November 16, 2018

Greenlead, Chung, and Mowbray on the Launch of the Foundations of the Common Law Library (1215-1914) @grahamgreenleaf

Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law, Philip Chung, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law, and Andrew Mowbray, University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law have published Speaking Notes: Launch of the Foundations of the Common Law Library (1215-1914), IALS, University of London, 3 October 2018. Here is the abstract.
It is now more than 800 years since the Magna Carta of 1215, soon after which English law started to document its history. In some ex-colonies of the British Empire, the common law has been part of their legal history for over 200 years. This presentation sets out the background to the Foundations of the Common Law Library (1215-1914), and the launch of a free access Prototype of the Library. This project is based on collaboration between thirteen free access Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from across the common law world. Their pre-1915 content is now searchable from one location on the Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII). As of 3 October 2018, the Prototype Library includes 100 databases containing over 500,000 searchable items, from 1220-1914. There are 179,000 cases; 24,000 legislation items; 300,000 gazettes; and 3,000 other items, primarily legal scholarship but also some treaties. There is substantial content from 32 pre-1915 jurisdictions. The paper includes examples of searches of the Library and different ways by which search results can be displayed. In particular, the interconnections between cases over time, and across geographical boundaries is illustrated. The necessary conditions for development from a Prototype to the fully developed Library are discussed. The role of the common law as part of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind is considered.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

November 15, 2018

Scardamaglia on A Legal History of Lithography @abscard @GriffLawSchool

Amanda Scardamaglia, Swinburne Institute of Technology, has published A Legal History of Lithography at 1 Griffith Law Review 1 (2017). Here is the abstract.
Charles Troedel (1835–1906) was a master printer and lithographer and founder of the firm Troedel & Co. He was also the forgotten face behind the production of much of Australia’s earliest existing and surviving advertising material including posters, labels and other visual ephemera. These works, many of which were registered for colonial copyright and trade mark protection, provide a graphic history of nineteenth-century Australia, speaking to the prevailing state of commerce, culture, social trends and colonial norms. Inexplicably, Troedel’s role in the production of this capsule history has been overlooked. The legal dimension to this history and the relationship between lithography and intellectual property law has also been overlooked – in terms of the stylistic evolution of commercial signifiers and the legal mechanisms which served to protect these graphical expressions. This article uses Troedel’s archive of lithographs as the proxy through which to examine how lithography facilitated and shaped the production of early copyright and trade marks in Australia and more specifically, how lithography, as the technological arrangement mediating early colonial Australian society, was responsible for transforming advertising in nineteenth-century Australia, and the legal categories under which such advertising was defined.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Maks del Mar on Educating the Legal Imagination @QMSchoolofLaw

Maks del Mar, Queen Mary School of Law, University of London  has published Educating the Legal Imagination in a Special Issue of Law and Method.

The pdf is available through the link.

November 14, 2018

Position Announcement: Center for the Study of Law and Religion: Digital Scholarship Fellow @LawandReligion

Position Announcment

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University is hiring a Digital Scholarship Fellow to lead the Center’s development of innovative digital scholarship tools for research, scholarly collaboration, publication, dissemination, and pedagogy.  The Center for the Study of Law and Religion is a global leader in the field of law and religion. Founded at Emory University in 1982, the Center’s mission is to produce and promote path-breaking scholarship, teaching, and public programs on the interaction of law and religion around the world. To fulfill this mission, the Center offers six degree programs and dozens of courses, edits three book series and the Journal of Law and Religion, and runs international and interdisciplinary research projects. To learn more about the Center, visit  To apply, visit Job Description The Digital Scholarship Fellow leads the Center for the Study of Law and Religion’s development of innovative digital scholarship tools for research, scholarly collaboration, publication of research, dissemination of research, and pedagogy. The Fellow is responsible for maintaining and improving the Center’s current online platforms, including the Center’s website and social media; researching and introducing new developments and best practices in digital scholarship to the Center; collaborating with Center leadership to incorporate digital scholarship into the Center’s scholarly initiatives; and collaborating with faculty teaching in law and religion to incorporate digital scholarship into classroom pedagogy. The Digital Scholarship Fellow will report to the Managing Director. This is a three-year fellowship with renewal and promotion subject to review of the position and performance after year two. Position Duties 
  • Maintain the Center’s current online platforms including website maintenance and posting of new content to the website; distribution of email communication; and social media communications.
  • Develop and implement a digital communications strategy for the Center, to include an audit and proposals for use of social media, email communications, and the Center website.
  • Research and propose new tools or methods for accomplishing the Center’s goals of promoting research, disseminating scholarship, and building collaborative academic conversations in law and religion.
  • Consult with Center leadership, including focus area leaders, to identify possibilities for digital scholarship during the development of new initiatives and projects.
  • Collaborate with teaching faculty to incorporate digital scholarship into the classroom.
  • Serve as a resource for affiliated scholars interested in developing digital scholarship tools for research, publication, or pedagogy.
  • Engage with the Center for Digital Scholarship and other Emory University units to leverage the resources for digital scholarship available at Emory University.
  • Attend professional conferences and meetings on digital scholarship and digital humanities.
  • May teach or co-teach courses.
  • May publish scholarly or popular manuscripts on innovations, best practices, and developments in digital scholarship.
 Required Qualifications 
  • JD, PhD, or equivalent degree in a field related to the Center’s scholarship, such as legal studies, religious studies, theology, political science, or philosophy.
  • Demonstrated engagement with academic scholarship through publications or academic presentations.
  • Knowledge and experience in developing or maintaining a website.
  • Knowledge and experience in using social media platforms.
  • Knowledge and experience in the area of digital scholarship or digital humanities.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and apply new technologies and software programs.
  • Demonstrated initiative and ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and work with a team of professional staff and faculty.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
  Preferred Qualifications 
  • Proven ability to secure project-based grant funding.
  • Prior experience with Cascade CMS, Salesforce CRM, and/or email marketing software.
  • Classroom or online teaching experience.
 Posting is scheduled to close Nov. 23, 2018 To apply, visit 

Call For Proposals: Conference on Literature, Law, and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950, University of Sheffield, April 11-13, 2019

Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950

A conference at the University of Sheffield, April 11-13, 2019
The twentieth-century was a period of worldwide literary experiment, of scientific developments and of worldwide conflict. These changes demanded a rethinking not merely of psychological subjectivity, but also of what it meant to be subject to the law and to punishment. This two-day conference aims to explore relationships between literature, law and psychoanalysis during the period 1890-1950, allowing productive mixing of canonical and popular literature and also encouraging interdisciplinary conversations between different fields of study.

