12 January 2013

FINAL REMINDER: Juris Diversitas Conference


an international, interdisciplinary
conference on comparative law (and more)
3-4 June 2013, Lausanne, Switzerland 
Co-Sponsored with the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: 15 January 2013

While any proposal on comparative law will be considered, the conference's primary theme is diffusion (transplantationreceptionmigrationcontaminationetc) 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.iePresenters whose proposals are accepted will be expected to meet their own registration fees and travel and accommodation costs.

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

In addition to the significant conference discounts, members will also receive a free volume from our Book Series.

The optional conference dinner fee is €50.

Members are asked to spread the word about our conference, our blog, and our publications. You might share our posts and, with our Facebook Group, 'like' our posts as well. Finally, you might visit our Facebook Conference Page to tell others that you're attending.

11 January 2013

CONFERENCE: International Interdisciplinary Conference - International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences

International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences invites you to participate in International Interdisciplinary Conference to be held in May 12-15, 2013 in Venice, Italy, in Hotel Boscolo Venezia. We welcome scholars, researchers, as well as corporation and government executives. You can present your research work or just attend.

IISES is an important international society of economists, social scientists and educators, founded to promote education and scientific research.

The conference is sponsored by the IISES and University of Economics in Prague – Economic faculty.

Our conference enables you to present your research, meet new colleagues and improve your research skills.

You can publish your research work in the conference proceedings book. Accepted papers are published in our peer-reviewed scientific journals.

For those who cannot attend personally we offer participation in an e-session. A group of participants can organize a workshop in English or in a different language.

Award will be conferred by the Program Committee to the author(s) of the best paper presented at the conference.

NEWS OF THE WORLD: European Network on Law and Society (Réseau Européen Droit & Société)

The 'Nouvelles du monde--both Anglophone and Francophone--of the European Network on Law and Society (Réseau Européen Droit and Société) are now available.


  1. Droit public comparé – Droit international et droit européen: séminaire mensuel
  2. Collège international de philosophie : «La liquéfaction des frontières : temps, droit et argent contre espace et matière »
  3. Centre de théorie et analyse du droit : séminaires
  4. Institut des sciences sociales du politique- ISP : séminaires
  5. Haldane Society of Socialists Lawyers - Human Rights Lectures 2012 – 2013
  1. “Quel avenir pour la sociologie juridique au XXIe siècle ?"
  2. “Critical Legal Scholarship and Education: Its Past and Future”
  3. “Shaping Policy, Changing law”
  4. “Statistiques et Normes”
  5. “Human Rights and Democracy : Two Sides of the Same Coin?”
  1. Graduate Conference on Latin American Law and Policy
  2. « La composition des juridictions »
  3. SLSA 2013 Conference
  4. Mission de recherche Droit et Justice
  5. London Conference in Critical Thought 2013
  6. “ Semioticizing and Semioticized Law”
  7. « Sociologie du droit et action politique »
  8. “History, law, space and time” : special issue of Australian feminist Law journal, a critical legal journal
  9. “Reinvigorating Legal Thought in Times of Change”
  10. International Conference on Gender and Migration : Critical Issues and Policy Implications
  11. "Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law and Contemporary Social Challenges in Complex Societies”
  12. “International Congress on Gender violence : intersectionalities – Congreso internacional sobre violencia de género : intersecciones”
  1. London Critical Theory Summer School
  2. Assemblée nationale : Prix de thèse sur l'histoire ou le droit parlementaire
  3. JuriGlobe
  4. Réseau GLSN « Mondialisation du droit – Global Legal Studies Network »
  5. LexOI. Le droit dans l'Océan indien »

APPOINTMENT: The Supreme Court of Seychelles

I was just made aware of the following press release on Virtual Seychelles:

President James Michel has appointed Mrs Fiona Robinson (née Laporte) as a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, with effect from 11th January 2013.

Mrs Robinson was sworn into office at a ceremony held at State House this morning, which was presided by President James Michel. The ceremony was attended by Vice-President Danny Faure, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Frederick Egonda-Ntende, the President of the Court of Appeal, Francis MacGregor, the Attorney General, Ronny Govinden and the judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal as well as members of the Constitutional Appointments Authority.

President Michel expressed his congratulations to Justice Fiona Robinson after taking up her post. “This is an another important milestone for Seychelles as we now have five Seychellois judges in the country, of which  two are female judges.  We expect the judiciary to work hard to serve the people of Seychelles and with your energy and expertise, you will undoubtedly contribute to the improvement of the legal system,” said President Michel.

Mrs Fiona Robinson, who is 38 years old, is now the youngest judge in the Seychelles judiciary, as well as the first female Seychellois judge of the Supreme Court, and alongside the Justice of the Court Appeal Court, Mrs Mathilda Twomey (appointed in April 2011), Mrs Robinson is the second female judge of the country. Judge Robinson replaces Judge Duncan Gaswaga, whose contract has ended.

10 January 2013

JOURNAL: Cultural Studies - The Force of Meaning: Cultural Studies of Law

Some of you may be interested in the special edition of Cultural Studies: ‘The Force of Meaning: Cultural Studies of Law’ (Volume 27, No. 1, 2013).

Here is a list of articles and authors included in the special issue:
  • Knox, Sara L. & Davies, Cristyn. ‘The Force of Meaning: Cultural Studies of Law’
  • Manderson, Desmond. Memory and Echo: Pop cult, hi tech and the irony of Tradition
  • Sarat, Austin & Umphrey, Martha M. ‘Temporal Horizons: On the possibilities of Law and Fatherhood in To Kill a Mockingbird’
  • Hutchings, Peter J. ‘Entertaining Torture, Embodying Law’
  • Pugliese, Joseph. ‘Instrumental and Gratuitous Violence: The torture and death of Gul Rahman in the CIA Salt Pit’
  • Davies, Cristyn. ‘Constructing Decency: Government subsidized cultural production during the culture wars’
  • Jaleel, Rana. ‘Weapons of Sex, Weapons of War: Feminisms, ethnic conflict and the rise of rape and sexual violence in public international law during the 1990s’
  • Erni, John Nguyet. ‘Legitimating Transphobia: The legal disavowal of transgender rights in prison’.

LECTURE: Grillo on "Other" Religions In the Courtroom

"Other" Religions in the Courtroom: A View from BritainThe Department of law of the University Centre of Albi is honoured to receive on January 22, 2013 Professor Ralph Grillo (University of Sussex) for a lecture entitled

Across the globe many people are increasingly turning to religion to guide their conduct, and seek advice on how to comport themselves in societies which may be seen as secular, individualistic and immoral. This applies to a number of religious traditions, including Christianity, but in almost all Western countries, Islamic beliefs and practices (along with accusations that Muslims seek to lead ‘parallel lives', or ‘Islamize' Europe) seem especially problematic. In consequence, contemporary secular societies in Europe and elsewhere are characterized by acrimonious debate about religious difference. The lecture will look at this phenomenon in the British context, with an emphasis on the legal dimension. What has been the British perspective on ‘other' religious beliefs and practices when they enter into cases which come before the courts? What space is there for accommodation? What are its limits? And how are those limits determined?

The lecture will be hold at the CUFR Jean-François Champollion-Place de Verdun. 81012 Albi- FRANCE. Auditorium 2 (Maison Multimédia) at 2.00 PM.

ARTICLES: Comparative Articles (Thanks to the Irish Society of Comparative Law)

Our friend in Ireland has returned, posting two comparative articles from SSRN on the Irish Society of Comparative Law Blog. The first is by a member of Juris Diversitas, the second someone I hope will become one someday:

The act of translation encompasses more than the transfer of linguistic meaning. It also involves the transfer of larger cultural and epistemological meanings (Wolf, 2011). When legal texts are the object of translation, the process includes the “mechanism of the law” (Šarčević 2000:1). The role of a linguist and translation theory in this process is contested (Harvey 2002) as some scholars have argued that legal texts possess a unique communicative function often overlooked by linguists (Šarčević 2012:189). While legal scholars have questioned linguists’ claims to participate the law related interpretation process, this chapter sidesteps that debate (Poirier 1995: 1034). Instead I address the problems of subjectivity and interpretation that legal scholars themselves face as they attempt to analyze the role that law plays on unfamiliar turf. I identify and detail two challenges embedded in comparative legal jurisprudence. One stems the pitfalls that legal scholars encounter when they rely on legal texts as a source of understanding rather than investigating how the law actually functions on the ground. The second stems from the comparative legal scholar’s subjectivity.

In the field of comparative law, these "translation" errors as well as problems of subjectivity colored English-language scholarship regarding the objectivity of German prosecutors for several decades. I show how scholars' use of German codes as a proxy for German practice led scholars to claim that the German criminal justice system effectively controlled prosecutorial discretion. While new scholarship on German plea bargaining practices attempts to destroy the myth of limited discretion, it misses the role that organizational culture and training play in shaping decision-making processes. Drawing from my fieldwork in Germany, I use examples from my own experience to show the dangers of researcher subjectivity. The paper concludes with a call for further comparative research that goes beyond am examination of foreign texts and explores foreign legal practices.

Jaye Ellis, General Principles and Comparative Law (2011). European Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2011.

This article explores the source ‘general principles of international law’ from the point of view of comparative law scholarship. The currently accepted definition of general principles and methodology for identifying such principles are critiqued. The criterion of the representativeness of the major families of legal systems, to which courts and tribunals tend to pay lip service rather than applying rigorously, is meant to anchor general principles in state consent, but is not a sound technique either for identifying principles of relevance to international law or for preventing judges from referring only to the legal systems they know best. Furthermore, the emphasis on extracting the essence of rules results in leaving behind most of what is interesting and useful in what judges may have learned by studying municipal legal systems. Comparative scholarship is an obvious, rich, and strangely neglected source of guidance for international judges who wish to draw insights from legal systems outside international law. 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Regional Research on Women’s Access to Justice in Plural Legal Systems

 'The following deadline has been extended to Jan. 18th, 2013. Please note that organizations do NOT have to be registered UN organizations.'


National Component of a Regional Research on Women’s Access to Justice in Plural Legal Systems in one of the following countries: 

Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam

The UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is calling for proposals to conduct national component of a regional research project on women’s access to justice in plural legal systems in Southeast Asia, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

In all societies in the region, laws and justice systems are not adequately working for women. Where justice systems reflect existing power imbalances that favor men’s privilege, women’s rights are less protected. Plural legal systems present challenges to women’s access to justice because they often include strands of law that are based on custom, religion and traditional rules and values that restrict women’s rights. When these traditional rules are incorporated into state and non‐state legal and justice systems (such as village courts) women’s rights in the private and domestic sphere, including their rights to live free from violence and make decisions about their sexuality, marriage, divorce and reproductive health, can be limited. The plural legal systems may also limit women’s economic rights including the right to decent work, inheritance and control of land and other productive resources. These legal systems are sometimes procedurally biased against women. The Progress of World Women Report of UN Women noted that the existence of legal plural system in itself can pose particular challenges to women seeking justice as it may create a complex web of overlapping systems in which women can lose their protection or access to rights. Also there are confusions over jurisdictional boundaries, and under-resourced justice systems present barriers to justice for women, especially for those from excluded groups. The challenges for reform of state-recognized and non state legal systems are enormous as they are linked to the complex problems, require state approval and also closely linked with the identity politics.

NOTICE: Legal Aid in the World


Happy New Year! The ABA International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is seeking an expert to conduct research on the state of provision of legal aid in the world on a pro bono, telework basis. For the purpose of this request, UNDP is defining legal aid as encompassing criminal and civil justice issues and covers legal advice, assistance and representation by legal and paralegal groups (including both formal and traditional justice mechanisms).

There is no expected travel. Interested candidates should submit a CV and a short paragraph detailing relevant background. The deadline for expressions of interest is Tuesday, January 15, 2013!

The research should cover among others:

  • An overview of existing legal aid policies and legislative frameworks for the provision of legal aid and brief outline on state of implementation.
  • A mapping of existing studies undertaken on the state of legal aid at country, sub-regional, regional and global levels.
  • Analysis of existing gaps in knowledge/evidence base on state of legal aid.
A comprehensive bibliography including links and actual documents where available is required.

All questions can be directed to Jacqueline Gichinga at Jacqueline.Gichinga@americanbar.org.

BOOK: Cumper and Lewis on Religion, Rights and Secular Society

Edward Elgar Publishing has just published Peter Cumper and Tom Lewis (eds), Religion, rights and secular society: European perspectives (2012)

This topical collection of chapters examines secular society and the legal protection of religion and belief across Europe, both in general and more nation-specific terms.

The expectations of many that religion in modern Europe would be swept away by the powerful current of secularization have not been realised, and today few topics generate more controversy than the complex relationship between religious and secular values. The ‘religious/secular’ relationship is examined in this book, which brings together scholars from different parts of Europe and beyond to provide insights into the methods by which religion and equivalent beliefs have been, and continue to be, protected in the legal systems and constitutions of European nations. The contributors’ chapters reveal that the oft-tumultuous legacy of Europe’s relationship with religion still resonates across a continent where legal, political and social contours have been powerfully shaped by faith and religious difference.

Covering recent controversies such as the Islamic headscarf, and the presence of the crucifix in school class-rooms, this book will appeal to academics and students in law, human rights and the social sciences, as well as law and policy makers and NGOs in the field of human rights.

PUBLICATION: Lo Giudice on Democracy without Foundations

Presentazione de "La democrazia infondata" di Alessio Lo GiudiceAlessio Lo Giudice, a Juris Diversitas member, has recently published La democrazia infondata. Dal contratto sociale alla negoziazione degli interessi (Carocci, 2012):

The book considers present theories of institutions and political practices in light of the democratic principle and of the modern idea of a social contract. It underlines the risk that present democratic institutions are procedurally legitimate but theoretically unfounded because of the historical-conceptual path of modernity which has undermined the idea of a free and rational individual subject. It suggests that new forms of deliberative and participatory democracy or models of horizontal democratic governance could legitimate individual political acts, but are unlikely to manage the crisis of democracy as an institutional form.

JOURNAL: PoLAR - Symposium on Transparency

Current Issue


Editors’ Introduction
John Conley, Kathryn Henne, and Justin B. Richland


Transparency in Triads
Andrea Ballestero S.



09 January 2013

BOOK: Voigt et al on the Design of Constitutions

Elgar recently published Stefan Voigt (ed), Design of constitutions (2012):

Almost anywhere in the world, new constitutions are written and passed at almost any time. Over the last couple of years, an increasing number of economists have analysed constitutions based on an economic approach with an emphasis firstly on the (economic) effects of constitutions and followed by the factors determining their content. The contributions assembled in this volume go one step further: they ask how the knowledge gained over the last number of years can usefully be applied to constitutional design. This new branch could also be termed applied constitutional economics. Along with an original introduction, Professor Voigt has compiled a valuable research collection that will be of interest to scholars and practitioners in this growing field.

CALL FOR PAPERS - CONFERENCE: Mapping the Law of Irregular Migration

Call for Papers
Illegality Regimes:
Mapping the Law of Irregular Migration
A Conference at the VU University Amsterdam
30 May - 1 June 2013
Recent years have seen the development of increasingly sophisticated legal and policy approaches to address the phenomenon of irregular immigration. Many states have moved beyond traditional means of law enforcement, such as criminalization, without necessarily abandoning them. In addition, they have begun to employ other areas of law (such as administrative law and labor law) in pursuit of controlling irregular immigration.

For example, the verification of legal residence status, by means of ID-controls, has become increasingly necessary in the day to day life of all people: citizens and non-citizens alike. Private citizens, and not government agents, are evolving into the primary enforcers of these policies, as they have been made legally responsible for the control of legal residence status, for example in the case of employment.
These legal and policy instruments have sometimes been justified with reference to economic theories, such as 'attrition through enforcement', the broken window theory, and most recently 'self-deportation', a term that ironically originated in a stand-up sketch performed by two Hispanic comedians in the mid '90s, and has since then been promoted to a major policy proposal in the Romney campaign for the US presidential elections.
Among economic scholars, a debate about the (lack of) effectiveness of these policies has been growing the last couple of years. What is still absent, however, is a more rigorous analysis by legal and other social science scholars. This conference aims to explore the more systemic dimensions of these responses to irregular migration. For this purpose, scholars from all disciplines are invited to consider (any of) the following questions, or to respond with additional insights and approaches:

ARTICLES SOUGHT: Comparative Legal History (the European Society for Comparative Legal History Journal)

Articles are being sought for publication in Comparative Legal History (CLH), an international and comparative review of law and history. 

CLH is the official journal of the European Society for Comparative Legal History (ESCLH) and is published by Hart Publishing (UK)

The journal is published, both online and in print, twice a year, appearing in the spring and the autumn. The first issue will appear in Spring 2013:

Articles will explore both 'internal' legal history (doctrinal and disciplinary developments in the law) and 'external' legal history (legal ideas and institutions in wider contexts). Rooted in the complexity of the various Western legal traditions worldwide, the journal will also investigate other laws and customs from around the globe. Comparisons may be either temporal or geographical and both legal and other law-like normative traditions will be considered. Scholarship on comparative and trans-national historiography, including trans-disciplinary approaches, is particularly welcome.

The Editors welcome scholarly submissions in the English language:

To submit an article please contact Articles Editor Heikki Pihlajamäki (heikki.pihlajamaki@helsinki.fi). The optimal length for articles is between 7500 to 15000 words, including footnotes. All articles are submitted to double blind peer review.

To propose a review, please contact Reviews Editor Agustin Parise (agustin.parise@maastrichtuniversity.nl). Book reviews will generally range from 1500 to 2500 words. Review articles will also be considered.

The Hart website also has information on the Editors (both the Editorial Staff and International Editorial Board), an Email alert service of the 'Table of Contents', and subscription information. 

