30 December 2014

JURIS DIVERSTIAS: President's Message 2014

All, 

I hope this finds each of you well.

I write on behalf of the Juris Diversitas Committee (me, OlivierIgnazioSalvatoreLukas, and Christa) with an update on our activities. My apologies for the length of this message. It's been another busy year. 

We have many new members and our Annual Conference, held at Aix-Marseille University (France) in July, was a great success. I’m especially thankful for the work of Olivier and the local organisers. In addition to other events being planned for the new year, our 2015 Conference will be held here in Limerick (immediately before the Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference). I hope that many of you can make it.

Note that the conference themes include, but aren’t limited to, the work of Rod Macdonald and Patrick Glenn, both of whom we lost this year. While their loss is significant for us-they were inaugural members of our Advisory Council-it was far greater for McGill and for the families and friends of these two gentlemen. We’re grateful for their past help and the ongoing assistance of all of the members of the Council.

Our Blog and Facebook and Twitter pages have remained active throughout the year. Changes in 2015 should make them still more useful and, perhaps, participatory. I want to thank all of those who’ve helped with these sites. For the past few months, Antonio Zuccaro has been leading the Blog (with the assistance of Paola Aurucci, Erin Branigan, Irina Moutaye, and me). Paola has also agreed to take the lead on the Facebook page; a volunteer for the Twitter page would be much appreciated as I have to step away from it.

We’re especially proud that 2014 saw the first titles from our Book Series with Ashgate Publishing (we're also a Publishing Partner). The series currently includes:

·         Seán Patrick Donlan and Lukas Heckerdon-Ursheler (eds), Concepts of Law: Comparative, Jurisprudential, and Social Science Perspectives 
·         Sue Farran, Esin Örücü, and Seán Patrick Donlan (eds), A Study of Mixed Legal Systems: Endangered, Entrenched, or Blend
·         Vernon Palmer, Mohamed Y Mattar, and Anna Koppel (eds), Mixed Legal Systems, East and West

Information on launches will follow soon. Among other titles, the following are due in 2015:

·         Shauna van Praagh and Helge Deldek (eds), Stateless Law: Evolving Boundaries of a Discipline
·         Daniela Berti, Anthony Good, and Gilles Tarabout (eds), Of Doubt and Proof: Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment
·         Sue Farran, James Gallen, Jennifer Hendry, and Christa Rautenbach (eds), The Diffusion of Law: The Movement of Laws and Norms around the World
  
I'm personally delighted, too, that 2014 also saw the addition of Julian Sidoli del Ceno as a Series Editor. Let him know if you've an idea.

In addition to book discounts from various publishers, some members are also entitled to free volumes for 2013 (Concepts of Law) and 2014 (A Study of Mixed Legal Systems). While providing these has taken much longer than we intended, we’re working on it and hope to have the books for you soon. I apologise for the delay.

Finally, I’ve decided, after much soul-searching, to step down from the presidency at the June Conference. I’m proud of what I’ve given to the Society, but I'm convinced that it would benefit from new leadership. For better or worse, I’m not going away completely, but will seek an appropriate advisory role. You’ll receive more information on this change in the months ahead. 

I continue to believe passionately in the work that we've done. To further that work, it's very important that we receive your support, through your membership fees, participation in our activities, and help in spreading the word about us. As always, we welcome your thoughts and your assistance.

I hope to see many of you soon. Best wishes for the new year.

Seán

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