The period examined by the conference included: developments in Freudian psychoanalysis and its branching in other directions; the founding of criminology; continuing campaigns and reforms around the death penalty; landmark modernist publications; the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction; and multiple sensational trials (Wilde, Crippen, Casement, Leopold and Loeb, to name but a few). Freud’s followers, like Theodor Reik and Hans Sachs, would publish work on criminal law and the death penalty; psychoanalysts were sought after as expert witnesses; novelists like Elizabeth Bowen would serve on a Royal Commission investigating capital punishment; while Gladys Mitchell invented the character of Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley as a literary detective-psychoanalyst.

We therefore hope to consider areas including literature’s connection with historical debates around crime and punishment; literature and authors on trial and/or on the ‘psychiatrist’s couch’;and literature’s effect on debates about human rights. The event is linked to and partly supported by an AHRC project on literature, psychoanalysis and the death penalty, but the aim of this conference is much wider. Interdisciplinary approaches, especially from fields such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, law or the visual arts, are particularly encouraged. We also welcome papers on international legal systems and texts. All responses are welcome and the scope of our interdisciplinary interests is flexible, with room in the planned programme for strands of work that might be more or less literary.

Possible topics might include:

psychoanalysis in the real or literary courtroom;
literary form and the insanity defence;
canonical authors as readers of crime fiction and vice versa;
censorship cases;
the influence of famous legal cases on literary productions or on psychoanalytic theory;
influences of criminology and criminal psychology on literature;
representations of new execution methods (for example, the gas chamber and the electric chair);
portrayals of restorative versus retributive justice;
literary responses to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
relationships between modernism and Critical Legal Studies (CLS).

Please send 250 word paper proposals or 300 word proposals for fully formed panels to Dr Katherine Ebury at by 28th November 2018. 

See the website for more information:

November 13, 2018

Newly Published: Yann Robert, Dramatic Justice: Trial by Theater in the Age of the French Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

Yann Robert, University of Illinois, Chicago, has published Dramatic Justice: Trial by Theater in the Age of the French Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
For most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, classical dogma and royal censorship worked together to prevent French plays from commenting on, or even worse, reenacting current political and judicial affairs. Criminal trials, meanwhile, were designed to be as untheatrical as possible, excluding from the courtroom live debates, trained orators, and spectators. According to Yann Robert, circumstances changed between 1750 and 1800 as parallel evolutions in theater and justice brought them closer together, causing lasting transformations in both. Robert contends that the gradual merging of theatrical and legal modes in eighteenth-century France has been largely overlooked because it challenges two widely accepted narratives: first, that French theater drifted toward entertainment and illusionism during this period and, second, that the French justice system abandoned any performative foundation it previously had in favor of a textual one. In Dramatic Justice, he demonstrates that the inverse of each was true. Robert traces the rise of a "judicial theater" in which plays denounced criminals by name, even forcing them, in some cases, to perform their transgressions anew before a jeering public. Likewise, he shows how legal reformers intentionally modeled trial proceedings on dramatic representations and went so far as to recommend that judges mimic the sentimental judgment of spectators and that lawyers seek private lessons from actors. This conflation of theatrical and legal performances provoked debates and anxieties in the eighteenth century that, according to Robert, continue to resonate with present concerns over lawsuit culture and judicial entertainment. Dramatic Justice offers an alternate history of French theater and judicial practice, one that advances new explanations for several pivotal moments in the French Revolution, including the trial of Louis XVI and the Terror, by showing the extent to which they were shaped by the period's conflicted relationship to theatrical justice.
Dramatic Justice

Lost in Alice's Wonderland

For BBC Culture, Hephzibah Anderson considers Alice in Wonderland's hidden meanings. Some critics have found sexual imagery, others allusions to drug use. As Ms. Anderson writes,
But it’s not all sex and drugs. Another strand of criticism views Alice as a political allegory. When our heroine leaps after the White Rabbit, she ends up in a place that, for all its zany, disconcerting strangeness, is ruled over by a quick-tempered queen – Dodgson reputedly had mixed feelings about Queen Victoria even though she loved his book – and has a shambolic legal system, much like Victorian Britain. And how does Alice act in this strange land? Befuddled by the natives’ way of doing things, she tries to impose her own values with very nearly calamitous results. Couldn’t the novel therefore be an allegory for colonisation? There’s also the question of The Walrus and the Carpenter, the poem that Tweedledum and Tweedledee recite to Alice. According to some interpretations, the carpenter is Jesus and the walrus Peter, with the oysters as disciples. Others insist that it’s about Empire, with the walrus and the carpenter representing England, and the oysters its colonies. Even J.B. Priestley weighed into the debate, suggesting that the walrus and the carpenter are instead archetypes of two different types of politician.
There are more interpretations possible. Read the entire essay here. 

A short bibliography on Alice in Wonderland and law.

Kristin Brandser, Alice in Legal Wonderland: A Cross-Examination of Gender, Race, and Empire in Victorian Law and Literature, 24 Harv. Women's L. J. 221 (2001).

Jay Dratler, Jr., Alice in Wonderland Meets the U.S. Patent System, 38 Akron L. Rev. 299 (2005).

Parker B. Potter, Jr., Wondering About Alice: Judicial References to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, 28 Whittier L. Rev. 175 (2006-2007).

November 12, 2018

Rosenmueller on Two Kingdoms in a Multi-Tiered Empire @MTSUNews

Christoph Rosenmueller, Middle Tennessee State University, has published Two Kingdoms in a Multi-Tiered Empire: New Spain and New Galicia in the Mid-Eighteenth Century as Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2018-10. Here is the abstract.
This article casts light on the structure of the Spanish empire by focusing on the relations between two American kingdoms, New Spain and New Galicia. New Spain comprised the heartland of colonial Mexico, and New Galicia lay to its northwest. New Spain enjoyed significant status and to a degree controlled New Galicia and other dependent realms. By the mid-eighteenth century, the viceroy of New Spain sent inspectors, appointed treasury officials, and even wrested the mining camp of Bolaños from New Galicia. Yet New Galicia insisted on its autonomy. Its president resisted the viceregal interventions and finally succeeded in recovering jurisdiction over Bolaños. The relationship between the two North American kingdoms therefore differed from that between other constituent regions of the empire. The kingdom of Quito, for example, was fully subordinate to the Peruvian viceroy in Lima. The empire can therefore be described as multi-tiered and not exclusively characterized by the hegemony of Madrid/Castile over its overseas possessions. Instead, the empire consisted of uneven and overlapping ties between a group of core kingdoms and their dependent territories, and their relations changed over time.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

