June 27, 2016

Call For Papers: 2016 Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference

From the mailbox:

Disruption, Temporality, Law:
The Future of Law and Society Scholarship

2016 Conference of the Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand

30th November - 3rd December 2016

Call for Papers closes: 30th June 2016

The Call for Papers for the 2016 Law & Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, hosted by the Law Futures Centre and Griffith Law School in conjunction with the Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice closes on the 30th June 2016. Details of the call for papers are attached.

We are also pleased to announce the following confirmed keynote speakers:
  • Professor William MacNeil, The Hon John Dowd Chair in Law, Dean and Head, School of Law and Social Justice, Southern Cross University
  • Professor Irene Watson, Research Professor of Law, School of Law, University of South Australia
  • More keynote announcements to come!
The conference will open on the evening of Wednesday 30th November with a public debate on "The Future of Legal Education". Confirmed debate participants include:
  • Professor Margaret Thornton, ANU College of Law, Australian National University
  • Bill Potts, President, Queensland Law Society & Founding Director, Potts Lawyers
  • John Briton, Former Legal Services Commissioner, Queensland
  • Professor Reid Mortensen, Head of School, School of Law and Justice, University of Southern Queensland
  • Magistrate Jacqui Payne, Queensland Courts
  • Professor Charles Sampford, Director of the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, Griffith University
Submission of Proposals:
Please submit proposals for papers, panels or streams to LSAANZ2016@griffith.edu.au. Proposals should consist of a short abstract (max. 250 words), 3 keywords and a short biography (100 words). Panel proposals should include a title/theme for the panel, and abstracts, keywords and biographies for each presenter.

We looking forward to welcoming you to Brisbane.

The 2016 Conference Organising Committee.

Professor John Flood, Dr Timothy Peters, Dr Edwin Bikundo, Mr Shahram Dana, Dr Roshan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Associate Professor Susan Harris-Rimmer, Ms Heron Loban, Dr Jennifer Nielsen, Professor Charles Sampford and Ms Kandice Cherrie.

For Conference enquiries email: LSAANZ2016@griffith.edu.au

Lerner on The Troublesome Inheritance of Americans in Magna Carta and Trial by Jury

Renee Lettow Lerner, George Washington University Law School, has published The Troublesome Inheritance of Americans in Magna Carta and Trial by Jury at Magna Carta and its Modern Legacy 77-98 (Robert Hazell and James Melton eds., Cambridge University Press 2015). Here is the abstract.
Many Americans insisted on their traditional rights as Englishmen in the conflict with Britain before and after declaring independence. Magna Carta — particularly the provisions concerning the “law of the land” and “judgment of his peers” — embodied fundamental rights of Englishmen that American revolutionaries were willing to fight to protect. As Edward Coke had found more than a century before, American revolutionaries understood that invoking such an ancient document inspired resistance to authority. Americans cherished Magna Carta most because of its association with jury trial. Juries had proved useful to Americans in their conflict with Britain. Colonial American juries had nullified the law of seditious libel, customs taxes, and debts to British merchants. It was no wonder Americans held the jury in high esteem, at least until they had to run their own governments. Americans filled their constitutions, both federal and state, with rights to jury trial. Several American states even included translations of provisions from Magna Carta in their constitutions, enshrining the “judgment of his peers.” Once Americans had achieved independence and formed the new republics, judges faced the task of interpreting these thirteenth-century provisions as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century law. American judges quoted Blackstone and historical treatises. Through the nineteenth century, however, American enthusiasm for juries waned. The much-repeated phrases from Magna Carta became a flimsy screen, masking the steady decline of jury power.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

June 24, 2016

James On Law and Paper Clips

Robert A. James, Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP, has published The Jurisprudence of Paper Clips at 19 Green Bag 2d 249 (2016). Here is the abstract.
To transfer rights in a check or promissory note, the holder may sign (or "indorse") the document. If there is no space for another signature, one may use an "allonge" -- a second piece of paper that is "attached" to the first piece. 33 years ago, the author surveyed the court cases that considered how firmly the pieces of paper must be attached to each other -- requiring judges to evaluate paper clips, staples and other instances of humble technology. His decades-old draft article is newly published, both for its content and as a spur to other authors to unearth and reveal their own incomplete efforts.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Incomplete efforts. Well, that's why I love paper clips, staples, that sticky note paper product, Liquid Paper...

