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BOOK: Benjamin STRAUMANN, Roman Law in the State of Nature. The Classical Foundations of Hugo Grotius' Natural Law [Ideas in Context] (Cambridge: CUP, 2015), 283 p. ISBN 9781107092907, £ 65

(image source: cambridge.org)

Benjamin Straumann (NYU) published a new work on roman law and eary modern law of nature at Cambridge University Press.

Abstract:
Roman Law in the State of Nature offers a new interpretation of the foundations of Hugo Grotius' natural law theory. Surveying the significance of texts from classical antiquity, Benjamin Straumann argues that certain classical texts, namely Roman law and a specifically Ciceronian brand of Stoicism, were particularly influential for Grotius in the construction of his theory of natural law. The book asserts that Grotius, a humanist steeped in Roman law, had many reasons to employ Roman tradition and explains how Cicero's ethics and Roman law – secular and offering a doctrine of the freedom of the high seas – were ideally suited to provide the rules for Grotius' state of nature. This fascinating new study offers historians, classicists and political theorists a fresh account of the historical background of the development of natural rights, natural law and of international legal norms as they emerged in seventeenth-century early modern Europe.Table of Contents:
Introduction
1. Natural law in historical context
2. A novel doctrine of the sources of law: nature and the classics
3. Proving natural law: the influence of classical rhetoric on Grotius' method
4. Social instinct or self-preservation?
5. Justice for the state of nature: from Aristotle to the Corpus Iuris
6. Grotius' concept of the state of nature
7. Natural rights: Roman remedies in the state of nature
8. Natural rights and just wars
9. Enforcing natural law: the right to punish
Epilogue
Bibliography
Index.  Free marketing excerpt here.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

COLLOQUIUM: "Critique sociale et critique sociologique du droit en Europe et aux Etats-Unis: le "Moment 1900" (Paris 29-30 May 2015)


WHAT Critique sociale et critique sociologique du droit en Europe et aux Etats-Unis: le "Moment 1900", colloquium
WHEN 29-30 May 2015

WHERE Paris, Université Paris 2 - Panthéon-Assas, Centre de Droit public comparé (CDPC EA n°7320)all information herePrésentation«Autour de 1900, la 'méthode juridique' a fait l'objet de vives controverses dans le monde occidental. De nombreuses approches critiques du droit ont dénoncé la cécité du formalisme juridique à l'égard des réalités individuelles et sociales. Elles furent entendues, elles ont changé nos méthodes de penser le droit et, aujourd'hui encore, elles interrogent nos théories et nos pratiques, nos doctrines et nos jurisprudences».


Programme
Vendredi 29 mai (matin) sous la présidence de Dominique Schnapper (membre honoraire du Conseil constitutionnel) 
8h45. - Accueil des participants 
  • 9h. - Allocutions de bienvenue par Guillaume Leyte(Président de l’Université Panthéon-Assas).
  • 9h10. - Propos introductifs par Olivier Jouanjan, (Responsable scientifique du colloque) 
1. Fondations 
  • 9h30-10h. - Bruno Karsenti (EHESS, Paris), La naissance de la sociologie et ses effets dans la pensée du droit. 
  • 10h-10h30. - Werner Gephart (Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities Law as Culture, Bonn), La naissance de la sociologie allemande de «l’esprit du droit». Éloges et critiques du formalisme dans une discipline émergente
  • 10h30-11h. - Carol Greenhouse (Princeton University), The Role of Law in Durkheim’s Critical Sociology. 
11h-11h20. Discussion générale 
11h20-11h40. Pause. 
2. - Le «moment 1900» des doctrines et pratiques juridiques 
  • 11h40-12h10. - Frédéric Audren (CNRS – Sciences Po Paris), Comment sortir, en France, du moment 1900 de la science juridique? 
  • 12h10-12h40. - Geneviève Koubi (Université Paris 8),L’excès de pouvoir entre situation et circonstances. 
12 h 40 – 13 h. Discussion générale 
Vendredi 29 mai (après-midi) sous la présidence de Pascale Gonod (École de droit de la Sorbonne - Paris I) 
2. - Le «moment 1900» des doctrines et pratiques juridiques(suite) 
  • 15h-15h30. - David Rabban (University of Texas at Austin),Formalism, History and Sociology: the Transformation of American Legal Thought at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
  • 15h30-16h. - Aurélie Duffy-Meunier (Université Panthéon-Assas), Un programme de la London School of Economics: la critique du droit constitutionnel de Dicey. 

