25 October 2012

NOTICE: Juris Diversitas 2013 Conference & New Facebook Page


Since 2009, Juris Diversitas has slowly developed as an international and interdisciplinary community of scholars dedicated to comparative law very broadly understood.

In addition to our blog, we've held annual events dedicated to small-group discussions of chosen subjects, especially the complex relationships of laws and norms. These conferences have already resulted in a number of publications; more are on the way.

Our 2013 conference will, however, be our first public event. Both members and non-members will be encouraged to attend. Our hope is to further expand our network of individual comparatists, jurisprudes, legal historians, social scientists, etc, from around the world.

The conference's primary theme will be the diffusion--transplantation, reception, migration, contamination, etc, etc--of both laws and law-like norms, past and present and around the globe, but all proposals on comparative law (very broadly understood) will be considered.

Watch the blog (or sign up for posts) for additional information.

Note, too, the creation of a Juris Diversitas page on Facebook. As with the blog, both members and non-members may sign up.

As always, spread the word.

NOTICE: Heinze on Injustice

Eric Heinze has recently published The concept of injustice with Routledge:

The Concept of Injustice challenges traditional Western justice theory. Thinkers from Plato and Aristotle through to Kant, Hegel, Marx and Rawls have subordinated the idea of injustice to the idea of justice. Misled by the word’s etymology, political theorists have assumed injustice to be the sheer, logical opposite of justice. Heinze summons ancient and early modern texts, philosophical and literary, with special attention to Shakespeare, to argue that injustice is not primarily the negation, failure or absence of justice. It is the constant product of regimes and norms of justice. Justice is not always the cure for injustice, and is often its cause.

23 October 2012

NOTICE: Journal of Legal Pluralism

The (2001) 64 Journal of Legal Pluralism is available online with the following articles:
  • Access to Justice in Pemba City: How Exploring Women's Lived Realities with Plural Law Uncovers Programmatic Gaps. - Giselle Corradi
  • Legal and Judicial Pluralism in Namibia and Beyond: A Modern Approach to African Legal Architecture? - Oliver C. Ruppel and Katharina Ruppel-Schlichting
  • Navigating Between Traditional Land Tenure and Introduced Land Laws in Pacific Island States. - Sue Farran
  • Caught Between Different Legal Pluralisms: Women who Wear Islamic Dress as the Religious 'Other' in European Rights Discourses. - Amy R. Jackson and Dorota A. Gozdecka
  • Who is Governing Food Systems? Power and Legal Pluralism in Lobster Traceability. - Courtenay E. Parlee and Melanie G. Wiber
  • Legal Pluralism and the Governability of Fisheries and Coastal Systems. - Svein Jentoft
  • Pursuing Legal Pluralism: The Power of Paradigms in a Global World. - Anne Griffiths

NOTICE: Contiades on Engineering Constitutional Change

Routledge has just published Xenophon Contiades, Engineering Constitutional Change: A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA (2012) 
This volume provides a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA). The essays offer analysis on formal and informal constitutional amendment bringing forth the overall picture of the parallel paths constitutional change follows, in correlation to what the constitution means and how constitutional law works. To capture the patterns of constitutional change, multi-faceted parameters are explored such as the interrelations between form of government, party system, and constitutional amendment; the interplay between constitutional change and the system of constitutionality review; the role of the people, civil society, and experts in constitutional change; and the influence of international and European law and jurisprudence on constitutional reform and evolution. In the extensive final, comparative chapter, key features of each country’s amendment procedures are epitomized and the mechanisms of constitutional change are explained on the basis of introducing five distinct models of constitutional change. The concept of constitutional rigidity is re-approached and broken down to a set of factual and institutional rigidities. The classification of countries within models, in accordance with the way in which operative amending mechanisms connect, leads to a succinct portrayal of different modes of constitutional change engineering. 

This book will prove to be an invaluable tool for approaching constitutional revision either for theoretical or for practical purposes and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of constitutional, comparative and public law.

