23 November 2013

CONFERENCE: 4th Annual International Conference on Comparative Law in Olsztyn

University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland has announced 4th Annual International Conference on Comparative Law 'Dominium and Imperium of the State versus Property Rights' in April 4-5, 2014 (Friday and Saturday).

Registration is open until January 31, 2014 (University has reserved the right to close the registration prior to this date). Register early.
Draft programme will be available on February 5, 2014.

All sessions and panels this year will be held in English.

Scientific Committee: Bronisław Sitek, Katarzyna Ciućkowska-Leszczewicz, Jakub J. Szczerbowski.

Subject areas:
  • History of the relations between states and things
  • The state and property rights in transformation. Eastern and Central European experiences
  • Effectiveness and justice of the imperium in relation to property rights
  • State as an owner in the multi-layered legal systems
Details on registration are available on the site on the Conference.

SCHOLARSHIP: PhD studies and postdoctoral research in Sweden

The Swedish Institute Visby Programme announced scholarships for PhD studies and postdoctoral research in Sweden

The aim of the Visby Programme is to build an integrated, knowledge-based and research-intense region, centered on the Baltic Sea, but also bridging to the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation. About 45 scholarships will be offered for the academic year 2014/2015.

Scholarship application period: 2 December 2013 – 15 January 2014


The program is targeted at candidates from the following countries: Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. Its main objective is to strengthen cooperation and network building between those countries and Sweden in the fields of higher education and research.

Target groups

The program provides PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with an opportunity to conduct research at Swedish universities within all fields of study.
  • PhD studies – two different models of applying. The first model consists of PhD students/candidates applying for one long-term visit (either 6, 9 or 12 months) as part of their PhD studies. The second model consists of candidates applying for a scholarship according to the sandwich model (several shorter visits). The scholarship period for candidates on a sandwich set-up is a maximum 12 months over three years, divided into a maximum of two research visits per year.
  • Postdoctoral research - individuals applying for a postdoctoral research long-term visit (6, 9 or 12 months) must be holders of a PhD degree, preferably from 2009 or later.
  • Senior scientists – holders of a PhD degree but who do not fit into the category of postdoctoral researchers, above, invited to Sweden for research (6 months maximum).
SI Network for Future Global Leaders

All Swedish Institute scholarship holders are invited to become members of the SI Network for Future Global Leaders – a network that offers unique opportunities during and after the stay in Sweden. Together with other talented people from all around the world, the scholarship holder is able to take part in a variety of events, exchange ideas and create networks that benefit both to career and personal development.

Details are here.

20 November 2013

ARTICLES: Arthurs on Legal Education and Smith on Peter Birks and Comparative Law

Two new articles from Canada on SSRN might be of interest: Harry Arthurs’ ‘The future of legal education: three visions and a prediction’ and Lionel Smith’s ‘Peter Birks and Comparative Law’.

The abstract for Arthurs’ paper reads:

I’m going to present three quite different views of what law schools ought to be and ought to do. The first holds that their primary, if not their sole, function should be to produce "practice-ready lawyers" for today’s profession. The second is that they should produce "tomorrow’s lawyers", lawyers with the capacity to adapt to the rapidly and radically changing circumstances of legal practice. And the third is that law schools should play a leading role in the creation and transformation of legal knowledge, legal practice, and the legal system — a role that requires them to provide their students with a large and liberal understanding of law that will prepare them for a variety of legal and non-legal careers. I’ll end by making a prediction about which model represents the future of law school. Or perhaps you’ve guessed already.

The abstract for Smith’s paper, forthcoming in the (2014) Revue de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke, reads:

This paper was presented to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Quebec Association of Comparative Law at the Faculté de droit, Université de Sherbrooke, in October 2011, within the conference theme “The jurists who have shaped comparative law: their dreams, works, successes and failures.” It studies aspects of the thought of Peter Birks in relation to comparative law, Roman law, legal scholarship and legal education. Birks valued comparative law, and thought that it could be more thoroughly integrated into research and teaching in law. About Roman law, however, he was passionate. He viewed it as a fascinating object of study and reflection, and as an essential part of undergraduate legal education. He deprecated the decline of Roman law as part of the law school curriculum. In this paper, I suggest that one reaction to the decline of Roman law in legal education could be a more comprehensive embrace of comparative law. If comparative law were integrated carefully into the curriculum, it could bring to students all of the benefits that Birks found in the study of Roman law.

