29 December 2018

The 20th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019)

The 20th International Roundtable 

for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2019)


The Limits of Law

 Hosted by Instituto Jurídico da Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Coimbra (UCILeR - University of Coimbra Institute for Legal Research) / Portugal

Theme: The Limits of Law


In a time of plurality and difference which is also, significantly, a time of aproblematic (if not naif) panjuridism, the discussion of the limits of law is not a frequent or obvious explicit topos. On the one hand, the diagnosis of plurality and difference favours  the conclusion-claim that  «the sense of the expression the “law” is constructed internally, and separately, within the system of semantic values of each [semiotic] group» (B.F. Jackson) – which means arguing that only «the signifier» is common, not the «signified», as well as admitting an implacable diversity of interpretative communities (involving incommensurable cultural-civilizational, political, ethical and professional codes or canons). On the other hand, the celebration of panjuridism, successfully corroborated by the relentless emergence of ultraspecialized dogmatic fields (from health law to biolaw, from robotics law to geo-law), justifies a passive assimilation of hetero-referentially constructed interpretations of social need, reducing law to a mere conventional order (with contingently settled frontiers) or even to an ensemble of institutionally effective coactive  resources — which in any case means depriving juridicity or juridicalness of any practical-cultural specific or intrinsic (non-contingent) sense claim. However, do our present circumstances condemn us to this complacent nominalism, preventing us from attributing any effective relevance to the problem of the limits of law? Even without departing from the “semio-narrative” ground (and its external point of view), it may be said that plurality and difference do not exclude a productive exploration of intersemiotic aspirations (if not inter-semiocity) — relating differently contextualized claims of juridicity and paving the way for the reconstruction of plausible arguments of continuity. These arguments may, in turn, justify a return to the well-known questions on the concept and/or the nature of law (in the sense in which, in an all or nothing approach,  Hart and Raz have taught us to understand this), and may also, conversely, lead to the reinvention of an archetypal or aspirational perspective (Fuller, Simmonds), in relation to which the reconstituted features of the autonomy and the limits of law do not represent characteristics but rather guiding intentions or constitutive aspirations or promises (if not desiderata), with reference to which past or present expressions and their institutional instances should permanently be judged. Following this path in fact means acknowledging how the problem of limits becomes an indispensable thematic core whenever the reflexive agenda involves rethinking law’s autonomy (or rethinking this autonomy beyond the possibilities of legal formalism), as an autonomy or claim to autonomy which should be seriously considered in terms of its cultural-civilizational specific (non-universal) base, as a decisive manifestation of European identity and European heritage (Castanheira Neves). It is precisely this critical-reflexive connection between issues of sense and limits (aspirations and borders) which, in terms of law, as well as considering the challenges of a société post-juridique (F. Ost), our roundtable aims to explore. This means discussing the growing weight of heteroreferential elements (invoking  philosophy and economics, literary criticism and sociology, epistemology and ethics, politics, political morality and social engineering as plausible key arenas), which not only interfere (as contextual conditions) with juridical discursive practices but also wound these practices (and their autonomous intelligibility) by functionalizing them  (diluting their specificity in a new practical holism), or at least condemning them to permanent «boundary disputes» (David Howarth). However, this discussion also leads directly to the consideration of specific (real, hypothetical and even fictionalized) case-exempla, including the so-called «tragic cases» (Atienza), which enable us to experience the limits of law’s responsivity or even the impossibility of obtaining plausible correct legal answers. The roundtable will, as usual, favour a practical-cultural context open to multiple perspectives and involving the productive intertwining of juridical and non-juridical approaches.

Confirmed plenary speakers: François Ost (Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles), Manuel Atienza (Universidad de Alicante), Pierre Moor (Université de Lausanne), Fernando José Bronze (Universidade de Coimbra) and J. M. Aroso Linhares (Universidade de Coimbra)

Abstracts of 300 words (max.) should be submitted by January 15th, 2019 to José Manuel Aroso Linhares (Organizer) (jmarolinh@gmail.com)  and Anne Wagner (valwagnerfr@yahoo.com) with participation decisions made by January 30th, 2019.  Selected papers will be invited for publication in a special issue of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (Springer: http://www.springer.com/lawjournal11196) and/or for inclusion in an edited volume.

