December 7, 2016

Crewe on Gangs and Culture

Don Crewe, Leeds Beckett University, School of Social Sciences, is publishing Gang: Culture. Eidos and Process in volume 6 of the Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2016). Here is the abstract (in both English and Spanish).
English Abstract: The terms ‘gang’ and ‘culture’ are used with varying degrees of (im)precision in different fields of academe, media, public, and policy; and this paper will contend that this circumstance provides a fertile ground for the reification of these two concepts. It will suggest that this phenomenon of reification has already taken hold in various parts of the study of gangs more recently, and in cultural criminology in a more established way. This paper will deconstruct the concepts ‘gang’ and ‘culture’ and attempt to reconstruct them in a way that opens up the discourse of ‘gangs’ and ‘culture’ such that better sense may be made of the phenomena that these terms are intended to evoke.

Spanish Abstract: Los terminos "banda" y "cultura" se usan con diferentes grados de (im)precisión en distintos ámbitos del mundo académico, medios de comunicación, público y política. En este artículo se defiende que esta circunstancia ofrece un campo fértil para la cosificación de estos dos conceptos. Se sugiere que este fenómeno de cosificación ya ha arraigado de diversa forma en los estudios de bandas recientes, y en la criminología cultural de forma más consolidada. Este artículo deconstruye los conceptos "banda" y "cultura" e intenta reconstruirlos de forma que se abra el discurso sobre "bandas" y "cultura" para tener una sensación mejor del fenómeno que estos términos intentan evocar.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Lizzie Borden's Back...With a Vengeance

The Guardian takes a look at the enduring interest with Lizzie Borden and the events of August 4, 1892, as new popular culture entries, including a film, a novel, and a musical focus on the enigmatic Massachusetts woman who may have been the U.S.'s ultimate daddy's girl. More here.

December 6, 2016

Drumbl on The Kapo on film: Tragic Perpetrators and Imperfect Victims

Mark A. Drumbl, Washington and Lee University School of Law, has published The Kapo on Film: Tragic Perpetrators and Imperfect Victims as Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2016-13. Here is the abstract.
The Nazis compelled, enlisted, and ‘promoted’ detainees into the administration of the labor and death camps. These detainees were called Kapos. The Kapos constitute a particularly contested, and at times tabooified, element of Holocaust remembrance. Some Kapos deployed their situational authority to ease the conditions of other prisoners, while others acted cruelly and committed abuses. This project explores treatment of the Kapo on film. This paper considers two films: Kapò (1959 dir. Pontecorvo (Italy)) and Kapo (2000 dir. Setton (Israel)), and additionally one stage play, Kapo in Jerusalem (2013 dir. Lerner (Israel)) which derives from a film of the same title (2014 dir. Barbash (Israel)). While these works do not explicitly consider international criminal law, they vivify themes of agency, blame, survival, shame, sacrifice, and recrimination with which law grapples. These two films vary in genre: a pulpy feature fiction film (Kapò (1959)) and a controversially-received documentary reportage (Kapo 2000); the stageplay (Kapo in Jerusalem), itself derivative of a film of the same title, is a fictional (and gripping) drama drawn from the experiences of an actual Auschwitz Kapo. This paper interrogates how these creative works portray victim-perpetrator circularity; how they contribute to history, memory, and recollection; and didactically how they explain ‘what happened,’ ‘why,’ and ‘what to do now’. This paper additionally contrasts cinematographic accounts and criminal law’s accounts, in particular, those in Israel’s Kapo trials. In the 1950’s, the Knesset passed legislation – the Nazi and Nazi Collaboration Punishment Act – to criminally charge suspected Jewish Kapos who had emigrated to the state of Israel following the Holocaust. Authorities conducted approximately forty prosecutions. The trials were awkward, the language of judgment gnarly, the absolutes of conviction or acquittal crudely reductionist, and the judges ‘trembled’ at having to sentence. This paper contends that cinematographic depictions of victim-victimizers can sooth the criminal law’s anxieties by filling spaces ill-served by the criminal law.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Slocum on Pragmatics and Legal Texts: How Best To Account For the Gaps Between Literal Meaning and Communicative Meaning

Brian G. Slocum, McGeorge School of Law, is publishing Pragmatics and Legal Texts: How Best to Account for the Gaps between Literal Meaning and Communicative Meaning in The Pragmatic Turn in Law: Inference and Interpretation in Legal Discourse (de Gruyter Mouton, 2017) (Mouton Series of Pragmatics). Here is the abstract.
It is often assumed or asserted by courts and scholars that the literal meaning of a legal text is co-terminous with its communicative meaning, but such an understanding is mistaken. There is often a gap between the two. Accounting for that gap, though, raises difficult issues. The linguistic phenomena responsible for the gap between literal and communicative meaning can be identified as involving pragmatic processes (Recanati 2004). In evaluating these pragmatic processes, theories that offer accounts of specific linguistic phenomena offer conceptual advantages compared to more reductive theories that seek to identify deep underlying principles of communication applicable across various linguistic phenomena. In all cases, for a linguistic theory to be useful it must, as a general matter, be explanatory and persuasive and, importantly, offer some insight into the interpretation of legal texts. This paper argues that the legal meaning of a legal text is generally constrained by its communicative meaning, demonstrates the gap between literal meaning and communicative meaning, and finally argues in favor of theories that explain pragmatic processes in terms of specific systematic effects in language.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Bracha on Owning Ideas: The Intellectual Origins of American Intellectual Property, 1790-1909 (from Cambridge University Press)

Oren Bracha, University of Texas, Austin, has published Owning Ideas: The Intellectual Origins of American Intellectual Property, 1790–1909 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Owning Ideas is a comprehensive account of the emergence of the concept of intellectual property in the United States during the long nineteenth century. In the modern information era, intellectual property has become a central economic and cultural phenomenon and an important lever for allocating wealth and power. This book uncovers the intellectual origins of this modern concept of private property in ideas through a close study of its emergence within the two most important areas of this field: patent and copyright. By placing the development of legal concepts within their social context, this study reconstructs the radical transformation of the idea. Our modern notion of owning ideas, it argues, came into being when the ideals of eighteenth-century possessive individualism at the heart of early patent and copyright were subjected to the forces and ideology of late-nineteenth-century corporate liberalism.

Fills a gap in the literature by investigating the ideas of American patent and copyright in their formative period in history

The examination of both patent and copyright ideas allows for a comparative dimension to the discussion, exploring elements of divergence and convergence between these two major fields

Functions as a legal-intellectual history which is sensitive to social context

 Owning Ideas

Habermas on the Making of the German Legal System: A New Book from Cambridge University Press

Rebekka Habermas, Georg-Augst-Universitaet, Goettingen, has published Thieves in Court: The Making of the German Legal System in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (Publications of the German Historical Institute). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the contents.
From the seemingly insignificant theft of some bread and a dozen apples in nineteenth century rural Germany, to the high courts and modern-day property laws, this English-language translation of Habermas' Diebe vor Gericht explores how everyday incidents of petty stealing and the ordinary people involved in these cases came to shape the current legal system. Habermas draws from an unusual cache of archival documents of theft cases, tracing the evolution and practice of the legal system of Germany through the nineteenth century. This close reading, relying on approaches of legal anthropology, challenges long-standing narratives of legal development, state building, and modern notions of the rule of law. Ideal for legal historians and scholars of modern German and nineteenth-century European history, this innovative volume steps outside the classic narratives of legal history and gives an insight into the interconnectedness of social, legal and criminal history.

