May 23, 2018

Nijman on Seeking Change By Doing History

Janne Elisabeth Nijman, T. M. C. Asser Institut, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, has published Seeking Change by Doing History (2018). Here is the abstract.
In her Inaugural Lecture Janne E. Nijman explores the so-called ‘Turn to History’ in international legal scholarship. Interest in the intellectual history or ‘history of ideas’ of international law has surged around the last turn of the century. A new sub-field has thus emerged: ‘History and Theory of International Law’. Nijman contextualises this development and stages three possible approaches of why and how to study ideas and theories of the past. A central proposition is that the field of ‘History and Theory of international Law’ ultimately aims to establish a dialogue between international legal thought then and now. In this way (and by employment of e.g. the Cambridge School method) a critical distance emerges with respect to our own international legal thinking and its underlying political and moral ideas. The meaning of international law ideas changes through time – in the study thereof lies the critical potential and value for our own thinking. International law is often presented as an emancipatory, progressive project in which human dignity has come to be increasingly well-protected. With the ‘turn to history’ however the dark sides of international law, including the influence of European – also Dutch – colonial expansion on the development of international law (and vice versa), come to the fore. Studying for example the thought of Hugo de Groot uncovers this ambivalence. Nonetheless Grotius’ humanist thinking about humankind, society, and (international) law also opens up space for a perspective alternative to the ‘Hobbesian’ international order. Fundamental issues then are: who counts within the international legal order, and on which moral and political presuppositions is this order built? This Lecture makes a connection to the work of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur and points to a possible alternative line of reasoning in which the concept of international legal personality functions as a starting point for questions about just international institutions and law. These are urgent questions at a time of globalisation, interdependency and hyperconnectivity, in which citizens are highly critical towards European and international/global institutions.
Download the lecture from SSRN at the link.

ABA Announces Silver Gavel Awards Winners For 2018 @ABAesq

The American Bar Association has announced the winners of the 2018 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.


Silver GavelUnwarranted: Policing Without Permission, by Barry Friedman.
Honorable MentionIn Praise of Litigation, by Alexandra Lahav.

Silver GavelAnd Then They Came for Us, by Ginzberg Productions.
Honorable MentionThey Call Us Monsters, by BMP Films.

Silver GavelMarshall, directed and produced by Reginald Hudlin.

Silver Gavel: “Death-Penalty Defense Drama at Guantánamo War Court,” featured in the Miami Herald.
Honorable Mention: “Secrecy Rules,” featured in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Silver GavelBreakdown Season 6: A Jury of His Peers, by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Honorable MentionNull and Void, by Radiolab at WNYC.

Silver GavelAbacus: Small Enough to Jail, by PBS Distribution, Frontline and ITVS.

The ABA has awarded Silver Gavels every year since 1958. ABA President Hilarie Bass will present the winners and honorable mentions on July 17 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Maillard on Hollywood Loving @noblemaillard

Kevin Noble Maillard, Syracuse University College of Law, is publishing Hollywood Loving in volume 86 of the Fordham Law Review (2018). Here is the abstract.
In this Essay, I highlight how nongovernmental entities establish political, moral, and sexual standards through visual media, which powerfully underscores and expresses human behavior. Through the Motion Picture Production Code (the “Hays Code”) and the Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters (the “TV Code”), Americans viewed entertainment as a pre-mediated, engineered world that existed outside of claims of censorship and propaganda. This Essay critically examines the role of film and television as persuasive and integral legal actors and it considers how these sectors operate to maintain, and sometimes challenge, racial order.
Download the Essay from SSRN at the link.

May 22, 2018

Goold on the Lost Tort of Moral Rights Invasion @harvard_law

Patrick Russell Goold, Harvard Law School, is publishing The Lost Tort of Moral Rights Invasion in the Akron Law review. Here is the abstract.
Moral rights are often portrayed as an unwelcome import into U.S. law. During the nineteenth century, European lawmakers, influenced by personality theories of authorship, began granting authors rights of attribution and integrity. However, while these rights proliferated in Europe and international copyright treaties, they were not adopted in the United States. According to a common historical narrative, U.S. courts and lawmakers resisted moral rights because they were deemed incompatible with the copyright tradition of treating expressive works as alienable property. What little moral rights U.S. law provides today is thus seen as a necessary evil, grudgingly accepted, simply to comply with international obligations. This Article presents a history of moral rights protection that challenges, to a degree, that common historical narrative. The Article tracks how American courts adjudicated attribution and integrity disputes during the twentieth century. Doing so not only reveals that the American judiciary was more sympathetic to these claims than commonly appreciated, but, even more surprisingly, came close to developing a tort of moral rights invasion. While copyright historians know that courts have long provided proxy protection for moral rights under preexisting common law causes of action (e.g., defamation, unfair competition, privacy, etc.), what is not widely known is how frequently courts were willing to protect attribution and integrity interests directly under the banner of moral rights. This Article tells the story of how courts in the mid-twentieth century, applying state law, increasingly articulated a "sui generis tort" of moral rights invasion. It then proceeds to question why the moral rights tort stagnated and was forgotten about in the late twentieth century.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. Cross-posted to Media Law Prof Blog.

May 21, 2018

Cummings on Law and Social Movements: Reimagining the Progressive Canon

Scott L. Cummings, UCLA School of Law, is publishing Law and Social Movements: Reimagining the Progressive Canon in the Wisconsin Law Review (2018). Here is the abstract.
This Article examines the “progressive legal canon” — iconic legal campaigns to advance progressive causes — and explores the implications of canon construction and critique for the study of lawyers and social movements. Looking backward, it reflects on why specific cases, like Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade, have become fundamental to progressive understandings of the role that lawyers play in social movements and how those cases have come to stand for a set of warnings about lawyer and court overreach. It then explores what might be gained from constructing a contemporary progressive legal canon and under what criteria one would select cases for inclusion. A core contribution of the Article is to synthesize examples of significant contemporary campaigns that respond to original canon concerns and complicate notions of lawyering in current movements of social import around labor, the War on Terror, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and racial justice. The comparison of old canon to new yields an important insight. Although the form of legal mobilization is generally quite different in contemporary campaigns, with greater emphasis on constituent accountability and integrated advocacy, the outcome is often quite familiar: legal success and positive change alongside weak implementation, countermobilization, and intramovement dissent. Although the comparison is not systematic, it points toward a potentially significant conclusion: that the progressive critique of old canon lawyering is misplaced. What stymied old canon campaigns was not an overreliance on law or top-down planning, but rather the inevitable pushback by more powerful forces, causing gains to slide back or be undercut in the enforcement stage and aggravating internal movement debates over goals and strategies.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 18, 2018

