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ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT:Whither Egypt? Against Religious Fascism and Legal Authoritarianism: Pure Revolution, Popular Coup, or a Military Coup D’État?

Juris Diversitas - lun, 03/16/2015 - 10:49
By Mohamed A. Arafa
Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2014

One important question has been raised since the now-removed Islamist President Mohammad Morsi took the office of the Republic on June 30, 2012: will Egypt be an Islamic State with legislation based onIslamic (Sharia) Law? Egyptian people expel the accusations proliferated by extremist streams and radical Islamists that the concept of a “civil (secular) State” is anti-religious or that it interests only the prosperous minority. Such untrue discourse and dialogue by extremists misinforms the folks, as the human logic and knowledge shows that a State which is based on just laws, fair statutes, and respect for human rights is not antagonistic to religion, and is in the public interest of the whole community. Furthermore, playing on religious sentimentalities by saying that God’s (Allah’s) sovereignty — as argued by some rigid classical religious jurists — rather than the people destabilizes the legal institutions and main foundations of the modern democratic civil state by adopting and codifying theocratic and radical notions takes Egypt back into the Dark Ages. Accordingly, this opens the door to complicated issues in constitutional litigation, and the enactment and repeal of legal rulings according to religious interpretations based on misunderstanding of the principles of divine sovereignty in Islamic law.

In this domain, the conflation of Islam and Islamism has permeated the interpretation of Egypt’s ethnic and personal character, leading one legal and political scholar to label the Muslim Brotherhood as “the Muslims” or “Islamic” while calling their opponents “non-Islamic.” Islamism is considered a vague politicization of a specific religious attitude throughout the Middle Eastern Arabian World and cannot be associated with Islam as a belief or faith. The Egyptian Government, along with Egyptians, are in favor of having a place in a civil democratic Egypt for quiet, peaceful Islamists who would not want to change the State’s national character and the form of its government into an Islamic religious theocracy. The scuffle to define and explain the concept of “Islam” in Egypt has a long legal and constitutional history as those who favor political Islam square off against those who prefer a more secular-oriented form of government. Generally speaking, the state’s main obligation in any country is to preserve public order and protect and defend its national citizens. This duty is generally difficult to harmonize with the accountability of any non-state dynamic.

To further illustrate the far-reaching effects of the June 30 and July 3 events, this Article contains four parts including the introduction. Part two provides a concise framework establishing the theoretical and ethical underpinnings of Egyptian politics. Then, part three discusses the definition of the relevant religious laws and legislation in Egypt and how they can be enacted under Islamic law in the light of the flexible Sharia’s definition and interpretation, especially within the new provisions of the 2014 Constitution. This Article concludes in part four by arguing that talks about Islam, Islamism, and political Islam are understood only as discourse about power, and always will impede any régime [tyrannical and autonomous] that does not generate a place for its survival. What Egypt essentially needs at the present status quo — more than anything else — is an Islamic resurgence and religious revival in the light of an innovative reinterpretation of Islam [Islamic law] and its teachings as a dialogue of freedom and liberty. Whatever the ultimate aftermath is in Egypt, it will cause undulations that will resonate throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world.
Click here to download this paper.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

SPEAKERS: Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference (5-6 June 2015)

Juris Diversitas - dim, 03/15/2015 - 14:11
The plenary speakers of the Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference, to be held at the University of Limerick (Ireland) immediately after the Juris Diversitas Conference, have been announced.
Comparative legal historians Kjell Å Modéer and Mia Korpiola will speak. Each is an important member of the European Society for Comparative Legal History.
You should consider staying for both conferences ...

More details on the conference will follow soon.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

SPEAKERS: Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference (5-6 June 2015)

The plenary speakers of the Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference, to be held at the University of Limerick (Ireland), have been announced.
Comparative legal historians Kjell Å Modéerand Mia Korpiola will speak. Each is also an important member of the European Society for Comparative Legal History.

More details on the conference will follow soon.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

UPDATE (Keynote Speakers): Juris Diversitas Annual Conference (2-4 June 2015)

Juris Diversitas - dim, 03/15/2015 - 13:08
UPDATE (Keynote Speakers): Juris Diversitas Annual Conference
2-4 June 2015 School of Law University of Limerick

We're pleased to announce that we've confirmed our second plenary speaker for the Juris Diversitas ConferenceKatharina Boele-Woelki (Utrecht). 

As her faculty profile reads, she:

is Professor of Private International Law, Comparative Law and Family Law at Utrecht University, The Netherlands and Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape, South-Africa. Since 2001 she has been the chair of the Commission on European Family Law which was established upon her initiative.  She is president of the Dutch Association of Family Law, member of the board of the Dutch Association of Comparative Law, and member of several editorial boards of Dutch and European and South-African law journals. She is also a member of various associations, such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerrecht as well as theWissenschaftliche Vereinigung für Familienrecht. Since 2003 she has been one of the editors of the European Family Law Series. In 2007 she established the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law (UCERF). She is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. She has organized prestigious international conferences, delivered numerous guest lectures at various universities around the world and has acted as a reporter, speaker, expert and panel member in many international conferences. In 2011 she has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala. In 2012 she has received the Anneliese Maier Forschungspreis of theAlexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Germany) for her work in the field of international and European family law. In 2013 she has been elected member of the International Advisory Board of theAlexander von Humboldt Stiftung. In 2014 she has been elected President of the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Brian Tamanaha (Washington - St Louis) will also speak.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JURIS DIVERSITAS: Micro-Jurisdictions and Small States Symposium (The Institute of Law (Jersey), 17 April 2015)

