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Comparative Law News

Call for Papers: 'Urban Africa' - Turin, October 2015

Juris Diversitas - lun, 06/22/2015 - 10:53
Turin, 16-17 October 2015
Urban Africa Economy,populations, cultures 
Call for papers 
The Centre for African Studies (CSA) and the Association for African Studies in Italy (ASAI), in collaboration with the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin and the Department of Architecture and Design of the Polytechnic University of Turin, organize an interdisciplinary conference on “Urban Africa”

See the call for papers at http://urbanafrica.it and download in English from this link
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Cairns on Codification, Transplants and History

Juris Diversitas - lun, 06/22/2015 - 04:12

John Cairns (Edinburgh)'s Codification, Transplants and History: Law Reform in Louisiana (1808) and Quebec (1866) (The Lawbook Exchange, 2015) is now available:
When Louisiana enacted its Digest of the Civil Laws in 1808 and Quebec its Civil Code of Lower Canada in 1866, both jurisdictions were in a period of transition economic, social and political. In both, the laws had originally been transplanted from European nations whose societies were in many ways different from theirs.

This book offers the first systematic and detailed exploration of the two new codes in light of social and legal change. Cairns examines the rich, complex, and varying legal cultures French, Spanish, Civilian and Anglo-American on which the two sets of redactors drew in drafting their codes. He places this examination in the context surrounding each codification, and the legal history of both societies.

Cairns offers a detailed analysis of family law and employment in the two codes, showing how their respective redactors selected from a defined range of sources and materials to construct their codes. He shows that they acted relatively freely, attempting to inscribe into law rules reflecting what they understood to be the needs of their society from an essentially intuitive and elite perspective. While not propounding a universal theory of legal development, Cairns nonetheless shows the types of factors likely to influence legal change more generally. xlv, 559 pp.

Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT: Annual International Conference on Comparative Law 2015 - Law of Obligations Surrounded by Other Normative Systems

Juris Diversitas - mar, 06/16/2015 - 09:23
Subject areas:
  1. Morality, customs, praxeology and the content of an obligation.
  2. Agreements which are not contracts, relevant to the law of obligations. 
  3. Obligations of the creditor: are they just correlates of the obligations of the debtor, or do they constitute a functionally separate category?
  4. The history of the relationship of contract law and other normative systems. Interpretation, law-making and science of law.
  5. "Socialist law" in the capitalist reality (and vice versa). Interaction of the legal system with the extra-legal environment. The impact of socio-political formations on the shape of state, the content and the evolution of the law.
  6. The future of the state law in terms of economic globalization.
  7. The nature of the obligations in terms of the various normative systems.
  8. Facts as obligations vs legal systems.
  9. Cultural diversity - a challenge to the law of obligations?
Registration is open until June 30, 2015.
Draft programme will be available on July 31, 2015.

Click here for further information.
Catégories: Comparative Law News


Juris Diversitas - mer, 06/10/2015 - 11:56

Credit photos: Prof. Olivier Moréteau
Catégories: Comparative Law News


Juris Diversitas - mer, 06/10/2015 - 11:50

Credit photos: Prof. Elina Moustaira
Catégories: Comparative Law News

Il Codice Civile, The First Translation of Napoleon's Code Civil

Juris Diversitas - lun, 06/08/2015 - 16:10
Sara V. Pic, Reference Librarian at the Law Library of Louisiana (400 Royal Street, New Orleans), assembled a unique exhibition on the Italian translation of the Napoleonic Code. TheIl Codice Civile exhibition can also be visited online.

Catégories: Comparative Law News


Juris Diversitas - lun, 06/08/2015 - 08:33
Small States in a Legal WorldThe inaugural conference of the Centre for Small StatesQueen Mary University of London
The aim of the conference is to launch the Centre for Small States as the home for research and learning into the legal issues facing small states (defined as those states with a population of 1.5m or less).  The Centre for Small States also includes within its remit some territories that are not classified as states as a matter of international law, yet are sufficiently geographically and culturally distinct entities to be worthy of study in their own right such as the British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories).
For further information on the Centre for Small States, see http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/research/centres/small-states/index.html 
Date: 7 September 2015 Venue: Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Queen Mary University of London, WC2A 3JBRegistration fee: £50(reduced rate for students and half-day registrations)
Keynote PanelProfessor Lino Briguglio, Islands and Small States Institute, University of MaltaProfessor Baldur Thorhallsson, Centre for Small State Studies, University of IcelandHer Honour Justice Mathilda Twomey, Court of Appeal, Seychelles
Confirmed SpeakersProfessor Susy Frankel, Victoria University of WellingtonDr Ann Mumford, King’s College LondonProfessor Catherine Rogers, Penn State University
Topics for discussion include ethics in small jurisdictions, the challenges of mixed legal systems in small states, small states as tax havens, and intellectual property issues.
We have a small number of spaces for additional speakers.  We welcome contributions on any aspect of the legal situation of small states, be it public or private law.  Please send your abstract of 300-400 words to Dr Caroline Morris (c.morris@qmul.ac.uk) and Dr Petra Butler (petra.butler@qmul.ac.uk)by 15 June 2015.  Decisions regarding inclusion in the conference programme will be sent by 30 June 2015.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE: Innocent III and his time (Murcia, Universidad Católica/Pontificia Universitas Lateranensis), 9-12 December 2015; DEADLINE 1 SEPTEMBER 2015

The Universidad Católica de Murcia and the Pontificia Universitas Lateranensis organize a conference on Innocent III.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professors Kenneth Pennington (Catholic University of America), Dafydd Bened Walteres (University of Edingburgh), Robert E. Somerville (Columbia University), Antonio Pérez Martín (University of Murcia), Massimo Miglietta (Università degli Studi di Trento), Francesca Galgano (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II). 

The figure of Innocent III, after centuries, is still of great importance, not only for the historian of canon  law,  but  to  any  researcher  who  works  on  History  and  Law  topics.  His  decisive contributions  to  the  political  and  religious  situation  of  the  thirteenth  century  have  yet  to  be revealed in many aspects, so that the period of history can be known with greater accuracy and depth. In addition, this year is the 800th anniversary of two fundamental legal monuments: the Fourth Lateran  Council  and  the  English  Magna  Carta,  we  intend  to enhance  research  linking both milestones and the decisive influence they had in their time and in the following centuries, and the circumstances that contributed to their relevance.
For such purposes, we call on interested researchers to submit papers related to the figure of Innocent III from the standpoint of law in general, Canon Law, Philosophy, Theology, History of Institutions, Roman Law, Comparative Law, Art History, History, Sociology, Historiography and any other discipline that can shed light on the subject proposed, being the following: Program:
  a. Innocent III and the Holy Empire
  b. The Fourth Lateran Council and the English Magna Carta 
 c. Relations between the Church and the emerging monarchies

  a. The Fourth Lateran Council
 b. The Roman law science around the XIII century
  c. The history of legal institutions and their development

  a. The role of the Church in medieval society
  b. The intra-ecclesiastic life and spirituality
 c. The fight against heresy and the Discipline of the Sacraments   Practical information:
PROPOSALS:  (Title,  academic  affiliation,  Biographical  Profile  and  Abstract  200  words  ENG,
GER, FRA, ITA, ESP), via mail: catedrainocencio@gmail.com 
DEADLINE: September 1, 2015. The Scientific Committee will respond to the proposal before September 30, 2015
PUBLICATION: Papers selected by the Scientific Committee shall be published in the special issue of the journal Vergentis in the first half of 2016. 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Michel Foucault's second Course at the Collège de France on Penal Institutions and Theories, 1971-1972 [Hautes Etudes] (Paris: Editions de l'EHESS, 2015, 2015, ISBN 978.2.02.098569.7, € 26)

(image source: EHESS)
At the occasion of the recent publication of Michel Foucault's second lecture series on Penal Theories and Institutions (Collège de France, 1971-1972), a colloquium took place in Paris on 2 June 2015.

