07 December 2012

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: Donlan, Andò, and Zammit on Malta's Legal Hybridity

“A happy union”?: Malta’s legal hybridity, by Seán Patrick Donlan, Biagio Andò, and David Zammit and published earlier this year in (2012) 27 Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 165, has been made available here on Heinonline.

JOURNAL: Law and Humanities

The 2012: 2 Law and Humanities is now available online.

Its articles include:

Oaths, Credibility and the Legal Process in Early Modern England: Part One
Barbara J Shapiro

‘Observe how parts with parts unite / In one harmonious rule of right’: William Blackstone’s Verses on the Laws of England
Matthew Mauger

Human Rights and Radical Universalism: Aimé Césaire’s and CLR James’s Representations of the Haitian Revolution
Philip Kaisary

Dickens and the National Interest: On the Representation of Parties in Bleak House
Jan-Melissa Schramm

Truth, Law and Forensic Psychiatry in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood
Svein Atle Skålevåg

ONLINE REVIEW: Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law

Jan M. Smits (ed)'s Elgar Encyclopedia Of Comparative Law, Second Edition was noted here a few months ago.

An online review by Philip Taylor, a Barrister in the UK, is available here; he's also reviewed it, with Elizabeth Taylor, on Amazon.

ARTICLE: Siems and Mac Sithigh on Mapping Legal Research

Mathias M Siems and Daithi Mac Sithigh’s ‘Mapping legal research’, due for (2012) 71:3 Cambridge Law Journal 651, has been made available on SSRN:

This article aims to map the position of academic legal research, using a distinction between “law as a practical discipline”, “law as humanities” and “law as social sciences” as a conceptual framework. Having explained this framework, we address both the “macro” and “micro” level of legal research in the UK. For this purpose, we have collected information on the position of all law schools within the structure of their respective universities. We also introduce “ternary plots” as a new way of explaining individual research preferences. Our general result is that all three categories play a role within the context of UK legal academia, though the relationship between the “macro” and the “micro” level is not always straight-forward. We also provide comparisons with the US and Germany and show that in all three countries law as an academic tradition has been constantly evolving, raising questions such as whether the UK could or should move further to a social science model already dominant in the US.

06 December 2012

NOTICE: Free Online Issue of the International & Comparative Law Quarterly

The latest issue of International & Comparative Law Quarterly (ICLQ) is available online - without charge - here.

International & Comparative Law QuarterlyIt includes:

Claude Chase

Arif Bulkan

Ming-Sung Kuo

Janeen Carruthers

Jean Allain and Robin Hickey

Stephen Bouwhuis

Jamie Trinidad

Note that the book reviews also include a review article by David Nelken, of Friedman, Perdomo, and Gomez (eds), Law in Many Societies: A Reader (2011).

Some additional classics are available here.

VACANCIES: British Institute of International and Comparative Law

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law is advertising vacancies. 


These include:

Senior Research Fellow in the Rule of Law and Deputy Director of the Bingham Centre 

Research Fellow in the Rule of Law

Visit http://www.biicl.org/vacancies/ for additional vacancies and information.

NOTICE: The Centre for Comparative Law in Africa and the Cape Town Resolution

From Africa, for Africa and the World 

The Centre for Comparative Law in Africa held its inaugural methodology workshop from 22 to 24 October 2012. Some 40 scholars from various universities in South Africa, Africa, Europe and the United States of America participated in plenary and panel discussions around comparative law in cultural, interdisciplinary and subject context, Western legal traditions and mixed jurisdictions in African comparative legal studies, traditional and informal law in Africa, religious law in Africa and its comparative implications and the role of African comparative legal studies in the development of law in Africa.

The workshop closed with agreement on a Cape Town Resolution: 

“We, the participants to the Inaugural Methodology Workshop of the Centre for Comparative Law in Africa in the University of Cape Town, have determined and declared as our intention: 
  • to encourage and promote the diffusion of knowledge, study and teaching of comparative law in Africa 
  • to pursue such diffusion through multi-disciplinary comparative research across African countries considering their legal systems in their diversity and complexity 
  • to recognise the need for a multi-disciplinary approach since the human and social sciences in comparative legal research, including – but not limited to – linguistics, anthropology, history, sociology, cognitive sciences, economics, political science are critical for comprehensive comparative legal studies 
  • to encourage diffusion of this initiative both inside and outside Africa, with scholars, public and private institutions, research and academic associations, development projects, international agencies, bodies and the like. 
The aim of this initiative will be to improve knowledge and understanding as values per se, as well as a prerequisite for application to a number of fields, including governance, law reform, dispute resolution and capacity building.”

