August 29, 2018

Knaplund on An Empirical Analysis of the Married Women's Property Act and the Treatment of Women's Wills

Kristine S. Knaplund, Pepperdine University School of Law, has published Women and Wills: An Empirical Analysis of the Married Women's Property Act and its Remarkable Resonance Today at 45 Rutgers Law Record 216 (2018). here is the abstract.
“The oft repeated rule of the common law is that marriage is an absolute gift to the husband of all the personal estate of the wife which she had at the time of the marriage, or which accrues to her in her own right, during coverture….”. By 1900, Missouri had a quarter century’s experience with its version of the Married Women’s Property Act, enacted in 1875 to reverse the common law and decree that personal property acquired by a married woman was her own, and later in 1889 a similar statute for real property. While the new statutes did not affect any property a wife had acquired before its passage, they specifically provided that the husband had no right to anything she obtained after the law went into effect. Still, a married woman in 1900 Missouri was constrained in other ways. She could not serve as executrix or administratrix of an estate, and if she had been appointed as such, her letters were revoked as soon as her marriage was suggested to the probate court. The will of a single woman who later married was automatically revoked, on the theory that the marriage took away her ability to execute a will, even though Missouri allowed married women to write wills. And her options to change the law were limited: no woman in Missouri, married or single, could serve as an executive officer of the state or on a jury, or be a judge of a circuit court, and the Missouri constitution expressly prohibited her from voting until the 1919 presidential primaries. Today, a married woman faces none of these constraints, and so one might expect an empirical analysis of women’s wills in 1900, compared with those a century later, would produce major differences. And yet… whether a woman wrote a will at all, whether she left her estate to her husband or to someone else, whether she served as executrix, whether her will was challenged, among other points, is remarkably consistent in study after study. This examination of every probate file from 1900 St Louis, 805 files in all, looks all these questions and more.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

A Special Issue of the London Review of International Law Devoted to International Criminal Justice on/and Film @immi_tallgren

Volume 6, issue 1, March 2018 of the London Review of International Law is devoted to issues of international law and justice on film. 

The issue includes Ainley, Humphreys, and Tallgren, International Criminal Justice on/and film; Rush and Elander, Working Through the Cinematography of International Criminal Justice: Procedure of Law and Images of Atrocity; Weckel, Watching the Accused Watch the Nazi Crimes: Observers' Reports on the Atrocity Film Screenings in the Belsen, Nuremberg, and Eichmann Trials; McNamee and Andrews, "Judgment at Nuremberg:" Hollywood Takes the International Criminal Law Stand; and Rigney, "You Start To Feel Really Alone": Defence Lawyers and Narratives of International Criminal Law in Film.

Via @immi_tallgren.

Robinson and Robinson: Crimes That Changed Our World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). @RLPGBooks

Paul H. Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Sarah Robinson, are publishing Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, and Reform (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Here is the abstract for Chapter 1: 1911 Triangle Factory Fire: Building Safety Codes.
This first chapter of the recently published book Crimes That Changed Our World: Tragedy, Outrage, and Reform, examines the process by which the tragic 1911 Triangle Factory Fire provoked enormous outrage that in turn created a local then national movement for workplace and building safety that ultimately became the foundation for today’s building safety codes. What is particularly interesting, however, is that the Triangle Fire was not the worst such tragedy in its day. Why should it be the one that ultimately triggers social progress? The book has 21 chapters, each of which traces the tragedy-outrage-reform dynamic in a different context: from the war on drugs to the militarization of police, from domestic violence reform to three-strikes sentencing, from the creation of professional medical examiners to the establishment of the 9-1-1 emergency system. As the concluding chapter of the project makes clear, the dynamic of progress has many moving parts not all of which are rational and predictable.
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

Crosby on the Dean of St. Asaph's Case @_Kevin_Crosby_ @hartpublishing

Kevin Crosby, Newcastle Law School, has published R v Shipley (1784): The Dean of St Asaph's Case in Landmark Cases in Criminal Law (Philip Handler, Henry Mares, and Ian Williams, eds., Hart Publishing, 2017). Here is the abstract.
In 1784, William Shipley, the Dean of St Asaph (and the son of St Asaph’s radical bishop Jonathan Shipley), was prosecuted for republishing a controversial political pamphlet. William Jones, the pamphlet’s author, was surprised to find a prosecution for the publication of an abstract work of political philosophy was even possible; and it may have been this, combined with the fact Jones was respectable enough to have been recently elevated to the colonial Bench, which resulted in the Treasury’s refusal to pay the costs of the prosecution. While an English jury was eventually persuaded to convict Shipley ‘of publishing’ the pamphlet, he was subsequently discharged by the judges of King’s Bench, owing to the fact that under the prevailing doctrine of seditious libel a guilty verdict was understood as a de facto special verdict, leaving legal questions (including whether a particular pamphlet was actually seditious) to a later judicial determination. This case is primarily famous because of the challenge it posed to this established doctrine, highlighting the fact this strange form of verdict was, in Lobban’s words, an ‘unworkable stretching of the law’, and because it ultimately led to the passage in 1792 of legislation condemning the practice as contrary to the common law.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link. Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents.
Criminal cases raise difficult normative and legal questions, and are often a consequence of compelling human drama. In this collection, expert authors place leading cases in criminal law in their historical and legal contexts, highlighting their significance both in the past and for the present. The cases in this volume range from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century. Many of them are well known to modern criminal lawyers and students; others are overlooked landmarks that deserve reconsideration. The essays, often based on extensive and original archival research, range over a wide spectrum of criminal law, covering procedure and doctrine, statute and common law, individual offences and general principles. Together, the essays explore common themes, including the scope of criminal law and criminalisation, the role of the jury, and the causes of change in criminal law.

