temporal experiences. When people live over a longer time in a certain place, their experiences will slowly but gradually become part of their identity. In order to find their way around, they will endeavour to grasp the streaming reality in which they live. They will identity the people they meet and the surrounding environment. Yet, the point is, that slowly but surely this understanding will become evident, whereas it is still needed, it will slowly sink to the background of one’s life. Simply because people cannot have equal attention for everything, all the time. Over the course of time, experiences will become selbstverst{\"a}ndlich, the author argues. They will become a selbstverst{\"a}ndlich part of their lives and identities. And it is this very Selbstverst{\"a}ndlichkeit that holds together someone’s identity over time, as the implied meaning of a live that comes along with every narrative explication of it. The author claims that as long as someone is present in a territory, over the course of time this will imply that his experiences with ‘others and the outside world’ will become slowly but gradually selbstvers{\"a}ndlich.Yet, this is only one part of the answer. If it is a convincing understanding of the relation between time and the migrant’s changing identity, this is in itself not an argument why the law should acknowledge this change with the grant of a (stronger) residence permit. Since the entire project is based on a non-normative approach, the author searches for an argument for the legal inclusion of this “changing” migrant in the relation between time and legal control. The starting point for the analysis is the observation that legal control of the presence of irregular migrants is based on two contradictory understandings of migration law. On the one side it is argued that irregular migrants should never be regularized since that would undermine the system of migration control. On the other side it is suggested that a system that neglects actual life within the territory, loses its force. The author argues that in both situations time can become a problem of legal control over the presence of migrants in the territory. On the one hand the presence of migrants residing unlawfully in the territory over a long period of time shows a lack of force to remove them, and hereby control the entry and stay in the territory. On the other hand, if residence permits were automatically donated after a lapse of time who does not to those disobeying the initial decision to refuse entry would seriously affect the power of state control at the earlier moment. So both scenarios lead to lack of control and the author argues that this cannot be resolved for it reflects the enigma of time. One cannot simultaneously grasp streaming time and the moment of time. Yet, in this enigma, the key for the central question of this research is to be found. Within the troublesome relationship of time, identity and law, a solution is offered as to why migrants receive stronger residence entitlements over the course of time. The proposed answer is: because the temporal experiences of migrant’s within a territory become inevitably a selbstverst{\"a}ndlich part of their identity, therefore, they become entangled with the identity of others. Over time it becomes more difficult to disentangle the lives of the people living in a territory. Their lives within the territory will gradually become more and more distinct from the initial legal categorisation. The grant of stronger rights to these people is a means of regaining control while acknowledging the changed situation (and consequently, immediately losing control). Granting stronger rights to migrants is therefore the regularization of lawful resident migrants in order to prevent loss of control over the course of time.",
author = "Martijn Stronks",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "3",
language = "English",
school = "Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam",

}

Grasping Legal Time : A Legal and Philosophical Analysis of the Role of Time in European Migration Law. . / Stronks, Martijn.

2017. 292 p.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VUAcademic

TY - THES

T1 - Grasping Legal Time

T2 - A Legal and Philosophical Analysis of the Role of Time in European Migration Law.