McAdams and Corre on New Light on the Trial of Billy Budd

Richard H. McAdams, University of Chicago Law School, and Jacob Corre have published New Light on the Trial of Billy Budd as University of Chicago Public Law Working Paper No. 684. Here is the abstract.
We add to the extensive literature on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, with a careful inquiry into the legal questions it poses. Our ultimate position is that Captain Vere is neither clearly a hero nor clearly a villain. Instead, the novel embraces ambiguity by intentionally arming each side of the debate with considerable firepower, leaving readers with a quandary that would have been familiar to Herman Melville’s contemporaries, as it was parallel to the national debate over the 1842 case of the USS Somers, where the captain had ordered the summary execution of three suspected mutineers. In his influential writing on Billy Budd, Professor Richard Weisberg is correct to criticize what was, previous to him, an unreflective consensus valorizing Vere. However, Weisberg and his defenders are equally wrong to offer a one-sided attack on Vere, as if there were no case for his decision to summarily try and execute Billy Budd. To the contrary, the background history of the “Great Mutiny” of 1797, the narrator’s description of naval law and custom, and a careful analysis of the Somers case, all demonstrate that the case for Vere is as strong as the case against.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Greenhouse on Reading Durkheim in Darkness

Carol Greenhouse, Princeton University, has published Reading Durkheim in Darkness at 45 Journal of Law and Society 664 (2018). Here is the abstract.
This article is a contribution to the occasional series dealing with major books that have influenced the authors. Previous contributors include Stewart Macaulay, John Griffith, William Twining, Carol Harlow, Geoffrey Bindman, Harry Arthurs, André‐Jean Arnaud, Alan Hunt, Michael Adler, Lawrence O. Gostin, John P. Heinz, Roger Brownsword, Roger Cotterrell, and Nicola Lacey. I have chosen Émile Durkheim's Division of Labor in Society (1893). As for many social scientists, Division was part of my introduction to anthropology, especially for its key concepts of collective consciousness and social solidarity. A standard reading of it formulates Durkheim's idea of law as the expression of collective consciousness; however, later circumstances of rereading gave me a sense of his own doubts on this very possibility. As my ethnographic work has increasingly focused on the strategic aggrandizement of federal power in the United States, I have been surprised to find myself repeatedly reaching for Durkheim's book – particularly for its association of the value of social science with the vulnerability of modern society to democratic crisis.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

November 8, 2018

Tobia on Testing Original Public Meaning @kevin_tobia

Kevin P. Tobia, Yale University; ETH Zurich, has published Testing Original Public Meaning. Here is the abstract.
Various interpretive theories recommend using dictionaries or corpus linguistics to provide evidence about the “original public meaning” of legal texts. Such an interpretive inquiry is typically understood as an empirical one, aiming to discover a fact about public meaning: How did people actually understand the text at the time it became law? When dictionaries or corpora are used for this project, they are empirical tools, which might be reliable or unreliable instruments. However, the central question about these tools’ reliability remains unanswered: Do dictionaries and corpus linguistics reliably reflect original public meaning? This paper develops a novel method to assess this question. It begins by examining the public meaning of modern terms. It compares people’s judgments about meaning to the verdicts that modern dictionaries and corpus linguistics deliver about (modern) public meaning. Eight experimental studies (total N = 1,327) reveal systematic divergences among the verdicts delivered by ordinary concept use, dictionary use, and corpus linguistics use. For example, the way in which people today apply the concept of a vehicle is systematically different from the way in which people apply the modern dictionary definition of a “vehicle” or the modern corpus linguistics data concerning vehicles. Strikingly similar results arise across levels of legal expertise; participants included 999 ordinary people, 230 “elite-university” law students (e.g. at Harvard and Yale), and 98 United States judges. These findings provide evidence about the reliability of dictionaries and corpus linguistics in estimating modern public meaning. I argue that these studies also provide evidence about these tools’ reliability in estimating original public meaning, in historical times. The paper develops both the positive and critical implications of these experimental findings. Positively, the results reveal systematic patterns of the use of dictionaries and corpora. Corpus linguistics tends to generate prototypical uses, while dictionaries tend to generate more extensive uses. This discovery grounds normative principles for improving the use of both tools in legal interpretation. Critically, the results support five argumentative fallacies that arise in legal-interpretive arguments that rely on corpus linguistics or dictionaries. More broadly, the results suggest that two central methods of determining original public meaning are surprisingly unreliable. This shifts the argumentative burden to public meaning originalism and other theories that rely upon these tools; those theories must provide a non-arbitrary account of these tools’ use and a demonstration that such methods are, in fact, reliable.
Donwload the article from SSRN at the link.

McCutcheon on The Misconception of Literary Characters as Copyright Works @UWALawSchool

Jani McCutcheon, University of Western Australia Law School, is publishing Works of Fiction: The Misconception of Literary Characters as Copyright Works in the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA. Here is the abstract.
This article critiques US jurisprudence, commentary and industry practice suggesting that fictional literary characters constitute separate copyright works distinct from the literary works in which they are situated. The scholarship on this jurisprudence tends to lament the ambiguity of the courts’ character delineation standards, and the inconsistency of court decisions applying them, but rarely, if ever, questions the legitimacy and coherence of the character-as-work doctrine. The paper will argue that the doctrine is fundamentally misconceived. It evolved from the fragile foundation of a casual obiter comment in an infringement analysis and morphed confusedly into an entrenched, though misunderstood, principle. The article will explain the unstable foundation of the character-as-work doctrine with reference to the concept of a ‘work’ in copyright law and its relationship to the fixation doctrine. The article argues that the nature of literary characters precludes them from being clearly and consistently identified and thus perceptible in a copy for the purposes of fixation. It explains how the character-as-work doctrine ignores the nature of literary characters; confuses subsistence standards; fosters illusory rights, rights hyperextension and lazy infringement analyses; and encourages character ‘evergreening’ beyond the copyright term.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 6, 2018

Call For Papers: Vertigo: Fake news/real theory: A Seminar at ANU College of Law

The Australian National University College of Law Centre for Law, Arts, and the Humanities presents a Seminar on Vertigo: Fake news/real theory.

The event takes place on December 12, 2018.

The ANU contemporary critical theory group is hosting a one-day seminar exploring law, art, politics, and society in the 21st century.

This event will feature short papers of no more than 15 minutes that make an intervention or articulate an argument with succinct vigour, leaving plenty of room for lively and even contentious discussion.

We particularly encourage the attendance and participation of HDR students from a wide range of disciplines, as well as from early career and established scholars working on critical theory and critical legal theory.
The call for papers closes November 10.