Media of Landmark Cases in Criminal Law 

August 24, 2018

Farrell and Hughes on Magna Carta and the Invention of "British Rights" @routledgebooks

Michelle Farrell, University of Liverpool, School of Law and Social Justice, and Edel Hughes, University of Limerick, are publishing Magna Carta and the Invention of 'British Rights' in Human Rights in the Media: Fear and Fetish (Michelle Farrell, Eleanor Drywood, and Edel Hughes, Routledge, 2018) (forthcoming).
In this chapter we argue that the antipathy towards human rights, and the Human Rights Act in particular, that is evident in certain sections of the media and political establishment, lies partly in its relationship with the European, and, therefore, foreign or ‘alien’, system of human rights protection. Somewhat paradoxically though, those who are most trenchant in their criticisms of the Human Rights Act nevertheless stress that Britain is a nation founded upon human rights. Through the lens of the Magna Carta we examine the invention of the tradition of British rights and how the Charter has been co-opted by those who seek to foment opposition to the Human Rights Act and, albeit to a lesser extent, by those who seek to defend the Act by demarcating a clear line of history between the Charter and the Act. Both approaches, we suggest, serve to crowd out the space required for a rational critique of rights.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

August 23, 2018

Alexander on Publishing Peter Pindar: Production, Profits, and Piracy in Georgian Satire

James R. Alexander, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, has published Publishing Peter Pindar: Production, Profits and Piracy in Georgian Satire at 112 Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 149 (2018).
As the scurrilous poet ‘Peter Pindar,’ John Wolcot was the most provocative English political satirist in the late 18th century. His smirkingly disrespectful lampooning of the King and his ministers brought widespread popularity and profits, but perilously close to prosecution for seditious libel in the mid-1790s in a period of patriotic zeal when the Pitt government was pressing indictments against dissenting and reformist writers. So Wolcot’s claim of copyright infringement against his own publisher seemed both miscalculated, as it raised the common law assumption that prospectively libelous and therefore criminal works were a threat to public order and therefore ineligible for court protection under copyright. While at the time perhaps an inconsequential procedural ruling, Walcot v. Walker (1802) would inadvertently become a benchmark in copyright law doctrine. In an effort to provide some contextual perspective to the ruling and its interpretation, this essay examines the scale and trend lines of Wolcot’s canon of works to that point, focusing on his production costs, wholesale and retail price structures, and the degree to which his profits were threatened by literary piracy and might have reasonably sought copyright protection. It finds that the same production strategy that had carried him to the apex of political notoriety and commercial success by 1790 also made it imperative for him sell his copyrights to his publisher and eventually sue over disagreements on conditions of their sale.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Murray on Editing the Wiktionary Entry for "Female" @LoyolaLawSchool

Yxta Maya Murray, Loyola Law School (Los Angeles), is publishing Editing the Wiktionary Entry for 'Female' in the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice. Here is the abstract.
This is one in a series of “legal fictions” that I have been publishing in law journals. It concerns the roles that law, art, and language play in the manufacture and destruction of female identity.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

August 22, 2018

Bandes on Video, Popular Culture, and Police Excessive Force: The Elusive Narrative of Over-Policing @BandesSusan

Susan A. Bandes, DePaul University College of Law, is publishing Video, Popular Culture, and Police Excessive Force: The Elusive Narrative of Over-Policing in volume 2018 of the University of Chicago Legal Forum. Here is the abstract.
Allegations of police brutality are generally credibility contests between the officer and the accuser, and thus their resolution hinges on pre-existing assumptions about what stories are credible. There is a dominant story about policing, reinforced by the courts, the media, and popular culture, and it powerfully shapes the way police conduct is viewed and evaluated. The story is generally told from the police perspective, not that of the suspect. It assumes the good faith of police, but often questions the motives or credibility of suspects. It views police officers as individual, autonomous agents and ignores structural forces and constraints. It views policing as an exercise in crime-fighting and peace-keeping, rather than a means of social control. The story is so deeply ingrained in both culture and law that it is hard to imagine what sorts of evidence could challenge or disrupt it. For this symposium on the tenth anniversary of the last episode of The Wire, I consider the question: did The Wire disrupt the conventional narrative about police brutality? And the larger question: what would it take to do so? I begin by examining the promise and limits of raw video footage as a counter-narrative. Video evidence has helped galvanize public outrage, but at the same time the failures of video evidence to persuade legal decision makers have been striking. It appears that the dominant narrative is so powerful it makes jurors disbelieve their own eyes. I then turn to The Wire, and to the question of media’s potential to bridge the vast divide between police-saturated neighborhoods and the broader public view of police-civilian interactions. Though I do not revise my previous assessment that The Wire was “the greatest television series ever made,” I argue that The Wire, for all its immersive attention to West Baltimore, did not really capture the experience of living in a police-occupied neighborhood in which one’s every innocuous move can lead to a confrontation—even a fatal confrontation—with police. The Wire was strong on the problem of under-policing, but it didn’t do justice to the problem of over-policing, or the experience of living with it. I conclude with thoughts about the role of data analytics, media, and storytelling in bridging these experiential divides.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Atticus Finch, Where Are You? @thanerosenbaum @ABAJournal

