02 February 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS AND SESSION PROPOSALS: Stateless Law? The Future of the Discipline

McGill University, Montreal

Faculty of Law, McGill University
2829 September 2012

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first graduating class of the McGill Program, the Faculty of Law and the Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law will host an international conference on the future of the discipline of law. This event will aim to foster a debate that critically assesses the latest developments in legal thought and innovative approaches to law, in the light of the challenge of globalization and the move away from a national paradigm for understanding law. It will also ask the question of how to integrate the insights so gained into the teaching of law. The concern is with law in all its dimensions: public and private, local and transnational, formal and informal. By being forced to abandon, at least in part, the posited law of the nation state as their lode star, legal education and legal scholarship have been presented with an opportunity to break the mould of centuries of legal nationalism: an opportunity that encourages new, transdisciplinary and transnational ways of thinking about law. In short, the goal is to re-assess and to re-imagine the discipline of law, its place in the university, and its role in society. The working languages of the conference will be English and French.

Some of the themes which we expect to be covered include: How do globalization and legal pluralism affect our understanding of law, legal education or both? In its interaction with other disciplines, how does law preserve its disciplinary identity? Can a renewed understanding of particular fields of law shed light on our evolving understanding of the discipline? How is the teaching and research of basic private law—contracts, civil wrongs, property, the law of persons—affected by the increasingly transnational and transdisciplinary focus of legal scholarship?

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty (Collège de France)
  • Professor John Gardner (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Ernest Weinrib (University of Toronto)
  • Professor Annelise Riles (Cornell University)
Proposals for papers are now invited. If you would like to offer a paper, please submit a working title and an abstract (of no more than 350 words) by email to crdpcq.law@mcgill.ca before April, 16th, 2012. The abstract should be written in English or French, the language of the abstract indicating the language of the proposed full paper.

Proposals for sessions may also be submitted. Such proposals should include three or four paper proposals on a given theme. A session might be organized around an interdisciplinary nexus, postgraduate and/or undergraduate legal education, or a particular field of law or approach to law. Session proposals must include a statement that all of the proposed speakers have agreed to participate, and contact information for all proposed speakers.

Proposals will be selected on the basis of their quality and originality, as well as their engagement with the conference theme and their fit with other papers being presented at the conference. The selection will be made by a scientific committee. Presenters whose proposals are accepted will be expected to meet their own travel and accommodation costs, although the conference registration fee will be waived. Depending on the outcome of applications for financial assistance, some funds may be available to assist presenters with travel and accommodations; those who have need of such funds should indicate this in their applications.

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