More here.

Polsky on The Concepts of Fundamental Law and Constitution in 18th Century Russia

Sergey Polskoy, National Research University, Higher School of Economics, has published The Concepts of Fundamental Laws and Constitution in the 18th Century Russia as Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 169/HUM/2018. Here is the abstract.
In this article, we attempt to trace the semantic changes two key concepts of the Modern period - fundamental law and constitution underwent at the 18th century and investigates how these European concepts were adapted and used in the Russian political language. The concept of the constitution and fundamental laws in eighteenth-century political discourse had differing connotations: while the constitution was used mainly to describe the form of government, the concept of fundamental laws referred to historically developing legal traditions which have been adopted as norms of political law. The most radical vision of constitution in the 18th century went further than identify it with the fundamental law, demanding that the latter should enshrine the principles of civil rights and liberties of the Nation, and the legal guarantees thereof. However, this radical view, arising at the end of the century, was far from universal, and the discussion around various understandings of this concept was still to continue for many years.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 5, 2018

Call For Submissions: Julien Mezey Dissertation Award--Deadline December 7, 2018 @Law_Cult_Huma

The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities invites submissions for the Julien Mezey Dissertation Award. This annual prize is awarded to the dissertation that most promises to enrich and advance interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of law, culture and the humanities.
The Association seeks the submission of outstanding work from a wide variety of perspectives, including but not limited to law and cultural studies, legal hermeneutics and rhetoric, law and literature, law and psychoanalysis, law and visual studies, legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence. Scholars completing humanities-oriented dissertations in SJD and related programs, as well as those earning PhDs, are encouraged to submit their work. Applicants eligible for the 2019 award must have defended their dissertations successfully between November 1, 2017 and October 31, 2018.

Nominations for the 2019 award must be received on or before
7 December 2018
Each nominee must submit the following:
1) a letter by the nominee detailing the genesis, goal, and contribution of the dissertation;
2) a letter of support from a faculty member familiar with the work;
3) an abstract, outline, and selected chapter of the dissertation;
4) contact information for the nominee.

All materials and any questions should be sent to: Professor Simon Stern at

Award finalists will be notified as soon as possible. Finalists must then submit an electronic version of the entire dissertation. The winner will be determined by early January and invited to the ASLCH annual meeting. ASLCH will pay travel and lodging costs.

Wilson on the Legal Foundations of White Supremacy @Erika_K_Wilson

Erika K. Wilson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, College of Law, has published The Legal Foundations of White Supremacy, 11 DePaul Journal for Social Justice 1 (2018). From the introduction:
The election of former President Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, temporarily changed the discourse around race in America. Despite America’s sordid racial history, President Obama’s election was hailed as evidence that race was no longer a salient factor in meting out opportunities—that the country was finally “post-racial.” Indeed, some even went so far as to suggest that his election signified “the gradual erosion of ‘whiteness’ as the touchstone of what it means to be American.” Recent events have upended this “post-racial” narrative. In the wake of the racially charged election of Donald J. Trump and the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, race generally and white supremacy specifically are again taking center stage. For many, the reemergence of the kind of overt manifestations of white supremacy that were unveiled in Charlottesville was particularly jarring. It forced many people to grapple with the reality that white supremacy, a phenomenon that many believed had been relegated to a historical footnote, still exists and is stronger than ever. Yet those such as myself who examine race critically have long been aware that the fissures caused by race generally and white supremacy specifically, never went anywhere, notwithstanding the election of the country’s first self-identified African-American president. Race generally and white supremacy specifically are embedded into the framework of most American social institutions. As a result, now more than ever, it is imperative that we critically examine all forms and manifestations of white supremacy. This paper focuses on a very important part of white supremacy — the legal foundations of white supremacy. The central thesis of this paper is that American law has historically played a vital role in constructing white supremacy. While America has eliminated overt race-conscious laws that favor whites, the law continues to play a critical role in maintaining white supremacy today. Unless and until we commit to understanding the history of the law in constructing white supremacy and the ways in which modern iterations of law continue to perpetuate white supremacy, white supremacy will remain an enduring feature of American society.
Download the article via the link given.

November 2, 2018

ICYMI: Etienne Madranges, Les Palais de Justice (2011) @LexisNexisFr @etimad


Etienne Madranges, Les palais de justice de France (Lexis/Nexis, 2011).

Ce livre est la mémoire du patrimoine judiciaire français dans sa diversité, avec ses aspects parfois émouvants, parfois somptueux, et des anecdotes étonnantes. Des centaines de palais, du plus simple au plus solennel. L'auteur a voulu montrer au grand public la richesse, les curiosités, les endroits et objets insolites des temples de la Justice de France. Il en a visité plus de 1 000 et a pu, avant la fermeture récente de 200 tribunaux, fixer par l'image tous ces lieux chargés d'histoire(s). Fidèle à son habitude, il a réalisé seul cet ouvrage : totalité des photos et des textes, recherches documentaires, mise en pages, maquette.
C'est en effet son regard qu'il veut faire partager au lecteur. 
Vous allez admirer des meubles magnifiques, des sièges rares, des pendules faites sur mesure, des plafonds colorés et des fresques, vous arrêter aux 500 barres des témoins, mais aussi apprécier l'évolution de l'architecture judiciaire, vous rendre au tribunal de la mine, de la pêche, du sel, au tribunal peint par Cocteau, au bailliage, à la cour des appeaux, à la viguerie, à la maison des plaids, visiter les parlements richement décorés, les temples à colonnes et les palais contemporains transparents.
Vous vous étonnerez devant le nombre des allégories de la Justice, des symboles religieux, maçonniques, républicains, royaux, impériaux... et vous pourrez contempler la chasuble d'un Saint, un cheval à la place du juge, un miroir transpercé par des balles, des graffitis anciens poignants, des piloris et des fourches patibulaires, le sac de l'affaire pendante, le carreau sur lequel on reste, et même des colonnes dans une forêt ou apprendre qu'un magistrat est enterré dans une réplique de tribunal.
Un immense travail de recherche et plus de 700 sites à découvrir en 5 400 photos.
Né en 1951, Étienne Madranges est magistrat, universitaire et historien. De formation scientifique et juridique, diplômé de l'Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, il a présidé des organismes internationaux ainsi que l'Institut National de la Jeunesse, appartenu à plusieurs cabinets ministériels, administré des associations nationales et des fondations, enseigné dans diverses universités et grandes écoles et a été organiste. 

