December 19, 2018

Stern on The Legal Imagination in Historical Perspective @ArsScripta

Simon Stern, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, is publishing The Legal Imagination in Historical Perspective in Virtue, Emotion, and Imagination in Legal Reasoning (Amalia Amaya and Maksymilian Del Mar, eds., Hart, 2019). Here is the abstract.
After considering the different meanings that commentators have assigned to "the legal imagination," this chapter asks what is specifically legal about these imaginative uses: what distinctively imaginative traits do we find in law, by contrast with other intellectual domains? In the law, the imagination operates under constraint, whereas in many fields, imaginative activity is associated with free play. Exploring this idea with respect to the introduction of "the reasonable man" in 19th-century law, the chapter takes up an overlooked episode in the history of figure: its unsuccessful use in the law of negotiable instruments, in the 1820s and 30s. By asking what accounts for the move to adopt this figure and to reject it ten years later, and then to find it taken up shortly afterwards in the law of torts, I seek to demonstrate how lawyers' and judges' lateral-looking, analogy-seeking efforts exhibit the legal imagination, operating under constraint, and how the example of an unsuccessful effort can help to reveal the limits that govern this enterprise.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Witte and Latterell on The Little Commonwealth: The Family as Matrix of Markets and Morality in Early Protestantism

John Witte and Justin Latterell, both of Emory University School of Law, are publishing The Little Commonwealth: The Family as Matrix of Markets and Morality in Markets and Morality: Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality (Ted A. Smith and Robert P. Jones, eds., 2018). Here is the abstract.
Max Weber traced the rise of the modern economy back to the convergence of new Protestant teachings on vocation, predestination, and asceticism. It was especially the marital household, this Article argues, that served as an incubator of these Protestant teachings and a laboratory for their application to economic activity. The early modern Protestant family was structured and schooled to cultivate the critical habits of discipline and organization in the economic lives of its members. Early modern Protestant catechisms and household manuals set out in detail the moral and religious rules, rights, and responsibilities that husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants had to each other and to their neighbors in different stages of life. It is here, in the elementary ethics and intimate experiences of the Protestant household, that many of the basic norms and habits of modern economic life were slowly instilled and cultivated in each new generation. This chapter offers case studies of Heinrich Bullinger, Robert Cleaver, William Perkins, and Richard Baxter to illustrate how the early modern Protestant family was structured to support church, state, society, and economy alike.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

December 17, 2018

Rise of the Automatons, A Savannah Law Review Symposium Issue, Now Available @SavLawRev @WendellWallach @brianlfrye @cybersimplesec @CGIntelligence

Rise of the Automatons, symposium issue of the Savannah Law Review, is available on the Law Review's website. Among the articles to peruse:

Wendell Wallach, Rise of the Automatons

Brian L. Frye, The Lion, the Bat & the Thermostat: Metaphors on Consciousness

Christine A. Corcos, "I Am the Master": Some Popular Culture Images of AI in Humanity's Courtroom

Jason Zenor, Endowed By Their Creator With Certain Unalienable Rights: The Future Rise of Civil Rights For Artificial Intelligence?

Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, Halting, Intuition, and Action: Alan Turing and the Theoretical Constraints on AI-Lawyering

Charlotte A. Tschider, Deus ex Machina: Regulating Cybersecurity and Artificial Intellgience For Patients of the Future

Philip Segal, Legal Jobs in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Moving From Today's Limited Universe of Data Toward the Great Beyond

December 14, 2018

Ricca on Bestiaries, Moral Harmonies, and the "Ridiculous" Source of Natural Rights

Mario Ricca, University of Parma, is publishing Ironic Animals: Bestiaries, Moral Harmonies, and the ‘Ridiculous’ Source of Natural Rights in volume 31 of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (2018). Here is the abstract.
The Bible recounts that in Eden, Adam gives names to all the animals. But those names are not only representations of the animals’ nature, rather they shape and constitute it. The naming by Adam contains in itself the divide between the human and non-human. Then, there is the Fall: Adam falls and forgets Being. Though he may still remember the names he gave to the animals in Eden, he is no longer sure about their meaning. Adam will have to try to remember his own intentions. Through this effort he can also become aware of how he thinks, who he is, and what was the natural order he knew before the Fall. Medieval bestiaries tell us this story. Bestiaries are works of word play populated by animal figures. They depend on back-and-forth anthropomorphization, or circular metaphor. Animal figures are portrayed as both a mirror of human nature and a window on it. Bestiaries served as means for the moral education of human beings and, at the same time, a way to criticize the current state of humanity, including political and ethical habits. Within the moral irony of medieval bestiaries we can find the origin of the invented nature that modernity will try, subsequently, to insert into natural rights discourse through the teleological oxymoron of their naturalized and naturalizing counter-factuality (natural rights will be simultaneously “being” and “ought,” nature and values/ends). I will propose a historical-semiotic journey through the ironic representations of the human-beasts from the ancient world to contemporaneity. The proposal resulting from this cultural excursion is that the words included in the many national and international Rights declarations operate much like the names Adam gave to the animals and still more as they were re-read in medieval bestiaries, both textual and musical. So, can the words of Rights still serve as musical scores, open to an infinite play of re-signification? If we were able to overcome the modern culture/nature and human being/animal dualisms, we could cast, today as in the past, a zoological gaze on human rights by means of contemporary bestiaries and, in this way, perhaps find the gist of rights’ names and our ever regained and ever lost again humanity.
The full text is not available for download.