Are films featuring lawyer-heroes out? Thane Rosenbaum thinks so. In a new essay for the ABA Journal, he says in part,

When it comes to movie heroes, the quintessential moral archetype has been Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. But he is not alone. Cinema has offered a virtual parade of eloquent charmers, jury-seducers of the first order. To name a few examples, there’s Paul Biegler (Anatomy of a Murder), Frank Galvin (The Verdict), Henry Drummond (Inherit the Wind), Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Witness for the Prosecution), Sandy Stern (Presumed Innocent) and Kathryn Murphy (The Accused)—among scores of other smooth courtroom specialists—all with a God complex and a clear conscience.
But judging from the films that have been released in this new millennium, the tropes that once dominated legal dramas have given way to an entirely new twist on the genre. Cinema has developed a newfound cynicism about the once-righteous trial attorney. Nowadays, perhaps consistent with our diminished faith in public institutions, the legal system and its practitioners, as depicted in movies, have been found wanting and guilty.

Read the entire essay here.

Kamali on Trial By Ordeal By Jury in Medieval England, Or Saints and Sinners in Literature and Law @LizPappKamali

Elizabeth Papp Kamali, Harvard Law School, is publishing Trial by Ordeal by Jury in Medieval England, or Saints and Sinners in Literature and Law in Emotion, Violence, Vengeance and Law in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of William Ian Miller (Kate Gilbert and Stephen D. Whites, eds., Leiden: Brill, 2018).
Using a miracle tale as a focal point, this paper illuminates the political and cultural context of York at the turn of the twelfth to thirteenth century in order to make sense of England’s rapid transition from trial by ordeal to trial by jury after 1215. More specifically, the paper highlights the possible impact of the period of papal interdict (c. 1208 – 1214), imposed by Pope Innocent III in response to King John’s intransigence over the appointment of a new archbishop of Canterbury, during this transitional period in criminal procedure. It argues that the interdict, with its suspension of liturgies, might have forced experimentation with alternative means of reaching verdicts in felony cases. The paper also suggests that juries might have been involved in the issuance of ordeal verdicts in the late ordeal period in England, in which case the shift from trial by ordeal to trial by jury may be less a moment of rupture than a transition from one form of trial using juries to another, albeit a trial form more starkly desacralized after 1215. It is the author’s hope that the paper will serve as a starting point for further research, not a decisive answer to the questions it raises, including whether England’s rapid adoption of final jury verdicts may owe something to the tussle between King John and a particularly imperial and imperious pope.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link. 

Bowman on British Impeachments (1376-1787) and the Present American Constitutional Crisis

Frank O. Bowman III, University of Missouri School of Law, has published British Impeachments (1376 – 1787) & the Present American Constitutional Crisis. Here is the abstract.
Impeachment is a British invention. It arose as one of a set of tools employed by Parliament in its long contest with the Crown over the reach of the monarch’s authority. British impeachment practice matters to Americans because the framers and ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution were the conscious heirs of Britain’s political evolution. The founders’ understanding of British history influenced their decision to include impeachment in the American constitution and their conception of how impeachment fit in a balanced system of ostensibly co-equal branches. It also produced two central features of American impeachment: the limitation of remedy to removal from office and the definition of impeachable conduct, particularly the famous phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” adopted directly from British parliamentary language. Therefore, at a moment when impeachment talk is rampant, a reexamination of British impeachments is in order. This Article is the first comprehensive analysis of the entire arc of British impeachments from 1376 to 1787 since Raoul Berger’s classic 1974 study. It gives particular attention to issues raised by the current presidency. The Article traces the evolution of Parliament’s use of impeachment and of the categories of behavior customarily designated as impeachable. These embraced, but were never limited to, indictable crimes, and included: armed rebellion and other overt treasons; common crimes like murder and rape; corruption (particularly the abuse of office for self-enrichment); incompetence, neglect, or maladministration of office; and betrayal of the nation’s foreign policy interests. The last of these categories has not been emphasized in modern American scholarship, but assumes particular salience in the present moment. Finally, and crucially, the Article concludes that, although Parliament sometimes used impeachment for less dramatic ends, its one indispensable function was removal of officials whose behavior threatened the constitutional order by promoting royal/executive absolutism over representative institutions and the rule of law. Critics of the incumbent president may find this thread of British precedent both poignant and potentially useful.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Bohrer on The "Jolly Roger"

Ziv Bohrer, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, is publishing The ‘Jolly Roger’ (Pirate Flag) in International Law's Objects (Jessie Hohmann and Daniel Joyce, eds., 2019) (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
Presently, a black flag with a skull-and-crossbones (the ‘Jolly Roger’) is merely a cultural icon for piracy. This chapter excavates the flag’s deep roots in international law. Part I uncovers that the flag used to be a laws-of-war signal for the intention to take no prisoners (‘deny quarter’). It was used not only by pirates. Intriguingly, the flag’s history aids in exposing misconceptions regarding criminal justice. Domestic criminal law is considered the traditional form of criminal justice, whereas international criminal law is considered a novel, post-WWII, creation. Piracy is deemed the only long-standing international crime, because for centuries universal jurisdiction has extended over it. However, historically, universal jurisdiction was applied not only to piracy, but also to felonies (crimes classified today as domestic) and war crimes. Part II discusses that actual history of criminal justice and shows that it and the Jolly Roger’s legal history were forgotten for similar reasons.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

August 21, 2018

Boatright on The History, Meaning, and Use of the Words Justice and Judge @StMarysLJ

Newly published:

Jason Boatright, Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, The History, Meaning and Use of the Words Justice and Judge, 49 St. Mary's Law Journal 727 (2018).

