16 February 2019

An Introduction to Jewish Law

An Introduction to Jewish Law

Francois-Xavier Licari

Jewish law is a singular legal system that has been evolving for generations. Often conflated with Biblical law or Israeli law, Jewish law needs to be studied in its own right. An Introduction to Jewish Law expounds the general structure of Jewish law and presents the cardinal principles of this religious legal system. An introduction to modern Jewish law as it applies to the daily life of Jews around the world, this volume presents Jewish law in a way that answers all the questions that a student of comparative law would ask when encountering an unfamiliar legal system. Sources of Jewish law such as revelation, rabbinical and communal legislation, judicial decisions, and legal reasoning are defined and analyzed, and the authority of who decides what Jewish law is and why their decisions are binding is investigated.

06 February 2019

In the Shade of an African Baobab


In the Shade of an African Baobab
Tom Bennett’s Legacy

Edition: 1st

Published: 24 January 2019

Editor: Christa Rautenbach

ISBN: 978 1 48512 847 2

Format: Soft cover

Extent: 282 pages

Retail price: R395 (includes 15% VAT, excludes courier 

delivery. Valid until 30/06/2019.)

About this publication:

In the Shade of an African Baobab: Tom Bennett’s Legacy is a collection of essays published to honour and thank Tom Bennett for his generous contribution to scholarly work over the years in the field of legal pluralism and African jurisprudence, as well as for his mentorship and friendship.

The book brings together a collection of work by esteemed scholars from multidisciplinary fields, though the work is focused on aspects of law, culture and religion. The common thread through all the contributions is Tom. His scholarly influence, visible in each of the contributions, can be compared to the mighty Baobab tree: a large iconic, culturally important and majestic tree indigenous to Africa.
Contents include:
  • Tribute to Tom Bennett – Hugh Corder
  • In the Shade of an African Baobab: Thomas W (Tom) Bennett on Custom and Religion – Christa Rautenbach 
  • A Tribute to Emeritus Professor Thomas Bennett – Chuma Himonga
  • When Grace Met Bennett: An Intersectionality Analysis of Bennett’s Commentary on Culture and Legal Pluralism in South Africa – Jewel Amoah
  • African Women and Fair Trial in South Africa – Adenike Aiyedun
  • Patrimonial Consequences of the Conversion of a South African Marriage to a Civil Marriage – Pieter Bakker
  • Illegal Mining: The Continued Struggle for Mineral Resources, Communities and the Environment –
    Willemien du Plessis & Juanita Pienaar
  • The Culturalisation of Religion and the Pursuit of Diversity: Co-existence within Religious Difference in South Africa and Europe – Kyriaki Topidi
  • OHADA Law and its Target Population: Is there Room for African Traditional Law within the Harmonisation of Contract Laws in Africa? – Salvatore Mancuso
  • African Legal Realism and Risk Assessment of Irrationality through Deliberate Silencing of African Voices and Perspectives – Werner Menski
  • Legal Pluralism and Social Change: Insights from Matrimonial Property Rights in Nigeria – Anthony Diala
  • Negotiating Space and Place in Relation to Land: A View from Kweneng Land Board, Botswana – Anne Griffiths
  • Human Rights at the Intersection of Legal Orders: The Case of the ‘Kharisiri’ – Eva Brems
  • Customary Legal Empowerment in Africa: How Rule of Law Programming has Impacted on Legal Pluralism in Malawi – Janine Ubink
Of interest and benefit to:
Lawyers and anthropologists engaged in the fields of legal pluralism, custom and religion 

Click on the link below for further details and to purchase this title online:

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29th World Congress 
of the 
International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR) 
University of Lucerne
7 – 13 July 2019

Special Workshop: Legal Fictions Revisited 
Covenors: Kristin Y. Albrecht (University of Salzburg) and Karen Petroski (Saint Louis University)

Call for Papers
Fictions of various kinds remain powerful devices of legal argumentation and justification. 
Following the route opened by the special workshop on legal fictions at the IVR Congress 2011, as well as the resulting book and recent publications by such scholars as Simon Stern, we invite proposals for papers investigating some less-explored aspects of the subject, in particular the philosophical foundations, comparative examination, and historical aspects of legal fictions.