Juris Diversitas - dim, 03/15/2015 - 12:04
Micro-Jurisdictions & Small States SymposiumThe Institute of Law (Jersey)17 April 2015
In conjunction with the Institute of Law(Jersey), Juris Diversitas will co-host a symposium on micro-jurisdictions and small states in St Helier, Jersey on 17 April 2015.
Those who wish to attend as participants or observers should contact David Marrani (David.Marrani@lawinstitute.ac.je ) or Ignazio Castellucci (ignazio@castellucci.eu). 
Envisioned as the first in a series, the symposium is designed to establish direct avenues of communication between representatives of microjurisdictions and small states from around the globe.
Participants will be prepared to discuss the formation and structures, etc of their respective jurisdictions and traditions. The unique features of micro-jurisdictions will also be considered, eg their:
  • survival over long periods of political aggregation
  • dominance by other jurisdictions
  • unusual or archaic legal mixtures or forms of sovereignty
  • role as financial centres
  • cultural and legal identities

The event will produce three concrete results.
  • An international Network of Micro-Jurisdictions and Small States will be established by the Institute
  • A Project on European Micro-Jurisdictions will be launched by Juris Diversitas
  • Topics for Future Meetings or Projects will be determined, eg legal education and the legal profession
Catégories: Comparative Law News

NOTICE: Law and Humanities course 2015 (Rome, March-June 2015)

WHAT Law and the Humanities, course
WHEN Spring semester March-June 2015
WHERE Roma Tre University, Law Department
All information here
The aim of this Spring Semester course (first proposed in 2008) is to explore the fascinating, hopefully problematical interactions between Law and Literature, Law and Philosophy, Law and Anthropology, Law and Cinema, Law and Architecture, Law and Iconography and even Law and Music with the help of well known professors as well as PhD students coming from all over the world, who present each week a different topic. They express themselves in the new “lingua franca”, English, which is particularly suitable for a Law and the Humanities course, as we have only recently “imported” this field of study – at least within the academia – from the United States.The course is organized around 3 “macro-fields”: LANGUAGE & LITERATURE, VISUAL and PERFORMANCE. It is directed by prof. Emanuele Conte, the chair of Medieval and Modern Legal History at the RomaTre Law Department and co-organized by Dr. Stefania Gialdroni, temporary research fellow in Medieval and Modern Legal History (BookAlive Project) and Dr. Angela Condello, now visiting professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghent (“Law and the Humanities” course).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CFP: "Pasolini and the Law" (Perugia, July 15-18 2015)

WHAT Pasolini and the Law. Rileggendo Pasolini: il diritto dopo la scomparsa delle lucciole
WHEN July 15-18 2015
WHERE University of Perugia, Italy
Deadline  May 22, 2015

Visioni del Giuridico è un incontro di studi che si promette di discutere attorno alle nuove sfide che attendono il diritto per quanto riguarda i suoi impieghi, obiettivi e funzioni, le sue basi teoriche, i suoi risvolti pratici e le sue implicazioni politiche. Il progetto di quest’anno ruota attorno al tema del passaggio dal moderno al contemporaneo, domandandosi come il diritto e le discipline affini abbiano effettuato il percorso dall’epoca della modernità a quella della contemporaneità. Tale processo di mutamento ha sconvolto le strutture sociali classiche ed ha favorito l’emergere di nuove concezioni in molti ambiti del sapere. Uno dei più attenti osservatori di questo passaggio è stato Pier Paolo Pasolini, che nella sua poesia “Profezia” ha immaginato l’arrivo della contemporaneità attraverso la venuta di nuovi uomini che “dietro ai loro Alì dagli occhi azzurri - usciranno da sotto la terra per uccidere – usciranno dal fondo del mare per aggredire – scenderanno dall'alto del cielo per derubare – e prima di giungere a Parigi per insegnare la gioia di vivere, prima di giungere a Londra, per insegnare ad essere liberi prima di giungere a New York, per insegnare come si è fratelli – distruggeranno Roma e sulle sue rovine deporranno il germe della Storia Antica”. Il percorso culturale pasoliniano diviene emblematico di questa trasformazione, di questa caduta degli dei moderni a favore dell’avvento di una nuova civiltà, fondata su diverse dinamiche giuridiche, sociali e politiche, come Pasolini stesso aveva intuito evocando «la scomparsa delle lucciole» in riferimento all’Italia della metà degli anni Sessanta dello scorso secolo (L’articolo delle lucciole, Corriere della Sera, 1° febbraio 1975). Dopo la scomparsa delle lucciole, infatti, «i valori, nazionalizzati e quindi falsificati, del vecchio universo agricolo e paleocapitalistico non contavano più», così come le diverse culture particolaristiche, distrutti dalla «violenta omologazione dell’industrializzazione». La figura di Pasolini, ricompresa nelle sue dilanianti contraddizioni, sembra funzionare allora come dispositivo perfetto di analisi, e tra i molti temi che hanno interessato il pensiero dell’Autore sono stati individuati cinque campi di indagine, sui quali aspettiamo i contributi di chiunque sia interessato