December 13, 2018

Nadler on The Value of Homicide Victims in "The Wire" @NorthwesternLaw @ABFResearch

Janice Nadler, Northwestern University School of Law, and American Bar Foundation, is publishing 'Deserve Got Nothin’ to Do with It': The Value of Homicide Victims in The Wire in the University of Chicago Legal Forum. Here is the abstract.
The moral principle of placing the highest value on human life is a basic one. It underlies a central responsibility of criminal law. But within the universe of the American crime drama series The Wire, these fundamental principles break down. The focus of government investigations is framed by the drug war, which sometimes distorts the goals and decisions of law enforcement strategy. At most, each killing in the inner city is typically acknowledged by the state in the form of an uptick in the police department’s weekly ComStat counts, by the press as a story buried deep within the paper, or not mentioned at all. In this Article, I argue that the frequency of killings and the sheer number of victims can itself result in the distortion of basic values and priorities. Exposure to large human death tolls can result in what researchers have called psychic numbing. Against the background of a large aggregate tragedy, each new death represents an incremental increase, which fails to register emotionally because our compassion becomes fatigued. In The Wire, psychically-numbed characters pursue institutional goals unencumbered by the negative emotions that otherwise might prompt them to question their participation in acts that lead to perverse outcomes. Less visible is the implicit hierarchical ordering of victims which, in addition to psychic numbing, contributes to law operating in a manner not always predicted by the law in the books. There were many premeditated murders depicted in The Wire, and the responsible individuals were depicted as almost never receiving punishment by the criminal justice system. This fictional depiction of the absence of accountability for killings is unfortunately largely accurate in many large U.S. cities today.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Call For Submissions: ABA Silver Gavel Awards, 2019 @ABAesq @abapubliced

From the mailbox:

The ABA invites submissions for the 2019 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts. The nine eligible categories include books, commentary, documentaries, drama and literature, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, radio, and television. More here. 

December 12, 2018

Donelson and Hannikainen on Fuller and the Folk: The Inner Morality of Law Revisited @LSULawCenter

Raff Donelson, LSU A&M and LSU Law Center, and Ivar Hannikainen, University of Sheffield, Department of Philosophy, and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, are publishing Fuller and the Folk: The Inner Morality of Law Revisited in 3 Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy (T. Lombrozo and S. Nichols, eds, Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
The experimental turn in philosophy has reached several sub-fields including ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. This paper is among the first to apply experimental techniques to questions in the philosophy of law. Specifically, we examine Lon Fuller's procedural natural law theory. Fuller famously claimed that legal systems necessarily observe eight principles he called "the inner morality of law." We evaluate Fuller's claim by surveying both ordinary people and legal experts about their intuitions about legal systems. We conclude that, at best, we should be skeptical of Fuller's inner morality of law in light of the experimental data.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

December 11, 2018

Said and Silbey on Narrative Topoi in the Digital Age @zahr_said @JSilbey

Zahr Said, University of Washington School of Law, and Jessica M. Silbey, Northeastern University School of Law, are publishing Narrative Topoi in the Digital Age in volume 68 of the the Journal of Legal Education. Here is the abstract.
Decades of thoughtful law and humanities scholarship have made the case for using humanistic texts and methods in the legal classroom. We build on that scholarship by identifying and describing three “narrative topoi” of the twenty-first century – podcasts, twitter and fake news. We use the term “topos” (from the Greek meaning “place”) and its plural, “topoi,” to mean “a literary commonplace” and “general setting for discussion” in the context of literary forms. Like an identifiable genre, narrative topoi are familiar story paths for audiences to travel. These narrative topoi live in contemporary popular culture and are products of digital technology’s capacity to share and shape communication in new ways that draw on older narrative conventions and forms. In a law school, drawing on new narrative topoi can reorient legal analysis through inquiry into twenty-first-century problems of language, narrative form, authenticity, and audiences. Legal educators may also highlight historical continuity between cultural and legal history and today’s forms and experiences, foregrounding issues central to legal skills, such as analogic reasoning, advocacy, counseling, and factual analysis. We address all of these points while exploring particular examples of these narrative topoi of our digital age.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