Wildenthal on Shapiro "On the Media": Name-Calling and Bullying Students and Doubters @tjsl

Bryan H. Wildenthal, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, is publishing Shapiro 'On the Media': Name-Calling and Bullying Students and Doubters in the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship Newsletter (2018). Here is the abstract.
For far too long, when it comes to the Shakespeare Authorship Question (SAQ), orthodox academics, whatever their motivations, have largely avoided the simple duty that any serious scholar has: to engage forthrightly with the evidence. Instead, such scholars, when they deign to mention the SAQ at all, have focused almost entirely on trying to denigrate or psychoanalyze authorship doubters. In its most insulting and ridiculous forms, this has involved suggestions of snobbery or even mental illness. A milder version — almost more maddeningly smug and condescending — has been to retreat behind a fog of fashionable academic jargon, analyzing authorship doubt as a purely contingent product of modern times and cultural preoccupations. This was largely the approach taken by English Professor James Shapiro of Columbia University in his book about the SAQ, "Contested Will" (2010). Somehow, from the orthodox perspective, it is never about the simple factual and historical issue at the heart of the SAQ: Does the available evidence, fully considered in context, raise reasonable questions about who actually wrote these particular works of literature? Professor Shapiro spoke at length about the SAQ in a December 2016 interview with Brooke Gladstone on her public radio show "On the Media." This essay criticizes the way in which both Shapiro and Gladstone approached the SAQ, especially the troubling implications of Shapiro's comments for how Shakespeare authorship doubters, especially students, should be treated.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

ICYMI: Christiana Gregoriou, Crime Fiction Migration (Bloomsbury, 2017) @c_gregoriou @BloomsburyBooks

ICYMI: Christiana Gregoriou, Crime Fiction Migration: Crossing Languages, Cultures and Media (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017) (Advances in Stylistics). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Crime narratives form a large and central part of the modern cultural landscape. This book explores the cognitive stylistic processing of prose and audiovisual fictional crime 'texts'. It also examines instances where such narratives find themselves, through popular demand, 'migrating' - meaning that they cross languages, media formats and/or cultures. In doing so, Crime Fiction Migration proposes a move from a monomodal to a multimodal approach to the study of crime fiction. Examining original crime fiction works alongside their translations, adaptations and remakings proves instrumental in understanding how various semiotic modes interact with one another. The book analyses works such as We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Killing trilogy and the reimaginings of plays such as Shear Madness and films such as Funny Games. Crime fiction is consistently popular and 'on the move' - witness the spate of detective series exported out of Scandinavia, or the ever popular exporting of these shows from the USA. This multimodal and semiotically-aware analysis of global crime narratives expands the discipline and is key reading for students of linguistics, criminology, literature and film.
Media of Crime Fiction Migration

ICYMI: Crime Fiction as World Literature (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017) @jcalvo11 @BloomsburyBooks

Via @jcalvo 11:

ICYMI: Crime Fiction as World Literature (Louise Nilsson, David Damrosch, and Theo D'haen, eds., Bloomsbury Publishing 2017). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
While crime fiction is one of the most widespread of all literary genresSchedule
, this is the first book to treat it in its full global is the first book to treat crime fiction in its full global and plurilingual dimensions, taking the genre seriously as a participant in the international sphere of world literature. In a wide-ranging panorama of the genre, twenty critics discuss crime fiction from Bulgaria, China, Israel, Mexico, Scandinavia, Kenya, Catalonia, and Tibet, among other locales. By bringing crime fiction into the sphere of world literature, Crime Fiction as World Literature gives new insights not only into the genre itself but also into the transnational flow of literature in the globalized mediascape of contemporary popular culture.

Media of Crime Fiction as World Literature

May 15, 2018

ICYMI: Bateman on the Supreme "Courts" of the Roman Empire @cg_bateman


C. G. Bateman, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, has published The Supreme 'Courts' of the Roman Empire: Constantine’s Judicial Role for the Bishops. Here is the abstract.
Constantine, the Roman Emperor from 312-337, was a law-giver who first put the Christian Church in the place of primacy in the organization of the state that it only lost as recently as the seventeenth century; as such, he is very important to legal and social history in the Western experience. This thesis explores the degree to which the Emperor Constantine’s adoption and adaptation of the Christian religion’s bureaucratic structure affected the social and legal order of the Roman state bureaucracy in the fourth century: I do this by examining both the question of his legislation pertaining to making bishops judges and the legal nature of his relationship with the bishops which developed as they appealed their own decisions to his imperial court, specifically in both the Donatist and Arian crises. Constantine’s two pieces of legislation that most directly bear on this question come from 318 and 333: Codex Theodosianus (CTh) 1.27.1 and Sirmondian Constitution (Sirm.) 1, respectively. In the first, an edict, Constantine allows that any litigant may have their case transferred to a bishop’s court if they so choose, but he is careful to emphasize the right of the presiding judge to make this transfer official. In the second, a rescript, Constantine significantly expands the powers of the bishop’s as judges, and indicates that, among other things, just as with decision of the praetorian prefects, any decision of a bishop is not subject to appeal. In this way, the bishop’s court seemed to be positioned by Constantine as an appeal court of kinds, but in practice and according to the small amount of evidence we have on the subject, these courts, the episcopalis audentia, heard most legal matters as a working court of first instance, like that of any other local magistrate. The uniqueness of the court is evident not so much in their powers as judges, but in the fact that they began to hear matters between litigants applying Roman law to enforce their rights. The focus of my research is the seeming expansion of powers that Constantine gives to the bishops from the first to the second piece of legislation. The 333 rescript was actually a reply to the Prefect of Rome, Ablavius, who was questioning the use of the Edict of 318, and because of this, perhaps, we learn a great deal more about what Constantine wanted that earlier law to mean in 333, but whether he initially had this in mind is unknown since the first piece of legislation was very brief. I argue that he did not have this in mind, and that only after his relationship with the bishops grew in the intervening years, highlighted jointly by his blatant adoption of the Christian religion and subsequently assuming state responsibility for their protection and dispute settlement mechanism at the Council of Nicaea in 325, would such expansion of judicial authority make any reasonable sense. The emperor was in some ways compelled into a relationship with the Church because of the internecine conflicts within it which threatened the stability of his Empire, the two most important being the Donatist and Arian crises.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

ICYMI: Finkelman on Frederick Douglass's Constitution @PaulFinkelman @GratzCollege