Modelli giuridici e sociali 
A fronte dello svuotamento di potere della politica tradizionale dell’Italia del dopoguerra, Pasolini constata l’emergere di quel che definisce con sempre più convinzione il «nuovo fascismo» del consumo di massa che caratterizza le società neocapitaliste. La spinta egemonica si sostanzia così nella creazione di modelli omologanti elaborati dalla società del consumo, volti a ricondurre tutto ciò che è marginale e periferico verso un “centro” totalizzante che fornisce la base politica e culturale attraverso la quale avviene la neutralizzazione dell’originalità e delle differenze che hanno caratterizzato da sempre le «periferie». Il consumismo ha così finito per omologare «culturalmente» l’Italia: si tratta dunque di una omologazione repressiva, pur se ottenuta attraverso l’imposizione dell’edonismo e della «joie de vivre». Il centralismo della società dei consumi impone così un’adesione completa al nuovo credo, non può più valere il semplice assenso, è necessario che non siano contemplate concezioni alternative alla libertà di scelta. Tale trasformazione ha messo in moto processi di mutamento all’interno delle politiche e delle metodologie che interessano il diritto e le altre scienze umanistiche e sociali, imponendo un ripensamento delle strutture di potere che caratterizzavano il mondo moderno e riscrivendo lo scenario nel quale tali discipline si trovano ad operare. 

Parole, identità, omologazione 
La produzione artistica e la stessa vicenda umana di Pasolini testimoniano la centralità della “parola” – nella sua duplice accezione di “lingua” e di “mezzo di manifestazione del pensiero” - come oggetto privilegiato del controllo da parte di un “Potere” percepito come omologante e repressivoDa un lato, infatti, Pasolini osservava sgomento la mutazione linguistica indotta dalla classe dominante, che parla una «lingua della menzogna», espressione di una «putrefatta cultura forense e accademica, mostruosamente mescolata con la cultura tecnologica»; l’esortazione pasoliniana al rispetto delle particolarità linguistiche come espressione della complessità antropologica degli italiani - «Il volgar’eloquio: amalo» - solleva la fondamentale questione del rapporto tra lingua e identità. Dall’altro lato, Pasolini sperimentava drammaticamente la censura sulle sue opere o, nel migliore dei casi, quella tolleranza «sempre e solo nominale» che gli sembrava equivalere a una condanna: per via delle numerose denunce e citazioni in giudizio legate ai presunti contenuti osceni dei suoi lavori letterari e cinematografici, all’offesa al comune senso della morale e del pudore, al vilipendio della religione, prendeva forma il dilemma «o fai poesia o vai in prigione», che ci interroga ancora oggi sui limiti alla libertà di espressione
Egemonia sui corpi 
Il rapporto tra potere, sessualità, omologazione e costruzione delle differenze passa, nell’opera di Pasolini, attraverso la fisicità del corpo. Al di là dei valori e dei modelli di comportamento, invero, «il potere manipola i corpi in un modo orribile», facendone oggetto di consumo e trasformando la stessa libertà sessuale della maggioranza in «una convenzione, un obbligo, un dovere sociale, un’ansia sociale, una caratteristica irrinunciabile della qualità di vita del consumatore». La giuridificazione del corpo e della vita, sotto questa prospettiva, pare non sottrarsi totalmente alle insidie dei diversi, plurimi e non meno pervasivi poteri che bramano il governo e la normalizzazione del corpo. In che modo oggi il diritto disciplina il corpo delle persone, quali garanzie sono lasciate al singolo per sottrarsi al giogo dell’omologazione sociale e per rivendicare un proprio specifico, una propria differenza? Quale funzione svolgono il “decoro”, il “buon costume”, l’ “ordine pubblico” e la “dignità”? Tali nozioni, infatti, rischiano di imporre un modello di “uomo medio” dietro cui, per usare le parole di Pasolini, si nasconde «un mostro, un pericoloso delinquente, razzista, conformista, schiavista, colonialista, qualunquista».
Il diritto tra spazi reali e spazi virtuali 
Lo sguardo di Pasolini sulla periferia romana - «con centinaia di migliaia di vite umane che brulicavano tra i loro lotti, le loro casette di sfrattati e i loro grattacieli» - consente di riflettere sulla complessità delle città contemporanee, che si rivelano tanto dei luoghi di conflitti e tensioni tra classi sociali, culture e fedi religiose, stili di vita, quanto dei laboratori per la sperimentazione di forme innovative di convivenza e condivisione. Ciò che l’occhio dell’artista Pasolini scorge nelle città, d’altra parte, è anche la bellezza delle sue forme, delle tracce del passato che vanno difese dal rischio della degenerazione ambientale e urbanistica connessa allo sviluppo economico e industriale - tracce di un «popolo, di un’intera storia, dell’intera storia del popolo di una città, di un’infinità di uomini senza nome». Nuovi spazi, d’altra parte, si sono aperti ai giorni nostri. Spazi nati grazie allo sviluppo e alla capillare diffusione delle tecnologie informatiche: spazi virtuali. Nella rete le dinamiche e le chiavi di lettura pasoliniane non sono venute meno. Quali dinamiche relazionali e sociali si sono costruite sulla rete? Quale sono i confini per il singolo, per la persona in uno spazio virtuale di massa? Esiste un “vuoto” di potere, riempito progressivamente da chi possiede i dati e le informazioni? Internet è uno spazio di libertà e partecipazione?
Processo e accesso alla giustizia
Un’intera struttura di potere si cela dietro il processo a Pasolini. É un processo nei processi, che ha un preciso scopo: attaccare il poeta solitario. Chi è il vincitore di questa lotta? Chi il vinto? L’accertamento della verità pare cedere il passo alla violenza giudiziaria di una magistratura deformata. L’abuso del processo diventa l’arma che consente di colpire il bersaglio. L’Autore rimane per anni nelle mani dei giudici. Ripensando alla vicenda del processo a Pier Paolo Pasolini gli interrogativi si moltiplicano: quel processo rappresenta la rottura delle convenzioni giudiziarie tradizionali. L’attuale sistema di accesso alla giustizia sta mutando profondamente; per usare le parole dell’Autore, «non siamo più di fronte, come tutti sanno, a “tempi nuovi”, ma a una nuova epoca della storia». In questa nuova epoca si contrappongono differenti esperienze e pratiche: da un lato, il legislatore propone sempre più l’utilizzo di strumenti di giustizia alternativa, dall’altro, si diffondono pratiche dal basso, che mirano ad assicurare a tutti l’accesso alla giustizia (es. law clinics, sportelli in difesa del cittadino ecc.). L’erosione del monopolio della giurisdizione statale si scontra con gli alti costi della giustizia privata: in gioco c’è quel diritto di azione del singolo che, pur consacrato nella Carte costituzionali, sembra un lusso per pochi.
La call for papers è rivolta ai giovani studiosi (dottorandi, dottori di ricerca, assegnisti, ricercatori) delle diverse discipline giuridiche, sociali e umanistiche. Il seminario di studi si svolgerà presso l’Università degli Studi di Perugia dal 15 al 18 luglio 2015. Gli interessati sono invitati a presentare, entro e non oltre il 22 maggio 2015 alle ore 12:00, una proposta di intervento (max 1500 parole) su uno dei temi indicati (Modelli giuridici e sociali, Parole identità e omologazione, Egemonia sui corpi, Il Diritto tra spazi reali e spazi virtuali, Processo e accesso alla giustizia). Assieme alla proposta il candidato dovrà allegare un breve curriculum vitae. La proposta e il curriculum devono essere inviati per mail a visionidelgiuridico@gmail.com L’esito della selezione da parte del Comitato sarà reso noto il 1°giugno 2015 con una comunicazione via email. Coloro che saranno selezionati e contattati dal Comitato scientifico possono produrre un paper di max 50.000 battute spazi inclusi o una presentazione Power Point da far circolare tra i panelist. Il Comitato si riserva di pubblicare online il materiale ricevuto dai partecipanti. E’ prevista la pubblicazione degli Atti del Seminario. Vi sarà la possibilità di alloggiare gratuitamente presso le strutture Adisu di Perugia. 

Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Jean-François NIORT, Louis XIV's Black Code. Clichés on a Landmark Text (Paris: Le Cavalier Bleu, 2015, 128 p., ISBN 978-2-84670-642-1, € 10,95)

(image source: lecavalierbleu.com)
Nomôdos reports the publication of the following book:
Texte fon dateur du droit colonial français, le Code Noir a suscité beaucoup de confusions et d’erreurs, à commencer par son nom lui-même... Code Noir ou Édit de mars 1685? Écrit par Colbert? Dont il n’existerait qu’une seule version? Qui aurait réduit les esclaves à l’état de chose? … Présentant le s acquis de s recherches historiques récentes, cet ouvrage corrige un certain nombre d’idée s reçues sur le Code Noir dont on n’a d’ailleurs toujours pas retrouvé à ce jour l’original aux Archives nationales. Auteur 
  • Jean-François Niort, historien du droit colonial et spécialiste du Code Noir, est maître de conférence HDR en Histoire du droit, à la Faculté des Sciences juridiques et économiques de la Guadeloupe. 

Avant-propos de Myriam CottiasPréface de Marcel Dorigny

  • « Le Code Noir a été écrit par Colbert. » 
  • « Le Code Noir est le véritable nom de l'Edit de mars 1685. » 
  • « Le Code Noir existe en une seule version. »
  • « Le Code Noir ne concerne que les esclaves. »
  • « Le Code Noir fait de l'esclave une chose. » 
  • « L'esclave dans le Code Noir n'a pas de personnalité juridique. »
  • « Le Code Noir autorise le maître à mettre à mort son esclave. »
  • « Le Code Noir est resté en vigueur dans sa version initiale jusqu'à 1848. »

Postface de Jacques Gillot

  • Edit de mars 1685 (version B11)
  • Mémoire de février 1683
  • Pour aller plus loin
  • Sources
  • Le Centre d'analyse géopolitique et internationale (CAGI)
  • La Route de l'esclave 
Contact Presse Marie-Laurence Dubray - m.laurence.dubray@lecavalierbleu.com - 06 07 83 57 53 - Le Cavalier Bleu Éditions - 5, av. de la République - 75011 Paris - www.lecavalierbleu.com
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: David GILLES, Essays in Legal History. From New France to the Province of Quebec (Éds Revue de Droit de l'Université de Sherbrooke, 2014, 694 p., ISBN:978-2-920003-58-3, 75€)