Proposes a new understanding of legal systems providing readers an alternative to classic narratives of legal development, state building, and modern notions of the rule of law

Offers a transdisciplinary approach by combining legal, criminal, and media history, and history of knowledge

The focus on case-studies in nineteenth-century rural Germany gives an innovative insight into how ordinary people and events influence large scale legal structures

McMahon on Reasonableness and Fairness: A Historical Theory

Christopher McMahon, University of California, Santa Barbara, has published Reasonableness and Fairness: A Historical Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
We all know, or think we know, what it means to say that something is 'reasonable' or 'fair', but what exactly are these concepts and how have they evolved and changed over the course of history? In this book, Christopher McMahon explores reasonableness, fairness, and justice as central concepts of the morality of reciprocal concern. He argues that the basis of this morality evolves as history unfolds, so that forms of interaction that might have been morally acceptable in the past are judged unacceptable today. The first part of his study examines the notions of reasonableness and fairness as they are employed in ordinary practical thought, and the second part develops a constructivist theory to explain why and how this part of morality can undergo historical development without arriving at any final form. His book will interest scholars of ethics, political theory, and the history of ideas.

Relates moral reasoning to its historical context

Provides an account of reasonable disagreement, enabling readers to gain insight into the structure of moral, and especially political, disagreements

Develops a meta-ethical theory that bridges the divide between realist views and anti-realist views

 Reasonableness and Fairness

Olson on Reading, Consciousness, and Rationality: A New Book from Cambridge University Press

David R. Olson, University of Toronto, has published The Mind on Paper: Reading, Consciousness and Rationality (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Here is a description, from the publisher's website, of the book's contents.
Although the importance of literacy is widely acknowledged in society and remains at the top of the political agenda, writing has been slow to establish a place in the cognitive sciences. Olson argues that to understand the cognitive implications of literacy, it is necessary to see reading and writing as providing access to and consciousness of aspects of language, such as phonemes, words and sentences, that are implicit and unconscious in speech. Reading and writing create a system of metarepresentational concepts that bring those features of language into consciousness as a subject of discourse. This consciousness of language is essential not only to acquiring literacy but also to the formation of systematic thought and rationality. The Mind on Paper is a compelling exploration of what literacy does for our speech and hence for our thought, and will be of interest to readers in developmental psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and education.

Presents a general theory of how reading and writing invite a new and distinctive consciousness of language

Finds a significant place for writing in the cognitive and educational sciences

Shows that the 'reading wars' can be resolved by a better understanding of the role of metarepresentational knowledge in reading and learning to read

The Mind on Paper 

December 5, 2016

Canadian Journal of Women and Law/Revue femmes et droit Issues Call For Submissions: Race, Gender, and Law: A Tribute to the Scholarship of Sherene Razack

Call for Submissions - Race, Gender and Law: A tribute to the scholarship of Sherene Razack

The Canadian Journal of Women and Law (CJWL) seeks submissions for a special issue 30(2) to be published in December 2018 on Race, Gender and Law: A tribute to the scholarship of Sherene Razack (guest edited by Gada Mahrouse, Carmela Murdocca, and Leslie Thielen-Wilson).

The deadline for submitting articles for this special issue is September 1, 2017. Dr. Sherene Razack is one of Canada’s leading critical race feminist theorists. She is especially known for developing an analytic that shows: 1. how racial violence is often legally and socially authorized and is integral to the making of states; and 2. how racial violence is gendered and sexualized.

This special issue is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of her ground-breaking book Looking White People in the Eye (now in its fourth edition) and her important and on-going contributions to the interdisciplinary field of critical race feminisms and socio-legal studies. We invite articles in English and French from academics, legal scholars, educators, and activists, working in the areas of gender, race, and law. We are interested in receiving articles that are explicitly informed by Razack’s methodology or any other important aspect of her work.

Submissions should be no more than 35 pages (10,000 words) and should conform to the Style Guide available on our website: Please send articles in word format indicating it is for the special issue on “Race, Gender and the Law.” to:

Appel à contributions La race, le genre et le droit : commémoration des travaux de Sherene Razack La Revue femmes et droit sollicite des textes pour un numéro spécial 30(2), à paraître en décembre 2018, sur la race, le genre et le droit : commémoration des travaux de Sherene Razack (rédaction assurée par les rédactrices invitées Gada Mahrouse, Leslie Thielen-Wilson et Carmela Murdocca,).

Les articles pour ce numéro spécial doivent être soumis d’ici le 1er septembre 2017 au plus tard. La professeure Sherene Razack est une des théoriciennes féministes critiques de la race les plus influentes au Canada. Elle est particulièrement reconnue pour avoir élaboré une analyse qui montre : 1. comment la violence raciale est fréquemment autorisée sur les plans juridique et social et fait partie intégrante de la composition des États ; et 2. comment la violence raciale est sexospécifique et sexualisée.

Ce numéro spécial commémore le vingtième anniversaire de son livre révolutionnaire Looking White People in the Eye (qui en est à présent à sa quatrième édition) et ses contributions majeures et continues au champ interdisciplinaire des féminismes critiques de la race et des études sociojuridiques. Nous sommes à la recherche d’articles en anglais et en français rédigés par des professeurs et chercheurs en droit, des juristes, des éducateurs et des activistes qui travaillent dans les domaines du genre, de la race et du droit.

Nous sommes intéressés à recevoir des articles explicitement influencés par la méthodologie de S. Razack ou par tout autre aspect important de ses travaux. Les articles soumis ne doivent pas dépasser 35 pages (10 000 mots) et doivent se conformer au Guide Stylistique, disponible sur notre site Web à :

Prière de faire parvenir vos textes/articles à « Edition spéciale sur la race, le genre et le droit » en format Word à :

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue Femmes et Droit is available online at: CJWL Online -

Project MUSE -  http://

December 3, 2016

Language and Manipulation in House of Cards: A New Book from Sandrine Sorlin

Sandrine Sorlin, University of Aix-Marseille, has published Language and Manipulation in House of Cards: A Pragma-Stylistic Perspective (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
This book is to date the first monograph-length study of the popular American political TV series House of Cards. It proposes an encompassing analysis of the first three seasons from the unusual angles of discourse and dialogue. The study of the stylistic idiosyncrasies of the ruthless main protagonist, Frank Underwood, is completed by a pragmatic and cognitive approach exposing the main characters’ manipulative strategies to win over the other. Taking into account the socio-cultural context and the specificities of the TV medium, the volume focuses on the workings of interaction as well as the impact of the direct address to the viewer. The book critically uses the latest theories in pragmatics and stylistics in its attempt at providing a pragma-rhetorical theory of manipulation.

