January 31, 2018

Forthcoming From Hart Publishing: Barbara Lauriat, Intellectual Property and Victorian Inquiry: The Royal Commissions on Patent and Copyright (2018) @hartpublishing @KCL-Law

Forthcoming from Hart Publishing: Barbara Lauriat, Intellectual Property and Victorian Inquiry: The Royal Commissions on Patent and Copyright (October, 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's content.
This monograph examines the Royal Commissions on Patent (1864) and Copyright (1878) by exploring the people, procedures, and politics behind these in-depth inquiries into intellectual property reform of the latter half of the nineteenth century, and by placing them within their historical and ideological context. In examining copyright and patent law from the ground up, commission members were necessarily forced to grapple with fundamental questions about the nature of property itself. Commissioners' views on the nature and purpose of copyright and patent influenced their views on how far the rights should extend-in time, geography, and scope. Close analysis of the Commissions provides insight into our own debates about the nature of intellectual property and provide a model for future attempts at law reform. The book is a contribution to the history not only of intellectual property law but also of royal commissions in the nineteenth century. The author gives a well-rounded picture of developments in thought about intellectual property as a whole in the period, which are still critical in the way we understand and approach the subject today.

 Media of Intellectual Property and Victorian Inquiry

New From Hart Publishing: Christoph Kletzer, The Idea of a Pure Theory of Law (2018) @hartpublishing @c_kletzer

New from Hart Publishing: Christoph Kletzer, The Idea of a Pure Theory of Law: An Interpretation and Defence (2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Most contemporary legal philosophers tend to take force to be an accessory to the law. According to this prevalent view the law primarily consists of a series of demands made on us; force, conversely, comes into play only when these demands fail to be satisfied. This book claims that this model should be jettisoned in favour of a radically different one: according to the proposed view, force is not an accessory to the law but rather its attribute. The law is not simply a set of rules incidentally guaranteed by force, but it should be understood as essentially rules about force. The book explores in detail the nature of this claim and develops its corollaries. It then provides an overview of the contemporary jurisprudential debates relating to force and violence, and defends its claims against well-known counter-arguments by Hart, Raz and others. This book offers an innovative insight into the concept of Pure Theory. In contrast to what was claimed by Hans Kelsen, the most eminent contributor to this theory, the author argues that the core insight of the Pure Theory is not to be found in the concept of a basic norm, or in the supposed absence of a conceptual relation between law and morality, but rather in the fundamental and comprehensive reformulation of how to model the functioning of the law intended as an ordering of force and violence.

 Media of The Idea of a Pure Theory of Law

January 30, 2018

Call For Papers: Third Annual Legal Studies Conference, Brown University @ArsScripta @BrownUniversity

The Brown Legal Studies Initiative has issued a call for papers on the subject of "Law, Language, and the Archive" for its third annual graduate student conference.

The conference takes place April 27-28, 2018, at Brown University. Submission deadline is March 1, 2018.

More information available here.

TV's Female Spies and Crimefighters @KarenARomanko @TVHerstory

From Advanced TV Herstory, an interview with Karen Romanko, author of Television's Female Spies and Crimefighters (McFarland Books).

Lowe on Madison's Importance To the American Constitutional Tradition

Jessica Lowe, University of Virginia School of Law, is publishing Thank You, Mr. Madison in volume 53 of the Tulsa Law Review. Here is the abstract.
Alexander Hamilton may be fashionable these days, but according to two recent books, it is James Madison whom Americans should thank for — well, for just about everything. Michael Klarman’s The Framers’ Coup and Jeremy Bailey’s James Madison and Constitutional Imperfection persuasively demonstrate Madison’s centrality to the American constitutional tradition. They are very different books. Klarman’s is a sweeping and much-needed narrative history of the entire founding period, from the troubles of the 1780s through the ratification of the first amendments to the Constitution. Bailey’s is a work of political science, and focuses primarily on what came after — on the whole Madison, especially his later career — examining the difference between Madison and what has become known as “Madisonian Constitutionalism.” Both books provide critical additions to the multidisciplinary literature on the American founding, and in their own ways critique the idea of constitutional veneration Were the Framers elitist? Certainly. But maybe, instead of lamenting the Framers’ coup, we should say thank you, James Madison. Madison’s example provides an important caution about realizing the boundaries between the ideal and the possible. Today, America still has Madison’s imperfect Constitution — perhaps made more perfect by some developments in history, less perfect by others and by the passage of time. Here, a Hamiltonian solution might (ironically for an essay about Madison) be instructive. Not Hamiltonian in the 1790s sense, but in the sense of the popular twenty-first century musical: a reappropriation of America’s founding to seize the many things that it does have to say to twenty-first century America. Americans’ reverence for the founding provides a kind of shared glue, a common narrative, for the nation. This is, of course, also a problem, given the way that, as Klarman lays out, that narrative has been used at various points in American history. But perhaps the solution to that could be not to cede the ground, but to find a way to enthusiastically reclaim it.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Kathrani on the "Blade Runner" Films and Asylum Law @PKathrani