The Jackie Chiles Law Society: A Law Student Organization Devoted to Law and Popular Culture @sjquinney

At the University of Utah's S. J. Quinney's College of Law, students can join  many interesting organizations, including the Jackie Chiles Law Society, devoted to "The Jackie Chiles Law Society is dedicated to the examination of how popular culture interacts with the law. The Society meets regularly to discuss how broadcast & print media and the internet affect the American legal system. Recent guest presenters include Patrick Markey, the film producer of A River Runs Through It and The Quick and the Dead, and Sam Lloyd, the actor who plays the attorney “Ted” on the television show Scrubs. The Society also maintains a collection of popular books and movies related to lawyers and the law in the SJQ law library for student use."

The Society is named for the attorney character played by Phil Morris on Seinfeld. Jackie was well-known for his over-the-top statements. 

Judges, Judging [,] and Humour: A New Publication from Palgrave @Palgrave_

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Judges, Judging and Humour (Jessica Milner Davis and Sharyn Roach Anleu, eds., 2018). Here is the description of the book's contents from the publisher's website.
This book examines social aspects of humour relating to the judiciary, judicial behaviour, and judicial work across different cultures and eras, identifying how traditionally recorded wit and humorous portrayals of judges reflect social attitudes to the judiciary over time. It contributes to cultural studies and social science/socio-legal studies of both humour and the role of emotions in the judiciary and in judging. It explores the surprisingly varied intersections between humour and the judiciary in several legal systems: judges as the target of humour; legal decisions regulating humour; the use of humour to manage aspects of judicial work and courtroom procedure; and judicial/legal figures and customs featuring in comic and satiric entertainment through the ages. Delving into the multi-layered connections between the seriousness of the work of the judiciary on the one hand, and the lightness of humour on the other hand, this fascinating collection will be of particular interest to scholars of the legal system, the criminal justice system, humour studies, and cultural studies.


August 20, 2018

Allison on The Westminster Parliament's Formal Sovereignty in Britain and Europe from a Historical Perspective @cambridgelaw

John W. F. Allison, Cambridge University Faculty of Law, has published The Westminster Parliament's Formal Sovereignty in Britain and Europe from a Historical Perspective as University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 47/2018. Here is the abstract.
In the historical backdrop to domestic British debates about Brexit has been tension between two contrasting and competing conceptions of the Westminster Parliament’s sovereignty. In issue has been whether or how parliamentary sovereignty has been subject to constraint, to limitations of form or substance, in strict legal theory or in practical politics. The tension was the product of a doctrinal dichotomy that Albert Venn Dicey introduced in the late-nineteenth century. He introduced it in attempting to juridicalise or juridify the constitution in his foundational and multi-edition textbook ‘The Law of the Constitution’. The dichotomy was, on the one hand, of a formal legal conception of Parliament’s sovereignty as limitless in theory and, on the other hand, of a substantive political conception of its sovereignty as limited in actuality. The tension between these legal and political conceptions has been manifest since then in various formal exercises of Parliament’s sovereignty that have impaired its substance. They include parliamentary enactments that conferred self-government in the process of decolonisation, that granted the executive powers to amend parliamentary legislation through “Henry VIII clauses”, and that delegated various governing powers in devolution. The tension has also been manifest in the enactment of the European Communities Act 1972, by which the Westminster Parliament made domestic legal provision for the UK’s original inclusion in the European Communities. The tension was exacerbated by the unqualified assertion of the unconditional supremacy of Community law by the ECJ, both before and after the 1972 enactment. Through judicial minimalism or false economy - failure to acknowledge, explain and address pressing issues at stake - in the response of the highest British court to the ECJ’s assertion of supremacy, problems in the Westminster Parliament’s legal and political sovereignty were left unresolved and vulnerable to serious objection. They contributed to making the UK’s continued membership of the EU precarious and unstable. The doctrinal and constitutional options and implications for the UK are challenging, as are various searching questions for the EU.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Contemporary Aesthetics: Special Volume--New Deadline For Articles October 31, 2018

Contemporary Aesthetics
Special Volume on “Aesthetics and Terrorism”
NEW deadline: October 31, 2018

Terrorism is unfortunately ubiquitous in the contemporary world. In the post-9/11 era, so-called “political violence” in the form of state or anti-state activity has placed itself at the very center of international politics and policies. But, of course, terrorist violence is not a recent phenomenon; rather, it has always preoccupied the minds of authorities, shattered the every-day routines of citizens, victimized thousands of people, but at the same time intrigued or even fascinated humanity with its unpredictability and suddenness. Through this lens, it is not paradoxical to admit that terrorism looms large in the artistic, literary, and philosophical imagination, and also in aesthetic debates. Although it may at first sound oxymoronic to articulate the concepts of terrorism and aesthetics in a single breath, not only is extreme political violence against (usually) non-combatants relevant to aesthetic matters and preoccupations, but it turns out that there may even be a structural link between the two. Aesthetics, here, does not necessarily hinge upon the question of beauty or artistic representation, but is more broadly defined as aesthetic experience understood as sense perception. In such a context, aesthetic sensibility has a lot to say about how terrorism is represented, employed, disseminated, reproduced, or even opposed.