16 h – 16 h 20. Discussion générale 
16h20-16h40. - Pause. 
  • 16h40-17h10. - Aurore Gaillet (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole), Contre le formalisme de la «jurisprudence des concepts»: Philipp Heck et la «jurisprudence des intérêts» en Allemagne. 
  • 17h10-17h40. - Olivier Jouanjan (Université Panthéon-Assas/Université de Fribourg-en-Brisgau), Pourquoi des juristes en temps de détresse? La «querelle des approches et des méthodes» dans la doctrine publiciste de la République de Weimar. 
17h40-18h. Discussion générale 
Samedi 30 mai (matin) sous la présidence de Constance Grewe (Juge à la Cour constitutionnelle de Bosnie-Herzégovine) 
3. - Que reste-t-il du moment 1900? 
  • 9h-9h30. - Wanda Mastor (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole),Que reste-t-il, aujourd’hui, de la Sociological Jurisprudence dans la jurisprudence de la Cour suprême des Etats-Unis? 
  • 9h30-10h. - Yannick Ganne (Université de Strasbourg), La question sociologique dans les doctrines contemporaines du droit américain
10h-10h20. - Discussion. 10h20-10h40. - Pause. 
  • 10h40-11h10. - Christoph Schönberger (Université de Constance), Que reste-t-il de la «Théorie générale de l’État» en Allemagne? 
  • 11h10-11h40. - Hugues Rabault (Université de Lorraine),Nécessité épistémologique de la sociologie juridique chez Niklas Luhmann
11h40-12h. - Discussion 
  • 12h-12h30. - Élisabeth Zoller (Université Panthéon-Assas),Conclusions générales
Lieu
  • Salle des Conseils, Escalier M – 2e ét., 12, place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris 
Les actes seront publiés par les Editions Panthéon-Assas (parution prévue: octobre 2015).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "L’État du droit administratif" byJacques Caillosse


L’État du droit administratif, byJacques Caillosse 
Paris, LGDJ (Droit et société, t. 56), 2015, 346 p.
all information here
Présentation éditeurIl est ici question de l’État du droit administratif, parce que la matière juridique de ce droit trouve dans l’État sa raison d’être.L’État n’est-il pas origine et finalité d’un droit administratif tout entier tendu vers ces objectifs d’intérêt général hors desquels l’action publique serait sans justifications ?Avec le droit administratif, l’État dessine sa cartographie. Il y construit son histoire en donnant à ses choix leur expression juridique : jusqu'où serait-il pensable, sans ce travail d’écriture juridique ? Il s’agit de rechercher, depuis le droit administratif, les empreintes de cette entreprise.S’il faut se garder de penser que l’État ne serait qu’une production du droit administratif, force est d’admettre que les réalisations de ce dernier appartiennent à l’histoire de l’État. Ainsi sont ici entendus les « récits » du droit administratif : avec eux l’État se rend plus intelligible. On y trouve les traces de sa continuité par-delà ses transformations.Le droit administratif participe des mutations d’un État voué à changer ses façons d’être et d’agir. Qu’il s’agisse pour lui de questionner ses performances, de repenser ses rapports avec le(s) territoire(s), ou encore de chambouler le modèle de contrôle de l’administration.Ce programme exige que soient sollicités avec la même attention les figures centrales du droit administratif – service public, puissance publique, justice administrative – et tout un outillage juridique dont l’usage semble éloigné des dispositifs grâce auxquels l’État se reproduit : de la création du déféré préfectoral, à l’expérimentation de formes nouvelles de démocratie locale, en passant par le traitement non juridictionnel des conflits internes à l’administration. Si l’analyse de l’État du droit administratif est inconcevable hors des élaborations politiques de ce droit, elle n’est crédible qu’à la condition qu’en soient reconnus et décrits les supports techniques. L’État se fabrique jusque dans les « détails » du droit administratif.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "L'imaginaire de la Commune", by Kristin Ross



