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Law’s Pluralities ׀ Locations

The conference will take place at Justus Liebig University Giessen. Hauptgebäude (University Main Building), Ludwigstraße 23, 35390 Gießen.

The exhibition will be shown around the corner at “Neuer Kunstverein Giessen” Ecke Licher Str./Nahrungsberg, 35394 Gießen.

Law’s Pluralities ׀ Exhibition

06.05. – 24.05.2015 Exhibition at Neuer Kunstverein Giessen & during the conference at the Hauptgebäude of Liebig University (06.05. – 09.05.2015)

Il-Jin Choi ׀ Raul Gschrey ׀ Mi You ׀ Manu Luksch

The interrogation of the cultural construction and negotiation of legal practices in the conference „Law’s Pluralities“ offers an interesting occasion for the presentation of an exhibition of artistic works dealing with the topic. The international artistic positions reflect on the social and legal frameworks and find means to visualise phenomena that often remain abstract. Furthermore here the artistic interventions themselves contribute to the differentiation and development of “legal writing”. Through their explorations, contestations and subversions, they participate in an alternative production of knowledge and function as mediators of and shape legal practices. The exhibition will be located at the conference venue and in the close-by “Neuer Kunstverein Giessen ”, a local art association. This will expand the exhibition’s and conference’s reception towards a non-academic public open the discourse on the politically and socially relevant topic to a larger public. Continue reading

Law’s Pluralities ׀ Preliminary Programme ׀ Keynotes


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Download the booklet & schedule as PDF

 


Wednesday, 6 May


6:00 p.m. Opening and Greetings – Professor Ansgar Nünning Organizing Team

6:30 Greta Olson: “Mapping the Pluralist Character of Cultural Approaches to Law in Increasingly Pluralistic European Legal Cultures”

7:00 Franz Reimer: “Der kulturelle Zugang zum Recht aus der Perspektive der Rechtstheorie und Methodenlehre”

8:00 Reception and Visit to the Exhibition “Law’s Pluralities”
The artistic exhibition “Law’s Pluralities” will be held parallel to the academic discussions in the “Neuer Giessener Kunstverein”.


Thursday, 7 May


Session 1: Law’s Pluralities

9:00 a.m. Keynote 1: Rosemary J. Coombe: “Neoliberalism and the ‘Proprietary’ Imagination: A Proliferation of Cultures ‘Before the Law’”

Cultural goods are increasingly treated as resources under neoliberal practices of regulatory restructuring and the growing economic significance of informational capital in ‘knowledge economies’ supported by intellectual property and other newer legal regimes. Social collectivities face numerous pressures and incentives to represent and to recognize themselves as bearing unique cultures and stewarding valuable diversity. In international intellectual property deliberations, new regimes for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, and through the ‘biocultural turn’ in environmental conservation politics, newly capacitated ‘communities’ assume a proprietary relationship to an ever greater range of culturalised practices as they simultaneously make themselves legible and legitimate in new fields of political economy. These new forms of neoliberal governmentality, however, also provide new resources for rights-based social struggle in which new legal cultures are imagined and projected through a revitalization of ‘customary law’ as a normative framework for cultural governance. I will draw upon ethnographic examples from Europe, Japan and Latin America, to suggest that the relationship between the legal valuation of cultural goods and the heterogeneity of legal cultures is a dialectical one fueled by narratives of loss, belonging and responsibility.

Rosemary J. Coombe is the Tier One Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture, and teaches in the graduate programs in Sociolegal Studies and Anthropology at York University in Toronto.

10:00 Parallel German and Anglophone paper session I

a) Law’s Narratives I
Katrin Becker (Luxemburg, Paris): The Literary Voice of Law – A Perspective on Literature’s Entanglement with Normativity
Kaleen Gallagher (Cambridge): The Role of the Law in the Writing of Ingeborg Bachmann
Susanne Gruß (Erlangen-Nuremberg): “The detective: that is the role I am to play” – The Sensational Narratives of Law in Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (2013)

b) Law’s Pluralities: Citizenship and Sovereignty
Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden): Beyond Apostasy: Dramatically Doing Justice to Struggle(s) between Dutch-Moluccans and the Dutch State
Marie Beauchamps (Amsterdam): Denaturalization’s Narratives and the Plurality of Nationality Law in France
Martin Ramstedt (Halle-Wittenberg): The Deontic Power of Origin Stories in Bali’s New Village Jurisdictions

c) Pluralitäten des Rechts
Helena Whalen-Bridge (Singapore): Party Narratives in Adversarial Systems: Partiality or Objectivity?
Ralf Seinecke (Frankfurt): Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man Rechtspluralismus?
Sarah Leyli Rödiger und Dana-Sophia Valentiner (Hamburg): „Living together“ – Rechtspluralistische Konflikte im Kontext religiöser und moralischer Normativität in der Rechtsprechung des EGMR

