16 November 2012


I received the following letter from the Editors of the German Law Journal:

Dear Readers:

We are pleased to announce that the new issue of the German Law Journal, Review of Developments in German, European & International Jurisprudence, is now available at: www.germanlawjournal.com.

It contains a Symposium, edited by GLJ guest editors, Elaine Fahey and Ester Herlin-Karnell, on the relationship between EU Law and Global Governance. We are very grateful for the opportunity to publish these excellent papers and would also like to thank the student editorial team at Washington & Lee University's College of Law for their fine work in producing this issue in the middle of a busy term.

NOTICE: Palmer on Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana

The following work by Vernon Palmer--an excellent scholar, member of our Advisory Board, and friend to many of us--might be of interest:

Vernon Valentine Palmer,
Through the Codes Darkly:
Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana

xvi, 196 pp. Hardcover $59.95. ISBN 9781616193119;
Paperback $49.95 ISBN 9781616193263.

This fascinating study offers:

• an examination of the complex French, Spanish, Roman and American heritage of Louisiana’s law of slavery and its codification

• a profile of the first effort in modern history to integrate slavery into a European-style civil code, the 1808 Digest
• a trailblazing study of the unwritten laws of slavery and the legal impact of customs and practices developing outside of the Codes
• an analysis that overturns the previous scholarly view that Roman law was the model for the Code Noir (1685)
• a new unabridged translation (by Palmer) of the revised Code Noir (1724) with the original French text on facing pages.


University of Sheffield - workshop

Doing Law Beyond the State:
Research Methodologies in Comparative, EU
and Public and Private International Law
18-19 January 2013
School of Law - University of Sheffield 

The University of SheffieldWhat is it we "do" as lawyers, when we are looking at law ‘beyond the state’? Interest in the theoretical foundations of, and disciplinary methods within EU, comparative and international legal scholarship (both public and private) is on the rise. Practitioners and academics alike are pausing to think more about what it is that they take for granted, and what they might be able to do with law if they challenged what was taken as given within their respective (sub-)disciplines.

We seek to take up this challenge in the context of a set of questions on the challenge of studying law beyond the state:
  • What, if anything is unique about studying, researching or simply understanding law in that context?
  • What unites these fields, if anything?
  • What are the particular methodological difficulties common to all of us who study law beyond the state, and what do they tell us about legal method per se?
At a scoping workshop we will bring together established and early career researchers to begin to answer these questions. 

Learn more about the project: here; Book for the workshop here.

Early Bird Rate until 23 November  2012. Special Rate for UACES members and PhD Students

15 November 2012

UPDATE: Laws and Norms in the Mediterranean

Doing Justice: Official and Unofficial ‘Legalities’in Practice/Mediterranean Hybridity Project

File:Collage Rabat.jpgLast summer, Juris Diversitas held, with the Centre Jacques-Berque in Rabat, Morocco (18-19 June), a workshop on Doing Justice: Official and Unofficial 'Legalities' in PracticeThe workshop was linked to our ongoing Mediterranean Hybridity Project. A second meeting has been planned for March 2013 and a collection will be produced in 2013:

The proposed collection is interdisciplinary, including both jurists and social scientists. It brings together case studies of legal and normative complexity rooted in the legal and social sciences, especially comparative law and legal or normative pluralism. These studies, on both the past and the present, focus on (i) the internal complexity of state laws or other non-state normative orders (religious, customary, etc) and (ii), where possible, the relationship between these state laws and non-state normative orders. Critical to the project is an appreciation of the gap between the titular principles of legal and normative orders and their actual practices.

Individuals or institutions interested in the Mediterranean Hybridity Project, should contact Seán Patrick Donlan (sean.donlan@ul.ie) for additional information.

14 November 2012

NOTICE: Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship Workshop (22-24 May 2013)

The following information comes courtesy of SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network:

Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship Workshop

Presented By University of Southern California Gould School of Law and Washington University Law

May 22-24, 2013

The 12th Annual Conducting Empirical Legal Scholarship workshop will take place at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. The workshop is for law school faculty, political science faculty, and graduate students interested in learning about empirical research and how to evaluate empirical work. Leading empirical scholars Lee Epstein and Andrew Martin will teach the workshop, which provides the formal training necessary to design, conduct, and assess empirical studies, and to use statistical software (Stata) to analyze and manage data. Participants need no background or knowledge of statistics to enroll in the workshop.