NOTICE: Claes, Van de HEyning, de Visser, and Popelier on Constitutional Conversations in Europe

Intersentia has just announced the publication of Monica Claes, Catherine Van de Heyning, Maartje de Visser, and Patricia Popelier (eds.), Constitutional Conversations in Europe: Actors,Topics and Procedures (2012)

The relationship between national constitutional courts and the European Court of Justice (CJEU) is increasingly cast in terms of communication, understood as having a constructive connotation, and as an alternative to the prior and more destructive language of ‘guerre des juges’, conflict and revolt. This change in approach fits in the transformation of the wider conceptual framework within which the relationship between European and national legal orders is understood and the rise of the ‘pluralist movement’. Judicial conversations between national constitutional courts and the CJEU offer a unique object for academic research on ‘constitutional pluralism’ and transnational relations in a new world order.

This volume provides a critical examination of the normative, empirical and contextual aspects of such judicial conversations. It first addresses the appropriateness of conceiving as conversations the interactions between the CJEU and constitutional courts. This is followed by an exploration of the avenues for, and contents of, judicial engagements between both sets of courts. Lastly, the book focuses on the ordinary national courts and the European Court of Human Rights, as the other main judicial interlocutors of the CJEU and constitutional courts, from a conversational angle.

This book makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing academic discourse on the relationship between the CJEU and national constitutional courts by explaining their current attitudes to transnational conversations and identifying potential catalysts for future changes.

22 October 2012

NOTICE: Cotterrell on SSRN (by way of Shah and Pluri-Legal)

Prakash Shah recently posted information—on Pluri-Legal—about two articles by Roger Cotterrell that have been posted on SSRN.

The articles include:

"Transnational Networks of Community and International Economic Law" SOCIO-LEGAL APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW: TEXT, CONTEXT, SUBTEXT, A. Perry-Kessaris, ed., London: Routledge, 2012 Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 125/2012

Can a perspective on the nature of international economic law be integrated with one on governance in economic networks of community? Would it be useful to reconsider international economic law in relation to transnational economic networks that create their own regulatory expectations and practices? This would be to confront a ‘top-down’ law created by states, treaties, conventions and international institutions supported by states, with the more ‘bottom-up’ production of normative understandings in networks of community. This chapter considers how such an approach may clarify the nature of law regulating transnational economic relations, and the bases of its authority and legitimacy. It draws on recent analyses of transnational private law and considers their relevance for international economic law and in highlighting the regulatory significance of networks of community. Familiar dichotomies – public and private, expert and non-expert input in regulation, top-down and bottom-up lawmaking – can be illuminated in such a perspective. The approach also emphasises a major problem for international economic law – how to avoid the remoteness of regulators from the experience and aspirations of the regulated.

"Socio-Legal Studies, Law Schools, and Legal and Social Theory" Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 126/201

NOTICE: Religion and Law at Cambridge University Press

I recently received an email from Cambridge University Press, notting that '[r]eligion and law publishing at Cambridge is flourishing, and we have a range of excellent titles in the field to suit your area of study. This month, you can view our new and forthcoming publications, and get 20% discount off some our most popular titles.'

Some recent titles include:
  • Ovamir Anjum, Politics, Law, and Community in Islamic Thought: The Taymiyyan Moment (2012). This study reassesses the influence and philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya, one of the greatest medieval Islamic theologians.
  • Chandra Mallampalli, Race, Religion and Law in Colonial India: Trials of an Interracial Family (2012). Through a landmark court case in mid-nineteenth century colonial India, this book investigates hierarchy and racial difference.
  • Najam Haider, The Origins of the Shī'a: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in Eighth-Century Kūfa (2012). This path-breaking book challenges earlier scholarship in its examination of the origins and development of the Shi'a.
'New and Forthcoming Titles' are available here and the full list of discounted titles here.