Signatories included: Waheeda Amien,Tom Bennett, Ignazio Castellucci, Jacques du Plessis, Charles Fombad, Marco Guadagni, Rajendra Parsad Gunputh, Nazeem Goolam, Kebreab Habtemichael, Chuma Himonga, John Kabudi, Jimmy Kodo, Timothy Kyepa, Fernando Loureiro Bastos, Claire Moore Dickerson, Salvatore Mancuso, Margaret Munalula, James Odek, Chris Okeke, Ada Ordor, Gianluca Parolin, Christa Rautenbach, Moussa Samb, Sylvester Shikyil, and Mathilda Twomey.

PUBLICATION: van Rhee and Uzelac on Truth and Efficiency in Civil Litigation

Intersentia has just published CH van Rhee and Alan Uzelac (eds), Truth and Efficiency in Civil Litigation: Fundamental Aspects of Fact-finding and Evidence-taking in a Comparative context (2012):

In the pursuit of justice, truth always plays a prominent role. Few if any legal systems are willing to waive the right to claim that the results of their legal processes are fair, just and above all based on the truth. In most legal systems, elaborate rules on the taking of evidence try to guarantee that an accurate, factual basis is used for the application of the law. Such rules are the core of most methods of adjudication and they are the main theme of the present volume, which focuses specifically on the rules of evidence within the context of efficiency in civil proceedings. This is not without a reason. Apart from the fact that a link between the pursuit of truth and efficiency has been emphasised since the time of ancient Rome, all legal systems must find the right balance between the amount of time and money invested in the civil trial and the thoroughness of the proof-taking stage in litigation. Obviously, a system of proof that can produce trustworthy results is in need of considerable investment of time and resources, but the amount of time available and resources is not without its limits. If a proper balance between truth and the necessary time and resources cannot be found, the whole process of litigation may be endangered. 

PUBLICATION: Popelier, Mazmanyan and Vandenbruwaene (eds), The Role of Constitutional Courts in Multilevel Governance

Intersentia has just published Patricia Popelier, Armen Mazmanyan, and Werner Vandenbruwaene (eds), The Role of Constitutional Courts in Multilevel Governance (2012):
Constitutional review has not only expanded geographically; it has also expanded in its mission and function, acquiring new subject areas and new roles and responsibilities. In examining these new roles and responsibilities, this collection reflects on constitutional review as an aspect of constitutionalism framed in the context of multilevel governance. Bringing together a number of remarkable, yet varied, contributions, it explores how institutional changes of multilevel governance have transformed the notion, shape and substance of constitutional review. To this end, four key roles, new and old, are identified: courts act as guardian of fundamental rights, they oversee the institutional balance, they provide a deliberative forum and they assume the function of a regulatory watchdog. This book explores these different roles played by national and European courts, and the challenges brought about by the involvement in multilevel networks and the shift to new concepts of governance.

PUBLICATION: Chen and van Rhee on the Chinese Civil Code

Brill has just published Lei Chen and CH (Remco) van Rhee (eds), Towards a Chinese Civil Code: historical and comparative perspectives (2012):

Currently, China is drafting its new Civil Code. Against this background, the Chinese legal community has shown a growing interest in various legal and legislative ideas from around the world. Within this context, the present book aims at providing the necessary historical and comparative legal perspectives. It concentrates on substantive private law and civil procedure, both in China and in other jurisdictions. These perspectives are of considerable importance for the present codification work. Additionally, the book is dedicated to commemorating the centennial of the first Western-influenced and civil law-oriented Civil Code of China, the Da Qing Min Lü Cao An of 1911. 

The following topics are addressed: property law, contract law, tort law and civil procedure. The book also contains contributions on codification experiences in Europe and on the concept of codification in general. The topics are discussed by leading Chinese and international scholars. Most of the Chinese contributors have taken part in preparing the Chinese Draft Civil Code. 

05 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: 5th Central and Eastern European Forum forYoung Legal, Political and Social Theorists

The 5th Central and Eastern European Forum for Young Legal, Political and Social Theorists will be held on 3-4 May 2013 at the University of Griefswald (Germany). 