Is law a fiction or fictional system? If so, what is specific about legal fictions - or do they involve the same kind of fictionality as law itself? Is fictionality a phenomenon of language, ontology, and/or epistemology? Does fictionality presuppose an authorial intention? What does it presuppose about legal audiences?  What can we learn from the history of asking questions like these about law and fiction?  How much should lawyers, judges, and legislators know about these matters?  

Possible topics include:

I. Philosophy  
  • Fiction, deeming, and presumption in comparative perspective  
  • Fiction and definition 
  • Fiction and hypothesis, thought experiment, and planning  
  • Fiction and metaphor  
  • Fiction and truth 
  • Legal and aesthetic fictions

II. Comparative Law/Legal Theory  
  • Fictions in common law systems  
  • Fictions in civil law systems
  • The role of legal fictions in the development of law
III. History of Legal Philosophy
  • Jhering and Maine  
  • Kant and Vaihinger  
  • Kelsen and Vaihinger  
  • René Dekkers 
  • Oskar Buelow

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to Kristin Albrecht (kristin.albrecht@sbg.ac.at) and Karen Petroski (karen.petroski@slu.edu) by February 28, 2018.  

We will notify the authors of accepted proposals by March 15.  

We may schedule more than one meeting of this special workshop if the number and quality of proposed papers justify it.    

05 February 2019

The website for the 6th General Conference of Juris Diversitas (Law, Roots and Space) to be held in South Africa from 15-17 April 2019 is live, please visit http://law.nwu.ac.za/law/juris-diversitas-general-conference-home for more information regarding the theme, registration, accommodation, travel, contacts, etc.

31 January 2019

Click on the link for further details and to purchase the title online.

30 January 2019

Only two days remaining to send your abstract for the

Two groups have joined the Conference. Please send you proposals for Juris Diversitas or any of these two groups before/on 31 January 2018 by using the following link:

1.       The Southern African Legal Historians welcomes papers focusing on the Roots of Law, which may pertain to the development of law in any particular time (from the distant past to the near future) relating to roots, law and space or the impact of law on society, transformation and justice, relating, but not limited, to African legal traditions; European legal traditions; Anglo-American legal traditions; religious influences and Eastern legal influences.

2.       The NWU Faculty of Law celebrates 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has come into operation. The rights of the child have been celebrated all over the world, but what are their roots and how do the Convention and national laws function in this space of time. You are invited to submit proposals related (but not limited to) the successes and failures of the Convention, African customs and religious systems and children's rights, juvenile justice, national legislation, conflict, exploitation, social context and best interest of the child.


Call for Panel Proposals and Papers
ASLC annual meeting

The American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) has just issued a call for proposals for (1) concurrent panels and (2) a works in progress conference to be held in association with the ASCL 2019 Annual Meeting, which will be held at the University of Missouri School of Law between Thursday, October 17, and Saturday, October 19, 2019.  

The event is open to ASCL and non-ASCL members.

The theme of the Annual Meeting is “Comparative Law and International Dispute Resolution Processes” and will feature presentations on how comparative law affects various types of cross-border conflict, including litigation, arbitration and mediation.  

Concurrent panels and works in progress papers need not fall within this general theme, although of course they may.  

Multilingual panel proposals will be considered as part of ASCL's mission to foster plurilingualism.

Information on the event, including the call for panel proposals and works in progress submissions, is available at: 

Proposals will be accepted until May 20, 2019.

15 January 2019

Comparative Legal History

BOOK: Olivier MORÉTEAU, Aniceto MASFERRER, and Kjell A. MODÉER, eds., Comparative Legal History [Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series] (London: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019). ISBN 9781781955215, £175.50

Edward Elgar is publishing a research handbook on comparative legal history.


Is comparative legal history an emerging discipline or a much-needed dialogue between two academic subjects? This research handbook presents the field in a uniquely holistic way, and illustrates how comparative law and legal history are inextricably related.