NOTICE: New Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal

Dear Readers and publishers
We are pleased to announce that the 2012 vol 15 no 3 issue of the Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (PER) is now freely available on our website at http://www.nwu.ac.za/node/16884 

You can access and download the following manuscripts in pdf format from the website:
By SP Donlan
By AE Platsas
By H Sandberg
By B Andò
By L Heckendorn Urscheler
By PJW Schutte
By G Pienaar
Accessible at http://www.nwu.ac.za/webfm_send/58704

WORKING PAPER: Seán Patrick Donlan - To Hybridity and Beyond

If it's of interest, a working draft of Seán Patrick Donlan, 'To hybridity and beyond: reflections on legal and normative complexity' is available on SSRN

The draft was prepared for a collection to be edited by Vernon Palmer on Mixed Legal Systems, East and West: Newest Trends and Developments, from last summer's Maltese conference of that name.

The abstract reads:

I’ve referred to my recent research on legal and normative complexity as the study of 'hybridity and diffusion', the modest investigation of the mixtures and movements of laws and norms, past and present and around the globe. This research must, I argue, be comparative across both space and time, involving comparative law and legal history, among other disciplines and sub-disciplines. The social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology, are particularly important. Because the 'concept of law' — as the debate is normally phrased in Anglophone scholarship — is also implicated, legal philosophy is also essential. I don’t claim that my approach is entirely novel, but suggest that it might prove a useful perspective from which to better understand the role that laws and norms play in the daily lives of ordinary people around the world. This short article attempts to briefly lay out the broad outlines of this approach and to encourage similar research through inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaboration. It also takes a brief detour to discuss the Western 'folk concept' of law. My intention is not to erect a new terminology or taxonomy, but to sketch a rough, conceptual map that allows scholars to better understand both legal and normative practices. I want to create a kind of descriptive, critical and constructive, 'deep focus', as that term is used in photography and cinema, where clarity in depth is achieved through significant light and sustained focus.  

The paper is an attempt to briefly summarise my research of the last few years on what I've called 'hybridity and diffusion'. As many of you will know,

In its origins, hybrid had a very narrow meaning. The Latin hibrida was 'the offspring of a (female) domestic sow and a (male) wild boar.' In fact, a hybrid is still commonly seen as a complex individual entity, a singularity, from two parents. More recently, however, it has become far broader in application. In state building discussions, for example, 'hybrid political orders' relate to complex '[g]overnance ... carried out by an ensemble of local, national, and international actors and agencies.' Indeed, the word in its current usage is arguably, 'a slippery, ambiguous term, at once literal and metaphorical, descriptive and explanatory.' This more elastic meaning is, however, occasionally productive. In post-colonial studies, for example, hybridity serves as a critique of binary, reified thinking about cultures and their members. Instead, it emphasizes a very deep and dynamic complexity, 'the ambivalent in-between space created by the interaction of the colonizers and the colonized.'

With respect to my paper and past work,

Until the last few years, however, hybridity was only very rarely used in legal and normative scholarship. When employed by comparatists, it was largely synonymous with mixity, ie the coexistence of diverse, discrete state legal traditions within a jurisdiction. It is a common, but minor usage, often little more than a rhetorical relief from mixed. Less commonly, legal hybridity has been used in a manner equivalent to so-called legal pluralism. Hybridization is almost unheard of. When hybrid and its variants appear, then, there is little precision in its employment. In recent years, I've tried to suggest how we might use hybridity as a term-of-art, in more constructive, nuanced ways to cover the fluid complexity of both laws and norms at the level of both principle and practice.

Obviously, merely using hybrid as a synonym for either mixed or plural only creates confusion. Hybridity and diffusion points towards an historical, comparative, and institutional theory that explores normative complexity by setting research on legality within the wider matrix of normativity.

My recent article, with Biagio Andò (Catania) and David Zammit (Malta), ‘“A happy union”?: Malta’s legal hybridity’ explores that jurisdiction's complex laws and is available in (2012) 27 Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 165. Current projects are attempting to capture both the principles and practices of both legal and normative hybridity.

As always, I welcome feedback