23 January 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: Encounters: An International Journal for the Study of Culture and Society

A Call for Papers for Encounters: An International Journal for the Study of Culture and Society has been issued. The topic, 'Islamic Law: Society, Culture and State' is quite similar to our Mediterranean Project. The Guest Editor is Sabrina Joseph (Zayed University, Dubai).

The Call for Papers reads:

We invite papers that deal with the intersection between Islamic law and society particularly as it pertains to such issues as: the status of women and/or family law, property rights, land tenure, criminal law, finance/economy, and inter-faith relations. Papers from all periods of history and all disciplines arewelcome, as are papers that examine the impact of Islamic law in western contexts. Questions that are of particular interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

- How is the law a 'living law'? To what extent have legal thinkers integrated custom into the lawmaking process?
- To what extent has the law provided an arena for individuals of different religions to negotiate and/or settle their disputes?
- What sort of relationship has existed between the various schools of law and have legal thinkers drawn upon schools of law other than their own in formulating laws?
- To what extent have Western legal systems accommodated Islamic law? What impact has this had onnotions of citizenship and minority rights?
- How have state law/secular law and shari'a overlapped and/or informed one another in the lawmaking process? How has this relationship evolved over time?

Please submit your paper (6,000 to 10,000) in MS Word format to Sabrina.joseph@zu.ac.ae by July 1, 2012. Submissions should include a cover letter to the editor describing the work in approximately one hundred words.

NOTICE: Janke and Licari on Enforcing Punitive Damage Awards in France

Benjamin West Janke (Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC) and Juris Diversitas Member François-Xavier Licari (University of Metz - Faculty of Law)'s 'Enforcing Punitive Damage Awards in France after Fountaine Pajot' is forthcoming in the American Journal of Comparative Law. It is available on SSRN.

In a landmark ruling, the Cour de cassation held that 'an award of punitive damages is not, per se, contrary to public policy,' but that 'it is otherwise when the amount awarded is disproportionate with regard to the damage sustained and the debtor's breach of his contractual obligation.' Schlenzka & Langhorne v. Fountaine Pajot, S.A. involved the failed attempt by American judgment creditors to enforce their California judgment against a French defendant in France. At the same time that the judgment creditors were taking their case through the French legal system, the Cour de cassation, in a different line of cases, liberalized the conditions under which a foreign judgment could be enforced in France. But when the Court opened one door for the American plaintiffs, it closed another by refusing to enforce the judgment because it included disproportionate punitive damages. The Court's reasons were inconsistent with prior interpretations of proportionality and disingenuous to the court's modern approach to the enforcement of foreign judgments. In just a few words, the Court echoed prevailing French and European sentiments about American punitive damage awards. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitudes are dominated more by prejudice than by fact and reason.