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Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago


Mon, 04/20/2015 - 05:01
The Editorial Board of Law Text Culture is seeking proposals for the 2016 special edition of the Journal (Volume 20), due for publication in December 2016.
Law Text Culture is a transcontinental, peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal which aims to produce fresh insights and knowledges about law and jurisprudence across three interconnected axes:
Politics: engaging the relationship of force and resistance;
Aesthetics: eliciting the relationship of judgment and expression;
Ethics: exploring the relationship of self and other.
The annual thematic special issue, curated by guest editors, is selected by the editorial board. Each issue explores its theme across a range of genres, with scholarly essays and articles sitting alongside visual and literary engagements. In this way, Law Text Culture excites unique intersectional and interdisciplinary encounters with law in all its forms.
Proposals by potential guest editors should include:

- a concise description of the proposed theme;
- a draft call for papers setting out the aims and concepts of the issue;
- an indication of the intended authors and how they are to be identified/contacted (eg whether the proposal arises out of a seminar series, conference or workshop);
- the range of genres (eg poetry, scholarly essays, visual arts etc) expected to be included in the edition; and
- brief details of the guest editor(s).

Proposals should be no more than 500 words and should be emailed to the Managing Editor by close of business 30 May 2015. For further information on the journal, including the role of guest editors, and general information on the publication process, and the journal style guide, please visit the website http://lha.uow.edu.au/law/LIRC/LTC/index.html. Details on the editors and themes of previous editions of Law Text Culture are available at: http://ro.uow.edu.au/ltc/all_issues.html

Categories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Presumption of Innocence or Presumption of Mercy?: Weighing Two Western Modes of Justice James Q. Whitman

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 08:49
By James Q. Whitman
American criminal law has a deep commitment to the presumption of innocence. Yet at the same time, American criminal justice is, by international standards, extraordinarily harsh. This Article addresses this troubling state of affairs. The Article contrasts the American approach with the approach of the inquisitorial tradition of continental Europe. Inquisitorial justice, it argues, has a less far-reaching presumption of innocence than American justice does. Yet if continental justice puts less weight on the rights of the innocent it puts more on the rights of the guilty: While its presumption of innocence is comparatively weaker, it has what can be called a strong presumption of mercy. The continental approach produces forms of criminal procedure that can shock Americans. Continental trial in particular often seems to American observers to operate on a disturbing de facto presumption of guilt; the most recent example is the high-profile trial of Amanda Knox. Yet the continental approach has contributed to the making of a significantly more humane criminal justice system than ours. Moreover, the continental approach is better suited to cope with the rise of new forms of scientific investigation. The Article pleads for a shift away from the American culture of rights for the innocent toward a greater concern with continental-style rights for the guilty. It closes with an Appendix assessing the Knox case.

Click here to download this article

Categories: Comparative Law News

Social Death as a Way of Punishing and Preventing Mass Murder

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 17:14
    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015: the crash of the Airbus A320, Flight Germanwings 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Because he is aware of the fact that his depressive state and his eye condition will over time cause the loss of his job as a pilot for the subsidiary of a prestigious airline, and realizing that his dream of becoming an aircraft captain on intercontinental flights is doomed to failure, a young copilot chose to end his life, leading 149 other people to death. According to the Marseilles prosecutor’s narrative, the facts speak for themselves: the crime was premeditated. The perpetrator took advantage of the  captain’s brief absence to lock him out the cockpit, cut off any form of communication with the outside, and operate a progressive descent, which about ten minutes later would crash the aircraft on the slopes of the French Alps, causing the death of all passengers and crew members.
    Such a despicable crime defies comprehension. One cannot use the term terrorism, even though the act triggers fear, since there is no ideological or political aim. Although such mass murder is heinous and inhuman, it cannot be considered as a crime against humanity without political, philosophical, racial, or religious motives.
    Yet such a crime is a denial of humanity, not only of one person, but of a large number of victims who were, with a few exceptions, anonymous and had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s frustrating life experience or the organization on which he cast blame.
    Whether domestic or international, criminal law does not provide any specific characterization for this kind of crime, though increasingly frequent. The perpetrator knows his act will have global significance and visibility due to media and social network coverage. More and more anti-heroes kill dozens of people, often randomly, before killing themselves, whether in shootings in schools, universities, shopping malls or other public areas or, such as in the present case, through the destruction of an aircraft and the killing of all those on board.
    Such acts challenge our ability to react. Efforts are made to secure public places; companies and regulatory authorities will revise air transport security protocols, but criminal law cannot have any effect on the criminal who kills himself in the process.
    We are left with the resource of punishing the criminal by depriving him of the posthumous fame he was longing for.
    Pictures of this young man smiling in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or wearing glittering sportswear have been shown all around the world. They ensure the triumph of the diabolical ego of potential mass murderers and are an insult to the families of the victims. Let us punish such odious beings using one of the harshest sanctions the social group can inflict, a total and absolute anonymous treatment. May his face be concealed with black on any video or photographic representation, may his name be ignored forever. In the past, France used to inflict the sentence of “civil death,” a sanction that until 1854 would treat convicts serving a life sentence as dead. Though physically alive, the convict was treated as dead, losing legal personality and all its attributes. Let us impose the sentence of “social death,” by no longer recognizing as human those denying our humanity.If the media and the people relaying the pictures acted this way, we may perhaps defeat plans of other frustrated people who may find less incentive in playing the anti-heroes and causing collective death. Furthermore, such anonymous treatment would help protect the family, friends, and neighbors of the murderer, whose lives are shattered and made unbearable due to journalistic interference, collective stigmatization, and what must be feelings of overwhelming personal guilt by virtue of their relationship with the murderer.
    The idea is not to promote silence when dealing with those terrible events, which obviously have to be discussed. The point is to deprive the murderer of his name and face, to make him sink into his fate of anonymous cursed copilot. Since his crime is unspeakable, we should deprive him of his name and identity; he should become void, as one who has never existed. Not even a stone should bear his name.
    There is no need to amend any law or draft international agreements to do so. Let us act as responsible citizens by changing the law through our collective behavior, which may become a national and international custom. Custom is a way of reclaiming the law where our representatives are slow or powerless in making it evolve. Let us create a usage or common practice of treating collective murderers anonymously, so that neither our contemporaries, nor our descendants will be able to know, or even care to know, the name or the face of those who despise and hate mankind. Some newspapers and television channels already do so. Such behavior must be promoted and generalized. We do not want to allow our contemporaries to make a gruesome connection between happiness and horror; we want to prevent our children from portraying the denial of mankind with smile and innocence.