Concepteur de divers dispositifs en faveur des jeunes et des handicapés, rédacteur d'un traité international et de textes législatifs et réglementaires, il a également été directeur d'administration centrale, comme directeur national de la jeunesse, de l'éducation populaire et de la vie associative au ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports. Avocat général à la cour d'appel de Paris, il a été, auprès du Garde des Sceaux, responsable de la mission patrimoine du ministère de la Justice. 
Adepte de la lumière et de la couleur, il parcourt régulièrement le monde à la recherche de belles images. Il a pris plus de 500 000 clichés dans les édifices civils et religieux d'une soixantaine de pays, visitant notamment les palais de justice et prisons les plus divers sur les cinq continents.
Son livre "Regards sur le Palais dans la Cité" demeure l'ouvrage de référence sur le Palais de Justice de Paris, ses secrets et ses allégories. Par ailleurs spécialiste de l'art sacré, il a consacré un livre de photos au thème millénaire de l'Arbre de Jessé. Il a en projet d'autres ouvrages sur l'art.

Laura Little, Guilty Pleasures: Comedy and Law in America (Oxford University Press, 2018) @templelaw @OxUniPress

Forthcoming from Oxford University Press: Laura Little, Temple University School of Law, Guilty Pleasures: Comedy and Law in America (2018). Here, from the publisher's website, is a description of the book's contents.
Few people associate law books with humor. Yet the legal world--in particular the American legal system--is itself frequently funny. Indeed, jokes about the profession are staples of American comedy. And there is actually humor within the world of law too: both lawyers and judges occasionally strive to be funny to deal with the drudgery of their duties. Just as importantly, though, our legal system is a strong regulator of humor. It encourages some types of humor while muzzling or punishing others. In a sense, law and humor engage a two-way feedback loop: humor provides the raw material for legal regulation and legal regulation inspires humor. In Guilty Pleasures, legal scholar Laura Little provides a multi-faceted account of American law and humor, looking at constraints on humor (and humor's effect on law), humor about law, and humor in law. In addition to interspersing amusing episodes from the legal world throughout the book, the book contains 75 New Yorker cartoons about lawyers and a preface by Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for the New Yorker.

Cover for 

Guilty Pleasures


October 31, 2018

The Watergate Grand Jury Report Is Now Available

The Watergate Grand Jury report is now available. It has been under seal for nearly 45 years. Here's a link to the material.

A short bibliography about the Watergate scandal.


John Dean, Blind Ambition: The White House Years (1976).

Elizabeth Drew, Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall (2015).

Stanley Kutler, The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (1990).

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men  (1974). The first book about the Watergate break-in by the reporters who broke the story about the cover-up. Made into a 1976 film that starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat (2005).

Films and Television

Dick Cavett's Watergate (2014).

Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews (1977).

Our Nixon (2013).


Watergate at 40 (Washington Post)

Murrell on How the Independence of Judges Reduced Legal Development in England, 1600-1800 @UofMaryland

Peter Murrell, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, has published The Independence of Judges Reduced Legal Development in England, 1600-1800. Here is the abstract.
Conventional wisdom on English development confers iconic status on the clause of the Act of Settlement (1701) that mandated secure tenure for judges. Because the Act's effect on tenure was partial, the effect of tenure on judicial decisions can be identified. The paper estimates how the awarding of tenure changed the number of citations to judges' decisions, a measure of judicial quality. The empirics uses two new databases, one on judges' biographies and one recording citations in the English Reports to earlier decisions. Several strategies aid identification. A court-year panel permits difference-in-differences. Controls capture judges' human capital and the importance of litigation. Instrumental-variable estimates use judge life-expectancy and political vicissitudes as instruments. Tenure has a strong, significant, and deleterious effect on the quality of associate-judge decisions. Tenure has no effect for chief judges. The Act of Settlement reduces citations by 20% in the 18th century. The results are interpretable in terms of the incentives provided by a powerful legal profession that could protect vulnerable judges in a politically volatile era.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Resnik on On Darkness and LIght in Legal Imagination and Practice @YaleLawSch

Judith Resnik, Yale University Law School, is publishing On Darkness and Light in Legal Imagination and Practice: A Foreword to the Dark Sides of the Law in The Dark Sides of the Law: Perspectives on Law, Literature, and Justice in Common Law Countries (Geraldine Gadbin-George, Yvonne-Marie Rogez, Armelle Sabatier & Claire Wrobel, eds., Paris: Editions, Michel Houdiard, 2019).
This Foreword, building on the book Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms by Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis, explores the social constructions of “darkness” and of “lightness.” One illustration comes from how darkness has been valorized as well as bemoaned in the iconography of courthouses. While once the Virtue Justice was insistently displayed as clear-eyed, that figure’s eyes are now often obscured by a blindfold. When blindfolds were attached to Justice figures in the Renaissance, that deployment was derisive. Today, the blindfold is celebrated as an appropriate marker of the special role of a judge. The shifting import of the darkness imposed by blindfolds reflects changing ideas about the relationship of judges to the sovereignties that employ them and about the impact of sight on knowledge. The Foreword maps these changes before turning to the use of glass in building design. As the images reproduced make plain, glass facades ought not to be confused with phenomenal transparency. Glaring light, as well as darkness, can make exercises of authority unobservable.
Download the Foreword from SSRN at the link.

Butler and Crawley on Forms of Authority Beyond the Neoliberal State @GriffLawSchool @kscrawling @LawAndCritique

Chris Butler and Karen Crawley, both of Griffith University Law School, have published Forms of Authority Beyond the Neoliberal State: Sovereignty, Politics, and Aeathetics, in Law and Critique (2018). Here is the abstract.
Critical legal scholarship has recently turned to consider the form, mode and role of law in neoliberal governance. A central theme guiding much of this literature is the importance of understanding neoliberalism as not only a political or economic phenomenon, but also an inherently juridical one. This article builds on these con-ceptualisations of neoliberalism in turning to explore the wider historical, cultural and sociological contexts which inform the production of neoliberal authority. The papers in this collection were first presented at the symposium ‘Forms of authority beyond the neoliberal state’, held at the Griffith Law School in December 2017. They consider the role of the corporation, the site of the university, the politics of debt, the genre of prestige television, and the archic sources of state violence, in order to imagine forms of authority which lie beyond neoliberalism as an ideology and a set of practices, and the ensemble of institutions which constitute the neo-liberal state. The contributions draw on social theory, philosophy, cultural studies, legal geography and political theology in exploring new possibilities for cultivating judgement through and beyond the sovereign, political and aesthetic terrains of neo-liberal governance.