December 10, 2018

CFP: Special Workshop at the "Dignity, Diversity, Democracy" Conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Lucerne, Switzerland, July 7-13, 2019

CFP for Special Workshop at the "Dignity, Diversity, Democracy" Conference (Annual Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy) Lucerne, Switzerland, July 7-13, 2019 (at the University of Lucerne)

Convenors: Andrew Majeske, Gilad Ben-Nun

Workshop Description

In the United States the contentious midterm elections of 2018 will occur shortly. The narratives dominating the public conversation in respect to immigration (currently in the news is the migrant caravan of Honduran refugees, and the move to restrict birth-right citizenship) and nationalism (“make American great again”, and “America first”) by all appearances are controlled respectively by the far right and the far left of the political spectrum. Certain it is that these more extreme narratives garner the bulk of mainstream media attention, and offer the least opportunity for identifying a common ground upon which productive public discussion can work to counter the fear-mongering and demonizing that constitute the core of these narratives. A similar dynamic has been playing out in many if not most of the nations that constitute the EU. 

It is the hope of the conveners that the papers that will be shared in this special workshop will work towards addressing , from the interdisciplinary standpoint of law, literature & culture, the problem of the missing middle, and to identify ways in which a different narrative can be structured that can either bridge the extremes of the political left and right, or if that is not feasible, to work towards creating a new narrative (or resurrecting an older one). This new or restored narrative must be one that creates a broad and stable middle ground, a middle-ground that highlights the core values of dignity, democracy & diversity, and the principles that support these values—namely, that the only legitimate government is one based on the consent of those governed, and its necessary analogue, that there is at the least a fundamental initial political equality of all persons. Whether this new or restored narrative will be of sufficient power and vitality to push the extreme narratives back to their native ground, the margins, is uncertain; but it is the position of the conveners that we have a duty to try. 

The conveners are therefore hopeful that given the myriad of perspectives and approaches that characterize the interdiscipline of law, literature & culture, that the workshop will be productive in identifying such new or restored narratives with which we can begin to confront what is presenting itself as the fundamental crisis of our times.  We trust that the urgency of establishing a trans-Atlantic (and hopefully even broader) dialogue on this theme is evident to all.

The special workshop will be held in English. 

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this workshop, please send a short abstract (max. 300 words) to the workshop conveners by January 31, 2019. Decisions will be made by February 28, 2019. Full papers will be circulated among the workshop participants approximately two weeks before the start of the conference. 


Andrew Majeske (John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), New York)

Bilad Ben-Nun (University of Leipzig)

Kirkby on Reconstituting Canada: The Enfranchisement and Disenfranchisement of "Indians": c 1837-1900 @CoelKirkby

Coel Kirkby, University of Sydney Law School, is publishing Reconstituting Canada: The Enfranchisement and Disenfranchisement of ‘Indians’, c. 1837-1900 in volume 69 of the University of Toronto Law Journal (2019). Here is the abstract.
The constitutional history of Canada and First Nations is often told as the promise fulfilled of Aboriginal rights and treaties. I will challenge this dominant story by recovering the story of the enfranchisement and disenfranchisement of ‘Indian’ subjects in the first three decades of Canadian confederation. Far from forgotten actors in a foretold play, ‘Indian’ voters were crucial to determining the outcome of three closely-contested federal elections and challenging settler ideas of the nascent Canadian nation. The question of the ‘Indian’ franchise was always embedded in competing constitutional visions for Confederation. The Canadian dream of transforming and assimilating Indigenous peoples would give way to a cynical idea of segregation under the permanent regime of the Indian Act. If the Indian franchise was the apotheosis of assimilation, its revocation marked the start of racial segregation. I juxtapose these Canadian constitutional visions with two alternative possibilities. The Anishinaabe-dominated Grand General Council accepted the franchise as part of its vision of reconciling membership in both their treaty-recognized nations and the Canadian state. The Confederacy Council of the Six Nations, in contrast, rejected the franchise as an existential threat to Haudenosaunee self-rule mediated by a treaty relationship with the Canadian and imperial governments. Recovering the constitutional contests driving Indian enfranchisement and disenfranchisement shows us of how the successful imposition of a single vision of a white democracy silenced alternative visions of a multi-national coexistence. It also reminds us of the multiplicity of constitutional possibilities for a common constitutional future.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Suuberg on Buck v. Bell, American Eugenics, and the Bad Man Test: Putting Limits on Newgenics in the 21st Century @alessuube