ARTICLE: Seron, Coutin, and Meeusen on a Law and Society Canon

Carroll Seron, Susan Bibler Coutin, and Pauline White Meeusen's ‘Is there a canon of Law and Society’ has been published on SSRN. The abstract of the article, which will appear in the (2013) 9 Annual Review of Law & Society 287, reads:

As an interdisciplinary field, law and society has an ambivalent relationship with the notion of a canon: Being a field requires having a recognized set of key texts, even as this particular field’s critique of doctrinal legal analysis creates an openness toward alternative perspectives. Within the interdisciplinary field of law and society itself, there is debate about the breadth of disciplines relevant to this domain of inquiry. To explore this tension, we analyze three sources: (a) addresses delivered by presidents of the US Law and Society Association (LSA), (b) LSA meeting calls, and (c) law and society/social science syllabi. Presidential addresses and meeting calls demonstrate how the boundaries of the field are established and contested, and course syllabi suggest a degree of consensus about key works.We conclude by discussing other national and regional research traditions and note that these critique law and society/social sciences canons for being overly United States focused or Eurocentric. We argue that such contestation underscores the health and vibrancy of law and society research.

BOOK: Hamoudi on Constitutional Construction and Imperfect Bargaining in Iraq

Negotiating in Civil ConflictThe University of Chicago Press has published our friend Haider Ala Hamoudi's Negotiating in Civil Conflict: ConstitutionalConstruction and Imperfect Bargaining in Iraq (2013)
In 2005, Iraq drafted its first constitution and held the country’s first democratic election in more than fifty years. Even under ideal conditions, drafting a constitution can be a prolonged process marked by contentious debate, and conditions in Iraq are far from ideal: Iraq has long been racked by ethnic and sectarian conflict, which intensified following the American invasion and continues today. This severe division, which often erupted into violence, would not seem to bode well for the fate of democracy. So how is it that Iraq was able to surmount its sectarianism to draft a constitution that speaks to the conflicting and largely incompatible ideological view of the Sunnis, Shi’ah, and Kurds?
Haider Ala Hamoudi served in 2009 as an adviser to Iraq’s Constitutional Review Committee, and he argues here that the terms of the Iraqi Constitution are sufficiently capacious to be interpreted in a variety of ways, allowing it to appeal to the country’s three main sects despite their deep disagreements. While some say that this ambiguity avoids the challenging compromises that ultimately must be made if the state is to survive, Hamoudi maintains that to force these compromises on issues of central importance to ethnic and sectarian identity would almost certainly result in the imposition of one group’s views on the others. Drawing on the original negotiating documents, he shows that this feature of the Constitution was not an act of evasion, as is sometimes thought, but a mark of its drafters’ awareness in recognizing the need to permit the groups the time necessary to develop their own methods of working with one another over time.

OPPORTUNITY: ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) - UNDP/Uzbekistan

[T]he ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has received a request from UNDP/Uzbekistan for multiple experts to assist in providing a legal opinion on the Uzbekistan’s Law on Transparency.

In a speech to the Uzbek Parliament in 2010, the President of Uzbekistan indicated that he was interested in developing a law on transparency of activities of state authorities and government agencies. This concept note in English is available here: http://mfa.uz/eng/press_and_media_service/dates/the_concept/address_by_the_president_12_11_2010.mgr. In early 2013, the Government of Uzbekistan made a decision to conduct legal experiment (similar to ex-ante regulatory impact assessment) of the draft law in Samarkand and Bukhara regions within one year period. In December 2013, the results of legal experiment will be assessed and incorporated into draft law prior to its submission to Parliament of Uzbekistan. The process of legal experiment is reflected in official website: http://legalexperiment.uz/.

Given the fact of UNDP/LGSP (www.lgsp.uz) project has already piloted 6 Local Government Information Centers (such structures are mentioned in Article 7 of the draft law) in pilot regions, the project intends to give its official proposals to enhance the content of the draft law taking into account both its own experience and international best practices. UNDP is calling on the ILRC to provide international legal expertise part of this policy advisory exercise.

The team of experts will be expected to assist in the following:

CALL FOR PAPERS: 5th Annual Meeting of the Association for Law, Property, & Society (ALPS)

The Association for Law, Property, & Society (ALPS) is a scholarly organization for those engaged in scholarship on all aspects of property law and policy including real, personal, intellectual, intangible, cultural, personal, and other forms of property. Its annual meeting brings together scholars from many disciplines to discuss their work and to foster dialogue among those working in property law, policy, and theory.

The 5th Annual Meeting of ALPS will be held in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law at Allard Hall, May 2-3, 2014.

We welcome proposals for papers or panels in any area of property law & society scholarship. Potential topics include:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Gender and the Law International Conference -- Limits, Contestations and Beyond

Poster theverylatestCall for Papers: Gender and the Law International Conference -- Limits, Contestations and Beyond
Izmir, Turkey
4-6 June 2014

This interdisciplinary conference will explore the discursive, historical, political, social limits of legal systems, including state laws, policies, institutionalised un-written based customs, traditions and their operation about gender-related as well as gender-specific issues. Legal systems often structure, impacts, controls, constructs or deconstructs, intervenes and acts against certain relations whether between or intra states. Legal norms established to protect or promote gender equality may have unintended consequences and legal norms that seem irrelevant to gender may nonetheless significantly impact gender issues and various forms of gender-related violence.