ICYMI: Paul Finkelman, Gratz College, has published Frederick Douglas's Constitution: From Garrisonian Abolitionist to Lincoln Republican at 81 Missouri Law Review 1 (2016). Here is the abstract.
This Article explores how the great black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was both a constitutional actor and a constitutional theorist. Unlike most constitutional actors, Douglass was not a judge, lawyer, professor, or an elected official. Nevertheless, throughout much of his life, Douglass shaped the Constitution through his actions. He was also shaped by the Constitution as he went from being a fugitive slave – and thus an “object” of the Constitution – to being a free citizen and an appointed officeholder. He became a constitutional theorist who brought his theories into action through his speeches, writings, and activities as an abolitionist, as an antislavery activist, and then as a spokesman for African Americans during the Civil War. This Article provides insights into antebellum constitutional thought and the background to the Fourteenth Amendment. This Article also explores our understanding of the Constitution and its relationship to slavery through the lens of Frederick Douglass. First, the Article looks at how the Constitution impacted Douglass and how Douglass was himself a “constitutional actor,” even though he held no public office and was not even considered a U.S. citizen under the holding in Dred Scott v. Sandford. For example, Douglass was a constitutional actor when he escaped from slavery – and thus came under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution; when he married in New York but was still a fugitive from Maryland; when he applied for, and received, a copyright for his first autobiography, even though he was a fugitive slave at the time; and when he left the United States for Great Britain without a passport. This Article also explores Douglass’s constitutional theories and understandings and how he used the Constitution to oppose slavery. I argue, in part, that his understanding of the Constitution and his approach to constitutional interpretation changed as his life circumstances changed. Thus, when he returned from England, he was a free man because British friends had purchased his liberty. This led him to a new understanding of how to approach the Constitution and how to fight slavery under the Constitution. While essentially a work of legal history, this Article also offers ways of understanding constitutional theory and the elements of being a constitutional actor. The Article also raises issues of interstate comity and the recognition in one state of a status created in another. While not explicitly stated – because this is a work of legal history – this Article obviously has implications for modern issues surrounding marriage equality, child-custody based on interstate recognitions of status changes, the interstate recognition of gender transitions, and the legal rights of non-citizens within the United States.
Download the article here.

Oguamanam on Traditional Knowledge and the "Public Domain" Revisited @Chidi_Oguamanam @

Chidi Oguamanam, University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, has published Wandering Footloose: Traditional Knowledge and the 'Public Domain' Revisited at 2018 JWIP 1. Here is the abstract.
Ongoing interdisciplinary theoretical interests over the “ownership of culture” is a complex conversation that has pitched traditional knowledge (TK) and its holders against other knowledge systems in a manner that implicates significant power relations and plural philosophical orientations over the governance of knowledge. Nowhere is the pressure on TK more pronounced than in the new- found interest of the United States and its allies over the public domain, as evident in the work of the WIPO's special committee charged with negotiating sets of legal instruments for effective protection of TK, genetic resources, and folklore (a.ka. traditional cultural expressions). TK stakeholders are put on the defensive on the assumption that effective protection of TK would undermine the public domain. Ironically, led by the United States, countries who worked tirelessly over the decades to ratchet up intellectual property protection at the expense of the public domain have now reconstituted themselves into its later day champions when it comes to TK. However, it is not as if the Indigenous and local community custodians of TK have no approximation of the public domain in their customary laws, practices and dealings with knowledge production. There has yet to be an interest in non-Eurocentric conceptions of the public domain. Such an interest presents an opportunity to revisit the public domain imperative in order to adumbrate an inclusive and multicultural jurisprudence of the phenomenon.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Evil Women: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference, December 1-2, 2018, Vienna, Austria @ProgConnex

Via Thom Giddens, Co-Director, Centre for Law and Culture, St. Mary's University @thomgiddens:

Evil Women: Women and Evil, an Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference, December 1-December 2, 2018, Vienna, Austria. Submit proposals by June 8, 2018. Here's a description of the conference.

Few things capture the human imagination as much as evil, a notoriously slippery concept that enjoys universal recognition yet defies easy definition. As a term which is frequently used in relation to people who commit appalling crimes, it provides a useful means of describing unimaginable wickedness and is bandied about in popular culture (particularly by the tabloid press) as a way of explaining behaviours which defy belief. Evil is something ‘more than’ doing something morally wrong, ‘more than’ simply committing a crime, ‘more than’ an act of senseless slaughter. Defining that ‘more than’ is difficult: it is precisely this elusive quality which seems to make an act, or a person, evil.
In many cultures, women have been long suspected as the source of sundry human miseries, however basic to society they may be. While ideals of purity and dedication to family have been exalted and feminine beauty lauded, women have been viewed as embodying sinister forces of evil. Mistrusted as seductive and beguiling, women are often thought of as vengeful, manipulative and even malevolent. In grappling with our understanding of what it is to be ‘evil’, the project aims to shine a spotlight on this dark area of the human condition and explore the possible sources of the fear and resentment of women.
Women are not expected to behave in aberrant or illegal ways and we will consider the structural and systemic reasons for the heightened interest, repulsion, condemnation – and even hatred – that feminine transgression generates. Women are condemned not only for what they do but also for what they fail to do; those who harbour, lie for and couple with nefarious men are seen to have failed in their duty as gatekeepers of male morality. Where women themselves are accused of evil they are typically judged more harshly than their male counterparts, as evil acts committed by women are seen to transgress not just legal and moral boundaries but also those imposed by gender.
Against this backdrop, this conference will explore the various conjunctions between evil, women and the feminine. We invite participants to explore evil women/women and evil from the full range of disciplinary, professional and social perspectives. The aim is to generate an inclusive dialogue involving researchers, practitioners, artists, activists, legal professionals, clinicians, social workers, representatives from the voluntary sector, individuals whose lives have been impacted by feminine evil and others with an interest in the field. Topics for discussion include, but are not restricted to:
  • Representations of women and evil in popular culture, literature and history
  • Historical and changing definitions of what constitutes evil behaviour in women
  • Legal, social and cultural responses to evil women
  • Postnatal depression and postpuerperal psychosis
  • Motherhood, matricide and infanticide
  • The intersectionality of feminine evil
  • Mental illness and personality disorders
  • The sexualization of female violence – foxy boxing, video games, film and television
  • How women respond to evil
  • ‘Feminazis’
  • Violence, hysteria and the ‘wandering womb’
  • Female serial killers
  • Female psychopaths
  • Girl gangs
  • Cults
  • ‘Mean girl’ school cliques
  • Temptresses, tricksters and tarts
  • Wicked stepmothers and evil queens
  • Feminine perversions
  • Women and the abject
  • Menstruation: women and blood
  • Female myths and icons – Delilah, Lilith, Medea, Medusa, Clytemnestra, the Harpies and the Femme Fatale
  • The bitch
  • Women and power
  • Women, beauty and evil
  • Vampires, witches and sirens
  • Women as victims of evil
  • Case studies
We particularly welcome creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations, and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate.
More information here