Alessandra Suuberg, indepdendant scholar, has published Buck v. Bell, American Eugenics, and the Bad Man Test: Putting Limits on Newgenics in the 21st Century. Here is the abstract.
With its 1927 decision in Buck v. Bell, the Supreme Court embraced the American eugenics program, which was then at its peak. An association with fascism and a discredited pseudoscience was one reason why the Buck case would later became infamous. Another reason was that, rather than resolving a true conflict, the case was seen as contrived: designed strategically to validate a particular Virginia law and ensure the success of the eugenics movement. Because the strategists were a close-knit group of elites and eugenics proponents, and the guinea pig at the center was poor and disadvantaged, the case provided a striking example of the way that a legal system intended to protect the most vulnerable members of society can instead be manipulated and used against them in the name of reform. Today, it is important to remember Buck and its legacy in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
Download the article froM SSRN at the link.

Kirkby on The Uses of Primitive Law in Anglo-American Concepts of Modern Law, 1861-1961 @CoelKirkby

Coel Kirkby, University of Sydney Law School, is publishing Law Evolves: The Uses of Primitive Law in Anglo-American Concepts of Modern Law, 1861-1961 in the American Journal of Legal History (2018). Here is the abstract.
This study traces how Anglo-American legal thinkers used primitive law to develop their concepts of modern law in the century from Austin to Hart. It first examines how Maine developed his historical jurisprudence as a form of social evolutionary analysis of law. Next, it traces the development of legal anthropology as a distinct discipline combining the scientific method of participant observation with the legal method of the case study. Finally, it looks at how Hart uses primitive law to make his famous argument that law was ‘the union of primary and secondary rules’. In each case, legal thinkers develop their concepts of modern law through a foundational contrast with primitive law. This is a striking feature of much Anglo-American jurisprudence that cuts across the borders of the positivist, natural, historical, realist, and other schools of jurisprudence. Appreciating these new uses of primitive law is a first step in excavating an intellectual history of legal thought grounded in the context of colonial knowledge.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Mirow on Léon Duguit and the Social Function of Property in Argentina @fiulaw

M. C. Mirow, Florida International University College of Law, is publishing Léon Duguit and the Social Function of Property in Argentina in Léon Duguit and the Social Obligation Norm of Property: A Translation and Global Exploration (Paul Babie and Jessica Viven-Wilksch, eds., Cham: Springer, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
Despite its early introduction to Argentina in 1911, the doctrine of the social function of property was not quickly appropriated into the Argentine legal system. Only after a period of more than thirty-five years did this concept of property find expression in this country through the Constitution of 1949, the Peronist constitution drafted under the guidance of the Arturo Enrique Sampay. Duguit's writings formed part of a broader understanding of the social function of property that was informed by various scholars and sources, and particularly by works on Christian humanism and the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic church. Although mentioned in the debates of the Argentine Constitution of 1949, Duguit was only one of a variety of sources employed by advocates of the doctrine, and his direct influence in the area was significantly less than one might expect considering the historical link between his lectures in Buenos Aires and the creation of the doctrine.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

December 5, 2018

A Blog Devoted To Strange Tales of Crime @HorribleSanity

If you enjoy odd tales of crime and death, check out the very entertaining blog Strange Company, devoted to the weird and the macabre. Your host is Undine, who also maintains The World of Edgar Allan Poe. Follow her on Twitter @HorribleSanity.

Hammill on 40 Years At the Baldy Center: A Law and Society Hub in Buffalo @baldycenter

Luke Hammill, University at Buffalo Law School, has published 40 Years at the Baldy Center: A Law and Society Hub in Buffalo in Buffalo. Buffalo: University at Buffalo Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy. 2018. Here is the abstract.
The University at Buffalo’s Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy just turned 40. That’s 40 years of groundbreaking sociolegal research, conferences, teaching, support for graduate students and much more. To commemorate the Center’s many accomplishments, this monograph traces through its history, showing that it helped put (and keep) Buffalo on the map as a hub in the Law and Society movement. The monograph draws on a year’s worth of research and interviews with the key characters in the Baldy Center’s story. Thousands of pages of University at Buffalo archives, court records, academic papers, historical documents and more were reviewed to piece together a narrative showing the Baldy Center’s tremendous impact on institutions, the academic literature and people’s careers. What emerges is a picture of a place where interdisciplinary collaboration and unique ideas find a home that wouldn’t exist if not for an endowment created by a civic-minded Buffalo lawyer who died in the mid-20th century and couldn’t have imagined the legacy that awaited him.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

December 4, 2018

CFP: Workshop on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Municipal Law, April 5, 2019 @asilorg

From the American Society of International Law's Cultural Heritage and the Arts Interest Group (CHAIG) and Fordham University School of Law's Urban Center, in collaboration with the Quebec Society of International Law (SQDI), a Call for Papers for a Workshop on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Municipal Law.

