February 19, 2020

Matoshi and Berisha on Social Norms and Legal Culture

Shyrete Matoshi, Independent Researcher, and Fejzulla Berisha, University of Kadri Zeka, Gjilan, have published Social Norms and Legal Culture. Here is the abstract.
Moral, as well as the right, in their implementation, are based in the consciousness of citizens, but the difference between the right and moral stands in the fact that unlike moral, the right is set and sanctioned by the state, while moral norms are set by the public opinion and can treat moral as an internal sanction in the context of psychological consciousness and with this people know the done and undone actions, respectively the purposes of action or inaction. It is understood that the norms issued and sanctioned by social organizations can’t be contrary to the legal order, with norms that have higher legal power. It is understood that the norms that are issued – adopted by social organizations can’t be contrary to the legal order – the positive right, with norms with higher legal power that in this context are issued – adopted by the state as a strong social organization. With the term ‘right’ we mean the norms that are created by the organized society and that are applied by that society which is called state, and the norms that are applied by the state are called the right. The state is an organization of organized violence based on legal norms is distinguished by other organizations, mostly thanks to its external element – physical force. In the state and right there might be slow changes that happen in the society, which we can call evolutionary changes, ongoing changes, for example the change of some legal clauses in the acts of some laws. Simply, only some clauses change. All these, in one way or another, change the state and law, (but partly) the essence remains the same. The state and right in essence remain unchangeable and within these changes of state and right are: changes called reforms, coup and conspiracy. The reform is also a promoter of changes of the function of state and right, by following and incorporating the results, contemporary achievements in general social relations. Coup – these kinds of changes are unacceptable for the society, don’t coincide with the principles of the democratic order, because they don’t bring important favors for the society in general, but only for a certain group of people. The difference between coup and state conspiracy stands in the fact that state coup is done by a certain group of people in the state hierarchy, while the conspiracy is done by people that are not part of this hierarchy, that are outside state structures, respectively persons that are not part of state hierarchy. But it is also a characteristic of the conspiracy to emphasize that it doesn’t change the state and right in essence, in this context it remains unchanged. The revolution entails two meanings, respectively two notions: the revolution exercised by violence, and the revolution exercised peacefully. The revolution exercised by violence, physical violence, means armed conflicts between the carriers of state power and the ones that depend from this power, when an organization goes after the old state organization until the seizure of power, the political and economic one. The economic revolution is also reflected in the state and right in general, because it also changes the system of property, which means that, the state and right also change. According to the new democratic principles, starting from the system of property with different revolutions different property holders appear.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Gerber on Law and Religion in Plymouth Colony

Scott D. Gerber, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, has published Law and Religion in Plymouth Colony at 8 British Journal of American Legal Studies 167 (2019). Here is the abstract.
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the planting of Plymouth Colony. Although the literature about Plymouth is voluminous, the discussion about law and religion has been inappropriately superficial to date. This Article addresses the Pilgrims’ conception of law on matters of religion and the new insights into the Pilgrims’ story that can be ascertained by focusing on law. “Law” has been defined in many different ways by many different people throughout history. Aristotle, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, and other proponents of natural law argued that law is the exercise of reason to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature’s or God’s creation. The renowned English positivist John Austin, in contrast, maintained that law is the command of the sovereign. To Friedrich Karl von Savigny and other proponents of the so-called historical school, law is the unconscious embodiment of the common will of the people. To the philosophical school, law is the expression of idealized ethical custom. The dominant contemporary view seems to be that law is the reflection of social, political, and economic interests. For the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, law was both the memorialization of their commitment to the Word of God and an instrument for exercising social control so as to effectuate that commitment. The Pilgrims, of course, used law to regulate the more mundane aspects of life as well. Indeed, quantitatively speaking, more laws were enacted by the Pilgrims that addressed the day-to-day activities of life in Plymouth Colony than memorialized the Pilgrims’ commitment to eternal glory in the afterlife, but the latter was unquestionably more important, qualitatively speaking, than the former. In the oft-quoted words of a young William Bradford, “to keep a good conscience, and walk in such a way as God has prescribed in his Word, is a thing which I must prefer before you all, and above life itself.”
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

February 18, 2020

Call for Proposals: European History and Politics in Contemporary Crime Narratives @DetectH2020

Call for Proposals:

Through a Glass Darkly:
European History and Politics in Contemporary Crime Narratives
Monica Dall’Asta, Jacques Migozzi, Federico Pagello, Andrew Pepper eds.

To talk about the crime genre—as opposed to detective or spy or noir fiction—is to recognise the comprehensiveness of a category that speaks to and contains multiple sub-genres and forms (Ascari, 2007). In this volume, we want to uncover the ways in which the crime genre, in all of its multiple guises, forms and media/transmedia developments, has investigated and interrogated the concealed histories and political underpinnings of national and supranational societies and institutions in Europe, particularly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Two most popular expression of the crime genre, the detective novel and the spy novel, have long been identified as ‘sociological’ in their orientation (Boltanski, 2012). These forms often tackle enigmas or uncover conspiracies that are concealed by and within states, asking searching questions about the failures of democracy and the national and international criminal justice systems to deliver just societies. Similarly, following the example of U.S. hard-boiled fiction, the ‘noir’ variant of the genre has also established itself as a ‘literature of crisis’ (according to Jean-Patrick Manchette’s formula), where the shredding of official truths and of ‘reality’ itself ends up revealing dark political motives that elicit an even starker set of ethical and affective interrogations (Neveu, 2004). While the obvious links between the ‘noir’ and the ‘hard-boiled’ traditions of crime fiction (e.g. between Manchette and Hammett) suggest an American-French or trans-Atlantic connection, we are keen to stress that the sociological and political orientation of the European crime genre—especially since 1989 and the corresponding opening up of national borders and markets—requires examining both global/glocal and multi-national (and state-bound) issues and challenges. It is here that the European dimension of the proposed volume is best articulated because, to do justice to this context, we need to pay attention not just to discreet national traditions, but the ways in which contemporary iterations of the genre interrogate the workings of policing, law, criminality and justice across borders and nations (Pepper and Schmid, 2016).