© 2015 Olivier Moréteau, translated from the French by Sara Vono, with the help of Jennifer Lane and Marie-Antoinette Moréteau.See original in French on Le juriste français 
Categories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Amaya on the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 04:57
Hart Publishing has recently published Amalia Amaya's The Tapestry of Reason: An Inquiry into the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument. The abstract reads:
Recently legal scholarship has been heavily influenced by coherence theories of law and adjudication. These theories significantly advance the case for coherentism in law, yet a number of problems remain. This ambitious new work is the first to develop a coherence-based theory of legal reasoning, and in so doing address, or at least mitigate, these problems. The book is organised in three parts. Part one critically analyses the main coherentist approaches to both normative and factual reasoning in law. Part two investigates coherence theory in a number of fields that are relevant to law: coherence theories of epistemic justification, coherentist approaches to belief revision and theory-choice, coherence theories of practical and moral reasoning and coherence-based approaches to discourse interpretation. Taking this interdisciplinary analysis as a starting point, part three develops a coherence-based model of legal reasoning, building upon the standard theory of legal reasoning, leading to a reconsideration of some of the basic assumptions that characterise this theory and suggesting some lines along which it may be further developed. Thus, the book not only improves upon the current state of coherence theory in law, but also helps to articulate a theory of legal reasoning that results in better decision-making.
THE AUTHORAmalia Amaya is a Researcher in the Institute of Philosophical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
BOOK DETAILSMarch 2015   9781849460705  560pp   Hbk   RSP: £75 / US$150Discount Price: £60 / US$120
Order OnlineIf you would like to place an order for the book you can do so through the Hart Publishing website (link below). To receive the discount please type the reference ‘CV7’ in the voucher code field and click ‘apply’

UK, EU and ROW: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/BookDetails.aspx?ISBN=9781849460705
Categories: Comparative Law News

WEBSITE (New!): The International Academy of Comparative Law

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 05:15
 The International Academy of Comparative Law has a new, engaging website. 

Have a look at http://iuscomparatum.info/!!
Categories: Comparative Law News

JURIS DIVERSITAS BOOK SERIES: Update and Call for Proposals

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 03:47
Juris Diversitas is proud to have a book series with Ashgate Publishing (we're also a Publishing Partner): 
Rooted in comparative law, the Juris Diversitas Series focuses on the interdisciplinary study of legal and normative mixtures and movements. Our interest is in comparison broadly conceived, extending beyond law narrowly understood to related fields. Titles might be geographical or temporal comparisons. They could focus on theory and methodology, substantive law, or legal cultures. They could investigate official or unofficial ‘legalities’, past and present and around the world. And, to effectively cross spatial, temporal, and normative boundaries, inter- and multi-disciplinary research is particularly welcome. 
Since October 2014, the following titles have been published:
  1. Seán Patrick Donlan and Lukas Heckerdon-Ursheler (eds), Concepts of Law: Comparative, Jurisprudential, and Social Science Perspectives 
  2. Sue Farran, Esin Örücü, and Seán Patrick Donlan (eds), A Study of Mixed Legal Systems: Endangered, Entrenched, or Blend
  3. Vernon Palmer, Mohamed Y Mattar, and Anna Koppel (eds), Mixed Legal Systems, East and West
  4. Daniela Berti, Anthony Good, and Gilles Tarabout (eds), Of Doubt and Proof: Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment
Among other titles, the following are due in 2015:While we anticipate publishing future collections (original, conference-based, Festschriften, etc), we're also very interested in publishing monographs and student texts. 
Note that selected volumes are also provided free with membership.
In addition, Ashgate Publishing is delighted to offer members of Juris Diversitas a special discount of 20% on all Ashgate’s titles. 

