May 29, 2020

West and Lithwick on The Paradox of Justice John Paul Stevens @sonjarwest @Dahlialithwick

Sonja West, University of Georgia School of Law, and Dahlia Lithwick are publishing The Paradox of Justice John Paul Stevens in volume 114 of the Northwestern University Law Review (2020). Here is the abstract.
In the days following Justice John Paul Stevens’s death last year, numerous tributes and remembrances immediately poured forth. Former clerks, journalists, and legal scholars all grasped for the perfect words to capture the man and the justice we had just lost. Yet many readers of these tributes and homages might have begun to wonder whether they were actually all talking about the same person. Because, taken together, the various portraits appeared to be full of contradictions. In one piece, for example, Justice Stevens is described as a frequent lone dissenter, while in another he is praised for his consensusbuilding leadership. For every tribute depicting him as a moderate around whom the Court shifted rightward, there seemed to be another painting him as a jurist who drifted leftward. He was a Republican yet also a liberal giant. He was deeply patriotic, while also a sharp critic of governmental institutions. So who was the real Justice Stevens? How can we possibly be expected to understand his legacy if we can’t even agree on the basic characteristics he embodied? Which of these portraits is correct? The answer is that they all are. If Justice Stevens were a multiple-choice test, the right answer to pretty much every question would likely be “all of the above.” He was, in so many ways and at so many times, both a thing and also the opposite of that thing. And the secret to understanding Justice Stevens’s legacy is to appreciate how his seemingly paradoxical nature was, in fact, his greatest strength.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 27, 2020

Fletcher on Anishinaabe Law and The Round House @MSULaw

Matthew L. M. Fletcher, Michigan State University College of Law, has published Anishinaabe Law and The Round House at 10 Albany Government Law Review 88 (2017). Here is the abstract.
This paper addresses the Indian country criminal justice system’s difficulties through the context of the Great Lakes Anishinaabeg’s traditional customs, traditions, and laws, and their modern treatment of crime. Louise Erdrich’s The Round House expertly captures the reality of crime and fear of crime in Anishinaabe Indian country, and offers a bleak view of the future of criminal justice absent serious reform in the near future.
Download the article from SSRN at the link or here from the journal's website.

May 26, 2020

Call For Concurrent Panel and Paper Proposals: 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law Online Meeting

New Updated Call for Concurrent Panel and Paper Proposals

2020 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law
Online Meeting

October 15-16, 2020

The American Society of Comparative Law, the leading organization in the United States promoting the comparative study of law, invites all interested scholars, practitioners and advanced degree students to consider submitting a panel or a paper proposal for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law entitled Comparative Legal History that will be held online between Thursday, October 15, and Friday, October 16, 2020. This meeting, which was to be held at Boston University on Oct. 15-Oct. 17, will now take place online on the Zoom meeting platform on Oct. 15-Oct. 16. This decision was made in consideration of various difficulties caused by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Comparative historical analysis is part of a long-standing tradition, prominent in political science, economics, and anthropology. Indeed, among the most influential social scientists of all time one finds a large number of scholars who have used the comparative-historical method. Legal scholars have also relied extensively on comparative historical analysis, producing a body of research that is impressive in depth and scope. However, there has been little dialogue between comparative law experts and historians. More generally, a systematic discussion of the methods and goals of comparative legal history is virtually absent. This omission is unfortunate because comparative historical analysis provides tools that are critical to the understanding of legal institutions and legal change. The comparison of legal ideas and institutions across time and space promises three distinctive benefits. First, comparative legal history has explanatory value, illuminating causal connections. Further, comparative legal history helps de-naturalize existing legal institutions. Finally, comparative legal history fosters legal innovation, delivering instructive and sometimes applicable lessons about the analytics of law or its implementation.
The Annual Meeting of the ASCL will have time slots for concurrent panels on Thursday, October 15, and/or Friday, October 16, 2020. Proposals will be considered on a variety of subjects on comparative legal history. The concurrent panels may also be on any comparative law topic even if different from the main topic of the 2020 Annual Meeting on comparative legal history and, as a way to foster multilingualism at the ASCL, may also be held in languages other than English.

The Annual Meeting Program Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law will select the panels that will be held at the meeting in consultation with Boston University School of Law. Panel proposals should include up to four speakers, a panel title, and a one-to-two-paragraph description of the ideas that the panel will explore. Due to the change to an online venue, we have changed the deadline for submissions. Panel and paper proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Thomas Price at
on or before July 15, 2020. Decisions regarding accepted panels will be made by the middle of August 2020.