Paresh Kathrani, Westminster Law School, University of Westminster, has published Do Androids Dream of Asylum? The Blade Runner Films (1982, 2017) and Fear of the 'Other' at 16 The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal 1 (2018). Here is the abstract.
One of the predominant themes of both Blade Runner movies from 1982 and 2017 is the fear of the ‘other’. At the same time as the replicants represent the most obvious other, both films’ enduring genius lie in how they use features like their soundtracks, images and storylines to make the other resonate. Asylum seekers and refugees too are often perceived as others and this film review uses international refugee law as a framework to explore some of the critical themes that arise in both the movies. It argues that there are common issues that underpin the treatment of persecuted people and replicants, especially stemming from otherness, and international refugee law is a good framework to explore these issues.

Cummings on the Puzzle of Social Movements in American Legal History @UCLA_Law

Scott L. Cummings, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, has published The Puzzle of Social Movements in American Legal Theory at 64 UCLA Law Review 1552 (2017). Here is the abstract.
In one of the most striking developments in American legal scholarship over the past quarter century, social movements have become central to the study of law. In constitutional theory, movements have emerged as key drivers of legal reform, creating new constitutional ideals and minimizing concerns of activist courts overriding the majority will. In lawyering theory, movements have appeared as mobilized clients in the pursuit of social change, leading political struggle and shifting attention away from concerns about activist lawyers dominating marginalized groups. In a surprising turnabout, social movements — long ignored by legal academics — have now achieved a privileged position in legal scholarship as engines of progressive transformation. Why social movements have come to play this dramatic new role is the central inquiry of this Article. To answer it, the Article provides an original account of progressive legal theory that reveals how the rise of social movements is a current response to an age-old problem: harnessing law as a force for social change within American democracy while still maintaining a distinction between law and politics.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Baldy Center Accepting Applications For Fellowships For 2018 @baldycenter

The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy is accepting applications for fellowships to begin in the fall of 2018. Applications are due February 28, 2018. Here's a link to more information.

Post-Doctoral Fellowships Fellowships are available to individuals who have completed the Ph.D. or J.D. but have not yet begun a tenure-track appointment. Post-Doctoral Fellows will receive a stipend of $40,000, up to $2000 in annual professional travel support, and appropriate relocation assistance.

Post-doctoral fellowships are ordinarily for a period of two academic years. Information on current and past Baldy Post-Doctoral Fellows is at


Senior Fellowships are available for established scholars who wish to work at the Center, typically during a funded sabbatical or research leave. Awardees will receive a living expense allowance of $1,800 per month during the period of their residence as well as appropriate relocation assistance.

Senior Fellows typically spend one semester in residence, but other terms are possible. Information on current and past Baldy Senior Fellows is at http://www.buffalo.edu/baldycenter/people/fellows/s-fellows.html.

For information on current and past Baldy Fellows, see here.

Khorakiwala on Legal Consciousness as Viewed Through the Judicial Iconography of the Madras High Court

Rahela Khorakiwala, Jawaharlal Nehru University, has published Legal Consciousness as Viewed through the Judicial Iconography of the Madras High Court at 5 Asian Journal of Law and Society 1 (2018).
The Madras High Court located in Chennai, India, was established in 1862 when India was under colonial rule. It continues to exist in post-independence India after merging into the Indian legal system. In this study, I argue that the architecture and judicial iconography of the Madras High Court building reflects a recurring historical tension between Indian and British concepts of justice. This is continually reflected in the semiotics of the legal space of this high court which in turn influences the legal consciousness of the court personnel who utilize this space. This architecture and iconography of the Madras High Court constitutes, preserves, and reinforces the ambivalent legal consciousness of those who created, occupy, and visit this space. The contemporary legal consciousness of the court personnel is thus seen to have deep historical roots.
Via Legal History Blog.

Hu on Orwell's 1984 and a Fourth Amendment Cybersurveillance Nonintrusion Test

Margaret Hu, Washington and Lee University School of Law, is publishing Orwell's 1984 and a Fourth Amendment Cybersurveillance Nonintrusion Test in the Washington Law Review. Here is the abstract.
This Article describes a cybersurveillance nonintrusion test under the Fourth Amendment that is grounded in evolving customary law to replace the reasonable expectation of privacy test formulated in Katz v. United States. To illustrate how customary law norms are shaping modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, this Article examines the recurrence of judicial references to George Orwell’s novel, 1984, within the Fourth Amendment context when federal courts have assessed the constitutionality of modern surveillance methods. The Supreme Court has indicated that the Fourth Amendment privacy doctrine must now evolve to impose meaningful limitations on the intrusiveness of new surveillance technologies. A cybersurveillance nonintrusion test implicitly suggested by the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones first shifts the vantage point of the Fourth Amendment analysis from an individual-based tangible harm inquiry to an inquiry of a society-wide intangible harm — whether the modern surveillance method creates a “1984 problem” for society. A cybersurveillance nonintrusion test requires the government to justify the intrusion of the surveillance on society. A new test would remediate increasingly ineffective Fourth Amendment jurisprudence currently grounded in property and tort law. The Article argues that the adoption of a cybersurveillance nonintrusion test and the abandonment of the current privacy test is not only required; but, in practice, is already used by the federal courts.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 29, 2018