December 2, 2016

A New Book on Lawyers in Fiction

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Lars Ole Sauerberg, The Legal Thriller From Gardner To Grisham: See You In Court! (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Here's a description of the contents from the publisher's website.
This book offers a critically informed yet relaxed historical overview of the legal thriller, a unique contribution to crime fiction where most of the titles have been written by professionals such as lawyers and judges. The legal thriller typically uses court trials as the suspense-creating background for presenting legal issues reflecting a wide range of concerns, from corporate conflicts to private concerns, all in a dramatic but highly informed manner. With authors primarily from the USA and the UK, the genre is one which nonetheless enjoys a global reading audience. As well as providing a survey of the legal thriller, this book takes a gender–focused approach to analyzing recently published titles within the field. It also argues for the fascination of the legal thriller both in the way its narrative pattern parallels that of an actual court trial, and by the way it reflects, frequently quite critically, the concerns of contemporary society.

Looks like a very interesting publication, but the price! Ouch. Sixty-seven euros for the e-book, nearly 100 Euros for the hardcover.

Atuahene @ProfAtuahene on Takings as a Sociolegal Concept: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Involuntary Property Loss

Bernadette Atuahene, Chicago-Kent Coolege of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, has published Takings as a Sociolegal Concept: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Involuntary Property Loss at 12 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 171 (2016). Here is the abstract.
This review seeks to establish takings as a respected field of sociolegal inquiry. In the legal academy, the term takings has become synonymous with constitutional takings. When defined more broadly, however, a taking is when a person, entity, or state confiscates, destroys, or diminishes rights to property without the informed consent of rights holders. Adopting a more expansive conception of takings lays the groundwork for a robust interdisciplinary conversation about the diverse manifestations and impacts of involuntary property loss, where some of the most valuable contributions are made by people who do not consider themselves property scholars. This review starts the conversation by bringing together the empirical literature on takings published between 2000 and 2015 and scattered in the fields of law, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, geography, and anthropology. Most importantly, a robust understanding of property's multiple values is required to fully comprehend the magnitude of the loss associated with takings, and this creates a space in which scholars can rescue property's political, cultural, emotional, and social value from the sizeable shadow cast by the overly dominant focus on its economic value.
The full text is not available from download from SSRN.

Holtermann @JakovoHoHo on Getting Real or Staying Postive: Legal Realism(s), Legal Positivsm, and the Prospects of Naturalism in Jurisprudence

Jakob v. H. Holtermann, Univesrity of Copenhagen, iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, has published Getting Real or Staying Positive: Legal Realism(s), Legal Positivism and the Prospects of Naturalism in Jurisprudence as 29 Ratio Juris 535 (2016). Here is the abstract.
The relationship between Legal Realism and Legal Positivism has been a recurrent source of debate. The question has been further complicated by the related difficulty of assessing the internal relationship between the two main original strands of Legal Realism: American and Scandinavian. This paper suggests considering American and Scandinavian Realism as instantiations of forward‐looking and backward‐looking rule skepticism respectively. This distinction brings into sharp relief not only the fundamentally different relationship between each of these two Realist schools and Legal Positivism but also their equally different potentials as starting points for naturalizing jurisprudence.
The full text is not available for free download from SSRN.

Schauer on Law's Boundaries

Frederick Schauer, University of Virginia School of Law, is publishing Law's Boundaries in the Harvard Law Review. Here is the abstract.
What counts as law? What sources qualify as legitimate inputs to legal argument and legal decision-making? In this article, written as an invited contribution to the Harvard Law Review’s symposium issue commemorating the Harvard law School’s 200th anniversary, I use these questions to track one central strand of 200 years of jurisprudence. The analysis is episodic more than comprehensive, and the episodes are all ones with some connection, at times close and at times loose, to the Harvard Law School. But the basic theme of what counts as a valid legal source and thus of what counts as law also provides insights into two centuries of debate about the nature of law and the nature of jurisprudential inquiry.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

December 1, 2016

d'Aspremont @JdA_IntLaw and De Brabandere @EDBrabandere on The Paintings of International Law

Jean d'Aspremont, University of Manchester School of Law, and University of Amsterdam, and Eric De Brabandere, Leiden University, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, are publishing The Paintings of International Law in International Law's Objects: Emergence, Encounter and Erasure through Object and Image (Hohmann and Joyce eds., Oxford University Press, 2017). Here is the abstract.
Using data drawn from the catalogues of the main publishers of international law books, this short essay focuses on the imagery used in the design of international law books and the way it contributes to the aesthetics of international legal argumentation. This essay zeroes in on the paintings that are reproduced on the cover of international law books with a view to unravelling some of the dynamics of the aesthetics of international legal argumentation. It argues that the greatest driver in the choice for the imagery of a book cover is the game which the author wants to play with the reader. It is argued that authors commonly use the cover page of their international law books, not only to illustrate their work but, more fundamentally, to attract readers into a game where the readers themselves create an explanatory narrative around the book.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Call For Applications: Centre for Law and Culture, PhD Studentship

The Centre for Law and Culture, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, London, is accepting applications for a fully funded full-time three-year PhD studentship, beginning in October of 2017. Here is a link to the webpage.

The Centre for Law and Culture is an interdisciplinary hub for research at the intersections of law, justice, and the humanities; it is a home for the cultural study of law. It aims to incubate and promote critical research that crosses and challenges traditional legal boundaries in a cultural context. It has a growing reputation as a rallying point for such culturally enriched legal research, with Centre activities engaging scholars whose work spans topics and themes from across critical and cultural legal studies.

Visit the Centre for Law and Culture webpages for more information about the Centre. The studentship will provide full-time PhD student fees at the home/EU rate of £4,020 p.a. and a bursary of £13,000 p.a., as well as £300 p.a. conference attendance budget.

Applicants should have a Masters at distinction or a Masters with Merit and a distinction in the dissertation.

November 30, 2016

Forthcoming From Palgrave/Macmillan: Juries, Science, and Popular Culture In the Age of Terror: The Case of the Sydney Bomber

Forthcoming in December: Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror: The Case of the Sydney Bomber (David Tait and Jane Goodman-Delahunty, eds., Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016). David Tait is a professor at Western Sydney University, Australia. Jane Goodman-Delahunty is a professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Terrorism has become an everyday reality in most contemporary societies. In a context of heightened fear can juries be trusted to remain impartial when confronted by defendants charged with terrorism? Do they scrutinize prosecution cases carefully, or does emotion trump reason once the spectre of terrorism is invoked? This book examines these questions from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The authors look at the how jurors in terrorism trials are likely to respond to gruesome evidence, including beheading videos. The 'CSI effect' is examined as a possible response to forensic evidence, and jurors with different learning preferences are compared. Virtual interactive environments, built like computer games, may be created to provide animated reconstructions of the prosecution or defence case. This book reports on how to create such presentations, culminating in the analysis of a live simulated trial using interactive visual displays followed by jury deliberations. The team of international, transdisciplinary experts draw conclusions of global legal and political significance, and contribute to the growing scholarship on comparative counter-terrorism law. The book will be of great interest to scholars, students and practitioners of law, criminal justice, forensic science and psychology.