The transnational framework of the DETECt project (Detecting Transcultural Identities in Popular European Crime Narratives) is necessarily and acutely concerned with civic and ethical issues linked to the construction of new European new identities. The proposed volume aims to explore the ways in which these new identities are formulated and thematised in European crime novels, films or TV series, particularly in relation to the interrogations raised by the uncovering of hidden aspects of both the historical past and the contemporary political landscapes. Contributions are encouraged which look at particular case studies or identify larger national and/or transnational trends or synthesise the relationship between individual texts and these larger trends. It is envisaged that the volume will be organised into the three sections outlined below. Prospective contributors are invited to identify where their articles might sit within this structure as well as to outline the particular focus adopted by their essay in relation to the general topic. The list of topics in each section is to be regarded as indicative rather than exhaustive.

1. Crime Narratives and the History of Europe
European crime narratives from the last thirty years have frequently referred to collective traumas and conflicts that have torn European societies apart throughout the 20th century. Contributions are invited that look at the ways in which these fictional works have restaged and critically reinterpreted some of the most tragic pages in European recent history, including (but not limited to) the following iterations of violent rupture and social breakdown:
- The Civil War and Francoist dictatorship in Spanish crime narratives (e.g. Montalbán, La isla minima);
- Fascism, surveillance and the police-state (e.g. Lucarelli, Gori, De Giovanni) and the role of oppositional memory (e.g. Morchio, Dazieri) in Italian detective fiction;
- Fascistic/right-wing nationalist movements in interwar Scandinavia (e.g. Larsson, Mankell);
- The Third Reich as the historical biotope of crime fiction (e.g. Kerr, Gilbers);
- The constant presence of wars as a breeding ground for crime in French crime novels: World War I and II, collaboration, the Algerian War, colonisation, post-colonisation (e.g. Daeninckx, Férey);
- The heavy presence of Cold War images and axiology in spy novels and films, including those appeared after the fall of the Berlin Wall, both in Western and Eastern Europe (e.g. Kondor, Furst);
- The ‘Troubles’ in Irish and British crime fiction (e.g. Peace, McNamee).

2. Crime Narratives and the Present of Europe
Our present time is characterized by a number of social, political, financial/economic crises that threaten the construction of a cosmopolitan pan-European identity in line with the EU’s founding ideals. Crime narratives attempt to offer realistic representations of such contemporary crises by putting in place a number of ‘chronotopes’ that symbolise social divisions and peripheral and marginalized identities. We encourage essays that examine the ways in which post-1989 European crime narratives have represented the emergence of nationalisms, xenophobia, racism and other threats to the social cohesiveness of European democracies. We also invite contributions that use the trope of the crisis to explore how the links between crime, business and politics have polluted or corrupted the democratic imperatives of European social democracies and institutions from the outset. Topics might include:  
- The Kosovo War, and more broadly the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, as the first signs of a generalised geopolitical chaos (e.g. in French noir novels);
- The financial crisis of 2008 and its devastating consequences for individuals, communities and whole societies (e.g. Bruen and French in Ireland; Markaris in Greece; Dahl in Sweden; Lemaître in France);
- The migrant crisis (within and outside the EU) and the emergence of new anxieties about belonging and/or otherness (e.g. Mankell, Dolan, Rankin);
- Climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction (e.g. Tuomainen, Pulixi);
- The blurring of crime and capitalism and the depiction of crime as a form of social protest vis-à-vis the effects of global capitalism and neoliberal deregulation and privatisation (e.g. Manotti, Carlotto, Heinichen, the TV series Bron);
- Inquiries into the effects of contemporary forms of patriarchy, gendered violence and misogyny and their links to other forms of oppression and domination (e.g. Lemaître, Slimani, Macintosh, Gimenez-Bartlett Larsson, McDermid).