13 November 2012

NOTICE: "Formes et doctrines de l’État. Dialogue entre histoire du droit et théorie du droit" Conference

The following was posted on the European Society for Comparative Legal History Blog (by way of the Nomodos Blog):

What: Conference "Formes et doctrines de l’État. Dialogue entre histoire du droit et théorie du droit"

Where: January 14th 2013: Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, Amphi Malher, UMR de Droit Comparé de Paris 9, rue Malher 75004 Paris; Hanuary 15th 2013: Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Bâtiment F (UFR Droit et Science Politique), Amphi D, 200, Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre

When: 14-15 January 2013

Program: JANUARY 14th 2013 

NOTICE: Mishra on ‘Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Diaspora in Terms of Translation

RK Mishra’s ‘Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Diaspora inTerms of Translation’ was noted, but unfortunately unavailable, on SSRN. It’s in the IUP Journal of English Studies and the abstract reads:

In the context of ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’, and ‘diaspora’, ‘translation’ as a metaphor is taken into account in this paper. Translation is not new but to examine ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’, and ‘diaspora’ in terms of translation looks a little new. Translation is a junction where two languages and two cultures meet only to result in impurity, artificiality and undecidability. Since translation involves social and power relations, it underwent a chequered career. During ‘colonialism’, translation helped colonizers consolidating colonial regime which turned traitor in ‘postcolonialism’ and diasporism. The base term for ‘colonialism’ is colony. If translation is taken for granted in its etymological use (to carry across), a colony means a second copy of the original located somewhere on the globe. And therefore, ‘colonialism’ refers to the acts of settling down a colony elsewhere on the map. Thus, both terms ‘translation’ and ‘colonialism’ involve the acts of displacements and relocation. Colonizers, to ensure safety, and continuation of their hegemonic rule over natives, invoked translation as a tool for seizing power and pelf. Postcolonialism is mainly marked by its oppositional stance to the self-centered homogeneous topology of ‘colonialism’. It employed mainly ‘mimicry’ and ‘hybridity’ as two avataras (incarnations) of translation to serve the ‘postcolonial’ purposes of getting colonial ideology and belief fragmented, fissured and flawed. Diaspora which deals with dispersed communities worldwide examines translational and transnational nature of diasporics and diasporic experiences. Culture and identity never remain constant. They always modify and get modified in turn. The concept of ‘diaspora’ in all cases bears the sense of translocation, displacement or de-territorialization. Hence, translation is an apt metaphor for ‘colonialism’, ‘postcolonialism’ and ‘diaspora’.

NOTICE: Transnational Legal Theory

(2012) 3:1 Transnational Legal Theory has been published.

In addition to reviews, the journal's articles include:

Decolonial Strategies and Dialogue in the Human Rights Field: A Manifesto
José-Manuel Barreto

Constituent Power in National and Transnational Contexts
Alexander Somek

Postnational Constitutionalism and Postnational Public Law: A Tale of Two Neologisms
Neil Walker


14 JANUARY 2013

The world and the world of law are changing. Globalization and European integration have had a great impact on virtually every area of human life – social, economic, cultural, political, legal and technological. Simultaneously, we face mass migrations which inject new legal ideas and competing world views into national legal cultures. These developments are flanked by the rediscovery of old linguistic and ethnic internal pluralities within nation-states. Law today is increasingly more than state laws uniform to all, excluding other forms of law and administered by a single set of formal institutions. The legal traditions of indigenous peoples (eg, the Sámi, the Maori, etc) has also presented a renewed challenge to the state-centred paradigm of law. In short, legal plurality is today’s reality. Accordingly, debates about pluralism can no longer be confined the classical anthropological legal pluralism in colonial or post-colonial settings. Today, there are several forms of pluralism in law: constitutional, religious, disciplinary, philosophical, etc.

Several transnational processes have also transformed today’s legal professions: lawyers, attorneys, judges, public officials, translators, and scholars. Accordingly, the requirements for valid legal knowledge today are different from those of the past. The need for a comparative and non-national understanding of our plural laws, both within the state and without, and legal cultures is constantly growing. Accordingly, knowing how to deal with legal pluralism in practice is increasingly unavoidable. In order to be able to cope with pluralism, however, it is first necessary to understand it. The theoretical and methodological challenge of understanding legal pluralism is the scholarly core of this Symposium: rethinking conventional state-centred approaches to understanding law in terms of both methodology and substance.

12 November 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: Islamic Law: Society, Culture and State

The following announcement was on H-NET:

MapWe 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 are welcome, 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 December 30, 2012. Submissions should include a cover letter to the editor describing the work in approximately one hundred words.

See also the Encounters website at http://encounters.zu.ac.ae.

NOTICE: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridiqueVolume 25 Number 4 of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique is now available on SpringerLink

The volume is a special issue on 'Whose Reason or Reasons Speak Through the Constitution?'