October 29, 2018

Newly Published: Chenxi Tang: Imagining World Order: Literature and International Law in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 @CornellPress

Newly published: Chenxi Tang, Imagining World Order: Literature and International Law in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 (Ithaca: Cornell University press, 2018). Here, from the publisher's website, is a description of the book's contents.
In early modern Europe, international law emerged as a means of governing relations between rapidly consolidating sovereign states, purporting to establish a normative order for the perilous international world. However, it was intrinsically fragile and uncertain, for sovereign states had no acknowledged common authority that would create, change, apply, and enforce legal norms. In Imagining World Order, Chenxi Tang shows that international world order was as much a literary as a legal matter. To begin with, the poetic imagination contributed to the making of international law. As the discourse of international law coalesced, literary works from romances and tragedies to novels responded to its unfulfilled ambitions and inexorable failures, occasionally affirming it, often contesting it, always uncovering its problems and rehearsing imaginary solutions. Tang highlights the various modes in which literary texts - some highly canonical (Camões, Shakespeare, Corneille, Lohenstein, and Defoe, among many others), some largely forgotten yet worth rediscovering - engaged with legal thinking in the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. In tracing such engagements, he offers a dual history of international law and European literature. As legal history, the book approaches the development of international law in this period —its so-called classical age—in terms of literary imagination. As literary history, Tang recounts how literature confronted the question of international world order and how, in the process, a set of literary forms common to major European languages (epic, tragedy, romance, novel) evolved.

Imagining World Order 

October 25, 2018

Wozner and Abiri on the Tree of Knowledge and the Birth of Normativity @TAU_LAW

Shai Wozner, Tel Aviv University, and Gilad Abiri, Yale University Law School, have published The Tree of Knowledge and the Birth of Normativity at 27 Jewish Law Association Studies 239 (2017). Here is the abstract.
The constitutive myth of the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge is central to the biblical law. It deals with fundamental normative and legal issues – commandment, prohibition, sin and punishment – combines the main aspects of nomos and narrative, and represents an organizing story upon which the thick normativity of biblical precepts and prohibitions is based. In the paper, we would like to suggest a new interpretation of the myth, according to which the tree of knowledge was an ordinary tree and its fruits were normal fruits. Its uniqueness was constituted only by Divine commandment and prohibition, which were put in place in order to enable Adam and Eve to break the law. Infringing the law and eating from the forbidden fruit was the means by which God taught Adam and Eve the notions of good and evil. In order to fully grasp normativity, it was necessary for Adam and Eve to violate the Divine command at least on one occasion. In this reading, God is not a stringent law-maker, but rather a teacher teaching mankind an important lesson. When commanding Adam and Eve to refrain from partaking of the fruit, his actual goal was not to hinder them from eating but to afford them an opportunity to break the law and to learn the notion of good and evil. It was an exercise in educational manipulation, foreseeing their failure and sin. The sin of eating from the tree of knowledge was not a derailment of the Divine program, but rather its performance.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

Pershina on Metaphors of Crime and Punishment in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" @UAHes

Marina A. Pershina, University of Alcala, has published Metaphors of Crime and Punishment in Shakespeare’s 'Macbeth'. Here is the abstract.
The aim of the article is to study the notions of crime and punishment in the Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth”. It analyses the role of supernatural elements and metaphorical symbols as key components of the images of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Complex metaphors and poetic symbols go through the play’s plot. They follow the development of the characters’ inner struggle, reveal their intentions, and finally reflect their fall. Most symbols represent the supernatural dichotomy of the heaven (king Duncan’s virtues are compared to angels) and the hell (Macbeth is called a devil). Even the scenes of nature are depicted fantastically. The words of Hecate and the ‘weird sisters’ express the idea of existence in the external human world of something unknown that affects people’s internal motivation. At the end of the tragedy, metaphors in Macbeth’s soliloquies embody the themes of death, destruction, moral disintegration of the personality of the person who lost the meaning of life. The results of the research show that metaphors and symbolic elements are implied in the tragedy to create a psychological portrait of main characters. On the one hand, Shakespeare used them to show individuals. On the other hand, these characters become the collective images of sinners and righteous men.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Nabaskues on Law, Crime, Morals and Sense of Justice in "Treasure Island" @IISJOnati @upvehu

Iker Nabaskues, University of the Basque Country, Faculty of Law, is publishing Law, Crime, Morals, and Sense of Justice in 'Treasure Island' in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series (forthcoming). Here are the abstracts in English and Spanish.
English Abstract: The aim of this article is to examine the legal, ethical and moral complications shown in Robert Louis Stevenson’s masterpiece, Treasure Island and the short story The Persons of the Tale. The methodology followed consisted on qualitative observation on different passages of the book. This analysis shows a shifting moral landscape where the characters of the plot make ethical choice out of the moral and social conventions of society. There are not legal institutions on the island. But we are reminded of the presence of the rule of law at all times. Stevenson uses this particular scenario to express a special and suggestive moral code where ambiguity, paradox and contradiction are the dominant pattern. There are very few works about Stevenson from the iusphilosophical approach, so the article makes a contribution on the field of Law and Literature.

Spanish Abstract: El objetivo de este artículo es analizar las complejidades jurídicas, éticas y morales presentes en La isla del tesoro, obra maestra de Robert Louis Stevenson, y en la narración Los personajes del relato. La metodología consiste en la observación cualitativa de varios pasajes del libro. Ese análisis muestra un paisaje moral cambiante donde los personajes hacen elecciones morales fuera de las convenciones morales y sociales. No hay instituciones jurídicas en la isla; pero en todo momento se nos hace recordar el imperio de la ley. Stevenson utiliza este particular escenario para expresar un código moral muy especial y sugerente, donde la ambigüedad, lo paradójico y lo contradictorio son las tónicas dominantes. Hay muy pocas obras sobre Stevenson desde un enfoque iusfilosófico, por lo cual el artículo hace una aportación al campo del Derecho y la Literatura.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Gould on Democracy and the Vernacular in Vico's Plebian Philology @rrgould

Rebecca Gould, University of Birmingham; Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, is publishing Democracy and the Vernacular Imagination in Vico's Plebian Philology in History of Humanities (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
This essay examines Giambattista Vico’s philology as a contribution to democratic legitimacy. I outline three steps in Vico’s account of the historical and political development of philological knowledge. First, his merger of philosophy and philology, and the effects of that merge on the relative claims of reason and authority. Second, his use of antiquarian knowledge to supersede historicist accounts of change in time and to position the plebian social class as the true arbiters of language. Third, his understanding of philological knowledge as an instrument of political change, and a foundational element in the establishment of democracy. By treating the philological imagination as a tool for bringing about political change, Vico’s plebian philology is radically democratic, and a crucial instrument in the struggle against the elite, from antiquity to the present.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 24, 2018