Religious Marriages in the Mediterranean: Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, March 20-21, 2018: Call For Papers (ends January 31, 2018)

Religious Marriages in the Mediterranean

Venue and date: Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, 20-21 March 2018

Within Mediterranean settings, religious marriage has functioned for centuries, together with
conversion, as a means both of formal social incorporation and of exclusion of outsiders in
relation to religiously-defined officially-recognised ethnic communities. Such an approach
was an integral part of the Ottoman constitution; aspects of the millet system continue to have
some posthumous existence in states like Lebanon and Cyprus. Over the last century or so,
the development of secular or ‘quasi-secular’ nation-states throughout the region has
generally meant the replacement of religious by civil marriage within state legal systems.
Whether this has occurred via silent absorption or principled exclusion of religious unions, or
even by the creation of dualist systems giving civil marriage pride of place, the juridical
implications have been profound and range from the complete legal marginalisation of
previously dominant religious traditions to the creation of ‘protected zones’ within secular
jurisdictions within which religious law can operate. Everywhere religious courts have been
side-lined and have either been completely eliminated from the formal state’s radar, or
compelled to accept a subordinate position within the state judicial hierarchy. At the same
time, formally secular forms of marriage with religious conceptual roots have had to serve as
important gate-keepers in granting or withholding access to citizenship and legal residence in
states like Greece, Malta or Spain, which have been at the forefront of Mediterranean migrant

More recently unregistered religious marriages have gone through a revival, proving also to
be a useful vehicle for addressing mismatches between state legislation and the matrimonial
strategies of couples. Thus the Mediterranean, a point of both intersection and mixing where
ideas about the ‘West’ and its ‘other’, are re-produced and transformed, has witnessed how
these transitions resulted in either a tense relationship between marriages regulated by formal,
state laws and religious marriages celebrated according to informal, religious norms, or on
the other end of the spectrum, civil marriages and (certain) religious marriages living
harmoniously side-by-side and at times also being considered synonymous.
This multidisciplinary conference seeks to bring together researchers who have engaged in
research on religious marriages in the Mediterranean. 

Papers may focus on, but are not limited to, one or more of the following themes:

1. Exploring the legal and social interaction between religious and civil marriages in
the Mediterranean, whether contemporary or historical perspective (colonial and

2. Investigating the non-apparent connections between different religions within and
without marriage legislation (Sunni, Shia, Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Jewish,
Hindu…), including papers on mixed marriages.

3. How human/civil rights discourses blend and/or conflict with other forms of
theological, moral and/or customary discourses on religious marriages.

4. Diverse ways of concluding and/or celebrating religious marriages in the

5. Problematization and politicization of religious marriages in the Mediterranean.


Ibtisam Sadegh (University of Amsterdam)

David Zammit (University of Malta)

Susan F. Hirsch (George Mason University)

Papers (7,000-8,000 words), will be considered for publication in a special issue of the
international, peer-reviewed Journal of Mediterranean Studies (ISSN: 1016-3476), published
by the Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta and available electronically through
Project Muse.

Upon request, limited travel and accommodation funds (two nights) may be available for
short-listed candidates who cannot apply for funding from their own universities. Please
submit your request for funding with your paper proposal.

Key note speaker:
Annelies Moors, Professor of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 January 2018

Abstracts of 200-300 words are to be submitted via e-mail: i.sadegh@uva.nl with ‘abstract’
and your last name in the subject heading.


31 January 2018: Deadline for abstract submission

10 February 2018: Notification of acceptance

1 March 2018: Deadline for complete draft of paper between 5000 – 8000 words
or a PowerPoint presentation.

20-21 March 2018: Conference hosted by the Mediterranean Institute

1 April 2018: Select participants will be invited to submit papers for consideration for
publication in 2018 in the Journal of Mediterranean Studies

This two-day conference is organized by the University of Malta through the Department of
Civil Law and the Mediterranean Institute research group on Belief, Identity and Exchange in
conjunction with the ERC-funded research project on ‘Problematizing “Muslim Marriages”:
Ambiguities and Contestations’ hosted by the University of Amsterdam.

Conference on Noir Aesthetics, University of Edinburgh, June 15, 2018: Call For Papers

From the mailbox:
Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures
 Organised by the Language and Violence Research Strand and the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC) of the University of Edinburgh, this one-day symposium will focus on the evolution of narrative techniques towards noir aesthetics in world literatures.
 Featuring papers by selected researchers, and a conversation with invited author, Christopher Brookmyre, it will look at texts which favour the adoption of a new consciousness towards cultural politics, as they reinforce the connection between literature and public affairs.
 For more information:
https://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/delc/events/noir-aesthetics-in-world-literatures We invite all those who wish to participate in the ‘Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures’ symposium to send their proposals for twenty-minute papers, exploring the questions presented above, with an abstract of no more than 300 words to v1malons@ed.ac.uk by 28th February 2018.

