08 June 2024

European Documentation Center - EU News

EU News: Click & Read 184 – May 2024

eu-news-click-read-184-may.pdf (isdc.ch)

European Documentation Centre 

Editor: Henrik Westermark Legal Adviser 

This newsletter contains a selection of recent official documents of the European Union. It features information of particular interest to Swiss readers and aims to provide universities, cantonal and federal administrations, legal professionals, as well as corporations with information about the latest legal developments in the European Union. Written in English or French, the newsletter offers links to documents in one of those languages. 

Regulating surrogacy intermediaries: a comparative analysis of regulatory approaches and implications in the Chinese context


Regulating surrogacy intermediaries: a comparative analysis of regulatory approaches and implications in the Chinese context

Yingyi Luo


This article addresses the significant research gap concerning the regulation of surrogacy intermediaries in China’s rapidly growing surrogacy market. Employing a ‘law in context’ perspective, it explores the question of how to effectively regulate surrogacy intermediaries in the Chinese context. Situated within China’s unique socio-cultural landscape, where procreation carries profound significance, the study navigates the complexities of surrogacy regulation, including ethical dilemmas, rights infringements and regulatory ambiguities. The article advocates for the regulation of surrogacy in China to prevent possible exploitation, referencing three international models: prohibiting commercial surrogacy, governing non-profit surrogacy organisations and imposing duties on for-profit surrogacy agents. The aim is to construct a robust, context-sensitive regulatory framework for surrogacy in China, focusing on identifying suitable intermediaries and defining the scope of effective regulatory oversight.

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS 2024: Journal for Digital Legal History

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS 2024: Journal for Digital Legal History

The Journal for Digital Legal History (DLH) is a diamond Open-Access, peer-reviewed international journal hosted by the Open UGent platform. For our second issue, which will be published in November 2024, we are pleased to invite contributions from researchers working on legal history with digital, empirical and computational approaches. The journal welcomes all research questions and outputs at the intersection of legal history, digital humanities and empirical legal studies, broadly defined.


In the field of legal history, digital methods are hardly ever the centrepiece of a publication itself, if not downplayed. In 1997, Richard Evans claimed that: 'How we know about the past, what historical causation is, how we define a historical fact, whether there is such a thing as historical truth or objectivity - these are questions that most historians have happily left to one side as unnecessary distractions from their essential work in the archives' (R. Evans, In Defence of History, 1997, p. 9). Nevertheless, in the 21st century, the work of a historian or legal scholar does not stop in the archives. Often, digital or computational techniques are applied in seemingly pedestrian ways, such as "searching" full texts, or they are applied in more elaborate methods to transform the historical facts embedded in our precious archival material or legal documents to answer novel research questions or to explore well-trodden paths from an innovative perspective. 


The application of digital techniques to legal history research is often overlooked or omitted from discussions on methodology. We encourage you to highlight the technical tools or methods that proved effective in your research projects without neglecting all the trials and errors that helped structure your final choice of any particular technique. You are welcome to illustrate your work with all forms of outputs, from notebooks to graphs, networks, maps, diagrams, etc.. If you have developed software, a database or a dataset that others could reuse, feel welcome to publish it with us. 

2024 Call for Contributions: continuous call for submissions


Submissions that address legal sources from any historical period and any part of the world are welcome. We actively encourage collaborative and multi-authored pieces by authors from different countries working across disciplines. 

We accept publications in English; we can also support German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, but do contact the editorial board in advance. If you wish to publish in another language than mentioned here, please consult us beforehand.

Beyond the following suggestions, feel free to contact us through the DLH website if you have any original ideas that you want to discuss.


Topic suggestions 

  • Original research articles (up to 10,000 words). 

  • Reproduction pieces: Can the results of classic studies be replicated through DLH techniques?

  • A dedicated section for your Digital Legal History events: If you are organising a panel, conference, or webinar series that prominently features Digital Humanities performed on legal sources, contact us for a dedicated focus section that will allow you to publish the papers or conclusions of your meeting.

  • Shorter focus pieces or provocations (around 5,000 words with fewer footnotes).

    • Conference and seminar reports.

    • Spotlight articles: inspiration from other social sciences fields on the promising benefits of specific Digital Humanities techniques that could be successfully applied to Digital Legal History.

  • Presentations or Reviews of software, databases, datasets, websites, and platforms.

    • Tutorials: general presentation, application through a specific study angle (legal linguistics, marginalia analysis).

  • Trials & errors: reflections on the productive role of wandering and errors in abandoned, rejected or substantially modified past projects that could help improve the current methodology (inspired by the Journal of Trial & Error). 

Call for panels: The transformative power of legal pluralism?

Call for panels: The transformative power of legal pluralism?

Commission for Legal Pluralism 

Editor of Legal Pluralism and Critical Social Analysis

The International conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, "The transformative power of legal pluralism? Planetary challenges in a diverse and multi-polar world", in cooperation with the Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia, will take place on 13-15 January 2025, Jakarta, Indonesia, preceded by an International Course on Legal Pluralism (8-11 January 2025).