Call For Papers: Annual Legal Studies Graduate Student Conference

Call for Papers
Second Annual Legal Studies Graduate Student Conference

“Law and Democracy”

Saturday and Sunday, April 22nd - 23rd, 2017
at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Deadline for submission: January 16th, 2017
Acceptance notification: Early February

Law and democracy are typically seen as interdependent: laws protect the fundamental rights that make democracy possible, while democracy ensures the legitimacy of law-making bodies. However,  the two principles conflict just as often as they complement one another. Where democracy calls for radical change at times, the law looks to precedent and tradition. Where democracy privileges majority opinion, constitutional law often prioritizes minority rights. Where democracy depends on vocal dissent, and even civil disobedience, courts and law enforcement officials typically aim to contain civic unrest. Law and democracy are central pillars of the modern nation-state, but the conflicts between them – at polling stations or protests, in courts or legislative chambers – betray fundamental tensions in political and social life.

The Brown Legal Studies initiative invites paper submissions on the subject of “Law and Democracy” for its second annual graduate student conference. At a moment when important political and legal institutions in the United States are challenged from within and without, our conference will consider the interaction of law and democracy, both in our own time and in broader historical or comparatist contexts. We hope to foster interdisciplinary conversation and so encourage papers from any discipline, including (but not limited to): Jurisprudence, History, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, Literature, Classics, Political Science, and Sociology. We welcome abstracts addressing any geographical area or historical period. Possible topics of discussion may include:

  • consent, political legitimacy
  • human rights, civil liberties
  • protest, civil disobedience
  • white supremacy, racisms
  • class, nepotism
  • voting, disenfranchisement
  • war, imperialism, neo-imperialism
  • expertise, bureaucracy, technocracy
  • mediating institutions such as legislatures, town halls, electoral college, party system
·  environment, natural resources, stewardship
·  corporations, lobbying, anonymity
·  litigation, judicial discretion
·  corruption, ethics, accountability
·  public reason, debate, truth, epistocracy
·  education, civic knowledge, literacy
·  consumerism, boycotts, divestment
·  religion, pluralism

Please submit a 250-500 word abstract, along with a copy of your C.V, by Monday January 16th, 2017. Submissions should be sent to If you have questions, please contact Jonathan Lande (, Katie Fitzpatrick (, or Sara Ludin (

More information is also available at

Call For Papers: Representations of Law, Justice, and the Subject in "Engrenages"

Via @thomgiddens

Editor-in-chief: Anne WAGNERUniversité Lille – Nord de FranceCentre de Recherche Droits et Perspectives du Droit, équipe René  
Special issue: Representations of Law, Justice and the Subject in Engrenages  This is a call for papers for a forthcoming special issue of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law/Revue international de Sémiotique juridique, the leading international journal on legal semiotics. 
The special issue will be devoted to exploring legal themes, representations, and images in the French television series Engrenages (known to English speaking audiences as ‘Spiral’). 
We therefore invite proposals for papers exploring themes including (but not necessarily limited to):• Portrayal of the relationships between branches of the justice system in Engrenages and/or how these are symbolized by relationships between the characters;• Portrayals of norm-transgression (which might include crime, corruption, and/or non-legal transgressionse.g. of roles, or norms of expected behaviour);• Portrayals of violence;• Imagery/discourses of the human body (living and/or dead);• Interpretations of gender and/or sexuality;• Representations of ethnicity, race, and/or migrants;• Representations of sex work/sex workers. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be emailed to the guest editors, Professor Peter Robson ( and Dr Mary Neal (, by 15 March 2017.
Decisions will be made by 30 April 2017, with submission of full papers due by 30 April 2018 and publication of the special issue anticipated in 2018.  
Anne Wagner, Ph. D., Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches - QualifiéeAssociate Professor, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale (France)Correspondante LANSAD/CRL - CGU CALAISCentre Droit et Perspectives du Droit, Equipe René Demogue - Université de Lille II (France)Research Professor, China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing - China) of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Editor, Law, Language and Communication - Routledge (
President of the International Roundtables for the Semiotics of Law -

Mahmud on Modern Law, Universality, and the Colonial Exception

Tayyab Mahmud, Seattle University School of Law, Center for Global Justice, is publishing Wanted Dead & Alive: Modern Law, Universality and the Colonial Exception in volume 33 of the Wisconsin International Law Journal (2015). Here is the abstract.
The ubiquitous exclusion/inclusion binary is not a helpful frame to measure the depth and reach of constitutionalism and human rights. Inscription of the law over subjugated bodies and spaces continues to subscribe to an enduring grammar of modernity’s engagement with alterity. This grammar is not one of exclusion, but, rather, forms a three-pronged matrix engagement: engulfment/exception/subordination. The Other is not “discovered,” left out or left alone — excluded from operations of constitutional regimes, and then gradually incorporated as a rights-bearing subject. The Other is always-already engulfed in operations of modern law, placed in zones of exception, and positioned in states of subordination.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 29, 2016

Call For Papers: Criminal American: Reading, Studying, and Teaching American Crime Fiction: American Literature Association Symposium, March 3-4, 2017

Criminal America: Reading, Studying and Teaching American Crime Fiction

Call for Papers

American Literature Association Symposium 

“Criminal America:  Reading, Studying and Teaching  American Crime Fiction”