Conference on Quantum Theory, Law, and Ethics, St. Mary's University, April 13, 2018: Call For Papers @thomgiddens

Via @thomgiddens:
Quantum Law: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Quantum Theory, Law, and Ethics

To be hosted at St Mary’s University, in connection with the Centre for Law and Culture. Call for papers and other details of the project can be found here: https://quantumlaw2018.wordpress.com/call-for-papers/ 
Deadline for proposals is Friday 9 March 2018, with the conference taking place 13 April 2018. Contact: quantum.law@stmarys.ac.uk Conference overview and aims: Quantum theory, the study of the nature and behaviour of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level, has come to occupy a dominant position in theoretical physics. It is however increasingly important also as both the basis of new or potential technologies and as a broader idea outside of subatomic physics itself, as both an artefact of popular culture but also a means of explaining other complex phenomena. The need for quantum theory to engage directly with other areas is pressing for various reasons, both in order to prevent the misuse of its ideas in inappropriate ways, but also in order to consider how its models for understanding can be fruitfully applied to other areas of study. Legal and ethical theory is an obvious candidate for various reasons, yet this relationship has been almost entirely neglected. At the same time, the legal regulation of the application and use of quantum theory and technologies is on the verge of becoming a pressing regulatory concern of public policy given the novel regulatory dilemmas and ethical concerns which such technologies pose. This workshop proposes to create a unique and necessary environment where quantum theorists and scholars of law and legal and ethical theory, as well as any other interested parties, can discuss these matters in order to articulate ideas, problems and solutions in a manner which reflects the needs, ideas, limits and potential of all concerned parties. Conference themes and potential focus of contributions: Contributions on any element of the broad themes of the conference are welcome. We particularly welcome contributions might with a focus on the following themes: Quantum theory and legal theory In the field of legal and ethical theory, ideas from quantum mechanics are a potential source of inspiration and for models of understanding to characterise, map and resolve areas of tension within legal theory which seek to characterise and understand issues which overlap with and relate to the concerns of quantum theory in various ways. The expansion of ideas stemming from quantum theory into other areas has occurred in recent years in various ways, including the development of the fields of ‘quantum cognition’, ‘quantum biology’, ‘quantum fiction’, and quantum visions of social theory expressed in such notions as ‘quantum society’, as well as more ambitious projects to see quantum theory as a way of bridging the perceived divide between the natural and social sciences. Building on the successes of these burgeoning fields, and mindful of their perceived failures, this workshop will seek to examine the possibility that legal problems and phenomena can be better understood or re-evaluated through making use of ideas or models of understanding which stem from quantum theory. These might include but are not limited to: ·       Is there an equivalent ‘quantum’ level within law regarding micro-level decisions and adjudication which possesses different properties to that witnessed in macro-level understandings of doctrine or general principles? Can models from quantum theory help us understand this better?
·       Do legal systems possess similar or overlapping characteristics to those explained through quantum theory? Can legal systems and their operation be better understood by drawing upon these ideas? Such questions might include questions of unpredictability, indeterminism, simultaneously conflicting but equally valid legal interpretations, etc. Are judges ‘collapsing a wave function’ when they make a decision, for instance?
·       Are the core notions of the uncertainty principle and the observer effect equally applicable to law and its content? Do such questions alter notions of certainty within the law and its justness?
·       Do rival understandings of quantum theory, such as the multiverse theory, whether as scientific or pop culture concepts, change our core legal concepts of causation, or responsibility?
·       Do quantum models of probability explain questions of adjudication and allow for the better prediction of judicial outcomes? Can work on quantum cognition add to our understanding of legal decision making?
·       Can ideas from quantum theory be creatively drawn upon as the model for ethical or legal models in a way which improves or changes our understanding of questions of justice, law or morality, in the way, for instance, that popular understandings of evolutionary biology have done? Are there particular dangers in this regard?
·       Can quantum theory draw upon legal notions or methods, particularly methods in legal reasoning such as reasoning by analogy, to better understand the outer limits of the theoretical aspects of quantum mechanics?
 Legal, regulatory and ethical responses to a quantum world Similarly, the overlapping question of the legal regulation of the application of quantum theory within new and potential quantum technologies and the carrying out of research in quantum mechanics poses an exciting and important set of questions which require legal scholars and physicists, among others, to discuss the potential problems, goals and solutions. The uptake of new applications based on nanotechnology was greatly slowed by a lack of such discussion and consequent public and policy-maker fears induced by misunderstanding. Conversely the massive success of mobile communications technology was produced by rapid and early agreement global standards. The impending development of quantum technology poses a potentially novel set of problems for policy makers regarding the goals, methods and viability of any existing or future legal regulatory framework. Such discussions will allow the development of ideal models for regulation. This project also fits in with the European Commission’s ‘Better regulation for new technologies’ agenda, and can draw upon and inform the expertise of that project. Drawing on the expertise, requirements and goals of physicists working in the area of quantum theory and legal scholars and people engaged in public policy in the field of regulation will allow discussion of topics including the following: ·       What is the current regulatory framework for research in quantum theory and the development and use of quantum technologies?
·       What regulatory problems does the development of quantum technology pose? What are the ethical and risk distribution issues which must be confronted?
·       Does the current regulatory framework provide an appropriate basis for all relevant stakeholders?
·       How does the existing thinking on the regulation of new technologies apply to quantum theory and its technological application?
·       How do specific legal standards apply, such as the precautionary principle, to quantum technology? How should specific areas of law, such as IP law, trade law and the legal regulation of military use of technology apply to quantum technologies?
·       Are there deeper problems posed by quantum theory to legal regulation and its viability? Is the hyper-specialised nature of quantum theory and its application capable of regulation by a non-specialist? Is self-regulation desirable/necessary/inevitable?
·       What broader tensions regarding the legal regulation of science are brought to the fore by the question of quantum technology and how should they be resolved? How can the law regulate notions such as probability? How should the law best deal with uncertainty?
·       Who should be responsible for such regulatory frameworks, their articulation and their enforcement?
 See the website for more details: https://quantumlaw2018.wordpress.com/Contact: quantum.law@stmarys.ac.uk 