The workshop will be held at Fordham University’s School of Law, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on Friday, April 5, 2019. The protection of cultural heritage has long been understood as the province primarily of international law, but this workshop will highlight the place of municipal or local law in the discourse, exploring continuities and discontinuities with international law. Do international law and municipal law draw on each other’s strengths? Do they complement each other in terms of their shortcomings? Do they connect, or are they disconnected, in practice? While international law is addressed to nations, local governance is highly relevant to the protection of cultural heritage, and yet sometimes working in silos from other cities, provinces or states, as well as national governments.

Paper proposals of no more than 500 words should be sent to before Sunday, December 30th, 2018. The authors of the selected proposals will be notified by Friday, January 18th, 2019. Proposals from emerging scholars and graduate students are highly encouraged. Draft papers must be submitted no later than Monday, March 18th, 2019, for circulation to the selected participants in preparation for the workshop. Please note that no funding is available to cover transportation and accommodation for participants. Attendance at the workshop is, however, free of charge, subject to prior registration. Lunch will be provided to workshop participants.

More about the CFP here.

Daniel Dae Kim, Warren Hsu Leonard Working on Korean-American Legal Drama "Exhibit A" For ABC

Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawai'i Five-O) is producing and starring in a new legal drama for ABC, to be called Exhibit A. The show will center on a Korean-American former prosecutor, Andrew Cho, seeking to put his life back together after enemies sabotage his legal career. Warren Hsu Leonard is also executive producing and writing; Mr. Leonard is a Harvard Law graduate who practiced corporate law and worked on the Amazon series Goliath and How To Get Away With Murder.

Mr. Kim originally worked on Exhibit A for CBS. The series is based on the Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo.

More here from Deadline.

November 28, 2018

CFP: Interface: Journal of European Languages and Literatures: Visual Discourse and Its Circulation Between Europe and Asia

From the mailbox:

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2019
Guest Editor: Go Koshino (Hokkaido University)

Visual Discourse and its Circulation between Europe and Asia
Language-focused discourses have long lost their privileged position in humanities since discourse came to be understood as any communicative social practice through which meaning is created. In interface Issue 9 we would like to focus on Visual Discourse (i.e., those social practices that depend extensively on visual cues for the production of meaning) and its Circulation between the East and the West. Pictorial texts (such as still and moving images, the built environment, etc.) are easy to get across language barrier on the one hand; on the other hand, the ambiguity of visual image can generate more cultural misunderstandings and even new meanings in the course of cross-cultural communication
While we very much welcome articles seeking to expand the realm of research in Visual Discourse, we also invite articles that pay attention to the boundary of visual text itself so as to examine the very nature of visuality in the multiple cultural contexts. Firstly, an important issue we would like to see discussed is translation (adaptation) between visual and other types of text and medium (literary, acoustic, etc.). Secondly, we would appreciate discussions of the effects in the meaning-creation of invisible elements (visually unrepresentable) appearing alongside the visual discourse, and which are often influenced by the historical, cultural, and political contexts.
interface Journal of European Languages and Literatures is inviting original unpublished papers written in English, French, German, Spanish Russian or Italian for interface Issue 9, to be published in June 2019 that could address, but need not be restricted to, the following topics:

-Transcultural and cross-genre translation (adaptation) including visual language.
-Visualization of invisible or invisiblization of visual factors in the process of cross-cultural interface
-Visual aspects of cultural commemoration and “memory-scape” on wars, revolutions, and other significant events
-Politics of visual representation in the media discourse.

Papers should be submitted online at no later than March 31, 2019.

All potential authors should consult our website for Author Guidelines

November 26, 2018

Call for Papers: 2019 University of Massachusetts Law Review Roundtable Symposium on Law and Media

From the mailbox:

The UMass Law Review has issued the following call for papers. Download the call in PDF here, and please share it with any interested scholarly communities.


November 14, 2018

We are pleased to announce the 2019 UMass Law Review Roundtable Symposium, currently titled “Law and Media.” In the age where the 24/7 news cycle and social media have impacted current politics and where data protection, personal branding, and technology have affected entertainment and media as well as the rule of law, an investigation of the relationship between law and the media of our current times is timely and warranted. Accordingly, the UMass Law Review seeks thoughtful, insightful, and original presentations relating to the impact of the law on media as well as the impact of media on the law.

