Quick Links

Comparative Law News

COLLOQUIUM: "The sacred and the layman: popular literatures of law" (Oxford, September 4-5 2015)

WHAT The sacred and the layman: popular literatures of law, colloquium

WHEN September 4-5 2015

WHERE Maison française Oxford

Why and who do we write legal books for ?
Is this question a naive one ? Isn’t the answer obvious within the community of jurists ? Serious legal books - those considered as scientific - are meant to be read by jurists, either administrators, lawyers, judges, solicitors, insurers, bailiffs, business jurists, professors and, of course, students. It is therefore of no importance if citizens or clients sometimes happen to open a legal book, out of curiosity (let us precise, though, that legal essays appear here as an exception, inasmuch as they address a wider public than that of jurists). Therefore, one should not confuse legal science as a specific kind of literature with possible profane works which deal with law to educate popular masses, or to vulgarize law. From this point of view, legal literature is unique, and distinguishes (we then trust the intuition of the « competent » jurist) the sacred and the layman.

Is that so simple though ? For instance, can we consider a versification of the Civil code, a legal guide for everyday life, a guide of the citizen or the farmer, a legal journal treating of labour law, to be legal works ? In other words, it appears delicate to state the uniqueness of legal literature and to reject every work not considered as scientific out of it (from the jurists’ perspective). The risk is to forget that since Rome was created, at least another kind of legal literature exists, which does not target the jurists but can nonetheless be considered as legal because it takes law as its main topic. It is then possible to consider that legal literature consists of all the (un)published texts mainly concerning law. One has to admit that this kind of legal literature is not only written by and for the jurists. It then becomes possible to include in the field of legal literature all the discursive forms and all the different types of books, including those who seem to be works of popularization. Another legal and popular literature thus exists beside scientific literature.
The existence of such a popular legal literature should by no means be a surprise to the historians and jurists : raw data is enough to prove its existence. The number of such publications and their success in the French issue is a sufficient proof. One can certainly venture that it is not an isolated case, especially regarding the British literature on the subject. It is then our task to prove that these works can be considered as popular in the sense that they aim at a wide public of non-jurists. Therefore, they are popular inasmuch as they enable law to flee the hands of its "priests" or specialists.
The organizers of this colloquium wish to highlight a part of this forgotten legal literature which addresses not the jurists, but some "users" of law (architects, entrepreneurs, veterinarians), certain social categories including working masses (rural areas, industry workers, storekeepers, craftsmen) or directly the general public (if the latter exists). The forms and the media of this literature are numerous : specialized legal journals (for example Les questions pratiques de législation industrielle et d’économie sociale), books (« Avocats conseils », codes for all, the Armand Colin collection « Les petits manuels du foyer », « Le droit mis à la portée de tout le monde » by Ch. Delagrave) or even newspapers.
They then intend to gather some researchers, whether they are, for instance, historians, jurists, historians of literature, sociologists, to try to keep up a reflection which concerns the following axes:
Axis n°1: identificationsWho writes these works ? Is it about jurists writing for non-jurists? Are the addressees identified and recognizable ? What are the places of production and reception of these speeches ? A typology could be ventured and would be desirable, as well as national chronologies (in particular to highlight the link between this literature and political changes).
Axis n°2: weightWhat does this literature represent from an economic point of view? Its circulation is essential to understand its possible weight. It raises the question of the access to law under a new angle.
Axis n°3: comparisonsAre these publications and these texts of the same invoice, the same shape or the same morphology as the scientific said legal literature ? In other words, can we speak of works of popularization or are they a particular kind of legal literature ? What about the vocabulary and the language employed in these works ? What about their style and their method ? Can we also compare these works with guides such as medical or agronomic ones, for example?
Axis n°4: methods and endsThe dimension or the educational function here seems essential. Do these works contain a program or an ambition ? This implies wondering about the purpose of such a literature : is it supposed to be useful (learning how to defend one’s rights ; learning how to draft a contract) or does it answer to sociopolitical purposes ?
Axis n°5: effectsAre these works actually more understandable and more accessible ? Are the simplification and the popularization efficient ? Beyond that, one can wonder about the effects of this literature on substantial law : is the law described in these works completely the same as the one presented to the jurists ? Is there not a difference between law for the jurists and law for the layman ?It is possible to raise the question of the loss of power implied by the spreading of legal knowledge. One can also wonder about the democratization of this knowledge as to the completing of concrete democracy, for instance.
Scientific organization :
Laetitia Guerlain, University of Bordeaux, azella@hotmail.frNader Hakim, University of Bordeaux, nader.hakim@wanadoo.fr

Catégories: Comparative Law News

SEMINAR: "The Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe of 1486 - stages of incentives for land liberalisation in Medieval Hispanic Kingdoms" (Edinburgh, June 1 2015)