January 26, 2018

Doyle and Tranter on #CK Your Family! The Visual Jurisprudence of Automobility @GriffLawSchool

Kylie Doyle, Independent Scholar, and Kieran Mark Tranter, Griffith Law School, are publishing #CK Your Family!: The Visual Jurisprudence of Automobility in volume 30 of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (2017). Here is the abstract.
This paper considers the popular visual jurisprudence of bumper stickers. Drawing upon a sample sticker/driver/vehicle assemblages observed at the Gold Coast, Australia in 2014, we argue that the meanings and messages projected by the assemblages have a significant legal dimension. The argument is located at the intersection of past research into bumper stickers, increased scholarly interest in the relation of law to automobility and especially recent considerations of the popular visual jurisprudence of the motor vehicle, its cultures and semiotics. In particular we argue that the sticker/driver/vehicle assemblage represents an engagement with law and legality. We suggest this goes beyond immediate denotations of brands with intellectual property or flags and the sovereign nation state to more essential engagement with consumer capitalism's law of the image, the friend/enemy distinction, the ouroboros of rights and the essential legality of living in a polis.
The full text is not available for download from SSRN.

Italian Law Journal Publishes Volume 3, Issue 2 (2017) @theitalianlawjo

The Italian Law Journal has published volume 3, issue 2 (2017). Here is a link to the pdf of the entire issue, which includes an article on justice and law in the Kingdom of Naples during the 17th century by Angelo di Falco, and two essays giving the Italian point of view on the right to be forgotten. As always, very interesting contributions from this journal.

Bateman on The Hermeneutics of Sovereignty: The Written Word, State Sovereignty, and Freedom of Religion in the Late Antiquity Roman Empire @cg_bateman

C. G. Bateman, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, has published The Hermeneutics of Sovereignty: The Written Word, State Sovereignty, and Freedom of Religion in the Late Antiquity Roman Empire at 34 The Journal Jurisprudence 311 (December 2017).
Words are important. We order our lives around words. States and international bodies, themselves, are set forth as being based on what amount to collections of words in constitutions, charters, and codes. But these written legal instruments all refer to more basic philosophical principles and notions of justice, and those are the basis and justification for the laws themselves. But that they are written is important, and it gives us a starting point for trying to determine just what those principles are on which our society is based. We can also look back at the laws of earlier times to see just what principles guided their justifications, and very likely see reflections of our own choices on principles in theirs. The various states of the world constitute themselves based on documents which refer to these principles, as noted. What makes them a state, and one that can be thought of and recognized as a state vis-à-vis other states, is based on another principle laden idea, that of state sovereignty. But state sovereignty is not a thing, it does not really have an existence, instead it describes things, groups of people who order their lives around words. State sovereignty, in a real sense, is just words; what is far more important is what it signifies, and that is fairness and functional order in a defined societal unit. Words have been essential to the creation of sovereign states since at least, referring to the history of the Western world, the seventh century B.C.E; and for most of the intervening twenty-seven centuries, the belief in a single deity has set the parameters for what the Constitutions of the various Western states in our common history were based on. It is only in the last five centuries, perhaps, that Religion began to lose its sin qua non status in the organization and delivery of social services and justice in the Western experience. If historical context means everything, then historical context is everything when it comes to interpreting historical events. Like historian John Lukacs noted: “…the history of everything amounts to the thing itself.” Constantine and other emperors of Rome made laws they believed would encourage the stabilizing of their societies; we make laws for the same reason. We use the same means, legislation, but we justify it not on the pleasure of the gods, but on principles we believe in just as strongly. But these principles are in flux, and just as religion was jettisoned as a justification, so some of our ideas about justice have had to change.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Resta on Beethoven's Ninth and the Quest for a European Identity: A Law & Music Perspective @giorgioresta