Interested participants should submit a 500-word abstract to, with “Attn: Conference Editor – Symposium Submission” in the subject line by December 31st, 2018 for consideration. Selected participants will be notified by the end of January and invited to present their work at the 2019 UMass Law Review Symposium taking place in late March of 2019. Selected participants may also submit a scholarly work for potential publication in the 2019-2020 UMass Law Review Journal. If you have questions about submissions or the Symposium, please contact our Business/Conference Editor, Casey Shannon or Editor-In-Chief, Kayla Venckauskas ( We thank you in advance for your submission.


Kayla Venckauskas

Casey Shannon
Business/Conference Editor

Thornton on Challenging the Legal Profession a Century On: The Case of Edith Haynes @ANU_Law

Margaret Thornton, ANU College of Law, is publishing Challenging the Legal Profession a Century On: The Case of Edith Haynes in volume 44 of the University of Western Australia Law Review (2018). Here is the abstract.
This article focuses on Edith Haynes’ unsuccessful attempt to enter the legal profession in Western Australia. Although admitted to articles as a law student in 1900, she was denied permission to sit her intermediate examination by the Supreme Court of WA (In re Edith Haynes (1904) 6 WAR 209). Edith Haynes is of particular interest for two reasons. First, the decision denying her permission to sit the exam was an example of a ‘persons’ case’, which was typical of an array of cases in the English common law world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which courts determined that women were not persons for the purpose of entering the professions or holding public office. Secondly, as all (white) women had been enfranchised in Australia at the time, the decision of the Supreme Court begs the question as to the meaning of active citizenship. The article concludes by hypothesising a different outcome for Edith Haynes by imagining an appeal to the newly established High Court of Australia.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Coffee on A Radical Revolution in Thought: Frederick Douglass on the Slave's Perspective on Republican Freedom @KCL_Law

Alan Coffee, King's College London, Dickson Poon School of Law, is publishing A Radical Revolution in Thought: Frederick Douglass on the Slave's Perspective on Republican Freedom in Radical Republicanism: Recovering the Tradition's Popular Heritage (Bruno Leipold, Karma Nabulsi and Stuart White, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press) (forthcoming).
While the image of the slave as the antithesis of the freeman is central to republican freedom, it is striking to note that slaves themselves have not contributed to how this condition is understood. The result is a one-sided conception of both freedom and slavery, which leaves republicanism unable to provide an equal and robust protection for historically outcast people. I draw on the work of Frederick Douglass – long overlooked as a significant contributor to republican theory – to show one way why this is so. Focusing the American Revolution, the subsequent republican government established new political institutions to maintain the collective interests of the whole population. The political revolution was held in place by processes of public reason that reflected the values and ideas of the people that had rebelled. The black population, however, had not been part of this revolution. After emancipation, black Americans were required to accept terms of citizenship that had already been defined, leaving them socially dominated, subject to the prejudices and biases within the prevailing ideas of public discourse. Douglass argued that republican freedom under law is always dependent on a more fundamental revolution, that he calls a ‘radical revolution in thought’, in which the entire system of social norms and practices are reworked together by members of all constituent social groups – women and men, black and white, rich and poor – so that it reflects a genuinely collaborative achievement. Only then can we begin the republican project of contestatory freedom as independence or non-domination that today’s republicans take for granted.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Gould on Legal Duplicity and the Scapegoat Mentality in Paul Laurence Dunbar's Jim Crow America @rrgould

Rebecca Gould, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham; Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, is publishing Justice Deferred: Legal Duplicity and the Scapegoat Mentality in Paul Laurence Dunbar's Jim Crow America in Law & Literature. Here is the abstract.
Although best known as a poet, African-American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) developed a unique voice in his fiction. This essay explores the bifurcation Dunbar discerned between the law as an instrument of justice and as a stabilizer of the segregationist status quo in Jim Crow America. Dunbar creates characters who are systematically scapegoated for crimes they did not commit in order to expose the law’s precarious relationship to justice. His treatment of lynching as a paradigmatic manifestation of the scapegoat mechanism links this practice to a political theory of violence, whereby the innocent are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and society requires their sacrifice in order to redeem its guilt. Without relinquishing his faith in the law, Dunbar used prose narratives to expose the disjuncture between law and justice made manifest by the US Supreme Court’s rationalization of racial discrimination in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Beyond considering the light Dunbar’s fictions shed on the relationship between law and justice, I locate these interventions within a longer history of thinking about the role of the writer as a scapegoat who enables society to sin without experiencing guilt.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Cavangh on The Imperial Constitution of the Law Officers of the Crown @edward_cavanagh

