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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Deadline of call for papers extended for CLSA Congress 2012

Procrastinators rejoice (that includes me, this time). Take note of the possiblility of joint panels with the Canadian Sociological Association and Canadian Historical Association. The CLSA takes interdisciplinarity seriously:

The deadline for submissions to the annual meeting of the Canadian Law and Society Association (CLSA) has been extended to February 3. Please see the Call for Papers, below.
L'échéance de présentation des résumés pour la conférence annuelle de l’Association canadienne droit et société (ACDS) est maintenant le 3 février. SVP voyez l'appel à  communication.

2012 Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World
81st Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Call for Papers
The program committee of the Canadian Law and Society Association invites submissions for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to be held at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. The theme of Congress 2012, Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World is an opportunity for socio-legal scholars to explore law’s place in the contingencies of world events, past, present and future. We welcome proposals for papers in any area of law and society scholarship. We encourage participants to submit suggestions for complete panels and roundtables but also welcome individual submissions. Graduate student events and workshops will be an integral part of CLSA 2012.
We are open to having a number of panels that focus on particular themes, such as critical criminology, gender & sexuality and indigenous legal knowledge. As well, we are attempting some measure of coordination between our meeting and those of the Canadian Sociological Association and the Canadian Historical Association, so if you are planning to participate in or even just attend either of those meetings, please do feel free indicate that on your submission.
Where: Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
When: 27-29 May 2012
Deadline: January 27, 2012 (early expressions of interest are encouraged and appreciated)
Submission information: Please forward panel and paper proposals by email attachment to Lyndsay Campbell, Chair, CLSA Programme Committee, Presenters must be members of the CLSA. They must also pay the Congress’s fees, including the society fee for the CLSA.
Please supply the following information in a Word file (.docx, .doc, or .rtf) attached to your email:
Position (if you are a graduate student, please specify)
Other presenters, their institutional affiliations and their contact information
Panel theme (if you are submitting a proposal for a full panel)
Paper title (or titles, if a full panel is being submitted)
Abstract(s) (150-250 words each)
Keywords describing your topic (to be used in coordinating papers on panels)
Technological needs (PowerPoint/projector, accessibility requirements etc.)
Are you willing to act as a Chair for another panel?
Information on registration, accommodation and other Congress activities will be available through the websites of the Federation, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University. A registration guide should be available in January 2012.
Conférence 2012 de l’Association Canadienne Droit et Société
À la croisée des chemins: le savoir face à un monde incertain
81e Congrès des sciences humaines
Appel à communication
La conférence annuelle de l’Association canadienne droit et société (ACDS) aura lieu à l’Université de Waterloo et l’Université Wilfred Laurier les 27 au 29 mai  2012.  Le comité de programme de l’ACDS vous invite à soumettre vos communications. Toutes présentations portant sur des recherches sociojuridiques en cours sont bienvenues, mais nous accueillerons avec un intérêt particulier des propositions relatives aux travaux interdisciplinaires et nous encourageons les propositions en rapport avec la thématique de la conférence,  À la croisée des chemins: le savoir face à un monde incertain.  Cette thématique nous interpelle d’explorer la place du droit dans les actualités mondiales du passé, du présent, et dans l’avenir.   Bien que l’Association accueille favorablement les propositions de présentation individuelle, elle encourage aussi les propositions sous forme de table ronde.
L’ACDS accueille cette année des projets de propositions de recherche à l’intersection du droit, de la sociologie et de l’histoire.  Nous espérons donc coordonner notre conférence annuelle avec celles de la Société canadienne de sociologie et la Société historique du Canada.  Veuillez, svp, nous aviser si vous croyez ou aimiez participer à ces réunions.
Lieu: l’Université Wilfrid-Laurier et l’Université Waterloo
Dates du Congrès: 27-29 mai 2012
Échéance de présentation des résumés: 27 jan 2012
Format: Toutes les communications doivent être soumises sous une forme électronique.  Veuillez envoyer les détails de votre présentation à Lyndsay Campbell, présidente du comité de programme :
Inscription: Plus ample information concernant l’inscription, le logement, le programme, la date  limite de l’inscription à tarif réduit  et les événements suivront sous peu aux sites web du Congrès et de l’ACDS qui seront développés dans les prochains mois (et sûrement au mois de janvier):
Notez que vous devrez être membre en règle de l’ACDS. Vous
devez aussi avoir réglé vos frais d’adhésion. Ce faisant, assurez-vous de compléter votre inscription en visitant le site de l’Association : ainsi qu’avec la fédération : Les étudiant(e)s des cycles supérieurs sont encouragés de devenir membre de l’ACDS et d’assister au Congrès.
Veuillez fournir les renseignements suivants dans un fichier Word (.docx, .doc ou .rtf) annexé à votre courriel :
Poste (si vous êtes étudiant des cycles supérieurs, veuillez le préciser)
Département ou unité
Les autres conférenciers, les établissements avec lesquels ils ont des liens et leurs coordonnées
Thème du groupe de discussion (si vous présentez une proposition pour un groupe de discussion complet)
Titre du mémoire (ou titres des mémoires, si vous présentez une proposition pour un groupe de discussion complet)
Résumé(s) (de 150 à 250 mots chacun)
Mots clés décrivant votre sujet (pour coordonner les mémoires des groupes de discussion)
Besoins technologiques (PowerPoint/projecteur, besoins en matière d’accessibilité, etc.)
Acceptez vous de présider un autre groupe de discussion?