How to claim your Ashgate discount. 
Categories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL ANNOUNCEMENT: European Law Journal new issue

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 10:12
The Whig history of European integration has tended to assume both that the EU is a ‘club’ of democratic states and that being a member of the EU necessarily results in the strengthening of national democracy. But even a summary reading of the post-war history of the states that formed the little Europe of six will throw serious doubts on the extent to which the Whig narrative can be taken without a pinch of salt. Think about the many violations of fundamental rights during the Algerian war, the obscure episodes of collusion of state apparatuses with terrorist groups during the anni di piombo, not unrelated to aborted coups d'état, the shamefully ugly face of colonialism and post-colonialism, not to speak of the dark legacies of fascist legal theory. The rise of ‘plébéiens de droit’ (à la Häider, Berlusconi, Orban or Le Pen) is the last episode of a story that did not start yesterday and in which threats invariably come from non-democratic forces, whether they claim to be right wing or left wing. This makes exceedingly topical and interesting the question that Mueller poses in the opening article of this issue, namely, Can there be a dictatorship within the EU? Mueller's institutional and substantive proposals are bound to be highly polemical, as well as his (perhaps not fully un-Whig) assumption that there is more of a threat coming from ‘illiberal’ democracy (à la Orban) than from authoritarian liberalism (à la austerity). But the central question and the key issues raised in Müller's article are bound to remain with us in the foreseeable future.While the interest in Euratom has constantly declined, Álvarez Verdugo's article is a good reminder that much can be contributed to the general debate on Union law from what are widely (and wrongly) regarded as esoteric issues at the margins of the European legal order. The story of the other stress tests, i.e. the tests of European nuclear plants undertaken after the Fukushima nuclear accident, and the ensuing attempts at changing European nuclear safety rules prove that sometimes more light can be thrown from the margins than from the core of EU law. Three contributions to this issue revolve around the potential of non-discrimination as a tool for the realisation and protection of fundamental rights and liberties. Travis' analysis of the European legal regime of intersexuality combines careful attention to legal detail and context with a powerful case for the constructive role of non-discrimination. Costa Arcarazo finds that through non-discrimination, the Long Term Residence Directive and the case-law of the European Court of Justice have resulted in the crystallisation of a truly post-national status for permanent residents in the EU. Pearson revisits one of the most passionately debated issues regarding free movement of workers, the system of transfer of football players, and finds that the present arrangements are likely to fall foul of Union law.Van der Aa invites us to dig deeper into European criminal law from the standpoint of the rights of victims after the sentence is rendered, that is, in the post-trial stage. The author finds that European law is still open to the criticism of neglecting the rights of victims, something for which lack of competence is no valid excuse. Last but not least, Marxsen revisits ‘stakeholders’ consultations, one of the jewels in the crown of participatory democracy. The author documents that business and industry organisations dominate the consultative process, while the participation of citizens and not-for-profit organisations is generally weak. It seems, after all, that the days of representative democracy are not only not over, but should not be over.As this issue goes to the presses, we are giving the final touches to the May issue, which will contain a special section around the English translation of Hermann Heller's piece on authoritarian liberalism. Leaving aside two short encyclopedia entries written in English just before his untimely death in 1933, and a long extract of his posthumous Theory of the State (masterfully translated by David Dyzenhaus), Heller's writings remain untranslated into English. That is sad, odd and unacceptable. Heller's analysis of the decline and fall of the Democratic Rechtsstaat in Europe, as well as the transformation of his thinking as the crises unfolded in Europe, are as topical today as they were in the early 1930s. Given that Heller practised law in context avant la lettre, it is only natural that the ELJ takes the lead in sparking interest and in prompting debate around the fundamental contributions of Heller to European constitutional legal theory.Click here for further information on the current issue.
Categories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PAPERS: 4th Law and Boundaries conference

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 09:51
The Law and Boundaries group just launched the call for papers for the 4th Law and Boundaries conference, which will be held in Paris on June 17/18 and will host, among tens of young scholars, a debate between Etienne Balibar and Duncan Kennedy on Marx and Foucault. The deadline for proposal is April 17th
This is the link for the Call for Abstracts: https://lawandboundaries.wordpress.com/call-for-abstracts-appel-a-propositions/
Categories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE: Methodological Frameworks of Postgraduate Research in Law (27-28 April 2015)

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:01

Desperately seeking a method: the methodological frameworks of postgraduate research in law27-28 April 2015
A two-day event co-organised by Åbo Akademi and the University of Helsinki.  

The focus of the event is methodological, and its approach is practical. What methods are available for legal research (doctrinal, socio-legal, historical, comparative, etc.)? What method does the research question of your thesis imply? What options do you have? What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of the options you have?
The event is tailored for 15-20 postgraduate research students, and it includes plenary sessions addressing general questions, targeted working groups with leading experts representing different approaches, collaborative work in student groups, as well as pop-up clinics allowing for short face-to-face consultations with senior colleagues. The event will conclude with instructions for a written assignment, to be submitted online at a later date, that is intended to serve you as a draft for the methodological section of your thesis. Participation in the two-day event, including completion of the written assignment, will give you 4 ECTS credits that you can use against the research training requirements at your home institution (e.g. module code 20600 at the University of Helsinki). Please consult the appropriate staff members at your institution for details.