 (image source: lgdj.fr)
Nomôdos announced the publication of the following work (Essais d'histoire du droit. De la Nouvelle France à la Province de Quebec):

Cet ouvrage rassemble une recherche menée sur une dizaine d'années portant sur l'histoire du droit, de la justice et l'impact de la norme sur la population durant la Nouvelle-France et après la Conquête britannique jusqu'à la fin du XIXe siècle. Illustrant la mise en place d'un système juridique original, aménageant la tradition civiliste et la tradition de common law, ce recueil de textes illustre, à la manière des peintres impressionnistes, différents moments de l'histoire et du droit québécois en rappelant la genèse et les bases de cette tradition juridique singulière en Amérique du Nord.
More information the publisher's website.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

WORKSHOP: Elements of proof and commercial litigations in the Mediterranean (XV - XIX century) (ERC Program Mediterranean Reconfigurations), Paris I, 16-18 June 2015; DEADLINE 29 MARCH 2015

 (image: Livorno, 17th Century; source: Wikimedia Commons)
HSozKult reports the following event on early modern and modern transnational commercial law - DEADLINE 29 MARCH 2015:

What can the evidentiary artifacts that are deployed to resolve commercial litigations tell us about the legal configuration of the Mediterranean between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries?
Since 2012, the ERC-funded Mediterranean Reconfigurations research program (ConfigMed) has been studying commercial disputes, legal pluralism, and intercultural trade in the Mediterranean, at the crossroads of different traditions, legal regimes and referents. In this context, our method helps to address conflicts involving economic actors from Europe to the Ottoman Empire and North Africa, as well as to focus on the encounters, compromises and possible exchanges of these geographical entities.
Systems of legal proof belonging to the prominent legal structures from ancient times to the modern era have been subject of several investigations and a wide range of publications between the late 1950s and early 1960’s, when the collapsing colonial empires discovered - or rediscovered - the foundations of indigenous legal theories, known to play a critical role in their independence.
This workshop aims to continue this work and these reflections with a particular emphasis on the production and circulation of the elements of legal proof in the Mediterranean. Based on the examination of written certificates and declarations, we propose to examine their effect on both the commercial world and legal systems that are often seen as closed within itself.
One of the primary axes of this workshop will be the analysis of the procedures of dispute resolution through the production and circulation of certificates and written testimonies. The origins, formal diversity, materiality and logic of these artifacts should be able to provide food for thought on the nature and resolution of disputes, as well as the practical functions of institutions, such as consulates and commercial courts.
Particular attention will be paid to cases involving agents of different backgrounds (i.e. disputes with the infidels, and those conflicts between local people and foreigners or traveling people); effort will be made to understand the terms and limitations of access to justice for the different actors (for example, did Muslims submit an appeal to the European courts?), as well as the logics and practices of intermediation that were made possible by the presentation of the evidentiary elements.
Our thinking is based on findings from recent research, such as those devoted to the procedures of "summary justice", available to foreigners and merchants in Europe, or, in the land of Islam to the Siyasah doctrine and the practices of justice administered by the ruler instead of the qadis or the uses by foreigners of the Ottoman Imperial Council (Divan) in case of commercial conflicts. The workshop aims to explore such legal procedures by peering into the archives, as well as by tracing the circulation of written documents. Our interest, therefore, will not be invested in the legal and philosophical systems of any single "civilization" or "cultural area", but rather in the socio-cultural relations between them prompted by commercial litigations, as well as issues raised by the coexistence or interpenetration of different evidentiary logics.
As such, this workshop aims to overcome the vision of a Mediterranean reduced to the strict opposition between an Islamic legal system of evidence - oral and highly structured by the formalist constraints of the so called divine law - and a radically different Western evidentiary system oriented towards a Weberian Rationalisierung, marked by the triumph of the written and notarization of the modern law.
This will necessarily involve careful consideration of the circulation and use of evidence, for the reconstitution of the chain of correspondences between litigants, intermediaries and user or producer institutions of evidentiary elements. This should produce material to discuss the relevance of the boundaries usually drawn between worlds that seem to be permeable, such as those opposing the oral and the written, the private and the public. For example, the Ottoman judicial practice had established processes of validation and certification of private acts with values similar to the certificates produced by the public authority of the Latin notary.
Moreover, we will need to go beyond an analysis of evidence reducing them to their mere functions and original purpose - to convey the truth about the facts – in order to fully interpret them as tools of thought. The formal aspect of the evidence, the logic of their composition and communication, the rhetoric used in their language(s) and any external sign of validity may be used in order to evaluate, in a new light, the texture of legal cultures of different eras, territories and differentiated social groups. By considering these evidentiary pieces as instruments, the workshop will address the role of evidence in the analysis of communication processes and interpret it as a privileged scenario of legal and cultural creativity in a trans-Mediterranean space formed by different resolutions of commercial litigations.