Giorgio Resta, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Law Department, is publishing Beethoven's Ninth and the Quest for a European Identity: A Law & Music Perspective in Law & The Opera (G. Colombo and F. Annuziata, eds., Springer, 2018 (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed in Rome in 2004, expressly provided that “the anthem of the Union shall be based on the ‘Ode to Joy’ from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven”. The Treaty failed ratification as a result of the French and Dutch referenda and was eventually replaced by the Lisbon Treaty. The provision concerning the symbols of the European Union was intentionally removed from the final text, but a Declaration, signed by some member states and attached to the Treaty, confirmed the use of the anthem and the flag as “symbols to express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it”. The failure to grant formal legal status to the anthem, which was officially recognized by the Council of Europe in 1972, along with other symbols, reflects the widespread distrust of any constitutional or federalist concepts and conveys the sense of an unending struggle over Europe’s identity. If the motto “United in diversity” is an apt metaphor for the self-understanding of Europe, such irreducible complexity is also the defining character of Beethoven’s Ninth, as mirrored in its fascinating political history. The richness of such a living tradition, which will be summarized in this paper, is not only evidence of the greatness of a work of art; it also provides a vivid illustration of the complex relationship between a text and its interpretation, as well as of the open structure of the European identity-building process.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

Roston and Levit on Information For Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals

Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit of the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law have once again updated their very helpful Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals. Here is the abstract.
This document contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited review, and how to contact them to withdraw an article from consideration. It covers 202 law reviews. The document was updated in January 2018.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 25, 2018

The Comfort of Noir @ElectricLit @nicholas_seeley

Nicholas Seeley muses on the question, "Why is noir having a renaissance?"  His answer: "Noir was powerful because it was a tiny bit true."

He goes on:

But then, it faded. Perhaps, in part, it was the cultural revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, when, for a moment, it seemed that victory over the forces of Old and Evil was possible. (I believe there were other reasons as well, which I’ll get to in a moment.) But today, noir has returned with a vengeance, and it’s easy to see why. Even as social and political revolutions have failed, the media revolution has succeeded. In an expanded world of internet and mobile technology, we are more aware than ever of the webs of power, money and influence that ensnare us, their global tendrils connecting us to people all over the planet. Yet more than ever we are powerless to influence the powers-that-be, change the system, or hold the corrupt to account. Add to that the nostalgia inspired by rapid change, and the proliferation of media and markets, and it seems clear why we look back to noir heroes and antiheroes: doomed losers, perhaps, but ones who could look the corruption in the face without flinching. There is, for me, no clearer marker of the noir moment in our popular culture than the UK TV series Sherlock, which tries (with very uneven success) to re-imagine Sherlock Holmes, the elite icon of the whodunit, the Superman of detectives, as a noir figure.

Ultimately, though, I think such literature comforts us. It tells us we are right in our evaluation of the world and its evils, and that most of us are powerless to stand up against the powerful and the corrupt. And yet--there are still heroes among us. There are still those who will go down fighting. There are still those who see some light at the end, and will tell the stories. We will survive. It's not all noir, after all.

Read the entire essay, Noir is Protest Literature: That's Why It's Having a Renaissance, here. 

Stern on Samuel Richardson and the Law @ArsScripta @CambridgeUP

Simon Stern, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, has published Samuel Richardson and the Law at Samuel Richardson in Context 231 (Peter Sabor and Betty A. Schellenberg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017).
This chapter discusses the forensic mentality that pervades Samuel Richardson's novels, his correspondence, and his writings about fiction. Scholars have explored numerous doctrinal contexts in which Richardson's novels address legal issues including marriage, rape, inheritance, citizenship, copyright, and liability for accidents. This chapter extends that discussion by asking how his fiction, and his writings on fiction, engage with the logic of the case, understood both as an example that may set a precedent, and a specific instance that illustrates a general principle. Although Richardson held out both his characters and his novels as exemplifying general laws, when pressed about their exemplary status he repeatedly defended them by stressing their unique individuality, effectively undercutting his claims about their precedential significance. We see a similar pattern when he complained about the Dublin booksellers who reprinted his last novel, Sir Charles Grandison (1753), without authorization. Treating their conduct as an affront to "the Cause of Literature, in general," Richardson held out his own very unusual case (as someone who was both a successful novelist and a printer of his own novels) as exemplifying the harms of literary piracy.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Samuel Richardson in Context

January 24, 2018

Call for Papers: International Conference on Ways of Knowing: Epistemology and Law, May 31, 2018 @UniWestminster

One-day International Conference
Ways of Knowing: Epistemology & Law

Announcement and Call for Papers

Thursday, 31st May 2018: 9.45am – 5.30pm
The Pavilion
University of Westminster
115 New Cavendish Street
London W1W 6UW

Organised by The Westminster Law and Theory Lab in association with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.