For more information, please contact Professor Elina Pirjatanniemi (elina.pirjatanniemi@abo.fi) or Professor Panu Minkkinen (panu.minkkinen@helsinki.fi).

Time and place: 27-28 April 2014, Auditorium Magnus Dahlström, Domvillan, Department of Law, Gezeliuksenkatu/Gezeliusgatan 2, Turku/Åbo, Finland

Deadline for registration: 13 April 2015 
To register fill in the form at https://survey.abo.fi/lomakkeet/6105/lomake.html AND send your research proposal to Johanna Quiroz-Schauman (Q@abo.fi). The seminar is tailored for 15-20 students, participants will be chosen based on their motivation and research proposal in the event that the number of registrations exceeds 20.   
Categories: Comparative Law News

REVIEW (Juris Diversitas Series): A Study of Mixed Legal Systems: Endangered, Entrenched or Blended

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 06:01

This review just appeared in the Journal of Legal Pluralism:
'This book's collection of interesting case studies of hybrid legal systems not only provides us useful insights regarding the ongoing process of mixing in general, but also in reference to the particular cases presented. It, therefore, is an important addition to the literature on mixed legal systems and comparative law in general, and will undoubtedly prove a boon to further research.'
See the review or information on the book and the series.
Categories: Comparative Law News


Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:59
Trento, Faculty of Law, 16 and 17 April, 2015 The International Workshop draws its inspiration from the circumstance of several countries in Europe experiencing a growing number of cases in which individuals (mainly immigrants) claim to have a series of family and personal matters regulated by the law of their country of origin, under international private law.
In so far as this foreign law corresponds to – or is largely influenced by – Islamic law (or other religious law), domestic legal systems in Europe face the problem of reviewing the compatibility of such religiously inspired foreign law with domestic (and European) fundamental rights standards, mainly by applying the public policy (ordre public) exception which prevents the administrative application or the judicial enforcement of foreign law or foreign judicial or administrative decisions that are qualified as incompatible.The International Workshop aims at considering the current attitude shown  by  the judiciary in legal systems strongly influenced by Islamic law as well as in some European states, while ultimately focusing  on whether a shared European ordre public exception in the field of family law is emerging in case law.The program of this event is available from this link.
Categories: Comparative Law News

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Fundamental Rights in the EU

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:53
A Matter for Two CourtsEdited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Lucy Vickers
This collection joins the new and expanding scholarship on the protection of fundamental rights in Europe and reflects on the relationship between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The book questions whether the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty align the CJEU to the ECtHR’s interpretation and methods, triggering different processes of institutionalisation within a coherent European system. These issues are explored through a contextual analysis of areas of law such as equality rights in employment law, citizenship and migration, internet law and access to justice. This volume includes perspectives from the scholarly community as well as practitioners, judges and European policy makers. It also examines the state of accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and considers the legal implications of the interactions of the two courts for the protection of the fundamental rights of EU citizens and individuals legally residing in Europe.The volume is essential reading for practitioners, judges, European policy makers and members of the scholarly community working in this area of law.
Sonia Morano-Foadi is a Reader in Law and Lucy Vickers is a Professor in Law, both at Oxford Brookes University.
Click here for further information on this title.
Categories: Comparative Law News

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Europe’s Justice Deficit?

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:48

Edited by Dimitry Kochenov, Gráinne de Búrca and Andrew Williams
ENDORSEMENTS"The question of the EU’s justice deficit could not be of greater relevance. Both scholars and politicians have often argued that the economic and other benefits of the EU compensate for any democratic failings. Yet, as the eurocrisis renders these benefits less apparent, it becomes more appropriate than ever to ask whether it distributes them and any accompanying costs in a just way. The  responses of the contributors to this volume prove as disturbing  as they are informative."Professor Richard Bellamy, Director of the Max Weber Programme, European University Institute, Florence
"This is a remarkable volume which addresses a long-neglected question about the EU: situated between integration through market freedoms and an emerging constitutional project, how does the EU contribute to the achievement of justice? A set of lively, engaged and scholarly contributions which extend the boundaries of the debate. A must-read for all interested in European Studies."Professor Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University 
"The list of authors reads like a veritable “Who's Who of European studies”...The outcome is fascinating, enormously rich and diverse (with the authors occasionally disagreeing with each other) – just as Europe is. Once you have read it, you realize what an important void it has filled. It opens up a new, fresh perspective within the European studies, and I can safely predict that it will become a canon, by reference to which we will be discussing “justice in/of Europe” in the years to come."Wojciech Sadurski, Challis Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of Sydney Faculty of Law
"By arranging a multi-disciplinary discussion about justice in the EU “as a flow of ideas” this most engaging book offers a gripping account of justice as the proverbial contested concept…The editors have succeeded in bringing together a group of feisty scholars keen to present their rather diverse, and at times even exclusive, take on the meaning of justice...A must read for all interested in justice, nothwithstanding their own disciplinary home."Prof Antje Wiener, Chair in Political Science, especially Global Governance, University of Hamburg
The gradual legal and political evolution of the European Union has not, thus far, been accompanied by the articulation or embrace of any substantive ideal of justice going beyond the founders’ intent or the economic objectives of the market integration project. This absence arguably compromises the foundations of the EU legal and political system since the relationship between law and justice—a crucial question within any constitutional system—remains largely unaddressed. This edited volume brings together a number of concise contributions by leading academics and young scholars whose work addresses both legal and philosophical aspects of justice in the European context. The aim of the volume is to appraise the existence and nature of this deficit, its implications for Europe’s future, and to begin a critical discussion about how it might be addressed. There have been many accounts of the EU as a story of constitutional evolution and a system of transnational governance, but few which pay sustained attention to the implications for justice.The EU today has moved beyond its initial and primary emphasis on the establishment of an Internal Market, as the growing importance of EU citizenship and social rights suggests. Yet, most legal analyses of the EU treaties and of EU case-law remain premised broadly on the assumption that EU law still largely serves the purpose of perfecting what is fundamentally a system of economic integration. The place to be occupied by the underlying substantive ideal of justice remains significantly underspecified or even vacant, creating a tension between the market-oriented foundation of the Union and the contemporary essence of its constitutional system. The relationship of law to justice is a core dimension of constitutional systems around the world, and the EU is arguably no different in this respect.The critical assessment of justice in the EU provided by the contributions to this book will help to create a fuller picture of the justice deficit in the EU, and at the same time open up an important new avenue of legal research of immediate importance.
Click here for further information
Categories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: Non-State Justice Institutions and the Law: Decision-Making at the Interface of Tradition, Religion and the State