June 23, 2016

Research Assistant Position Available on Roman Legal Thought (Remote Work)

From the mailbox:
Research Assistant sought for approximately 120-150 hours of remote work on Roman Legal thought. Some familiarity with Roman law, particularly in the Eastern provinces, is desirable. Compensation is $21.33-$26.67 CAD depending on highest degree achieved. 

Research is for a project that engages ancient Jewish legal thought in its Roman context from a Law & Humanities perspective. 

Work can be done from anywhere in the world as long as the researcher has access to library materials. Work must be completed before April 30, 2017. If the hours are completed before October 1, 2016, there is the possibility of applying for a top-up grant for an extra 50 or so hours. Checks can be issued in Canadian or US dollars. 
Please contact  chaya.halberstam@uwo.ca if you are interested!

From Chaya Halberstam
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
King's University College at the University of Western Ontario
286 Epworth
London, Ontario N6A 2M3 CANADA
(519) 433-3491 x 4367
fax (519) 433-0353

June 22, 2016

Roehampton University Doctoral Fellowship In Renaissance Studies Available

A Phd scholarship (fully-funded) in Renaissance Studies area of London theatrical culture and related studies during the period 1565-1595, is available from Roehampton University. More information is available here, from the Before Shakespeare blog.

Via Prof. Andy Kesson @andykesson, Jean Noel Vandaele @jnvandaele, and Will Tosh @will_tosh.

Thaler @SFriedScientist on Doing Science and Writing Science Fiction

Andrew Thaler, the CEO of Blackbeard Biologic, a scientic consulting firm, writes here about the useful intellectual distractions (never mind the pleasures) of writing "hard" science fiction. Nice to see a STEM PhD (Duke, in Marine Sciences and Conservation) discussing the merits of the humanities.

van Rijswijk on the "Abused Aboriginal Child" In the Australian Legal Imaginary

Honni van Rijswijk, University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law, is publishing Towards a Literary Jurisprudence of Harm: Re-Writing the Aboriginal Child in Law's Imaginary of Violence in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. Here is the abstract.
The figure of the “abused Aboriginal child” haunts the Australian legal imaginary in ways that are both poignant and dangerous. This article examines the role this figure has played in assertions of Australian law’s violent jurisdictions, in the past and in the present. I examine the narratives that support law’s claims to authority and jurisdiction over Aboriginal communities, arguing that practices of representation — narrative, figuration, and what we might more widely think of as “law’s imaginary” — need to be interrogated and challenged, as an important means of intervening in law’s violent jurisdictions. We need to engage in what I term here a “literary jurisprudence,” in order to intervene in law’s claims to authority and jurisdiction that are based on narratives of purported harm to the Aboriginal child. “Haunting” is used to think through the significance of the legal imagination in two ways: the ways in which narratives in legal and state archives affect culture and politics; and also the role of law’s own imaginary and the ways in which its figures and narratives affect judicial outcomes, perhaps in ways that function beyond logic. To say that law is haunted by the figure of the abused Aboriginal child is to point to the affective, political, legal, and imaginative afterlife of narratives and figurations that are part of law, and which are not ended with each case or legislative regime but which, unresolved, are always living on. By way of an example of these practices, I provide a reading of harm in the novels of Alexis Wright, a leading Australian novelist, which I argue together provide an exemplary text that counters state law’s representational practices and claims. What is needed to resist the use of the child figure as the occasion for further violence, I argue, and what this reading provides, can be described as a “counter-imaginary” to law’s. This counter-imaginary re-writes law’s narratives and figures, connects that which law has separated, and makes visible that which law has occluded. In particular, each of Wright’s three novels Plains of Promise (1997), Carpentaria (2006), and The Swan Book (2013) is concerned with the relation of harm to questions of Aboriginal authority. Together, all three of Wright’s novels provide a developed counter-imaginary to law’s continuing assertions of authority over Aboriginal people based on the figure of the “abused Aboriginal child,” from the early twentieth century to the present.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

New Book, A Transnational Study of Law and Justice on TV, Edited by Robson and Schulz, Due Out in October from Hart Publishing @hartpublishing

Due out in October, 2016, from Hart Publishing:

A Transnational Study of Law and Justice on TV (Peter Robson and Jennifer L. Schulz, eds.; Hart Publishing, 2016).