L'imaginaire de la Commune, by Kristin Ross

all information here

Présentation éditeurWilliam Morris, Élisée Reclus, Pierre Kropotkine : ce ne sont pas les premiers noms qui viennent à l’esprit s’agissant de la Commune de Paris. S’ils tiennent dans ce livre un rôle important, c’est que pour Kristin Ross, la Commune déborde l’espace-temps qui lui est habituellement attribué, les 72 jours écoulés et les fortifications sur lesquelles elle a combattu. L’Imaginaire signifie que cet événement révolutionnaire n’est pas seulement international mais qu’il s’étend bien au-delà du domaine de la politique, vers l’art, la littérature, l’éducation, la relation au travail. Ce n’est pas un hasard si les trois personnages principaux du livre sont un poète-artiste, un géographe et un scientifique-anarchiste russe: la Commune n’est pas un simple épisode de la grande fable républicaine, c’est un monde nouveau qui s’invente pendant ces brèves semaines, un monde qui n’a pas fini de hanter les uns et d’inspirer les autres.
Auteure
  • Kristin Ross est professeur de littérature comparée à la New York University. Ses livres publiés en français: Mai 68 et ses vies ultérieures (Complexe, 2005) et Rouler plus vite, laver plus blanc (Flammarion, 2006). A paraître prochainement:Rimbaud et la Commune (Textuel).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Mentir à Rome:"mentiri" ou "mendacium dicere"? L'inhospitalité des sources juridiques" by Patrick Vassart



Mentir à Rome: "mentiri" ou "mendacium dicere"? L'inhospitalité des sources juridiques" by Patrick Vassart
all information here
Présentation éditeurPourquoi la prohibition du mensonge résulte-t-elle d’une norme éthique et sociale qui ne fait l’objet que d’un nombre restreint de transpositions? Peut-on retrouver l’origine de ce paradoxe à la lumière des sources romaines du droit contemporain?
  • Patrick Vassart: Docteur en Sciences juridiques, chargé de cours à l’Université de Mons, maître de conférences à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, avocat au barreau de Bruxelles.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Manuel de droit romain" by Patrick Vassart


Manuel de droit romain, by Patrick Vassart
Bruylant, 2015, 424 p.
all information here
Présentation éditeurCe Manuel se propose d'initier des étudiants en droit aux notions remémorées de la jeunesse de notre droit: le Droit romain, en particulier les normes dont il a irrigué le droit privé depuis plus de vingt-cinq siècles. Avec un seul parti-pris de méthode: envisager la découverte comme une promenade de prospection archéologique à travers le fécond champ gallo-romain du Code civil.
Auteur
  • Patrick Vassart: Docteur en Sciences juridiques, chargé de cours à l’Université de Mons, maître de conférences à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, avocat au barreau de Bruxelles.


SommaireAvant-propos
IntroductionSect° 1 – Le droit romain – droits objectif, subjectif ou positifSect° 2 – Le droit romain et son histoireSect° 3 – Distinction fondamentale : le droit public et le droit privé
Partie I – Les personnesSect° 1 – NotionSect° 2 – Capacité de jouissance et capacité d’exerciceSect° 3 – La personnalité en droit romainSect° 4 – Début et fin de la personnalité en droit romainSect° 5 – Capitis deminutio ou réduction de personnalitéSect° 6 – Capacité d’exerciceSect° 7 – Capacité des personnes moralesSect° 8 – Les droits subjectifs
Part. II – Les biensSect° 1 – NotionSect° 2 – Le patrimoineSect° 3 – Classifications des biens
Part. III – Les droits réelsSect° 1 – IntroductionSect° 2 – La possession et la détentionSect° 3 – Le droit de propriétéSect° 4 – L’usufruit, l’usage, l’habitationSect° 5 – Les servitudes prédialesSect° 6 – L’emphytéose et la superficieSect° 7 – Le gage et l’hypothèque
Part. IV – Les droits de créance (les obligations)Sect° 1 – IntroductionSect° 2 – Les sources des obligationsSect° 3 – La théorie générale des obligationsSect° 4 – Les principaux contrats
Index thématiqueIndex des adages
Documents à consulter (site de Bruylant):
Catégories: Comparative Law News

BOOK: "Richelieu et l'écriture du pouvoir. Autour de la journée des Dupes" by Christian Jouhaud


Richelieu et l'écriture du pouvoir. Autour de la journée des Dupes, by Christian Jouhaud

Paris, Gallimard (L'Esprit de la cité), 2015, 352 p.