Cementing a solid theoretical grounding for the discipline, legal historians and comparatists place this subject at the forefront of legal science. Comprehensive in coverage, this handbook collates theory and method for comparative legal history, as well as discussing international legal sources and judicial and civil institutions. Particular attention is paid to custom and codification, contracts, civil procedure and ownership. By assessing the evolution of law across European, Asian, African and American environments from the pre-modern era to the nineteenth century, the chapters provide stimulating and enlightening cases of legal history through a comparative lens.

A centrepiece for this field of scholarship, this research handbook will be an essential resource for scholars interested in comparative law, legal theory and legal history, from both legal and social science backgrounds.


Edited by Olivier Moréteau, Louisiana State University, US, Aniceto Masferrer, University of Valencia, Spain and Kjell A. Modéer, University of Lund, Sweden


List of contributors
Aniceto Masferrer, Kjell Å Modéer & Olivier Moréteau
The emergence of comparative legal history
PART I Theory and Methods
1. What is comparative legal history? Legal historiography and the revolt against formalism, 1930-60
Adolfo Giuliani
2. Comparative? Legal? History? Crossing Boundaries
Sean Donlan
3. Methodological perspectives in comparative legal history: an analytical approach
Dag Michalsen
4. Comparative legal history: methodology for morphology
Matthew Dyson
5. Here, there, everywhere or... nowhere? Some comparative and historical afterthoughts about custom as a source of law
Jacques Vanderlinden
6. Convergence and the colonization of custom in pre-modern Europe
Emily Kadens
7. Custom as a source of law in European and East Asian legal history
Marie Seong-Hak Kim
8. The ius commune as the ‘ratio scripta’ in the civil law tradition: a comparative approach to the Spanish case
Aniceto Masferrer and Juan A. Obarrio
9. Legal education in England and continental Europe between the middle ages and the early-modern period: a comparison
Dolores Freda
10. The triumph of judicial review: the evolution of post-revolutionary legal thought
Jean-Louis Halperin
11. Killing the vampire of human culture: Slavery as a problem in international law
Paul Finkelman and Seymour Drescher
12. Continental European superior courts and procedure in civil actions (11th-19th centuries)
CH (Remco) van Rhee
13. The genesis of concepts of possession and ownership in the civilian tradition and at common law: how did the common law manage without a concept of ownership? Why the Roman law did not?
Anna Taitslin
14. The common law and the Code civil: the curious case of the law of contract
Warren Swain
15. When the wind turned from South to West: the transition of Scandinavian legal cultures 1945–2000, a comparative sketch
Kjell Å Modéer
16. Unification and codification in today’s European private law and nineteenth-century Germany: the challenges and opportunities of comparing historical and ongoing events
Dirk Heirbaut
17. Owning the conceptualization of ownership in American civil law jurisdictions and the origins of nineteenth-century code provisions
Agustín Parise
18. Why was private law not codified in Sweden and Finland?
Heikki Pihlajamäki

More information here

29 December 2018

The 20th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019)

The 20th International Roundtable 

for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019)


The Limits of Law

 Hosted by Instituto Jurídico da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra (UCILeR - University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research) / Portugal

