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Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Family, Law, and Inheritance in America: A Social and Legal History of Nineteenth-Century Kentucky" by Yvonne Pitts

Yvonne Pitts, Purdue University, Family, Law, and Inheritance in America:  A Social and Legal History of Nineteenth-Century Kentucky, Cambridge University Press

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Yvonne Pitts explores inheritance practices by focusing on nineteenth-century testamentary capacity trials in Kentucky in which disinherited family members challenged relatives' wills. These disappointed heirs claimed that their departed relative lacked the capacity required to write a valid will. These inheritance disputes crisscrossed a variety of legal and cultural terrains, including ordinary people's understandings of what constituted insanity and justice, medical experts' attempts to infuse law with science, and the independence claims of women. Pitts uncovers the contradictions in the body of law that explicitly protected free will while simultaneously reinforcing the primacy of blood in mediating claims to inherited property. By anchoring the study in local communities and the texts of elite jurists, Pitts demonstrates that “capacity” was a term laden with legal meaning and competing communal values about family, race relations, and rationality. These concepts evolved as Kentucky's legal culture mutated as the state transitioned from a conflicted border state with slaves to a developing free-labor, industrializing economy.
  • Situates testamentary practices as a process which was shaped by medical and legal elites and ordinary people's notions of family, justice, and racial and gendered orders
  • Brings a new understanding to how ordinary people's conception of rationality and insanity evolved over the nineteenth century
  • Employs quantitative and qualitative analyses of almost 500 wills
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Freedom of Scientific Research and Drug Testing

Juris Diversitas - mar, 11/18/2014 - 11:06
The editorial Board of BioLaw Journal - Rivista di BioDiritto has just launched a new call for papers in occasion of the third issue of the Journal. The title of the call is:

Freedom of Scientific Research and Drug Testing

The deadline for submissions is January 7th , 2015.

Click here for the full text of the call.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Discurso sobre el discurso. Oralidad y escritura en la cultura jurídica de la España liberal" by Carlos Petit

Dr. Carlos Petit, Discurso sobre el discurso. Oralidad y escritura en la cultura jurídica de la España liberal, Lección inaugural curso académico 2000-2001, Universidad de Huelva, 2014, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid publications
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AbstractEste estudio pone de relieve los componentes orales que recorren la cultura jurídica de la España isabelina - aunque, con alta probabilidad, muchas de las hipótesis aquí lanzadas son perfectamente aplicables a otras tradiciones americanas y europeas. Con el abogado-orador como modelo de jurista perfecto y piedra de toque de la referida cultura, se analizan sucesivamente las prácticas universitarias (lecciones, discursos de apertura, oposiciones a cátedra), la profesión forense (saberes, bibliotecas, gestos...) con atención particular a la literatura sobre elocuencia y, en fin, la actividad parlamentaria y legislativa. Se pretende así observar desde nuevas perspectivas los textos del momento 'liberal'
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Women's rights to social security and social protection

Juris Diversitas - lun, 11/17/2014 - 14:51
Women's Rights to Social Security and Social ProtectionEdited by Beth Goldblatt and Lucie Lamarche
This collection examines the human rights to social security and social protection from a women’s rights perspective. The contributors stress the need to address women’s poverty and exclusion within a human rights’ framework that takes account of gender. The chapters unpack the rights to social security and protection and their relationship to human rights principles such as gender equality, participation and dignity. Alongside conceptual insights across the field of women’s social security rights, the collection analyses recent developments in international law and in a range of national settings. It considers the ILO’s Social Protection Floors Recommendation and the work of UN treaty bodies. It explores the different approaches to expansion of social protection in developing countries (China, Chile and Bolivia). It also discusses conditionality in cash transfer programmes, a central debate in social policy and development, through a gender lens. Contributors consider the position of poor women, particularly single mothers, in developed countries (Australia, Canada, the United States, Ireland and Spain) facing the damaging consequences of welfare cuts. The collection engages with shifts in global discourse on the role of social policy and the way in which ideas of crisis and austerity have been used to undermine rights with harsh impacts on women.
Beth Goldblatt is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney.Lucie Lamarche is Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Law at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
Click here to purchase this title
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Drafting legislation