Any questions about the paper or panel proposals should be addressed to Thomas Price at

May 22, 2020

Asgerisson on Authority, Communication, and Legal Content @hartpublishing

Hrafn Asgerisson, University of Surrey School of Law, is publishing Authority, Communication, and Legal Content in The Nature and Value of Vagueness in the Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2020). Here is the abstract.
Sample chapter from H. Asgeirsson, The Nature and Value of Vagueness in the Law (Hart Publishing, 2020), in which I present and partially defend a version of what has come to be called the communicative-content theory of law. Book abstract: Lawmaking is – paradigmatically – a type of speech act: people make law by saying things. It is natural to think, therefore, that the content of the law is determined by what lawmakers communicate. However, what they communicate is sometimes vague and, even when it is clear, the content itself is sometimes vague. The monograph examines the nature and consequences of these two linguistic sources of indeterminacy in the law with the aim of providing plausible answers to three related questions: In virtue of what is the law vague? What might be good about vague law? How should courts resolve cases of vagueness?
Download the chapter from SSRN at the link.

Schauer on Social Science and the Philosophy of Law @UVALaw

Frederick Schauer, University of Virginia School of Law, is publishing Social Science and the Philosophy of Law in Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Law (John Tasioulas, ed., Cambridge, 2020). Here is the abstract.
H.L.A. Hart’s description of his jurisprudential enterprise as an exercise in “descriptive sociology” raises important questions, questions going beyond Hartian exegesis, about the role of empirical social science in addressing jurisprudential questions. This entry focuses on the background empirical assumptions and conclusions in Hart’s own work, on the empirical dimensions of conceptual analysis, on the empirical challenges of legal pluralism, and on the empirical aspects of philosophical analysis of legal reasoning and legal compliance.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

May 21, 2020

Perry on Law's Boundaries

Adam Perry, University of Oxford Faculty of Law, is publishing Law's Boundaries in Legal Theory. Here is the abstract.
The norms of a legal system are relevant in deciding on what rights and duties people have within that system. But many norms which are not part of a legal system will also be relevant within it. These other norms may include the norms of foreign legal systems, games, clubs, contracts, grammar, arithmetic, unions, universities, and so on. What distinguishes norms which are part of a legal system (“local norms”) from norms merely relevant within it (“adopted norms”)? Where, in other words, are the law’s boundaries? There are three main answers in the literature. Matthew Kramer claims that adopted norms are under the control of non-local actors, whereas local norms are not. Scott Shapiro flips that idea on its head. Adopted norms are not created through the exercise of local powers, he says, whereas local norms are. Joseph Raz, meanwhile, distinguishes adopted and local norms based on the reasons officials have for relying on them. But there are obvious counterexamples to each of these answers. My own answer draws on a distinction in constitutional scholarship between direct and indirect relevance. Roughly, directly relevant norms suffice for some conclusion about people’s rights and duties. Indirectly relevant norms bear on the interpretation, applicability, or exact consequences of other norms. Whereas local norms are directly relevant, adopted norms are merely indirectly relevant. Thus, what distinguishes the two types of norms is the directness of their legal relevance. I conclude by showing that it makes a significant practical difference on which side of the boundary a norm falls.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Pozen and Samaha on Anti-Modalities @michlawreview

David Pozen, Columbia University Law School, and Adam M. Samaha, New York University School of Law, are publishing Anti-Modalities in the Michigan Law Review. Here is the abstract.
Constitutional argument runs on the rails of “modalities.” These are the accepted categories of reasoning used to make claims about the content of supreme law. Some of the modalities, such as ethical and prudential arguments, seem strikingly open-ended at first sight. Their contours come into clearer view, however, when we attend to the kinds of claims that are not made by constitutional interpreters — the analytical and rhetorical moves that are familiar in debates over public policy and political morality but are considered out of bounds in debates over constitutional meaning. In this Article, we seek to identify the “anti-modalities” of constitutional law and to investigate their implications. The anti-modalities both stabilize and undermine the modalities. On the one hand, they work in tandem to ensure that constitutional interpretation remains a distinctive legal enterprise. The two argument bundles are in this sense mutually reinforcing, even co-constitutive. On the other hand, by ruling out various important categories of reasoning — from general moral theory to emotional judgment to many cost-benefit calculations — the anti-modalities put continuous pressure on the modalities to accommodate such reasoning in adulterated forms, or else insist on a long distance between the inputs into supreme law and the concerns that most people care about. We call this distance constitutional law’s “resonance gap.” Such a gap arises in all areas of law, but it is especially pronounced in the constitutional realm. Although the anti-modalities play a critical role in preserving the law/politics distinction, they have deleterious consequences for each side of that line. The best response, this Article suggests, is not necessarily to narrow the resonance gap but rather to narrow the domain of constitutional law. If constitutional argument must exclude (or purport to exclude) vital modes of reasoning, we might worry less about refining its grammar and more about restricting its reach.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 20, 2020