A description of the book's contents:

This collection examines the coverage of law and justice on television in different countries around the world. It provides a benchmark for further study of the nature and extent of television coverage of justice in fictional, reality and documentary forms. It does this by drawing on empirical work from a range of scholars in different jurisdictions. Each chapter looks at the raw data of how much "justice" material viewers were able to access in the multi-channel world of 2014 looking at three phases - apprehension (police); adjudication (lawyers), and disposition (prison/punishment). All of the authors indicate how television has developed in their countries. Some have extensive public service channels mixed with private media channels. Financing ranges from advertising to programme sponsorship to licensing arrangements. Some countries have mixtures of these. Each author also examines how "TV justice" has developed in each different jurisdiction. Readers will find interesting variations and some thought-provoking similarities. There are a lot of television shows focussed on legal themes that are imported around the world and the authors analyse these as well. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in law, popular culture, TV, or justice and provides an important addition to the literature due to its grounding in empirical data.

Below is a table of contents for the book (provided by editor Jennifer L. Schulz), including (modest cough) the contribution of the L&H blog editor.


1.     Introduction                Peter Robson and Jennifer L. Schulz
2.     Australia                     Cassandra Sharp
3.     Belgium                      Hilde Van den Bulck, Kathleen Custers and Jan Van den Bulck
4.     Britain                         Peter Robson
5.     Canada                        Jennifer L. Schulz
6.     Denmark                     Glen Odgaard
7.     France                         Barbara Villez with the collaboration of Valentin Rolando
8.     Germany                     Stefan Machura and Michael Böhnke
9.     Greece                         Nickos Myrtou, Stamatis Poulakidakos and Panagiota Nakou
10.  Israel                           Itay Ravid
11.  Italy                             Ferdinando Spina
12.  Poland                         Zosia Zawadzka
13.  Spain                           Anja Louis     
14.  Switzerland                 Lukas Musumeci and Fabian Odermatt
15.  USA                            Christine Corcos
16.  Contributors’ Bios
17.  Index of TV Shows
18.  Bibliography

June 20, 2016

Westworld @WestworldHBO Approaches

HBO's Westworld aired its second trailer for the series, during the latest episode of Game of Thrones (see the trailer here). The series, slated for a premiere this fall, is a reworking of the 1973 sf drama of the same name which starred Yul Brynner as the seemingly unkillable android The Gunslinger, and also featured a  number of other talented actors, including James Brolin, Richard Benjamin, and Majel Barrett.

This time around, the tone is even darker (if that's possible); the show is "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin." I didn't know androids had an independent understanding of sin, so it will be interesting to see how they acquire and deal with that concept. Through their programming? Through some kind of glitch? Through some kind of ritual? (Shades of Mary Shelley). Through some act of nature? (Shades of Short Circuit).

The talented cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and the (to my mind) underappreciated Louis Herthum, who is featured in the trailer. Nice to see that he has what looks like a major role in this series.

I do love "law &" series...with a nice Chianti. No fava beans necessary.

A Selected Bibliography on SF and Westworld

Brake, Mark, and Neil Hook, Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Roberts, Adam, Science Fiction (2d ed.) (Routledge, 2006).

Sobchack, Vivian Carol, Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film (Enlarged ed.) (Rutgers University Press, 1997).

See also the new book edited by Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin, and Ian Kerr, Robot Law (Edward Elgar, 2016).

Ogleznev on Ascriptive Speech and Legal Language

Vitaly Ogleznev, Tomsk State University Faculty of Philosophy, is publishing Ascriptive Speech Act and Legal Language in volume 28 of the SHS Web of Conferences (2016). Here is the abstract.
In this article I explicate H. L. A. Hart’s theory of an ascriptive language as it has been developed in his influential early paper “The Ascription of Responsibility and Rights” (1949). In the section ‘Discussion’ I argue that the theory of ascriptive legal utterances, which is grounded on Austin’s and Searle’s theory of a speech act, provides the methodological basis for his analytical approach to philosophical and legal issues. In the section ‘Results’ I justify that an ascriptive is a specific speech (illocutionary) act. In the section ‘Conclusion’ the matter concerns the original linguistic formula of an ascriptive that accurately reflects its nature. This article elaborates on the interpretation of ascriptive speech acts in legal language by evaluating the influence of philosophy of language on the formation of modern legal philosophy, along with evaluating the contribution of conceptual development of legal philosophy in the speech acts theory.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Pauli on the Use of Narrative Mediation in Immigration Law