Book presentation:

« Ce qui caractérise l’acte de justice, ce n’est pas le recours à un tribunal et à des juges ; ce n’est pas l’intervention des magistrats (même s’ils devaient être de simples médiateurs ou arbitres). Ce qui caractérise l’acte juridique, le processus ou la procédure au sens large, c’est le développement réglé d’un litige. Et dans ce développement, l’intervention des juges, leur avis ou leur décision n’est jamais qu’un épisode. C’est la manière dont on s’affronte, la manière dont on lutte qui définit
l’ordre juridique. La règle et la lutte, la règle dans la lutte, c’est cela le juridique. »
Michel Foucault

Théories et Institutions pénales est le titre donné par Michel Foucault au cours qu’il prononce au Collège de France de novembre 1971 à mars 1972. Dans ces leçons, Michel Foucault théorise, pour la première fois, la question du pouvoir qui va l’occuper jusqu’à la rédaction de Surveiller et punir (1975) et au-delà, d’abord à travers la relation minutieuse de la répression par Richelieu de la révolte des Nu-pieds (1639-1640), puis en montrant comment le dispositif de pouvoir élaboré à cette occasion par la monarchie rompt avec l’économie des institutions juridiques et
judiciaires du Moyen Âge et ouvre sur un « appareil judiciaire d’État », un « système répressif » dont la fonction va se centrer sur l’enfermement de ceux qui défient son ordre. Michel Foucault systématise l’approche d’une histoire de la vérité à partir de l’étude des « matrices juridico-politiques », étude qu’il avait commencée dans le cours de l’année précédente (Leçons sur la volonté de savoir), et qui est au coeur de la notion de « relation de savoir-pouvoir ». Ce cours développe sa théorie de la justice et du droit pénal. La parution de ce volume marque la fin de la publication de la série des Cours de Michel Foucault au Collège de France (dont le premier volume a été publié en 1997).
Conference abstract:
Le deuxième cours de Michel Foucault au Collège de France, Théories et institutions pénales (1972), vient de paraitre le 15 mai 2015 - une publication qui complète la série des cours de Foucault au Collège. Cette journée d'étude avec Etienne Balibar, Frédéric Gros, François Ewald, Bernard Harcourt, Arnaud Teyssier, et d'autres chercheurs, proposera quelques premières lectures, premières réactions, et pistes de recherches. Program:
Programme9:00 IntroductionBernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University/EHESS9:10 Frédéric Gros, Sciences Po10:00 Stephen W. Sawyer, American University in Paris10:45 Pause11:00 Table ronde: « Foucault et l’histoire » – Claude-Olivier Doron, Université Paris-Diderot
  • Robert Jacob, CNRS-Lamop
  • Julien Théry, Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier III
  • Arnaud Teyssier, ENA/ENS
13:00 Pause14:00 François Ewald, Responsable de l'édition des cours de Michel Foucault au Collège de France14:45  Panel : « Foucault, le droit pénal, et la théâtralisation »
  • Arianna Sforzini, Université Paris-Est Créteil
  • Sacha Raoult, Université Aix-Marseille
  • Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University/EHESS
16:00 Pause16:15 Keynote: Étienne Balibar, Université Parix X/Columbia UniversityMore information here.
Source: calenda.org.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis/Revue d'Histoire du Droit/The Legal History Review LXXXIII (2015), No. 1-2

(image source: brill)

The Legal History Review (Brill) published its first issue of 2015.

Table of contents:
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht" by F. Dhondt

Frederik Dhondt, Ghent UniversityBalance of Power and Norm Hierarchy: Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrechtoffers a detailed study of French and British diplomacy in the age of ‘Walpole and Fleury’. After Louis XIV’s decease, European international relations were dominated by the collaboration between James Stanhope and Guillaume Dubois. Their alliance focused on the amendment and enlargement of the peace treaties of Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden. In-depth analysis of vast archival material uncovers the practical legal arguments used between Hampton Court and Versailles. ‘Balance of Power’ or ‘Tranquillity of Europe’ were in fact metaphors for the predominance of treaty law even over the most fundamental municipal norms. An implacable logic of norm hierarchy allowed to consolidate peace in Europe.Biographical noteDr. Frederik Dhondt (1984) studied law (Ghent University), history (Ghent/Paris-Sorbonne) and international relations (Sciences Po Paris) and was a visiting researcher in Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Geneva. He currently is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (Ghent University).ReadershipAll interested in European legal history and/or the history of public international law, diplomacy, French or British history, Ancien Régime European international relations, 18th century history.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE & CFP: "Novos campos de pesquisa da historia das instituicoes eclesiasticas e suas normatividades no Brasil (XVI-XIX centuries)" ( Sao Paulo, November 10-12 2015)

WHAT Novos campos de pesquisa da historia das instituicoes eclesiasticas e suas normatividades no Brasil (XVI-XIX centuries), Conference and Call for papers
WHEN November 10-12 2015
WHERE Sao Paulo
O Instituto Max-Planck de História do Direito Europeu, com sede em Frankfurt, Alemanha, vem desenvolvendo uma nova linha de pesquisa sobre a história das instituições eclesiásticas, as suas normatividades e as suas formas de administração da justiça durante os séculos XVIXIX na América Latina. Dentro desse marco, o Instituto convoca todos os interessados ao Seminário “Novos campos de pesquisa da história das instituições eclesiásticas e suas normatividades no Brasil (séculos XVI-XIX)”, que acontecerá entre os dias 10 e 12 de novembro de 2015, na Sala de Conferências do Instituto Goethe, em São Paulo. Esta atividade está inserida dentro de um ciclo de seminários de trabalho realizados nos anos anteriores, em Ciudad de México, Lima e Bogotá, que versaram sobre a mesma temática, em relação aos vice-reinados da Nova Espanha, do Peru e do Novo Reino de Granada, respectivamente. Os programas e informações sobre os seminários anteriores podem ser acessados no endereço: http://www.rg.mpg.de/seminario_normatividades. O principal objetivo do Seminário é oferecer aos participantes um local de trabalho, encontro e debates de alto nível acadêmico sobre as novas perspectivas nesse campo de pesquisa, para as diversas regiões que compunham o Brasil colonial e imperial. Procura-se, dessa forma, facilitar os contatos pessoais e institucionais na comunidade acadêmica e favorecer a colaboração científica entre os participantes. A convocação está aberta a todos os jovens pesquisadores que estejam desenvolvendo suas pesquisas nessa temática, desde as mais variadas perspectivas disciplinares, como a história do direito, a história, a etnohistória, a teologia, as ciências da religião, a história da arte, a história cultural, etc. Serão consideradas particularmente interessantes as pesquisas que desenvolvam uma visão ampla e bem documentada do objeto de estudo e que exponham as ricas e complexas relações entre as diferentes áreas geográficas, culturais, escolas jurídicas e tradições historiográficas.
 Como em eventos anteriores, depois da revisão de especialistas externos, o MPIeR prevê a publicação dos trabalhos apresentados no Seminário de São Paulo em uma de suas séries de publicação. 2 Convocação Poderão participar jovens doutores, doutorandos ou mestrandos, cujas pesquisas estejam em avançado estágio de elaboração e cujo tema tenha estreita relação com a temática do Seminário. A inscrição deverá ser encaminhada até o dia 15 de Julho de 2015 a Otto Danwerth: danwerth@rg.mpg.de. Cada inscrição deverá estar acompanhada dos seguintes documentos (em formato Word): − Formulário de inscrição preenchido, que pode ser obtido na página: http://www.rg.mpg.de/4_novos_campos_de_pesquisa − Breve descrição do trabalho de pesquisa que será apresentado no Seminário (máx. 1.500 caracteres, sem contar espaços) − Curriculum Vitae atualizado (máx. 3 páginas), com uma lista das publicações, se for o caso. Um Comitê Científico avaliará as propostas e as selecionará por seu mérito acadêmico. A decisão do Comitê será comunicada aos selecionados até o dia 30 de Julho de 2015. O Instituto Max-Planck arcará com os gastos de viagem e estadia, para os selecionados que necessitarem. Os participantes serão reembolsados das despesas com transporte e estadia ao final do Seminário. Os idiomas do seminário serão português, espanhol e inglês. A documentação e os trabalhos poderão ser apresentados em qualquer uma dessas línguas. O Seminário acontecerá na Sala de Conferências do Instituto Goethe de São Paulo. Contato Otto Danwerth Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte Hansaallee 41 D-60323 Frankfurt am Main Alemanha Tel.: +49-69-78978-167 Fax.: +49-69-78978-169 E-mail: danwerth@rg.mpg.de www.rg.mpg.de Sites: http://www.rg.mpg.de/seminario_normatividades http://www.rg.mpg.de/4_novos_campos_de_pesquisa http://www.facebook.com/seminariompibrasil
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Ramses DELAFONTAINE, Historians as Expert Judicial Witnesses in Tobacco Litigation. A Controversial Legal Practice [Studies in the History of Law and Justice, 4; eds. M. Sellers & G. Martyn], Heidelberg/New York: Springer, 2015, 453 p. ISBN 978-3...

(image source: Springer)
Ramses Delafontaine (UGent, Department of History) published Historians as Expert Judicial Witnesses in Tobacco Litigation. A Controversial Legal Practice with Springer [Studies in the History of Law and Justice, 4; eds. M. Sellers & G. Martyn].