Thus, the contributions addressing the following issues are particularly welcome:
- At what point in the legal procedure did the presentation and the examination of evidence occur, and on what criteria were they evaluated? What were the effects of this presentation on the outcome of the case?
- Are the evidences used in commercial disputes specific to the world of Mediterranean trade, or do they come from other legal systems and/or Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean cultural worlds? Is it possible to link the resolution of commercial disputes in terms of other problems, such as solicitations for return of goods taken by corsairs?
- Do the materiality, nature and functions of these instruments relate to particular spaces, institutions or types of procedures?
- Beyond the usual formal classifications, what distinctions can be made between different written pieces attached to trials? Is there a type of documentation specific to the Mediterranean legal system that is mobilized more than others in order to win the case in a trade dispute?
- What is the role of private deeds in the resolution of these disputes? Under what legal, political or religious conditions, and in what particular contexts are they of greatest importance for the actors?
- Does the study of legal procedures from the point of view of the evidentiary elements confirm the hypothesis that the commercial courts would have had a more flexible approach than other courts vis-à-vis the written evidence?
- In case of confrontation between several regimes of legal evidence, how would the regulatory institution decide on the value of the pieces presented? Did mixed regimes exist that relied, perennially or ad hoc, on the articulation of different forms of evidence, or even on their hybridization?
- What was the process of validating the evidence? And what can this process tell us about the function of institutions, the effects of procedures and the legal culture of the actors?
- Finally, what were the main institutions issuing certificates and documents of proof of all kinds? Do particular schemas appear in the uses of these institutions by social actors? And what were the communication logics provided by the legal procedures? Were they defined by the circulation of the written pieces?

Contact: Prof. dr. W. Kaiser (Paris I): wolfgang.kaiser@univ-paris1.fr.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE: Timothy Lubin on "Hinduism and Law" (Legal History e-journal, Vol. 19, n. 29, 12 March 2015)

Timothy Lubin (Washington and Lee University, Washington and Lee University - School of Law) on "Hinduism and Law. Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements, edited by Will Sweetman and Aditya Malik", 
Legal History e-journal, Vol. 19, n. 29, 12 March 2015. All information here
Abstract:Beginning with a review of the interaction between religion and law in premodern periods, this essay presents in more detail the complex developments since the seventeenth century up to the present day. This includes the creation of ‘Anglo-Hindu’ law, colonial administration of justice (including the legal treatment of disapproved Hindu practices), and the gradual restriction of Hindu law to matters of family law; legal treatment of Hindus and Hindu institutions under secular law in modern India and Nepal; and Hindu religion under modern secular law outside of South Asia. Throughout, the emphasis is on the fruits of research in the last thirty years or so, especially current developments.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

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Juris Diversitas - mar, 03/10/2015 - 07:32
On 9-11 December 2015, the Human Rights Integration network will organize an international conference to explore the foundations and implications of human rights fragmentation and integration.RESEARCH OBJECTIVESAs a political and ethical project, human rights are one, indivisible and universal. As law however, they are fragmented. Human rights law today is characterized by the simultaneous existence of a large variety of norms, developed by numerous actors, at different geographical levels, addressing similar or different topics, individuals and groups. As a result, human rights scholarship often focuses on one or more specific rights, target groups or jurisdictions, which in turn  contributes to creating a fragmented, compartmentalized view of human rights law.However, rights holders, duty bearers and other ‘users’ of human rights are confronted simultaneously with multiple layers of human rights law, amongst which there is generally little coordination. For justice seekers, the complex architecture of human rights may create opportunities as well as obstacles.The starting proposition of the conference organizers is that it is highly relevant for human rights scholars to add an integrated perspective of human rights law to our work. This implies studying not only separate norms or mechanisms, but also their simultaneous application, what that implies for the users of human rights law, and how these users deal with that reality.The conference intends to facilitate a dialogue among legal and socio-legal perspectives on human rights fragmentation and integration. Through this dialogue, the conceptual, theoretical and methodological foundations of human rights fragmentation and integration will be refined and the  legal and practical implications of human rights fragmentation and integration will be studied.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

COLLOQUIUM: The Merchant and the Law

Juris Diversitas - lun, 03/09/2015 - 16:51
The Merchant and the Law: Mind the Gap?30th-31st of March 2015Maastricht University, Faculty of LawThe Netherlands

On the 30th and 31st of March 2015, the Maastricht Faculty of Law hosts the colloquium entitled The Merchant and the Law: Mind the Gap?. The event is organised within the framework of the EU-funded Marie Curie Project (IEF) Early Modern Private Partnerships and Company Law in the Meuse-Rhine Region granted in 2013 to dr. Bram Van Hofstraeten.

By bridging the gap between legal and economic historians, the event aspires to decide on the rightfulness of the supposed gap between the merchant and the law in late medieval and early modern Europe.

More information can be found here.
Organising committee: dr. Bram Van Hofstraeten (Maastricht University) and dr. Justyna Wubs-Mrozevicz (Leiden University).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

COLLOQUIUM: The Merchant and the Law

The Merchant and the Law: Mind the Gap?30th-31st of March 2015
Maastricht University, Faculty of LawThe Netherlands

On the 30th and 31st of March 2015, the Maastricht Faculty of Law hosts the colloquium entitled The Merchant and the Law: Mind the Gap?. The event is organised within the framework of the EU-funded Marie Curie Project (IEF) Early Modern Private Partnerships and Company Law in the Meuse-Rhine Region granted in 2013 to dr. Bram Van Hofstraeten.