Respecting the tradition, the roundtable languages will be English and French.

Organizational Committee: J M Aroso Linhares, M.A. Reis Marques, Ana M. Gaudêncio, Inês F. Godinho 

Registration period: from 4th February to 15th April 2019*  

- General (professionals):

1 – Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** + Dinner**** - 200 €

2 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** - 165 €

3 - Registration**   + Dinner**** - 185 €

4 - Registration** - 150 € 

- Students (including PhD candidates):   

1 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) + Dinner - 160 €

2 - Registration**   + Excursion (Guided tour) *** - 125 €

3 - Registration**   + Dinner**** - 145 €

4 - Registration** - 110 €                       

* The information concerning payment possibilities will be available the 28th January, a week before the beginning of the registration period. 

 ** Registration fees include the roundtable materials, 4 coffee breaks and 3 lunches (from the 23rd to the 25th May).

***The excursion (Guided tour) [15€ ] will take place on the 24th  May (afternoon)

****The dinner [35 €] will take place on the 24th May. 

24 December 2018

Law and Evil The Evolutionary Perspective

Law and Evil

The Evolutionary Perspective

Wojciech Załuski

Law and Evil presents an alternative evolutionary picture of man, focusing on the origins and nature of human evil, and demonstrating its useful application in legal-philosophical analyses. Using this representation of human nature, Wojciech Załuski analyses the development of law, which he interprets as moving from evolutionary ethics to genuine ethics, as well as arguing in favour of metaethical realism and ius naturale.

(Subjects: philosophy of law, evolution, natural law, evil)

The Turning Point in Private Law Ecology, Technology and the Commons

The Turning Point in Private Law

Ecology, Technology and the Commons

Ugo Mattei, Alessandra Quarta

Can private law assume an ecological meaning? Can property and contract defend nature? Is tort law an adequate tool for paying environmental damages to future generations? The Turning Point in Private Law explores potential resolutions to these questions, analyzing the evolution of legal thinking in relation to the topics of legal personality, property, contract and tort. The authors pose a suggested list of basic principles for a new, ecological legal system in which private law represents a valid ally for defending our future.

(Subjects: private law, contracts, property, torts, personality, ecology, environmental law)

Petroleum Resource Management How Governments Manage Their Offshore Petroleum Resources

Petroleum Resource Management

How Governments Manage Their Offshore Petroleum Resources

John A.P. Chandler

This thought-provoking book examines how countries manage their offshore petroleum resources by comparing the different approaches to licensing and regulation taken by Australia, Norway and the UK. It is based on extensive research into their policies and management practices, including interviews with government regulators and companies. These countries all face similar challenges as their offshore petroleum basins mature which means smaller discoveries, marginal production and ageing infrastructure. John Chandler analyses how their petroleum policy, systems of regulation, and regulators developed up to the present, and how they are responding to these challenges, as well as how they deal with exploration, development, infrastructure sharing and production.

(Subjects: offshore petroleum resources, policies, exploration, development, infrastructure sharing, production management practices, regulations) 

International Agricultural Law and Policy A Rights-Based Approach to Food Security

International Agricultural Law and Policy

A Rights-Based Approach to Food Security

Hope Johnson

Globalised agriculture and food systems are at the crux of significant issues facing humanity from the rise in diet-related diseases to water pollution and biodiversity loss. Yet, legal scholarship on the regulation of agriculture and food is only now emerging. This timely book provides the first systematic analysis of the public international rules influencing agriculture. Each chapter considers the regulatory instruments that intersect with different components of agricultural systems from land tenure and soils through to agricultural in-puts and trade.

(Subjects: agriculture, food systems, public international law, regulatory law, property law)

Comparative Labour Law

Comparative Labour Law

Edited by Anne Trebilcock

This comprehensive collection offers an array of distinguished papers from within the sphere of comparative labour law, covering the subject's most compelling and thought-provoking questions. Topics include the uses and limits of comparative labour law, the enforcement of labour rights and the methods of comparative labour law. Prefaced with an original introduction by the editor, this collection promises to be a useful research tool for scholars and practitioners, as well as a fascinating read for those interested in the field.

(Subjects: comparative labour law)

Comparative Contract Law

Comparative Contract Law

Edited by Pier Giuseppe Monateri

This comprehensive Handbook offers a thoughtful survey of contract theories, issues and cases in order to reassess the field's present vision of contract law. It engages a critical search for the fault lines which cross traditions of thought and globalized landscapes. Comparative Contract Law is built around four main groups of insights, including: the genealogies of contractual theoretical thinking; the contentious relationship between private governance and normative regulations; the competing styles used to stage contract law; and the concurring opinions expressed within the domain of other disciplines, such as literature and political theory. The chapters in the book tease out the tensions between a global context and local frameworks as well as the movable thresholds between canonical expressions and heterodox constructions.

(Subjects: comparative contract law) 

Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace

Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace

Chris Reed, Andrew Murray

Cyberspace is a difficult area for lawyers and lawmakers. With no physical constraining borders, the question of who is the legitimate lawmaker for cyberspace is complex. Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace examines how laws can gain legitimacy in cyberspace and identifies the limits of the law's authority in this space.

(Subjects: computer law, cyberspace, comparative private law, competition law)

Reframing Corporate Governance

Reframing Corporate Governance. Company Law Beyond Law and Economics

Javier Reyes

This stimulating book offers an astute analysis of corporate governance from both a historical and a philosophical point of view. Exploring how the modern corporation developed, from Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages up to the present day, Javier Reyes identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the mainstream theory of the firm as put forward by the law and economics school of thought.

(Subjects: economic law, corporate law)

The Scales of Weighing Regulatory Costs Technology, Geography, and Time

The Scales of Weighing Regulatory Costs Technology, Geography, and Time

Jamison E. Colburn

This book examines the calculation and evaluation of regulatory costs by regulators in accordance with a legislative mandate. A serious limitation in that enterprise, the possibility of technological change and innovation, often compromises those efforts and has long been under-appreciated in standard ‘cost-benefit analysis.' Regulators who study the inducement of innovation and the avoidance of regulatory costs by the regulated often find significant cost-saving opportunities, leading to more stringent and more effective risk governance. Ultimately, the weighing of costs in this more elaborate model is more than simple welfare maximization. It views regulatory costs as important to society for a range of reasons, some grounded in fairness and some in deliberative process values, as a society seeks to minimize all costs over time.

(Subjects: international trade law, regulations, regulatory law)

Energy Justice. US and International Perspectives

Energy Justice 

US and International Perspectives

Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez, Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner

Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives is a pioneering analysis of energy law and policy through the framework of energy justice. While climate change has triggered unprecedented investment in renewable energy, the concept of energy justice and its practical application to energy law and policy remain under-theorized. This volume breaks new ground by examining a range of energy justice regulatory challenges from the perspective of international law, US law, and foreign domestic law. The book illuminates the theory of energy justice while emphasizing practical solutions that hasten the transition from fossil fuels and address the inequities that plague energy systems.

(Subjects: Environmental law, Energy Law)

Conceptualising Property Law

Conceptualising Property Law

Yaëll Emerich

Conceptualising Property Law offers a transsystemic and integrated approach to common law and civil law property. Property law has traditionally been excluded from comparative law analysis, common law and civil law property being deemed irreconcilable. With this book, Ya'll Emerich aims to dispel the myth that comparison between these two systems of property is impossible. By establishing a dialogue between common law and civil law property, it becomes clear that the two legal traditions share common ground in the way that they address legal, cultural, and social issues related to property and wealth.

(Subjects: Property Law)

Advanced Introduction to Law and Globalisation

Advanced Introduction to Law and Globalisation

Jaakko Husa

This Advanced Introduction offers a fresh critical analysis of various dimensions of law and globalisation, drawing on historical, normative, theoretical, and linguistic methodologies. Its comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach spans the fields of global legal pluralism, comparative legal studies, and international law.

(Subjects: Global Jurist, Global Law, globalisation)