3. Crime Narratives and the Future of Europe
European crime narratives explore a broad range of social and cultural identities across different scales: from the more stable identities attached to local contexts through the new mobile, precarious and mutating identities fostered by the dynamics of globalization. This section will look into how these different identities and their complex interplay can suggest ways to frame the future of Europe. Contributions could address how crime narratives try to make sense of the complex, if yet perhaps contradictory, set of representations circulating across different European public spaces and collective imaginaries. On the one hand, we might ask whether something like a European crime genre even actually exists, given that these works typically demonstrate suspicions about ‘outsiders’ and only rarely offer positive representations of post-national transcultural identities. On the other hand, however, the genre does give us glimpses into what might be achieved through cross-border policing initiatives, organised under or by Interpol and Europol, in the face of organised crime gangs involved in transnational smuggling and trafficking networking. Contributions to this final section are encouraged to reflect upon how crime narratives produced by and in between the discreet nation-states frame the hopes and limits of European cohesiveness and the continent’s future or futures. Essays could focus on one or more of the following topics:
- The interplay between local, regional, national and transnational identities as represented through specific narrative tropes, such as in particular the local police station, the interrogation room, the frontier or border, and so on;
- The connection between social deprivation at the local end of the geopolitical scale and different global systems and networks at the other end;
- The role of borders, cities, violence, rebellion, policing and surveillance in producing new identities and subjectivities not wholly anchored in discreet nation-states. Attention could also be given to formal innovations insofar as these allow or enable the expression of new identities;
- The hope and consolation offered by the resilient community or village (Broadchurch, Shetland) or the extended family (Markaris’s Kostas Charistos series) in the face of the messy, brutal contingencies of a world ruled by criminal and business elites;
- Social banditry as a form of contestation directed against social inequalities produced by capitalism (Carlotto’s Alligator series; La casa de papel).

If you are interested in submitting a proposal to be considered for inclusion in this volume, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biography to info@detect-project.eu by May 31, 2020. We would encourage you to identify the section of the proposed volume where your essay would be best situated. We are looking to commission up to 14 essays in total of 7000 words each including footnotes and bibliographic references.

February 17, 2020

Call For Nominations, American Society for Legal History Stein Award @ASLHtweets

From M. C. Mirow, Professor of Law, Chair, Peter Gonville Stein Book Award Committee, F.I.U. College of Law

Peter Gonville Stein Book Award
American Society for Legal History

The Peter Gonville Stein Book Award is awarded annually for the best book in non-US legal history written in English. This award is designed to recognize and encourage the further growth of fine work in legal history that focuses on all regions outside the United States, as well as global and international history. To be eligible, a book must be published during the previous calendar year. Announced at the annual meeting of the ASLH, this honor includes a citation on the contributions of the work to the broader field of legal history. A book may only be considered for the Stein Award, the Reid Award, or the Cromwell Book Prize. It may not be nominated for more than one of these three prizes.

The Stein Award is named in memory of Peter Gonville Stein, BA, LLB (Cantab); PhD (Aberdeen); QC; FBA; Honorary Fellow, ASLH, and eminent scholar of Roman law at the University of Cambridge, and made possible by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.

Last year, Khaled Fahmy won the award for In Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt, and Rohit De received honorable mention for A People’s Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic.

For the 2020 prize, the Stein Award Committee will accept nominations of any book (not including textbooks, critical editions, and collections of essays) that bears a copyright date of 2019 as it appears in the printed version of the book. Translations into English may be nominated, provided they are published within two years of the publication date of the original version.

Nominations for the Stein Award (including self-nominations) should be submitted by March 16, 2020. Please send an e-mail to the Committee at steinaward@aslh.net and include: (1) a curriculum vitae of the author (including the author’s e-mail address); and (2) the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of the contact person at the press who will provide the committee with two copies of the book. This person will be contacted shortly after the deadline. If a title is short-listed, five additional copies will be requested from the publisher.

Please contact the committee chair, Matthew C. Mirow, with any questions at mirowm@fiu.edu.

February 14, 2020

Brennan on Publication in the History of Patents and Copyright: Harmony or Happenstance?

David J. Brennan, University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law, has published Publication in the History of Patents and Copyright: Harmony or Happenstance? in Across intellectual property: essays in honour of Sam Ricketson edited by Graeme Austin, Andrew Christie, Andrew Kenyon, Megan Richardson (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Here is the abstract.
Aspects of patent and copyright law might be better understood by a greater appreciation of a shared history between patent and copyright law. Such an appreciation leads to the recognition that, ostensibly, the resolution of the question of literary property could have sparked a reshaping of patent doctrines in the late 18th Century, and that in turn those patent doctrines could have had a reciprocal influence upon an important aspect of English copyright law of the 19th Century. While these connections are speculative, when patent history and copyright history are put in overlay, the connections emerge as plausible ones.
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

February 13, 2020

Castilla Urbano on The Salamanca School on Slavery

Francisco Castilla Urbano, University of Alcalá, has published The Salamanca School on Slavery: From Naturalism to Culture and Awareness as Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Research Paper Series No. 2020-02. Here is the abstract.
This article examines the reflections on slavery by a group of 16th-century scholastics considered members or followers of the so-called School of Salamanca. I show that a gradual process of critical awareness developed regarding both the concept of natural slavery and its justifications. After pointing to the fact that Native Americans and Africans were the first victims of the modern application of the concept of natural slavery, I identify the most important milestones leading up to the intellectual dismantling of the concept, effectively leaving it without a recognizable point of reference in the real world. In a further step, I point out that, despite the theory of natural slavery having been abandoned, the practices that protected legal slavery since antiquity persisted in Spanish America, especially when applied to African slaves. Some of these thinkers contributed to a first wave of accusatory pleadings against the persistent deception intentionally used by slave sellers and owners to circumvent the legal clauses dictated by the Spanish Monarchy governing the release of Africans unjustly deprived of freedom. Nevertheless, and despite the pioneering critiques offered by figures such as Bartolomé de Las Casas and Tomás de Mercado, the Salamanca scholars were not unanimous in their support of this criticism. In fact, we can identify in the writings of Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto the core of the legal and moral-theological argumentation utilized by many buyers and sellers all the way up to the 19th century. As I show, at this time, an alleged invincible ignorance about the conditions under which a slave brought to the Western Indies had been enslaved was sufficient to warrant a just title, thus granting the ownership to holders in the Americas.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