March 3-4 2017

Keynote Speaker:
Charles Rzepka, Boston University

ALA symposia provide opportunities for scholars to meet in pleasant settings, present papers, and share ideas and resources. The March 2017 symposium will focus on American crime fiction, ranging from Poe to the present and beyond, and including all varieties of the genre, from hard-boiled to puzzle mysteries, locked rooms to global conspiracies, dime novels to experimental texts. Subjects might include, but are not limited to, the following:
Crime fiction and space; representing class, race, and gender; periodizing the genre; Poe’s precursors; narrative technique; adaptations; the future of the genre; teaching crime fiction; literary vs genre fiction.
While we welcome individual proposals, panels and roundtable discussions are also encouraged.
Location: Palmer House Hilton
17 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
Hotel Rate: The Palmer House Hilton is offering a special rate of $149 (plus tax) per night for a single or double room. This is a great location in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Conference Director:
David Schmid, University at Buffalo
Conference Fee: $150
Conference fee includes lunch on both days, as well as a Friday evening reception.
Please email all proposals to David Schmid
before December 1, 2016
Please note: We hope to produce an edited volume made up of the best work presented at the conference.
Conference Details: The American Literature Association will meet in Chicago for a symposium on American crime fiction, March 3-4 2017. Please plan to stay in the conference hotel as this helps us meet our commitment to the hotel and keeps our rates low.
To make your hotel reservations online, click on the link below:
Sessions run Friday and Saturday, March 3-4. There will be an opening reception on Thursday evening as well as receptions Friday and Saturday evening. Lunch will be served Friday and Saturday. Please note that luncheon preferences will be sent to conference participants at a later date.
Individuals may propose papers or panels by emailing the conference director, David Schmid, at no later than December 1, 2016. The proposal should include the title of the presentation or panel, an abstract that provides the conference director with a clear idea of the material that will be covered, a brief vita or description of the presenter’s qualifications, and complete mailing addresses and emails for all participants. The proposal should be both pasted into an email and sent as an attachment (preferably in WORD). All emails will be acknowledged in a timely manner. The conference director welcomes proposals for roundtables and panels that deal with the development of important genres and literary movements. Please note that no audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium.
Those proposing papers and/or panels will be informed of acceptances in early January. Participants will be asked to make their hotel reservations immediately and to pre-register on-line. If necessary, the registration fee and form can be mailed using the material posted at the end of this announcement. A program will be placed on the ALA website prior to our meeting, and printed programs will be available at the symposium.
ALA Guidelines: The most common ALA format is a time slot of one hour and twenty minutes with three papers and a chair. This permits time for discussion and three papers of approximately 20 minutes (or nine typed double-spaced pages). Organizers of panels are free to use other formats provided they respect the time limits. Furthermore, the ALA encourages panel organizers to experiment with innovative formats including discussion groups and panels featuring more speakers and briefer papers. Chairs will make sure that the panels start and end on time and that no speaker goes beyond the allotted time limit. We prefer that chairs not present papers on the panels that they are moderating, and no one may present more than one paper at an ALA symposium.
The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including two meals and two receptions. We encourage all of those who are on the program to pre-register. The conference fee is $150 for all participants. We regret that we are unable to offer a lower rate for graduate students and independent scholars for this symposium.
*We prefer that you register online. To do so, click on the link below.
ALA Membership: Membership in the ALA is not required in order to propose or present a paper. In fact, technically the members of the American Literature Association are the various author societies. Individuals may keep informed about the activities of the ALA by checking our website (, which is the primary source for information about ALA activities. Individuals can also be placed on a mailing list by sending their contact information to: Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at Those on the mailing list will receive copies of the annual call for papers and the conference announcement/registration packet.
The easiest way to find out about the symposium and all ALA activities is by consulting our website:
Please note that the American Literature Association maintains the lowest conference fees of any major scholarly organization because it operates without a paid staff. If you have any questions that are not answered by this announcement, please contact the conference director at or Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at
Thank you for your interest and your support of the American Literature Association.

Conference on the Art of Law, Bruges, Groeningemuseum, January 16-18, 2017


CONFERENCE: The Art of Law (Bruges, Groeningemuseum, 16-18 Jan 2017)

The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War

Recent years have witnessed a clear rise in scholarship on law and the visual, mostly originating in the wider field of law and the humanities. The conference The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War wishes to contribute to this research by focusing on imagery in its legal and art historical contexts. The program brings together original and interdisciplinary scholarship that questions the role of art in the practice of law, jurisprudence and justice administration from the Late Middle Ages through the Nineteenth Century.

The conference will be held in the Groeningemuseum, Bruges on Monday 16, Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January, 2017, during the exhibition De Kunst van het Recht. Drie Eeuwen Gerechtigheid in Beeld (The Art of Law. Three Centuries of Justice Depicted) (28 October, 2016 – 5 February, 2017). This art exhibition, curated by Vanessa Paumen and Tine Van Poucke, features about 130 artworks from over 30 national and international museums and libraries and will focus on themes related to justice as expressed in artworks of various media from about 1450 through 1750.

The Art of Law is the closing conference of the IAP Justice and Populations’s WP4: Long-term (Self-)Representations of Justice (LongTermJust).

The conference is supported by
•    Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS
•    Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
•    Flemish Research Centre for the Arts of the Burgundian Netherlands
•    IAP Justice and Populations: The Belgian Experience in International Perspective

See conference website ( for final program, registration and practical details.

Jones @bchristophjones and Sarat @ljstprof on Justices as "Sacred Symbols": Antonin Scalia and the Cultural Life of the Law

Brian Christopher Jones, Liverpool Hope University, and Austin Sarat, Amherst College, are publishing Justices As 'Sacred Symbols': Antonin Scalia and the Cultural Life of the Law in the British Journal of American Legal Studies (2017). Here is the abstract.
The idea of the brilliant and elegant philosopher judge has a long and romanticized history. From Sir Edward Coke, William Blackstone and Joseph Story to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis and Lord Bingham, the common law is replete with this vision of judging. In this vision, judges sometimes seem to be law makers as much as faithful it interpreters. In many ways Antonin Scalia fought against this traditional vision of the philosopher judge. He disliked activist judges who imposed their idea of wisdom on elected legislatures; in fact, he trumpeted his jurisprudence for its fidelity to law and deference to the popular will. But even though Scalia fought against the romantic vision of philosopher judge, he himself became a living symbol of a judicial philosophy, a symbol so powerful that sometimes it was difficult to disentangle the judge from his jurisprudence. His status as a symbol and how he achieved his status, was much different from the route of the judges mentioned above. This paper attempts to explain how Scalia became what we call a judicial “sacred symbol”.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Arapinis and Condello on The Intentionality Behind Legal Concepts and Their Extensional Boundaries

Alexandra Arapinis, Laboratory for Applied Ontology (ISCT-CNR), and Angela Condello, University of Rome III, Department of Law, have published The Intensionality Behind Legal Concepts and Their Extensional Boundaries: Between Conventionalism and Interpretivism at 29 Ratio Juris 439 (2016). Here is the abstract.
This article constitutes an attempt to reexamine a crucial issue of legal theory from the perspective of philosophy of language and of social ontology: by analyzing a jurisprudential case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, we explain how Searle's account on rules in The Construction of Social Reality constitutes an important starting point for the clarification of the old jurisprudential debate between conventionalism and interpretivism. In a nutshell, we show that Searle's framework, while strictly conventionalist, makes it possible to conceive of the distinction between the semantic content of rules (their intended purpose) and their extension, by drawing a parallel with the idea of “deep conventions” (and “essential rules”) as well as with the semantic conventions in natural language. The paper thus touches on the broader problem of the relations between legal concepts and nonlegal values (law and morality).
The text of the article is not available from SSRN.