May 14, 2018

ICYMI: Lisa Hopkins on Shakespeare Allusion in Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 2016)

ICYMI: Lisa Hopkins, Sheffield Hallam University, has published Shakespeare Allusion in Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
This book explores why crime fiction so often alludes to Shakespeare. It ranges widely over a variety of authors including classic golden age crime writers such as the four ‘queens of crime’ (Allingham, Christie, Marsh, Sayers), Nicholas Blake and Edmund Crispin, as well as more recent authors such as Reginald Hill, Kate Atkinson and Val McDermid. It also looks at the fondness for Shakespearean allusion in a number of television crime series, most notably Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse and Lewis, and considers the special sub-genre of detective stories in which a lost Shakespeare play is found. It shows how Shakespeare facilitates discussions about what constitutes justice, what authorises the detective to track down the villain, who owns the countryside, national and social identities, and the question of how we measure cultural value.

Richard Underwood on Gaslight Lawyers: Criminal Trials & Exploits in Gilded Age New York @smp_books

If you are looking for an engaging book about historical crime and the doings of late nineteenth and early twentieth century attorneys, check out Richard H. Underwood's Gaslight Lawyers: Criminal Trials & Exploits in Gilded Age New York  (Shadelandhouse Modern Press, 2017).

This entertaining volume examines what we might call the seedier and eminently colorful side of criminal law practice in the Big Apple during the period, and especially the doings of such well known attorneys as William Howe, who took on some of the biggest cases of the time. 

A good read, and an excellent gift, for yourself or for a true crime maven of your acquaintance.

Image result for shadelandhouse modern press

NB: I received a free copy of Gaslight Lawyers from the publisher/author in return for this independent review.

Corcos on Some Popular Culture Images of AI In Humanity's Courtroom @LSULawCenter @SavLawRev

Christine A. Corcos, Louisiana State University Law Center, is publishing ‘I Am the Master’: Some Popular Culture Images of AI in Humanity’s Courtroom in the Savannah Law Review (2018), as part of the symposium Rise of the Automatons. Here is the abstract.
Both serious literature and popular culture are flooding us with discussions of the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). As we note the rise of the subject of robot law and particularly the question of whether AI could possibly become sentient we begin to take seriously concerns about the regulation of the use of robots and the possibility that AI might pose a threat to the physical safety and privacy of human beings. In particular, we are beginning to wonder how we might control this new technology, which seems both more intelligent and more powerful than human beings. Suppose unethical or negligent programmers create situations in which AI escapes human controls and thus contravenes human norms or rules? Can we bring that AI to account? Ought we to do so, particularly if that AI is sentient or approaches sentience? At first, we might think that the answer should be “yes,” because after all we have created the AI and we should continue to control it. But the question is, I would submit, more complicated. We have created computers and robots as useful tools, but we have continued to develop them as far more — as devices that far outstrip our own capacities to decipher the mysteries of the Universe. If we deliberately endow them with characteristics that mimic our own, if they develop those independently, or develop others by analogy allowing them to function in ways that mirror human activities, can we continue to insist that we should treat them as property and that they should do our bidding? If at some point, they make some demand for the right not to follow commands that we issue, for whatever reason, ought we to ignore that demand? Novelists, filmmakers, and other artists who create popular culture have already considered this question for decades, if not centuries. In this Article, I discuss some of the ways in which some of them have thought about these issues and the insights they have had, which could guide us as we move through this important area.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

See other articles in this symposium:  Brian L. Frye, The Lion, the Bat, & the Thermostat,  Philip Segal, Legal Jobs in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Moving From Today's Limited Universe of Data Toward the Great Beyond.

Davies on Love, Understanding, & Justice, and Reading Comic Books

Ross E. Davies, George Mason University, Scalia Law School, and The Green Bag, has published Love, Understanding & Justice at Re-readings III at 1 (2018). Here is the abstract.
The great legal realist Llewellyn, then, thinks we should read and re-read a comic book because of what it can teach us about the significance of love and understanding to the administration of justice. It is a thought (a thought, that is, about love, understanding, and justice, not their exposition in comic books) that does seem to have occurred to at least a few judges and legal scholars. Or at least a few have mentioned it.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Frankenstein: A Multidisciplinary Conference, June 14, 2018, Northumbria University Law School @NorthumbriaUni @thomgiddens @CrimeStudiesNet

Via Thom Giddens @thomgiddens and Crime Studies Network @CrimeStudiesNet:

News of a very interesting multidisciplinary conference at Northumbria University Law School, June 14, devoted to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, published 200 years ago this year.

Frankenstein: A Multidisciplinary Conference will be taking place on Thursday 14 June at City Campus East. Northumbria University Law School and Department of Social Sciences (in collaboration with the Crime Studies Network) is pleased to announce this multidisciplinary conference to celebrate the bicentenary of the first publication of Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.  If you would like to attend the conference, please email to register.

Website here.

Timetable here.

West on Justice Stevens, the Writer @sonjawest

Sonja West, University of Georgia School of Law, has published Justice Stevens, the Writer at 94 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1417 (2017). Here is the abstract.
In any discussion about United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, you're likely to hear him labeled in a variety of ways--as a brilliant “judge's judge,” the highly successful leader of the Court's more liberal wing, the prolific “maverick,” and a shrewd questioner from the bench. You might also hear him described simply as a polite and humble Midwesterner, bow-tie aficionado and diehard Cubs fan. Yet while Justice Stevens is and was all of these things, there is another important title he richly deserves yet often does not receive--Justice Stevens, the excellent writer. This essay strives to close that gap and celebrate the unsung writing talents of Justice Stevens. This is by no means meant to be a serious linguistic study of his writings, nor is it an exhaustive overview. My goal, rather, is simply to highlight his skills as a wordsmith with some of the most memorable examples. What follows is a collection of snippets of Justice Stevens's writing drawn from my own reservoir of personal favorites and an informal survey of other former Stevens clerks.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Weinrib on Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach @UTLaw

Ernest J. Weinrib, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, has published, Ownership, Use, and Exclusivity: The Kantian Approach at 31 Ratio Juris 123 (2018). Here is the abstract.
Ownership combines the owner's right to exclude others from the owned object and the owner's liberty to use that object. This article addresses the relationship between using and excluding, by presenting Grotius's and Kant's classic accounts of ownership. Grotius's approach treats use and exclusivity as separate notions, with the latter evolving out of the former. For Kant, in contrast, use and exclusivity are integrated aspects of ownership as a right within a regime of equal reciprocal freedom. This article offers a Kantian critique of Grotius's account of the original right to use, and then presents Kant's notion of usability as the basis for his integration of use and exclusivity.
The full text is not available from SSRN for download.