11:30 Coffee break

12:00 Keynote 2: Anna-Bettina Kaiser: “Verfassungsvergleichung als Verfassungsinterpretation?”

Die „Pluralitäten des Rechts“ heben zwei Gesichtspunkte hervor, die unterschieden werden können und doch miteinander verschränkt sind. So betont der pluralistische Ansatz sowohl eine Methodenvielfalt bei der Beschäftigung mit Recht als auch die Pluralität von (Rechts-)ordnungen, die miteinander in Berührung kommen. Der Vortrag sucht beide Sichtweisen miteinander zu verbinden, wenn er der Frage nachgeht, inwiefern Argumente, die im Wege der Verfassungsvergleichung gewonnen wurden, für die Verfassungsinterpretation fruchtbar gemacht werden können. Insbesondere soll der Frage nachgegangen werden, welche Methoden und welche Akteure für einen gelungenen Re-Entry des Fremden in das eigene (Verfassungs-)Recht in Betracht kommen.

Anna-Bettina Kaiser bekleidet die Professur für Öffentliches Recht und Grundlagen des Rechts an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

1:00 Lunch


Session 2: Law’s Narratives

2:00 Keynote 3: Jeanne Gaakeer: “The Perplexity of Judges Becomes the Scholar’s Opportunity”

‘The perplexity of judges becomes the scholar’s opportunity’, wrote Benjamin Cardozo, promotor of the concept of the unity of form and content in law and literature. Cardozo’s observation prompts my contribution on law’s narratives, because of the interrelation between law in (academic) theory and law in practice, and given my own context as a judge and an academic working in the field of Law and Literature/Law and Humanities. Starting from the combined theses that (1) the way in which the facts of a case are narrated determines to a large part the outcome of that case – to narrate is already to explain, wrote Ricoeur – so that jurists need to develop and cherish narrative knowledge, and (2) that jurists should be imaginative about both the law and the people whose fates they determine when they use language to translate brute facts into the reality of the legal narrative, I aim to investigate and critically respond to the various views of literary theorists on narrative and narratology and show which elements can be fruitfully incorporated into a legal narratology. I do so on the view that jurists while being authors and readers of legal narratives all too often disregard what literary theory and the humanities more generally, have to offer to legal practice, and in order to highlight points of misunderstanding in our interdisciplinary literary-legal discussions, for there too scholarly opportunities remain to be seized for further clarification and theoretical elaboration of the bond of law and narrative.

Jeanne Gaakeer is professor of Legal Theory, Erasmus School of Law, University of Rotterdam, and Justice in the Criminal Law Section of the Appellate Court in The Hague, and co-founder of the European Network for Law and Literature.

3:30 Keynote 4: Andreas von Arnauld: “Norms and Narrative”

Taking my cue from Robert Cover’s seminal work on ‘Nomos and Narrative’, I want to develop on two dimensions in which norms and narratives inter-relate. The first dimension follows Cover’s famous dictum: ‘For every constitution there is an epic, for each decalogue a scripture.’ To what extent U.S. American Constitutional discourse is built on certain ‘grand narratives’, has been discussed by Robert Cover himself as by the likes of Paul W. Kahn. In Germany, too, Constitutional law relies on ‘grand narratives’, both in judicial practice and in scholarship. I will analyse how these narratives shape our understanding of the Constitution and our society and which functions they serve. While this first approach to ‘norms and narrative’ predominantly focuses on narratives passing through the text of the Constitution, the focus in the second dimension will be on narrative structures within legal norms. Comparing modern laws with their aesthetic of abstraction to earlier models will show that even today’s rather functional types of norms contain narrative patterns. In the process of norm ‘application’, these crypto-narratives are revived while at the same time the ‘facts of the case’ are abstracted in order to ‘fit’ the norm. Thus, the narrative might prove the connecting structure between ‘norms’ and ‘facts’.

Andreas von Arnauld bekleidet die Professur für Öffentliches Recht, insbesondere Völker- und Europarecht und ist Ko-Direktor Walther-Schücking-Institut für internationales Recht an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.

4:30 Parallel German and Anglophone paper session II
a) Law’s Narratives
Angela Condello and Tiziano Toracca (Rome/Perugia and Ghent): Exemplarity as a Normative Form: Remarks Made between Law and Literature
Iben Engelhardt Andersen (Odense): Romeo and Juliet Are Sexting – Tragic Teens in Law and Literature
Stephanie Law (Montréal): Law as a Cultural Construct and the Narrative of Judicial Dialogue in the Europeanisation of Law: The CJEU’s Interpretation of the Consumer

b) Law’s Practices
Katja Stoppenbrink (Cologne, Paris): Respect for Children’s Well-being as an Evaluative Cultural Practice: Reconstructing German Jurisprudence and Legal Practice at the Interface of Descriptive Ethics and ‘Law as Culture’
Tara Mulqueen (London): Co-operation and the Laws of Ordering
Samuel Kirwan (Bristol): On Good Advice: The ‘Taking Place’ of Legal Consciousness within Citizens Advice
Ulrike Lembke (Hamburg): Gendered Sexualities in Public Spaces: Legal Discourses on Street Sex Work and Street Harassment

c) Narrative des Rechts
Susanne Krasmann (Hamburg): Imagining Insecurity: Über Gefühltes im Recht
Frederik von Harbou (Berlin): Von Rousseaus „Julie“ zum CNN-Effekt. Medial erzeugte Identifikation und ihre Bedeutung für die Menschenrechtsachtung
Sonja Arnold (Cologne): „Eu acredito, talvez até ingenuamente, no papel transformador da literatura.“ Die Diskrepanz zwischen geschriebenem Recht und Rechtspraxis und ihre mediale Repräsentation in Brasilien

6:00 Quick break

6:30 Plenary: Susanne Baer: “Speaking about Law: Current Challenges to the Protection of Fundamental Right”

Susanne Baer ist Richterin des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, bekleidet eine Professur für Öffentliches Recht und Geschlechterstudien an der Juristischen Fakultät und dem Zentrum für transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien an der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin und Mitträgerin des vom Berliner Forschungsverbund Recht im Kontext initiierten Projekts “Rechtskulturen: Konfrontationen jenseits des Vergleichs” am Forum Transregionale Studien.

8:00 Conference Dinner


Friday, 8 May


Session 3: Law’s Cultures

9:00 a.m. Parallel German and Anglophone paper session III
a) Law’s Cultures
Ann Goldberg (Riverside): Culture and Politics in the Making of German Hate Speech Law
Ozan Kamiloglu (London): The Ethical Turn and New Aesthetics of Justice
Katharina Isabel Schmidt (New Haven): Unmasking “American Legal Exceptionalism”: German Free Lawyers, American Legal Realists and The Transatlantic Turn to “Liefe” 1903-1933

b) Law’s Materiality
Thomas Streeter (Burlington): Digitalization, Discourse Networks, and the Law: The Move to Online Legal Databases, 1980—2000
Neloufer de Mel (Colombo): The Life of the Death Certificate: The Law, Documental Regimes, and Gendering Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
Yasco Horsman (Leiden): Legal Relics: On Films, Bones and Other Forensic Meta-evidence at the Hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Nuremberg Trials.

c) Kulturen des Rechts
Jan-Christoph Marschelke (Regensburg): Kulturtheoretische Analyse gerichtlicher Kulturtheorie
Jan Suntrup (Bonn): Personen, Dinge, Tiere, Unpersonen. Kulturspezifische Differenzierungen in rechtlichen Prozessen der Personifizierung

10:30 Coffee

11:00 Keynote 5: Ruth Herz: “Judicial Images as Narratives”

Regardless of their national background judges are educated and trained to ‘think like lawyers’. The process involves interpreting and applying the law and formulating the decision cogently, in a well-argued fashion. Such a method leads judges to ‘skeletonise’ real life stories. Jugdecraft is therefore to a great extent an exercise in stripping stories of their many personal aspects and paring them down so that they neatly fit into the judge’s way of applying the law in order to resolve the cases in court. The gatekeeping function of their way of thinking keeps judges in their safe space. Entering the judiciary entails more than the lawyer’s way of thinking. Being appointed a judge marks the belonging to the prestigious ‘corps’ bestowing him with dignity and honour and distinguishing him from other members of society. Consciously and unconsciously judges gradually adopt a certain aura and gravitas when in court. A judge acquires his habitus by incorporating past experiences, socially produced in his peer group, into the self which becomes a second nature. This of course is magnified by the theatricality in court and the court architecture, language, dress, rituals and behaviour. This ensures continuity and stability. Judicial habitus is the additional aspect guarding judges from succumbing to stray outside this pattern of thinking and being. Both characteristics overlook the personal and emotional dimensions of individual judges. Researchers have firmly established that history, social background and gender are attributes of the judicial process. It has, however, been the interests of both the society and judiciary to preserve the anonymity of the judges and deliberately avoid exposure of the personal and emotional levels. Judges tend to religiously guard the sanctuary of their privacy.

Ruth Herz is visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, former judge at the Court of Cologne, former “Vorsitzende Richterin Dr. Ruth Herz” in “Das Jugendgericht” (2001-2005), and author of The Judge’s Perspective (2012).

12:00 Lunch


1:30 Parallel Anglophone paper session IV

a) Law’s Narratives: The US American Case (Silke Schmidt)

Sonja Schillings (Giessen): Rape, Murder and the Narrative Interpretation of Judicial Discretion in Richard Wright’s Native Son
Silke Braselmann (Giessen): “The verdict is the reader’s job” – The JCSO Columbine Documents in Multimodal School Shooting-Novels
Sabine N. Meyer (Osnabrück): From Domestic Dependency to Cultural Sovereignty: Representations of the Law in Postmodern Native American Literature

b) Law’s Genders and Sexualities
Barbara Kraml (Vienna): De/Legitimizing Juvenile Sexual Autonomy: Narratives of Love and Abuse
Katharina Zilles (Giessen), Alexander Larsen (Stockholm): Beholding the Child
Hsiao-tan Wang (Taipei): Law’s Gendering Practice in the Society of Law’s Pluralities in Chinese Culture

c) Law’s Images
Martin A. Kayman (Cardiff): Believing, Seeing, and Presence in Law
Giorgia Baldi (London): ‘Un-veil’ and ‘Re-veil’: The Symbology of the ‘Other’
Laura Sweeney (Canberra): Drawing Judgment: Law, Gender and Aboriginality in Political Cartoons of the High Court of Australia

3:00 Coffee


Session 4: Law’s Sexualities/Genders

3:30 Parallel paper session V
a) Law’s Pluralities
Lando Kirchmair (Budapest): Descriptive vs. Prescriptive (Global) Legal Pluralism: A Gentle Reminder of David Hume’s Is–Ought Divide
Antonio Marzal Yetano (Fiesole): Legal Technology as Culture: Proportionality in EU Law
Ashley Sisco (Wollongong): The Legal Duty to Consult with Indigenous Communities in Canada: Legal Pluralism or Neo-colonialism?

b) Law’s Performances
Marett Leiboff (Wollongong): Theatrical Jurisprudence and the Imaginary Lives of Law in Pre-1945 Australia
Mi You (Cologne): Angels and Prophets on Trial: On Jelinek’s Das schweigende Mädchen
Scott Veitch (Hong Kong): Contesting Images of the Rule of Law in Hong Kong

c) Law’s Sexualities
Jen Higgins (London): Categories of Otherness: The Inclusion of LGBT Groups under Hate Speech Protections
Mikki Stelder (Amsterdam): Politics without Rights: Human Rights Discourse as Alibi and as Violence
Suncica Klaas: (W)Ri(gh)ting Wrongs: Human Rights and the Contemporary American Autobiography

5:00 Break

5:30 Keynote 6: Konstanze Plett: “Stories about Genus, Sex and Gender: Legal Exclusion through Linguistics“

Konstanze Plett is professor of Gender Law at the Bremen Institute for Gender, Labour and Social Law at the University of Bremen.

6:30 Keynote 7: Leslie J. Moran: “What’s Mr Kipling’s Bakewell tarts got to do with it? Performing Gender as a Judicial Virtue in the Theatre of Justice.”

My point of departure is a reference to a well-known English branded confection, ‘Mr Kipling’s Bakewell tarts’. During the course of the swearing in ceremony for Lady Justice Macur a box of these cakes was presented to the Lord Chief Justice. The gesture was accompanied by much laughter. It was an exceptional moment but not the only funny moment that generated laughter during that swearing in event. The Bakewell tarts provide a point of departure for an analysis of judicial swearing in speeches. During the legal year October 2012 to September2013 I attended nearly twenty judicial swearing in ceremonies at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Seven of the swearing in events related to the appointment of women. These ceremonies, performed in the ‘theatre of justice’ that is the court of the Lord Chief Justice in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London, are for those appointed to the High Court and Court of Appeal. They are ‘public’ events marking the inauguration of the institutional life of the judicial elite. Each performance has common characteristics. The event is dominated by the performance of two speeches. What is the nature and purpose of the scripts used in these performances? What does the ‘live’ context add to the meaning of the event? How are we to make sense of the presence of laughter, something which is usually said to be out of place in a courtroom, a threat to the legitimacy of judicial authority and confidence in the judiciary? Mr Kipling’s Bakewell tarts and the swearing in events more generally are used in this paper as an opportunity to examine the gendered nature of the judiciary as an institution. What role did this confectionary play the gendering of judicial virtues staged through the swearing in ceremony? How are we to make sense of the gendering effects of the laughter in response to the appearance of ‘Mr Kipling’s Bakewell tarts’? In answering these questions the paper engages my previous work on the formation of legitimate judicial authority through the analysis of written texts and visual images. It also takes my work on judicial images in a new direction; into the study of ‘live’ performances. This paper provides an opportunity to reflect on what the study of ‘live performances’ adds to our understanding of judicial image making?

Leslie J. Moran is professor of Law at School of Law, Birkbeck College and University of London Principle Investigator “AHRC Judicial Images Network”.

Evening Activity


Saturday, 9 May


Session 5: Law’s Images

9:00 a.m. Parallel Independent Panels

Panel I Leiden: Monsters and Icons: Objectification in Law and Justice
Anna Köberich: From Monsters to Men – Entering a Dialogue with Perpetrators: The Possibility of Justice in the Case of The Act of Killing
Gerlov van Engelenhoven: Legal Closure and Cultural Re-opening: Exploring Bobby Sands’ Iconic Status
Inge’t Hart: Profiling the Monster: Visualizing Liminal Subjectivity and Forensic Practices in Popular US Television Series
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Tessa de Zeeuw: Frightening Creatures and Pieces of Proof: Invoking the Theatricality of the Laboratory in Criminal Procedures – A Cross-Reading of Frankenstein and the Case of Lucia de B.

Panel II Centre for Humanistic Legal Studies at the University of Bergen
Frode Helmich Pedersen: The Power of Narrative
Line Hjorth Buchholzer: The Significance of Archetypes in Courtroom Proceedings
Arild Linneberg: The Prosecutor as Judge: The Role of the Media in Miscarriages of Justice
Erling Aadland: Law and Outlaw in Some Bob Dylan Songs

10:30 Coffee

11:00 Keynote 8: Werner Gephart: “Image-ing the Law: How ‘Deontic Power’ Enters the Canvas”?

Werner Gephart ist Künstler, Direktor des Käte Hamburger Kollegs „Recht als Kultur“, und bekleidet die  Professur für Rechtssoziologie an der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.

12:00 Keynote 9: Peter Goodrich: “Lucifugous Laws: Excavations of Visiocracy”

This entirely light-hearted and irenic analysis of legal conusances will address the myriad modes of invention of law. The specific issue that is taxing me this morning is not the application of legality, the custard tarts and jammy donuts of judgment but rather the silent, brooding and affective perpetuity of juridical institutions. To coin a phrase, and to irritate, despite my best intentions, practitioners of the vernacular, maior lex imago est.

Peter Goodrich is professor of Law, Director of program in Law and Humanities, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and managing editor of “Law and Literature”.

1:00 Wrap-up session

2:00 Closing Luncheon

Joint hike if weather is willing.

Law’s Pluralities ׀ About & Info

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