21 February 2014

BOOK: Frankenberg’s 'Political Technology And The Erosion Of The Rule Of Law. Normalizing the State of Exception'

Edward Elgar Publishing has issued a new title. It’s Günter Frankenberg’s ‘Political Technology And The Erosion Of The Rule Of Law. Normalizing the State of Exception’.

This timely volume by distinguished scholar Günter Frankenberg offers a sophisticated analysis and sharp critique of the reactions of nations such as the US, Great Britain and Germany to perceived terrorist threats, organized crime actions and other political emergencies that have occurred in recent years.
The author demonstrates how governments have increasingly sacrificed the rule of law and human rights for the benefit of security programs – as evidenced by a rise in extraordinary measures such as surveillance, detention and torture – thus normalizing the state of exception and privileging preemptive, proactive and coercive methods of political engineering. An interdisciplinary and multi-jurisdictional study, this book develops and implements a unique theoretical and conceptual framework for understanding the rise of technical-political rationality and the fall of the rule of law, and submits both to a firm critique.
Particularly relevant in light of current controversies, this provocative book will appeal to scholars and students of international and constitutional law, legal theory, political science, and terrorism studies.
On the book
‘Books abound on the question whether states of emergency can be legally controlled. But Frankenberg’s account stands out because of his mastery of the political and legal contexts in which the terms of the debate about states of emergency were framed for us – the situation of Weimar and the constitutional reaction in postwar Germany. In addition, Frankenberg has an astonishing command of the history of political theory from Hobbes to the present. His innovative but scholarly analyses permit him to construct a narrative about the potential of the rule of law to respond to emergencies that includes detailed examinations of Schmitt, Foucault, Habermas, Agamben, and many others. His treatments of these figures seek to draw out the genuine insights they might offer, so that, even though none of the figures escapes the force of his criticism, his argument will challenge the assumptions of all involved in the debate.’

– David Dyzenhaus, University of Toronto, Canada

20 February 2014

BOOK: Stern's 'The Trial of Dorian Gray'

Oxford University Press is near to publishing a new book: ‘Dorian Gray in the Twenty-First Century’ (Richard Kaye, ed.). At this time, the chapter written by Simon Stern is available online. It’s entitled 'The Trial of Dorian Gray'.


Wilde’s three trials in 1895 served, in effect, as an obscenity prosecution of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890/91). Though the novel was not formally charged with obscenity, Dorian Gray’s first reviewers suggested that it was obscene, and the book remained unavailable in England for nearly two decades after Wilde’s trials. The novel's relation to Wilde's trials thus raises a number of questions about the use of fiction as legal evidence and about the ways in which a criminal prosecution might be taken to reveal the meaning of the defendant's writings. This essay discusses the late Victorian campaign against obscene literature and the victims of that campaign; the reviews of the original version of Dorian Gray (in Lippincott's Magazine, 1890); the oblique manner in which the innuendo about its obscenity functioned during Wilde's three trials (1895); Wilde's own ironic engagement, at several key points in the novel, with the conception of influence at work in the legal test governing the evaluation of obscenity (R. v. Hicklin, 1868); the relation of the painting itself, and of the notorious French novel that Dorian borrows from Lord Henry, to that conception of influence; and Wilde's reenactment of his ironic perspective at the narrative level.

The Chapter is avaliable here.

ARTICLE: Michaels on Law Beyond the State

The Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies has published an interesting article of Ralf Michaels, 'The True Lex Mercatoria: Law Beyond the State'.


Is there an anational lex mercatoria, a “global law without a state?” The debate seemsinfinite. Some argue that the rules, institutions, and procedures of international arbitration have now achieved a sufficient degree both of autonomy from the state and of legal character that they represent such an anational law. Others respond that whatever law merchant may exist is really state law—dependent on national norms and the freedom of contract they provide, and on the enforceability of arbitral awards by national courts.This paper suggests that the dichotomy of anational law and state law is false. Al- though an anational law merchant would be theoretically possible, the true lex merca- toria we are currently observing is not such an anational law. Rather, it is an emerging global commercial law that freely combines elements from national and non-nationallaw. This transnational law presents a far more radical challenge to traditional state-based conceptions of law than the idea of an anational law. It makes the distinction between anational law and state law that permeates the debate over law merchant simplyirrelevant by transcending it. The true lex mercatoria marks the shift in global law from segmentary differentiation in different national laws to a functional differentiation. It is a law beyond, not without, the state.

