Registration for the Critical Legal Conference 2018 at The Open University, Milton Keynes has been extended until midday on Tuesday 28th August 2018.

To ensure the CLC is a lively event this year, please register now via the conference webpage:

If you are a doctoral student and wish to attend the doctoral workshop on 5th September, please register for a free doctoral workshop ticket in addition to your main conference ticket.

Please do circulate this information among interested colleagues.

Best wishes

CLC2018 Committee

“I always thought eternity would look like Milton Keynes”

J G Ballard

For those new to the CLC, here’s some blurb (reproduced with slight amendments courtesy of the organisers of the CLC’s 2015 call for papers):

The Critical Legal Conference (CLC) – an annual gathering of critical and radical legal scholars from all over the world – was inaugurated in 1984 at the University of Kent. Since then, the CLC has been held every year, mainly in the UK, but also in South Africa, India, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands. The CLC, in contrast to mainstream conferences, is characterised by its informal spirit. As Costas Douzinas put it, it simply

has no officers or posts, chairpersons and secretaries, committees or delegates. It was and remains just a conference, an “inoperative community”, a broad church that lives for three days once a year and goes into abeyance once it is over.

Every year, the conference participants decide where to meet next time. Each conference has its Leitmotiv, the choice of which is left to the hosts. Recently, the main themes of CLCs included ‘Law, Space, and the Political’ (Wrocław 2015) ‘Power, Capital, Chaos’ (Brighton, 2014), ‘Reconciliation and Reconstruction’ (Belfast, 2013) and the ‘Gardens of Justice’ (Stockholm, 2012). This year the theme is ‘Regeneration’. The underlying idea of the CLC is that the annual theme, chosen by the hosts, is then interpreted in various ways in the form of ‘streams’, submitted at a first stage of organising the event. Once a list of streams is established, in a second stage individual papers are submitted directly to stream convenors. Then the hosts put together the programme of the entire conference, combining plenary sessions and parallel sessions in streams. It is also possible to submit papers directly to the hosts in order for them to be presented as part of the ‘general stream’.

As Costas Douzinas recalls,

Over the last forty years, the CLC has introduced a number of themes, approaches and strategies unknown or dismissed by mainstream scholarship. Semiotics, rhetoric, literature, aesthetics and psychoanalysis have helped create a much wider conception of legality of which state law is only one part. A variety of critical schools, such as postmodernism, phenomenology, postcolonialism, critical race, feminism, queer theory, art theory and history, the ethics of otherness, the ontology of plural singularity, the critique of biopolitics and post-politics have been pioneered in the CLC creating a new and stronger link between theory and practice. These conferences were the only academic venues in which such themes were discussed for many years before they became respectable and entered the mainstream.

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