08 December 2014

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: "Tracing an Outline of Legal Complexity"

From: Ratio Juris, Vol. 27, Issue 4, pp. 477-495, 2014 (click here to buy this article from SSRN)
by: TOM WEBBLancaster University Law School
Email: t.webb@lancaster.ac.uk
Autopoiesis and systems theory are terms often treated as synonymous by lawyers. This sleightofphrase elides the space between autopoiesis and systems theory, removing its content. Within this eliminated space there exist numerous understandings of systems approaches in law; one such understanding is complexity theory. Complexity theory entails a very different systems view of law to that of autopoiesis. In this paper I explore the concepts of complexity and their relevance to law. In tracing an outline of complexity, a number of contradictions, paradoxes, and additional questions are exposed which require further detailed analysis in the future.

JURIS DIVERSITAS (BOOK): Palmer, Mattar, and Koppel (eds) on Mixed Legal Systems, East and West


Advance publication information is now available on an

Vernon Valentine Palmer,
Mohamed Y Mattar, and Anna Koppel (eds),

Mixed Legal Systems, East and WestAdvancing legal scholarship in the area of mixed legal systems, as well as comparative law more generally, this book expands the comparative study of the world’s legal families to those of jurisdictions containing not only mixtures of common and civil law, but also to those mixing Islamic and/or traditional legal systems with those derived from common and/or civil law traditions.

With contributions from leading experts in their fields, the book takes us far beyond the usual focus of comparative law with analysis of a broad range of countries, including relatively neglected and under-researched areas. The discussion is situated within the broader context of the ongoing development and evolution of mixed legal systems against the continuing tides of globalization on the one hand, and on the other hand the emergence of Islamic governments in some parts of the Middle East, the calls for a legal status for Islamic law in some European countries , and the increasing focus on traditional and customary norms of governance in post-colonial contexts. 

This book will be an invaluable source for students and researchers working in the areas of comparative law, legal pluralism, the evolution of mixed legal systems, and the impact of colonialism on contemporary legal systems. It will also be an important resource for policy-makers and analysts.

Advance reviews include the following:

‘Globalization is leading to the convergence of legal systems and traditions - from all across the world. Helping us to understand what the future of the law may look like, this book presents findings from those living legal laboratories - the “Mixed Legal Systems”. The book presents findings from the usual civil/common law mixed systems and the non-western, religious and philosophical-based legal systems. Such a comprehensive approach provides the reader with a sophisticated appreciation of the real mixing that is taking place and consequently provides a better feel for what might be the future of the law on Earth.’
Colin Picker, the University of New South Wales, Australia

‘Many of the legal systems discussed in the present volume have not been the subject of academic analysis in the past, and in that sense, it constitutes an original and refreshing contribution to the history and jurisprudence of mixed legal systems. The focus on the indigenous, customary and religious systems of the East, with special emphasis on Islamic law, is highly relevant to contemporary developments all over the world as the legal boundaries between West and East shift, and mixed systems become more prevalent. This book provides an indispensable guide to what is rapidly becoming one of the most important fields in this branch of comparative legal studies.’
Tamar Gidron, The College of Management Academic Studies, Israel

JURIS DIVERSITAS: Ashgate Publishing - Special offer to Juris Diversitas members

Ashgate Publishing - Special offer to Juris Diversitas members

In addition to hosting our book series and a partner page, Ashgate Publishing is delighted to offer members of Juris Diversitas a special discount of 20% on all Ashgate’s titles. 

How to claim your Ashgate discount.

03 December 2014

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: The Evolution of Law and the State in Europe

A new book from Hart Publishing by Spyridon Flogaitis. Click here to buy this title.

Most books about public power and the state deal with their subject from the point of view of legal theory, sociology or political science. This book, without claiming to deliver a comprehensive theory of law and state, aims to inform by offering a fresh reading of history and institutions, particularly as they have developed in continental Europe and European political and legal science. Drawing on a remarkably wide range of sources from both Western and Eastern Europe, the author suggests that only by knowing the history of the state, and state administration since the twelfth century, can we begin to comprehend the continuing importance of the state and public powers in modern Europe. In an era of globalization, when the importance of international law and institutions frequently lead to the claim that the state either no longer exists or no longer matters, the truth is in fact more complex. We now live in an era where the balance is shifting away from the struggle to build states based on democratic values, towards fundamental values existing above and beyond the borders of nations and states, under the watchful gaze of judges bound by the rule of law.