Instituting Archives: One Day Symposium, Birkbeck School of Law @piyelhaldar

From Piyel Haldar,
To celebrate the 25th anniversary since its foundation and the launch of the Anniversary Archives, Birkbeck School of Law will be hosting ‘Instituting Archives.’
This one day symposium will explore the complexities, perversities and potentialities involved in the relationship between archives and institutions. Included will be a roundtable discussion on Cornelia Vismann’s files.
The event is organised by Peter Goodrich the founder of the present incarnation of Birkbeck Law school and Piyel Haldar.
Speakers: Peter Goodrich, Anselm Haverkamp, Brenna Bhandar, Vanessa Ruegger, Jose Bellido, Emma Sandon, Kanika Sharma, Nayanika Mathur, Bernard Keenan, Mayur Suresh, Shela Sheik & Angela Condello.

Hargreaves on Street Photography in the Service of the Male Gaze @CUHKofficial

Stuart Hargreaves, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, is publishing ‘I’m a Creep, I’m a Weirdo’: Street Photography in the Service of the Male Gaze in Surveillance, Privacy and Public Space (Bryce Clayton Newell, Tjerk Timan, and Bert-Jaap Koops, eds., Routledge, 2018)(Routledge Studies in Surveillance). Here is the abstract.
This chapter considers two phenomena, both of which involve the digitally-mediated collection and sharing of images of people without their knowledge or consent. In the first, “creepshots,” individuals take surreptitious photographs and share them on online message boards. In the second, individuals scour virtual street maps (such as Google Street View) for “notable” images that are then placed elsewhere online for others to review. In both cases, there is a large and anonymous audience viewing the images. In both cases, women in public or quasi-public spaces are the overwhelming targets of this digital gaze. In both cases, the online commentary quickly becomes sexual in nature, and is frequently overtly hostile. This chapter argues that these practices implicate different kinds of harms — broader, more diffuse — than conventional privacy invasions. As such, rather than being understood through the rubric of ‘privacy’ they are better understood as a new form of public surveillance. Consequently, legal mechanisms grounded in the typical (liberal) dichotomous understanding of what is public and what is private are unlikely to prove an adequate solution.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

May 13, 2018

Ted Laros: Literature and the Law in South Africa, 1910-2010 (2017) @Cultuur_OU @rowmanandlittlefield

Ted Laros, Open University of the Netherlands, has published Literature and the Law in South Africa, 1910–2010: The Long Walk to Artistic Freedom (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
In 1994, artistic freedom pertaining inter alia to literature was enshrined in the South African Constitution. Clearly, the establishment of this right was long overdue compared to other nations within the Commonwealth. Indeed, the legal framework and practices regarding the regulation of literature that were introduced following the nation’s transition to a non-racial democracy seemed to form a decisive turning point in the history of South African censorship of literature. This study employs a historical sociological point of view to describe how the nation’s emerging literary field helped pave the way for the constitutional entrenchment of this right in 1994. On the basis of institutional and poetological analyses of all the legal trials concerning literature that were held in South Africa during the period 1910–2010, it describes how the battles fought in and around the courts between literary, judicial and executive elites eventually led to a constitutional exceptio artis for literature. As the South African judiciary displayed an ongoing orientation towards both English and American law in this period, the analyses are firmly placed in the context of developments occurring concurrently in these two legal systems.


ICYMI: Thomas Carlyle Resartus (Rowman and Littlefield, eds., 2010) @rowmanandlittlefield

ICYMI: Thomas Carlyle Resartus (Paul E. Kerry and Marylu Hill, eds., Rowman and Littlefield/Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 2010). Here is a description of the book's contents from the website.
One hundred and fifty years ago Thomas Carlyle was the intellectual gadfly whom many disagreed with but everyone read. Statesmen, philosophers, novelists, historians-anyone wrestling with the most vexed issues of modern life-had to come to grips with his writings. For much of the nineteenth century Carlyle was a prophetic voice-strong, bullying, passionate, and convincing; able to rouse his contemporaries to action and reform. This book reassesses Carlyle for a new generation in no less serious circumstances. Long before the phrase "sub-prime mortgage" came into vogue, Thomas Carlyle spoke eloquently and prophetically against the Gospel of Mammonism. Moreover, he recognized the threats to community that accompany a modern liberal society. Readers can now rediscover a Carlyle who challenges an increasingly self-absorbed culture, rails against the excesses of capitalist greed, teaches "Captains of Industry" to embrace a new kind of leadership, restores a meaningful connection to the past, and draws our gaze to genuine heroism. He champions the dignity of work, has much to say to those who would be leaders, and appeals for corporate reform in the name of love and community. The essays in this volume represent some of the most recent reconsiderations of the living legacy of Thomas Carlyle from both established and upcoming Carlyle scholars. Readers will have the opportunity to explore the richness of Carlyle's ideals, including the ones which challenge modern sensibilities the most. The essays examine carefully the complexities, difficulties, and contours of Carlyle's political and social vision. They also sample the breadth of Carlyle's thought, along with that of Jane Welsh Carlyle, his wife and fellow intellectual traveler, covering topics from political philosophy and cultural critique to education, historiography, biography, and the vagaries of editing.


A New Book on Teaching Crime Fiction @Palgrave_

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Teaching Crime Fiction (Charlotte Beyer, ed., 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
More than perhaps any other genre, crime fiction invites debate over the role of popular fiction in English studies. This book offers lively original essays on teaching crime fiction written by experienced British and international scholar teachers, providing vital insight into this diverse genre through a series of compelling subjects. Taking its starting-point in pedagogical reflections and classroom experiences, the book explores methods for teaching students to develop their own critical perspectives as crime fiction critics, the impact of feminism, postcolonialism, and ecocriticism on crime fiction, crime fiction and film, the crime short story, postgraduate perspectives, and more.