University of Iowa College of Law Seeking Faculty Fellows @IowaLawSchool

From Adrien K. Wing, University of Iowa College of Law

The University of Iowa is reinstituting its Faculty Fellow program. We are specifically seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds. Please pass the word to your networks.  See the details at:

February 11, 2020

ICYMI: Charles on Panic in "The Project": Critical Queer Studies and the Matthew Shepard Murder @CaseyCharles67

ICYMI: Casey Charles, College of Humanities and Sciences, University of Montana, has published Panic in "The Project": Critical Queer Studies and the Matthew Shepard Murder, at 18 Law & Literature 225 (2006). Published online December 19, 2013. Here is the abstract.
Adopting a critical queer studies approach, this essay revisits the Matthew Shepard murder in relation to a recent attempt by ABC’s 20 ⁄ 20 to recast the case as a drug crime rather than a hate crime. The network’s devaluation of homophobia in the case points to abiding flaws in the law of unwanted sexual advance, including the homosexual panic defense that defendants McKinney and Henderson pleaded in the Shepard case. The persistence of the panic defense in trial practice is indicative of a larger set of social myths about gay men, myths that emerge in The Laramie Project. This play’s indebtedness to Aristotelian tragedy aligns it with a cathartic and contained form of cultural panic that is analogous to and may in fact reinforce the legal doctrine. These discursive intersections between media, law, and theatre in turn demonstrate how ideological fictions continue to influence legal practice.

Abramson on Matrimony and Legal Interventionism in Silent Divorce Comedies @LoyolaChicago @NRFTSJournal

Leslie H. Abramson, Loyola University Chicago, has published Evidence to the Contrary: Matrimony and Legal Interventionism in Silent Divorce Comedies in volume 18 of the New Review of Film and Television Studies (2020). Here is the abstract.
Captivated by the vagaries of romance, American silent cinema was smitten from the outset with the narrative possibilities of not only attraction but the gamut of ensuing legal entanglements. Divorce and near-divorce comedies appeared in cinema as early as the turn of the century, contrary to their prevailing historicization. Moreover, focusing on the catalysts, processes, emotional turbulence, and romantic fantasies of divorce even among loving spouses, key silent comedies incriminate the law as a central agent in instigating and facilitating the couple’s disunion. This essay examines how Why Mrs. Jones Got a Divorce (1900), Getting Evidence (1906), and Max Wants a Divorce (1917) indict the modern legal system’s seductively broadened possibilities for divorce via modern methodologies and technologies for capturing attraction and licentiousness. These silent comedies pass judgment on the overriding appeal of fingerprints, the detective camera, and the private investigator, as well as other forms of legal documentation. The essay considers early divorce films’ association with silent cinema’s own weddedness to institutional codes and cinema’s commentary on its formal capacity to document the inconstancies of romance. Ultimately, insofar as intoxication with documentation rather than the spouse foregrounds the detriments of establishing actionable legal evidence, these divorce comedies implicate the law’s own capacity for unfaithfulness to a more perfect union.
Download the article from the website at the link.

February 10, 2020

Postdoc Position, Law and Theoretical Sciences, Masaryk University, Czech Republic @MasarykUni

The Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, seeks qualified candidates from abroad for a postdoctoral position in the field of law and theoretical legal sciences. 
The successful candidate should:
  • be a researcher who has received a PhD or its equivalent within the last 7 years
  • be a researcher who has worked at least two whole years in the last three, outside the territory of the Czech Republic, in the field of research with a working time of at least 0.5 full-time equivalent, or who has been PhD student (or equivalent) abroad
  • have a publishing record – in the last three years at least two publication outputs registered in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus or ERIH PLUS databases and at the same time publications such as “articles”, “books”, “book chapters”, “letters” and “reviews”.
More here.

February 5, 2020

Wasserman on Academic Feeder Judges @fiulaw

Howard Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law, has published Academic Feeder Judges as Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-02. Here is the abstract.
This paper identifies “academic feeder judges”—the federal judges (especially from courts of appeals) for whom law professors clerked at the beginning of their careers and the judges who “produce” law professors from the ranks of their former clerks. The study is based on a summer 2019 review of publicly available biographies and c.v.’s of full-time faculty at ABA-accredited law schools, identifying more than 3000 “academic former clerks” and the judges for whom each clerked. From this, the paper identifies: 1) 101 lower federal judges with the most academic former clerks, 2) 52 federal trial judges, 3) 53 federal judges appointed since 1995, 4) top state-court judges, and 5) SCOTUS justices, current and past. For each judge within each grouping, the study examines appointing presidents, biographical information such as former career, numbers of academic former clerks, rankings of the schools at which former clerks teach, and a projection of how many academics newer judges might produce over a 35-year judicial career. The study closes with some comments and conclusions from the data. (Spoiler alert: The leading academic feeder judge is Guido Calabresi (Second Circuit), followed closely by Stephen Reinhardt (Ninth Circuit, died in 2018), Stephen Williams (D.C. Circuit), and Dorothy Nelson (Ninth Circuit)).
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Law and Humanities Summer School: Law, Art, Politics, University of Lucerne, June 15-19, 2020

Law and Humanities Summer School: Law, Art, Politics
(15-19 June 2020, University of Lucerne)

The Law and Humanities Summer School is an intensive one-week study programme, to be held at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, from 15 to 19 June 2020. The school is co-organised by the following partners:
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris, University of Lucerne
  • Centre for Law, Arts and Humanities, The Australian National University
  • Law Department, University of Roma Tre
  • Institute for Art History, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Bringing together leading scholars, researchers and postgraduate students, the school will showcase cutting-edge work at the intersections of law and the humanities, and serve as a laboratory for exploring a range of contemporary methods, approaches and issues.