The conference aims to engage with different legal systems across cultures focusing on the ways in which social mores are institutionalised in societies aiming to render a subtle, complex account of the discursive construction of gender, linking together ideologies, language, their cultural groundings and their operation in legal context. It invites the participants to bring in the cases that enable further discussions in relation to broader contexts including social, political, cultural, economic and legal processes that underlie the construction of the gendered subjectivities.
This conference is open for papers across disciplines, including, but not limited to, legal studies, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, cultural studies, politics, international relations and else.

The conference will explore the following themes:

JOURNAL: (2013) 36(2) PoLAR

From the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology:

PoLAR issue 36(2) is out now! In addition to three general articles and a number of book reviews, it features essays from a symposium on Illegal Anthropology organized by Rebecca Galemba and Kedron Thomas. For more details on this issue, visit PoLAR website: http://www.polaronline.org.

Also, note that the upcoming December issue of the journal Qualitative Sociology might be of particular interest to some of you. The Special Issue, entitled Reassembling Ethnography: Actor-Network Theory and Sociology, explores the purchase of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) for qualitative and ethnographic sociologies. It is now available online at http://link.springer.com/journal/11133/onlineFirst/page/1.

OPPORTUNITY: World Justice Challenge - Seed Grant Competition to Strengthen the Rule of Law

The World Justice Challenge is an open competition designed to inspire individuals to create initiatives that will strengthen the rule of law where they live and work. It provides an opportunity for individuals to test practical solutions on the ground supported by:

•Modest seed grants—the typical size of a seed grant is $15,000 to $25,000
•Connections to others in the WJP’s global network
•Increased visibility through media and communications support

The WJP believes that everyone is a stakeholder in the rule of law, and that a multidisciplinary approach is essential to creating long-lasting change.

How It Works

NEWS AND REVIEWS: European Network on Law and Society (Réseau Européen Droit & Société)

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

See here (online) or here (pdf).



19 November 2013

ARTICLE: Costa on a 'Spatial Turn' for Legal History

The abstract reads:

Una nuova sensibilità nei confronti dello spazio (e più in generale delle coordinate spazio-temporali) sembra svilupparsi in numerose scienze umane, dalla geografia alla sociologia, alla storiografia, a partire dagli anni settanta-ottanta del Novecento. Per indicare questo atteggiamento è stato impiegato il termine di ‘spatial turn’. Il problema impostato nel saggio è se e in che modo lo ‘spatial turn’ possa coinvolgere anche la storia delle teorie e delle istituzioni politico-giuridiche.

Numerous human sciences (from geography to sociology and historiography) have been developing a new attitude towards space (and, in general, towards the relationship between space and time), starting from the seventies-eighties of the Twentieth century. This new approach has been labelled as the ‘spatial turn’. Is it possible and convenient that the history of legal-political theories and institutions take the ‘spatial turn’ seriously? The essay collects some information, which can be employed for a better setting of this problem.

This is an Italian version of an English article accepted for M Meccarelli and MJ Solla Sastre (eds.), "Spatial and Temporal Dimensions for Legal History: Research Experiences and Itineraries", in Global Perspectives on Legal History Book Series (MPI for European Legal History), Frankfurt
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2013-07

BOOK: Audren and Halpérin on French Legal Culture

La culture juridique française

Entre mythes et réalités. XIXe - XXe siècles

C’est une pluralité de cultures juridiques que nous révèle cet ouvrage.
Chaque groupe de juristes dispose de pratiques, de savoir-faire et de manières d’être différents. Les prétendus principes juridiques atemporels inhérents au droit français sont ainsi mis en question. Sait-on, par exemple, qu’avocats, magistrats, notaires ne passaient jusque dans les années 1950 que trois ans dans les facultés ? Ou que les deux guerres mondiales ont mis à rude épreuve ce modèle de rayonnement de la doctrine universitaire et d’une culture républicaine homogène ?
De la Révolution à l’essor de l’influence universitaire des XIXe et XXe siècles, de la codification napoléonienne à vocation unificatrice à l’internationalisation croissante depuis 1945, Frédéric Audren et Jean-Louis Halpérin éclairent avec méthode et lucidité les processus réactualisés des formes du droit, entre objets culturels du passé et enjeux contemporains.
Un ouvrage novateur qui invite à une meilleure connaissance d’un des fondements de notre société : le droit.

18 November 2013

WORKSHOP: Spaces of Indigenous Justice

Spaces of Indigenous Justice

University of Leeds

12-13 December 2013

An interdisciplinary workshop hosted jointly by the Centre for International Governance and the Centre for European Law and Legal Studies, and funded by the World Universities Network (WUN), features leading experts from institutions across the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia.