All information here

Présentation éditeurOn a beaucoup écrit sur la journée des Dupes, souvent la même chose : un jour Richelieu est congédié, le lendemain il triomphe, élimine ses ennemis et poursuit son éclatante carrière au cœur des rouages du pouvoir monarchique. Mais cet épisode ne se réduit pas à la narration qui prétend le restituer. Il s'insère dans une suite d'événements, qui le produit et lui donne sens. Christian Jouhaud reconstitue cette crise politique dans sa longue durée. Il en retrouve les protagonistes célèbres ou moins connus, scrute les décors et les lieux, met au jour les enjeux visibles, les passions dissimulées, les non-dits et les arrière-pensées. Défilent ainsi sous un éclairage parfois surprenant les figures attendues de Louis XIII, roi de cérémonie et de violence, de la reine mère, d'un Richelieu tacticien de sa propre histoire autant que de la puissance de l'État ; mais encore les vaincus de la crise, un Marillac, un Bassompierre, qui en portent témoignage du fond de leur défaite. L'histoire du pouvoir politique n'a de meilleure voie d'accès que de disséquer l'Événement, comme dans une autopsie, pour en explorer les ramifications et les replis. Mais cette histoire n'est intelligible que dans les traces écrites qui disent les actions du pouvoir et dans le travail d'écriture conçu par le pouvoir pour s'inscrire dans le temps.

Catégories: Comparative Law News

DEBATE: "Il ruolo delle Costituzioni tra storia e diritto" (Rome, 23 April 2015)


WHAT Il ruolo delle Costituzioni tra storia e diritto, debate within the project I confini del diritto
WHEN 23 April 2015, 17:30
WHERE Università la Sapienza, Law Faculty, piazzale Aldo Moro, Rome
All information herespeakers
Maria Rosaria Ferrarese
Luigi Lacchè
Gunther Teubner
Le costituzioni negli ultimi duecento anni sono state il prodotto più “alto” di quelle formazioni sociali chiamate Stati. Abbandonato l’universalismo che si propugnava alle origini del costituzionalismo moderno, la dimensione statale ha rappresentato il perimetro entro cui si sono pensate e, poi, fatte valere le garanzie dei diritti costituzionali. La concreta macchina costituzionale entra in gioco, da un lato, per assorbire il potere costituente, potere “terribile”, posto alla base dell’ordinamento ma sempre eccedente i suoi confini istituzionali; dall’altro, per sostituire alla processualità aperta dal momento costituente uno stabile quadro di tutele e di garanzie. Guardando al presente, si potrebbe ipotizzare che i processi di globalizzazione abbiano ormai privato le costituzioni del loro presupposto: lo Stato. Nei tempi recenti prevalgono, in effetti, i discorsi sul dominio, non più delle costituzioni intese come “leggi supreme”, bensì dei mercati globali, dei gruppi sociali diffusi entro l’intero pianeta. In molti si dedicano alla ricerca di una nuova dimensione − non più statale, ma sociale − delle costituzioni. A essere messa in discussione non è una delle particolari declinazioni del concetto moderno di costituzione − intesa, alternativamente, come grande decisione, complesso di principi e valori sovraordinati o norma fondamentale − ma la costituzione sans phrase. Tuttavia, una costituzione senza Stato, forse anche senza politica, rimessa esclusivamente alle determinazioni della società nei suoi diversi segmenti (s’è parlato di costituzioni settoriali) quale ruolo svolge? Può porsi ancora come limite ai poteri e garanzia dei diritti ovvero si deve limitare a descrivere le emergenze spontanee dei diversi segmenti che vanno a comporre le nostre società globali?
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: The Theory of Just War. Behind the Jurisprudential Defense of (Abstaining From) Military Action (Warsaw, 13-14 October 2015); DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015


 (image source: saevientibus2015)
The Departments of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Law and Administration, as well as the International Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Łazarski Universities (Warsaw) host a conference on 13-14 October 2015 on the eternal interdisciplinary topic of "Just Wars". More information:

On 5th July 1415 the participants of the Council of Constance – a historically pivotal gathering of the ruling and clerical elite of contemporary Europe – were provided with the first of a series of legal writings concerning a momentous dispute between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (the Teutonic Knights). The case centered around the legitimacy of military attacks undertaken by the State of the Teutonic Order on the region of Samogitia (northwestern part of today’s Lithuania), whose inhabitants were the last ethnic group in Europe to resist conversion to Christianity. Arguing for the Polish side was Paul Vladimiri (Paweł Włodkowic), rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who, following the most prominent theological and legal thinkers of the time, defended the rights of pagans to have their own states, safe from the attacks of Christians, provided they themselves refrained from attacking their Christian neighbours. Based on the idea of mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different political communities, Paul Vladimiri’s argumentation has gone down in history as one of the prototype versions of the theory of just war. 600 years after its original presentation, some fundamental issues raised during the medieval dispute are still of utmost urgency:

What type of rationale legitimizes the use of force against an autonomous political community?

What are the preconditions of a morally/legally justified military intervention undertaken on the territory of an independent state?

Which international institution possesses the entitlement to authorize the enforcement of universally recognized standards of execution of political power, e.g. respect for basic human rights?

Are there any moral/legal constraints on the membership in alliances aimed at eliminating specific threats to world peace?

To what extent are individual people responsible for the aggressive policy of (morally deplorable use of force by) their state leaders?

Answers to these and many other questions related to the idea of just war will be discussed during a conference held at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland, on 13-14 October 2015. We are inviting proposals for paper presentations (up to 20 minutes long) that will contribute to the conference debate. Themes of presentations, accompanied by paper abstracts (maximum 300 words), should be submitted by May 31, 2015, via e-mail to saevientibus2015@uksw.edu.pl . PDF copies of Paul Vladimiri’s writings (the Latin original with its Polish and English translations) as well as the abstract submission form are available on the conference web page: www.saevientibus2015.pl. Selected presenters will be contacted via e-mail by June 15, 2015 and required to register. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

Registration procedure must be completed by September 15, 2015 by paying the conference fee of 100 EURO (or 115 USD; for details, see the Practical Information tab)

The conference fee does not cover accommodation. The organizers may assist participants in making hotel reservations (selected options are presented in the Practical Information tab of the conference web page).
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CONFERENCE/BOOK LAUNCH: Standen en Landen/Anciens Pays et Assemblées d'États (Brussels, 18 May 2015)

(image source: standenenlanden.wordpress.com)
Standen en Landen /Anciens Pays et Assemblées d'États, the Belgian Section of the International Committee for the History of Parliamentary and Representative Institutions, launches the 110th volume of its collection on Monday 18 May 2015 in the Chamber of Representatives.
After presentation of a work on 20th Century Belgian parliamentary and party politics (Dr. Frederik Verleden (KUL),‘Vertegenwoordigers van Natie‘ in partijdienst. De verhouding tussen de Belgische politieke partijen in hun parlementsleden (1918-1970), Kortrijk:INNI publishers, 2015), prof. Olivier Christin (Neuchâtel/EPHE), author of Vox Populi. Une Histoire du vote avant le suffrage universel (Paris: Seuil, 2014, see earlier on this blog) will deliver a keynote lecture on Old Regime voting systems.
Those wishing to attend the event, from 14:00 to 16:00, should notify their presence on standenenlanden@gmail.com.

(source: standenenlanden.wordpress.com)
Catégories: Comparative Law News

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Law Text Culture

Juris Diversitas - lun, 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

Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: Merchant Morality in the 18th Century Mediterranean (Rives 2014, nr. 49)

(image source: revues.org)
The journal Rives méditerranéennes published a theme issue on "merchant morality in the 18th Century Mediterranean".