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 05:16
Palgrave Macmillan has just published Non-State Justice Institutions and the Law: Decision-Making at the Interface of Tradition, Religion and the State, edited by Matthias Kötter, Tilmann J. Röder, Gunnar Folke Schuppert, and Rüdiger Wolfrum.The book blurb reads:
Traditional forms of dispute resolution have become an important aspect in the political and academic debates on law and development and in numerous cases of constitution-making and judicial reform. This book focuses on decision-making by non-state justice institutions at the interface of traditional, religious, and state laws. The authors discuss the implications of non-state justice for the rule of law, presenting case studies on traditional councils and courts in Pakistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Bolivia and South Africa. Looking at the legitimacy of non-state justice from various angles, this collection explores the ways in which non-state legal systems and governmental structures are embedded in official state justice institutions and how this affects the protection of human rights.

The book includes a chapter by our own Christa Rautenbach (North-West University (South Africa)) and Brian Z Tamanaha(Washington University (USA)), plenary speaker at our upcoming conference.
Categories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Appointing Judges in an Age of Diversity: An International Conference on the JAC’s 10th Anniversary

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 13:57
Venue: University of Birmingham Date: 6 and 7 November 2015The Institute of Judicial Administration at the University of Birmingham is hosting an SLSA-funded workshop to mark the 10th anniversary of the Judicial Appointments Commission.Confirmed speakers include Lady Hale, Graham Gee (Birmingham) Cora Hoexter (Wits), Alexander Horne (House of Commons), Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary), Kate Malleson (Queen Mary), Andrew Lynch (NSW) Alan Paterson (Strathclyde), Erika Rackley (Birmingham) and Lorne Sossin (Toronto). Three speaker slots have been reserved for PhD students. Abstracts (of around 250 words) are invited from PhD students working on judicial appointments, broadly conceived to include issues of legitimacy, diversity, independence and accountability in the UK and elsewhere.Please send abstracts to  g.d.s.gee@bham.ac.uk by 30th April 2015. 
Categories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PAPERS: AAA 2015 call of papers

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:08
B/Ordering Infrastructures: Mediating Encounters across Difference
Panel Discussant: Professor Kregg Hetherington (Concordia University) 
Infrastructures underpin everyday life, mediating our experiences of space and time, and enabling --or obstructing-- the circulation of peoples, goods, knowledge, and meaning. Infrastructures are thus positioned at the center of contemporary struggles over access to resources, citizenship, and mobility. This panel will examine these concerns by considering how infrastructures shape, and are shaped by, forms of difference and inequality, producing material and metaphorical borders that organize social worlds. We seek papers on b/ordering infrastructures, that is, papers that explore how infrastructures work as bordering and ordering technologies.

Papers will consider (but are not restricted to) the following questions:

· How do infrastructures produce boundaries --but also encounters-- across difference? That is, how do infrastructures function as technologies of inclusion and exclusion?

· How do infrastructures organize human and nonhuman difference, mediating mobilities and exchanges that define landscapes and territories? How can infrastructures, as they are practiced and enacted, support or subvert regimes of governance and citizenship?

· Finally, how might attention to borders make us reimagine infrastructure? And how might attention to infrastructure make us reimagine borders?

The panel aims to bring into dialogue diverse approaches to mobility, materiality and power. While the anthropology of infrastructure conversant with science and technology studies and affect theory produces insights on the encounters of state and society, nature and culture, and people and things, social theory concerned with the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class interrogates borders (as metaphors but also as infrastructures) to illuminate the politics of translation, transgression, mediation, and encounter. We welcome papers engaging these frameworks and their interstices to consider infrastructure as built structures such as roads, pipes and checkpoints but also more-than-human configurations of bureaucracies, legal systems, emergency services, and other kinds of institutions. Contributions from advanced graduate students and recent PhDs preferred.