Invited Speakers

Professor Maria Drakopoulou, University of Kent
Professor Peter Goodrich, Cardozo Law School
Professor Anna Grear, Cardiff University
Professor Geoffrey Samuel, University of Kent
Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos, University of Coimbra

Academic Co-ordinators

Dermot Feenan, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and Professor Andreas Philipopoulos-Mihalopoulos, University of Westminster.

Purpose and Context

The Conference will provide a forum for presentations and discussion on the place, significance, and further potential of epistemology within socio-legal studies.
There has been little exploration of epistemology in legal scholarship generally, including in journal and book publications – with some notable exceptions. There are infrequent and sporadic references to epistemology in socio-legal studies.
Epistemology, the branch of philosophy concerned with what is knowledge and how it is accessed (which includes, typically, topics such as fact, truth, evidence, justification, and memory) might seem, to some, removed from the social concerns of socio-legal studies. Such a view is misplaced: epistemology deserves greater attention in the field.

The infrequent and sporadic attention that epistemology has received in socio-legal studies belies its importance in informing the understanding of well-established concepts in legal studies, such as legal personhood, legal consciousness and agency, and issues of obedience and resistance.

Epistemology complements theory. As Powell observes: ‘If theory provides intellectual frameworks for establishing and evaluating factual claims and relating them to one another, epistemology provides frameworks for constructing, evaluating, and organizing theoretical claims’. It is also widely recognised, typically outside legal research, that epistemology bears upon methods. Important, too, is the role of praxis in knowledge production, and its relationship to epistemology.

There remains a need for socio-legal counterpoints to traditional formalist accounts of law that eschew the social dimensions of knowledge. Recent political shifts globally underline the importance of analysing epistemology with especial reference to race, class and other historically subordinated or vulnerable epistemic communities.

Questions and Issues

The Conference will seek to address a range of questions/ issues, including:

  1. How has epistemology informed legal studies?
  2. How might diverse approaches to epistemology be understood collectively in relation to their contribution to socio-legal studies?
  3. What continuing relevance, if anything, can epistemology have for socio-legal studies?
  4. How should the concept of epistemology be understood in respect of, and if necessary distinguished from, broader concepts such as knowledge construction?
  5. How specifically can epistemology inform socio-legal theory, methods and praxis?

Welcoming your contribution

We welcome all contributors, especially from doctoral, emerging, and early-career scholars, to submit papers for presentation in parallel sessions (estimated: three in number, each comprising three papers). These sessions will seek to build the capacity of doctoral, emerging, and early-career scholars by pairing those scholars with established Chairs and by inviting the day’s invited speakers as discussants to the papers.

Abstract guidelines

Up to 300 words. Add title & contact details. Email by 26 February 2018: Dermot.Feenan@sas.ac.uk.


Preliminary programme available on the 28 February 2018.


Full £89.00
Student/Unwaged £35.00
Westminster Staff and Students Free (who can select option free and provide details)
BOOKING: http://store.westminster.ac.uk/product-catalogue/law/conference/ways-of-knowing-epistemology-law

Frankenstein: A Multidisciplinary Conference, June 14, 2018 @NorthumbriaUni

Frankenstein: A Multidisciplinary Conference 2018
Thursday 14 June 2018

Northumbria University Law School and Department of Social Sciences (in collaboration with the Crime Studies Network) is pleased to announce a multidisciplinary conference to celebrate the bicentenary of the first publication of Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.

Call for Papers:

Law and literature, criminology and humanities papers and presentations from established academics and postgraduate students are particularly welcome. Other disciplines reflecting medical, scientific, historical, political or social aspects of the novel or of its many realisations in film, other media and the performing arts are strongly encouraged.
As well as papers on Frankenstein itself and related literary works we welcome reflections on the themes of the novel, such as irresponsible uses of scientific knowledge, the creation of ‘monsters’ through emotional neglect and social stigma, and miscarriages of justice (as in the case of Shelley’s Justine Moritz).

We will also consider papers and presentations on related themes if you care to propose them.

Please send a short (150) word abstract 

Closing date for submissions is 1 February 2018

Thompson on The Biographical Core of Law: Privacy, Personhood, and the Bounds of Obligation @marcelothompson

Marcelo Thompson, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, is publishing The Biographical Core of Law: Privacy, Personhood, and the Bounds of Obligation in Law, Obligation, Community (Daniel Matthews and Scott Veitch, eds., Routledge, 2018). Here is the abstract.
Contemporary critical legal studies scholarship pays heed to a perspective of materiality in law that jurisprudence more generally has tended to overlook. In keeping with a broader “nonhuman turn” in the humanities and the social sciences, this growing body of scholarship has been observing the passage of law through nonhuman realms. But how wide – and how indiscriminately – can the legal bond cast the net of its dignity? Is not the dignity of law rather connected with human subjectivity in deep and indissociable ways? This paper seeks to contribute to the debate above by querying the quintessential realm where law and human subjectivity intertwine – i.e. privacy. Questioning into the origin of the force of privacy obligations enables us to see its inherent connection with the origin of the force of law itself, and to draw important conclusions from this connection.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

January 23, 2018

International Conference on Jacques Lacan's Ecrits: Call For Papers

Via @thomgiddens:

21-22 September 2018 the Department of Psychoanalysis at Ghent University organizes an international conference on Jacques Lacan’s Écrits. 