See at: Call for panels: The transformative power of legal pluralism? (commission-on-legal-pluralism.com)

Civil Society Organisations and State-Owned Enterprises in South Africa: Promoting Accountability and Corporate Governance

Civil Society Organisations and State-Owned Enterprises in South Africa: Promoting Accountability and Corporate Governance 

New book publication by CCLA Fellow - Dr Julieth Gudo

Dr Gudo's book titled Civil Society Organisations and State-Owned Enterprises in South Africa: Promoting Accountability and Corporate Governance examines the important role which civil society organisations in South Africa play in confronting poor corporate governance in state-owned enterprises while pressing for better government accountability, transparency, and citizen participation. It captures an incisive discussion of corporate governance in South Africa’s state-owned enterprises, showing how civil society organisations (CSOs), as citizen representatives, make use of legal provisions to push for change. Maintaining an enabling legal environment for the work of CSOs and enforcing accountability provisions remain challenges which the book does much to address. The book is key to the work of policy advisors, compliance officers, social justice activists and other stakeholders and actors in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  Lecturers, researchers, and students will particularly find it a rich resource for academic work on corporate governance in Africa’s public enterprises.

Center of Civil Law Studies - How French Tort Law Faces Environmental Challenges

Center of Civil Law Studies

Baton Rouge, April 22, 2024. A delegation of four distinguished French law professors presented at an afternoon conference on how French tort law faces environmental challenges, to an audience including law professors from LSU, Southern University, Loyola University College of Law and Mississippi College.

Mustapha Mekki, Professor at the Sorbonne Law School, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, General Director of INFN, presented on Litigating Climate Liability: An Example of Democracy in Litigation, followed by Nathalie Blanc, Professor at the Sorbonne Paris Nord University, co-Director of IRDA, discussing Corporate Social Responsibility. Philippe Pierre, Professor at the University of Rennes, Holder of the International Chair of Notarial Law, then discussed The Notary’s Liability and Duty to Advise on Environmental Matters. Finally, Bernard Haftel, Professor at the Sorbonne Paris Nord University, co-director of IRDA, presented on The Compensation of Environmental Damage.

Each paper was discussed and a lively general discussion closed the event, followed by a tour of the LSU Campus. The conference papers will be published in the Journal of Civil Law Studies.

Undecidabilities and Law


The Coimbra Journal for Legal Studies


VOLUME V (2025)



Anne Wagner 

Centre de Recherche Droits et Perspectives du droit (ULR 4487), équipe René Demogue

Lille University



Sarah Marusek

Department of Political Science

University of Hawai’i Hilo


Our Special Issue delves into the intricate and dynamic nature of legal systems, contrasting concepts of linear progression with those of the perpetual pendulum in law. This exploration integrates the rhizomatic theory of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, proposed in 1987, which suggests a non-linear, network-like framework for understanding legal changes. It challenges conventional views of law as a hierarchy, instead presenting it as a complex web of interconnections where various factors, including political, cultural, economic, and social energies, interact in unpredictable ways. This approach acknowledges the multifaceted nature of legal evolution, encompassing both steady, predictable developments and cyclical, reactionary shifts.

This exploration extends to consider the non-hierarchical, network-like nature of legal evolution. This theory challenges traditional, tree-like conceptions of knowledge and organization by proposing a model where any point can connect to any other, without having a central or primary node. Applying this to legal evolution offers a more complex and interconnected view of how law changes and adapts, recognizing the multiplicity of influences and pathways of development.

Topics for Submission:

1. Rhizomatic Perspectives in Legal Evolution: Exploration of Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome theory in the context of legal systems, examining how law evolves in a non-linear, network-like fashion, creating multiple entry and exit points for legal changes and influences.

2. Law-Making in a Networked Society: Analyzing how the concept of the rhizome influences the development of law-making tools and their societal impacts, emphasizing the interconnected and often unpredictable nature of legal evolution.

3. Interplay of Linear and Rhizomatic Legal Interpretations: Investigating the balance between linear progression and rhizomatic complexity in legal interpretation, focusing on how these approaches impact the adaptability and responsiveness of legal systems to societal changes.

4. Polarization and Connectivity in Legal Concepts: Analyzing the dual nature of law as both polarized (perpetual pendulum) and interconnected (rhizomatic), exploring how these contrasting dynamics influence legal theory and practice.

5. Legal Systems Amidst Global Crises: Discussing the rhizomatic responses of legal systems to global crises, such as pandemics or climate change, and how these events disrupt linear progressions, necessitating a more networked, adaptable approach to legal reform.

These themes aim to enrich our understanding of legal evolution by highlighting the interplay between linear and cyclical dynamics, and introducing the complexity and interconnectedness of the rhizomatic approach. This perspective acknowledges the multi-dimensional nature of legal change, influenced by a myriad of societal, cultural, and technological factors.

