21 June 2013

BOOK: Dutch New York and the Law


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

The following articles were recently circulated: 

Asking about reasonable accommodation in England

BOOK: Heringa on Legal Education

Intersentia has published Aalt Willem Heringa, Legal Education: Reflections and Recommendations (2013):

This book on legal education was written based upon many of the author’s experiences as a professor and dean. The author noted that there is relatively little literature and research about legal education and felt it was necessary to discuss the present state of legal education. The book focuses on many issues such as teaching itself, employability, the mission and focus of law schools, the future of law schools in this age of internationalisation, student intake, the link with the labour markets, as well as many other issues. One of the conclusions drawn is that law schools will have to seek their own position and niche and that they will have different roles. This book also focuses on the need for law school deans and leaders to set clear mission statements and strategies and work towards education that provides all the necessary skills and knowledge that students can take with them into their future careers. No teaching as we did for many years, but analysing what lies ahead and what is needed for future careers. 

BOOK: From the Judge's Arbitrium to the Legality Principle: Legislation as a Source of Law in Criminal Trials

From the European Society for Comparative Legal History Blog:

Duncker & Humblot published a volume edited by Georges Martyn (UGent), Anthony Musson (Exeter) and Heikki Pihlajamäki (Helsinki) in the Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History Series. The book (407 p., € 89,90) covers the legality principle in criminal affairs.

The legality principle characterizes all western legal systems, and it has become an integral part of the Western rule of law and the international human rights law. The principle dates back to enlightened jurists such as Cesare Beccaria and to social contract thinkers such as Charles de Secondat de Montesquieu, according to whom judges were to act only as the mouthpiece of the statutory law. Paul Johann Anselm von Feuerbach, the inventor of the famous maxim nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege, developed these thoughts further. The emergence of the legality principle links closely to the teachings on the division of powers. The studies of this volume cover most of Europe from England, Italy and Spain to Sweden, Russia and England, and both the South and North American continents. In most parts of Europe, the nineteenth-century criminal law reforms form an integral part of the ›liberal‹ agenda. These changes took place, however, at different times in different parts of the Western world, and for slightly different reasons. Comparative legal history shows, furthermore, that the roots of the principle date much further back in history than the eighteenth century. Before the formulation of the legality principle, written statutes already played a significant role in the criminal law in many parts of the Western world. The articles of the volume, written by the foremost experts on comparative legal history, demonstrate that the attitudes and practices toward written statutes as sources of criminal law varied greatly from one region to another. In most parts of the European continent judicial arbitration was carefully defined in legal scholarship (Italy, France), whereas in some regions written law played an important role from early on (Sweden). Although the nineteenth century was fundamental in shaping the legality principle, in some countries its breakthrough remained even then far from complete (Russia, the United States).
 See the editor's website.

20 June 2013

SYMPOSIUM: Inter-Cultural Dialogues

Inter-Cultural Dialogues, 3rd International Symposium
26th to 28th August 2013
Angers, France

This project explores the diverse ways in which notions of culture and cultural interactions have impacted, at global and local levels, ongoing constructions of identity, society and politics, as well as frameworks of knowledge, ideology and truth.

Enquiries: acc@alternative-academia.net
Web address:
Sponsored by: International Network for Alternative Academia 

[The symposium website has much more, noting that

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the diverse ways in which notions of culture and cultural interactions have impacted, at global and local levels, ongoing constructions of identity, society and politics, as well as frameworks of knowledge, ideology and truth.

It has become a common place to speak about globalization as a process that has made the world smaller and more interconnected. But beneath such claims multiple processes remain analytically undefined and critically unexplored. We are interested in assessing how ideas of culture and cultural interactions shape identity, membership, place, rootedness and belonging while simultaneously encouraging misunderstanding, tension and conflict, estrangement, isolation and alienation. In particular, the project will investigate world transformations that have structured cultural flows, given rise to new forms of hybridity, increased nomadic lives and encouraged the proliferation of transitory and transversal interconnections.

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals that address these general questions or the following themes:

1. Contemporary Reconfigurations of Culture: Who Cares?
2. Cultural Boundaries, Peoples and Places: Why Bother?
3. Identities and Inter-Subjectivities: What Difference?
4. Cultural Formations: Who Knows?
5. Politicizing Culture: What Matters?
6. Art and Cultural Representations: Why Pretend?

7. Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Who’s Watching?]

LECTURE: Gardner on Legal Pluralism

Professor John Gardner delivered a lecture entitled 'What is legal pluralism' at the Osgoode Hall Law School on 8 May 2013.

Check it out.