ICYMI: Emerson on An Ode to the Missive-Writer of the Law Review Rejection

ICYMI: Warren Emerson, Savannah Law School, has published An Ode to the Missive-Writer of the Law Review Rejection. Here is the abstract.
Law and rejection go hand in hand. Litigators must explain to their clients why a claim failed and transaction attorneys describe why a deal fell through. Communicating failure has become a trade par excellence in the study of law. This short piece suggests that the rhetorical tradition of the love sonnet may be helpful in unpacking the mechanics of how communicating legal rejections can be improved. Drawing on exhaustive empirical study of the author’s personal law review rejection letter, for which the author has many, this short piece provides a detailed study of human cognitive emotions at the intersection of labor-based rejection.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Now Available: di Micco, Filho, and Magri, Circolazione, cessione, riciclaggio. Alcuni profili giuridici dell’arte e del suo mercato (Università degli Studi di Torino, 2020)

Newly published:

Domenico di Micco, Marcilio Franca Filho, e Geo Magri, Circolazione, cessione, riciclaggio. Alcuni profili giuridici dell’arte e del suo mercato (Università degli Studi di Torino, 2020) (Quaderni del Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza) Here is a description of the contents (in Italian).
Nella fluidità dello spazio globale, venuti meno i tratti classici delle dinamiche economiche, oggi più che mai l’arte si riscopre oggetto e soggetto del mercato. Così, i problemi legati alla peculiarità della sua circolazione, al suo essere un potenziale strumento nelle complesse dinamiche del riciclaggio internazionale nonché la previsione di specifici strumenti legislativi per incoraggiare la sua acquisizione da parte dei soggetti pubblici senza ricorrere alla mediazione del mercato, costituiscono di fatto un interessante “banco di prova” per il diritto e uno stimolante campo d’indagine per il giurista.
Full text available at the link.

Repost: Through a Glass Darkly: European History and Politics in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Proposals Due By May 31, 2020

Deadline Approaching: Proposals Due By May 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 18, 2020

Swain on Intoxication: Being "Without the Power To Drink Or Contract" @AuckLawSchool

Warren Swain, University of Auckland Faculty of Law, has published 'Without the Power to Drink or Contract' at 24 Edinburgh Law Review 26 (2020). Here is the abstract.
Intoxication as a ground to set aside a contract is not something that has proved to be easy for the law to regulate. This is perhaps not very surprising. Intoxication is a temporary condition of varying degrees of magnitude. Its presence does however raise questions of contractual autonomy and individual responsibility. Alcohol consumption is a common social activity and perceptions of intoxication and especially alcoholism have changed over time. Roman law is surprisingly quiet on the subject. In modern times the rules about intoxicated contracting in Scottish and English law is very similar. Rather more interestingly the law in these two jurisdictions has reached the current position in slightly different ways. This history can be traced through English Equity, the works of the Scottish Institutional writers, the rise of the Will Theory, and all leavened with a dose of judicial pragmatism.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Mignaneilli and Slinger on An Inquiry Into Confederate Symbolism and the Florida State Flag @nmignanelli

Nicholas Mignanelli and Sarah C. Slinger, both of the University of Miami School of Law, are publishing A Matter for Interpretation: An Inquiry into Confederate Symbolism and the Florida State Flag in the University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review (2020). Here is the abstract.
Are the red bars found on Florida’s state flag a remnant of early-twentieth-century nostalgia for the Confederacy? Who first proposed this design and why? What did this change mean to the citizens who witnessed it? This Article is an attempt to answer these questions by approaching them through the lenses of original intent and original meaning. In doing so, the Authors advance new strategies for decision-makers interested in uncovering the motives of those who first erected or affixed allegedly Confederate monuments and symbols.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Davis on [Classical] Lawyers as [Digital] Public Speakers: Classical Rhetoric and Lawyer Digital Public Commentary @MyLegWriting

