Monday 1st December – Tuesday 2nd December 2014
Call for PapersÂ
Melbourne Law School will host the seventh annual Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory onÂ 1â€“2 December 2014. The Forum brings together research students from all academic disciplines toÂ engage with social, political, theoretical, and methodological issues raised by law and legal theory. Â The workshop is a welcoming, collegial and supportive forum that aims to foster intellectual and Â personal relationships between researchers and to help build a community of new scholars engaging Â with interdisciplinary approaches to law and legal theory.
BORDERLINES: THE TRANSNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC IN LAW AND LEGAL THEORY
Borderlines constitute the boundaries between and within legal orders. While borders assert theirÂ permanency and inviolability, guarding who the law protects and who it disregards, we know that theyÂ are contingent, moveable, transient and above all human creations. The word â€˜borderlineâ€™ evokesÂ many conflicting meanings â€” sharp divides, permeations and transgression, centre and periphery,Â the invisibility of some distinctions and the starkness of others, abnormality and a lack of normalcy, and the imprecision and vagueness of resting â€˜on the borderlineâ€™ â€” each of which speaks to theÂ relations between different legal orders that take on many forms, all of varying permanency. ThisÂ yearâ€™s theme challenges participants to think about law legal theory in its transnational and domesticÂ orders and forms through the concept of the borderline.
Where do the borders fall between and within the transnational and domestic, and why? Â Transnational legal orders are wary of and antagonistic towards the borderline even as they assert its Â irrelevance. The domestic might be seen as the target, the market, or the audience of transnational Â law. Yet transnational law in an older, more strictly international sense treated the domestic as Â secluded; bordered away and free from international norms in all but the most serious of actions. Â How, where and why are these borders collapsed or reasserted? For domestic law the transnationalÂ can be welcomed as wisdom and cooperation or feared as threat and challenge. How does it borderÂ itself from the outside world? Why and how does the domestic subsume and contort that which itÂ asserts is foreign? How does it â€˜tameâ€™ those things, behaviours, norms, and peoples it calls â€˜savageâ€™Â or â€˜wildâ€™? Where does the transnational and domestic lay their borders? Who proclaims andÂ perpetuates them? How are the borderlines imagined and drawn in the academy, the court, theÂ ministry and the legislature? And how do activists, peoples and social movements respond?
How should we theorise the way the interactions between these orders take place?Â Borderlines might at first seem a sharp â€˜/â€™ that divides and excludes. But those sharing divisive Â borders can also be linked and unified by them. When might the borderline between legal orders be Â better read as a confluence, congruence, harmony, interaction, influx, encounter, tension, intrusion, Â conflict, or indifference? Should legal orders be imagined spatially: as bordered shapes, levels, webs, Â spheres or something else? Where do legal scholars draw their borders, and how do legal ideas Â move across intellectual, cultural and political borders? Should the jurist position herself as domestic Â or transnational? And what might we learn from examining and taking up how other academic Â traditions â€” the humanities, social and empirical sciences â€” approach the domestic and Â transnational?
How do different legal traditions and cultures deal with the transnational and domestic?Â The civil and common law traditions locate domestic law within the nation-state and transnational laws Â across the borders states. But in what ways do we think beyond and against laws of the state? How is Â the transnational and domestic treated in other legal orders â€” religious, customary, indigenous â€”Â and where do they lay their own borders? How does the domestic and transnational respond to the Â non-national? Do these terms carry or connote different meanings for peoples, governments and Â organizations in the Global South/North, or East/West? And what treatment of those laws made other Â is needed for an order to function, to maintain its claim to authority over a body of people or law?
We invite graduate students to consider the theme in relation to both in their own work and theÂ scholarship and materials with which they engage. Higher research degree students in any disciplineÂ anywhere in the world may apply to present at the Forum or attend. Applicants must submit an Â abstract of 500 words by 31 August 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Invited papers of 2,000â€“5,000 words are due on 2 November 2014, and the Melbourne Journal of International Law has expressed interest in publishing select full papers. Visit law.unimelb.edu.au/mdflt for full details.