Voss @Juss_Professor on the Royal Prerogative in Colonial Constitutional Law

Satvinder Juss, King's College London; Dickson Poon School of Law; A. Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute, is publishing The Royal Prerogative in Colonial Constitutional Law as Chapter 11 of Landmark Cases in Public Law (Juss and Sunkin, eds., Hart-Bloomsbury, 2017). Here is the abstract.
The Chagos Islanders Case will be remembered for its abandonment of the common law’s affirmation of a Subject’s right to be free from exile, when more than a decade ago the British Government in the exercise of its imperial powers decided upon the permanent exclusion of an entire population from its homeland for reasons unconnected with their collective well-being. Paradoxically, freedom from exile is a right guaranteed in the folklore of the UK, as demonstrated only too vividly in the celebrations of the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015. A judgment given by Laws LJ in the Divisional Court in 2000 when the matter first arose in challenge brought by Louis Oliver Bancoult, a Chagos Islander, against the actions of the British Goverment, and subsequently affirmed most resoundingly by Sedley LJ in the Court of Appeal in 2007, had upheld this historic right. They had held that government objectives could not lawfully be accomplished by the use of prerogative powers. The Crown has to exercise governance over the Colonies as a Crown function. The interests of these territories are not coterminous with interests of the UK state and its allies. The governance of each colonial territory is in constitutional principle a discrete function of the Crown. However, in 2008 the House of Lords (as it then was) overturned these decisions, only to revisit the question again in judgment delivered in 2016, thus demonstrating the particularly protracted and vexatious nature of the issues which the Government had sought to determine through the ill-judged mechanism of the Royal Prerogative. The Bancoult saga is the longest Supreme court case ever heard. The 2008 decision was not its last. In 2016 the Supreme Court gave a split decision, but which nonetheless still fully acknowledged that its earlier 2008 decision had moved the law forward and that, in the words of Lord Mance giving the majority decision (and who had also given judgment in 2008), the exercise of prerogative powers were “susceptible to judicial review on ordinary principles of legality, rationality and procedural impropriety.” Yet, the plight of the Chagos Islanders remained unchanged in 2008 as it did in 2016 – such that further legal challenges remain likely. The story is not yet over and this analysis is an attempt to locate the Bancoult litigation in its proper political context and to suggest that the House of Lords in 2008 could – and indeed should – have a taken a different decision for reasons connected entirely to the fact that the Government was using prerogative powers in the context of colonial governance.This has serious implications both for the future use of the Prerogative and for Public Law in general.
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

Hollywood and Concrete Poetry. And Aliens.

Via @davidgissen:

David Gissen, a professor at California College of the Arts, tweets that

Amy Adams writes inter-galactic, digital concrete poetry to communicate with aliens in the trailer for The Arrival.

Here's a link to the official trailer for the film. 

More about concrete poetry here.

But is she breaking the law to make contact with aliens?

Here's the text of the (repealed in 1991) U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (not the U. S. Code), dealing with exposure to extraterrestrial contaminants, which used to regulate U.S. citizen contact with extraterrestrial material (including alien life). It was put in place just before the successful Moon landing in 1969.

4 CFR Ch. 5 (1-1-91 Edition)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
1211.100 Scope.
1211.101 Applicability.
1211.102 Definitions.
1211.103 Authority.
1211.105 Relationship with Departments of Health, Education, and
Welfare and Agriculture.
1211.106 Cooperation with States, territories and possessions.
1211.107 Court or other process.
1211.108 Violations. Authority: Secs. 203, 304, 72 Stat. 429, 433; 42 U.S.C. 2455, 2456,
2473; 18 U.S.C. 799; Art. IX, TIAS 6347 (18 UST 2416). Source: 34 FR 11975, July 16, 1969, unless otherwise noted. S1211.100 Scope.
This part establishes:
(a) NASA policy, responsibility and authority to guard the Earth
against any harmful contamination or adverse changes in its environment
resulting from personnel, spacecraft and other property returning to the
Earth after landing on or coming within the atmospheric envelope of a
celestial body; and
(b) Security requirements, restrictions and safeguards that are
necessary in the interest of the national security. S1211.101 Applicability.
The provisions of this part apply to all NASA manned and unmanned
space missions which land on or come within the atmospheric envelope of a
celestial body and return to Earth. S1211.102 Definitions.
(a) _NASA_ and the _Administrator_ mean, respectively the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Administrator of the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration or his authorized
representative (see S1204.509 of this chapter).
(b) _Extraterrestrially exposed_ means the state or condition of any
person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever, who or
which has:
(1) Touched directly or come within the atmospheric envelope of any
other celestial body; or
(2) Touched directly or been in close proximity to (or been exposed
indirectly to) any person, property, animal or other form of life or
matter who or which has been extraterrestrially exposed by virtue of
paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
For example, if person or thing "A" touches the surface
of the moon, and on "A's" return to Earth, "B" touches
"A" and subsequently, "C" touches "B", all of these--
"A" through "C" inclusive--would be extraterrestrially
exposed ("A" and "B" directly; "C" indirectly).
(c) _Quarantine_ means the detention, examination and decontamination
of any person, property, animal or other form of life or matter whatever
that is extraterrestrially exposed, and includes the apprehension or
seizure of such person, property, animal or other form of life or matter
(d) _Quarantine period_ means a period of consecutive calendar days
as may be established in accordance with S1211.104(a).
(e) _United States_ means the 50 States, the District of Columbia,
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa
and any other territory or possession of the United States, and in a
territorial sense all places and waters subject to the jurisdiction of
the United States. S1211.103 Authority.
(a) Sections 203 and 204 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of
1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2474, 2455 and 2456).
(b) 18 U.S.C. 799.
(c) Article IX, Outer Space Treaty, TIAS 6347 (18UST 2416).
(d) NASA Management Instructions 1052.90 and 8020.13. S1211.104 Policy.
(a) _Administrative actions._ The Administrator or his designee as
authorized by S1204.509 of this chapter shall in his discretion:
(1) Determine the beginning and duration of a quarantine period with
respect to any space mission; the quarantine period as it applies to
various life forms will be announced.
(2) Designate in writing quarantine officers to exercise quarantine
(3) Determine that a particular person, property, animal or other
form of life or matter whatever is extraterrestrially exposed and
quarantine such person, property, animal or other form of life or matter
whatever. The quarantine may be based only on a determination, with or
without the benefit of a hearing, that there is probable cause to believe
that such person, property, animal or other form of life or matter
whatever is extraterrestrially exposed.
(4) Determine within the United States or within vessels or vehicles
of the United States the place, boundaries, and rules of operation of
necessary quarantine stations.
(5) Provide for guard services by contract or otherwise, as may be
necessary, to maintain security and inviolability of quarantine stations
and quarantined persons, property, animals, or other form of life or
matter whatever.
(6) Provide for the subsistence, health, and welfare of persons
quarantined under the provisions of this part.
(7) Hold such hearings at such times, in such a manner and for such
purposes as may be desirable or necessary under this part, including
hearings for the purpose of creating a record for use in making any
determination under this part or for the purpose of reviewing any such
(8) Cooperate with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
and the Department of Agriculture in accordance with the provisions of
(9) Take such other actions as may be prudent or necessary and which
are consistent with this part.
(b) _Quarantine._ (1) During any period of announced quarantine, the
property within the posted perimeter of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at
the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Tex., is designated as the NASA
Lunar Receiving Laboratory Quarantine Station.
(2) Other quarantine stations may be established if determined
necessary as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(3) During any period of announced quarantine, no person shall enter
or depart from the limits of any quarantine station without permission of
the cognizant NASA quarantine officer. During such period, the posted
perimeter of a quarantine station shall be secured by armed guard.
(4) Any person who enters the limits of any quarantine station during
the quarantine period shall be deemed to have consented to the quarantine
of his person if it is determined that he is or has become
extraterrestrially exposed.
(5) At the earliest practicable time, each person who is quarantined
by NASA shall be given a reasonable opportunity to communicate by
telephone with legal counsel or other persons of his choice. S1211.105 Relationship with Departments of Health, Education and
Welfare and Agriculture.
(a) If either the Department of Health, Education and Welfare or the
Department of Agriculture exercises its authority to quarantine an
extraterrestrially exposed person, property, animal or other form of life
or matter whatever, NASA will, except as provided in paragraph (c) of
this section, not exercise the authority to quarantine that same person,
property, animal, or other form of life or matter whatever. In such
cases, NASA will offer to these departments the use of the Lunar
Receiving Laboratory Quarantine Station and such other service,
equipment, personnel, and facilities as may be necessary to ensure an
effective quarantine.
(b) If neither the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare or
the Department of Agriculture exercises its quarantine authority. NASA
shall exercise the authority to quarantine and extraterrestrially exposed
person, property, animal, or other form of life or matter whatever. In
such cases, NASA will inform these departments of such quarantine action
and, in addition, may request the use of such service, equipment,
personnel and facilities of other Federal departments and agencies as may
be necessary to ensure an effective quarantine.
(c) NASA shall quarantine NASA astronauts and other NASA personnel
as determined necessary and all NASA property involved in any space
mission. S1211.106 Cooperation with States, territories, and possessions.
(a) Actions taken in accordance with the provisions of this part
shall be exercised in cooperation with the applicable authority of any
State, territory, possession or any political subdivision thereof. S1211.107 Court or other process.
(a) NASA officers and employees are prohibited from discharging from
the limits of a quarantine station any quarantined person, property,
animal or other form of life or matter whatever during order or other
request, order or demand an announced quarantine period in compliance
with subpoena, show cause of any court or other authority without the
prior approval of the General Counsel and the Administrator.
(b) Where approval to discharge a quarantined person, property,
animal, or other form of life or matter whatever in compliance with such
a request, order or demand of any court or other authority is not given,
the person to whom it is directed shall, if possible, appear in court or
before the other authority and respectfully state his inability to
comply, relying for his action upon this S1211.107. S1211.108 Violations.
Whoever willfully violates, attempts to violate, or conspires to
violate any provision of this part or any regulation or order issued
under t his part or who enters or departs from the limits of any
quarantine station in disregard of the quarantine rules or regulations
or without permission of the NASA quarantine officer shall be fined not
more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both (18 U.S.C.
Boldly go.