Summary:
Par l’existence d’une densité et d’une variété institutionnelles et par la prégnance du commerce sur l’économie, l’espace méditerranéen du long XVIIIe siècle peut être perçu comme un laboratoire pertinent pour travailler la thématique des moralités marchandes. Ce numéro se penche sur la question au croisement de quatre niveaux d’analyse : les trajectoires et les caractéristiques personnelles des négociants, avec leurs stratégies d’autoreprésentations ; les encastrements politiques, culturels et sociaux qui façonnent les groupes marchands (l’État, la paroisse, la « nation », la ville, la religion…) ; les institutions productrices de normes et de comportements normés (l’État, mais aussi les tribunaux de commerce, les assemblées de marchands…) ; et les pratiques qui mettent les éthiques, les lois et les discours à l’épreuve du terrain.
Table of contents (source: revues.org)
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOURNAL: Uses of the Law (Review of Nineteenth Century History 2014, Nr. 48)

(image source: revues.org)

The Revue d'histoire du dix-neuvième siècle published an interesting theme issue on the uses of law in 19th century Europe.

Table of contents (source: revues.org):


Catégories: Comparative Law News

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

Juris Diversitas - jeu, 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

Catégories: Comparative Law News

Social Death as a Way of Punishing and Preventing Mass Murder

Juris Diversitas - mer, 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 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOB: Two Postdocs at the MPI for European Legal History/Goethe University Frankfurt, 'Knowledge of the Pragmatici, late 16th, early 18th Century'; DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015

(image source: MPI Frankfurt)
The MPI for European Legal History in Frankfurt advertises two postdoc positions on early modern legal history.

Project presentation:
By the third decade of the sixteenth-century, once the first settlements had been successfully established in the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America, the Spanish monarchy had to confront the task of establishing its dominion over huge populations and across vast distances, albeit with limited human and material resources. In light of the scarcity and the remoteness, great importance was accorded to propagating and implementing codes of conduct and modes of behavioural control – not just among European settlers, but also over the indigenous populations.
As a part of the Collaborative Research Centre (‘Sonderforschungsbereich’) 1095, which was approved in November 2014 and is slated to begin at the start of 2015 at Goethe University, Frankfurt, bearing the title “Discourses of Weakness and Resource Regimes”, this subproject draws on the broader historical context described above to ask what norms and mediatic forms had been put to service by the Spanish sovereign to regulate codes of conduct in the period spanning between the 16th and mid-17th century. This study centres predominantly on “normativity”, its conventional and mediatic sources, not least on “law” and the functionality of these normative orders. However, the core of this project draws less on conventional sources of legal history, meaning the large stacks of textual collections pertaining to the norm setting practices of higher authorities or other early modern legal sources from the Castilian tradition and ius commune. Instead, special attention is being paid to modalities of normativity and their special mediatic forms primarily established to reach out to “practitioners” – and, in particular, sources from the fields of moral theology, pastoral or catechetic literature. Research on private book collections and on book circulation shows that they predominantly included popular works, namely small compendia, summaries of greater moral theological works, and, in part, also juridical theses that were notably used in Hispanic America.
The project builds on the hypothesis that “pragmatic literature”, in particular, the strand that powerfully refers back to the tradition of moral theology, may have gained in significance and functionality in the remote frontier context of the early modern empire, lacking in any standard of review: particularly because this body of works did not represent complex instructions or a sophisticated normative framework, or even direct command of the authorities. What on the one hand was regarded as “weakness” could now also be viewed as “strength”: precisely its succinct and concise quality may have rendered this strand of pragmatic literature functional; instead of focusing on law and its enforcement, the works concentrate on the innate force of human conscience, inculcated by way of rituals and discourses. These texts were simultaneously “weak” and “strong”, not only because it was possible to tie them in with Christian traditions of a weak discourse. They were perceived as weak for the lack of theoretical complexity compared to the challenging scholarly tractates and, importantly, also because in general they could not be enforced like the rule of law. They were “strong”, on the other hand, in a pragmatic sense, as their flexible normative underpinnings enabled them to take up those notions of legitimacy and basic moral assumptions which became a part of the moral economy of the colonial society. Not least in the imperial peripheries, where the American territories were located at the beginning and where vast swaths of the Americas continued to remain even after different centres were established in the composite monarchy, these adaptable and pragmatic texts addressing codes of conduct, such as confessional writings, catechisms, moral theological instructions, became particularly important: even in places where the reach of law was limited or non-existent, the practice of specific regulations and notions of “proper” behaviour were effectively mediated through ecclesiastic institutions and players, but also through the omnipresent religious symbols and their consistent inculcation.   
There are some indications that this constellation of resources was responsible for generating, even minimally, normative conceptions of social order and thereby also establishing a system of rule: Juridical normativity and institutions consolidated in a process of differentiation, essentially resources central to the formation of the early modern European state, were substituted by religious normativity and pragmatic literature, which characteristically offered greater scope for interpretation. As a result, the situation that emerged could be construed as “weak” when compared to the European context. But set against the backdrop of the challenge of the colonial project – at the outset at least – it could be viewed as a functional normative order built on a distinct configuration of resources.  
If these hypotheses were confirmed, the project would also help to bring to light not just the practical significance and functionality of this strand of sources, which has received scant attention for a long time, but perhaps also its intellectual weight. It is possible that the perceived weaker nature of this literature does not merely suggest – as often assumed – a form of vulgarization; on the contrary, it may be possible to see herein a conscious, and considerable work of abstraction.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