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: The law of superheroes

An intriguing and entertaining look at how America’s legal system would work using the world of comic books.

The dynamic duo behind the popular website LawAndTheMultiverse.com breaks down even the most advanced legal concepts for every self-proclaimed nerd.

James Daily and Ryan Davidson—attorneys by day and comic enthusiasts all of the time—have clearly found their vocation, exploring the hypothetical legal ramifications of comic book tropes, characters, and powers down to the most deliciously trivial detail.

The Law of Superheroes asks and answers crucial speculative questions about everything from constitutional law and criminal procedure to taxation, intellectual property, and torts, including:
  • Could Superman sue if someone exposed his true identity as Clark Kent?
  • Are members of the Legion of Doom vulnerable to prosecution under RICO?
  • Do the heirs of a superhero who comes back from the dead get to keep their inherited property after their loved one is resurrected?
  • Does it constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” to sentence an immortal like Apocalypse to life in prison without the possibility of parole?
Engaging, accessible, and teaching readers about the law through fun hypotheticals, The Law of Superheroes is a must-have for legal experts, comic nerds, and anyone who will ever be called upon to practice law in the comic multiverse.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 25 YEARS AFTER THE TRANSFORMATION - LAW AND LEGAL CULTURE IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BETWEEN CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY

Deadline: 31 December 2014
Quarter of a century ago, attheturn of 1989 and 1990, Central and Eastern Europe - then known as the ‘Soviet bloc’ - experienced an unprecedented socio-economic and political transformation. The hitherto existing system, known as ‘Actually Existing Socialism’, crumbled, and countries of the region started a transition towards a capitalist market economy and a political democracy.
The aim of the conference is to focus on the socio-legal aspects of the transformation. Whilst some areas, such as lustration and transitional justice, have been already thoroughly researched, others such as the impact of transformation upon private law, procedural law or general administrative law still remain to be analysed in more detail. In particular, an aspect which is generally neglected in contemporary scholarship are so-called ‘legal survivals’ of the socialist period, that is those legal institutions which have not been removed after transformation but still remain in place. Furthermore, some scholars argue that there is a strong continuity in legal culture, such as attitudes of judges and scholars to legal interpretation or generally held views on the place of law in society. Our aim is to invite a broad outlook upon the socio-legal aspects of transformation, including the role of law in the transformation of social conciousness, the construction of collective identities and the framing of social dialogue.

The conference will take place at the Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic), on 16-17.4.2015. 
Click here for the full text of this call.

02 December 2014

CALLS FOR PAPERS - BACK-TO-BACK CONFERENCES: Juris Diversitas (2-4 June 2015) and Irish Society of Comparative Law (5-6 June 2015)

NOTE: CALLS FOR PAPERS

The Juris Diversitas and Irish Society of Comparative Law annual conferences will be hosted back-to-back at the School of Law of the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland.

The theme of the former is ‘The State and/of Comparative Law’; the theme of the latter is ‘Comparative Law: From Antiquity to Modernity’.

See the links here and here.

01 December 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS: The State and/of Comparative Law - Juris Diversitas Conference (2-4 June 2015 - Limerick, Ireland)

CALL FOR PAPERS
ANNUAL CONFERENCE  
2-4 June 2015
School of Law, University of Limerick
Limerick, Ireland

THE STATE AND/OF COMPARATIVE LAW

While any proposal on comparative law (broadly conceived) will be considered, the conference’s primary theme is the relationship between social and legal norms and social and legal institutions. In memory of Roderick A Macdonald (1948-2014) and H Patrick Glenn (1940-2014), both former members of our Advisory Council, particular attention will be given to the diverse themes of their scholarship: for example, ‘common laws’, ‘constitutive polyjurality’, ‘critical legal pluralism’, ‘everyday law’, and ‘legal cosmopolitanism’.

As with our past conferences, proposals on a wide variety of topics will be accepted: comparative jurisprudence and legislation, legal philosophy, legal education, law reform, etc. Presentations may be theoretical analyses or case studies on the past or present, North or South, East or West ….