Historian Ramses Delafontaine presents an engaging examination of a controversial legal practice: the historian as an expert judicial witness. This book focuses on tobacco litigation in the U.S. wherein 50 historians have witnessed in 314 court cases from 1986 to 2014. The author examines the use of historical arguments in court and investigates how a legal context influences historical narratives and discourse in forensic history. Delafontaine asserts that the courtroom is a performative and fact-making theatre. Nonetheless, he argues that the civic responsibility of the historian should not end at the threshold of the courtroom where history and truth hang in the balance.
The book is divided into three parts featuring an impressive range of European and American case studies. The first part provides a theoretical framework on the issues which arise when history and law interact. The second part gives a comparative overview of European and American examples of forensic history. This part also reviews U.S. legal rules and case law on expert evidence, as well as extralegal challenges historians face as experts. The third part covers a series of tobacco-related trials. With remunerations as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars and no peer-reviewed publications or communication on the part of the historians hired by the tobacco companies the question arises whether some historians are willing to trade their reputation and that of their university for the benefit of an interested party. The book further provides 50 expert profiles of the historians active in tobacco litigation, lists detailing the manner of the expert’s involvement, and West Law references to these cases.
This book offers profound and thought-provoking insights on the post-war forensification of history from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this way, Delafontaine makes a stirring call for debate on the contemporary engagement of historians as expert judicial witnesses in U.S. tobacco litigation.Table of Contents:
General IntroductionDelafontaine, Ramses
  • Pages 1-5
  • Introductory Theoretical Remarks on the Alleged Problematic Nature of the Interaction of History and LawPages 9-13
  • Clio’s Modern Paradox UnraveledPages 15-27
  • Introduction Part IIPages 31-33
  • Modern Interactions of Law and HistoryPages 35-43
  • The Globalization of the Historian as an Expert WitnessPages 45-65
  • Litigation-Driven HistoryPages 67-105
  • A Reassessment of Wijffels’ Concept of Forensic HistoryPages 107-116
  • Introduction Part IIIPages 119-125
  • A History of TobaccoPages 127-141
  • Tobacco and Health: Towards a Contemporary PerspectivePages 143-156
  • The Tobacco Industry and Its TacticsPages 157-171
  • Tobacco LitigationPages 173-209
  • United States v. Philip Morris et al.Pages 211-259
  • Debates: Reflections in Academic and National MediaPages 261-275
  • Historians in Tobacco Litigation, a ConclusionPages 277-296
  • Final Conclusion on the Involvement of Historians in Tobacco LitigationPages 297-301
  • Final ConclusionPages 303-309
 More information on the publisher's website.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

RESEARCH PROJECT: Legislation under the Directory (1795-1799), Paris 13 University/Sciences Po Paris

(Director Paul Barras; image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The University of Paris South and Sciences Po Law School presented their research project on legislation during the Directory on Nomôdos.7

Le projet LexDir-1795-1799 porté par le CERAL (porteur principal Yann-Arzel Durelle-Marc) et l’Ecole de droit de Science Po (porteur Frédéric Audren) a été retenu lors du second appel à projets de recherche de l’Université Sorbonne-Paris-Cité (cf. résultats de l'appel). Soutenu par une dotation de 150 000 euros sur trois ans (2015-2018), il permettra de numériser méthodiquement la législation du Directoire (21 000 actes) et d’en constituer une base de données publique. Cette collection complètera les 20 047 actes dématérialisés du site «Décrets et Lois 1789-1795: Collection Baudouin», réalisé dans le cadre du projet ANR RevLoi (achevé), pour offrir aux chercheurs et au public un accès exhaustif à la législation révolutionnaire, ce qui fait jusqu’à présent défaut. Cette base pour le Directoire a vocation à être migrée dans le site Internet des Archives nationales pour y rejoindre la base Baudouin et garantir ainsi une conservation durable des données.Le projet s’appuie sur le partenariat du CERAL (Paris 13) et de l’École de Droit de Sciences po, tous centres de la COMUE Sorbonne-Paris-Cité réunissant les compétences les plus pertinentes (Droit, Histoire du Droit et Science politique) pour le traitement intellectuel du corpus. Les Archives nationales apportent la numérisation du matériau-source et son accès en ligne ainsi que leur savoir-faire en valorisation culturelle et pédagogique. L’Institut d’histoire de la Révolution française (Paris 1) apporte son expertise et son expérience acquise, notamment au cours de l’ANR RevLoi. Enfin, The ARTFL Project (Univ. Chicago) offre ses technologies de pointe pour la visualisation, la recherche en ligne et l’analyse lexicographique du texte des décrets, ainsi restitués aux chercheurs et au public.

ContactBudget total pour trois ans (2015-2018): 150 000 (hors frais de gestion)
Partenaires Sorbonne-Paris-Cité 
Partenaire étranger
Partenaires extérieurs
  • Archives nationales, département Exécutif et Législatif (Pierrefite-sur-Seine), Ministère de la Culture, I. Chave (conservateur en chef du patrimoine, resp. du dpt. Exécutif et Législatif). 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Daniel KLERMAN (ed.), The Economics of Legal History [Economic Approaches to Law] (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2015), 808 p. ISBN 9781783471683. USD 359,96

(image source: Edward Elgar)
Edward Elgar announced the publication of Economics Of Legal History, edited by Daniel Klerman (University of South Carolina). The volume collects a series of articles on law and economics and legal history.

Table of Contents:


Introduction Daniel Klerman


1. Harold Demsetz (1967), ‘Toward a Theory of Property Rights’, American Economic Review, 57 (2), May, 347–59

2. Zeynep K. Hansen and Gary D. Libecap (2004), ‘The Allocation of Property Rights to Land: US Land Policy and Farm Failure in the Northern Great Plains’, Explorations in Economic History, 41 (2), April, 103–29

3. Paul G. Mahoney (2001), ‘The Political Economy of the Securities Act of 1933’, Journal of Legal Studies, XXX (1), January, 1–31

4. Daniel Klerman (2007), ‘Jurisdictional Competition and the Evolution of the Common Law’, University of Chicago Law Review, 74 (4), Fall, 1179–226

5. James J. Heckman and Brook S. Payner (1989), ‘Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina’, American Economic Review, 79 (1), March, 138–77

6. John R. Lott, Jr. and Lawrence W. Kenny (1999), ‘Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?’, Journal of Political Economy, 107 (6, part 1), December, 1163–98

7. Grant Miller (2008), ‘Women’s Suffrage, Political Responsiveness, and Child Survival in American History’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123 (3), August, 1287–327

8. Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast (1989), ‘Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England’, Journal of Economic History, XLIX (4), December, 803–32

9. Nathan Sussman and Yishay Yafeh (2006), ‘Institutional Reforms, Financial Development and Sovereign Debt: Britain 1690–1790’, Journal of Economic History, 66 (4), December, 906–35

10. Daniel M. Klerman and Paul G. Mahoney (2005), ‘The Value of Judicial Independence: Evidence from Eighteenth Century England’, American Law and Economics Review, 7 (1), Spring, 1–27

11. Dan Bogart (2011), ‘Did the Glorious Revolution Contribute to the Transport Revolution? Evidence from Investment in Roads and Rivers’, Economic History Review, 64 (4), November, 1073–112

12. Avner Greif and David D. Laitin (2004), ‘A Theory of Endogenous Institutional Change’, American Political Science Review, 98 (4), November, 633–52

13. Avner Greif (2006), ‘History Lessons: The Birth of Impersonal Exchange: The Community Responsibility System and Impartial Justice’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20 (2), Spring, 221–36

14. Claire Priest (2006), ‘Creating an American Property Law: Alienability and its Limits in American History’, Harvard Law Review, 120 (2), December, 385–458

15. Robert. C. Ellickson (1989), ‘A Hypothesis of Wealth-Maximizing Norms: Evidence from the Whaling Industry’, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 5 (1), Spring, 83–97

16. Karen Clay and Gavin Wright (2005), ‘Order Without Law? Property Rights During the California Gold Rush’, Explorations in Economic History, 42 (2), April, 155–83

17. Avner Greif (1989), ‘Reputations and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders’, Journal of Economic History, 49 (4), December, 857–82

18. Claire Priest (2001), ‘Currency Policies and Legal Development in Colonial New England’, Yale Law Journal, 110 (8), June, 1303–405

19. Daniel Klerman (2012), ‘The Selection of 13th-Century Disputes for Litigation’, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 9 (2), June, 320–46

20. J. Mark Ramseyer (1995), ‘The Market for Children: Evidence from Early Modern Japan’, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 11 (1), April, 127–49

21. Robert W. Gordon (1984), ‘Critical Legal Histories’, Stanford Law Review, 36 (1-2), January, 57–125

Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE: The End of (in)equality: France and USA (NYU in Paris/Sciences Po CEVIPOF, 28-29 May 2015)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

New York University Paris and Sciences Po Paris (CEVIPOF) organize a conference on the nature of the French and American Republics.