By bridging the gap between legal and economic historians, the event aspires to decide on the rightfulness of the supposed gap between the merchant and the law in late medieval and early modern Europe.

More information can be found here.
Organising committee: dr. Bram Van Hofstraeten (Maastricht University) and dr. Justyna Wubs-Mrozevicz (Leiden University).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

WEBSITE: The World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists Congress Website is now operational

Juris Diversitas - lun, 03/09/2015 - 16:33
The website for the World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists Congress is now operational at http://www.mcgill.ca/centre-crepeau/wsmjj-4th-worldwide-congress

Online registration is open and a draft schedule is posted.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: The Journal of Legal History XXXVI (2015), Issue 1

(image: Taylor&Francis online)
 The Journal of Legal History published its first issue for 2015.


Andrew R.C. Simpson, "Counsel and the Crown: History, Law and Politics in the Thought of David Chalmers of Ormond"
In 1579, the Scottish jurist David Chalmers argued that remedies for the contemporary political troubles of his native country could be found in the study of law and history. His thinking in this regard was indebted to the French writer Jean Bodin. And yet while Chalmers was evidently familiar with Bodin's Les Six Livres de la Republique, he did not endorse all of the latter's more radical claims. In particular, he does not seem to have accepted that all law-making was dependent upon an exercise of sovereign will. In 1566 Chalmers had already argued that in Scotland the binding force of law could be attributed to that which local legal experts recognized to be just and rational on the basis of their learning. He developed this idea in 1579 to create an intriguing account of how both legal and historical learning could be used to shape Scottish laws and government.Gregory Allan, "Ceylon Coffee, the Comtesse and the Consignee: A Historical Reappraisal of Rochefoucauld v Boustead"

Abstract: This paper examines the Court of Appeal judgment of Rochefoucauld v Boustead [1897] 1 Ch. 196 through use of archive records, rarely cited law reports and nineteenth-century academic opinion. A full and hitherto untold account of the facts of the case is presented. It is revealed that the land which was the subject matter of the dispute was sold under the direction of the Ceylon District Court, and that the plaintiff was an accomplished individual who utilized various means to frustrate her former husband's attempts to obtain the land. The Court of Appeal's rulings that the defendant was a trustee of the land for the prevention of fraud, and that the trust was to be treated as an express trust, are also analysed with the aim of establishing how these issues were understood at the time of the judgment. It is argued that both of these aspects of the judgment were regarded as uncontroversial because there was a settled concept of equitable fraud, and because trusts imposed for the prevention of such fraud were an established category of trust in their own right, separate from express, resulting or constructive trusts.
Sir John Baker, "Migrations of Manuscripts 2014"

Book Reviews

All articles are accessible at Taylor & Francis online.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution", by Amanda Hollis-Brusky (January 2015)

Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution, by Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Oxford University Press (January 2015)
All information here
There are few intellectual movements in modern American political history more successful than the Federalist Society. Created in 1982 to counterbalance what its founders considered a liberal legal establishment, the organization gradually evolved into the conservative legal establishment, and membership is all but required for any conservative lawyer who hopes to enter politics or the judiciary. It claims 40,000 members, including four Supreme Court Justices, dozens of federal judges, and every Republican attorney general since its inception. But its power goes even deeper.

In Ideas with Consequences, Amanda Hollis-Brusky provides the first comprehensive account of how the Federalist Society exerts its influence. Drawing from a huge trove of documents, transcripts, and interviews, she explains how the Federalist Society managed to revolutionize the jurisprudence for a wide variety of important legal issues. Many of these issues-including the extent of federal government power, the scope of the right to bear arms, and the parameters of corporate political speech-had long been considered settled. But the Federalist Society was able to upend the existing conventional wisdom, promoting constitutional theories that had previously been dismissed as ludicrously radical. As Hollis-Brusky shows, the Federalist Society provided several of the crucial ingredients needed to accomplish this constitutional revolution. It serves as a credentialing institution for conservative lawyers and judges and legitimizes novel interpretations of the constitution that employ a conservative framework. It also provides a judicial audience of like-minded peers, which prevents the well-documented phenomenon of conservative judges turning moderate after years on the bench. As a consequence, it is able to exercise enormous influence on important cases at every level.

A far-reaching analysis of some of the most controversial political and legal issues of our time, Ideas with Consequences is the essential guide to the Federalist Society at a time when its power has broader implications than ever.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights" by L.F. Edwards

Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: a Nation of Rights", by L.F. Edwards, in the  New Histories of American Law series of the Cambridge University Press
Although hundreds of thousands of people died fighting in the Civil War, perhaps the war's biggest casualty was the nation's legal order. A Nation of Rights explores the implications of this major change by bringing legal history into dialogue with the scholarship of other historical fields. Federal policy on slavery and race, particularly the three Reconstruction amendments, are the best-known legal innovations of the era. Change, however, permeated all levels of the legal system, altering Americans' relationship to the law and allowing them to move popular conceptions of justice into the ambit of government policy. The results linked Americans to the nation through individual rights, which were extended to more people and, as a result of new claims, were reimagined to cover a wider array of issues. But rights had limits in what they could accomplish, particularly when it came to the collective goals that so many ordinary Americans advocated. Ultimately, Laura F. Edwards argues that this new nation of rights offered up promises that would prove difficult to sustain.
Laura F. Edwards, Peabody Family Professor of History at Duke University.All information here
Catégories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE: Viator on Creoles, Cajuns, and Language Law in Louisiana