Edward Cavanagh, University of Cambridge, is publishing The Imperial Constitution of the Law Officers of the Crown: Legal Thought on War and Colonial Government, 1719–1774 in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (2018). Here is the abstract.
The rule of conquest came to receive different applications for different parts of the British Empire. How this happened, and who was responsible for it happening, are the interests of this article. Calling upon court reports, parliamentary records, and correspondence between various officeholders in the early Hanoverian government, attention will be drawn in particular to the attorney general and the solicitor general (the law officers of the crown) and the advice they offered upon the governance of colonies between 1719 and 1774. Focusing upon the conventions that pertain to war and conquest in Ireland, the Caribbean, India, and North America, this article reveals inconsistency in doctrine, but consistency in the procedures by which law officers of the crown acquired influence over proceedings in the houses of parliament and in the courts of common law and equity. Just as often in their formal capacities as in their informal capacities, the attorney general and the solicitor general were pivotal to the development of the imperial constitution, in constant response, as they were, to the peculiar demands of various colonies and plantations in the British Empire.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Goldmann on The Entanglement of Sovereignty and Property in International Law @MattHGoldmann

Matthias Goldmann, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law; Goethe University Frankfurt - Research Center SAFE; Goethe University Frankfurt - Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders; Goethe University Frankfurt, has published The Entanglement of Sovereignty and Property in International Law: From German Southwest Africa to the Great Land Grab? Here is the abstract.
This article argues that an intricate entanglement existed between sovereignty and property in German Southwest Africa. Germany’s control over Southwest Africa depended considerably on European settlements, which received logistical, financial, and military support by Germany. The result was a symbiotic relationship between the government and private economic actors, a form of state capitalism under which private settlements contributed to the establishment of territorial control, a prerequisite of sovereign power. Contractual relationships suggesting formally equal relationships, and during and after the genocide, a mix of arguments drawing on tort law and an idea of formal legality, provided crucial justification for the assumption of territorial control. This description contradicts standard accounts of sovereignty, which tend to turn a blind eye on private property. The article discusses the implications of these findings for today’s international law, including for state responsibility for transnational corporations and the so-called Great Land Grab, the acquisition of vast lands in Africa by foreign public and private agents.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

November 22, 2018

ICYMI: Davison-Vecchione on How the EU Is Like the Marvel Universe @dejdavisonvec

ICYMI: Daniel Davison-Vecchione, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, has published How is the EU like the Marvel Universe? Legal Experientialism and Law as a Shared Universe at 30 Law and Literature 185 (2017). Here is the abstract.
This article considers the ontological and epistemological questions about European Union (EU) law raised by the phenomenon known as constitutional pluralism, and the challenge this presents to theories of law based on the concept of a legal system. It does so by heuristically comparing the EU legal order and the “Marvel Universe” of Marvel Comics, as both an extension and critique of Ronald Dworkin's analogy between interpreting law and writing a chain novel. The article explicates the concept of a “storyworld” in narrative theory and discusses the Marvel Universe's significance in this respect. It then outlines the similarities between EU law and the Marvel Universe, using the concept of a storyworld to build and apply a theoretical framework that can move beyond orthodox views of constitutional pluralism. Lastly, the article uses these insights to begin laying the groundwork for a new theory of law termed “legal experientialism,” which understands law as an irreducible world that is both experienced and constructed through our collective interpretive practices.

November 21, 2018

van Domselaar on Iris Murdoch and Legal Decision-Making

Iris van Domselaar, Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam, has published All Judges on the Couch? On Iris Murdoch and Legal Decision-Making. Here is the abstract.
Drawing upon our everyday experiences, there is nothing radical about thinking that moral life is largely taken up by our efforts to obtain a clear vision of the situations we find ourselves in and to respond accordingly. However, despite having experiential plausibility, vision-based approaches to morality are quite rare within moral philosophy. The moral philosophy of Iris Murdoch, in which ‘vision’ commands center stage, is a notable exception. However, as Murdoch herself was largely evasive on matters of public morality, thus far the potential relevance of Murdoch’s moral philosophy for the law - a public institution par excellence - has hardly been addressed. In this chapter, the author investigates what a Murdochian approach to legal decision-making might amount to and identifies some crucial issues that such an approach must further explore.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Wake Forest Law Review Symposium on Cognitive Emotion and the Law, February 22, 2019 @WFULawReview @LloydEsq @ljewel

The Wake Forest Law Review is sponsoring a symposium on Cognitive Emotion and the Law, Friday, February 22, 2019. It will include many eminent speakers and cover a number of interesting topics. Here's a description of the symposium.
This symposium will bring together experts from academia, legal practice, neuroscience, philosophy, and communication to explore emotion and other affective experience. It will delve into common core themes regarding cognitive emotion and the law, and it will explore the brain science underlying emotion and reason. This symposium will further discuss how law students, law professors, lawyers, and judges can use principles of emotional intelligence to foster better legal reasoning and results as well as to foster health, respect, and inclusivity. This symposium will also examine specific areas where greater emotional intelligence can enlighten all of us. These specific areas include racism, homophobia, sexism, extreme rhetoric, public health, and responses to public disasters.