Contemporary Aesthetics invites original, innovative, full-length articles that explore the connection between aesthetics and terrorism or terror across cultures, ages, genres, or discourses. CA welcome submissions on topics related (but not limited) to the following:

Aesthetic Theories, Political Violence, and the Philosophy of Terror

The Aesthetics of Suicide Attacks/Terrorism and the Body

The Politics of Aesthetics (or Aesthetics of Politics) in Terror(ism)

Radicalization as an Aesthetic Posture

Post-9/11 Political Discourse and Aesthetics

Ethics, Aesthetics, Narrativity in the Media Communication of Terror

Terrorist Discourse and the Sensorial Aspects of Terrorist Communication

Terrorism through the Perspective of Art (in its widest sense)

Morality, Ethics and Aesthetics in the Artistic Representation of Terror

Terrorism as Theatre/Performance

Society and the Cultural Imaginary of Terrorism

Counter-Terrorism, Law and Aesthetics

Urban Defense, Architecture and (Counter)Terrorism

Terrorism, Aesthetics and Ecological Consciousness

Postcolonial Aesthetics, Imagination and Terror

Religious (or not) Terrorism and the Aesthetics of Pain/Suffering

Aesthetics, Terror, Culture, and the 21st Century

Length: maximum 7,000 words, including abstract and notes. Only electronic submissions are acceptable. Deadline for submitting the full article and a short CV is October 31, 2018.

The article should be attached (as a word document) to your e-mail and sent to the guest editor,

Dr. Emmanouil Aretoulakis,

For submission guidelines, see:
Guidelines for Article Submission
Please review the following topics in preparing your article for submission. If you have any questions or if you need assistance, please feel free to contact CA.

Call For Papers: Surveillance, Social Media, and Identity--Closes August 30, 2018

Call for Papers
Surveillance, Social Media, & Identity 

24th - 25th October 2018 

De Montfort University, Clephan Building, Bonners Lane, Leicester

SUBMIT: 250-word abstract to by 30th August 2018 with name/title/affiliation 

SEND FULL PAPERS: 6,000-8,000 words to by 8th October 2018 (peer reviewed material will be considered for IJMD, see below)

REGISTER: Conference is free, with lunch provided, but register at Eventbrite link - 
(See below for suggested content, and confirmed panel keynotes and speakers from the Media Discourse Centre)
Journal Launch: IJMD, 2019, International Journal of Media Discourse
Queries re. Journal, write to:

Surveillance, Social Media, & Identity

Attitudes to the growth and use of Social Media have evolved, from broadly positive conceptions of their role as instruments/sites of democratic exchange, to less favourable assessments that identify their part in the reproduction of an inequitable and fractious social order. In recent years, greater emphasis has been placed on the Faustian bargain that the ‘consumer-citizen’ (Needham, 2003; Clarke and Newman, 2007) has been forced to strike with the ‘platform capitalists’ (Srnicek, 2016) who control access to this domain of sociability, and more attention has been devoted to the role of the state in monitoring online behaviour (Trottier, 2015). This observation should not suggest that ‘new’ media forms are solely responsible for the destruction of privacy, the repression of dissent, or the enlargement of individual egos, because technological developments throughout history can be subjected to the same kind of critical analysis. 

One of the key questions is, therefore, the particular role of social media in both facilitating and regulating expressions of human agency, as people attempt to build networks of like-minded individuals, establish forms of intimacy, and intervene in political controversies. The promotion of the ‘self’ as a cultured, capable, autonomous and yet connected being, requires the careful maintenance of online profiles and the constant revision of ‘status’. In addition, those driven by the goal of professional attainment try to draw attention to their ‘marketable’ skills and abilities. Yet, if the price of entry to this new sphere of influence is self-exposure, then these selves are composed of elements that are, in part, specifically chosen in anticipation of the scrutiny that they will receive (not only from the ‘weak ties’ established between fair-weather Facebook friends, but from intelligence agencies and corporate power).

This conference examines the ways in which mediated identity is constructed and monitored, which can encompass the circulation of communal identity, the reproduction of gendered personas, and the role of state and corporate formations in the segmentation of individuals through their political allegiance and ‘lifestyle’ choices. It also engages with recent revelations that describe the attempted manipulation of opinion and electoral preferences, and the rise of forms of surveillance designed to pre-empt the supposed ‘radicalisation’ of disaffected groups. 

Papers may include, but need not be confined, to the following:
Workplace surveillance and forms of resistance
Corporate surveillance of the consumer-citizen
Self-promotion in the digital ‘marketplace’
Histories of surveillance
Counter-surveillance and political consciousness
Protest events and policing
‘Securitisation’ and public insecurity
The contested identity of the ‘refugee’
Feminist identities and politics 
Collective identities and ‘cultural’ resistance
Online rumour and state intervention

