14 January 2012

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Rethinking Inheritance

Call for Participants
The New School for Social Research
2012 Anthropology Conference: “Rethinking Inheritance”
April 28th, 2012

The Theme: Inheritance has typically been conceived as a passive process of reception. Yet, inheritance also implies claims to something. Claiming inheritance and claiming selves, communities, nations and other units as heirs is an active practice. How can we better conceptualize the labor involved in establishing inheritance? How are inheritances rejected, resisted, renewed, reformed, or renegotiated? How are identity and belonging implicated in inheritance?

As we begin to think of inheritance in multiple registers, we hope to challenge its supposed passivity and expand its conceptualization. What does it mean to inherit a citizenship, a nationality, a legal framework, or an ethnicity, and what are the modes for these inheritances? How can inheritance be employed to think through temporal relationships of historical consciousness, collective memory, and their narration? We also hope to think together about how active inheritance relates to materialities and economies, financial institutions, and the act of making claims on properties, whether virtual or physical. Similarly, we can consider inheritance in terms of spaces and boundaries, wondering how territories are passed down and how borders are maintained.

13 January 2012

NOTICE: New Issue of Jurisprudence

The newest issue of Jurisprudence is now available. It includes.


Natural Law Beyond Finnis
Jonathan Crowe

Self-Reference of the Constitutional State: A Systems Theory Interpretation of the Kelsen-Schmitt Debate
Jiří Přibáň


Three Comments on Joseph Raz’s Conception of Normativity

George Pavlakos

Raz’s Nexus
Niko Kolodny

Guided by Reasons: Raz on the Normative-Explanatory Nexus
Ulrike Heuer

Problems of Intellectualism: Raz on Reason and its Objects
Douglas Lavin

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Transformation of Property Rights in Land and Property Law in China

Workshop on Law, Governance and Development:
The Transformation of Property Rights in Land and Property Law in China
11 May 2012 (9am-5pm)

Call for Papers
Following its workshop on Law and Orientalism in 2011, CEAL, with the support of the Centre of Chinese Studies, SOAS, will hold a workshop on The Transformation of Property Rights in Land and Property Law in China.

Since 1978, China has seen a ‘revival’ of property rights. The decollectivisation of rural communes, the ‘corporatisation’ of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and the emergence of urban property markets have been hindered or encouraged by legal reforms. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the nature and significance of the re-emergence of private property in land and the legal framework concerning landed property in the context of rapid socio-economic change in post-Mao China from a variety of perspectives whilst retaining a focus on law. The workshop’s broader aim is to contribute to the understanding of the changing nature of contemporary China through an examination of private property.

11 January 2012

NOTICE: Search for Legal Experts with a Bijural Background

The following message (with a deadline today) has just come to my attention. SPD

This memorandum is to notify you that the ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC <http://www.abanet.org/intlaw/intlproj/ilrc/home.html> ) is in search of legal experts with a bijural background and experience with transitioning to a common law system. UNDP/Rwanda is in the preparatory stages for a regional conference focusing on the civil and common law situation in Rwanda within the East African context. Rwanda has a dual legal system, embracing aspects of both civil and common law, but gradually moving towards a more common law based system. One of the most interesting challenges faced by Rwanda has been the transformation from civil law to common law. Rwanda was a civil law country, and some concepts of the common law practices have not been readily accepted. The challenges related to such transitions can be multiple and wide-reaching. They can include the need for substantial legal and regulatory reform, comprehensive re-training and education of legal and other professionals (such as the judiciary, civil service, parliamentary committees and other authorities), and broad-scale legal education, communication and outreach to inform the private sector and the public about new laws and practices, and the administration of justice in the country. These can require investment of resources in reform and the formulation of new policies, strategies and plans for the transition to ensure predictability and effectiveness in the legal order and to strengthen, rather than undermine, the legal system.

Despite the challenges, such transitions also offer important and unique opportunities to strengthen the rule of law and to reinforce the legitimacy, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of the administration of justice and governance institutions. Transitioning to common law, for example, can allow more flexible legal responses to bottlenecks and emerging legal issues, broader scope for judicial decision-making and precedent-setting, and the smoother integration of plural legal orders. Such strengthening can help to build confidence of the private sector and the public in the legal order and the state, engender access to justice and further legal protection of rights and entitlements, facilitate smoother integration with the legal, regulatory and judicial systems in the region, and promote economic security and investment.

 The conference will seek to:
  • Bring together delegates from Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan;
  • Identify the shared as well as the distinct challenges faced by the countries in focus with regards to transitions in law and hybrid legal systems;
  • Highlight the lessons learned, experiences and good practice of other countries with hybrid or transitioning legal situations;
  • Explore the opportunities offered by such transitions in terms of strengthening the rule of law and access to justice; and
  • Outline the potential avenues and ways forward to strategically overcome the challenges and enhance the legitimacy and effectiveness of governance in the context of hybrid systems and legal transitions.
While UNDP/Rwanda is still in the preparatory stages of this conference, they hope to host this conference in late February 2012. The agenda is still in draft form, but UNDP/Rwanda has requested assistance in identifying experts who may be interested in serving as speakers. In particular, legal practitioners with experience in hybrid legal systems across Africa and Asia, including South Africa, Cameroon, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and other countries who can share their experiences, lessons learned, and recommendations for Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. It’s important to have proven experience with transitioning to common law. Membership into the East African Community has mandated that Rwanda and Burundi adopt the common law tradition. Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan legal systems were modeled after the U.K. common law system, while the Rwandan and Burundi systems were heavily based on the Belgian civil law system. Additionally, the newly independent Republic of South Sudan is also facing similar challenges as it returns to the common law system after decades of Shari’a law.

Please note that UNDP/Rwanda hopes to cover the costs of travel and lodging, but this is not 100% confirmed. Experts with proven experience and ability to make presentations, kindly email (Jacqueline.Gichinga@americanbar.org) your CV and short cover letter highlighting your bijural qualifications/experience. Fluency in both French and English is a plus. Furthermore, experts must be willing to travel to Rwanda for the conference set to take place in late February 2012. The deadline for applications is January 11, 2012. Thank you!

Best in 2012,


Jacqueline Gichinga
International Program Associate
American Bar Association, Section of International Law
ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
740 15th St, NW
Washington, DC 20005
T: +1-202-662-1662
F: +1-202-662-1669
Jacqueline.Gichinga@americanbar.org (NEW EMAIL ADDRESS)