Submission deadline for abstracts (no more than 250 words): April 1, 2015. Interested participants please emailsmccall1@ucsc.edu. Please include an abstract, title, affiliation, and current status (PhD candidacy post fieldwork, Post Doc, Faculty position).

Panel Organizers:
Rosa Elena Ficek (Wesleyan University)
Stephanie Mc Callum (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Mediterranean Encounters: The Incommensurability of Difference

Panel Organizers: Netta Van Vliet (College of the Atlantic) & Carla Hung (Duke University)

This panel focuses on encounters with difference across the Mediterranean that consider the irreducible alterity and singularity of the other. The Mediterranean, that which is between lands, has long been narrated as a space of cultural and commercial exchange. At a time when the prevailing response to encounters with the foreign and the strange is through political and discursive assimilation, we ask what alternatives there might be to tolerance and inclusion. How can we understand encounters across the Mediterranean without recourse to a logic of equivalence? Anthropology?s interest in the study of difference has populated the discipline with a variety of tools, both conceptual and methodological, which can engage with what Jim Siegel (2008) has called "the objects and objections of ethnography." Circulating through feminist theory, postcolonial studies, and literary theory but beginning with and returning to anthropology's unique method of participant-observation, this panel tries to understand difference without folding it into an ontology of the self-same or "making the familiar strange and the strange familiar.? In so doing, it provides an opportunity to challenge anthropology's foundational concepts of culture, identity, and community. The panel examines the implications of such an approach for questions of politics, human rights, the law, and the tension between the universal, the particular, and the singular. What can be learned when ethnographic experience is understood in terms of products of representation rather than as evidence?

The Mediterranean has historically been a site of linguistic, political, economic and material encounters between East and West, North and South, Europe and its others, between Arab and Jew, European and African, refuge and asylum seeker.  Taking the Mediterranean as a site through which to conduct close readings of  the geopolitical and temporal movements across land and water, East and West, North and South, Europe and its others that have taken place on both sides of its shores, the panelists strive to think about the strange without making it familiar.  This panel is interested in addressing the questions posed by incommensurable difference through a diverse set of ethnographic examples, including engagements with movement between madness and reason, religious and secular, life and death, diaspora and at home, and human and inhuman.

Please send a 250 word abstract and a title for your proposed contribution to Carla Hung carla.hung@duke.edu by Wednesday April 1, 2015. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by April 5th.

Entangled Border Crossings:  Identity Construction, Disciplinary Boundaries, and Asian Diaspora

Taking Asian and Asian American identities as dynamic and often times contested processes, the focus of this panel explores the multiple ways in which these subjectivities are constructed and renegotiated in a complex world characterized and shaped by active technological changes, flows of migrants and travelers, and capital assemblages. Even for those whose physical movement is limited, the trends and flows that transcend geographic and political borders are difficult to ignore. Examining these processes highlights the dynamism of Asian and Asian American identities, where the familiar/strange dynamic that is the theme of this year’s conference often comes into play as subjects encounter the Asian/Asian American “other.” The panel draws from ethnographic work conducted among people of Asian descent in specific sites in Asia, the U.S., or elsewhere to shed light on the challenges and opportunities created by the complex process of identity construction, which draws from a multitude of local and global resources.  What competing narratives do we find about Asian American or Asian identity and its relationship to a larger Asian diaspora?  What salient concepts or motivations are linked to various contemporary ideas of “Asian identity?”  Furthermore, the multi-sited, ethnographically rooted insights which characterize anthropological perspectives can help further push the boundaries of area studies approaches typified by Asian and Asian American Studies by providing grounded research on specific contexts of power, governmentality, and cultural politics that shape the very impact of these flows.  This panel seeks to scrutinize and unpack the complex processes that individuals find themselves in various cultural contexts to examine how a range of individuals imagine, interpret and understand this dynamic and at times contested process of identity construction.

Submission deadline for abstracts (no more than 250 words): April 1, 2015.

Interested participants please email both jheung@stmarys-ca.edu and louie@msu.edu.  Please include an abstract, title, affiliation, and current status (PhD candidacy post fieldwork, Post Doc, Faculty position).  Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by April 5th.

New Sending Communities and New Receiving Communities in Dialogue with Migration Theory 

In the past decade, theorists have argued that the notion of migrant networks at the heart of cumulative causation and transnational theories of migration requires revisiting. These theorists assert that because research tends to report on already existing networks, a number of key questions remain. This critique suggests that research on new sending and new receiving communities is well-poised to evaluate and contribute to migration theory. New sending and receiving communities often garner little attention, especially when located in marginalized parts of countries or regions that already have a strong presence in international migration streams.  This panel takes as its starting point a dialogue between these communities and migration theory. From the perspective of sending communities, what is the connection between international sojourns and historical antecedents of localized moves? Cumulative causation theory posits a few individuals--people whose nonconformity in their own societies lead them to travel outside it--open paths for prospective migrants. Nonconformists are not necessarily trendsetters. Thus, we ask: How do their actions become popularized and, in some cases, self-reinforcing? From the perspective of new receiving communities, this panel questions: how do employers, landowners, shopkeepers, and other residents establish the social capital and cultural skills required to operate in changing cultural settings? In both new sending and new receiving communities, how does migration work to alter social constructs such as class, race, gender, kin, and other power relations? Which beliefs, ideas, and behaviors--at home and abroad—are most vulnerable to migration’s effects at its outset? While these questions respond to today’s prominent theories, the panel also considers how the ethnography of new sending and receiving communities opens possibilities for novel considerations and explanatory frameworks.

