The Law is a White Dog

j9450[1]The Believer’s February issue featured an interview with Colin Dayan, author of The Law is a White Dog. Only a short excerpt is available on the web site, so pick up the full magazine to read the entire thing:

THE BELIEVER: Wait. You’re saying that the subjective component that matters here—in cases about prison cruelty—is not the prisoner’s experience but the state of mind of the alleged abuser? What matters is whether a guard or warden intended harm rather than whether the prisoner is harmed?

COLIN DAYAN: Exactly. No matter how much actual suffering is experienced by a prisoner, if you can’t establish that harm was intended, then the effect of that harm on the prisoner is not a matter for judicial review.

BLVR: And that’s a Supreme Court decision.

CD: Yes.



The timing of this interview is particularly good as a roundtable on The Law is a White Dog is planned for the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and Humanities meetings at Birkbeck, University of London, March 22, 2013.

Want to read more? Check out this free chapter [PDF] from The Law is a White Dog:


  1. Istoselides says:

    The Law is a White Dog its very nice book i just read it