A New Book on Irish Crime Fiction @BrianFCliff @Palgrave_

Brian Cliff, Trinity College Dublin, has published Irish Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's content.
This book examines the recent expansion of Ireland's literary tradition to include home-grown crime fiction. It surveys the wave of books that use genre structures to explore specifically Irish issues such as the Troubles and the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger, as well as Irish experiences of human trafficking, the supernatural, abortion, and civic corruption. These novels are as likely to address the national regulation of sexuality through institutions like the Magdalen Laundries as they are to follow serial killers through the American South or to trace international corporate conspiracies. This study includes chapters on Northern Irish crime fiction, novels set in the Republic, women protagonists, and transnational themes, and discusses Irish authors’ adaptations of a well-loved genre and their effect on assumptions about the nature of Irish literature. It is a book for readers of crime fiction and Irish literature alike, illuminating the fertile intersections of the two

May 12, 2018

Birnhack on Colonial Intellectual Property @Birnhack @TAU_Law

Michael Birnhack, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, is publishing Colonial Intellectual Property in Handbook on Intellectual Property Research (Irene Calboli, and Maria Lilla' Montagnani, eds., Oxford University Pres, 2019). Here is the abstract.
Most of the literature on Intellectual property (IP) legal history focuses on Western IP norms and ideas, especially British, American, and former British colonies. This chapter, to be published in the OUP Handbook on IP Research, adds some critical questions, in the context of imperialism and colonialism, namely, a post-colonial view of IP in a colonial context. As the Empires of the late 19th century and early 20th century, especially the British Empire, extended their global reach, they applied their own IP law in the new territories they controlled. They did so first and foremost for their own benefit. The imposition of a foreign, external law onto a local population, might have resulted in conflicts. Thus far, most IP history was told from the colonizers’ perspective. The paper argues for the inclusion of the colonized perspective, and offers a conceptual research framework. Colonial IP lies at the intersection of (1) a critical approach to legal transplants that views it as a process and interaction of foreign law and local laws and norms; (2) applied in a colonial setting; and (3) taking into account IP’s unique features. This framework provides an organizing structure for the study of IP history in a colonial context. It offers a critical stance that is aware of the multiplicity of voices, and builds on lessons from the study of law and society about gaps between the law in the books and the law in practice, about the social construction of the law, and the powers at stake. It enables us to be skeptical of the official history, which was typically told or mediated by the colonizers. This is a post-colonial approach to IP. The chapter begins with the separate ingredients of the proposed framework, and then integrates them together and discussed its challenges and pitfalls. Along the discussion, I bring some examples, mostly from on copyright and trademark law in Mandate Palestine (1922-1948).
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 11, 2018

Keitner on Explaining International Acts @KeitnerLaw

Chimène Keitner, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, is publishing Explaining International Acts in the McGill Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
This contribution to a symposium on Evan Criddle & Evan Fox-Decent’s “Fiduciaries of Humanity” pushes against the strong claim by some critics that international legal norms are concerned solely with outcomes, rather than with processes of deliberation and justification more commonly associated with certain areas of domestic law. It explores this proposition by looking at examples including the 1999 Kosovo intervention, the April 2018 Syria strikes, and the results of the Chilcot Inquiry in the United Kingdom. Although deliberative processes that lead to international acts may not be judicially reviewable to the same extent as those that lead to purely domestic acts, the push for “transparency” among domestic constituencies, as well as other oversight mechanisms, create ex ante incentives for integrity in decision-making processes and rationales in the conduct of foreign affairs. In addition, ex post explanations of international acts may themselves carry legal significance as expressions of a state’s opinio juris. Scholars and practitioners should not discount the “culture of justification” that exists at the international level, even outside international courts and tribunals.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Hunt on The Law in Plato's Laws @radfordu

Luke William Hunt, Radford University, has published The Law in Plato's Laws: A Reading of the 'Classical Thesis' at 35 Polis 102 (2018).
Plato’s Laws include what H.L.A. Hart called the ‘classical thesis’ about the nature and role of law: the law exists to see that one leads a morally good life. This paper develops Hart’s brief remarks by providing a panorama of the classical thesis in Laws. This is done by considering two themes: (1) the extent to which Laws is paternalistic, and (2) the extent to which Laws is naturalistic. These themes are significant for a number of reasons, including because they show how Laws might be viewed as a sophisticated forerunner of natural law theory. The upshot is that Plato's metaphysical commitments about legal ontology allow him to base the truth of legal propositions on the way they relate to the truth of corresponding moral propositions.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

Hunt on Norms, Narratives, and Politics @radfordu

Luke William Hunt, Radford University, has published Norms, Narratives, and Politics at 101 Soundings 173 (2018). Here is the abstract.
This essay considers how legal and philosophical ideals relate to contemporary politics. While political commentary is often concerned with descriptive analysis of public affairs, this essay pursues normative analysis of emerging trends in public life. The essay’s underlying theme is that “liberal” states — such as the United States — from time to time become illiberal by departing from the basic legal and philosophical norms of that tradition. Although it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions while in the moment, the tentative conclusion is that we are in the midst of a departure from liberal norms. The essay takes a discursive approach — drawing upon Appalachian culture, popular culture, and personal narrative — to highlight the altered trajectory from those norms.

Download the article from SSRN at the link. 

May 10, 2018

Barry on The Words Under the Words

Patrick Barry, University of Michigan Law School, has published The Words Under the Words at 70 Stanford Law Review Online 70 (August 2017).
Combining insights from the poet Naoimi Shihab Nye and the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Elizabeth Loftus, this paper offers ways to develop perhaps the most important skill advocates of all kinds can develop: being good with words.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Katz on Family Law as Criminal Law @elizabethdkatz

Elizabeth D. Katz, Stanford Center for Law and History; Harvard University, Department of History, is publishing Family Law as Criminal Law: The Forgotten Criminal Origins of Modern Family Laws and Courts in the University of Chicago Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract.
This Article challenges core understandings about the family law canon, the growth of probation, and the criminal-civil divide by providing the first history of a formative yet forgotten chapter in the development of specialized family courts and child support enforcement. A central tenet in family law scholarship holds that “family law” and “criminal law” are distinct, except in limited or modern circumstances. Scholars suggest this separation results from and reflects fundamental notions about family privacy and state nonintervention. Relying on extensive historical research, this Article radically revises that account by demonstrating that modern support enforcement is rooted in criminal statutes passed around the turn of the twentieth century. Criminal nonsupport prosecutions introduced novel state intervention in family behaviors, and especially marital finances, by assigning newly minted probation officers to reconcile, investigate, and monitor families. Probation officers, in turn, promoted and staffed specialized criminal nonsupport courts — initially called “domestic relations courts” and later “family courts” — that cities first opened in the 1910s. Beginning in the 1930s, perceived disadvantages of criminal law led legislators to strategically relabel family courts and support enforcement as “civil,” even while retaining procedures, personnel, and powers drawn from the criminal approach. Observers found the ongoing use of criminal-derived oversight methods unremarkable; the half-century in which family law was largely criminal law shifted norms about acceptable and desirable state involvement in family relationships. As the number of civil nonsupport suits surpassed prosecutions under criminal statutes, which all states retained, and divorce jurisdiction moved to family courts, family law and courts increasingly appeared civil, obscuring their criminal heritage and continued criminal-law reinforcement. The criminal origins of family courts and support enforcement hold significant implications for the millions of domestic relations cases filed each year, as well as for other types of litigation that blur boundaries between civil and criminal categories. The “civil” label can bring momentous consequences. In a prominent family-related example, Turner v. Rogers, 564 U.S. 431 (2011), the Supreme Court rejected a father’s claim that he was entitled to a public defender, when facing incarceration for a year for nonpayment of child support, on the basis that his imprisonment was for civil contempt. This Article employs history to demonstrate the superficiality of the Court’s holding and to formulate a sounder analysis for future cases in the child support context and beyond.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Barkow on Making Connection with The Wire @RachelBarkow