AU - Stronks, Martijn

PY - 2017/3/3

Y1 - 2017/3/3

N2 - This book is about time, law and migrants. It consists of a legal and philosophical scrutiny into the question: why do migrants receive stronger rights over the course of time in European migration law? That migrants receive stronger rights over time is easily proven, much more difficult is the question why this is so, or even, what time is and what it means in law. In order to answer these questions the author first attempts to disentangle the meaning of time in European migration law. He argues that although time is commonly perceived to refer merely to the clock, the reference to human time remains hidden. In the latter perception, time is not understood as the lapse of time on a clock, but rather, the focus is on the lived experience of a human being. Moreover, human time is marked by temporality, the need for a temporal present that implies a past and a future. It is in a moment, that one can discern the past from the future.In this book, it is argued that legal time combines human time and clock time. While legal terms clearly refer to clock time, law takes temporality from human time. Only at a legal moment, that fixates the relevant past and creates a reasonable expectation of the future, can a legal decision be made. Since the general legal rule should always be transposed to the concrete circumstances of the case, a legal decision is necessary and therefore a fixated moment is required.. The clear problem is that time goes on, and circumstances change. Although the list of legal measures to deal with lapse of time is sheer and endless, law can never fully grasp it. This slippery character of time is both success and pitfall of a legal system that seeks control over its subjects. The legal analysis in this book bears witness to the legal possibilities for manipulating time to reach different policy ends. At the same time, it clearly shows that migrants nevertheless generally receive stronger rights over time. It is within this quandary that the question why migrants receive stronger rights, is situated. In the philosophical part of this book this question is addressed by a scrutiny of the relation between time and the migrant’s identity, and time and legal control. The author argues that in order to have an understanding of the durable identity of a migrant who lives in a given territory, it should reflect his temporal experiences. When people live over a longer time in a certain place, their experiences will slowly but gradually become part of their identity. In order to find their way around, they will endeavour to grasp the streaming reality in which they live. They will identity the people they meet and the surrounding environment. Yet, the point is, that slowly but surely this understanding will become evident, whereas it is still needed, it will slowly sink to the background of one’s life. Simply because people cannot have equal attention for everything, all the time. Over the course of time, experiences will become selbstverständlich, the author argues. They will become a selbstverständlich part of their lives and identities. And it is this very Selbstverständlichkeit that holds together someone’s identity over time, as the implied meaning of a live that comes along with every narrative explication of it. The author claims that as long as someone is present in a territory, over the course of time this will imply that his experiences with ‘others and the outside world’ will become slowly but gradually selbstversändlich.Yet, this is only one part of the answer. If it is a convincing understanding of the relation between time and the migrant’s changing identity, this is in itself not an argument why the law should acknowledge this change with the grant of a (stronger) residence permit. Since the entire project is based on a non-normative approach, the author searches for an argument for the legal inclusion of this “changing” migrant in the relation between time and legal control. The starting point for the analysis is the observation that legal control of the presence of irregular migrants is based on two contradictory understandings of migration law. On the one side it is argued that irregular migrants should never be regularized since that would undermine the system of migration control. On the other side it is suggested that a system that neglects actual life within the territory, loses its force. The author argues that in both situations time can become a problem of legal control over the presence of migrants in the territory. On the one hand the presence of migrants residing unlawfully in the territory over a long period of time shows a lack of force to remove them, and hereby control the entry and stay in the territory. On the other hand, if residence permits were automatically donated after a lapse of time who does not to those disobeying the initial decision to refuse entry would seriously affect the power of state control at the earlier moment. So both scenarios lead to lack of control and the author argues that this cannot be resolved for it reflects the enigma of time. One cannot simultaneously grasp streaming time and the moment of time. Yet, in this enigma, the key for the central question of this research is to be found. Within the troublesome relationship of time, identity and law, a solution is offered as to why migrants receive stronger residence entitlements over the course of time. The proposed answer is: because the temporal experiences of migrant’s within a territory become inevitably a selbstverständlich part of their identity, therefore, they become entangled with the identity of others. Over time it becomes more difficult to disentangle the lives of the people living in a territory. Their lives within the territory will gradually become more and more distinct from the initial legal categorisation. The grant of stronger rights to these people is a means of regaining control while acknowledging the changed situation (and consequently, immediately losing control). Granting stronger rights to migrants is therefore the regularization of lawful resident migrants in order to prevent loss of control over the course of time.