Panel Organizers:  Nora Haenn, North Carolina State University and Michelle Moran-Taylor, University of Denver

Panel Discussant: Deborah Boehm, University of Nevada, Reno

Potential participants should send their abstracts (250 words max) to Nora Haenn (nora_haenn@ncsu.edu) by April 3rd, 2015. Please include the title of the paper, author’s name, affiliation, and email. Thank you.

Making the Familiar Strange: experimenting with cultures of biomedical interventions

Anthropologists have long worked with and along biomedical interventions. Such research has explored areas of medical treatment, hygiene, child maternal care, epidemics, vaccination, and drug development. Drawing from a rich literature of medical anthropologists and science and technology scholars, these studies have raised issues of generalizability across populations and individuals, characterizations of research subject, recruitment procedures, and methodologies of comparison.

This panel is interested in particular forms of interventions that are associated with specific and notions of evidence, namely, the growing reliance on so-called evidence based methods, and the associated method of the RCT that is dominating health and social policy in the US, UK, and across Europe.  As anthropologists becoming entangled in these processes of clinical trial implementation, this panel will raise questions as to whether or not we are becoming too familiar with the language and culture of biomedical interventions. And, to address this concern, contributors will discuss ways to engage and experiment with intervention research in order to make the familiar and assumed dependable research method of the RCT appear strange and incomplete.

The panel will therefore address how it is that RCTs and the concept of the intervention has become so normalised, familiar, standard, and even boring, and in what ways anthropology might unsettle this. These experiment could include creative conceptualisations of biomedical interventions and research designs, explorations of how biomedical research methods encapsulate specific worldviews, and how imaginaries of places, people, and bodies are enacted in the development of the research design.

We are also interested in what does not normally get included in the formal research protocols or publications of evidence based medicine. A running theme will therefore also be the notion of surplus information or the “remainders” (Strathern 1991) of trial research.  As anthropologists that study interventions and research design (rather than simply contribute to their operation) we invite papers that capture the residual or strange knowledge that does not get registered in usual systems of knowledge production. These can be explorations into the body of excess data production, the unintended consequences or outcomes that are not typically acknowledged, or novel analytical ways to think and write about the mundane processes of standardization and research design.

We invite papers that explore questions related to:

· How global standards (such as research questionnaires, research protocols, systems of measurement and analysis etc.) travel across boundaries and are applied in locally situated trials?
· How data become standardized in the context of pooling international clinical trial data from various consortiums?
· What kinds of labour are involved in using animals models to support/justify the interventions applied in clinical trials on humans?

· What kinds of research design allow for the generation of new questions in the ongoing process of trial or study implementation?

· How are clinical trials that test behavioural interventions used to expand research on diabetes, obesity, cancer, and HIV?

· What kinds of locally specific practices are used in the everyday implementation of multi-sited clinical trials?

· What labour is involved in standardizing clinical trials in the everyday? What kinds of “random effects” or variability are masked in the process of standardizing ?

We invite scholars whose work examines research design and interventions broadly defined, to join us for the 2015 American Anthropological Association meeting in Denver, Colorado. Please e-mail your abstract of no more than 250 words to Natali Valdez nvaldez919@gmail.com by April 9, 2015.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the following panel organizers:
Line Hillersdal (University of Copenhagen) njh933@hum.ku.dk
Jonas Winther (University of Copenhagen) tsn797@hum.ku.dk
Natali Valdez (University of California, Irvine) nvaldez919@gmail.com

Going Public / Becoming Private: Collaboration, Nontransparency, and Hybridity between Government and Industry

Conditions of late capitalism, socialism and post-socialism have demonstrated that when it comes to relations between government and industry, myriad configurations are possible. NGOs and state-owned enterprises push the boundaries of what might be considered a business or a corporation, while privatization and corruption circumscribe new and strange members within constellations of the state, government agencies (Stark 1996), public property (Verdery 1997), and public money. Mindful that what we consider to be public must be made public (Latour and Weibel 2005), and that multiple economic systems operate, cheek by jowl, in the same spaces and institutions (Gibson-Graham 2006), papers on this panel ethnographically examine how forms of relationality between industry and government at all levels reshape our understandings of the state, local government, small and medium enterprises, and corporations, and reconfigure notions about what institutions, property, and forms of value are public or private. Ultimately, we explore how understandings of government-industry relations come to be, and the effects these understandings bring about in the world.