Scholz on Big Data Is Not Big Oil: On Analogical Reasoning, New Technologies, and Law @scholzlauren

Lauren Henry Scholz, Florida State College of Law, is publishing Big Data Is Not Big Oil: On Analogical Reasoning, New Technologies, and Law in the Georgetown Law Journal (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
Many commentators on the information economy have casually and uncritically compared big data to big oil. Admittedly, data, like oil, is valuable, and both power the modern economy. But to extend the analogy any further as a matter of law and policy is unwise. This Essay has two theses: (1) Data as the oil of the information economy is a bad analogy as a matter of logic, and (2) data as oil is a misleading and dangerous analogy as applied to law and policy, because it obscures key features of the underling resource and its function in the economy. Unlike oil, the source of data can be traced to individual people, a fact which demands moral and legal consideration. The Essay goes on to describe and evaluate analogies between big data and intellectual property, personhood, and salvage. This illustrates the promise and potential of alternate analogical approaches to big data.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 23, 2018

Frosio on Reimagining Digital Copyright Through the Power of Imitation: Lessons From Confucius and Plato @GCFrosio

Giancarlo Frosio, Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI; Stanford University - Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, is publishing Reimagining Digital Copyright through the Power of Imitation: Lessons from Confucius and Plato in volume 5 of the Peking University Transnational Law Journal (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
For millennia, Western and Eastern culture shared a common creative paradigm. From Confucian China, across the Hindu Kush with the Indian Mahābhārata, the Bible, the Koran and the Homeric epics, to Platonic mimēsis and Shakespeare’s “borrowed feathers,” our culture was created under a fully open regime of access to pre-existing expressions and re-use. Creativity used to be propelled by the power of imitation. However, modern policies have largely forgotten the cumulative and collaborative nature of creativity. Actually, the last three decades have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of intellectual property rights in sharp contrast with the open and participatory social norms governing creativity in the networked environment. Against this background, this paper discusses the reaction to traditional copyright policy and the emergence of a social movement re-imagining copyright according to a common tradition focusing on re-use, collaboration, access and cumulative creativity. This reaction builds upon copyright’s growing irrelevance in the public mind, especially among younger generations in the digital environment, because of the emergence of new economics of digital content distribution in the Internet. Along the way, the rise of the users, and the demise of traditional gatekeepers, forced a process of reconsideration of copyright’s rationale and welfare incentives. Scholarly and market alternatives to traditional copyright have been plenty, attempting to reconcile pre-modern, modern and post-modern creative paradigms. Building upon this body of research, proposals and practice, this Article will finally try to chart a roadmap for reform that reconnects Eastern and Western creative experience in light of a common past, looking for a shared future.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 22, 2018

Yoo on James WIison as the Architect of the American Presidency @PennLaw

Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, is publishing James Wilson as the Architect of the American Presidency in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy. Here is the abstract.
For decades, James Wilson has been something of a “forgotten founder.” The area where commentators generally recognize Wilson’s influence at the Convention is with respect to Article II, which establishes the executive and defines its powers. Most scholars characterize him as a resolute advocate of an independent, energetic, and unitary presidency, and a particularly successful one at that. In this regard, some scholars have generally characterized Wilson’s thinking as overly rigid. Yet a close examination of the Convention reveals Wilson to be more flexible than sometimes characterized. With respect to many aspects of the presidency, including the appointment power, the use of an advisory council, the veto power, and presidential selection, he adopted a more pragmatic approach than generally recognized. The most dramatic example of this is an event that is almost entirely overlooked in the historical record: Wilson’s break late in the Convention from his consistent support for a unitary executive by proposing an advisory council to advise the president on appointments. While initially seeming like something of a puzzle, the reasons for Wilson’s change of heart become clearer when debates over presidential power are placed in the context of the larger controversies that dominated the Convention, such as the Great Compromise and presidential re-eligibility and selection. This broader frame suggests that Wilson held a more pragmatic, less doctrinaire vision of executive power than is commonly recognized.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 21, 2018

Conference on the Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama, January 8, 2019, University of Edinburgh @EdinburghUni

The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama: Day Conference, at the University of Edinburgh

Date of Event
8th January 2019
Last Booking Date for this Event
4th January 2019
Places Available
The Bible has always enjoyed notoriety within the genres of crime fiction and drama; numerous authors have drawn on biblical traditions as thematic foci to explore social anxieties about violence, religion, and the search for justice and truth. This conference explores the issues raised by the forthcoming volume, The Bible in Crime Fiction and Drama (Bloomsbury Press, 2019), which brings together multi-disciplinary scholarship from the fields of biblical interpretation, literary criticism, criminology, and studies in film and television to discuss international texts and media spanning the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.

October 20, 2018

Call For Papers and Posters: Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, 2019

The Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) has opened its call for papers and posters for its April 3-5, 2019 conference. Send proposals by January 14, 2019. The University of Leeds is hosting the conference. More here.

October 19, 2018

Doppelganger Political Commercials @VeepHBO @justinlmack @emrosenberg @indystar @washingtonpost

Eli Rosenberg at the Washington Post points out the "life imitates art" resemblances between Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)'s new campaign commercial and that for character Jonah Ryan, who ran for Congress in the popular TV series "Veep." Cue the plaid shirt and tree-chopping activities. Mr. Rosenberg cites some tele-analysis from Justin L. Mack and Holly V. Hays at the Indianapolis Star, who note that "there are some differences. For example, Donnelly does his own narration...while Ryan uses a voiceover. And Donnelly, showing his love of responsible wood chopping, makes sure to wear gloves and safety goggles whenever he takes a swing. Ryan recklessly eschews both."

It's interesting that the real candidate does his own talking, and the fictional one uses a voiceover. Is that a comment on IRL candidates with slick (read Hollywood-esque) production values? And the contrasting axe wielding techniques are interesting, too. Is the real candidate sending a message about safety around dangerous devices? Is Veep telling us (as if we didn't know) that some politicians actually fake their love of the outdoors in order to appeal to some of the public? Or perhaps that they're actually clueless about safety, theirs and ours? Does Senator Donnelly's campaign indicate that he's actually yearning for a veep spot? Or is a campaign commercial just a campaign commercial?