Focus: Law, Art, Politics

The 2020 Summer School will focus on the entanglements of law, art and politics. From statues of the Roman Emperors to Picasso’s Guernica, some of the world’s most celebrated works of art have been explicitly political. But in the twenty-first century everything has been disrupted – including law, including art, including politics. We live in a world obsessed by images and distrustful of politics; a world in which the public sphere is collapsing and private interests seem more powerful than ever. What, then, is the role of art in making and unmaking, representing and challenging the language of law and the power of politics? Can art disrupt the disruptors?

Starting from this contemporary perspective, the school will offer a panorama of the dynamic intercourse between law, art and politics across a variety of sites, contexts and periods. The programme will draw on the expertise of scholars working in different research fields and across multiple critical traditions to address such questions as:

        How do images and aesthetics shape the character of law?
        What role does art play in transmitting legal and political ideology, or in fostering critique or social change?
        How might we understand the relations between forms of artistic cultural expression and legal identities?
        What are the effects of art’s material manifestations on the law?
        How does art participate in, activate, or reflect upon the imagining of legal futures?

Further information here.

February 4, 2020

Davis on Noah Webster: America's First Copyright Lobbyist

David D. Davis, Copyright Clearance Center; Graham School, University of Chicago, is publishing Noah Webster, America’s First Copyright Lobbyist in the New England Journal of History. Here is the abstract.
In The Federalist #43, James Madison observed, regarding the patent and copyright clause in the U.S. Constitution, that in it "the public good fully coincides … with the claims of individuals." Noah Webster, creator of “An American Dictionary of the English Language” and the 'Blue-Backed speller’, was an early and important advocate of copyright in the young Republic. He was also a lobbyist in his own interest, i.e. for-profit commercial publishing. In his efforts to bring about copyright reform, he exemplified Madison's dictum, of the coincidence of public and private interest, and so provides us with an early example of how intellectual property laws come to be crafted, and revised, a process which continues to the present day.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

February 1, 2020

Call For Papers: Special Issue, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law: Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity @AnneWag26082949



 “Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity”

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

Guest Editors: Anne Wagner & Cheng Le

The past four decades has witnessed the remarkable extension of enthusiasm in cultural heritage or property from the perspective of international laws, or international legal framework as the multilevel legal instruments for safeguarding, protection and maintenance of cultural heritage, property, or rights. In our project, the identification of “Heritage” employs specific discourses, codes, transcending values, and images that conceal assumption about members of a people comprising a people within a nation. Heritage narrates constructions of belongings that become tethered to negotiations for power and resistance over time and throughout a people’s history leading to powerful discursive narratives. While such likeness may be preserved, conserved or even perpetuated, the idea of “Heritage” may be socially, politically, culturally, and historically contested to reveal competing pasts, presents, and futures, esp. with innovation in arts leading to new social norms and identities.

Besides, the visual decoding of heritage is evocative and ideologically representative with meanings that prescribe a story of Protection, Regulation and Identity, since these meanings are subject to multiple interpretations and reinterpretations related to Rights, among the integrity of heritage right and human rights, and the integrated framework of right in rem and right in personae. Yet, through semiotic accumulation, evolution and confrontation, there may be different interdisciplinary paths leading to different truths, to tensions (contestation and/or negotiation), and applications of significance. We should then investigate these transmitted values, discourses over time and space. 

We should therefore investigate these transmitted values under various perspectives (amongst others but not limited):

- How to transmit Heritage and which values are being transmitted?
- How are the narratives created?
- Is there a social stratification in transmitting, preserving and conserving Heritage?
- What are the cognitive and symbolic aspects of Heritage through different temporal parameters? Is there a shift in cultural and/or collective meaning from one space to another? 
- What are the sources?
- What is the relationship between law and “heritage” (tangible or intangible elements) in visual representations?
- What is the shared collective and/or cultural memory beyond this visual representation?
- How Heritage is connected to the preservation and conservation of a people’s memory?
- How Heritage is interpreted within legal settings or international legal framework from temporality and spatiality?

- What are the interactions between cultural heritage and human rights within the diversity and tolerance within socio-legal contexts?

Considering the complexity and diversity in the building of a common memory or discourse community through tangible and intangible cultural heritage, we would suggest our contributors interrogate the complex sign system of a particular country or region and their meanings attentive to a complex configuration of historical, social and cultural conditions that shift over time and space.

Keywords: Heritage, Sign System, Law, Discourse Narratives, Conservation, Preservation.

Please send your proposal to Anne WAGNER (valwagnerfr@yahoo.com) by late April 2020.