Papers for this panel might consider:
NGOs, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
Corporate governance
Public-private partnerships
Corruption, transparency and nontransparency
Taxation or insurance sweetheart deals
Intellectual property rights guarantees
Utility monopolies
Government land seizures and eminent domain
Too-big-to-fail financial institutions, moral hazard
Please send expressions of interest by March 27 or ASAP, and abstracts by April 3, to Leksa Lee at achmiele@uci.edu.
Categories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: (2015) 2:1 Critical Analysis of Law - New Historical Jurisprudence & Historical Analysis of Law

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 13:56
(2015) 2:1 Critical Analysis of Law, an International & Interdisciplinary Law Review, is out. 
Its theme is
New Historical Jurisprudence & Historical Analysis of LawThe New Historical Jurisprudence issue highlights and encourages a trend in recent legal scholarship, or rather scholarship on law, that--like the original historical jurisprudence--pursues a historical analysis of law, as a form of critical analysis of law, rather than legal history, as applied historiography. Generated by theorists with a historical sensibility, and historians with theoretical curiosity, this emerging body of work exploits and challenges the intersection of history and jurisprudence in innovative and exciting ways.It includes: New Historical Jurisprudence: Legal History as Critical Analysis of LawMarkus D. Dubber
On the Coloniality of Modern LawSamera Esmeir
Radbruch’s Rechtsstaat and Schmitt’s Legal Order: Legalism, Legality, and the Institution of LawMireille Hildebrandt
The Judicialization of PoliceAaron T. Knapp
Transatlantic Functionalism: New Deal Models and European IntegrationPeter L. Lindseth
“Society Owes Them Much”: Veteran Defendants and Criminal Responsibility in Australia in the Twentieth CenturyArlie Loughnan
Private Law Codification, Modernization and Nationalism: A View from Critical Legal HistoryHeikki Pihlajamäki
“Comparing” Jewish and Islamic Legal Traditions: Between Disciplinarity and Critical Historical JurisprudenceLena Salaymeh
The Riddle of Sub-judice and the Modern Law of ContemptGalia Schneebaum, Shai J. Lavi
Regarding Untimeliness: Medieval Legal History and Modern LawKarl Shoemaker
The Rejection of Horizontal Judicial Review During America’s Colonial PeriodRobert J. Steinfeld
Categories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE: Ramadan on Islamic Legal Hybridity and Patriarchal Liberalism in the Shari'a Courts in Israel

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 08:19
I'm pleased to report that another paper linked to our Doing Justice: Official and Unofficial ‘Legalities’ in Practice Colloquiumheld at the Centre Jacques-Berque (Rabat, Morocco) from 15-16 June 2012, has been published. 

Moussa Abou Ramadan (Strasbourg)'s 'Islamic Legal Hybridity and Patriarchal Liberalism in the Shari'a Courts in Israel' has been published in the Journal of Levantine Studies. Its abstract reads:
The civil judicial family law system and the shari‘a courts in Israel are a fascinating site for the study of legal hybridity, particularly with regard to cases involving the legal and religious rights of women. Legal hybridity is found both in the shari‘a courts, even when ruling on cases that are under their exclusive jurisdiction, and in the family courts that apply provisions of Islamic and Israeli law. In this article, I examine as a case study of the problem of appointing a woman as arbitrator between quarelling spouses in the shari‘a court arbitration process. This example shows how a shari‘a court operates under pressure from the secular civil judicial system. It is discernible how a system of legal hybridity gives rise to multiple discourses deriving from different normative systems and various players—such as human rights organizations, Islamic feminist movements, secular feminist movements, and the Israel Supreme Court—seeking to navigate the discourse in pursuit of their interests. My central thesis is that this system of legal hybridity is enhancing a patriarchal liberalism that is filled with obstacles and hurdles preventing full equality. 
Categories: Comparative Law News

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Introduction: Religious Law in the 21st Century

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 06:44
By Michael A. Helfand Pepperdine 
University School of Law

Professor Helfand introduces this symposium on Religious Law in the 21st Century. Helfand notes that a recurring theme in recent debates over the relationship between law and religion is the unique challenge of reconciling conflicts not just between law and religion, but between the law of the nation-state and “religious legal communities” -- that is, communities that primarily experience their religious norms through the prism of legal rules. Muslim and Jewish communities serve as prime examples of such religious legal communities, and the challenges faced by these communities often parallel each other in important ways. Thus, an important subset of contemporary religious controversies -- from circumcision bans to anti-Sharia laws -- emerge as not only conflicts between law and religion, but as conflicts between law and law. And it is to this unique set of questions that the jointly-sponsored program of the Islamic Law and Jewish Law Sections of the American Association of Law Schools was addressed. The program was split into two thematic panels, and the articles in this symposium reflect those themes. The first -- titled “Religious Law in U.S. Courts” -- considered the various contexts in which U.S. courts have been asked to address religious questions that touch upon religious law. The second -- titled “Religious Law in the Secular State” -- considered contemporary issues related to the practice and implementation of religious law in secular democracies. Together, these papers bring new insight to these questions and serve as a springboard for discussion and debate about how religious law will fit into the ever-evolving landscape of the 21st century.

Click here to download this paper.
Categories: Comparative Law News