Panel proposals and interdisciplinary presentations are strongly encouraged, as is the participation of doctoral students and scholars from outside of the discipline of law. While parallel sessions of three twenty-minute presentations will be used, we welcome more original session structures.

Proposals should be in English or French. Proposals of c250 words (or 1000 words for panel proposals) should be submitted to Olivier Moréteau at moreteau@lsu.edu by 15 January 2015, with a short biography or resume (c250 words). Please send Word documents only, with minimal formatting.

Registration fees are €200 (€125 for Juris Diversitas members paid up for 2015). Membership and fee payment information is available on the Juris Diversitas Blog (http://jurisdiversitas.blogspot.ie/). Note that fees don’t cover travel, accommodation, or the conference dinner (€50).

28 November 2014

BOOK: Duve (ed) on Entanglements in Legal History: Conceptual Approaches

I'm delighted to announce the publication of Thomas Duve (ed), Entanglements in Legal History: Conceptual Approaches

The book is the first on a new series--Global Perspectives on Legal History 1--from the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History. It's free online here and available in Print on Demand. 

And for those interested, it includes my 'Entangled up in Red, White, and Blue: Spanish West Florida and the American Territory of Orleans, 1803–1810':

Legal History presents a broad panorama of historical processes that trigger theoretical reflections on legal transfers and legal transplants and on the problem of the reception and assimilation laws and other modes of normativity. In this volume, legal historians across the globe reflect on their analytical traditions and present case studies in order to discuss how entangled histories of law can be understood, analyzed and written.

In the first section of this volume, ‘Traditions of Transnational Legal History’, the authors revisit specific achievements and shortcomings of legal historical research against the backdrop of postcolonial and global studies. Reflections on our own disciplinary traditions that reveal the path-dependencies include critical accounts on the tradition of ‘European Legal History’,‘Codification history’, the emergence of ‘Hindu Law’, and the methodological aspects of Comparative Law.

The four articles in the second section, ‘Empires and Law’, showcase entangled legal histories forged in imperial spaces, for instance, through treaties concluded in the spheres of influence of ancient Roman Empire, which in this instance is analyzed as a process of ‘narrative transculturation’. Analogously, transnational institutions adjudicating merchant-disputes in the Early Modern Spanish Empire and normative frameworks constructed in a multilingual space shortly after its decline are analyzed as ‘diffusion and hybridization’. And finally, the spotlight is cast on the so-called ‘craftsmen of transfer’ and the bureaucrats that took practical comparative law as the basis to design the German colonial law.

In the third section, ‘Analyzing transnational law and legal scholarship in 19th and early 20th century’, seven case studies offer theoretical reflections about entangled legal histories. The discussions range from civil law codifications in Latin America as ‘reception’ or ‘normative transfers’, entangled histories of constitutionalism as ‘translations’ and ‘legal transfer’, formation of transnational legal orders in 19th century International Law and the International Law on state bankruptcies to the impact of transnational legal scholarship on criminology. All articles engage in methodological reflections and discussions about their concrete application in legal historical research.



25 November 2014

JURIS DIVERSITAS BOOK SERIES UPDATE: Farran, Gallen, Hendry, and Rautenbach (eds), The Diffusion of Law is added to 2015 Titles


Juris Diversitas is proud to have a book series with Ashgate Publishing (we're also a Publishing Partner): 

Rooted in comparative law, the Juris Diversitas Series focuses on the interdisciplinary study of legal and normative mixtures and movements. Our interest is in comparison broadly conceived, extending beyond law narrowly understood to related fields. Titles might be geographical or temporal comparisons. They could focus on theory and methodology, substantive law, or legal cultures. They could investigate official or unofficial ‘legalities’, past and present and around the world. And, to effectively cross spatial, temporal, and normative boundaries, inter- and multi-disciplinary research is particularly welcome. 
Concepts of Law

The series currently includes:

Launches of these titles will be announced soon.

Among other titles, the following are due in 2015:
    A Study of Mixed Legal Systems: Endangered, Entrenched or BlendedWhile we anticipate publishing future collections (original, conference-based, Festschriften, etc), we're also very interested in publishing monographs and student texts. 

    Note that selected volumes are also provided free with membership.

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