While France and America are often considered “sister republics”, the respective particularity of the historical experiences of these two nations has given rise to seemingly incompatible notions of freedom and liberty, rights and responsibilities, and attitudes towards sexual, racial, and religious difference. In addition, both France and America continue to grapple with the “dark spots” of their pasts (slavery, colonialism) while straining to adapt to the calls for greater pluralism precipitated by decolonization, transnationalism, and major social movements of the 20th century. The purpose of this conference is to interrogate how equality is conceived and practiced in each of these policies. It seeks to illuminate the points of correspondence and discord between the epistemological and political foundations that inform both American liberalism and French republicanism. In advancing an interdisciplinary methodology, the conference aspires to explore how identity, gender, and social hierarchy are coded by these conceptions of the equal and whether and how such conceptions paradoxically re-entrench forms of vulnerability and exclusion.
Thursday 28th May 2015Lieu : NYUParis, 57 boulevard Saint Germain, 75005 Paris (Métro : Maubert Mutualité ou Cluny-la-Sorbonne), Amphithéâtre (rez-de-chaussée)9h00 – 9h30: Accueil9h30 – 9h45 : Welcome Address / Mot de bienvenue
  • John Moran, Directeur, NYUParis
  • Frédéric Mion, Directeur, Sciences Po
9h45 – 10h30 : Keynote Speaker / Session plénière
  • George Shulman (NYUGallatin) : Rethinking Equality: from liberal, republican, and radical paradigms of equality to figures of the newly thinkable
10h30 – 11h30 : The Philosophical Origins of French and American Equality / Les origines philosophiques de l’égalité en France et en Amérique du NordChair / Modérateur : Andrei Poama (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF) Speakers / Intervenants :
  • Lucien Jaume (CNRS-CEVIPOF) :L’« égalité en droit(s) » de la tradition française et les tensions récentes
  • Justin Smith (Université de Paris VII) : The Republican Ideal and the Problem of Recognition
  • Vasuki Nesiah (NYUGallatin) : Occult Origins Handcuffed to History: The Story of Rights
11h30 – 12h00 : Discussion / Débat14h00 – 15h00 : Religious Equality: (post-)securalism and “laïcité”/ L’égalité en matière religieuse : (post-)secularisme et « laïcité »Chair / Modérateur : Lionel Obadia (Université de Lyon 2)Speakers / Intervenants :
  • Amandine Barb (Université Humboldt de Berlin & CERI) : The Dilemmas of the Secular State in an Age of Pluralism: Law, Faith, and the Politics of Religious Accommodations in the United States
  • S. Romi Mukherjee (NYUParis & Sciences Po) : The Republic and the Sacred. On the Problem of Civil Religion in France
  • Elise Rouméas (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF) : L’éthique délibérative d’une société post-séculière. Trois objections à Habermas
15h00 – 15h30 : Discussion / Débat15h30 – 16h00 : Pause16h00 – 17h00 : Banlieues and / et Ghettos : Desagregating the city / La ville et sa déségrégationChair / Modérateur : Manlio Cinalli (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF)Speakers / Intervenants :
  • Beth Epstein (NYUParis) : Republican Deficits, Ethnic Myths: Justice Claims and Social Inequality in France & the US
  • Henri Rey (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF) : Banlieues et ghettos : vers l’indistinction ?
17h00 – 17h30 : Discussion / Débat17h30 : Cocktail, NYUParis, 8ème étage***Friday 29th may 2015Lieu : CEVIPOF, 98 rue de l’Université 75007 paris (Métro : Assemblée nationale ou Solférino), Salle Percheron9h30 – 9h45 : Accueil9h45 – 10h30 : Keynote Speaker / Session plénière
  • Myriam Revault d’Allonnes (EPHE & CEVIPOF) : Modernité : les identités en crise
10h30 – 11h30 : Equality, Recognition, Integration / Égalité, reconnaissance, IntégrationChair / Modérateur : Justin Smith (Université de Paris VII)Speakers / Intervenantes :
  • Janine Mossuz-Lavau (CNRS-CEVIPOF) : La droite, la gauche et la question des inégalités
  • Hélène Périvier (OFCE- PRESAGE) : L’égalité et l’efficacité font-elles bon ménage ?
  • Réjane Sénac (CNRS-CEVIPOF) : La parité et la diversité « à la française » : une égalité sous conditions pour les non-frères
11h30 – 12h00 : Discussion / Débat14h00 – 15h00 : Equality in Policy and Practice / L’égalité : pratiques et politiques publiquesChair / Modérateur : George Shulman (NYUGallatin)Speakers / Intervenants :
  • Marie Mercat-Bruns (Ecole de droit de Sciences Po & CNAM) : Multiple Discrimination and Intersectionality: Issues of Equality and Liberty
  • Nicholas Sowels (Université Paris 1) : An Overview of the Evolution of Poverty and Inequality in the US, the UK and France since the 1970s
  • John Crowley (UNESCO) : Titre à confirmer
15h00 – 15h30 : Discussion / Débat15h30 – 16h00 : Pause-café16h00 - 17h00 : Transnational flows and flexibility / Flexibilité et circulations transnationalesChair / Modérateur : Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (CNRS-CERI)Speakers / Intervenants :
  • David Jacobson (University of South Florida) : The French Connection: Dealing with the Conundrums of Diversity
  • Manlio Cinalli (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF) : Muslims in the West: Assessing the Transnationalization of Citizenship
  • Ritty Lukose (NYUGallatin) : Between “Feminism” and “Identity”: Critiques of Gender Inequality in a Global Frame
17h00 – 17h30 : Discussion / Débat17h30 – 18h00 : Review and Prospects / Bilan et perspectivesRomi Mukherjee (NYUParis & Sciences Po) & Janie Pélabay (Sciences Po-CEVIPOF)18h00 : Cocktail de clôture More information (including practical details) here.

 Source: Calenda.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE: The Democratic State in Trans-Atlantic Context (University of Chicago in Paris, 20-21 May 2015)

(image source: University of Chicago in Paris)

The University of Chicago Center in Paris held an interesting conference on "The Democratic State in Trans-Atlantic Context" (20-21 May 2015).

Scholarship on the state has been oddly parochial, focused on the domestic and national scales to the exclusion of the international and transnational.  This habit of presuming the nation-state as a bounded container is particularly entrenched in work on the state, understood in Weberian terms that are conceptually insulated from democratic practices.  Democracy, in turn, is often taken as an already defined category of regime rather than a quality of political action as it plays out in state-building.  By taking both democracy and the nation-state for granted, scholars leave unspecified what should be empirically explained.  Even comparative analyses of welfare states, which should be more cosmopolitan, tend to reify national differences by naturalizing the comparative framework rather than by historicizing the mutual constitution of systems of social provision. Recent work by historically-inclined social theorists and students of political economy – including Michel Foucault, Pierre Rosanvallon, Thomas Piketty, to name only a few -- provides scholars of the democratic state with exciting new interpretive questions and tools. During this conference, we hope to advance a transnational conversation with scholars from the U.S. and Europe to interrogate the development of the democratic state in trans-Atlantic context.