January 28, 2020

Rostron and Levit on Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals @UMKCLaw

Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit, both of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Law, have published Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals. Here is the abstract.
This document contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited review, and how to contact them to withdraw an article from consideration. It covers 203 law reviews.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

CFP: Playing Law: A Jurisprudence of Video Games and Virtual Realities @dalefmitchell @usceduau

Playing Law: A Jurisprudence of Video Games and Virtual Realities

deadline for submissions: 
February 14, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Dale Mitchell
contact email: 
Law is the ultimate multiplayer role-playing game. Through law, individuals are characterised, subject-object relations are constructed and enforced, and concepts of worth and identity are founded. Playing Law seeks to showcase the power of play and the boundless potential of the video game as a medium capable of facilitating experiences which unlock the next level of jurisprudential evolution. This is not only true of games which require players to act as legal characters, but is true of all games which involve the player-avatar – a subject confined in a codified space. This edited collection seeks to explore the intersection between the coded realm of the video game and the equally codified space of law. Featuring critical readings of video games as a means of understanding law and justice, this book highlights the power of playing jurisprudentially.
In the realm of the digital game space, players simulate, relate and engage with environments and experiences shaped by legality. In these interactive environments, players are not static – they are forced to be law enforcers (LA Noire; Battlefield Hardline; Super Mario Bros), compelled to be vigilantes (Grand Theft AutoBatman: Arkham KnightWatch Dogs), or otherwise made to follow the rules of the game. Whether it is the most simplistic puzzle game (Tetris; Snake; Pacman) or a massive open world role-playing adventure (The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim; Red Dead Redemption 2; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), the player must engage with the law of this interactive space – the codified rules of the game maker and the imagined legality given form in the gameworld. Even in games where the player may “choose their own path” (Life is Strange; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; Infamous: Second Son), the illusion of freedom is naturally limited by the dominion of the creator. In this sense, video games reflect the pervasive power and limitless influence of law itself.
We welcome all submissions which use video games as a serious means of evaluating, critiquing and exploring questions of law, legality and jurisprudence. Analysis of the video game is not limited to the narrative or ludological form itself, but can be extended to the means through which the game is played and particularities of the video game medium. For example, peripheral aspects of the video game could include controllers, cutscenes, aesthetics, genre, design, easter eggs, microtransactions, music, and transmedial artefacts that assist in the creation of the gamespace. To be clear, submissions should focus not on the way video games are regulated by law, but rather encourage legal and jurisprudential analysis of the law as captured, represented, or imbued within the game itself.
Potential themes could include, but are in no way limited to, the following:
  • Representations of Law and Justice in Video Games
  • Playing Right: Obedience and the Figure of the Law Enforcer
  • Playing Wrong: Cheating, Mods, and the Figure of the Criminal
  • Action and Passivity: Agency, Choice and Witnessing in Video Games
  • Law as Video Games: Algorithm, Code and Biopolitics
  • Playing Yourself: Subject, Identity and Personhood through the Coded Avatar
  • Consequences and Death: Permadeath, 1-Ups, Respawn
  • Performing Subversion with Gender, Sexuality, Race and Body
  • Games with an Agenda: Advocacy through Video Games
  • The Role of Lore, Art, Design, Aesthetic, Nostalgia and Sound in Constructing Game Spaces
  • Materiality and Medium: Controller and Control, Genre and Form.
  • The Gamification of Law: Serious Games, Learning the Law and Law Enforcement
  • Submissions (500-word abstract and 1-page brief CV) by February 14, 2020
  • Notification of acceptance by February 28, 2020
  • Draft Chapter for Peer Review by 1 July 2020
  • Anticipated Publication by Early 2021
All full chapter submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review process.
How to submit
Contributors should submit a 500-word abstract and a 1-page brief CV to playinglawbook@gmail.com by February 14, 2020.

[Thanks to the University of Pennsylvania Department of English for posting the original CFP]

Swanson on Race and Selective Legal Memory: Reflection on "Invention of a Slave" @KaraWSwanson @ColumLRev

Kara W. Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law, is publishing Race and Selective Legal Memory: Reflections on Invention of a Slave in volume 120 of the Columbia Law Review. Here is the abstract.
In 1858, the United States Attorney General issued an opinion, Invention of a Slave. Relying on the Supreme Court’s recent declaration in Dred Scott v. Sandford that African Americans were not citizens, he created a formal racial barrier to the patent system, declaring inventions by all African Americans, enslaved and free, unpatentable. Within a few years, legal changes that overruled Dred Scott and abolished the law of slavery rendered the opinion obsolete. This brief opinion became, as far as lawyers and legal scholars were concerned, forgotten. Unlike many overruled opinions dropped from the legal canon, however, Invention of a Slave and the associated story of an enslaved blacksmith who invented an innovative plow have been continuously remembered. Women and men committed to fighting the legacy of slavery maintained both in the collective memory of those seeking full civil rights for African Americans. Our legal forgetting was an act of persistent blindness to their efforts and publications. This Essay excavates the generations of African American writers and activists who have worked to remember the opinion and argues that legal forgetting has carried a cost. Their remembering was not casual storytelling but rather deliberate, strategic, and political. I offer Invention of a Slave as a case study of race and selective legal memory, tracing an unacknowledged color line that demarcates legal memory and the costs of that line. Because of our forgetting, the opinion appears as an obscure part of the antebellum past. When we understand their remembering as a political act, we can see what they have always seen: There is a connection between the patent system and the legal and social definition of citizenship. At a time when the boundaries of citizenship and the contours of who is worthy to be considered an American are hotly contested in ways related to race and ancestry, learning from those who remembered Invention of a Slave offers lessons that link this piece of the past to our present and future, with implications both for the patent system and for our on-going conversation about race, equality, citizenship and the laws that affect them.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 24, 2020

An Invitation To the Law and the Human Network Launch, February 5, 2020 @KentLawSchool @LawandtheHuman1

From Professor Maria Drakopoulou, Co Director University of Kent Centre for Critical Thought, Kent Law School:

You are warmly invited to the launch of the Law and the Human network, an AHRC-funded network based at Kent Law School, UK.