Confirmed speakers from the Media Discourse Centre (panel keynotes in italics):
Electronic Music Collectives (Zoe Armour)
‘Breaking’ Cambridge Analytica (Alice Gibbs)
Surveillance and political identity (Ben Harbisher)
Greece & Cyprus: Political Agency, Identity and Gender (Nayia Kamenou)
Online Feminist Identities (Claire Sedgwick)
Iraq: Gender and Online Identity (Ahmed Bahiya)
UK: Child sexual abuse, surveillance, control (Jason Lee)
Identity Process Theory (Rusi Jaspal)
Brazil: Collective identity and resistance (Fernanda Amaral)
China: Misinformation and mistrust: rumours on Chinese social media (Yu Sui)
Italy: Autonomy, Surveillance and Power (Marco Checci)
Sociopolitical digital heritage in Israel-Palestine (Gil Pasternak)
Spain: Leftism, Nationalism and Identity (Stuart Price)
Identity, Class and Intergenerational Change (Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu)
UK R10 Studio: Surveillance, Re-appropriated Post War Technologies and Evotronics (Paul Mazzitelli)

JOURNAL INFORMATION - IJMD to launch in 2019:
Journal Launch: IJMD, 2019, International Journal of Media Discourse

Brief overview: The IJMD is devoted to the peer-reviewed, open-access publication of critically-informed research, focussed on the role of discourse in the material/symbolic constitution of the contemporary social order. This goal does not mean that a specific methodological or political position is preferred, nor should it suggest that the Journal is restricted to the analysis of political, as opposed to cultural events. Media Discourse is understood, therefore, as a broad category of ‘value-laden’ practices, animated and circulated by institutions, platforms, workers, ‘publics’ and other formations, rather than as a distinct mode of communication that subjects other social forces to its own agenda.
IJMD also maintains (as the title suggests!) a decidedly International focus, inviting contributions from academics who consider themselves part, not only of a ‘global’ academy, but of a wider political and social constituency. This trans-national group is composed of citizens, journalists, academics, activists, and any others whose primary concern is the pursuit of social justice. A serious engagement with the challenges of the current period must take into account the various manifestations of sociopolitical activity, based on an understanding of class, gender, ethnicity, and other forms of subaltern identity. In other words, IJMD encourages the submission of research that interrogates the iniquities and myths perpetuated by the cheerleaders of patriarchal capitalism, as well as the resistive practices of those subjected to its power.

In sum, IJMD provides an interdisciplinary forum for the generation of new insights into the contested production of public meaning. The Editors are particularly interested in the intersection between empirical and theoretical work, in which an author is able to suggest advances within (or beyond) a particular field, tradition or mode of enquiry, by offering evidence from interviews, participant observation, social media surveys, data analysis, or other forms of enquiry. This does not, however, preclude the submission of material (such as an extended essay) that tries to advance academic thought by engaging with contemporary developments in theory.

(Editors: Ruth Sanz Sabido, CCCU; Ben Harbisher, DMU; Stuart Price, DMU)

August 17, 2018

Orbach and Huang on Con Men and Their Enablers

Barak Orbach, University of Arizona, and Lindsey Huang, Perkins Coie, LLP, are publishing Con Men and Their Enablers: The Anatomy of Confidence Games in Social Research: An International Quarterly (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
President Trump’s philosophy for life, business, and politics prescribes the use of “leverage,” “truthful hyperbole,” and “play[ing] to people’s fantasies” to advance zero-sum deals. Many people believe that this philosophy made Trump a successful businessman and the greatest dealmaker in history. Many others believe that, by following this philosophy, Mr. Trump has proven that, with the aid of fixers and other enablers, a con man might escape the rule of law for decades, successfully use confidence schemes in a presidential campaign, and continue using confidence schemes in the Oval Office. We examine why people often disagree about what profit-seeking actions constitute unethical confidence games and about how the legal system should address cons. Con schemes have characteristics of both trade and fraud. Like trade, cons are voluntary exchanges, and, like fraud, cons are voluntary exchanges induced by misleading representations. Fundamentally, cons further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial. They benefit con men at the expense of their victims. We study the anatomy of confidence games and legal strategies that may reduce the social costs of cons. We argue that the present understanding of cons, as reflected through our legal system, political debates, and the literature, is impaired and that the prevalence of cons warrants greater attention of lawmakers, courts, and scholars.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

August 15, 2018

Chacon and Jensen on Direct Democracy, Constitutional Reform, and Political Inequality in Post-Colonial America

Mario Chacon and Jeff I. Jensen, both of New York University Abu Dhabi, have published Direct Democracy, Constitutional Reform, and Political Inequality in Post-Colonial America. Here is the abstract.
The ratification of constitutional changes via referendum is an important mechanism for constraining the influence of elites, particularly when representative institutions are biased. While this constitutional mechanism is commonly employed, its use is far from universal. We investigate the determinants of mandatory constitutional referendums by examining the divergence between Northern and Southern U.S. states in the early 19th century. We first explore why states in both regions adopted constitutional conventions as the mechanism for making revisions to fundamental law, but why only Northern states adopted the additional requirement of ratifying via referendum. We argue that due to distortions in state-level representation, Southern elites adopted a norm of discretionary referendums as a mechanism for protecting slave interests. We support our argument with both qualitative and quantitative evidence, including an analysis of votes from various Southern conventions in 1861 on whether to condition secession from the Union on receiving popular ratification.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Frye on the Ballard of Harry James Tomkins @brianlfrye

Brian L. Frye, University of Kentucky College of Law, is publishing The Ballad of Harry James Tompkins in the Akron Law Review. Here is the abstract.
On July 27, 1934, Harry James Tompkins lost his arm, supposedly when an unsecured refrigerator car door on a train operated by the Erie Railroad Company hit him in the head. Tompkins won in a $30,000 judgment in federal court, but in Erie v. Tompkins (1938), the United States Supreme Court famously reversed, holding that federal courts sitting in diversity must apply state substantive law, not federal "general common law." While many scholars have studied Erie v. Tompkins, few have studied the facts of the case, and none have questioned Tompkins's account. This article argues that Tompkins and his witnesses were not telling the truth.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