May 20Rethinking the State in Trans-Atlantic Context , 9-11:15Welcome: Elisabeth Clemens (University of Chicago)
  • Gary Gerstle (Cambridge University), Introductory remarks
  • William Novak (University of Michigan), “Beyond Stateless Democracy”
  • James Sparrow (University of Chicago), “The Myth of Stateless Democracy”
  • Stephen Sawyer (AUP), “Thinking Democracy beyond the State/Society Divide” 
New Directions on the State, 11:30-12:30
  • Patrick LeGales (Sciences Po), "The Reconfiguration of the State in Europe : Dynamics and Contradictions"
Moderator: Gary Gerstle New Comparative Approaches, 2-3:30
  • Dorit Geva(CEU): How does gender regulate the state? The U.S. in comparative perspective
  • Nicolas Barreyre (EHESS) Claire Lemercier (Sciences-Po/CNRS)–  "In stark contrast to France"? An Early-Nineteenth-Century French Perspective on the American State
Moderator: Steve Sawyer Conversation on Weber and the State, 4-5Led by Philippe Bezes, William Novak, and James Sparrow, Dorit Geva, Gary GerstleModerator: Steve Sawyer May 21State and Society, 9-11
  • Romain Huret (EHESS): "Tax Justice in a Democratic State? The case of the Andrew W. Mellon trial for tax evasion (1933-1941).
  • Jean-Christian Vinel (Université Paris-Diderot), "A Victory Through the State: The Business Battle for Managerial Loyalty, 1938-2006"
  • Pauline Peretz, Thomas Grillot, and Yann Philippe (CENA, EHESS): "Can the state be a pioneer? The case of the desegregation of Veterans Administration hospitals (1944-1964)"
Moderator: James Sparrow Voluntarism, Civil Society and the State, 11:15-12:45
  • Elisabeth Clemens (University of Chicago): Civic Gifts:  Benevolence and Voluntarism in the Making of the American Nation-State.
  • Clarisse Berthezene (Paris-Diderot): State, voluntary action and social welfare : political parties and the mobilization of women in Britain 1929-1951.
Moderator:  Alain ChatriotAdministrative State, 2-4
  • Marc Olivier Baruch (EHESS-CRH), "La fonction la plus importante et la plus noble qui soit dans l'ordre temporel, le service de l'Etat", French State Elites and Gaullism since 1940
  • Alain Chatriot (CNRS-CRH), "This a good exemple of the exuberance with which administrative plants will grow", The French State during the First World War.
  • Emilien Ruiz (Docteur EHESS), "The answer is "Too many civil servants", but what exactly was the question? The number of state employees and its perception in France from 1850 to 1950. (This paper will be delivered in French with an English powerpoint)
Moderator: Elisabeth ClemensConversation: How Globalization Made States? Public Authority, Private Capital, and Local Networks in the Nineteenth Century
  • Nicolas Delalande (Sciences Po): "State Power, International Reputation, and Public Credit in the Age of the First Globalization (c. 1850-1914)"
  • Stephen Sawyer (AUP): "Amended Federalism: Global and Local Pressures in Nineteenth-Century Statecraft, 1860-1890"
  • Quentin Deluermoz (Paris 13/IUF): “Local Event, Global Effect? The Paris Commune and the strengthening of State Power, 1871-1880”
Moderator: William Novak For more information on the State as History and Theory Project see:http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/state_as_history_and_theory/
Source: calenda.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

WORSHOP: Making Law in the Ottoman Space (1800-1914) (Paris, Collège de France, 26-27 May 2015)

(Sultan Abdulmecid I, image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Calenda announced an interdisciplinary workshop on the legal history of the Ottoman Empire, held in Paris on 26 and 27 May.

Tuesday May 26th, 201509:00-09:30 Welcoming and registration
09:30-09:45 Welcoming address: Marc Aymes, Sümbül Kaya and Aylin Koçunyan
  • 09:45-10:00 Marc Aymes “Trans-acting Matters: Areas and Eras of a (Post-)Ottoman Globalization”
10:00-10:10 Coffee break- SESSION I: 10:10-12:00 Transformation of the Legal Order and Reforms
  • Hümeyra Bostan, İstanbul Şehir University, New Means of Providing Justice in a Distant Province: Ottoman Judicial Reform in Yemen (1872-1918)
  • Ebru Aykut, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Revisiting the Basic Legal Principles of the Tanzimat in Light of a Customary Practice: House-Burning and Usul-i Cibal
  • Ileana Moroni, University of Basel, The Parliament as Law-Maker in the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution
Discussant: Nathalie Clayer, CETOBAC, EHESS12:00-13:30: Lunch break- SESSION II: 13:30-15:20 Law, Encounters and Hybridizations
  • Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Boğaziçi University, Codifying –or not Codifying- the Exception: the 1877 İdare-i Örfiye Kararnamesi
  • Wolfgang Egner, University of Constanz, The Negotiation of Entangled Law: The Global Context of Ottoman Law in Cyprus
  • William Smiley, Princeton University, Sovereignty, Sharia, and the Şeyhülislam in the Age of Revolutions
Discussant: François Georgeon, CETOBAC, EHESS15:20-15:40 Coffee break- SESSION III: 15:40-17:30 Law and the Multi-Ethnic Imperial Context
  • Aylin Koçunyan, CETOBAC, EHESS, French Impact on the Legal Transformation of the Millet System in the Ottoman Empire, 1856-1865
  • Dzovinar Derderian, University of Michigan, Marriage Law as a Site of Resistance, 1840s-1870s
  • Yusuf Ziya Karabıçak, McGill University, Greek Associations and Ottoman Legality in Late Nineteenth Century
Discussant: Bernard Heyberger, CEIFR, EHESSWEDNESDAY May 27th, 2015-SESSION IV: 10:00-11:50 Law and Particular Social Landscapes
  • Ahmad Amara, New York University, State Making and Jurisdictional Tensions: The Beersheba Kaza as an Anomalous Legal Zone
  • Fatma Öncel, Boğaziçi University, Law and Struggle in Ottoman Rural Society: Çiftliks of Trikala
  • Christian Sassmannshausen, Freie Universität, When the Court Visited Home: Legal Out-of-Court Sessions and the Manzūl in Late Ottoman Tripoli
Discussant: Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Boğaziçi University11:50-13:00 Lunch Break- SESSION V: 13:00-14:20 Law, Legal Language and Content
  • Omar Y. Cheta, Bard College, “Wakil” and “Avukatu”: On the Politics of Legal Language in Late Ottoman Egypt
  • Sami Erdem, İstanbul Şehir University, From Fiqh Book to Legal Text: Revisiting Continuity and Change in the Majalla as a Model for Traditional Content in Modern Form
Discussant: Virginia H. Aksan, McMaster University14:20-14:30 Coffee break- SESSION VI: 14:30-15:50 Law and Social Categories
  • Ceyda Karamürsel, University of Pennsylvania, Race, Ethnicity and the Making of Law in the Post-Circassian Expulsion Ottoman Empire
  • İlkay Yılmaz, Istanbul University, Stamping the Outsider Subjects Inside: The Passport Regulations in the Hamidian Period
Discussant: Dina Khoury, George Washington University15:50-16:00 Coffee break16:00-16:30 CONCLUDING REMARKS Abstracts:

  • Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Boğaziçi University
    Codifying –or not Codifying- the Exception: the 1877 İdare-i Örfiye Kararnamesi
My paper aims to discuss the legal, political and social configuration that shaped the 1877 regulation of idare-i örfiye (or örfi idare), the untranslatable Ottoman equivalent of the state of siege. First mentioned in the 1876 Constitution and first applied during the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-1878, the örfi idare consisted in the suspension of the ordinary legal order in exceptional circumstances. Its scope and modalities of application were codified in September 1877 by a decree composed of 13 articles. The Ottoman kararname was a case of legal hybridization that combined the translation of some articles of the 1849 French law on the “état de siège” and references to the Ottoman political and legal systems. Relying on the French and Ottoman legal texts, as well as documents from the military archives in Ankara and the Başbakanlık archives, I will attempt to analyze this codification of the örfi idare both as the product of textual encounters and as the result of political and social dynamics involving a wide range of local, governmental and foreign actors in the context of the Russo-Ottoman war. I will also discuss the lack of precision of this regulation on several crucial aspects, arguing that the confrontation to the social realities did not only shape the process of codification but also contributed to define what was to remain unspoken in the law. Theses lacunae left room for tensions and negotiations between the different parts active in or affected by the örfi idare, especially the different institutions of the central government, the provincial military authorities and the foreign powers. By its contents and its gaps, the 1877 regulation sheds light on the mechanisms that transformed the örfi idare into a tool of government for exceptional and (most often) non exceptional times in the late Ottoman period and, later on, during the Republican era.
  • Ahmad Amara, New York University
    State Making and Jurisdictional Tensions: The Beersheba Kaza as an Anomalous Legal Zone
Throughout the process of founding and administering the Beersheba town and kaza (1900) in southern Palestine, the Ottoman officials had emphasized the ‘special circumstances’ of the region. Their actions and administration were guided by these circumstances. In 1902 the local administrative council was allowed to sit as a Court of First Instance (bidayet mahkemesi). What was applied however, were mostly the local laws and customs, and the judges serving in the court were local Bedouin sheikhs. The year after, the şurayı devlet (The Ottoman Council of State) allowed the council to look also into land dispute cases, to be resolved also according to tribal local customs. Despite the Ottoman land reform and attempts to register Bedouin held lands since the 1880s, the şurayı devlet had justified its decision by the then-existing local practices. The decision noted that lands in the region were not registered and land transactions (rehin ve ferağ) were being conducted according to the local custom and tradition (örf ve âdet), whereas disputes were resolved through sulh ve hüküm (mediation and ruling). The Ottoman government sought to make a gradual change in southern Palestine without imposing its own official laws, and justified its decision by the fact that the Bedouin were not educated of the judicial rules and laws of the nizamiye courts.However, at the outset questions of law and jurisdiction began to arise. One plaintiff complained that the nizamiye court in Gaza did not accept appeals on decisions of the Beersheba council, while another asked the Jerusalem administrative council to serve as an appeal forum, and a third plaintiff requested the şurayı devlet to set as a cessation court. In some cases, both the Jerusalem council and the şurayı devlet looked into appeals, however their action received some criticism from different Ottoman departments as being incompatible with the legal provisions. On the ground, people were conducting forum shopping to achieve their best results.The Beersheba experience represented one case of state-society relationships, which embodied the tensions and workings between the Ottoman goal to creating an integrated system of rule and the creation of new accommodating legal system. Nevertheless, looking into the imperial legal orders, even after the tanzimat, we see that accommodating legal cultures were not rare. The jurisdictional tensions signified the complexity of the socio-economic affairs of the region and its environs, as well as the shifting understandings and categorizations of specific legal, spatial, and social realities by governmental and social actors (including courts, judges, regional governors, tax and land registry staff, inhabitants and local leaders). The legal culture that had evolved continued in the post-Ottoman period and impacted the later British Mandatory judicial system in the region.(The research utilizes archival resources from the Ottoman Basbakanlik Archives; the Israel State Archives; Personal Papers; and Interviews).
  • Ebru Aykut, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University
    Revisiting the Basic Legal Principles of the Tanzimat in Light of a Customary Practice: House-Burning and Usul-i Cibal
The two of the fundamental tenets of the Tanzimat’s legal project were the principles of personal criminal liability and legality according to which no one could be punished for an act without standing trial and before his/her guilt was proven in line with the kanun and sharia. This paper aims to revisit these premises by focusing on a particular local customary practice that had reportedly been in force since time immemorial among Albanian highland communities.Setting fire to the house of a murderer, who took flight after his act, was part of the ancient Albanian customary law known as the Kanun of Lek Dukagin or Usul-i Cibal (Mountain Law). In such cases, fire was a means of extinguishing collective outrage, an extra-judicial punishment carried out usually by the village community and warranted by local governments. The house-burning custom had been outlawed in 1854 by the Ottoman state for the obvious reason that punishing the innocent families of murderers along with the perpetrators without due process of law was against the very principles of the Tanzimat. It should also be recalled that the punishment for the crime of arson was death penalty according to the 1858 Penal Code. Nevertheless, the archival evidence suggests that this custom did not disappear because the killers, in most cases, could not be captured and arrested and even if they were captured, the local people preferred a quick restitution of justice by fire without delay rather than seeking official punishment to be inflicted on the perpetrator that could take a long time. In other words, the deterrent and immediate effect of the custom could not be substituted by any other means and thus, it remained legitimate in the eyes of the local communities as well as local authorities who had no choice but to acknowledge its force and benefits to maintain public security and order in the area.
Focusing on this particular component of the customary law in the context of nineteenth-century legal reforms, this paper aims to highlight the complexity of the legal order in the Ottoman Empire and the role of popular understandings of justice and local dynamics in shaping the practice of law which did not necessarily require a consistency with the letter of the law. Not surprisingly, this inconsistency, or rather the existence of multiple legal spheres in an era marked by centralization, codification, and standardization efforts, resulted in contentions between the imperial center and the provincial governments, but at the same time provided the families of the murderers with a legitimate ground to raise their voices against the custom and ask for the implementation of justice in accordance with the kanun and sharia.
  • Hümeyra Bostan, İstanbul Şehir University
    New Means of Providing Justice in a Distant Province: Ottoman Judicial Reform in Yemen (1872-1918)
This paper deals with the introduction of a new judicial organization in the Province of Yemen after 1872 when the second Ottoman conquest of the region took place. Examining the ebbs and flows in the process of the establishment of the new Ottoman court system called the nizamiye courts, I argue that the Ottoman state did not insist in uniform policies but had flexibility to use interim formulas to provide for the gradual transformation of the judicial system of Yemen.
The Ottoman state transformed gradually its legal organization after the promulgation of Gülhane Rescript in 1839. A codification of Islamic principles and an adaptation of Western laws followed along with a new system of courts. However, the consolidation of the new legal organization in Yemen took some time. The Ottoman government established nizamiye courts in the provincial center and in most sub-provinces and districts by 1879. Because the Yemenis were unaccustomed to applying to courts, the state reorganized the court system with some modifications and then decided to abolish the nizamiye courts but sustained the şer‘iyye courts in 1889. Subsequently, the government transformed the şer‘iyye courts in ways that authorized them to implement nizami law. This study examines how “legal reform” was instituted in Yemen and how or to what extent these new legal categories and institutions facilitated Ottoman rule. This complicated and multi-dimensional story of the court organization in Yemen indicates the Ottoman state’s commitment to its principle of flexibility and toleration in providing justice to all its subjects.
  • Omar Y. Cheta, Bard College
    “Wakil” and “Avukatu”: On the Politics of Legal Language in Late Ottoman Egypt
This paper is an attempt to contribute to the study of legal language in the Ottoman Empire through revising the history of the legal profession in late Ottoman Egypt.
From the 1830s onwards, the Ottoman Empire witnessed a period of intense legal transformation. Simultaneously, Egypt, a largely autonomous province within the Empire, was the site of parallel legal experiments that resembled those being formulated in the Ottoman center. In both Istanbul and Cairo, a novel legal infrastructure consisting of Ottoman and continental European components was being constructed, elaborated on and frequently revised. This infrastructure would gradually become the primary field upon which Ottoman subjects, as well as, in certain cases, foreign residents and travellers, negotiated the resolution of their disputes in accordance with legally sanctioned procedures. The language that elucidated the contours and mechanisms of this infrastructure was marked by tensions between the apparent meanings of legal concepts and categories, and the meanings of these same categories as understood and deployed by the numerous individuals who navigated the sphere of law.
This paper explores this tension through focusing on the category of “legal practitioners”; a category that was re-conceptualized during the nineteenth century. Through systematically exploring the roles carried out by individuals who held the titles of “wakil” and “avukatu” inside nineteenth courtrooms, the paper will trace the emergence and transformation of a particular kind of legal practitioner, namely, the professional lawyer. The geographical focus of the paper is Cairo, arguably, the alternative center of legal experimentation in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. In terms of sources, the paper will draw on both Istanbul and Cairo-issued legislations, a host of commercial and civil disputes litigated in Cairo (in both state-enacted courts and European (esp. British) consulates), as well as contemporaneous commentaries, such as travel accounts and memoirs.
  • Dzovinar Derderian, University of Michigan
    Marriage Law as a Site of Resistance, 1840s-1870s