The launch will take place from 5pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 05 February, in Copland 1.109, University of Westminster115 New Cavendish Street, London, UK, W1W 6UW.

Join us for a drink's reception followed by a roundtable discussion on the aims of the network; on the figure of the human in law, legal thought and practice, and on the role of law in figuring the human in the twenty-first century.

We are delighted to announce the participation of:

Maria Drakopoulou (Kent Law School)
Adam Gearey (Birkbeck Law School)
Werner Gephart (University of Bonn)
Peter Goodrich (Cardozo Law School)

Shaun McVeigh (Melbourne Law School / Kent Law School)
Gregor Noll (Law, University of Gothenburg)
Connal Parsley (Kent Law School)
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Law, Westminster)
Alain Pottage (Kent Law School)
Tiziana Terranova (University of Naples)
Patricia Williams (Columbia Law School)

We hope you will be able to join us! Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Please RSVP to:


January 23, 2020

Call For Applications: Visiting Professor, 2020-2021 Academic Year, LSU Law Center

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER seeks to hire a visiting professor for the 2020-21 academic year or for Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 in the following areas: federal courts, constitutional law, civil procedure, and evidence. Applicants should have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, superior academic credentials, and a commitment to outstanding teaching.

The Paul M. Hebert Law Center of  LSU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer and is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty. We particularly welcome and encourage
applications from female and minority candidates.

The Faculty Appointments Committee will begin reviewing applications on February 7, 2020 and will consider applications thereafter on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications should include a letter of application, resume, references, and teaching evaluations (if available) to:

Melissa T. Lonegrass and Christina M. Sautter
Co-Chairs, Faculty Appointments Committee

c/o Pam Hancock (or by email to phancock@lsu.edu)

Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Louisiana State University
1 East Campus Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-0106

Lloyd on How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education @LloydEsq

Harold Anthony Lloyd, Wake Forest University School of Law, has published How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education. Here is the abstract.
Discussing federal statutes, Justice Scalia tells us that “[t]he stark reality is that the only thing that one can say for sure was agreed to by both houses and the president (on signing the bill) is the text of the statute. The rest is legal fiction." How should we take this claim? If we take "text" to mean the printed text, that text without more is just a series of marks. If instead we take "text" (as we must) to refer to something off the page such as the "meaning" of the series of marks at issue, what is that meaning and how do we know that all the legislators "agreed" on that "meaning"? In seeking answers here, we necessarily delve into semiotics (i.e., the “general theory of signs”) by noting that meaningful ink marks ("signifiers) signify a meaning beyond themselves (the "signified.") Thus, understanding how signs function is integral to lawyers' textual and linguistic analysis. Additionally, as this article demonstrates, legal analysis and rhetoric are much impoverished if lawyers ignore nonverbal signs such as icons, indices, and nonverbal symbols. In providing a broad overview of semiotics for lawyers, this article thus (1) begins with a general definition of signs and the related notion of intentionality. It then turns to, among other things, (2) the structure and concomitants of signs in more detail (including the signifier and the signified), (3) the possible correlations of the signifier and the signified that generate signs of interest to lawyers such as the index, the icon, and the symbol; (5) the expansion of legal rhetoric through use of the index, the icon, and the non-verbal as well as the verbal symbol, (6) the nature of various semiotic acts in public and private law (including assertives, commissives, directives, and verdictives); (7) the interpretation and construction of semiotic acts (including contracts as commissives and legislation as directives); (8) the role of speaker or reader meaning in the interpretation and construction of semiotic acts; (9) the semiotics of meaning, time, and the fixation of meaning debate; (10) the impact of signifier drift; (11) the distinction between sense and understanding; and (12) some brief reflections on semiotics and the First Amendment. This article also provides an Appendix of further terms and concepts useful to lawyers in their explorations of semiotics.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 22, 2020

Likhovski on A Colonial Legal Laboratory? Jurisprudential Innovation in the British Empire

Assaf Likhovski, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, is publishing A Colonial Legal Laboratory? Jurisprudential Innovation in the British Empire in the American Journal of Comparative Law. Here is the abstract.
In this article, I examine jurisprudence textbooks and related works written in the British Empire in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, focusing mostly on British India, but also discussing Mandatory Palestine and British-ruled Egypt. Some of the jurisprudential works from the British Empire were merely summaries of the leading English books. However, there were also more original works, characterized by several unique features. First, some of the works produced in the Empire were more influenced by Continental and American legal theories than the equivalent English textbooks (for example, by early-20th-century French and American sociological approaches to law). Second, the need to mention non-English legal systems in these works sometimes led their authors to question key English notions about the nature and development of law (critiquing, for example, Henry Maine’s description of Hindu law). Finally, some nationalist local legal scholars also created a unique genre of jurisprudential works: texts that used western jurisprudential theories to describe the main features of non-western legal systems, such as Hindu, Jewish and Islamic law. These unique aspects of colonial jurisprudential works illustrate a broader phenomenon: the fact that legal scholars in imperial peripheries were not always simply passive receivers of ideas produced at the center of empires, but in some cases created works containing interesting jurisprudential insights. The notion that the British Empire was a “legal laboratory” in which legal scholars experimented with new ideas has already been discussed in the literature, largely based on examples taken from the fields of legislation (the codification of English law in 19th-century India), or forensic science. This article explores the extent to which the British Empire was also a site of jurisprudential innovation.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Boyd on Imprisonment for Debt in Colonial Victoria, 1857-90 @jbjodieboyd