Keynote speakers at the conference include Bruce Fink, Patricia Gherovici, Adrian Johnston, Dany Nobus, Ed Pluth, Manya Steinkoler, Paul Verhaeghe, and Eve Watson. The conference chairs are Derek Hook (Duquesne University), Calum Neill (Edinburgh Napier University), and Stijn Vanheule (Ghent University).

A call for papers and panels is open at http://lacanecritsconference.psychoanalysis.be

We invite you to write papers focusing on:
*Specific conceptual topics and texts from the Écrits
*Themes from the Écrits in relation to philosophy, history, arts, literature, gender studies, organization studies, education, psychology…

* The clinical use of ideas from the Écrits

Call For Papers For a Volume on the Female Detective In Television

From the mailbox, via @thomgiddens,


Because The Basic Human Form is Female: The female detective in Television. Edited by Anna Backman Rogers and Laura Nicholson.

For decades, the female detective has occupied space within a genre that is all-too-often reserved for the celebratory storylines of self-sacrificial men. She has served to break down sexist barriers placed before women within professional and personal frameworks, acting as an on-screen surrogate for (female) spectators, globally. The female detective has succeeded in cultivating widespread audience attention and high ratings for multiple series across the world, underlining the popularity of, and desire for, the women-led, crime TV genre. It is curious then, that critical literature exploring this central figure’s contemporary, cultural significance is scarce. Given the abundance of on-screen material that has been produced throughout years of prime-time TV and (more recently) online streaming, it seems the female detective, in all her guises, has yet to be afforded the praise and exploration she deserves.

In response to this paucity of critical text, we are assembling the foundations of a special collection on the female detective in crime TV, in the format of a book to be edited by Anna Backman Rogers and Laura Nicholson. The proposal for this research comes just as we are witnessing a cultural ‘boom’ in detective shows featuring women as driving forces, across multiple media platforms. As such, the need for critical literature that explores the feminist realisations and potential of the female detective and her contemporary cultural importance, is timely.

We are calling for papers from scholars across disciplines, in order to shed light on the legacy of the female detective and the ways in which these powerful characters continue to inspire far-reaching audiences, while responding to the socio-political backdrop of their time.

We especially encourage papers from LGBTQ+, Feminist and BME scholars. We also seek contributions from a global perspective that bring to the fore series that we may be unaware of.

We hope to approach a major university publisher with this project after final decisions made by the editors on the collection.

Please send proposals of no more than 600 words to Laura Nicholson and Anna Backman Rogers before March 5th, 2018 at the following e mail addresses.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  1. The intersectional feminism(s) of the female detective

  1. Queering the female detective

  1. Fashion and the female detective

  1. Regionally-specific depictions of the female detective

  1. Post-recessionary representations of the female detective

  1. The female detective in period TV drama

  1. The generational politics of the female detective ‘revamp’

  1. The female detective team

  1. Cross-cultural imaginings of the female detective

  1. Interpretations of the female detective across international remakes

  • Female detective articulations of contemporary cultural flashpoints

  • The portrayal of violence and the female detective.



    TV shows with leading female detectives include, but are not limited to:

  1. Get Christie Love! (1974-1975, US)

  1. Police Woman (1974-1978, US)

  1. The Gentle Touch (1980-1984, UK)

  1. Cagney & Lacey (1982-1988, US)

  1. Miss Marple (1984-1992, UK), Agatha Christie’s Marple (2004-, UK)

  1. Prime Suspect (1991-2006, UK)

  1. Engrenages/Spiral (2005-, France)

  1. Ashes to Ashes (2008-2010, UK)

  1. Vera (2011-, UK)

  1. Forbrydelsen (2007-2012, Denmark), The Killing (2011-2014, US)

  1. Bron/Broen (2011-, Sweden/Denmark), The Tunnel (2013-, UK/France)

  1. Scott and Bailey (2011-2016, UK)

  1. The Bletchley Circle (2012-2014, UK)

  1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012-, Australia)

  1. The Fall (2013-2016, UK)

  1. Top of the Lake (2013-, New Zealand/Australia/UK)

  1. Happy Valley (2014-, UK)

  1. Quantico (2015-, US)

  1. Jessica Jones (2015-, US)

  1. Agent Carter (2015-, US)

  1. Deep Water (2016, Australia)

  1. Frankie Drake Mysteries (2017-, Canada/UK)

Dr Anna Backman Rogers | Founding Editor/Editor-in-Chief
MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture