In May 2015 the conference “Law’s Pluralities” will take place at Justus Liebig University Giessen/Germany 6-9 May 2015. In a series of keynote presentations by experts and in panel sessions and discussions, as well as in an exhibition it will explore the cultural construction of legal writing.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the culturally embedded quality of law has been accentuated by sociologists of law such as Eugen Ehrlich in his description of “living law.” Yet during the past few decades socio-legal studies have been joined by other culturist investigations of law such as law and the humanities, cultural studies of law, law and literature, law and semiotics, legal anthropology, law and visual culture, and law and film. These younger disciplines disavow law’s autonomy as a rational science and emphasize the imbrications of the legal with the visual, the narrative, the medial, and with aspects of the social including practices of domination. The conference investigates the ways in which these types of inquiries understand law as constituting a myriad of cultural practices. Further, “Law’s Pluralities” takes note of current alterations in European legal practices and attitudes towards law. Law’s increasing plurality, we hypothesize, is caused by the sometimes conflict-ridden integration of individual European legal systems and courts with EU legislation and the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights as well as by the increasing heterogeneity of members of individual legal cultures. Recent disputes about refugee law, social security benefits for migrants, the possible recourse to Sharia councils in family law matters, and homosexual marriage all attest to this uneasy plurality. Continue reading