The Forum:

Is a platform for young legal, political and social theorists who come from, currently study or work in Central and Eastern Europe or have a research interest in the region. The regional boundaries are understood widely. The target audiences of the conference are young researchers, especially doctrinal students and post-docs, without a specific age limit. As in the previous Forums, the conference will be organised in three concurrent panels and will put its special emphasis on two major general topics.

For more information, see http://www.cee-forum.org/2013. 

NOTICE: Muravyeva and Toivo on Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Routledge has just published Marianna Muravyeva and Raisa Maria Toivo (eds), Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2012):


Large ImageThis project is an attempt to challenge the canonical gender concept while trying to specify what gender was in the medieval and early modern world. Despite the emphasis on individual, identity and difference that past research claims, much of this history still focuses on hierarchical or dichotomous paring of masculinity and femininity (or male and female). The emphasis on differences has been largely based on the research of such topics as premarital sex, religious deviance, rape and violence; these are topics that were, in the early modern society, criminal or at least easily marginalizing. The central focus of the book is to test, verify and challenge the methodology and use the concept(s) of gender specifically applicable to the period of great change and transition.


The volume contains two theoretical sections supplemented by case-studies of gender through specific practices such as mysticism, witchcraft, crime, and legal behaviour. The first section, "Concepts", analyzes certain useful notions, such as patriarchy and morality. The second section, "Identities", seeks to deepen this analysis into the studies of female identities in various situations, cultures and dimensions and to show the fluidity and flexibility of what is called femininity nowadays. The third part, "Practises", seeks to rethink the bigger narratives through the case-studies coming from Northern Europe to see how conventional ideas of gender did not work in this particular region. The case studies also challenge the established narratives in such well-research historiographies as witchcraft and sexual offences and at the same time suggest new insights for the developing fields of study, such as history of homicide.


The contents include:


NOTICE: Lemke on Polycentricism, self-governance and the case of married women’s rights reform

Jaymes S Lemke's ‘Polycentricism, self-governance and the case of married women’s rights reform’, published in (2011-12) The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations: Volume IV, is available on SSRN

The abstract reads:

Self-enforcing constitutional constraints provide the means for individuals to discipline government actors. This paper utilizes the theory of polycentric orders as developed by Vincent and Elinor Ostrom to analyze jurisdictional competition as one such self-enforcing constraint. The historical case study of married women’s rights reform in the 19th century is suggested as an appropriate test case for evaluating the feasibility of this mechanism as a means of preserving the self-governing nature of a society. This paper was prepared for the Miller Upton Forum on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations at Beloit College. 

04 December 2012

NOTICE: Juris Diversitas 2013 Conference (Updated Information)


Co-Sponsored by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law and Juris Diversitas

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

While any proposal on comparative law will be considered, the conference’s primary theme is diffusiontransplantation, reception, migration, contamination, 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.

Proposals will be selected on the basis of their quality and originality, as well as their engagement with the conference theme and their fit with other papers being presented at the conference. The selection will be made by a scientific committee. Presenters whose proposals are accepted will be expected to meet their own travel and accommodation costs.

Conference registration fee (excluding optional conference dinner, €50): 

50: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2012 and 2013)
100: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2013) or Members of the AiSDC
200: Non-Members

03 December 2012

NOTICE: Bayir on Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law

Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law Derya Bayir's Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law (2013) will be out shortly:

Examining the on-going dilemma of the management of diversity in Turkey from a historical and legal perspective, this book argues that the state’s failure to accommodate ethno-religious diversity is attributable to the founding philosophy of Turkish nationalism and its heavy penetration into the socio-political and legal fibre of the country. It examines the articulation and influence of the founding principle in law and in the higher courts’ jurisprudence in relation to the concepts of nation, citizenship, and minorities. In so doing, it adopts a sceptical approach to the claim that Turkey has a civic nationalist state, not least on the grounds that the legal system is generously littered by references to the Turkish ethnie and to Sunni Islam. Also arguing that the nationalist stance of the Turkish state and legal system has created a legal discourse which is at odds with the justification of minority protection given in international law, this book demonstrates that a reconstruction of the founding philosophy of the state and the legal system is necessary, without which any solution to the dilemmas of managing diversity would be inadequate. 

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this timely book will interest those engaged in the fields of Middle Eastern, Islamic, Ottoman and Turkish studies, as well as those working on human rights and international law and nationalism.

For additional information, see http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409420071