Juris Diversitas - lun, 11/17/2014 - 14:46
A new, interesting book from Hart Publishing: 
Drafting LegislationArt and Technology of Rules for RegulationHelen Xanthaki
This book constitutes the first thorough academic analysis of legislative drafting. By placing the study of legislation and its principles within the paradigm of Flyvberg’s phronetic social sciences, it offers a novel approach which breaks the tradition of unimaginative past descriptive reiterations of drafting conventions. Instead of prescribing rules for legislation, it sets out to identify efficacy as the main aim of the actors in the policy, legislative and drafting processes, and effectiveness as the main goal in the drafting of legislation. Through the prism of effectiveness as synonymous with legislative quality, the book explores the stages of the drafting process; guides the reader through structure and sections in their logical sequence, and introduces rules for drafting preliminary, substantive and final provisions. Special provisions, comparative legislative drafting and training for drafters complete this thorough analysis of the drafting of legislation as a tool for regulation. Instead of teaching the reader which drafting rules prevail, the book explores the reasons why drafting rules have come about, thus encouraging readers to understand what is pursued by each rule and how each rule applies. The book is aimed at academics and practitioners who draft or use statutory law in the common or civil law traditions.
Helen Xanthaki is Professor of Law and Legislative Drafting and Director of Research Studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London, and the Academic Director of the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies there.
October 2014     9781849464284     392pp     Hardback     RSP: £50  
Catégories: Comparative Law News

NEW ISSUE ANNOUNCEMENT: Law and Humanities Vol. 8, n.2, 2014

Juris Diversitas - lun, 11/17/2014 - 14:38

A new issue of Law and Humanities has just been published.
The full list of articles follows.