Colin Kidd's New Book: The World of Mr. Casaubon (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Via @maksdelmar:

Colin Kidd, University of St. Andrews, has published The World of Mr Casaubon: Britain's Wars of Mythography, 1700-1870 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (Ideas In Context). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's content.
The World of Mr Casaubon takes as its point of departure a fictional character - Mr Casaubon in George Eliot's classic novel, Middlemarch. The author of an unfinished 'Key to All Mythologies', Casaubon has become an icon of obscurantism, irrelevance and futility. Crossing conventional disciplinary boundaries, Colin Kidd excavates Casaubon's hinterland, and illuminates the fierce ideological war which raged over the use of pagan myths to defend Christianity from the existential threat posed by radical Enlightenment criticism. Notwithstanding Eliot's portrayal of Casaubon, Anglican mythographers were far from unworldly, and actively rebutted the radical freethinking associated with the Enlightenment and French Revolution. Orientalism was a major theatre in this ideological conflict, and mythography also played an indirect but influential role in framing the new science of anthropology. The World of Mr Casaubon is rich in interdisciplinary twists and ironies, and paints a vivid picture of the intellectual world of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain.

Illuminates the intellectual background to George Eliot's classic novel Middlemarch and one of its iconic central characters

Recovers a lost genre of religious apologetic based on a Christian appropriation of paganism, enhancing readers' understanding of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century defences of Christianity

Casts fresh light from an unexpected angle on political debate during the French Revolution and provides deeper insight into the phenomenon of Orientalism

 The World of Mr Casaubon

November 28, 2016

Loathsome Lawyers From Literature: A List From Attorney/Author Alex Wade @SurfNation1

Alex Wade's list of unpalatable literary lawyers: from Dr. Gonzo (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) to Don Sebastiano (The Day of Judgment).

Alex Wade is a writer who also practices media law (Carter-Ruck). His latest book is Flack's Last Shift (Blue Mark Books, 2016).

Ngaire Naffine: Law's Meaning of Life (Hart Publishing, 2009) @hartpublishing

Media of Law's Meaning of Life 


Ngaire Naffine, Law's Meaning of Life: Philosophy, Religion, Darwin and the Legal Person (Hart Publishing, 2009) (Legal Theory Today). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
The perennial question posed by the philosophically-inclined lawyer is 'What is law?' or perhaps 'What is the nature of law?' This book poses an associated, but no less fundamental, question about law which has received much less attention in the legal literature. It is: 'Who is law for?' Whenever people go to law, they are judged for their suitability as legal persons. They are given or refused rights and duties on the basis of ideas about who matters. These ideas are basic to legal-decision making; they form the intellectual and moral underpinning of legal thought. They help to determine whether law is essentially for rational human beings or whether it also speaks to and for human infants, adults with impaired reasoning, the comotose, foetuses and even animals. Are these the right kind of beings to enter legal relationships and so become legal persons. Are they, for example, sufficiently rational, or sacred or simply human? Is law meant for them? This book reveals and evaluates the type of thinking that goes into these fundamental legal and metaphysical determinations about who should be capable of bearing legal rights and duties. It identifies and analyses four influential ways of thinking about law's person, each with its own metaphysical suppositions. One approach derives from rationalist philosophy, a second from religion, a third from evolutionary biology while the fourth is strictly legalistic and so endeavours to eschew metaphysics altogether. The book offers a clear, coherent and critical account of these complex moral and intellectual processes entailed in the making of legal persons.

November 27, 2016

"Son of Sam" Movies

Via Discovery ID @DiscoveryID: movies based on the deeds of David Berkowitz and the "Son of Sam" killings. (post by Mike McPadden).  More of Mr. McPadden's true crime and film posts here.