Carol Pauli, Texas A&M School of Law, is publishing A Whole Other Story: Applying Narrative Mediation to the Immigration Beat in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. Here is the abstract.
If Donald Trump, kicking off his campaign for the White House, was saying “what everyone is thinking,” about illegal immigration, it must be that his message mirrored a narrative that already existed in the minds of his audience. That fearful story of criminals invading the U.S. borders has long been a dominant theme in the mainstream news immigration story. Like all news stories, this one focuses attention on some facts at the expense of others. Like many news stories, it draws its power from earlier, well-known tales — some as old as the Flood. This article recommends that the news media reconsider the storytelling role of journalism in light of a relatively new approach to conflict resolution: narrative mediation. Narrative mediation, simply stated, sees conflict as a kind of story. Narrative mediators approach a conflict by calling its story into question and then by looking for facts that fall outside of its plot. They use these “unstoried facts” to explore the alternative stories that such facts suggest. Then narrative mediators try to help the disputing parties write a larger, more complex, and more useful story together. This article argues that journalists — without sacrificing their professional ethics — can adapt certain processes of narrative mediation to thicken the plots of news stories, producing more comprehensive, accurate, and helpful accounts of the conflicts they cover. Although this article focuses on news coverage of immigration from Latin America, the approach of narrative mediation can be applied more broadly. Immigration conflicts are not confined to the U.S.-Mexican border or to the issues of legal status and documentation that arise there. Fearful story lines are also used in reporting conflicts over legal Muslim immigrants, including the most extensively documented of all recent arrivals, Syrian refugees. The same narratives sound again overseas. Beyond the immigration story, and across other reporting beats, narrative mediation offers tools to disrupt predictable news story lines that can result from political pressures and deadlines. These tools can free reporters to construct the stories of news in a thoughtful and deliberate way.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Cross-posted to the Media Law Prof Blog.

Guerra-Pujol on the Law of the Law of Interpretation

Enrique Guerra-Pujol, University of Central Florida and Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, has published The Law of the Law of Interpretation. Here is the abstract.
Courts must resort to various theories of interpretation when there are gaps in the law or when the applicable law consists of conflicting rules or legal principles. In a new article, William Baude and Stephen Sachs claim that "interpretive rules are conceptually possible, normatively sensible, and actually part of our legal system." Alas, there is a fundamental logical flaw in their thesis: the problem of infinite regress. Specifically, what happens when there are gaps in these second-order interpretative rules themselves, or when the rules in this second-order system are themselves in conflict? Is there a third-order law (i.e. a law of the law of interpretation) to help us interpret the second-order interpretation rules, or do we have an infinite regress?
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Call for Papers: LSU Conference on Law, Authorship, and Appropriation, October 28-29, 2016

The organizers of the LSU Conference on Law, Authorship, and Appropriation are still accepting submissions for the conference, which will take place October 28-29, 2016. A few slots for presenters remain. Please submit your proposal by July 6th if possible to allow the organizers to consider your proposal carefully.

Call for Papers
By Any Other’s Name: A Conference on Law, Authorship, and Appropriation
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
October 28-29, 2016
On October 28-29, 2016, the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts, LSU School of Theatre, the LSU Law Center, LSU's ORED (Office of Research and Economic Development) and the Law and Humanities Institute will co-sponsor a conference on law, authorship, and appropriation on the LSU A and M campus in Baton Rouge, LA. This conference will bring together scholars, performers, and students to discuss law and authorship in the face of challenges issued by artists who engage in appropriation—the practice of taking the works of others to rethink or recreate new works.
Some artists who engage in appropriation may describe their activities as parody, sampling, or remixing. Some artists whose work is appropriated may describe the result as misappropriation. Writers might describe the use or reuse of words variously as hommage or plagiarism. Lawyers weigh in both sides of the issue, interpreting such reuse as fair use or infringement, depending on the circumstances.