The paper is avaliable on academia.edu.

19 February 2014

COMMENT: Michaels on “Law as the Study of Norms” – Foundational Subjects and Interdisciplinarity in Germany and the United States

BLOG: Hage on Racism as Excessive Legalism

ARTICLE: Poscher on Hermeneutics & Law

CONFERENCE: Opportunities for Law's Intellectual History - The Baldy Center Conference

BOOK: Sachedina on Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights

LEGAL EDUCATION: Prospects of Legal Scholarship in Germany

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Law and Boundaries/Droit et Limites

HUMOUR: Is This The Craziest Law Professor Job Application Ever?

18 February 2014

BOOKS: New Titles Available From Edward Elgar Publishing

The following titles are now available from Edward Elgar Publishing:

Competition Law in Japan and the EU
By: Etsuko Kameoka
This exciting new book embarks on a comparative analysis of competition law and policy in Japan and the EU. It provides a clear and carefully researched exposition of the differences between the relevant rules, systems and underlying ideas of the two jurisdictions, together with the relevant historical backgrounds.

The author chooses to discuss the main areas of competition law in these jurisdictions, with particular focus placed on the gaps between the written law and practice, including analysis of the current debates that suggest future directions in competition and policy will aim towards harmonization of both systems.

Competition Law and Policy in Japan and EU will strongly appeal to academics, researchers, public enforcers, practitioners, in-house counsel and students.       

Corporate Social Responsibility in Contemporary China
By: Jingchen Zhao
China’s recent economic transformation and integration into the world economy has coincided with increasing pressure for corporate law reform to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) integral to business and management strategy in China. This timely book critically analyses contemporary notions of CSR in China, discussing theory and practice alongside legal responses in this emerging field.

ARTICLE: Zumbansen on Transnational Legal Discourse

The following article is now available on SSRN:

"Transnational Legal Discourse: Reflections on My Time with the German Law Journal"
German Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 12, 2013
Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 60/2013


This paper looks back at the first decade and a half of the German Law Journal, an online law review launched in 2000 and co-founded/co-edited by the author from 2000 until 2013. The refereed Journal, published monthly in English, began with case notes and essays on German, European and International high court decisions, and over time grew into a lively transnational forum for critical legal commentary. With a worldwide readership and authors ranging from law students to Supreme Court Justices, the Journal has long been both a launching pad for emerging scholars‘ writing careers and a vehicle for critical intervention from established scholars and seasoned practitioners. The GLJ provides a unique space for intellectual collaboration and thought exchange, for thematic symposia and timely engagement with newest legal-political developments. Tracing the evolution and publication record of the Journal since its start, the short essay highlights some of the GLJ’s main contributions to transnational legal discourse, scholarship, and legal education, and emphasizes, the significance of border-crossing scholarly collaboration, critical engagement and student mentoring.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Osgoode Forum: Law-Dissent-Power

A Call For Papers has been issued for the 2014 Osgoode Forum: "Law - Dissent - Power" May 10-11, 2014, Toronto.

We would like to invite all scholars, activists, and artists in Law and other disciplines whose research touches on or intersects with Law to submit abstracts for the 2014 Osgoode Forum - Osgoode Hall Law School's Annual Graduate Student Conference. This year's theme is "Law, Dissent, and Power". The Forum will take place on May 10-11, 2014, with an optional welcome dinner on May 9, 2014, in Down Town Toronto. For complete information please see our website http://glsa.osgoode.yorku.ca/forum-2014

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Abstract Submission: EXTENDED February 15, 2014 - Paper Draft: May 1, 2014

Please send your abstract and papers, with the subject line "2014 GLSA Forum" and "abstract" or "paper draft" (as appropriate) to glsa@osgoode.yorku.ca

OVERVIEW: Dissent - the critique of and opposition to dominant or official views, practices, and policies - is a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. Meaningful participation through advocacy can occur in many forums, including in legislature(s), in court(s), in the media, and in the street(s). The right to dissent and to advocate for alternative understandings through co-operative action and communication underpins the capacity to engage with public policy and political issues. The rights enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - conscience, thought, opinion, expression, communication, assembly, and association - demonstrate the importance of social dissent in free and democratic societies.