The multi-confessional setting in the eastern Ottoman provinces provided a number of legal venues for the local inhabitants to contest the regulations of their confessional communities. In the proposed paper I focus on marriage law and ask how and why marriage presented a central domain for contesting power. During the era of the Tanzimat (1839-1876) the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul attempted to gain full control of the Ottoman Armenian Apostolic communities. The centralization of the patriarchate— linked to the centralization of the Ottoman state—was challenged in the provinces. Marriage was a domain in which the Istanbul Patriarchate sought to enforce the letter of the law, but faced multiple difficulties in doing so. I argue that by regulating marriage the patriarchate aimed to demarcate ethno-confessional boundaries and centralize its power in the provinces.
Petitions sent from Van and Erzurum to the Armenian Patriarchate and the Sublime Porte in Istanbul, as well as the Armenian Catholicosate in the Russian Empire from the 1840s to the 1870s, constitute the main archival sources of the proposed paper. I will also examine the reports, decrees, and public discourses (i.e., periodicals) regarding marriage. In this paper I question how individuals in the provinces of Erzurum and Van bended the boundaries of marriage law to resist the centralization of the patriarchate. Individuals looked for new legal avenues in cases of divorce, marriage of underage girls, marriage between relatives and limitations on the number of spouses. The petitions confirm that the Protestants and Catholic communities, the Kurdish sheikhs and Islamic courts provided individuals belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church the opportunities to challenge their confessional legal boundaries of marriage. The existence of different centers of the Armenian Church provided an additional medium for trespassing marriage law. I ask how and why priests facilitated the violation of the Armenian Church’s marriage law.
  • Wolfgang Egner, University of Constanz
    The Negotiation of Entangled Law: The Global Context of Ottoman Law in Cyprus
The occupation of Cyprus by the British Empire established an exceptional case of international law that had a major impact on the local law in Cyprus. A contract with the Ottoman Sultan allowed “the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England”. In the annex of this convention the British diplomat Layard accepted to perpetuate the local religious tribunals. But like in many colonial cases, the British at the same time wanted to introduce a new law inspired by the Indian code as part of a larger plan for reforming the island.Thus the Medjlis-i Idare was replaced in its legislative function by a new legislative council that created new laws in Cyprus. But formally the island was still under Ottoman legislation and for many British lawyers Ottoman law nonetheless prevailed. The provincial Daavi Courts continued their work under the British administration but could be overseen by a district commissioner, who was entitled to overrule the judgment. The High Court of Justice was established as a new court for foreigners continuing the dual jurisdiction, but also mixing both jurisdictions by sending cases in which foreigners accused locals (Ottoman subjects) to the Daavi courts. There are many more examples for the coexistence of different legal norms in Cyprus, which created hybrid forms of law and legal practice.
In this talk I focus on the question of how the local Ottoman law was shaped by the interconnected system of the British Empire and by a comparison with other similar cases under foreign administration such as Bosnia-Hercegovina and Tunisia. The local and international negotiation process changed the law itself and at times even to the benefit of local jurisdiction.
  • Sami Erdem, İstanbul Şehir University
    From Fiqh Book to Legal Text: Revisiting Continuity and Change in the Majalla as a Model for Traditional Content in Modern Form
The Ottoman Majalla represents the first attempt at a transition from a conception of law based on fiqh texts to that of law as a codified code in Islamic history. Codifying a portion of Islamic civil law and consisting of sixteen chapters, this corpus was prepared by a committee comprised by fiqh ulema and headed by Ahmed Cevdet Pasha, before being gradually brought into force between 1869 and 1876. The Majalla was highly important not just for the Ottomans but also for many Islamic societies in the formerly-Ottoman territories (most significantly, Egypt) as it either served as the model for codification, or was directly adopted in these countries during the 20th century. Although it was abolished in Turkey in 1926, it continued to function as the main source of codification in the area of civil law in many other Muslim societies. Moreover, the Majalla’s significance went beyond codification processes, influencing experts’ understanding of Islamic fiqh as manifested in the relevant literature.This paper revisits the significance of the Majalla in two inter-related respects. The first concerns the formal/morphological novelty that the Majalla carried as an experience/experiment in switching from text-based understanding of Islamic law to that of legal application based on the idea of codified law. The committee preparing the corpus presented it as a modern fatwa collection and a new fiqh text containing the most respected legal opinions of the Hanafi school, further insisting that it maintained the traditional assumptions and principles of law in order to avoid the legitimation problem for this novel form in the eyes of the traditional ulema. Thus, the Majalla’s formal novelty came to represent the main reference for later reforms, serving as a model for (re)producing the traditional content in a modern form.
Secondly, I will examine the Majalla’s presentation of the notion of “change” as a basis of its legitimacy as fiqh text with a new form that was compatible with the modern(izing) society. The idea of change was a highly significant theme in both the committee reports during the Majalla’s preparation phase and the narratives of its authors (particularly in Ahmed Cevdet Pasha’s anecdotes in his memoirs) as well as in its content. However, despite its bold promises, it failed to satisfy the expectations regarding the scale and depth of change in modernizing the Ottoman civil law, for it did not entail concrete and radical propositions or solutions in terms of the notion of change. Still, however, the very positive attitude toward “change” and the significance attached to it by the Majalla came to form the main reference point (and a legitimizing role) for later codification attempts.
Therefore, this paper discusses the tension between form and content in the Majalla in terms of the transition from fiqh text to legal text on the one hand, and the nature and future of the idea of change in it, paying attention to the interaction between law makers and socio-political context as well as to the Majalla’s epistemological references, on the other.
  • Yusuf Ziya Karabıçak, McGill University
    Greek Associations and Ottoman Legality in Late Nineteenth Century
The first Greek educational association in the Ottoman Empire was founded in 1861 in Istanbul. The first Ottoman Law of Associations was promulgated in 1909. It is hard to imagine that associations, regardless of the community their founders belonged to, acted in a legal chaos for 48 years. In fact, they did not. Although there was no law, the associations were bound and regulated by a certain number of government activities and discourses that gave them legality in the eyes of Ottoman officials. These activities and discourses allowed Ottoman officials to permit some activities while banning others. This paper discusses the ways in which Greek associations became legal and acceptable in this environment.
Essential elements for this discussion are the words Ottoman official documentation used to describe associations (cemiyet, kulüp, biraderlik), the prerequisites the Ottoman officials asked from an association, and the way they dealt with each case. Legality of associations in the Ottoman Empire was determined through actions and correspondences for a very long time. Far from being a non-legal environment, this was a process of inclusion/exclusion which gave a freer hand to Ottoman officials and especially to local authorities. Reading these correspondences will help us reconstruct Ottoman officials’ expectations to a certain extent.
In this paper, I will make use of Ottoman documentation surrounding Greek educational and philanthropic associations from 1860 to 1900s, to examine how Ottoman officials decided on the legality of public activities and what kind of a vocabulary they used to talk about it. This work benefits from studies done by François Georgeon, George A. Vassiadis, Haris Exertzoglou, Nadir Özbek and others on associations while addressing a hitherto neglected aspect of these activities: their legality.
  • Ceyda Karamürsel, University of Pennsylvania
    Race, Ethnicity and the Making of Law in the Post-Circassian Expulsion Ottoman Empire
In 1861, a Nogay prince named Canpolat, expelled from the Caucasus and settled near Constanza in today’s Romania, wrote to the Ottoman officials to complain about the “rebellious behaviour” of his five slaves that he brought with him. Canpolat Bey was one of many Caucasian noblemen who were dislocated from their native Caucasus lands during the Russo-Circassian war and settled in the Ottoman domains. Like many other Caucasian slave holders at the time, he sought ways to suppress his slaves’ pursuit of freedom, inspired particularly by the abolition of trade in African slaves effected a few years prior. When Canpolat Bey submitted his formal complaint however, he was asked to pay a pençik tax for the slaves he owned. Utterly perplexed, he objected, claiming that pençik tax was not known to them in their native lands in Kuban. Nor was his ownership of the slaves a Şer‘i matter, he contended, which could be litigated or settled at the court, for in Canpolat Bey’s "transplanted" perception of law, his ownership of his slaves was regulated primarily by customary law, known as adat in the Caucasus. His slaves were either obtained through such practices as blood money, princely plunder or were inherited from his family, whereas for the Ottoman state, slavery was regulated by Şer‘i law, and accordingly slave or free status were determined at the Şer‘i courts. For the slaves themselves, on the other hand, it was a whole different matter, which had the newly emerging international anti-slavery law as its focus that had already effectively bent Şer‘i law and brought an end to the trade in African slaves. If the Şer‘i law could be abrogated once for the African slaves, why would it not bend for the Circassians? Using Ottoman state archives, court records and British consular documents, this paper aims to explore how different legal systems interplayed with or worked against each other in determining the limits of slavery and freedom, which concomitantly delineated the categories of race and ethnicity more explicitly in the late Ottoman Empire.
  • Aylin Koçunyan, CETOBAC, EHESS
    French Impact on the Legal Transformation of the Millet System in the Ottoman Empire, 1856-1865