WORKSHOP: "Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome" (Edinburgh, 1 May 2015)


WHAT Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome, one-day Workshop
WHEN Friday 1 May 2015, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm 
WHERE Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, doorway 1, Old Medical Quad, Teviot Place
all information here
Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this workshop will bring together scholars working on manumission and slavery in both the classical world (Greece and Rome), and the Near East to debate specific aspects of the manumission process and the lives of freed slaves.Transition from slavery to freedomRecent monographic work on ancient slavery has included a number of significant studies of manumission and freedmen. But despite these monographic treatments, it has become ever clearer that seminal aspects of the processes involved in slave manumission are understudied (including the workings and the place of peculium, the slave’s ability to amass possessions that enables him or her to purchase their freedom, the role played by the slave’s gender in the manumission process and prospects, etc.).Moreover, the status of freed slaves remains subject to debate. In light of the prominence of evidence for manumission and the importance of status in ancient societies, the transition from slavery to freedom is central to our understanding of the peculiar institution in the ancient world.Workshop programmeThere will be three formal sessions: one on Rome, one on Greece, and one on Near Eastern slavery and manumission.Each speaker is allocated one full hour for paper delivery and ensuing discussion, followed by a plenary discussion session at the end of the day chaired by the workshop organisers.



All participants are invited to present a poster on their work on slavery, which will be displayed at the poster session from 7pm onwards.

SpeakersOur speakers at this event join us from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and Israel.Near East
  • Dr Cornelia Wunsch (School of Oriental and African Studies, London): ‘Manumission and oblation around the Eastern Mediterranean: a comparative view’
  • Dr Heather Baker (University of Toronto, Canada): ‘Looking for slaves in Assyria’
Greece
  • Professor Deborah Kamen (University of Washington, United States of America): ‘Manumission and the quasi-peculium in classical Athens’
  • Professor Rachel Zelnick-Abramovitz (Tel Aviv University, Israel): ‘Partial manumission and its legal, economic, and social significance’
  • Ms Sara Zanovello (University of Edinburgh): ‘Manumission and paramone in the Delphic inscriptions’
Rome
  • Dr Paul du Plessis (University of Edinburgh): ‘'Slave interrogations in terms of the Lex Iulia on Adulteries'
  • Dr Juan Lewis (University of Edinburgh): ‘vicarii and manumission at Rome’
FeesThe workshop fee covers the registration for the event, refreshments throughout the day, a light sandwich lunch and a reception at the end of the formal proceedings.Two fee options are available; a reduced fee for all students, unwaged or University of Edinburgh staff, and a standard fee for all other attendees.Reduced fee£15.00Standard fee£20.00RegistrationTo register for this workshop, please visit our online booking system.Slavery in World History: public lectureThe manumission workshop is preceded by the 5th in the School’s ‘Slavery in World History' public lectures.Join Professor John Cairns (University of Edinburgh, School of Law) as he discusses his work on the re-use of Roman ‘slave law’.This lecture will take place on 30 April 2015 at 6.15pm in the Teviot Lecture Theatre.The event is free but ticketed. Registration is now open.Further informationFor further information on this workshop, please contact the organisers: Dr Ulrike Roth and Dr David Lewis.
  • Dr Ulrike Roth
  • Head of Classics Subject Area and Senior Lecturer; Ancient History
  • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
    Email:
    Web:
    Dr Roth's staff profile
    • Dr David Lewis
    • Leverhulme Early Career Fellow; Classics
    • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
      Email:
      Web:
      David Lewis' staff profile
      Catégories: Comparative Law News