Kirsten K. Davis, Stetson University College of Law, is publishing [Classical] Lawyers As [Digital] Public Speakers: Classical Rhetoric and Lawyer Digital Public Commentary in the Nevada Law Journal. Here is the abstract.
Arguably the contexts of speaking and writing for lawyers of ancient Greece and Rome and lawyers of today could not be more different. But, classical rhetorical theory, developed 2,000 years ago for face-to-face interactions in public squares and courtrooms, can be productively applied to improve our understanding of modern lawyers’ digital communication practices. This article first argues that lawyers have an ethical responsibility to write as “citizen lawyers” and provide legal commentary in the digital public sphere. Then, applying classical rhetorical theory, this article explores the problems and possibilities of lawyers’ digital rhetoric. The article is not a handbook of rhetorical techniques; rather it offers lawyers a rhetorical perspective on public commentary in a digital environment.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 14, 2020

New From Romatre Press: L’armonia nel diritto @RomaTrePress

Newly published: L’armonia nel diritto. Contributi a una riflessione su diritto e musica (Giorgio Resta, ed., Romatre Press, 2020.  Here from the publisher's website is a description of the book's contents (in Italian).
Questo volume indaga le relazioni intercorrenti tra diritto e musica, seguendo in particolare tre registri tematici: a) il diritto della musica; b) il diritto nella musica; c) la musica nel diritto.

More information available here at Jose Calvo Gonzalez's blog.

Perelman on A Bankruptcy History of the United States @yalesom

Mark Perelman, Yale School of Management, has published A Bankruptcy History of the United States. Here is the abstract.
Financial crises destroy value and radicalize the political sphere. Are these events random, idiosyncratic, or driven by some force? The ex-post answers — be they monetary, criminal, or international contagion — have a profound impact on the role of government in society, but have questionable predictive power. In the United States, only the Federal government can impair contracts across States through the bankruptcy process. The history of bankruptcy law is intertwined with that of crises and banking law, and, as we argue, is a consistent cause, accelerant, and reaction of financial crises.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 13, 2020

Barclay on The Historical Origins of Judicial Religious Exemptions @NotreDameLRev

Stephanie H. Barclay, BYU Law School, is publishing The Historical Origins of Judicial Religious Exemptions in the Notre Dame Law Review. Here is the abstract.
The Supreme Court has recently expressed a renewed interest in the question of when the Free Exercise Clause requires exemptions from generally applicable laws. While scholars have vigorously debated what the historical evidence has to say about this question, the conventional wisdom holds that judicially created exemptions would have been a new or extraordinary means of protecting religious exercise — a sea change in the American approach to judicial review when compared to the English common law. This Article, however, questions that assumption and looks at this question from a broader perspective. When one views judicial decisions through the lens of equitable interpretation, one finds historical evidence of widespread judicially created exemptions that have been hiding in plain sight. Indeed, the judiciary’s ability to modify statutes to cohere with higher law principles like constitutional rights was widely accepted in the early Republic. Though the judiciary did not always use modern language of exemptions, this was functionally what judges were doing on a large scale throughout the country and across a host of personal rights. The mode of analysis courts used to create these equitable exemptions also provides an important historical antecedent for modern strict scrutiny analysis. An understanding of wider historical judicial practices helps avoid the trend of treating free exercise judicial remedies as an island in the law, and it also provides additional support for an original understanding in favor of religious exemptions. Thus, contrary to the conventional view, this Article demonstrates that judicially created religious exemptions are well within our constitutional traditions of judicial review, and may have more historical support than the Court’s current approach.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 5, 2020

Altwicker on Justice Beyond Borders: Extraterritorial Obligations from Thucydides to Grotius

Tilmann Altwicker, University of Zurich, is publishing Justice Beyond Borders – Extraterritorial Obligations from Thucydides to Grotius in Rechtsphilosophie - Zeitschrift für die Grundlagen des Rechts (RphZ). Here is the abstract.
The article traces the problem of extraterritorial obligations in the early history of ideas, spanning from Thucydides to Grotius. Extraterritorial obligations are defined here as moral obligations of a legitimate authority to perform or not to perform an act vis-à-vis individuals who are not its subjects. The article shows that arguments about justice beyond the border rely on transnational conceptions of the common good. In the early history of ideas concerning extraterritorial obligations, the following questions were central: Can there be a transnational meaning of moral concepts? Are extraterritorial obligations merely negative obligations? Is the extraterritorial pursuit of state interests limited by higher-ranking principles? Under which circumstances is the extraterritorial use of force permitted in order to protect individuals?
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