Jodie Boyd, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, has published 'Contrary to the Spirit of the Age': Imprisonment for Debt in Colonial Victoria, 1857–90 at 42 Melbourne University Law Review 737 (2019). Here is the abstract.
The reintroduction in 1857 of imprisonment for debt in colonial Victoria flew in the face of international momentum for its abolition. In its criminalisation of debt and poverty, the Fellows Act 1857 (Vic) (21 Vict, No 29) also defied the rapid advancement of democratic and egalitarian principles in the fledgling colony. Frequently referred to as ‘gross class legislation’, the law was used unabashedly to target poor small debtors, leaving ‘mercantile men’ with significant debt untroubled by the prospect of a debtors’ gaol. Despite consistent and broad opposition to the Fellows Act, its advocates resisted repeated attempts to abolish or meaningfully amend it. It is argued here that the law, and its survival against the ‘spirit of the age’, can be understood as part of a broader story of conservative resistance to the democratic innovations that threatened the power of the Victorian mercantilist establishment.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

January 21, 2020

Call For Applications: Baldy Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, 2020-2021 @baldycenter

Baldy Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, 2020-2021

The Baldy Center invites applications for Mid-Career or Senior Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Legal Studies for one or two semester terms during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Baldy Center plans to appoint up to two fellows.

The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy is an endowed, internationally recognized institute that advances interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and social policy at the University at Buffalo. More than 200 faculty members from numerous departments participate in Baldy Center activities. The Baldy Center maintains cooperative ties to other research centers and hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as visitors, fellows, speakers, and conference participants.

Mid-Career and Senior Fellowships are awarded to established scholars who wish to work at the Baldy Center, typically during a funded sabbatical or research leave. Awardees will receive a living expense allowance of $1,800 per month during the period of their residence as well as limited relocation assistance. Senior Fellows typically spend one semester in residence, but other terms are possible.

Please contact the Baldy Center (BaldyCenter@buffalo.edu) with any questions about the Mid-Career - Senior Fellows Program or visit the Baldy Center Fellows webpage for more information about current and past Baldy Fellows.

Applications are due Friday, March 20, 2020 by 5pm US Eastern time. Please visit the Baldy Center Fellowships application webpage for application guidelines, requirements, and the online application portal.

We hope you will share this announcement with anyone who may have an interest.

Best wishes,
The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy
511 O’Brian Hall
University at Buffalo School of Law
Buffalo, NY 14260

*The Baldy Center adheres to the University at Buffalo School of Law Statement of Non-Discrimination.

Podgor on A Small Slice of the Chicago Eight Trial @whitecollarprof @stetsonlaw

Ellen S. Podgor, Stetson University College of Law, is publishing A Small Slice of the Chicago Eight Trial in volume 50 of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal (2019). Here is the abstract.
The Chicago Eight trial was not the typical criminal trial, in part because it occurred at a time of society’s polarization, student demonstrations, and the rise of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Charges were levied against eight defendants, who were individuals that represented leaders in a variety of movements and groups during this time. This Essay examines the opening stages of this trial from the lens of a then relatively new criminal defense attorney, Gerald Lefcourt. It looks at his experiences before Judge Julius Hoffman and highlights how strong, steadfast criminal defense attorneys can make a difference in protecting key constitutional rights and values. Although judicial independence is crucial to a system premised on due process, it is also important that lawyers and law professors stand up to misconduct and improprieties.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Can Copyright Be Applied To Street Art and Graffiti? Interdisciplinary Panel, January 30, 5-7 PM, Middlesex University, London @enricobonadio @AislinnOC



An interdisciplinary panel convened by Susan Hansen and Alberto Duman. It is free and open to the public. Please come along if you'll be in London!

Bookings can be made via Eventbrite: https://copyright-street-art-graffiti.eventbrite.co.uk

This panel marks the launch of the Cambridge Handbook of Copyright in Graffiti and Street Art, edited by Enrico Bonadio (City Law School). Speakers will discuss the legal tools available for street and graffiti artists to object to unauthorized exploitations of their work, and will debate whether, and to what extent, the street art and graffiti subcultures could benefit from copyright and moral rights protection.

17.00-17.10 Susan Hansen & Alberto Duman, Middlesex University
17.10-17.20 Enrico Bonadio, The City Law School
17.20-17.30 Pure Evil, London
17.30-17.45 Aislinn O’Connell, Royal Holloway
17.45-18.00 Shane Burke, Cardiff University
18.00-18.15 Paula Westenberger, Brunel University
18.15-18.30 Marc Mimler, Bournemouth University
18.30-19.00 Panel Discussion (Chair: Enrico Bonadio)

For more information, contact s.hansen@mdx.ac.uk