The Crimean War (1853-56) had an important impact on the transformation and institutionalization of the millet-system in the Ottoman Empire. The conflict broke out due to a dispute between Catholic and Orthodox clergy over the control of the Holy Places in Palestine and triggered the religious clientelism of the Great Powers. In order to preserve its sovereignty in the governance of non-Muslim communities, the Ottoman state had to conceive a new legal framework that would guarantee their religious freedom and privileges. Hence, community regulations were proclaimed by the Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Jewish communities in the period extending from 1862 to 1865. Another consequence of the Crimean War was the admission of the Ottoman Empire to the Concert of Europe, a process which necessitated the conciliation of the principles governing the Ottoman/non-Muslim communal sphere with those of their European counterparts. The project pays attention to the restructuration of the Ottoman Armenian and Jewish communities in a period that followed the Crimean War and the promulgation of the 1856 Reform Decree, which invited them to revise their community regulations. On the one hand, it tries to reconstruct the impact of the French consistorial system (a body created in1808 by Napoleon I and governing the Jewish congregations of France) on the transformation of the Ottoman Jewish community in the 1860s and the agency of the transnational communal networks behind the process. On the other hand, it shows how the Armenian intelligentsia which drafted the Armenian regulation tried to adapt the elements of French constitutionalism to the Ottoman context for the administration of their communal sphere. The research combines many sources including the Ottoman Archives, the French national and diplomatic archives, those of the Alliance israélite universelle and of the Israelite Central Consistory of France and of the Bibliothèque Noubar.
  • Ileana Moroni, University of Basel
    The Parliament as Law-Maker in the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution
In this paper, I will discuss the Parliament as law-maker during the first year of the Second Constitutional Period, 1908-09.The 1908 revolution profoundly affects the Ottoman political system. Following the restoration of the 1876 Constitution, and the opening of the newly elected Parliament in December 1908, sovereignty is transferred from the sultan to the nation, and the Parliament becomes the key political institution of this period. Even though the influence of extra-parliamentary and extra-legal methods, as well of as of social dynamics, on the law-making process, should not be downplayed, laws are henceforth discussed and decided upon in the Parliament, a representative institution which asserts sovereignty in the name of the nation, and which utterly also defines the limits of legitimacy in the new political system.
I will first briefly present the conditions within which the Parliament is convened, how deputies are elected, and what the prerogatives of this legislative body are, according to the 1876 Constitution. Then, I will examine within which conditions, through which procedures, and based on which precepts the Ottoman Parliament acts as a legislator. Deputies see their assembly as a revolutionary Parliament; in addition, more than on the letter of the Constitution and on the Parliament's internal regulation, they base their practice and their arguments on what they call the “spirit” of the constitutional regime, on European examples, as well as on the need to act swiftly in order to safeguard “order”, “unity” (key concepts in their discourse), and, utterly, the nation.
Thus, even though law-making is now supposed to rely on the written rules set by the Constitution, parliamentary practice points, more than to rule of law, to a kind of “state of exception” in which a “revolutionary” Parliament is allowed to make whatever decisions it sees fit for the “salvation of the nation”.
  • Fatma Öncel, Boğaziçi University
    Law and Struggle in Ottoman Rural Society: Çiftliks of Trikala
In this paper, I propose to discuss the making of law regarding land and property in the Ottoman countryside during the nineteenth century. As a part of my PhD research, I intend to focus on competing legal and social claims on agrarian lands in the Ottoman Balkans. Challenging the normative approaches to law, I will discuss the relationship between legal and social spheres both in conceptual and empirical means. Conceptually, an institutional approach to the making of nineteenth-century Ottoman land law is proposed based on the idea of legal pluralism; as the interests of competing social groups were institutionalized within multiple legal claims. Making of law is regarded here as an institution with its own dynamics, transcending legal reforms of the period. Also from a revisionist class-based analysis, I will discuss the mutual reproduction of law and society. Empirically, I intend to show the coexistence and competition between different legal claims on land raised by the peasantry, local nobility, and centralising state power. For that purpose, I examine a number of çiftliks at Trikala (Thessaly, Greece) during c. 1820s-1870s. These çiftliks belonged to different legal frameworks as miri and vakıf, and their records (“defters”) were kept for various purposes, such as enlisting possessions and revenues of çiftliks after confiscations, or account books comparing claims of peasants and vakıf deputies. These records included extensive information about land and about people working on it. Moreover, they presented details of contracts between peasants and landlords, and obligations of landlords to the central authorities. Therefore, I intend to highlight differences of legal claims in two layers; first, the ones due to rent and labour relations within çiftliks; and second, the ones due to legal status of çiftlik lands.
  • Christian Sassmannshausen, Freie Universität
    When the Court Visited Home: Legal Out-of-Court Sessions and the Manzūl in Late Ottoman Tripoli
The making of law in the Ottoman Empire was a complex process based on various legal sources, institutions, and practices on both the imperial and local level. Nineteenth-century Ottoman reforms further differentiated the legal landscape, adjusting the basis of law, its institutions and establishing at least nominal legal equality of all citizens. Yet for all we know about Ottoman law on a theoretical level, we know remarkably little about how it actually worked in practice.This paper focuses on local legal spaces and their interplay with the Islamic court in late Ottoman Tripoli (Greater Syria). In out-of-court sessions held mostly in manzūls, the reception halls of Muslim and Non-Muslim families, petitioners from very different social backgrounds (often from the same mahalle) settled a variety of legal cases. These out-of-court sessions, although still held under the auspices of the Islamic court, were led not by the judge but by the local court scribe (kātib). As such, the manzūl functioned as an exclusively local legal space, attended by a local kātib functioning as a judge, the hosts of the manzūl as well as local petitioners and witnesses. What’s more, most of the scribes in charge of such sessions were sons or close relatives of influential hosts of the reception halls. These semi-private court sessions, held in almost every quarter of the city, thus constituted a complementary legal space that excluded externally-appointed judges in favor of locally based court scribes with close ties to the manzūl’s hosts. As such, imperial policies in the legal sphere intending to contain the accumulation of local power – in this case, the more frequent rotation of judges – were incorporated into pre-existing forms of mediation outside of the court. Out-of-court sessions allowed the hosts of manzūls to safeguard particular legal decisions in the city. This strengthened the influence of informal mediation and allowed for the application of local notions of justice. The importance and longevity of these complementary legal spaces gives us new insight into the many layers of Ottoman legal culture and offer a new paradigm for how we understand local legal culture in practice.
  • William Smiley, Princeton University
    Sovereignty, Sharia, and the Şeyhülislam in the Age of Revolutions
This paper takes up the relationship between political power and legal authority in the tumultuous decades that followed Selim III’s Nizam-ı Cedid reforms, but preceded the sweeping legal reforms of the Tanzimat. In this period, the Ottoman state was faced with internal turmoil throughout the Balkans, most notably in Serbia and Greece. The state responded by elaborating and applying the Hanafi law of rebellion to draw shifting lines between those who could and could not be killed and enslaved. At the same time, the state asserted, in the context of international diplomacy, that these rebellions were strictly within the Ottomans’ own sovereign jurisdiction. Both state assertions and juristic opinions were constructed with attention to the Islamic legal tradition, the gendered economies of Ottoman slavery, military necessities, and diplomatic considerations.
The paper traces the interplay between these factors, in order to untangle how political motivations informed, but were also shaped by, Islamic legal reasoning. Ultimately, I argue, the Ottomans redefined Islamic law to fit this moment—but did so within certain boundaries, themselves set by the legal tradition. The paper draws on a number of fetvas, on imperial orders invoking them, and on rescripts (Hatt-ı Hümayuns), all from the Başbakanlık archives, as well as on diplomatic correspondence from the British National Archives.
In telling this story, the paper aims to challenge common assumptions about the relationship between şeyhülislams and sultans, and more broadly, between the Islamic legal tradition and political authorities. At the same time, it situates the Ottoman Empire in the broader global context of the “Age of Revolutions,” arguing that the new definitions of sovereignty the Ottomans articulated through Islamic law had much in common with concepts of international law that emerged from the Atlantic World amidst North and South American independence movements and the U.S. Civil War.
  • İlkay Yılmaz, Istanbul University
    Stamping the Outsider Subjects Inside: The Passport Regulations in the Hamidian Period
This paper aims at analyzing the international (1884 and 1894) and internal (1887) passport (mürür tezkeresi) regulations which are highly indicative of the political elite’s perception of security as well as the emerging infrastructural power tools of the modern state. The study tries to explain the disciplinary modern power mechanisms developed by the Ottoman political elite through the analysis of the administrative practices and regulations on geographical mobilization in everyday life as surveillance techniques.In the Hamidian Era (1876-1908) the geographical mobilization is one of the burning issues of the Ottoman political elite as a part of security policies. The new threat perceptions of the political elites, mainly based on political problems, directed their attention to the Armenians, Bulgarians, seasonal workers, foreign workers and members of secret societies. Besides this, the new legislative and administrative security reforms are also influenced by the anarchist fear in Europe and the anti-anarchist regulations against “propaganda by deed”.
The threat perceptions thus shaped the security discourse of the political center. The new articulations of “vagrant” (serseri) and “mischief” (fesad) create a discursive link to pejorative understandings of “anarchism” and “anarchist” in official correspondences. This security discourse also refers to the concept of social order and the pan-Islamic discourse of the Hamidian regime that is disseminated to obtain legitimacy in domestic and international spheres. It also refers to the security ideology which dwells on the intention of unifying the Empire against “internal and external enemies”. The aim of the study consists in examining the relation between these emergent threat perceptions of the political center and the new regulations on geographical mobilization.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: Ratio Juris, XXVIII (2015), Issue 2 (June)

(image source: italymagazine.com)
Nomôdos reports the publication of a recent issue of Ratio Juris, with a section dedicated to Macchiavelli.

Table of contents:
Articles[Machiavelli]Notes - Discussions - Book Reviews Full text at the Wiley Online Library.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

RESEARCH GUIDE: History of International Law (Peace Palace Library, The Hague)

The excellent website of the Peace Palace Library highlights its research guide on the history of international law.

More information here.
Catégories: Comparative Law News