Warring Sovereigns and Mimetic Rivals: On Scapegoats and Political Crisis in William Golding’s Lord of the FliesEric WilsonAbstract: My paper argues for the relevance of the French literary critic Rene Girard to contemporary critical legal theory. In order to prove my thesis, I undertake a ‘dual’ reading of a foundational text from the field of Law and Literature—William Golding’s Lord of the Flies—by subjecting it to both a Hobbesian and Girardian interpretation. The relevance of Thomas Hobbes to the novel is obvious—the ‘constitutional crisis’ faced by the Boys is an allegorical re-enactment of Hobbes’ famous division between the Commonwealth-by-Institution (represented by Ralph and Piggy) and the Commonwealth-by-Acquisition (represented by Jack and Roger). What is less obvious is the manner in which the struggle over the political order of the island strictly parallels a sub-textual mimetic rivalry between the two boy-sovereigns, Ralph and Jack. Employing Girard’s as a supplementary reading to Hobbes’, a much more challenging interpretation of the novel may be offered: the mimetic rivalry between the two Boys replicates the mimetic dynamic between the competing forms government that they symbolize, subverting any absolute distinction between liberal and dictatorial forms of the State. The narrative core of the novel is a ‘double story arc’: the movement from the representational theory of language (Hobbes) to the anti-representational theory of substitution (Girard) and the movement from Social Contract (the conch) to the sacrificial mechanism (the scapegoat).Click here to purchase article
The Law of Dress in Lord of the FliesGary WattAbstract: On the 60th anniversary of the publication of William Golding’s Lord of The Flies, Gary Watt reads the novel in terms of the natures of dress and law as near neighbours (perhaps even structurally identical partners) in the scheme of social norms. Instead of reading the boys’ story in terms of descent from clothing to nakedness, Watt reads it in terms of the constancy of dress. The form of the dress changes from clothes to painted masks, but the fundamental fact of dress remains. The boys’ relationship to rules can be read in a similar way. Instead of reading their story in terms of descent from law and order to lawlessness and disorder, it is read in terms of the ongoing presence of rules of some sort. Watt argues that, through the enduring presence and performative power of dress and law in the novel, Golding is warning us that we should suspect all external indicators of civilisation of being hollow; that we should be cynical about all systems of norms established by society and look, instead, to be saved by individual insight and self-sacrifice.Click here to purchase article
The Shaping and Misshaping of Identity through Legal Practice and Process: (Re)discovering Mr KernottDawn WatkinsAbstract: The focus of this paper is the construction of identity within the context of English legal practice and process.  Its subject matter is the protracted civil litigation that extended from a brief County Court hearing in 2007 to the Supreme Court judgment of Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53. Taking as its theoretical basis recent work by Hilde Lindemann, Holding and Letting Go: The Social Practice of Personal identities (Oxford University Press, 2014) the author analyses the reported judgments of the appellate courts, as well as a recently recorded first hand narrative account of Mr Kernott, as a means to examining how far long-established legal practices and customs can operate to construct, hold and let go of personal identity.Click here to purchase article
Law, Narrative, and Politics in a Jewish Key: Hannah Arendt and Robert M Cover in Comparative PerspectiveDouglas KlusmeyerAbstract: From a pluralistic perspective, Hannah Arendt and Robert Cover developed sharp critiques of sovereign-centred legal-political orders.  This essay argues that their critiques and pluralistic counter-models reflect not only the Jewish experience of diaspora, exile and genocide, but also the different vantage points from which they perceived this experience.  The essay compares their interpretive approaches to courts, law, narrative, politics, and tradition to assess the important ways they converged with and diverged from one another.  Click here to purchase article
Struggle Music: South African Politics in SongAndra le Roux-KempAbstract: Music, and especially singing, plays a central role in African cultures. Songs and rhythm have been described as ‘a truly African way of communication’ and it is therefore not surprising that music has played, and continues to play, an important role in African politics. This article will consider the important role that struggle music - also known as freedom songs – played in South Africa during the apartheid years and the struggle for liberation, and how it continues to play an important role in contemporary South African politics.  First, the genre of struggle music will be circumscribed and differentiated from other politically motivated music. Then the discussion will turn to the struggle music of South Africa during the apartheid years, and how it is still being utilised in politics today. With regard to the contemporary use of struggle music in South African politics, the discussion will focus on the controversial struggle song Dubulu’ iBhunu and the decision of the South African Equality Court in Afriforum & another v Malema and another (Vereniging van Regslui vir Afrikaans as Amicus Curiae) 2011 (12) BCLR 1289 (EQC) prohibiting the singing of the song in public and declaring its lyrics to be hate speech.Click here to purchase article
Hamlet’s OrdealsMaria MendesAbstract: Knowing how to identify someone’s murderer, how to distinguish a credible witness, whether one is being betrayed, or try to avoid being exposed, are questions that compel the main characters in Hamlet. This essay explains The Murder of Gonzago and the duel scene having in mind formal judicial procedures with which a criminal’s guilt is uncovered. It argues that Hamlet’s dumb show may be compared to a technical truth test such as that effected by the presentation of torture objects before the procedure takes place. The duel scene should also be read having in mind judicial methods such as the medieval ordeal. Though Hamlet’s mousetrap and the duel may be perceived as symmetrical revenge plots, the swordfight has a cryptic nature. The duel seems, thus, to serve the purpose of describing contradictory views on justice and on divine providence, purposefully failing to provide the audience to an answer for the question: “Who’s there?” (I, I, 1).Click here to purchase article
Humanity beyond Rights: Proximity as a Normative PrincipleMaria ZanichelliAbstract: The question of human rights lies beyond formal rules and official political structures. It is also a question of mentality and awareness; it depends on how seriously civil society takes the humanity of every person. To capture these implications, it is not sufficient to invoke ‘hard’ institutional frameworks, such as the constitutional order, administration and economy. We need to pay attention to ‘soft’ human factors: trust, loyalties, interpersonal bonds, cultural codes affecting human conduct. This is why cinema offers an interesting point of view to address the question. Focusing on The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) a film by Romanian director Cristi Puiu, this paper interprets it and its literary sources through the philosophical category of ‘neighbour’. The aim is to look for what this concept can tell us, in both a moral and legal sense, about human beings and their dignity, beyond the limits of rights discourse.Click here to purchase article
Review EssayA Review of Peter Goodrich, Legal Emblems and the Art of Law: Obiter Depicta as the Vision of GovernancePiyel HaldarClick here to purchase review
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE: "Law and wives: a legal historical perspective" (Barcelona, 26/27 November 2014)

WHAT:"Mujeres y derecho: una perspectiva historico-juridica", Conference
WHERE: Barcelona University, Law Faculty, 26 November,Saló de Graus de la Facultat de Dret27 November: Aula seminari 1
WHEN: 26/27 November 2014
Prof. Dr. Francisco L. Pacheco Caballero(flpacheco@ub.edu)
Catégories: Comparative Law News