Theme: The Limits of Law


In a time of plurality and difference which is also, significantly, a time of aproblematic (if not naif) panjuridism, the discussion of the limits of law is not a frequent or obvious explicit topos. On the one hand, the diagnosis of plurality and difference favours  the conclusion-claim that  «the sense of the expression the “law” is constructed internally, and separately, within the system of semantic values of each [semiotic] group» (B.F. Jackson) – which means arguing that only «the signifier» is common, not the «signified», as well as admitting an implacable diversity of interpretative communities (involving incommensurable cultural-civilizational, political, ethical and professional codes or canons). On the other hand, the celebration of panjuridism, successfully corroborated by the relentless emergence of ultraspecialized dogmatic fields (from health law to biolaw, from robotics law to geo-law), justifies a passive assimilation of hetero-referentially constructed interpretations of social need, reducing law to a mere conventional order (with contingently settled frontiers) or even to an ensemble of institutionally effective coactive  resources — which in any case means depriving juridicity or juridicalness of any practical-cultural specific or intrinsic (non-contingent) sense claim. However, do our present circumstances condemn us to this complacent nominalism, preventing us from attributing any effective relevance to the problem of the limits of law? Even without departing from the “semio-narrative” ground (and its external point of view), it may be said that plurality and difference do not exclude a productive exploration of intersemiotic aspirations (if not inter-semiocity) — relating differently contextualized claims of juridicity and paving the way for the reconstruction of plausible arguments of continuity. These arguments may, in turn, justify a return to the well-known questions on the concept and/or the nature of law (in the sense in which, in an all or nothing approach,  Hart and Raz have taught us to understand this), and may also, conversely, lead to the reinvention of an archetypal or aspirational perspective (Fuller, Simmonds), in relation to which the reconstituted features of the autonomy and the limits of law do not represent characteristics but rather guiding intentions or constitutive aspirations or promises (if not desiderata), with reference to which past or present expressions and their institutional instances should permanently be judged. Following this path in fact means acknowledging how the problem of limits becomes an indispensable thematic core whenever the reflexive agenda involves rethinking law’s autonomy (or rethinking this autonomy beyond the possibilities of legal formalism), as an autonomy or claim to autonomy which should be seriously considered in terms of its cultural-civilizational specific (non-universal) base, as a decisive manifestation of European identity and European heritage (Castanheira Neves). It is precisely this critical-reflexive connection between issues of sense and limits (aspirations and borders) which, in terms of law, as well as considering the challenges of a société post-juridique (F. Ost), our roundtable aims to explore. This means discussing the growing weight of heteroreferential elements (invoking  philosophy and economics, literary criticism and sociology, epistemology and ethics, politics, political morality and social engineering as plausible key arenas), which not only interfere (as contextual conditions) with juridical discursive practices but also wound these practices (and their autonomous intelligibility) by functionalizing them  (diluting their specificity in a new practical holism), or at least condemning them to permanent «boundary disputes» (David Howarth). However, this discussion also leads directly to the consideration of specific (real, hypothetical and even fictionalized) case-exempla, including the so-called «tragic cases» (Atienza), which enable us to experience the limits of law’s responsivity or even the impossibility of obtaining plausible correct legal answers. The roundtable will, as usual, favour a practical-cultural context open to multiple perspectives and involving the productive intertwining of juridical and non-juridical approaches.

Confirmed plenary speakers: François Ost (Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles), Manuel Atienza (Universidad de Alicante), Pierre Moor (Université de Lausanne), Fernando José Bronze (Universidade de Coimbra) and J. M. Aroso Linhares (Universidade de Coimbra)

Abstracts of 300 words (max.) should be submitted by January 15th, 2019 to José Manuel Aroso Linhares (Organizer) (jmarolinh@gmail.com)  and Anne Wagner (valwagnerfr@yahoo.com) with participation decisions made by January 30th, 2019.  Selected papers will be invited for publication in a special issue of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (Springer: http://www.springer.com/lawjournal11196) and/or for inclusion in an edited volume.

Respecting the tradition, the roundtable languages will be English and French.

Organizational Committee: J M Aroso Linhares, M.A. Reis Marques, Ana M. Gaudêncio, Inês F. Godinho 

Registration period: from 4th February to 15th April 2019*  

- General (professionals):

1 – Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** + Dinner**** - 200 €

2 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** - 165 €

3 - Registration**   + Dinner**** - 185 €

4 - Registration** - 150 € 

- Students (including PhD candidates):   

1 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) + Dinner - 160 €

2 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** - 125 €

3 - Registration**   + Dinner**** - 145 €

4 - Registration** - 110 €                       

* The information concerning payment possibilities will be available the 28th January, a week before the beginning of the registration period. 

 ** Registration fees include the roundtable materials, 4 coffee breaks and 3 lunches (from the 23rd to the 25th May).

***The excursion (Guided tour) [15€ ] will take place on the 24th  May (afternoon)

****The dinner [35 €] will take place on the 24th May.