AB - This book is about time, law and migrants. It consists of a legal and philosophical scrutiny into the question: why do migrants receive stronger rights over the course of time in European migration law? That migrants receive stronger rights over time is easily proven, much more difficult is the question why this is so, or even, what time is and what it means in law. In order to answer these questions the author first attempts to disentangle the meaning of time in European migration law. He argues that although time is commonly perceived to refer merely to the clock, the reference to human time remains hidden. In the latter perception, time is not understood as the lapse of time on a clock, but rather, the focus is on the lived experience of a human being. Moreover, human time is marked by temporality, the need for a temporal present that implies a past and a future. It is in a moment, that one can discern the past from the future.In this book, it is argued that legal time combines human time and clock time. While legal terms clearly refer to clock time, law takes temporality from human time. Only at a legal moment, that fixates the relevant past and creates a reasonable expectation of the future, can a legal decision be made. Since the general legal rule should always be transposed to the concrete circumstances of the case, a legal decision is necessary and therefore a fixated moment is required.. The clear problem is that time goes on, and circumstances change. Although the list of legal measures to deal with lapse of time is sheer and endless, law can never fully grasp it. This slippery character of time is both success and pitfall of a legal system that seeks control over its subjects. The legal analysis in this book bears witness to the legal possibilities for manipulating time to reach different policy ends. At the same time, it clearly shows that migrants nevertheless generally receive stronger rights over time. It is within this quandary that the question why migrants receive stronger rights, is situated. In the philosophical part of this book this question is addressed by a scrutiny of the relation between time and the migrant’s identity, and time and legal control. The author argues that in order to have an understanding of the durable identity of a migrant who lives in a given territory, it should reflect his temporal experiences. When people live over a longer time in a certain place, their experiences will slowly but gradually become part of their identity. In order to find their way around, they will endeavour to grasp the streaming reality in which they live. They will identity the people they meet and the surrounding environment. Yet, the point is, that slowly but surely this understanding will become evident, whereas it is still needed, it will slowly sink to the background of one’s life. Simply because people cannot have equal attention for everything, all the time. Over the course of time, experiences will become selbstverständlich, the author argues. They will become a selbstverständlich part of their lives and identities. And it is this very Selbstverständlichkeit that holds together someone’s identity over time, as the implied meaning of a live that comes along with every narrative explication of it. The author claims that as long as someone is present in a territory, over the course of time this will imply that his experiences with ‘others and the outside world’ will become slowly but gradually selbstversändlich.Yet, this is only one part of the answer. If it is a convincing understanding of the relation between time and the migrant’s changing identity, this is in itself not an argument why the law should acknowledge this change with the grant of a (stronger) residence permit. Since the entire project is based on a non-normative approach, the author searches for an argument for the legal inclusion of this “changing” migrant in the relation between time and legal control. The starting point for the analysis is the observation that legal control of the presence of irregular migrants is based on two contradictory understandings of migration law. On the one side it is argued that irregular migrants should never be regularized since that would undermine the system of migration control. On the other side it is suggested that a system that neglects actual life within the territory, loses its force. The author argues that in both situations time can become a problem of legal control over the presence of migrants in the territory. On the one hand the presence of migrants residing unlawfully in the territory over a long period of time shows a lack of force to remove them, and hereby control the entry and stay in the territory. On the other hand, if residence permits were automatically donated after a lapse of time who does not to those disobeying the initial decision to refuse entry would seriously affect the power of state control at the earlier moment. So both scenarios lead to lack of control and the author argues that this cannot be resolved for it reflects the enigma of time. One cannot simultaneously grasp streaming time and the moment of time. Yet, in this enigma, the key for the central question of this research is to be found. Within the troublesome relationship of time, identity and law, a solution is offered as to why migrants receive stronger residence entitlements over the course of time. The proposed answer is: because the temporal experiences of migrant’s within a territory become inevitably a selbstverständlich part of their identity, therefore, they become entangled with the identity of others. Over time it becomes more difficult to disentangle the lives of the people living in a territory. Their lives within the territory will gradually become more and more distinct from the initial legal categorisation. The grant of stronger rights to these people is a means of regaining control while acknowledging the changed situation (and consequently, immediately losing control). Granting stronger rights to migrants is therefore the regularization of lawful resident migrants in order to prevent loss of control over the course of time.

M3 - PhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VU

ER -