Gingerich on Remixing Rawls: Constitutionalizing Cultural Liberties

Jonathan Gingerich, Washington University, St. Louis, is publishing Remixing Rawls: Constitutionalizing Cultural Liberties in volume 11 of the Northweastern University Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract.
This article develops a liberal theory of cultural rights that must be guaranteed by just legal and political institutions. People form their own individual conceptions of the good in the cultural space constructed by the political societies they inhabit. This article argues that only rarely do individuals develop views of what is valuable that diverge more than slightly from the conceptions of the good widely circulating in their societies. In order for everyone to have an equal opportunity to autonomously form their own independent conception of the good, rather than merely following others, culture must be democratically controlled. Equal respect for members of a liberal democracy requires that all citizens have roughly equal opportunities to do things like make movies, publish novels, and exhibit paintings. This article contends that the contemporary American legal order fails to guarantee that all citizens have roughly equal opportunities to shape and influence their shared culture. Guaranteeing the liberty to do so would require reforms to many areas of law, including applying anti-discrimination law more broadly to the conduct of cultural organizations, expanding fair use protections in copyright law, limiting the ability of businesses to arbitrarily refuse service to customers, and restricting private control of capital in order to democratize the means of cultural production.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Bonfield on Britain's Brief Encounter With Forced Heirship @NYLawSchool

Lloyd Bonfield, New York Law School, has published Farewell Downton Abbey, Adieu Primogeniture and Entail: Britain's Brief Encounter with Forced Heirship. Here is the abstract.
This article observes a little-noted proposal (the Landed Property of Intestates Bill) introduced into the British Parliament in 1836. It considers the debate upon it that ensued, and the accompanying pamphlet literature. The Bill proposed to alter the inheritance custom of primogeniture that directed the pattern of descent of freehold land in the absence of directions by settlement or will, and the dialogue is used as a lens to view the nexus between inheritance customs and broader political, economic and social concerns. The intensity of the dispute over primogeniture suggests that more was at stake than simply the devolution of land. The controversy in the Commons over the proposed legislation encompassed a discussion on the variety of purposes that succession law should serve. Lurking in the background in the debate over the proposed bill was a more abstract conundrum: should succession laws primarily be crafted to serve political ends, the constitution; or was it more appropriate to calibrate them to foster desirable social, economic or familial goals? In short, the debate put into sharp focus the question of what interests drive inheritance law, and how attempts can be made to modify it, if and when such concerns alter over time. The bill failed, and it would be for another century for Parliament to abolish primogeniture.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

October 18, 2018

Call For Applications, Tenure Track Positions, Legal Studies, St. Jerome's University

Two Faculty Positions Open, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, St. Jerome's University
The Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at St. Jerome’s University invites applications for two (2) positions in Legal Studies, both commencing July 1, 2019. One is tenured or tenure stream at the rank of Associate Professor; the other is tenure stream at the rank of Assistant Professor and is subject to budgetary approval. Successful candidates will have a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of Legal Studies or a relevant interdisciplinary or disciplinary field in the humanities or social sciences. Candidates with a doctorate in law may also apply. We are especially interested in candidates who conduct interdisciplinary research in and can teach any of the following subjects: environment and law, history and law, gender and law, Indigenous studies and law, international law and global justice, political/social theory and law, psychology and law, and religion and law. A history of innovation in the area of teaching and learning is also desired.
Successful candidates should be able to teach first-year Introduction to Legal Studies, second-year Criminal Law, fourth-year seminars, as well as courses that correspond to the applicant’s areas of specialization. Successful candidates should also be committed to participating in administrative service. Applicants for the Associate Professor position must have an excellent track record in teaching, research, and service, particularly in academic leadership. Applicants for the Assistant Professor position must demonstrate a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service. As of May 1, 2018, the base salary for an Associate Professor is $100,868, and the base salary for an Assistant Professor is $80,143.
Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary program that offers Honours, Joint Honours, and Four-Year General undergraduate degrees. Successful candidates will work with colleagues across disciplines as well as with our partners at the University of Waterloo. For further information on the Department at St. Jerome’s University, visit
Complete applications from interested candidates will include:
  • cover letter detailing interest in and suitability for the position – clearly state your intent to apply for either the Associate or Assistant position
  • curriculum vitae
  • teaching dossier – include evidence of excellence and innovation in teaching
  • in lieu of a teaching philosophy, please answer the following question in 1000 words or less:
How does your teaching and research advance your vision of interdisciplinary scholarship?
  • outline of a research agenda
  • two sample publications
  • contact information for three referees – to be contacted if your application is shortlisted
Send applications by email to Dr. Kieran Bonner, Chair, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, St. Jerome’s University: All applications must be submitted by January 15, 2019.St. Jerome’s University, situated on the University of Waterloo campus, is a public Roman Catholic university federated with the University of Waterloo. The University is committed to advancing the Catholic intellectual tradition and welcomes faculty and students from all faiths and backgrounds. St. Jerome’s University is also committed to the principles of employment equity and in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements this advertisement is directed in the first instance to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Candidates requiring accommodation should contact the Director of Human Resources. For further information, visit

Extended Deadline: ASLCH CFP October 24, 2018 @Law_Cult_Huma

Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities: Call for Proposals

Extended Deadline

We are pleased to announce that the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada on March 22-23, 2019. The event is co-sponsored by The Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Information regarding the pre-conference Graduate Student Workshop will follow shortly.

We welcome quality proposals on any topic related to law and legal studies. We warmly welcome proposals on all topics, and are particularly interested in proposals addressing the intersections between gender, sexuality, race and law.
Individual proposals should include title and an abstract of no more than 250 words.
We also welcome proposals for panels, roundtables, and streams (two panels on one theme). Panels should include three papers (or, exceptionally, four papers). Specify a title and a chair of your panel. The panel chair may also be a panel presenter. It is not necessary to write an abstract or proposal for the panel itself. To indicate your pre-constituted panel, roundtable, or stream, please ensure that individual registrants provide the name of the panel and the chair in their individual submissions on the registration site. All panel, roundtable, or stream participants must make an individual submission on the registration site.  
Notifications will be sent by mid-December, 2018.
The fees for participation in the Conference, which include membership to the Association, will be:
·      Graduate students and post-doctoral scholars: $35
            • Income less than $75,000: $125
            • Income between $75,000-$99,999: $155
            • Income between $100,000-$124,999: $210
            • Income $125,000 and over: $260
The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities is an organization of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, humanistically-oriented legal scholarship. The Association brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, political, law and cultural studies, law and anthropology, law and literature, law and the performing arts, and legal hermeneutics. We want to encourage dialogue across and among these fields about issues of interpretation, identity, and values, about authority, obligation, and justice, and about law's role as a constituent part of cultures and communities. If you have any general questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us