Juris Diversitas - ven, 03/06/2015 - 16:57
Creoles, Cajuns, and Language Law in Louisiana
Our friend, James Etienne Viator, of Loyola University (New Orleans) College of Law, has published an interesting article in Louisiana’s laws and languages. The article is available in Cajun French and English and in (Standard) French; they are also in (2014) 60 Loyola Law Review 273 and (2014) 60 Loyola Law Review 273 respectively.
The abstract of the first read:
This article, written in Cajun French and English, examines the word “Creole” and the history of laws about the French language in Louisiana. In recent decades, a growing awareness of the historical diminution of linguistic minorities and their languages around the world has led to increased efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of such minorities. In Louisiana, after decades of relegating Cajun French to second class status, in 1968 the Louisiana legislature created the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), a state agency tasked with preserving “Louisiana’s French language, heritage and culture.” The act establishing CODOFIL mandated that the Council “do any and all things necessary to accomplish the development, utilization, and preservation of the French language as found in the State of Louisiana.” But instead of teaching Cajun French, most Louisiana schools taught standard French, the purpose of CODOFIL was never fully realized, and both the Cajun French language, and culture, are still at risk of disappearing.
The abstracts of the second read:

French Abstract: Cet article, en français, examine le mot «créole» et l'histoire des lois sur la langue française en Louisiane. Au cours des dernières décennies, une prise de conscience de la diminution historique des minorités linguistiques et leurs langues à travers le monde a conduit à redoubler d'efforts pour préserver le patrimoine culturel de ces minorités. En Louisiane, après des décennies de reléguant Cajun français au statut de seconde classe, en 1968, la législature de la Louisiane a créé le Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane (CODOFIL), un organisme d'État chargé de la préservation de la "langue française, le patrimoine et la culture de la Louisiane." acte établissant CODOFIL mandat que le Conseil "faire toute et toutes les choses nécessaires pour accomplir le développement, l'utilisation et la préservation de la langue française que l'on trouve dans l'État de la Louisiane." Mais au lieu d'enseigner le français cadien, la plupart des écoles de la Louisiane a enseigné le français standard, le but du CODOFIL n'a jamais été pleinement réalisé, et les deux la langue français cadien, et la culture, sont toujours à risque de disparaître.

English Abstract: This article, in French, examines the word “Creole” and the history of laws about the French language in Louisiana. In recent decades, a growing awareness of the historical diminution of linguistic minorities and their languages around the world has led to increased efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of such minorities. In Louisiana, after decades of relegating Cajun French to second class status, in 1968 the Louisiana legislature created the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), a state agency tasked with preserving “Louisiana’s French language, heritage and culture.” The act establishing CODOFIL mandated that the Council “do any and all things necessary to accomplish the development, utilization, and preservation of the French language as found in the State of Louisiana.” But instead of teaching Cajun French, most Louisiana schools taught standard French, the purpose of CODOFIL was never fully realized, and both the Cajun French language, and culture, are still at risk of disappearing.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers: How a Return to the Republic's Core Democratic Values Can Help Us Resolve the Surveillance Crisis

Juris Diversitas - ven, 03/06/2015 - 04:47
By Jeffrey S. Brand 
University of San Francisco - School of Law

The 21st Century has brought with it a surveillance crisis unprecedented in our history – a crisis that threatens our core values, among them the right to free expression, a free press, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, and privacy. The crisis also threatens the right of citizens to engage in democratic policy making. 

It is a crisis that should surprise no one after the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a never-ending so-called War on Terror, and a concurrent, unimaginable technology revolution digitizing our information and communication systems. Indeed, cataclysmic national security concerns coupled with the ability to monitor literally every communication of every American have spawned a generation of offspring with names like Stellar Wind, Prism, Upstream, Manning, Assange, Wikileaks and Snowden. 

The article, "Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers. How a Return to the Republic’s Core Democratic Values Can Help Us Resolve the Surveillance Crisis", provides a look at the current crisis through the lens of the history that led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the legislation that lies at the heart of the current controversy and around which all administrations, Democratic and Republican, and America’s surveillance bureaucracy, the NSA, the CIA, the NDI and the FBI, have danced for nearly four decades. The article argues that a proper balance between legitimate national security interests and the sacred values and civil liberties that buttress America’s democratic institutions and aspirations can be best achieved if the current surveillance landscape is examined through that lens. 

In sum, "Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers" argues that solutions to the current surveillance crisis lie in a return to core values and first principles that implement the intent of the Founding Fathers to create an adversarial system of checks and balances among the various branches of the government which included bolstering the independence of the judiciary – values and principles which were eloquently argued during the FISA debates. The article examines those debates and details compromises that were made in the final legislation that became FISA – compromises that ultimately undermined FISA and allowed it to become a tool of rather than a check on the Executive Branch whose power the Act was intended to curb. 

Click here for further information.
Catégories: Comparative Law News