OPPORTUNITY: Juris Diversitas Web Editor and Bloggers Needed

Juris Diversitas seeks volunteers for its BlogFacebook, and Twitter pages:

Web Editor would have primary responsibility for the development of the Blog and related pages. The Editor would work closely with our Executive and additional bloggers. At most, only a few hours a week would be required and individuals needn’t have previous blogging experience.

Guest Bloggers would be permitted to create discursive, opinion-oriented posts, within the bounds of our aims, for an agreed period of time. The time commitment is likely to be minimal and individuals needn’t have previous blogging experience.

Numerous individual Bloggers would commit to making the occasional informative or discursive posts, largely by collating existing information on events, publications, etc. The time commitment for this will be minimal and individuals needn’t have previous blogging experience.

Interested individuals should contact me at sean.donlan@ul.ie. 

It's easier than you think ...

BLOG: Colonial Comparative Legal History

I was recently reminded of the interesting work on Colonial Case Law being done by Bruce Kercher and Peter Bullock at Macquarie University in Australia:

R. v. Petty, 1849
This site is devoted to uncovering the hidden case law of the British empire's colonial courts. The overall aim is to encourage the development of a comparative legal history of the British empire. The more we study the case law of the empire's courts, the more we see that it was characterised by a pluralist web of influence rather than one way traffic from London downwards. The judges often served in more than one colony, and took their previous experience with them when they travelled to a new place. The local people in each of the colonies often developed their own approaches to the law, which they sometimes managed to have elevated into formal case law. According to reception of law principles, the empire's law ought to have been fundamentally English. It was usually that, but not always. The term imperial might better describe the empire's law, except that it carries implications of strict hierarchical authority which was often lacking in practice. At least until the middle of the nineteenth century, the empire's restrictions were sometimes more a matter of form than substance....

The site is, however, no longer limited to British cases. Those like me who wish to see more dialogue between traditional, European comparative legal history and other varieties more informed by cultural studies, post-colonialism, social sciences, would do well to have a look. 

LECTURE: Thornhill on The Sociological Origins of Global Law


Professor Christopher Thornhill
Chaired by Professor Richard Nobles

6.30pm Wednesday 26 March 2014
Arts 2 Lecture Theatre
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS

To reserve a place please visit www.clsgc.eventbrite.co.uk

The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC), Queen Mary University of London is pleased to welcome Professor Christopher Thornhill to present the first annual CLSGC lecture. This event will be chaired by Professor Richard Nobles, Queen Mary University of London.

Chris Thornhill is Professor in Law at the University of Manchester, UK. He is the author of a number of publications on the sociological origins of constitutional law and transnational public law, and he has played a central role in promoting the sociology of constitutions as a sub-division of legal sociology. His works on legal sociology and jurisprudence have been translated into many languages. He is currently researching for a book on the sociology of transnational constitutional law. His research is funded by the European Research Council.

The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) is a home for multidisciplinary research into the global dimensions of law and society. At its core, the CLSGC aims to work towards a better theorisation of law in its changing social contexts, exploring the challenges posed for this endeavour by law’s increasingly important global dimensions. This as an open collaborative project, welcoming the insights of socio-legal and doctrinal scholars working in any area of law. The Centre understands ‘global context’ broadly, encompassing transnational, international, regional, supra-state, and (where relevant) sub-state phenomena.

The aim is to combine both contemporary and historical approaches, recognising that the global dimension of law and society is, in many respects, not a new phenomenon. Apart from undertaking collaborative research, we also supervise post-graduate research, and regularly host workshops, seminars and conferences.

» This event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all attendees are invited.

ePAPER: Mariya Tait Slys on The Rise and Fall of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Ottoman Empire and China

Exporting Legality – Mariya Tait SlysMariya Tait Slys, Exporting Legality: The Rise and Fall of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Ottoman Empire and China

How did two radically different legal cultures, those of the Ottomans and the Chinese, gradually acquire a legal architecture analogous to that of Europe? This ePaper attempts to answer this question by providing a comparative study in legal history of the rise and demise of extraterritorial consular jurisdiction, utilizing a post-colonial and inter-disciplinary approach to international law. The study reveals that the establishment of consular jurisdiction during the nineteenth century was closely linked to the process of legal ‘modernization’ that affected many Asian and Arab societies. As such, this study contributes to the explanation of the gradual convergence of many non-Western traditional legal cultures with typically continental legal structures. This ePaper provides an in-depth analysis of the origin, further development and termination of this controversial institution of public international law as applied to the Ottoman Empire and China.

Very interesting. SPD

VIDEO: Hannah Dawson and Sam Willis on the history of ideas and obeying the law

JOURNAL: Confederation of the Channel Islands? Next Steps


17 July (evening) to 19 July 2014
Faculty of Law and Political Science –
Aix-Marseille University - Aix-en-Provence, France


Inherently interdisciplinary, the conference’s primary focus will be comparative law’s links to a wide variety of other disciplines and themes (e.g., anthropology, economics, feminism, history, the humanities, legal education, legal philosophy, literature, politics …). Proposals may be theoretical analyses or case studies on the past or present, North or South, East or West …

Proposals may be in either English or in French. Any proposal on comparative law will be considered. Panel proposals are strongly encouraged, as is the participation of doctoral students and scholars from outside of the discipline of law.

Proposals of circa 250 words (or 1000 words for panel proposals) should be submitted to Olivier Moréteau at moreteau@lsu.edu by 28 February 2014. Please attach a short biography or resume.

Registration fees are €200 (€125 for Juris Diversitas members paid up for 2014). Membership information and information on fee payment is available on the Juris Diversitas Blog (http://jurisdiversitas.blogspot.ie/).

Note that registration fees don’t cover travel, accommodation, or the conference dinner (€50).


CONFERENCE: International Graduate Legal Research Conference (IGLRC)

RELIGION: One-Minute Animated Primers on Major Theories of Religion

ARTICLE: Hamoudi on Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law’

Haider Ala Hamoudi (Pittsburgh), a friend of Juris Diversitas, has posted his ‘Decolonizing the Centralist Mind: Legal Pluralismand the Rule of Law’ on SSRN.

The abstract reads:

By and large, in the study of the rule of law and in programmatic efforts in the field to develop it, sufficient heed has not been paid to the lessons that legal pluralism has laid bare. These are that in any social field, there is more than one legal system in operation, and state law by no means reigns supreme over all. State law quite often plays a role of course, and in some cases, that role is quite significant. Yet invariably it operates together — in coordination or competition, as the case may be — with other legal systems in the same social field, each of which is “semi-autonomous” in its workings and none of which enjoys any sort of monopoly on the maintenance of order. Indeed, there is much evidence that the role of the state as a global matter is evolving in a fashion that might very well decrease its influence in this complex system of multiple sources of order, rather than the reverse. Until and unless rule of law reformers grow acculturated to these realities, internalize them and incorporate them into their operations, efforts to institute the rule of law are likely to fall well short of expectations. 

17 February 2014

JOURNAL: European Criminal Law Review

We are pleased to let you know that Hart Publishing has published Volume 3, Number 3 of the European Criminal Law Review.

The Definition of Criminal Sanction in the EU
Jacob Őberg

Danish Criminal Law and the EU
Trine Baumbach

‘A Tale of Two Cities’ in three themes – A Critique of the European Union’s Approach to Cybercrime from a ‘Power’ versus ‘Rights’ Perspective
Yannis Naziris

Contemporary Social Fueling the Genocide Intent: Hate Speech and Hate Crimes. Legal Remarks for a Common Definition and Related Operational Preventing Mechanisms
Christiana Carletti

Satellite Tailing and Fundamental Rights: A Comparative Study
Iovene Federica

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: 5th Global Conference: Space and Place

5th Global Conference: Space and Place
Wednesday 3rd September - Friday 5th September 2014
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom 

Call for Presentations

Questions of space and place affect the very way in which we experience and recreate the world. Wars are fought over both real and imagined spaces; boundaries are erected against the "Other" constructing a lived landscape of division and disenfranchisement; while ideology constructs a national identity based upon the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion. The construction of space and place is also a fundamental aspect of the creative arts either through the art of reconstruction of a known space or in establishing a relationship between the audience and the performance. Politics, power and knowledge are also fundamental components of space as is the relationship between visibility and invisibility. This new inter- and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks to explore these and other topics and open up a dialogue about the politics and practices of space and place. We seek submissions from a range of disciplines including archaeology, architecture, urban geography, the visual and creative arts, philosophy and politics and also actively encourage practitioners and non-academics with an interest in the topic to participate.