The Legal Face of Populism: From the Classroom to the Courtroom

This article examines the normative-conceptual contrast between populism and radical democracy against the specific backdrop of two case-studies – the Fundamental British Values discourse in the UK and the French burqa ban.  The goals of the article are twofold. First, to enrich the understanding of populism by analysing the interactions between populism, democracy and legal reasoning. Secondly, to offer ways of resisting a populist turn in legal reasoning. I will argue that law’s response to populism should embrace the ideals of radical democracy, namely deliberation and inclusiveness. In order to enhance deliberation and ensure its inclusiveness, I will submit that law should both retreat (from the classroom) and actively riposte against populism (in the courtroom).