SUMMER SCHOOL: Luxembourg Summer School of Comparative Law

Faculté d'été de droit comparé

University of Luxembourg

Luxembourg Summer School of Comparative Law, 8-26 July 2013

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg will be hosting the summer session of the Faculté internationale de droit comparé during the last three weeks of July 2013. The spring sessions traditionally take place in Strasbourg during the month of April.
The first track focuses on contemporary legal traditions of the world and corresponds to the first study cycle at the Faculté  internationale de droit comparé . Following a general introduction to the study of comparative law, five courses – each one being taught over a one-week period - will allow the participants to study the characteristics of five important legal traditions. The courses will be taught in French.
The second track also focuses on legal traditions of the world and will be organized in the same way as the first track, but it will be taught in English by other professors .
Students wishing to obtain ECTS credits (which allow for recognition of the studies in all European universities) upon completion of the program will have the opportunity to take exams and will, if successful, be granted 10 ECTS credits .

First Cycle

First track : Introduction aux Grands systèmes de droit contemporains (French curriculum)

  • Introduction au droit comparé : Luc Heuschling , Professor at the University of Luxembourg
  • Introduction au droit islamique : François-Paul blanc, Professor at the University of Perpignan
  • Introduction au droit américain : Gilles Cuniberti , Professor at the University of Luxembourg
  • Introduction au Common Law : David Pugsley, Senior Lecturer in Law. University of Exeter
  • Introduction au droit chinois : Aiqing Zheng, Professor at the University of Peking, China.
  • Introduction au droit africain : Gérard Ngoumtsa Anou, Researcher at the University of Luxembourg

19 June 2013

BOOK: Bajada on the impact of French tort law on mixed jurisdictions:

Book CoverI've just become aware of Diana Bajada's The impact of French tort law on mixed jurisdictions: Quebec, Louisiana, and Malta compared (2011). Originally presented as her LLD thesis (required for practice as a lawyer in Malta) and published with LAP Lambert Academic Publishing:

This book takes as point of departure the virtually ad verbatim reproduction of the Napoleonic tort general clause which existed in the mixed jurisdictions of Québec, Louisiana and Malta as common law infiltrated their area of Tort Law. Salient contrasting features with French Tort are highlighted, as aspects which have retained the original French approach are pointed out. Areas where subtle mixing created a unique blend are also identified. The main body of this book brings forth jurisprudential interpretations which are tested against the obtaining legislative texts with striking results that point unequivocally to the fact that the legislative façade is not always telling of the underlying judicial tendencies. A final chapter gives a clear view of the degree of “foreign” influence which each mixed system has permitted. The choice of countries provides the varying degrees which a mixed jurisdiction might display, concluding indeed that the impact left by French tort law has been absolute in Québec, largely rejected in Louisiana, with Malta located in an intermediate position of continuing interaction between civil and common law.

CONFERENCE: 16th International Conference on the History of Concepts

The 16th International Conference on the History of Concepts
The 16th International Conference on the History of Concepts will take place in Bilbao from August 29th to 31st 2013.
Registration to the 16th International Conference on the History of Concepts is now open.

CONFERENCE: The Legalization of Culture and the Enculturation of Law

Call for Conference Proposals
Centaur Jurisprudence: The Legalization of Culture and the Enculturation of Law

Friday 21 February 2014, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Montreal

OVERVIEW: Many claims to justice ask law to be responsive to the lived experiences of those to and through whom it is applied. "Culture" is one label attached to collective forms of this lived experience. But what does it mean for courts and other legal institutions to be culturally sensitive? What are the institutional implications and consequences of such an aspiration? To what extent is legal discourse capable of accommodating multiple cultural narratives without losing its claim to normative specificity? And how are we to understand meetings of law and culture in the context of formal legal processes, such as when a criminal defendant invokes the acceptability of domestic violence within his ethnic community, when oral traditions are presented as the basis for an aboriginal land claim, or when the custom of 'bush marriage' is evoked as relevant to the prosecution of the war crime of rape? A traditional approach to law anchored in positivism tends to construct the encounter between law and cultures as one of subjugation: cultural practices are vetted to assess compatibility with existing legal rules. Cultural anthropology would see a more horizontal interplay of practices and symbols, with law constituting just one more cultural field. As such, law and cultural anthropology would seem to correspond to different ways of imagining the world, to distinct epistemes. However, legal pluralism, rejecting a narrow focus on formal law and state institutions, offers a vision of law as dynamic and inherently open to "culture". This one-day conference] will explore the potential of legal pluralism to account for the varied and dynamic roles of culture within legal discourse Can legal pluralism create a richer model of legal knowledge, one that reflects plural cultural narratives, while still offering a normative foundation for formal legal processes? Or does it entail abandoning a distinctively legal discourse in favour of an assemblage of anthropological and legal knowledge or "centaur discipline"? In short, can legal pluralism bring culture within the domain of law? Four panels will explore these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective in the context of international law, aboriginal law, alternative dispute resolution, and the recognition/accommodation of minority cultural practices. A fuller description of the Centaur Jurisprudence Project is available here.