This workshop aims to draw together the diverse strands of scholarship in the research field of Indigenous justice and governance by the adoption of specifically interdisciplinary and spatial perspectives.
While issues of, for example, tribal courts, native title, normative boundaries, Indigenous constitutionalism and the rights, recognition and self-determination of Indigenous peoples are of interest to scholars in a variety of fields, including legal theory, sociology, public policy, political philosophy, anthropology, critical geography, international and comparative law, there is a very real need to bring these intertwined and related ideas from the peripheries of their respective disciplines to an interdisciplinary core.
- Recommended. SPD

CALL FOR PAPERS: Public Law Conference

Public Law Conference – Call for Papers
15 – 17 September 2014
University of Cambridge

In September 2014 the Faculty of Law in the University of Cambridge will host a major international conference on public law. It will be the first in an ongoing series of biennial conferences. The theme of the inaugural Public Law Conference is Process and Substance in Public Law. The conference will bring together scholars, judges and practitioners from a range of public law fields and a variety of common law jurisdictions. The intention is that the Public Law series will become established as a pre-eminent forum for the discussion of public law matters in the common law world.

Academics and doctoral students are invited to submit proposals to present papers addressing the conference theme, broadly construed. Without intending to be prescriptive, examples of topics that would fall within the theme include the interrelationship between legal procedures and substantive law, procedural aspects of substantive obligations, substantive aspects of procedural obligations, the interrelationship between procedural and substantive obligations, various types of processes such as processes regulating constitutional relationships, constitutional reform, and the resolution of grievances, as well as governmental and parliamentary processes. The focus of the conference is on common law jurisdictions.

OPPORTUNITY: The ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) - Senior Techincal Expert in Contract Farming

The ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has received a request from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) Investment Climate (IC) department for a senior technical expert in contract farming to participate in developing the activity concept for Investment Climate’s ADR work in contract farming. This expert will work closely with the IFC IC Agribusiness team based in Washington, DC – leveraging that team’s experience and expertise to enhance delivery of services and results to clients.

CONFERENCE: The Centaur Jurisprudence Project Conference - The Legalization of Culture and the Enculturation of Law

The Centaur Jurisprudence Project Conference: The Legalization of Culture and the Enculturation of Law
Friday, 21 February 2014, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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?

BOOK: Duarte d'Almeida, Edwards and Dolcetti et al on Hart's The Concept of Law

Edited by Luís Duarte d'Almeida, James Edwards and Andrea Dolcetti

More than 50 years after it was first published, The Concept of Law remains the most important work of legal philosophy in the English-speaking world. In this volume, written for both students and specialists, 13 leading scholars look afresh at Hart's great book.

Unique in format, the volume proceeds sequentially through all the main ideas in The Concept of Law: each contributor addresses a single chapter of Hart's book, critically discussing its arguments in light of subsequent developments in the field. Four concluding essays assess the continued relevance for jurisprudence of the 'persistent questions' identified by Hart at the beginning of The Concept of Law. The collection also includes Hart's 'Answers to Eight Questions', written in 1988 and never before published in English.

Contributors include Timothy Endicott, Richard HS Tur, Pavlos Eleftheriadis, John Gardner, Grant Lamond, Nicos Stavropoulos, Leslie Green, John Tasioulas, Jeremy Waldron, John Finnis, Frederick Schauer, Pierluigi Chiassoni and Nicola Lacey.

BOOK: Samuel on the Common Law

Edward Elgar Publishing has announced the publication of Geoffrey Samuel, A short introduction to the common law (2013). The book:

provides a short, accessible introduction to the English common law tradition, in particular to the civil process.

It adopts an approach which explains the historical development of the common law institutions and procedures whilst also setting them in perspective through a comparative outlook. Aspects of the common law are contrasted on occasions with structural or functional equivalents (or near equivalents) in the civil law. The key topics covered include: the English civil courts (and other dispute resolution institutions and alternatives), civil procedure, remedies, sources of law, legal reasoning, legal education, legal theories, legal institutions and concepts and legal categories. In addition to textual description and analysis, the book makes frequent use of visual diagrams to explain and to illustrate aspects of the common law.

Providing both an overview of the English common law and an insight into the legal mentality of common lawyers, the book will appeal both to first year law students as well as to continental jurists who are investigating the common law for the first time.

The contents include:

Preface Introduction 1. Development of the English Courts 2. Development of the English Procedural Tradition 3. English Law Remedies 4. English Legal Education and English Legal Thought (1): Sources and Methods 5. English Legal Education and English Legal Thought (2): Academic Theories 6. Legal Institutions and Concepts in the Common Law (1): Persons and Things 7. Legal Institutions and Concepts in the Common Law (2): Causes of Action and Obligations