Submission Guidelines:

Contributors are invited to delve into the multifaceted dynamics of legal evolution as framed in “Rhizomatic Law: Understanding the Linearity and Pendulum of Legal Evolution”. Submissions should focus on the intricate interplay of factors influencing the oscillation between linear progression and the cyclical shifts of the perpetual pendulum in legal systems. We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions that shed light on these dynamics. Interdisciplinary approaches, integrating insights from legal studies, philosophy, sociology, and other relevant fields, are especially encouraged. This call for papers aims to create a

comprehensive platform for discussing and understanding the complex, network-like nature of legal change and adaptation, guided by the rhizomatic perspective.

Submission of Abstracts (of 300 words) should be addressed to Anne Wagner (valwagnerfr@yahoo.com) and Sahra Marusek (marusek@hawaii.edu) until 30 June 2024. After selection, final papers should be submitted directly to the platform (https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/undecidabilitiesandlaw) by 31 January 2025, always indicating the Journal’s volume to which they correspond.

Rules for submission:


12 April 2024

The complexity of Human Rights: a discussion of Sally Engle Merry's work



Human rights are avowedly universal but must be translated by local activists to make sense in specific contexts, a process Sally Engle Merry called vernacularization. Human rights progress is conventionally measured through global quantitative indicators which give the illusion of control and comparability, but radically oversimplify social and political processes. How can we avoid “the seductions of quantification” and understand how human rights are materialized, appropriated, and implemented in everyday social justice activism? In her decades-long research on human rights, Sally Engle Merry brought to light the complex social dynamics in which human rights are embedded and demonstrated how their presentation as single, universal, and immutable elides their flexibility and many strengths.

To celebrate a new book in her honour, The Complexity of Human Rights: From Vernacularization to Quantification, leading human rights scholars come together to discuss how the concepts Merry pioneered help us to understand current human rights challenges and crises.

Where: Online with Allegra Lab

Who: Philip Alston, Julie Billaud, Jane Cowan, Meg Davis, Mark Goodale, César Rodriguez-Garavito, Jack Snyder, Richard Wilson with Sridhar Venkatapuram as discussant.

When: 16 May, 4 PM (CEST), 3 PM (UK), 11 AM (EDT)

Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoc-CqpjMqH9QTdKLQnjb25Ax6w3mFCUZJ

Call for Papers Spring 2014: A Symposium on Transnational Criminal Law


Transnational Legal Theory

Call for Papers Spring 2014: A Symposium on Transnational Criminal Law

Transnational Legal Theory (http://www.hartjournals.co.uk/tlt/) publishes high-quality theoretical scholarship that addresses transnational dimensions of law and legal dimensions of transnational fields, regulatory regimes and evolving normative-institutional arenas.


The journal is currently accepting submissions for a special symposium issue that addresses the potential and substance of Transnational Criminal Law (TCL), an evolving and still largely under-explored field of law. TCL is at the intersection of domestic, international and comparative criminal law and reaches deep into contemporary debates over conceptions of crime and illegality, social values and regulatory politics.


Submissions to the symposium may approach the topic from any number of angles, including (but not limited to):

  • Theory and Definition
    • What is transnational criminal law?
    • What are the implications or added value of transnational criminal law to domestic criminal law?
  • Actors and Participants
    • Who benefits from regimes of transnational criminal law? Who is disadvantaged?
    • Who has agency to define and shape transnational criminal law?
    • How does culture inform the development or acceptance of transnational criminal law?
  • Existing and Emerging Regulatory Regimes
    • What issues arise related to legitimacy of such regimes?
    • What problems would arise in the application of transnationalized criminal law with regards to, for example, effectiveness or enforcement?
    • What trends are emerging in the politics of criminalization/decriminalization?
  • Outlook and Prospects
    • How do we address and resolve such issues?
    • What will transnational criminal law regimes change over the next few years? Over the next decade?


We are inviting abstracts and/or full paper submissions for anonymous peer review. Abstracts outlining the direction of the planned submission are invited by Monday 17 February 2014 and final papers are due by Monday 28 April 2014. Abstracts and/or submissions as well as any inquiries should be directed to tlteditorial@hartpub.co.uk or PZumbansen@osgoode.yorku.ca.


The Principle of Personification. Visual Intelligence and Epistemic Tradition, 1300-1800"

 The Principle of Personification. Visual Intelligence and Epistemic Tradition, 1300-1800"

Dr. Cornelia Logemann

Hardly any imaging technique was more successful in the early modern period than personification. Allegorical interpretive contexts, which were largely made up of these embodiments, dominated the arts - and it was not uncommon for the extensive and increasingly complex image programs to begin to oscillate ambivalently for the viewer.

While there was already a new interest in this central cultural technique in the late Middle Ages, the principle of 'personification' received further impetus from the 'rediscovery' and connection with mythological elements from the late 14th and 15th centuries.

All over Europe people celebrated the return of the ancient gods, who, now removed from their context, embodied primarily abstract properties and principles for the contemporary observer.

Walter Benjamin already described the discrepancy between the 'disembodied projection' of the Middle Ages and the physical figures of gods that the Renaissance rediscovered for its purposes - and the success of this new form of representation seems to be explained not least by this tension.

The aim of the junior research group is to demonstrate from various disciplinary perspectives the forms and functions of this central cultural technique in the crucial early phase from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century, which must be considered fundamental for the reconstruction of the modern understanding of images.