WHAT The Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe of 1486 - stages of incentives for land liberalisation in Medieval Hispanic Kingdoms, seminar of the Edinburgh Centre for Legal History
WHEN June 1 2015 - 5:00 pm
WHERE Kenyon Mason Suite, Law School, Old College - South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9 YL
all information here
speaker Prof. Elia Marzal, Ramon Lull University (Barcelona) 
The Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe, issued by Ferdinand II of Aragon, put an end to the Wars of Remences, by allowing seigneury peasants, until then bound to the land, to leave it. According to the literature, this redemption of serfs -that expresses the dismantling of medieval political organization based on seigneury- took place much earlier than in other Hispanic and European reigns, where reforms would not arrive before the end of XVIIth Century. However, the general Fuero of León, first appeared in the ordinances of a council held in the city by Alfonso V in 1020, already allowed seigneury peasants to leave the land, without the social conflict that preceded in Catalonia the Sentencia Arbitral, but only in exchange of a prize and under certain conditions. Comparing these texts will allow us to put the Catalan text into proper historical perspective and shed light into the logic underlying these measures. Indeed, it will be argued that freedom of movement as recognised to peasants would express a transaction or re-equilibrium of political powers between the King and the Lords, rather than the result of the social tension between peasants and Lords, and would ultimately depend on the existence of incentives for land liberalisation.

Catégories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Tel Aviv University - Faculty of Law: 3rd Annual TAU Workshop for Junior Scholars in Law: "Theory coming to life"

Juris Diversitas - mar, 05/19/2015 - 03:43

The Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law is pleased to invite submissions to its third annual workshop for junior scholars in law. The workshop provides junior scholars with the opportunity to present and discuss their work and receive meaningful feedback from faculty members and peers, and aims to invigorate the scholars’ active participation in the community of international junior scholars in law.
Through law, theory comes into our daily lives in many ways. The workshop will explore the connection between theory and life:
different fields of law, such as criminal law, public law, corporate law, civil law, international law, cyber law, environmental law and others? What is the connection between human rights theories and their acceptance or rejection by different actors? How does legal theory deal with rapid changes in science and technology? What are the potential theoretical justifications to recognize obligations of states towards foreign individuals or communities? How can different actors, such as governments, philanthropists, public litigators and human rights organizations use theory to further their cause? How do lessons learned from historical events affect the formation of theory and practice?
We welcome junior scholars (doctoral candidates, VAPs, writing fellows and recent graduates of doctoral programs) from universities and research institutions throughout the world to submit abstracts engaging with the leading theme of the workshop.
Limited travel grants and accommodation will be available for participants with no institutional funding.
Submissions: Abstracts of up to 500 words of the proposed presentation (with a short bio and your current institutional affiliation(s)) should be submitted by email to TAU.junior.scholars@gmail.com by June 15, 2015
Applicants requesting travel grants and/or accommodation should indicate so in their submission, along with the city they expect to depart from and an estimate of the funds requested.
Applicants will be informed of acceptance or rejection by July 15, 2015. Selected presenters must submit their papers up to 10,000 words in length by September 30, 2015.
For further inquiries contact us at TAU.junior.scholars@gmail.com. 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

SEMINAR: "La pédophilie des prêtres. Eglise, scandale et correction fraternelle" (Paris, May 20 2015)

WHAT La pédophilie des prêtres. Eglise, scandale et correction fraternelle, lecture of the seminar Droit, conscience, subjectivité : approches casuistiques
WHEN May 20 2015, 11:00-13:00
WHERE Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS, salle 10 (105, bd Raspail) 
Arnaud Fossier (Université de Bourgogne)Paolo Napoli (EHESS)
Catégories: Comparative Law News

SEMINAR: "Between private and public. The legal construction of parenthood in Scandinavia" (Paris, May 19 2015)

WHAT Between private and public. The legal construction of parenthood in Scandinavia, lecture of the seminar Public-privé : une frontière floue entre la force de l'état et l'autonomie des individus
WHEN May 19 2015, 18:00-21:00
WHERE Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS, 96 bd Raspail, salle des artistes, Paris
speakerHelle Vogt, (Université of Copenhagen)Family law is traditionally been seen as a discipline within the sphere of private law, but the centre of the family law – the construction of the family and the relationship between children and parents – are and have always been determinate by public moral and ethic; be it the religion, political ideas of non-discrimination or the individual’s right to chose over her body.The starting point will be taken in a couple of contemporary cases that illustrate the fields of tension between the way parenthood is legally constructed and the public opinion about when legal – and financial – responsibilities arise in regard to children. These cases illustrate how traditional norms like ‘the father is defined by the marriage’ (‘pater est quem nuptiæ demonstrant’), and ideas linked to the welfare state like all children have the right to both a mother and a father are under pressure.  Thereafter we will move back in time to see how parenthood has been constructed historically, which norms have defined it, and why and how changes occurred. Focus will be on illegitimate children, and the parents’ rights and obligations toward them. 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

SEMINAR: "Les juristes à la rencontre des autres savoirs en contexte colonial (XIXe-XXe siècles)" (Paris, May 18 2015)

WHAT Les juristes à la rencontre des autres savoirs en contexte colonial (XIXe-XXe siècles), lecture of the seminar Droit et contextes multiculturels

WHEN May 18 2015, 17:00-19:00
WHERE Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS, salle 6 (105, bd Raspail) 
speakerFlorence RENUCCI, Chargée de Recherche au CNRS-Université Lille2

Catégories: Comparative Law News