Digital technology creates a host of new considerations, from the opportunity for a creator to license rights up-front (or not at all) to opportunities for users to create content cooperatively, either on the Web or in face-to-face settings. 
What do such changes, in law and in aesthetics and art, mean for our understandings of authorship and the relationship between creator and audience? Do words like “author” and “creator” even continue to have meaning?
General areas for possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
Appropriation, theft, or something else
Cultural appropriation
Defenses to copyright infringement
Digital sampling and the law
Fair use and specific forms of artistic expression (parody, fan fiction, other)
History and concept of authorship
Plagiarism and originality in creation
Wearable technology and IP
We encourage proposals that engage all geographic areas and historical periods.
Together scholars and performers in the areas of free speech, copyright, and the arts to examine conflicts that arise between traditional creators of content and artists who use and/or re-use existing content to remake, remix and develop new works. In addition, the event will begin to examine some ways that the academy and the professions can educate young artists, attorneys, and students to understand these issues.  
The conference will provide opportunities for discussion, student engagement, and active learning with leading scholars and professionals in the industry in the areas of freedom of expression, intellectual property law, and the creative and performing arts. We also envision opportunities for performances that demonstrate some of the ways artists work proactively and thoughtfully in these areas.
To that end participants should be willing to engage with attendees in break-out and discussion sessions.
Performers are encouraged to submit proposals. If your proposal includes a performance, please indicate what kind in the abstract.
Paper Submission Information
Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words in PDF or Word format to Christine Corcos at christine.corcos@law.lsu.edu or Kristin Sosnowsky at ksosno1@lsu.edu by July 6, 2016. We will make decisions by July 13, 2016.
Some funding may be available for successful applicants. Panelists will have the option to offer completed papers for inclusion in a peer-reviewed conference volume.

June 18, 2016

A 1930s Alabama Rape Trial and "To Kill a Mockingbird"

A newly published book makes the case (pun intended) for a link between a real life trial and Harper Lee's famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Joseph Madison Beck's My Father and Atticus Finch (Norton, 2016) retells the story of a 1930s  Alabama rape trial in which Mr. Beck's father defended a black man against rape charges. It also explores pre-civil rights era race relations in the South, and the image of Southern lawyers.

Additional information, including an interview with the author, here.  Via Allen Mendenhall @allenmendenhall.

June 17, 2016

Kahn @Jeff_Kahn1 on National Security, Rudolf Abel, and "Bridge of Spies"

Jeffrey Kahn discusses the arrest of Rudolf Abel, the central figure familiar to contemporary audiences through the Tom Hanks film Bridge of Spies, here in a National Security Law and Policy article (5 National Security Law and Policy 263 (2011)).

More with Professor Kahn here in a CSPAN discussion from earlier this year, and here in a Washington Post article.

Kahn @Jeff_Kahn1 on Analogy and the Law

Jeffrey Kahn, Southern Methodist University School of Law, is publishing Very Like a Whale: Analogy and the Law in Law, Culture, and the Humanities (2015). Here is the abstract.
Analogical reasoning is common in legal writing, just as analogies are a part of everyday life. Indeed, they may be inescapable features of human cognition. Used well, analogies illuminate the writer’s reasons and persuade the reader. Used poorly, however, they may obscure or even replace the precision and detail in reasoning that is crucial to the development of law. Without entering the ongoing debate about the nature of human thought, this article explores some of the dangers present in the relationship that analogy maintains with law. In particular, the article examines the risks inherent in analogizing across a technological or social divide. The article concludes by noting the long-term consequences of analogies and metaphors in shaping thought and, therefore, society.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

Marmor on Norms, Reasons, and the Law

Andrei Marmor, Cornell University Law School, has published Norms, Reasons, and the Law as Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-19. Here is the abstract.
Legal philosophers tend to talk about the normativity of law as if it is a central aspect of law that we need to explain, often assuming that there a single underlying question about it. I think that this is a mistake. Part of what I argue in this paper is that there isn't really anything unique to the normativity of law. But this follows from something more fundamental that I explore here, which is the nature of norm following. My aim is to show that different kinds of norms provide reasons for action in different ways. The four kinds of norms that are discussed include norms that function to codify preexisting reasons for action, norms that instantiate or complete reasons for action that underdetermine the modes of conduct which would be responsive to the reasons, norms that constitute various human activities, and finally, authoritative directives. Having explored how these different types of norms bear on our reasons for action, I hope to show that these four kinds of norms are present in law as well, suggesting that the normativity of law is both complex and multifarious, yet not, I argue, essentially different from normativity in other domains.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

