30 March 2011

NOTICE: Law and Language

The 2011 programme on Law and Language, part of the Current Legal Issues series, has been convened by Professor Michael Freeman and Dr Fiona Smith of UCL's Faculty of Law:

This interdisciplinary colloquium celebrates the wide and diverse relationship between Law and Language. Language and law are inextricably linked in many ways: rules are expressed, understood, and interpreted in language; legislation too is a special form of expression, as is a judge’s opinion. We might think too about the way we speak about law:

how does the language of rights or the language of power harness, constrain and change our perceptions of law? How language works to shape and enrich our understanding of law is also important: for example, semantics, hermeneutics, linguistics, logic, semiotics, psycholinguistics, syntax, pragmatics, each reveal deeper ideas. Analytic techniques from many other disciplines like Literature, Philosophy, Neuroscience, Economics, Geography, Anthropology and Psychology (to name but a few) each reveal new insights into the way we perceive language and law in general, how we work with language in law and how we might understand the place of language in specific areas of law, including Contract, Tort or International Law for example. The relationship between law and language extends to broader notions of language as communication too, like the crucial role of silence and non- verbal communication. In essence, the relationship between law and language is varied and complex. The ideas expressed here only touch on the many diverse ways law and language interact. The 16th Annual Colloquium of Current Legal Issues covers a broad spectrum of ideas and disciplines on the relationship between law and language.

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/language/index.shtml for additional information.

NOTICE: Tuori on Reason and WIll in Law

Ashgate has recently published, as part of their 'Applied Legal Philosophy' series, Kaarlo Tuori (Helsinki)'s Ratio and Voluntas: The Tension Between Reason and Will in Law (2011):

From the ancient beginnings of Western legal tradition, law has been conceived as traversed by a fundamental tension between power (will) and reason. This volume examines the tension between these two poles in modern law, building on the views of distinctive features of the ideal-typical mature modern legal system that was previously presented in the author's work, Critical Legal Positivism (Ashgate 2002).

NOTICE: Emerging Strategic Research Theme on Diversity Studies (University of Hong Kong)

I just received the following call for papers for on the Emerging Strategic Research Theme on Diversity Studies (University of Hong Kong). Note that the call appears to be over, but that the conference has not yet taken place:


28th & 29th April 2011
The University of Hong Kong

Migration has generated an increasingly borderless world which has challenged the nation-state model as an effective tool for the governance of multiplicities and the management of diversity. As the nation state is faced with the challenge of dealing with immigrants, non-nationals, refugees and others with newly emerging identities, there is a need to reassess existing frameworks for recognition of the claims of minority communities.

Whilst civil society movements over the course of the last century have helped secure legal recognition of the rights of minorities, the complexities of plural identities showcase the weaknesses of the current categorizations which form the basis for the extension or denial of rights. As a result, it is necessary to critically examine the resulting marginalization of individuals and groups on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, national minority status, refugee status, gender, age, sexuality, health, and disability. This conference seeks to explore the changing dimensions of the politics of identity and inclusion and their implications for governance and the protection of minority communities in plural societies. It will draw on the concepts of equality, non-discrimination, identity, inclusion, minority rights and human rights to address the comprehensive challenges posed by life at the margins of society.


The Conference solicits papers that address any of the following themes:

1. National, Multiple and Fluid Identities: The New Politics of Identity and Recognition
2. Religion and the State: Fissured Discourses on Secularism, Accommodation and Tolerance
3. Legal Pluralism and Cultural Diversity
4. Citizenship, Participation, Inclusion and Belonging in Diverse Societies
5. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Inequality


People from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for consideration. Please submit a 300 word abstract by 31 January 2011 to:

CONTACT: Puja Kapai
Email: puja@hku.hk

including the following information:

(a) Your full name
(b) Institutional affiliation
(c) Email address
(d) The relevant conference theme which your paper will address
(e) The title of your paper

Abstracts should be in Word format and the file name should be the author's full name.

The subject of the e-mail should be "Diversity Conference Abstract Submission" and should include a short CV. All submissions will be reviewed and the authors of accepted abstracts will be informed by mid-February 2011. Draft papers are due on 31st March 2011. Papers presented may be eligible for selection for publication in an edited volume.


For further information, please visit: http://www.law.hku.hk/diversity/