Rachel E. Barkow, New York University School of Law, is publishing Making Connections with The Wire: Telling the Stories Behind the Statistics in the University of Chicago Legal Forum. Here is the abstract.
The reality of human nature is that facts and statistics do not move people to action — stories and personal connections do. Narratives, more than raw numbers, help people see the relationship between social and economic inequality and crime. For most Americans, the stories that have informed their view of criminal justice have created the misleading impression that many, if not most, people who commit crimes are violent by nature and unredeemable. With that perception, the statistics cannot break through because the public incorrectly believes the people in prison must all deserve to be there and retribution and public safety demand no less. This essay, part of a symposium celebrating The Wire, argues that the show provided a different narrative that vividly demonstrated for its viewers the way crime and policing really look in America, offering many of its viewers their first realistic view of these dynamics. It showed how structural forces propel people to commit crimes and vividly captured the daily struggles of people living in poverty in America’s cities. Viewers came to care about the shows characters and saw their humanity even when they committed crimes. For many viewers, it would be the first time they had a realistic view of crime and policing up close. And once you have that perspective, you cannot help but see all that is wrong with the current approach to crime. The Wire was art at its transformative best.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 9, 2018

Khoday on Law and Resistance in American Military Films @amarkhoday

Amar Khoday, University of Manitoba Faculty of Law, is publishing Valorizing Disobedience within the Ranks: Law and Resistance in American Military Films in volume 36 of the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal (2018). Here is the abstract.
Over the past few decades, there has been a growing scholarship concerning the intersections between law and popular culture. Films, as one significant form of popular culture, can project and help shape public perceptions about various aspects of law and legal normativity. This article examines a series of American films as producers of a cinematic jurisprudence concerning the legitimate role of disobedience in military life. The author examines how a series of such films has stressed the importance of questioning orders and engaging in various forms of resistance to challenge illegal conduct. Through these stories, resistance is portrayed as legitimate and justified conduct when committed in favor of saving lives and exposing criminal conduct. In assessing this cinematic jurisprudence, the article also examines the narrow emphasis of such films on the role of male soldiers as agents and how females as resistive actors have largely been ignored.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 8, 2018

CFP: Law and Justice Through Australian Lenses: Bushrangers, Battlers, and Bastards @GriffLawSchool

From Kieran Tranter, Law Futures Centre, Griffith University, comes this call for contributions for a very interesting collection on Australian law and film.

Law and Justice through Australian Lenses: Bushrangers, Battlers and Bastards

Kim Weinert
Law Futures Centre, Griffith University

Kieran Tranter
Law Futures Centre, Griffith University

Australian film and television occupies a special place in global televisual culture. Australian lenses have captured a nation and a culture seemingly fixated on issues of (out)law and (in)justice, producing films and television of striking landscapes peopled by bushrangers, battlers and bastards. From the several outlaw tales of Ned Kelly, to the fight for justice by the Kerrigans in the Castle, to the antics of the ‘ocker’, Australia has created a lasting legacy (for good or bad) of representations of law and justice ‘down-under’. Further, Australian lenses have had a significant impact on global film and television. Deeply compromised by the violence against the lives and laws of First Australians, Australian films and television has sharply illuminated what it means to live with a ‘rule of law’ that rules with a legacy, and a reality, of deep injustice. In this Australian film and television presents a critical lens through which to analysis Western law, legality and justice in its trans-cultural and global context.

This volume is the first to bring together scholars to reflect on, and critically engage with, the representations and global implications of law and justice captured by Australian film and television. It explores how Australian lenses have provided a cascade of distinctly Australian images and narratives that also provide global insights into the translations and transmogrifications of law and justice.

Contributors are invited to submit chapter proposal and a brief CV for consideration by the editors for inclusion in this edited volume.

Possible questions to respond to but not limited to the following:
·       What do Australian lenses tell us about law and justice?
·       How has law and justice been screened by specific Australian films?
·       Has Australian film transcended the legal narratives of ‘bushrangers, battlers and bastards’?
·       How has Australian film and television redressed or continued the violence of dispossession and colonialism towards First Australians?
·       What impact does technology advances and global forces have on producing and consuming Australian films and television? How has law been responsible for this change? How has representations of law and justice been changed?
·       How has Australian framing of law and justice become global?
·       Does Australian film and television bring a unique perspective to the police, lawyer or prison genres?
·       How Australian are Australian films and television?

Contributors should submit a proposal (300 words) and a brief CV (no longer than one page) to: by 31 May 2018.

The editors will advise contributors of inclusion and process by 15 June 2018.
The first draft of chapters (5000-7000 words) for peer review will be due 19 November 2018 with an expected publication date of late 2019.

May 7, 2018

ICYMI: Constitución poética de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos @jcalvo11

Via Iurisdictio-Lex Malacitana:

Constitución poética de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos: una reescritura en el centenario constitucional (Manuel de J. Jiménez Moreno, ed., Mexico City: Editorial Proyecto Literal, 2017).

Davies, on August 1914: Mycroft Holmes and Pre-War European Diplomacy @GB2d

Ross E. Davies, George Mason University Law School, and The Green Bag, has published August 1914 - Mycroft Holmes and Pre-War European Diplomacy at Trenches: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes 127 (Robert Katz and Andrew Solberg, eds., 2018). Here is the abstract.
What caused World War I? And how was it that the diplomats and their masters failed to avert such an obviously disastrous bloodbath? (Sherlock Holmes once referred to war as a “ridiculous” and “preposterous” “method of settling international questions.”) Scholars cannot agree. Indeed, even among elite European historians (a crowd that specializes in studying the evolution of a complex of complex cultures), the tangled threads that led to the Great War are viewed as an extraordinarily terrible mare’s nest. Nevertheless, there is enough common ground on some main themes to make for a fairly coherent conventional narrative of pre-war European diplomacy. It begins in October 1879 — when Austria-Hungary and Germany formed the Dual Alliance. It ends in August 1914 — when diplomacy failed and the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary and Germany) and the Entente Powers (France, Russia and Great Britain) declared war on each other. That passage of 35 years also marks, roughly, the span of Mycroft Holmes’s career in the British government. His involvement in the maneuverings of the great powers in those times may be invisible to most modern eyes (as it was to his contemporaries), but there are clues. They will crop up from time to time in this narrative, which reviews, briefly and in sequence, the perspectives of each of the five major players in the onset of World War I — Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Russia and Great Britain — with some emphasis on Austria-Hungary, because that is where the war to end all wars began.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Amann on Writing Truth To Power: Remarks in Celebration of IntLawGrrls' Tenth Birthday @DianeMarie Amann @UGASchoolofLaw