June 16, 2016

Ziegert on Niklas Luhmann on Contingency and Law

Alex A. Ziegert, University of Sydney Faculty of Law, has published “L’Assassin Court Toujours”: Niklas Luhmann on Contingency and Law as Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/50. Here is the abstract.
The text which is at the centre of the discussion in this paper was one of the many manuscripts on which Niklas Luhmann worked until 1972 and then abandoned. It has been published now (2013) posthumously in Germany (in German) as a book in an edited version. While the reasons as to why Luhmann never published the text remain unclear, studying it now with hindsight reveals Luhmann’s writing as a fundamental book and direct conduit from legal theory to systems theory while circumnavigating sociological theory. With an international audience in mind, this paper will try to introduce this “unfinished” text in a particularly careful way which pays tribute to Niklas Luhmann’s original, perhaps peculiar, language and terminology. At the same time, this paper attempts to preserve the meaning of the original text by suggestions as to how that text could be understood in an English translation. However, the best fit between original and any translation of its meaning is ultimately left to the reader. For that purpose, the paper proceeds in an exegetic manner by quoting the original text at length and providing a suggested translation in English. This mode of comment on Niklas Luhmann’s manuscript does not substitute for a full translation – which may never come – but it could answer the urgent need for connecting an English-reading audience “just in time” with new publications by and on Niklas Luhmann when they come to hand. In this way, the paper can possibly avoid the long hiatus between the original publication in German and information about filtering through internationally in a haphazard way. This urgency applies the more to a text written by Niklas Luhmann which obviously has an important, perhaps even crucial, place in the genetic history of Luhmann’s ideas and in his generative grammar of systems theory.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

A Quick Look at Medea and Phaedra on Stage: Mothers, Mental Illness, and Tragedy

From the Guardian: a look at Medea, Phaedra, and stories of love, mental illness, loss, and tragedy.

Below, a selected bibliography:

On Medea

Fraden, Rena, Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

Just, Roger, Women in Athenian Law and Life, (Routledge, 1989).

Kubiak, Anthony, Stages of Terror: Terrorism, Ideology, and Coercion as Theatre History (Indiana University Press, 1991).

Medea: Essays on Medea in Myth, Philosophy, Literature, and Art (James J. Clauss and Sarah Iles Johnston, eds.; Princeton University Press, 1997).

On Phaedra

Constable, Marianne, "Our Word Is Our Bond," in Speech and Silence in American Law 18 (Austin Sarat, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2010).

McCabe, Richard A.,  Incest, Drama, and Nature's Law, 1550-1700 (Cambridge University Press, 1993).

June 15, 2016

University of Birmingham School of Law Offers Doctoral Scholarships Beginning September 2016

Via Karen McAuliffe, Professor of Law, University of Birmingham @dr_KMcA

Birmingham Law School - Doctoral Scholarships
Birmingham Law School would like to invite applications for two Doctoral Scholarships beginning in September 2016.
The scholarships are open to candidates interested in pursuing postgraduate research in any of the disciplines and fields covered by Birmingham Law School. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a track record of excellence in their field and be able to meet the normal entry requirements for the University of Birmingham’s PhD programmes.  No teaching experience is necessary, but teaching experience may be available to the award holder.
Applications are also open to current students.
Value of Award
These two awards cover tuition fees for three years full-time. They also include £11,000 support per year towards living expenses for full-time applicants. Adjusted pro-rata for part-time applicants. 
Eligibility Criteria
These awards are open to Home and EU students for campus-based doctoral research in Birmingham Law School. Part-time applicants may also be considered.
How to Apply
In order to apply, you must first have completed an application to study. In order to do so, please select a course from our Coursefinder listings, and select 'How to Apply' under
Course Details. 
Once you have done so, please complete the funding application form below, and return the completed form to calpg-research@contacts.bham.ac.uk by 4pm on Thursday 30 June 2016.
Your application must also be supported by two references. It is your responsibility as the applicant to forward the reference form below to both nominated referees, and advise them that references must be returned to calpg-research@contacts.bham.ac.uk by the application deadline, of 4pm on Thursday 30 June 2016.
Law Scholarships  - Doctoral Application Form 2016-2017 (PDF downloadable from site-Ed.)
Law Scholarships - Doctoral Reference Form 2016-2017 (PDF downloadable from site--Ed.)
College of Arts and Law

June 14, 2016

Churches, the IRS, and "Foul Play"

Reading commentary like Sam Brunson's post on whether the IRS ought to be able to audit churches, and under what circumstances (here, at The Surly Subgroup) makes me think about the film Foul Play (1978), which starred Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn. Remember that conspiratorial group in the movie, the "Tax the Churches League"? They were behind murders and all sorts of bad stuff, and what motivated them was the notion that religious organizations ought not to be exempt from taxation.

