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CfP: Criminalising Violent Pasts: Multiple Roots and Forgotten Pathways 1950s-2010s (London South Bank University, 15-16 November 2018)

Over the last half century, discourses and practices connected to the idea that violent or dictatorial pasts should be marked as criminal have proliferated. A variety of actors – from victims groups to social movements, to expert groups such as lawyers, museums specialists and even economists – have contributed to the emergence and circulation of…

Críticas 2: Doing Critical Legal Theory in Latin America, Workshop Birkbeck, 28 April 2018

Sat 28 April 2018: 10:00 – 17:30 BST Room 153, Birkbeck, University Of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom Register Here Latin American critical legal theory still remains as the most creative and interesting scholarship for many different motives. Possibly the main reason is that it has always been directed to understanding (or placing) critique in a…

The Proposed Amendment to the South African Constitution: Finishing the Unfinished Business of Decolonisation?

On 27 February 2018, an overwhelming majority of members of South Africa’s National Assembly adopted a motion to begin the process of amending the ‘property clause’ in the constitution. Given the befuddled nature of the present clause, the proposed amendment seeks to clarify and simplify the powers of a hitherto pro-market and thus lackadaisical state…

On Corbyn, Antisemitism and Things Jewish

Yet another episode in the story of Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitism. This time from 2012, in expressed support for a graffiti artist’s free speech rights after the artist’s painting of white bankers playing monopoly on the backs of the globe’s dispossessed was declared offensive for its racist caricatures of Jews. And as others have said, this…

CfP: Searching for Critical Environmental Law, Workshop Oxford 11 May 2018

Searching for Critical Environmental Law: Theories, Methods, Critiques Call for Papers, Workshop, May 11, 2018 in Oxford Co-organized by Andreas Kotsakis, Oxford Brookes University & Vito De Lucia, UiT Arctic University of Norway   The field of critical environmental law has yet to develop any consistent self-awareness as a set of problematisations, methods and theories of either…

UCU Strike Action – Open Letter

We the undersigned, Call on the UCU national leadership to reconsider its position reached in ACAS negotiations with UUK on the 12th March 2018. The current agreement kicks a serious solution to the pension dispute in the long grass, committing to a three year process of re-evaluation. It further does so at the very moment…

Crises of Constitutionality

A Marxist problematization of the concept of constitutional crisis. Originally published by Legal Form. Republished by permission. What is a constitutional crisis? Can a diverse array of observed phenomena — such as the slow-motion coup in Brazil, the legal and jurisprudential uncertainty that will attend any possible Brexit, or the attempts to consolidate ethnically and religiously…

Giorgio Agamben: Oath

Key Concept Today, the oath seems to us obscure and obsolete. As an enigmatic relic of earlier times, it invokes the authority of sacred and supernatural powers that go beyond the scope of human capabilities, and by doing so it realizes its aim—namely, truth-telling. Since these powers are no longer as effective as they used…

CfP: Towards Gender Equality: Clashes in Law Conference, Sussex 22 June 2018

School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex 22 June 2018 Call for Papers Abstract submission deadline 6 April 2018 The event webpage:  http://www.sussex.ac.uk/law/research/towards_gender_equality Clashes between progressive and restrictive legislative reforms in the context of gender equality remain a characteristic of contemporary politics. We observe the first form of these clashes between domestic and…

Demands Against the Long Crisis of the University

Next week the UCU (University and Colleges Union), which represents most people working as lecturers and researchers in universities, is beginning a wave of strikes. The strike is about cuts to pensions. Since there is a large financial hole in the main pension fund, the bodies that administrate that fund are hoping to lessen it…

CfP: The Uses and Futures of Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, Kent 15 June 2018

Call for Participation (PhD students in all disciplines) A one-day Conference at the University of Kent, Canterbury 15th June 2018 http://ils2018.weebly.com/ Kent Law School is proud to launch and host the inaugural Interdisciplinary Legal Studies (ILS) Network and bi-annual Conference. The inaugural postgraduate research conference titled The Uses and Futures of Interdisciplinary Legal Studies aims…

Safe Spaces for Colonial Apologists

The recent controversies about Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar’s “Ethics and Empire” project and UK Universities Minister Jo Johnson’s attack on “safe space culture” have both been defended on freedom of speech grounds. However, they are better understood as retrenching colonial thinking in universities. Nigel Biggar’s research project proposes to take a cost-benefit analysis of British imperial…

Evgeny Pashukanis: Commodity-Form Theory of Law

Key Concept Whether one believes that law is provided by God (Natural Law), is created by human intellect (Positivism), a gendered institution perpetuating patriarchy (Feminism) or the maintainer of the status quo against marginalised groups (Critical Legal Studies), undergirding those beliefs is the assumption that law is autonomous. In its autonomy, law operates as an…

Martti Koskenniemi: Indeterminacy

Key Concept In From Apology to Utopia (1989), the Finnish jurist and former diplomat Martti Koskenniemi presents his thesis on international law’s fundamental indeterminacy. This would come to epitomize a critical moment in international law. Rather than repeat the classical legal view concerning “relative indeterminacy” (where, in some difficult but marginal cases there might not…

Is Fascism Making a Comeback? (Part II)

Continuing the reposted series from State of Nature, the question is whether Fascism is making a comeback? Laurence Davis Seventy-two years after the end of World War II, the spectre of fascism is again haunting the globe. The important questions we should be asking are why, and what can be done about it. The evidence…

Private Security: Twin Indignities

The privatisation of criminal justice practices is an affront to human dignity. When we are acted upon for profit as well as for justified ends, the proper link between coercion, rights, and authority is lost. Ministry of Justice proposals could mean that all collection of court fines — powers normally exercised by Civilian Enforcement Officers, employees…