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Paper proposals must be between 300-500 words in length and should be accompanied by a short resume. Please submit your documents to centaur.conference@gmail.com. Any query may be directed to the conference convener, Professor Rene Provost (rene.provost@mcgill.ca).

The closing date for submissions is 15 July 2013. We will notify successful applicants by early August 2013. An initial 3-5 page sketch of the paper must be submitted by 1 November 2013 for circulation among panellists and feedback from the conference committee. Presenters must submit a draft paper by 15 January 2014, ahead of the conference on 21 February 2014. Final papers should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Selected submissions will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

Airfare and accommodation of presenters will be covered by the conference organizers.

WORKSHOP: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice of Preventive Detention

18 June 2013

SEMINAR: Democracy and Justice

contemporary comparative frontiers at swinburne

Swinburne Institute for Social Research
Democracy & Justice – Special Seminar Wednesday, 17 July, 13:00-15:00, BA912 (Hawthorn Campus)
‘Comparative Contemporary Frontiers’
Alex Young and Timothy Neale
Two brief papers followed by discussion
Discussant: Lorenzo Veracini

BOOK: Sumalla on Historical Memory and Criminal Justice in Spain

Historical Memory and Criminal Justice in SpainIntersentia has published Josep M Tamarit Sumalla’s Historical Memory and Criminal Justice in Spain: A Case of Late Transitional Justice. The abstract reads:

The Spanish transition from the Franco regime to democracy has not been a very popular subject amongst researchers examining transitional justice at the international level. However, Spain presents certain peculiarities that make it an interesting case in which to explore comparative law and sociology. It has sometimes been seen as a model of peaceful transition, but has also been labelled as an example of an “amnesic” transition to a democratic system in which victims’ rights, justice and truth were forgotten. In contrast to other transitions, demands of justice were not expressed during what was the purely transitional period, but they have been on the increase since then. That is why, in this case, we can speak of “post-transitional justice” or, more properly, of “late transitional justice”.

This book analyses, above all, the laws, policies and judicial decisions adopted in Spain that were related to the construction of the past and could therefore be understood as measures of transitional justice. By comparing this experience with transitional decisions adopted in other countries, the book highlights the main features of the Spanish case and the lessons that can be learned from it. Measures adopted during the transitional period, such as the amnesty and subsequent decisions aimed at giving some kind of partial reparation to the victims of the repression, are here studied. Demands for reviewing the past, the 2007 Historical Memory Act, and the controversial use of criminal justice are also considered. Criminal Law is hardly applicable to the facts of the past, but the purely amnesic option can no longer be defended. Therefore, the author proposes a plan of action including different measures, such as the creation of a commission of memory, which would be in charge of investigating not only violent crimes or torture, but also other related crimes, including child abduction and politically motivated unlawful adoptions and those perpetrated in a systematic way during the Dictatorship. A victim-centred approach requires ensuring that each victim has the right to be considered on the basis of his or her own suffering, needs and rights and not as a member of a large group. 

17 June 2013

NOTICE: Juris Diversitas on Twitter and Facebook

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BOOKS: Irish Legal History Society

For additional information, see the Irish Legal History Society website at http://www.ilhs.eu/

BOOK: Ramaekers on European Union Property Law

Its abstract reads:

The European acquis communautaire in the field of property law is to a large extent still unexplored. This study has aimed to shine a light on EU property law. It provides an overview of the existing acquis communautaire in property law, and presents a proposal for the future development of this field of law. It deals with the influence of the EU’s four freedoms - of goods, persons, services and capital - on national property law and discusses whether or not the EU would have the competence to actively create property law, and the extent to which it has already done so. By conducting an extensive search on the basis of some thirty key property law terms, the author has been able to uncover not just the handful of Directives and Regulations that touch upon property law and are relatively well known, but also hundreds of EU legislative measures that make use of property law concepts, but leave them mostly undefined.

The resulting picture of EU property law is a fragmented one. In order to develop this field of law more consistently and coherently, the author has proposed a framework for future EU property law, focusing on both form and content. The essence of this framework is the development of three European-autonomous property rights, functioning within a European set of property law rules.

The contents are available here.

16 June 2013

POSTGRADUATE WORKSHOP: Comparative Research In Commercial Law: Challenges and Opportunities