Pros and cons of church (and other religious denomination) exemptions here.

June 13, 2016

Davis on Recent Judicial Criticism Cases

Kirsten K. Davis, Stetson University College of Law, is publishing Recent Judicial Criticism Cases: Audience, Style and Tone Matter in the AALS Professional Responsibility Section Newsletter, Fall 2016. Here is the abstract.
Do courts care about audience, style, and tone when lawyers criticize judges? Three recent state supreme court opinions suggest they do.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Cho on Precedent as a Social Phenomenon: System, Language, Symbol

Sungjoon Cho, Chicago-Kent College of Law, has published Precedent as a Social Phenomenon: System, Language and Symbol in the Chicago-Kent Research Paper Series. Here is the abstract.
Precedent has often been analyzed along the rationalist line and touted for its market-friendly and efficiency-enhancing properties. Yet this consequentialist approach can hardly demonstrate that precedent is in fact a product of habit and custom. This article approaches precedent as a social phenomenon and explains its ostensibly unquestioned compliance pull in terms of system, language and symbol. The linguistic structure of precedent, as a reproductive mechanism, collectively represents the preexisting normative structure that is largely taken-for-granted in a Bourdieuvian sense. Markedly, the social framework on precedent is paradoxically salient in international law, which lacks a centralized, sophisticated legal-institutional complex as seen in a domestic legal system. This article applies this social framework to the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The full text of the article is not available for download from SSRN.

Conference on Jurisprudence, September 9-10, 2016, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

From Dr. Markéta Klusoňová, Professor of Law, Masaryk University, news of an interesting conference on Jurisprudence to be held September 9-10, 2016. Details below.  This conference is one of a series: for details on previous conferences, see here.

Legal Theory Department of Masaryk University in Brno is pleased to announce that

the Conference

Jurisprudence 2016

will take place 9 – 10th SEPTEMBER 2016

at Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, Brno, Veveří 70, 611 80, Czech Republic.

International conference Jurisprudence 2016 will focus on the current issues of jurisprudence, especially on question of its nature as a science (as “Rechtswissenschaft”) or at least as a part of humanities. Discussions on the nature of jurisprudence are held continuously but the conference aims to open the space for current questions in this field. The conference will emphasize both general issues of legal science and relevant legal methodology.
Another widely debated question is whether the legal science has its own specific methods. If we consider the jurisprudence to be a science, it is necessary to specify a set of its scientific methods. However, there is still no generally accepted approach to the methodology of legal science.  To this date there has been little agreement on which methods are the least relevant or acceptable. The conference will emphasize all these challenging opinions addressing this crucial topic.
An integral part of the debate on jurisprudence is also its connection to other disciplines. We invite not only papers dealing with the general theory of legal science but also those highlighting its connection with other disciplines. The aim of the conference is therefore not primarily on particular methods of various legal disciplines, but mainly on the legal nature of science itself.
Specific topics that we encourage speakers to explore include the following:
-          The nature of jurisprudence and the general methodology of jurisprudence;
-          The empirical methodology in jurisprudence;
-          Narrative methodology in jurisprudence.

The conference is organized in cooperation with CENELT - Central European Network of Legal theorists.

Important dates                                            
Abstract submission deadline:                                  30 June 2016
Notice on acceptance deadline:                                20 July 2016
Conference date:                                                     9-10 September 2016

Conference fees
Regular registration                                                  100 EUR
Student registration                                                   75 EUR
Conference dinner                                                     35 EUR
(In order to register you have to create an account at the Faculty of Law Conference System.)

Further information is to be found at jurisprudence.law.muni.cz.
Working language of the conference is English.
The titles and the abstracts (200-300 words) of the presentations should be submitted by mail to jurisprudence2016@law.muni.cz
Please indicate your full name, affiliation and e-mail address for contact.
We are looking forward to your applications.

Kind regards, The Organizing Commitee of the Conference