Victor Hugo and the Law: A Workshop and Performance on December 2, 2016 at the University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis, Faculty of Law and Political Science

Via @yannbasire and @Yves_Strickler:

A special event on December 2:

Victor Hugo et le droit (Victor Hugo and law), followed by a performance of  "Victor Hugo et George Sand:  et s'ils s'etaient recontrés," (Victor Hugo and George Sand: What if they had met) is scheduled for December 2, 2016 at the Faculté de Droit et Science Politique, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. Following the workshop will be a performance of Danièle Gasiglia's Victor Hugo et George Sand: et s'ils s'etaient recontrés, at the Valrose Theatre. More here at the event's website.

November 23, 2016

Loeffler @Jbloeffler on "The Famous Trinity of 1917": Zionist Internationalism in Historical Perspective

James B. Loeffler, University of Virginia, Department of History, is publishing 'The Famous Trinity of 1917': Zionist Internationalism in Historical Perspective in the Simon-Dubnow-Institut Jahrbuch (2016). Here is the abstract.
Despite a plethora of recent new approaches to Jewish political history, the story of interwar Zionism is still consistently framed as a dichotomy between Diaspora rights-advocacy and state-building in Palestine. This article challenges that persistent historiographical trope by recovering the overlooked Jewish political tradition of Zionist internationalism, whose bearers simultaneously pursued the twin goals of political consolidation in a territorial homeland in Palestine and the construction of national autonomy in the Diaspora. Using the case study of Lithuanian Zionist leader and international lawyer Jacob Robinson (1899-1977), this article demonstrates the complementary relationship between autonomist and statist goals in interwar Zionist politics. After tracing Robinson’s rich, complex biography from the 1920s Lithuanian Parliament and the European Congress of National Minorities to the postwar United Nations and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, it concludes with a discussion of the debates engendered by the Eichmann Trial about the relationship between Zionism and international law.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Leung on Negotiating Language Status in Multilingual Jurisdictions

Janny H. C. Leung, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Arts, School of English, has published Negotiating Language Status in Multilingual Jurisdictions: Rhetoric and Reality at 209 Semiotica 371 (2016). Here is the abstract.
About a quarter of legal jurisdictions in the world operate in more than one language. Despite this, language policies governing the functioning of law in such jurisdictions, other than in the European Union, rarely receive attention in research. Given, however, that the policy contrast between legal monolingualism and multilingualism is often a matter of strategic response to the rising or declining power of particular language communities, the conferring legal authority on some language(s) but not others calls for analysis. Advocacy and justification surrounding potential or actual change of legal language, for example, consist of competing rhetorics advanced by politicians, legal professionals, and campaign groups, and in this way politics permeates both the promotion and presentation of legal multilingualism, despite reluctance among legal policy makers to engage with this aspect of the process. This article situates legal multilingualism within a wider understanding of multilingualism and language policy. It compares rhetorics of advocacy and justification used across jurisdictions, and analyses contradictions and dilemmas in rhetorics deployed both in promoting and opposing specific proposals. The argument extends Goodrich’s (1984) observation that legal discourse is pre-eminently a discourse of power. But if use of legal language is political, it is suggested, then the process of selecting a language for such use is even more so.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 22, 2016

Edwards on Speaking of Stories and Law

Linda H. Edwards, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Law, is publishing Speaking of Stories and Law in volume 13 of the Legal Communication & Rhetoric (JALWD) (2016). Here is the abstract.
A recurring question in narrative scholarship has been the relationship of narrative to law. Most narrative scholars agree that stories are central to law. As Stephen Paskey recently pointed out, stories are more than a tool for persuasion. They are embedded in law’s very structure. But how does that work? Are rules just stories articulated in a different form? We have barely begun to explore narrative’s roles, but it is already clear that, in the words of Meryl Streep, “it’s complicated.” A conceptual map of what we’ve learned so far can help us unpack the complexity. Otherwise we may run into two problems: We may be less likely to understand and appreciate each other’s work, and we may have trouble thinking clearly about how law and narrative relate. This article takes a first run at a conceptual map, one that honors the work of narrative scholars of various stripes and explains how the strands in this rich body of work interrelate. With that proposed structure in mind, the article then offers some thoughts about how stories relate to rules. It argues that rules are not the opposite of stories, nor are they just stories in a different form. Rather, at every level of their creation, justification, interpretation, and application, rules are constructed from multiple narrative influences. Understanding these influences will produce judges better able to make good decisions and lawyers better able to perfect their craft. Much work remains to be done, but as the map demonstrates, we are well on our way.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call For Applications, Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy

Here's a link to the online application. Applications are due on or before January 2017.

More information here from the Center's Director.

Baldy Center Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies are available to post-doctoral, mid-career, and senior scholars. This year's application is due January 17, 2017. It is important that all applications be submitted through our web-based system, both so that we can track all applications and so that our reviewers can readily access them.  
Please contact the Baldy Assistant Director (, with any questions about the Fellows Program, and please forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested in it. Information on current and past Baldy Fellows is available on the Baldy Center website
Errol Meidinger, Director 

November 21, 2016

Call For Applications: Hurst Summer Institute In Legal History, June 4-17, 2017

Call for Applications
Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History: June 4-17, 2017
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Application Deadline: 12/1/2016


The American Society for Legal History and the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School are pleased to invite applications for the ninth biennial Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History. The purpose of the Hurst Institute is to advance the approach to legal scholarship fostered by J. Willard Hurst in his teaching, mentoring, and scholarship. The Hurst Institute assists scholars from law, history, and other disciplines in pursuing research on the legal history of any part of the world.

The 2017 Hurst Institute will be led by Mitra Sharafi, Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies (with History affiliation) at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The two‑week program features presentations by guest scholars, discussions of core readings in legal history, and analysis of the work of the participants in the Institute. The ASLH Hurst Selection Committee will select twelve Fellows to participate in this event.

Applicant Qualifications

Scholars in law, history and other disciplines pursuing research on legal history of any part of the world are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applications from scholars at an early stage of their career (beginning faculty members, doctoral students who have completed or almost completed their dissertations, and J.D. graduates with appropriate backgrounds).

Fellowship Requirements

Fellows are expected to be in residence for the entire two‑week term of the Institute, to participate in all program activities of the Institute, and to give an informal works‑in‑progress presentation in the second week of the Institute.

Application Process

(1) Submit the following materials in a single pdf file starting with your last name to ils@law.wisc.eduMultiple attachments will not be accepted.
·         Curriculum Vitae with your complete contact information.
·         Statement of Purpose (maximum 500 words) describing your current work, specific research interests, and the broader perspectives on legal history that inform your work.

(2) Arrange to have two letters of recommendation sent electronically as a pdf files (these must be on institutional letterhead and signed) by the deadline.

Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Questions: Contact