Diane Marie Amnn, University of Georgia School of Law and University of Georgia Dean Rusk International Law Center, is publishing Writing Truth to Power: Remarks in Celebration of IntLawGrrls’ Tenth Birthday in volume 46 of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law (2017). Here is the abstract.
These remarks begin with a brief history of the founding and development of IntLawGrrls blog, in order both to open the blog's tenth-anniversary conference and to introduce other conference presentations, three of which appear in this same edition of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law. Noting the blog's tradition of honoring departed women as foremothers, the remarks nominates yet another: Sophie Scholl, a German student executed for her part in the White Rose movement that acted in resistance to the Nazi regime.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies Will Host 29th World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy in July 2019 @uniluzern

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne, Switzerland, is hosting the 29th World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy from July 7 to July 13, 2019. The theme of the conference is "Dignity, Democracy, Diversity." Here is a link to more information about the conference.  Here is a link to the CFP.

The Institute is also seeking applications for its Visiting Fellows Program for 2019. See the post here.

Call For Applications, Visiting Fellows Program, Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne @UniLuzern

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne, Switzerland, has issued a call for applications for its Visiting Fellows Program, 2019. Here is a link to the call. 

See also my next post about the 29th World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, being held at the Institute in 2019. Looks like it's a very dynamic place for law and humanities research!

Via Steven Howe, Associate Director and Research Fellow, Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne, Faculty of Law, Lucerne, Switzerland

May 6, 2018

A New Book From François Ost: Le droit: object de passions? @jcalvo11

Via the blog Iurisdictio-Lex Malacitana, news of a new publication from François Ost: Le droit: object de passions? (Academie royal de Belgique, 2018).

Professor Ost is also the author of Raconter la loi (Odile Jacob, 2004), Sade et la loi (Odile Jacob, 2005), and Shakespeare, la comédie de la loi (Michalon, 2012).

May 5, 2018

Block That Romance Fiction Sports Reference!

In case you missed it, sports team owners need to move quickly if they want to name their franchises something catchy. Otherwise they might find that they've been pre-empted by someone else--say, a romance novel writer.

Seattle is currently contemplating bringing an NHL expansion team to town, and of course that team will need an exciting name. But which one? A number are under consideration,  but might be difficult to use, because they have other connotations. The "Seattle Kraken" sounds pretty fierce, but haven't we heard about Kraken somewhere before? And the "Seattle Sockeye"? Well, as it turns out, there is a Seattle Sockeye hockey team already, but it exists in the pages of writer Pamela Bowerman's romance novels.  Ms. Bowerman has applied for a trademark to protect her fictional team. Goal?

Maybe we'll be hearing about the "Seattle Seafarers"?

Law and Humanities Conference, May 18-19, 2018, Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is hosting a law and humanities conference, May 18-19.  Here is a link to the agenda, which features, among many other leading scholars, Simon Stern, Bernadette Meyler, Christopher Tomlins, Christopher Warren, Robert Spoo, Bennett Capers, Suzanne Keen, and Nomi Stolzenberg.

Looks like a wonderful event.

May 4, 2018

Mignanelli on Whether Satan Is a Transactions Attorney @nmignanelli

Nicholas Mignanelli, University of Miami School of Law, has published Is Satan a Transactions Attorney? An Account of Satanic Imagery in Law and Literature. Here is the abstract.
What can the history of satanic imagery in law and literature teach us about the development of humanity’s understanding of its relationship with evil? This wide-ranging account of Satan’s presence across textual mediums uncovers the secret genealogy of contracts with Satan, from the Gospel of Matthew to Mayo v. Satan and His Staff (1971). This ironic lineage recounts how a Christian clergyman was the first to consummate a contract with Satan, how Martin Luther was the first to link Johann Faust to Satan, and how the poet who inspired Charlie Daniel’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” was the first to imagine an attorney litigating against Satan. Yet, these ironies are not so significant as the moral innovations that each stage in the evolution of the diabolical contract motif represents.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Brings to mind The Devil's Advocate by Andrew Neiderman (made into the 1997 film with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves) and Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger (various editions, on which Kevin Malone based his opera Mysterious 44). 

Star Wars and Law @abalsd

Via ABA For Law Students, some excellent Star Wars and Law mock trial fodder from editor Adam Music. As it's May 4, he notes that a number of law schools and universities, both in the U.S. and Canada, have prepared Star Wars-themed mock trial competitions that investigate issues raised in the films. Among them: Cornell College (Iowa) and Gonzaga Law School (Washington). More here.

Raise a glass of your favorite brew as you toast the litigants, and may the Force be with you.

Thake on The Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage as a Genocidal Act and a Crime Against Humanity

Ann Marie Thake, Government of Malta, Courts of Justice (Superior Jurisdiction), has published The Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage as a Genocidal Act and a Crime Against Humanity, Conference Paper No. 15/2017 given at the European Society of International Law (ESIL), 2017 Annual Conference (Naples). Here is the abstract.
Lemkin originally envisaged the crime of genocide as encompassing not only physical and biological acts of genocide, but also the intentional destruction of cultural heritage. In fact, earlier drafts of the Genocide Convention proposed the criminalisation not only of physical and biological genocide, but also of cultural genocide, with the latter understood as involving the destruction of specific characteristics of the protected group. This was eventually left out of the final draft of the Convention, save for the prohibition of the forcible transfer of the protected group’s children. However, the destruction of a protected group can be brought about not only by physical or biological means, but also by systematically erasing its culture heritage and therefore its group identity, destroying the group from its very core, an act which is described by Chaumont as constituting ‘ethnocide’. In fact, the ad hoc criminal tribunals have considered the systematic and intentional destruction of cultural heritage as evidence of the specific intent to destroy a group. The aim of this paper is to analyse the intentional destruction of cultural heritage from a human perspective, considering it as a crime against persons, not solely against property, and to examine whether it is time to revise the definition of genocide to incorporate the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a genocidal act, as it was originally conceived by Lemkin.
Download the paper at