May 4, 2020

Crowe on Natural Law and the Nature of Law @GCLP_Network @drjoncrowe

Jonathan Crowe, Bond University School of Law, has published Natural Law and the Nature of Law in a Nutshell at 44 Australasian Journal of Legal Philosophy 100 (2019). Here is the abstract.
This article forms part of a book symposium on Natural Law and the Nature of Law published in the Australasian Journal of Legal Philosophy. It introduces the central themes and arguments of the book and reflects on the continuing relevance of natural law ideas today.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

May 3, 2020

Call For Papers: Three Special Issues of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

Call For Papers, Three Special Issues


Guest Editors: Anne WAGNER, Aleksandra MATULEWSKA & Sarah MARUSEK

The 2020 pandemic of Covid-19 virus struck the globalized world unexpectedly, resulting in
the misleading predictions of fatalities information chaos and fake news. Aware of the
consequential impact of distortions and half-truths, the World Health Organization stresses
that societies suffer not only as a direct result of disease, social-distancing but also overabundance
of information that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and
reliable guidance. The spread of rumors and misinformation has been possible also due to the
prevalence of distance communication methods which enable publication of anything without
any limits or peer review as verification. Such pieces of news, if skillfully posted, may reach
enormous numbers of people causing harm and unpredictable consequences.

The important questions one may ask focus on the following topics:
1. Journalism ethics – in the light of the need to catch attention of readers numerous
journals start posting and publishing unverified and misleading materials,
2. The role of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tencent, Tiktok and
others in limiting or spreading misinformation,
3. Hate speech and cyberbullying connected with pandemic and its effects on society,
economy, politics, etc.
4. Cyberattacks connected with Covid-19 (Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,
WHO has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cyberattacks directed at its
staff, and email scams targeting the public at large, analogously platforms made
available to teachers and other sectors such as ZOOM have been hacked),
5. Ostracism directed at people who got infected and unconsciously spread the
disease onto others,
6. Legal means of combating fake news, hate speech, cyberbullying,
7. Stereotyping and deviant community creation as a result of stereotypes,
8. Image manipulation,
9. Other semiotic aspects of communication during pandemic,
10. Imaging China as the first country who detected the infected people,
11. Imaging other countries hit by the virus,
12. Imaging political parties involved in decision-making processes connected with
counteracting the pandemic,
13. Political discourse – modes of reporting infections, disease, asking for help,
solidarity, social distancing,
14. Imagining artistic means to express concern, solidarity and hope.
Our aims, with these 3 important Special Issues, are (1) to provide an international
interdisciplinary forum of thought in these scientific fields where linguistic and legal interests
converge, (2) to facilitate integration between linguists, semioticians, computer scientists,
medical experts and lawyers from all around the world, (3) to demonstrate a broader overview
of Covid-19 invading both our personal and professional spaces, and (4) to show the various
political, legal and medical measures put in place to combat this invisible scourge.

- 2 Special Issues for International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, each of which can
comprise 14 papers of no more than 30 pages.
- 1 Special Issue for Comparative Legilinguistics that can comprise 6 papers of no more
than 30 pages
We welcome submissions in English or French.
Send your proposal to the three of us:,, and

Deadline for abstract of 300 words: 10 December 2021
Decision for inclusion: 1 February 2022
Deadline for full paper: 15 March 2022 (instructions will be sent after decision to include
papers in the special issue)

ICYMI: Almog on From the Odyssey Onwards: Law's Long and Winding Road

ICYMI: Shulamit Almog, University of Haifa, has published From the Odyssey Onwards: Law’s Long and Winding Road at 32 Law & Literature 47 (2019). Here is the abstract.
This article seeks to introduce the Odyssey into the law and literature canon by delineating a continuum leading toward the generative legal narrative presented in the Oresteia, along the course of which the Odyssey is a significant milestone. As will be elaborated, the Odyssey presents a potent contemplation of reckoning, retribution, justice and public order. In the Oresteia, due to the convergence of poetic, performative, and sociopolitical factors, this contemplation evolves into a generative legal narrative. Both of these great works are meaningful stations on law's long and winding road.