      LECTURE: "Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome" (Edinburgh, 30 April 2015)


      WHAT Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome, The 5th Slavery in World History lecture
      WHEN Thursday 30 April 2015, 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm 
      WHERE Teviot Lecture Theatre, doorway 5, Old Medical School, Teviot Place
      all information here

      Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this lecture will consider the manumission of slaves in eighteenth-century Scotland, delivered by Professor John W. Cairns from the University of Edinburgh Law School.Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient RomeManumission has played a complex social role in slave-owning societies. Unlike ancient Rome, eighteenth-century Scotland was not a slave-society; but it was certainly a society in which men, women and children were held as slaves.This was the product of the energetic activity of Scots in the British Empire: most of the individuals held as slaves had been imported from the colonies. Slave-societies typically regulate manumission as part of a complex set of regulations of slavery and slave-ownership.But the legal position of slaves in Scotland as ambiguous; legal practices imported from the colonies and often understood - at least by lawyers - through a lens of Roman law created social and perhaps even legal norms. These ambiguities created uncertainties about manumission and how to make it effective, to allow those freed to maintain their freedom and not be sold abroad.Join us at our 'Slavery and freedom' workshopFollowing this public lecture, there is a workshop on manumission in the ancient world, taking place on 1 May.Full information on the workshop programme, as well as on how to register, can be found on our website.RegistrationThis lecture is free but ticketed. Please visit our online booking system to register.Further informationFor further information on this workshop, please contact the organiser, Dr Ulrike Roth.

      • Dr Ulrike Roth
      • Head of Classics Subject Area and Senior Lecturer; Ancient History
      • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
        Email:
        Web:
        Dr Roth's staff profile
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        PETITION: Save the Committee for Historical and Scientific Studies (France)

        (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

        The Committee for Historical and Scientific Studies, founded by François Guizot, issued a call for support to the scientific community. The CTHS's activities cover all epochs of human history, counts as a rallying point for scientific societies all over the country and develops wide-ranging, interdisciplinary activities. The committee publishes both on paper and online. Its annual competition, leading to publication of the best doctoral dissertation received, is well known.
        Petition header:
        Le Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques (CTHS) est né en 1834 de la volonté politique du ministre de l’Instruction publique, François Guizot, qui déclarait : « Cette entreprise ne doit pas être un effort accidentel et passager ; ce sera un long hommage et pour ainsi dire, une institution durable en l’honneur des origines, des souvenirs et de la gloire de la France. » (Guizot - 1834)

        Les missions historiques du CTHS visent à concourir aux recherches et aux publications portant sur les sciences humaines ; favoriser le développement des activités des sociétés savantes et de leurs fédérations ; assurer l’édition de textes, de répertoires, d’orientations de recherche… ; organiser annuellement le Congrès national des sociétés historiques et scientifiques. (cf. arrêté du 12/06/2007 – NOR: ESRS0755546A)

        Le CTHS développe ses activités avec l’aide de 255 membres, chercheurs et universitaires qui favorisent les échanges entre la recherche publique et le monde associatif. Depuis plus de 150 ans, le CTHS publie des ouvrages de référence en sciences humaines. Il a compté parmi ses membres d’éminentes personnalités, telles que Hugo, Mérimée, Viollet-le-Duc, Pasteur, Champollion Figeac, Maspero, Durkheim, Aulard, Tarde…

        Depuis 2007, le CTHS est un institut rattaché à l’École nationale des chartes. Sa tutelle remet en cause l’autonomie de gestion du CTHS tout en lui imposant des coupes budgétaires qui ne lui permettent plus d’assurer ses missions. Deux postes ont déjà été perdus et le maintien d’une partie non négligeable du personnel est sérieusement menacé. Sans le soutien actif de la communauté scientifique, de ses partenaires, de ses lecteurs, le CTHS est voué à disparaître.

        Soutenez le Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques en apposant votre signature et en diffusant cette pétition qui sera adressée à la ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Madame Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

        Le personnel du CTHS, son délégué général et son PrésidentThe full petition is available on change.org.
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

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