Note that a special arrangement between the ESCLH and Hart has been made to ensure that ESCLH membership fees include a subscription to CLH.

Potential contributors should pay special attention to the ‘Notes for Contributors’ on the website. In particular, contributors whose first language is not English are strongly advised to have their papers edited by native Anglophone scholars in advance of their submission to ensure a clear presentation of their ideas and an accurate appraisal of their work.

Spread the word. 

08 January 2013

ARTICLE: Trubek on Law and Development

Trubek, David David M Trubek’s ‘Law and Development 50 Years On’ is available on SSRN. It’ll be included in the forthcoming International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The abstract reads: 

Law and development refers both to organized efforts to transform legal systems in developing countries to foster economic, political and social development and to the academic projects stimulated by these efforts. Begun in the mid-20th century, law and development's dominant ideas and projects have changed over time as theories of development and agency priorities have changed. Law and development efforts accelerated in the 1990s as international financial institutions began to emphasize the rule of law. As the 21st century dawned, ideas and projects of the 20th Century were assessed and critiqued and new themes have emerged.

REMINDER: Pluri-Legal Discussion Group

Members might be interested in the excellent Pluri-Legal, an e-mail discussion group on JISC mail.

The group 'is devoted to issues regarding the legal accommodation of cultural, ethnic and religions minorities in Europe.'

It's often the site of informed and invigorating exchanges. 

You can join by going to: www.jiscmail.ac.uk/PLURI-LEGAL

JOURNAL - CALL FOR PAPERS: Post-Secularism: Between Public Reason and Political Theology

The European LegacyPost-Secularism: Between Public Reason and Political Theology
Guest Editors: Camil Ungureanu (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and Lasse Thomassen (Queen Mary, University of London)

This special issue is scheduled for late 2014.
In recent years, leading philosophers, including  Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and or John D. Caputo, have criticized "old-style" secularism and proposed instead  a post-secular model  for understanding the relation of religion and democracy, faith and reason. There are however profound theoretical and practical divergences in the post-secular models proposed. First, what are the precise characteristics of post-secularism as a philosophical alternative? In what sense could it be said to break with secularism? Second, what are the practical political and legal consequences of adhering  a post-secular approach? From a critical theoretical perspective, Habermas focuses on a revised concept of public reason and deliberation in promoting an active interaction of democracy and religion. From a hermeneutical perspective, Taylor’s recent work centres on the new "conditions of belief" and the dilemmas inherent to both religious and atheist experience. In contrast, Caputo and Richard Kearney develop a Derridean aporetic understanding of the nexus of democracy and religion, faith and reason, whereas Hent de Vries, William Connolly and Simon Critchley reject Habermas’s rationalist approach and propose a distinct understanding of post-secularism by focusing on Schmitt’s and Benjamins re-appropriation of the tenets of Saint Paul in their political-theological works. Although these trends have been studied to some extent, there has been no sustained attempt so far to subject them to a comparative analysis that would more fully address the issue of “post-secularism.”

REMINDER: Conference and Membership

Juris Diversitas Annual Conference

DEADLINE: 15 January 2013
(one week away)

3-4 June 2013, Lausanne, Switzerland 

Proposals should be submitted to sean.donlan@ul.ie

Don't forget that members receive discounts on conference fees (as well as other benefits); membership information is available here.

06 January 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS - WORKSHOP: Minorities in the Colonial and Postcolonial Middle East

Call for Papers International workshop

The fragments imagine the nation?
Minorities in the colonial and postcolonial Middle East

Place and date: The Graduate Institute International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, November 8–9, 2013.

Organizers: The International History Department at Graduate Institute International and Development Studies, Geneva, and the History Department at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Almost a century after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, scholarship on minorities in the Middle East shows a remarkable continuity. Minority politics have traditionally been considered as a problem, indeed as one of the main reasons for the “unsuccessful” consolidation of the nation-state in the region; they now appear, to many, as an obstacle to broader processes of democratization and liberalization within the context of the so-called “Arab Spring”. As Egypt struggles to elaborate a new constitution that would pave the way for the integration of all segments of its society, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon have witnessed an awakening of ethnic and religious tensions since 2011. Other states such as Iraq seem to be stunned by sectarian conflicts. In the face of these huge challenges, the Middle East is once more portrayed as a region doomed to endless ethnic and religious turmoil and, more importantly, their elites as incapable of getting rid of this “fatality”. And yet perceptions like these assume that such turmoil is primordial: a cause, rather than a symptom, of troubled times. They also, perhaps deliberately, elide the role of any external actors in fostering division and conflict.