August 14, 2018

New From Hart Publishing: Sedley on Law and the Whirligig of Time @hartpublishing

New from Hart Publishing: Stephen Sedley, Law and the Whirligig of Time (Hart Publishing, 2018).
For over 30 years, first as a QC, then as a judge, and latterly as a visiting professor of law at Oxford, Stephen Sedley has written and lectured about aspects of the law that do not always get the attention they deserve. His first anthology of essays, Ashes and Sparks, was praised in the New York Times by Ian McEwan for its 'exquisite, finely balanced prose, the prickly humour, the knack of artful quotation and an astonishing historical grasp'. 'You could have no interest in the law,' McEwan wrote, 'and read his book for pure intellectual delight.' The present volume contains more recent articles by Stephen Sedley on the law, many of them from the London Review of Books, and lectures given to a variety of audiences. The first part is concerned with law as part of history - Feste's 'whirligig of time'; the second part with law and rights. The third part is a group of biographical and critical pieces on a number of figures from the legal and musical worlds. The final part is more personal, going back to the author's days at the bar, and then forward to some parting reflections.

Media of Law and the Whirligig of Time 

New From Hart Publishing: Monateri, Dominus Mundi: Political Sublime and the World Order @hartpublishing

New from Hart Publishing: Pier Giuseppe Monateri, Dominus Mundi: Political Sublime and the World Order (Hart Publishing (2018).
This monograph makes a seminal contribution to existing literature on the importance of Roman law in the development of political thought in Europe. In particular it examines the expression 'dominus mundi', following it through the texts of the medieval jurists – the Glossators and Post-Glossators – up to the political thought of Hobbes. Understanding the concept of dominus mundi sheds light on how medieval jurists understood ownership of individual things; it is more complex than it might seem; and this book investigates these complexities. The book also offers important new insights into Thomas Hobbes, especially with regard to the end of dominus mundi and the replacement by Leviathan. Finally, the book has important relevance for contemporary political theory. With fading of political diversity Monateri argues “that the actual setting of globalisation represents the reappearance of the Ghost of the Dominus Mundi, a political refoulé – repressed – a reappearance of its sublime nature, and a struggle to restore its universal legitimacy, and take its place.” In making this argument, the book adds an important original vision to current debates in legal and political philosophy.
Media of Dominus Mundi

New From Hart Publishing: Blackstone and His Critics @hartpublishing

New from Hart Publishing: Blackstone and His Critics (Anthony Page and Wilfrid Prest, eds., 2018).
William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69) is perhaps the most elegant and influential legal text in the history of the common law. By one estimate, Blackstone has been cited well over 10,000 times in American judicial opinions alone. Prominent in recent reassessment of Blackstone and his works, Wilfrid Prest also convened the Adelaide symposia which have now generated two collections of essays: Blackstone and his Commentaries: Biography, Law, History (2009), and Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts (2014). This third collection focuses on Blackstone's critics and detractors. Leading scholars examine the initial reception of the Commentaries in the context of debates over law, religion and politics in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland. Having shown Blackstone's volumes to be a contested work of the Enlightenment, the remaining chapters assess critical responses to Blackstone on family law, the status of women and legal education in Britain and America. While Blackstone and his Commentaries have been widely lauded and memorialised in marble, this volume highlights the extent to which they have also attracted censure, controversy and disparagement.

 Media of Blackstone and His Critics

CFP: Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory

The 11th Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory has issued its CFP. This year the theme is Facts, Law, and Critique. The Forum will take place December 4 and 5, 2018 at Melbourne Law School. Here's a link to click for more information. Abstracts are due by September 5, 2018.

August 9, 2018

The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (edited by Markus Dubber and Christopher Tomlins): New From @OxUniPress @MarkusDubber @ArsScripta

New from Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (Markus D. Dubber and Christopher Tomlins, 2018) (Oxford Handbooks in Law). Here from the publisher's website is the description of the book's contents.
Some of the most exciting and innovative legal scholarship has been driven by historical curiosity. Legal history today comes in a fascinating array of shapes and sizes, from microhistory to global intellectual history. Legal history has expanded beyond traditional parochial boundaries to become increasingly international and comparative in scope and orientation. Drawing on scholarship from around the world, and representing a variety of methodological approaches, areas of expertise, and research agendas, this timely compendium takes stock of legal history and methodology and reflects on the various modes of the historical analysis of law, past, present, and future. Part I explores the relationship between legal history and other disciplinary perspectives including economic, philosophical, comparative, literary, and rhetorical analysis of law. Part II considers various approaches to legal history, including legal history as doctrinal, intellectual, or social history. Part III focuses on the interrelation between legal history and jurisprudence by investigating the role and conception of historical inquiry in various models, schools, and movements of legal thought. Part IV traces the place and pursuit of historical analysis in various legal systems and traditions across time, cultures, and space. Finally, Part V narrows the Handbook>'s focus to explore several examples of legal history in action, including its use in various legal doctrinal contexts.