3-4 June 2013 - Lausanne, Switzerland 
 Swiss Institute of Comparative Law

Juris Diversitas is pleased to announce its first official, open Annual Conference, co-sponsored by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (SICL)

While any proposal on comparative law will be considered, the conference’s primary theme is:


The conference will explore the diffusiontransplantation, reception, migration, contamination, etc, etc—of both laws and law-like norms, past and present and around the globe. A critical element in the creation of all legal and normative traditions, diffusion takes many forms. It may be overt or covert, voluntary or involuntary, concentrated or diffuse, colonial or neo-colonial, etc. 

Proposals may be case studies or theoretical analyses of diffusion; they may be general (at the level of legal traditions) or specific (trusts, family law, etc). Participants might analyse, among other topics, entangled legal histories, the diffusion of Western legal models outside of the West, the dominance and rationale for the present diffusion of Anglo-American legal forms, the relevance of legal origins and traditions on contemporary structures, practices, the place of ‘mixed’ and ‘micro’ legal systems, etc. 

Scholars from outside of the discipline of law are strongly encouraged to participate.

Proposals of @250 words (or @1000 words for panel proposals) should be submitted to Seán Patrick Donlan at sean.donlan@ul.ie by 15 January 2013.

Additional information will be posted shortly. 

Speakers and attendees are also strongly advised to visit the SICL Library by arriving early or remaining after the conference to conduct research.

11 November 2012

NOTICE: Norchi and Proutière-Maulion on Piracy in Comparative Perspective

Charles H Norchi and Gwenaële Proutière-Maulion (eds), Piracy in Comparative Perspective: Problems, Strategies, Law (Hart Publishin, 2012)
This new work presents a comprehensive approach to an age old disruption of the order of the oceans that was known to ancient Greece, Persia, the first Indian Empire, the Han Dynasty of China and the early European maritime powers. Many of the norms proscribing piratical acts that are codified in contemporary international law are vestiges of those earlier periods. Yet contemporary maritime piracy is more complex and intense. The International Maritime Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce reported 439 reports of actual piracy attacks in 2011, most Somali based, and a higher number of attempts. This book presents perspectives on the problem by contributors from four continents, diverse legal cultures, and multiple disciplines. This volume appraises piracy from the comparative perspectives of those disciplines and from the standpoint of key participants in the social processes that are plagued by piracy-mariners, navies, ship owners and operators, policy makers and lawyers. Decision-making and operational measures cannot be separated from piracy's origins and continuing social impact. Thus the contributors bring clarity to the problem through the lenses of history, development, law, maritime security, fisheries, economics and ocean commerce. Maritime piracy initiatives are generating a great number of operational and institutional counter-measures and the diversity of stakeholder interests often complicates proposed solutions. Against that backdrop the contributors examine strategies - the range of available modalities to address and correct the problem - through the lenses of naval power, port state control, penal systems and development. And they appraise law - both national and international authoritative decision-making - viewing state practice, international regulations, tribunal judgments, custom and international conventions from the comparative perspectives of Africa, India, England, France and the United States.

Piracy in Comparative Perspective is a collaboration of the Centre for Maritime and Oceanic Law (CDMO) of the University of Nantes (France) and the Center for Oceans and Coastal Law of the University of Maine School of Law (United States), prepared under the direction of Professor Charles H. Norchi and Dr. Gwenaële Proutière-Maulion.

NOTICE: Husa on Polynomia

Our friend at the Irish Society of Comparative Law got to this first, but one of our own recently posted the following on SSRN:

Globalization and Europeanization do not only produce coherence and uniformity but are flanked by differentiation and fragmentation, producing diverse and polycentric outcomes. This article puts forth reflections on European legal pluralism and a proposition for pluralist methodology. The author claims that in today’s Europe there is legal pluralism, which means that there are many over-lapping normative orders in Europe. It is claimed that Europe is fundamentally pluralistic. Hence there are overlapping non-coherent hierarchies and competing claims for normative power. This is conceptualized as polynomia. The article seeks to demonstrate that legal pluralism in the strong sense has penetrated into European legal doctrine. This state of affairs is claimed to result in a situation in which pluralism is not something that would concern legal anthropologists, legal historians or sociologist of law only. According to this article, doctrinal methods forged in the molds of legal centralism and monism are outdated and respond poorly to the present day European legal pluralism.

Husa, Jaakko, The Method is Dead, Long Live the Methods - European Polynomia and Pluralist Methodology (December 1, 2011). Legisprudence, Vol. 5, pp. 249-271, 2011.