03 February 2012

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Jurisdictional Complexity Workshop

Jurisdictional Complexity Workshop

Ghent University (Belgium) - 6-7 July 2012 

As part of a project on ‘jurisdictional complexity’ in Western legal history (c1600-1900), led by Dr Seán Patrick Donlan (Limerick) and Dirk Heirbaut (Ghent), a workshop will be held in Ghent from 6-7 July 2012.


Participants in the workshop need not be part of the project and are free to discuss other periods and places. 

The workshop will focus on the historiographical methods necessary for the study of jurisdictional complexity, the attempt to capture a sense of the legal-normative whole in context studied. As described in the project statement, to do this: 

[t]hose working on the project will be encouraged to utilise a number of interdisciplinary methods—comparative, contemporary theories of interpretation, as well as historical anthropology, geography, and sociology …. [The project] is, in effect, an analysis of the both the ‘law in action’ (per Roscoe Pound) and the ‘living law’ (per Eugen Ehrlich) of the past. Concentrating on limited geographical areas, its case studies will investigate, in a form akin to modern comparative ‘country reports’, both the legal and normative complexity of the past. It will do so, however, in light of the realities of the past, avoiding the imposition of modern national and juridical boundaries [and will] serve as instantiations of wider intellectual and institutional developments…. 

For additional information, contact Dr Seán Patrick Donlan (sean.donlan@ul.ie) or Dirk Heirbaut (Dirk.Heirbaut@UGent.be). Those interested in participating should contact Dr Donlan with a short abstract (approximately 250 words) and a curriculum vitae, ideally before 1 May 2012. Depending on the number of participants, presentations are likely to be approximately 15-20 minutes and should be in English.

There is no fee for participation, but participants will be expected to cover their own travel, accomodation, and meal costs. 

Finally, note that this gathering immediately precedes the European Society for Comparative Legal History Conference to be held in Amsterdam (9-10 July 2012). Participants in that conference might consider visiting us in advance of that event.

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