Cover for 

The Oxford Handbook of Legal History


Batlan on the Gendered Origins of the Practice of Immigration Law, 1907-1940 @ChicagoKentLaw

Felice Batlan, Chicago-Kent College of Law, has published Deja Vu and the Gendered Origins of the Practice of Immigration Law, 1907-1940. Here is the abstract.
Donald Trump’s administration has provoked crisis after crisis regarding the United States’ immigration policy, laws, and their enforcement. This has drastically affected millions of immigrants in the U.S. and those hoping to immigrate. Stemming from this, immigration lawyers and immigrant advocacy organizations are challenging such policies and providing an extraordinary amount of direct pro bono legal services to immigrants in need. Yet the history of the practice of immigration law has been largely understudied. This article seeks to address this history by closely examining Chicago’s Immigrants’ Protective League between 1910 and 1940. The League provided free counsel to tens of thousands of poor immigrants facing a multitude of immigration-related legal issues during a time when Congress passed increasingly strict immigration laws often spawned by xenophobia and racism. The League, always headed by women social workers, created a robust model of immigration advocacy. Overtime, it combined the everyday legal representation of immigrants, the production of social science research and scholarship about immigration and immigrants, the lobbying of immigration officials and the federal government for better and less restrictive immigration laws, and the provision of a variety of social services to immigrants. It also did so during an era when only a handful of women were professionally trained lawyers. A close and thick reading of the League’s archival documents, manifests how the events of Trump’s immigration policies have a long and painful history. U.S. immigration law and its enforcement have consistently been cruel, inhumane, arbitrary, and capricious. Told from the ground up and focusing upon the day-to-day problems that immigrants brought to the League, one dramatically sees how immigration laws and practices were (and still are) like quicksand – changing and unstable— thwarting the legitimate expectations of migrants, at times, leaving people in a legal limbo, and at other times, destroying lives. The League, in response, participated in creating what would become the practice of immigration law. In doing so, it continually engaged in legal improvisation as it quickly responded to changing laws, rules, policies, and the needs of those trying to immigrate.
The full text is not available for download from SSRN.

August 8, 2018

Weisberg on Cardozo's "Law and Literature": A Guide To His Judicial Writing Style

Richard Weisberg, Cardozo School of Law, has published Cardozo's 'Law and Literature': A Guide to His Judicial Writing Style at 34 Touro Law Rev. 349 (2018). Here is the abstract.
Weisberg traces Judge Cardozo's advice about legal writing to the famous 1925 essay LAW AND LITERATURE and applies it to the judicial opinions and other published works of Cardozo and various other judges.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

August 7, 2018

Law, Not Poetry @BarbaraRich_law @Medium

Barbara Rich explains how she became a lawyer, not a poet. Here, for Medium.

CFP: Law, Literature, and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950, University of Sheffield, April 11-13, 2019 @sheffielduni @thomgiddens

Call For Papers: ‘Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950’, University of Sheffield, 11-13 April, 2019.


Ravit Reichman (Brown University)
Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex)
Victoria Stewart (University of Leicester)

Call For Papers:

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 Katherine Ebury by 28th November 2018.

August 6, 2018

New From Routledge: Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture @routledgebooks @thomgiddens

New from Routledge: Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: From Crime Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters (Ashley Pearson, Thomas Giddens, and Kieran Tranter, eds., 2018). Here's a description of the book's contents.

In a world of globalised media, Japanese popular culture has become a significant fountainhead for images, narrative, artefacts, and identity. From Pikachu, to instantly identifiable manga memes, to the darkness of adult anime, and the hyper-consumerism of product tie- ins, Japan has bequeathed to a globalised world a rich variety of ways to imagine, communicate, and interrogate tradition and change, the self, and the technological future. Within these foci, questions of law have often not been far from the surface: the crime and justice of Astro Boy; the property and contract of Pokémon; the ecological justice of Nausicaä; Shinto’s focus on order and balance; and the anxieties of origins in J- horror. This volume brings together a range of global scholars to reflect on and critically engage with the place of law and justice in Japan’s popular cultural legacy. It explores not only the global impact of this legacy, but what the images, games, narratives, and artefacts that comprise it reveal about law, humanity, justice, and authority in the twenty-first century. 

 Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: From Crime Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters (Hardback) book cover
e twenty-first century.

August 5, 2018

Domingo on Contardo Ferrini: A Contemplative Legal Historian

Rafael Domingo, Emory University School of Law; University of Navarra School of Law, is publishing Contardo Ferrini (1859–1902): A Contemplative Legal Historian in Great Christian Jurists in Italian History (Orazio Condorelli and Rafael Domingo eds., Cambridge University Press, 2020) (forthcoming).
A scholar of great originality and deep spirituality, Contardo Ferrini belonged to an outstanding generation of Italian legal historians of Antiquity, who brought to prominence the studies of Roman law just after the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy (1861). Moved by a patriotic feeling and scientific enthusiasm, they tried to wrest intellectual supremacy from Germany. In addition to Ferrini, the most influential representatives of this select group included Vittorio Scialoja, Carlo Fadda, Silvio Perozzi, Salvatore Riccobono, and Pietro Bonfante. Although Scialoja, not Ferrini, was the leader of the group, Ferrini was a very prominent member of it, the most distinguished expert in Roman Byzantine law and criminal law, and probably the one who more properly embodied the notion of Christian jurist. Ferrini lived in a time of strong tensions between church and state due to the Roman question. He was a forerunner of the theology of the universal call to holiness, deeply developed decades later by the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), and he contributed to linking Christian love, especially for the poor, with the flourishing of human science.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.