More about the event here.

November 19, 2018

Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice Issues CFP @rapoportcenter

From the mailbox:

The Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice has posted a Call for Papers for its Working Papers Series. More information below:

Dedicated to interdisciplinary and critical dialogue on international human rights law and discourse, the Rapoport Center’s Working Paper Series (WPS) publishes innovative papers by established and early-career researchers as well as practitioners. The goal is to provide a productive environment for debate about human rights among academics, policymakers, activists, practitioners, and the public.
Authors from all disciplines and institutions are welcome to submit papers on any topic related to human rights.
Submissions undergo a rigorous selection process by the WPS interdisciplinary editorial committee, which includes graduate students and faculty from across the University of Texas. The WPS committee provides detailed comments and feedback to authors before the paper is published online.
Publication in the WPS does not preclude future publication elsewhere; in fact, many of our working papers have since been published in academic journals and edited volumes.
For the 2018-9 series, the Editorial Committee is accepting submissions on a rolling basis.
For more information, please visit: contact

McMurtry-Chubb on Inheritance as Reparations in John Grisham's "Sycamore Row" @genremixtress

Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, Mercer University School of Law, is publishing The Rhetoric of Race, Redemption, and Will Contests: Inheritance as Reparations in John Grisham's Sycamore Row in volume 48 of the University of Memphis Law Review (2018). Here is the abstract.
When Henry “Seth” Hubbard renounced his formally drawn wills and created a new holographic will on the day of his suicide, one that excluded his children, grandchildren, and ex-wives, and gave the bulk of his estate to his housekeeper and caretaker, a will contest was imminent. That Seth Hubbard was a white man living in rural Mississippi and his housekeeper, a Black woman, made the will contest illustrative of our ongoing national discomfort with slavery, the Confederacy, and the respective obligations of and responsibilities to the descendants of both. This is John Grisham’s Sycamore Row, a novel in which the reader journeys to discover the mysteries behind Seth Hubbard’s will, his intentions, his burden as a witness to a lynching over his ancestor’s land, and the fate of the descendants of the formerly enslaved who worked and settled that land known as Sycamore Row only to see its destruction when they asserted their right to it. Seth’s act of bequeathing the bulk of his estate to a stranger made family through blood spilled over stolen land and stolen, broken Black bodies is an important start to an important discussion: Who bears responsibility to the survivors of domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and for the benefits that white privilege bestows? The will contest encapsulates the rhetoric of race and redemption; in Sycamore Row Hubbard’s estate acts as reparations. This Article explores the rhetoric of race, redemption, and reparations in Sycamore Row and as it plays out in American jurisprudence in three parts. Part II explores how the will contest in Sycamore Row illustrates arguments for and against reparations. Specifically, it evaluates how Aristotle’s Persuasive Appeals logos (using evidence and epistemology to persuade), pathos (using emotions to persuade), and ethos (using character to persuade) become racialized in the nomos (the normative universe where they function), both in Seth Hubbard’s will and the will contest that follows, and as used as appeals in reparations litigation. Part III uses interdisciplinary narrative theory to interrogate the language of Seth Hubbard’s will as his cultural narrative of race, racism, and redemption. It also considers how Seth’s story is a story of American racism that ends differently from our current American story. Seth’s story is a doorway to hope and a different way of viewing obligations and responsibilities to redress racial wrongs. In the final section, Part IV, the Article turns to the concept and practice of reconciliation, specifically how Seth Hubbard’s actions through his will, the backlash from his family, and the reverberations throughout Clanton, Mississippi provide a glimpse of racial reconciliation in practice. Hubbard’s will and the context for its creation demonstrate that racial reconciliation begins with acknowledgment of harm done, presents a plan to address the harm, and contains an action or action(s) to implement the plan. While Hubbard’s is one will, his will is a roadmap for the nation, as comprised of individual actors, to acknowledge and address racial harms and for racial reconciliation. The Article concludes with a call to disrupt the dangerous racial rhetoric that renders our country brittle and prone to shattering, threatening America with irreparable brokenness.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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.