Call for contributions on history of blasphemy

Also via H-Law, open to Canadian legal historians who have an eye for the bigger picture, inter-disciplinarity, volume coherence and a non-specialist audience:

Looking for a legal historian to join a distinguished list of international scholars in contributing to an interdisciplinary volume of essays. The volume addresses the theme of blasphemy or sacrilegious expression in historical and contemporary contexts. One, perhaps two, slots remain. Geographical and chronological specialization is open, but the contribution should offer insightful perspective with implications transcending a particular time and place. The contribution should be accessible to non-specialists and the contributor willing to work with editors to ensure dialogue between essays in the volume. Please send C.V. and 500-750 word abstract to Christopher S. Grenda at

Call for legal history syllabi

From John Wertheimer via H-Law:

The American Society for Legal History's Graduate Student Outreach Committee seeks your legal history syllabi.  If you have taught a legal history course, please send me a copy of your syllabus.  All fields (U.S., non-U.S., ancient, modern) and all levels (graduate, undergraduate, law school, advanced seminar, introductory survey) accepted.   Please send syllabi as e-mail attachments to: John Wertheimer, Davidson College,
Note the inclusion of non-U.S. as an invited field. Most of these collections are confined to American centric courses, which also tend to exclude non-Americanists by their heavy emphasis on the U.S. constitution and Supreme Court. It would be nice to have an all-Canadian collection, and I believe the new Osgoode Society website will attempt this, but in the meantime, send your syllabus to John W.!

Friday, January 13, 2012

New book by Ben Geva on the legal history of payment order

And people think my interest in municipal taxation is esoteric.... (Actually they think it's weird, but esoteric sounds better.)

Benjamin Geva of Osgoode Hall Law School has just published The Payment Order of Antiquity and the Middle Ages: A Legal History, number 6 in Hart Monographs in Transnational and International Law (under the editorship of Canada's newest NDP candidate.)

It could use a catchier title, but the cover illustration is lovely, and the book itself sounds intriguing. Amazon lists it as temporarily out of stock, so to order go to the Hart website. Caveat: at $160.51 and L95.00 it's a lot pricier than most legal histories. Also a little lengthier than the usual, at 784 pages.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

Examining the legal history of the order to pay money initiating a funds transfer, the author tracks basic principles of modern law to those that governed the payment order of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Exploring the legal nature of the payment order and its underpinning in light of contemporary institutions and payment mechanisms, the book traces the evolution of money, payment mechanisms and the law that governs them, from developments in Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Rome, and Greco-Roman Egypt, through medieval Europe and post-medieval England. Doctrine is examined in Jewish, Islamic, Roman, common and civil laws.

Investigating such diverse legal systems and doctrines at the intersection of laws governing bank deposits, obligations, the assignment of debts, and negotiable instruments, the author identifies the common denominator for the evolving legal principles and speculates on possible reciprocity. At the same time he challenges the idea of 'law merchant' as a mercantile creation.

The book provides an account of the evolution of payment law as a distinct cohesive body of legal doctrine applicable to funds transfers. It shows how principles of law developed in tandem with the evolution of banking and in response to changing circumstances and proposes a redefinition of 'law merchant'.

The author points to deposit banking and emerging technologies as embodying a great potential for future non-cash payment system growth. However, he recommends caution in predicting both the future of deposit banking and the overall impact of technology. At the same time he expresses confidence in the durability of legal doctrine to continue to evolve and accommodate future payment system developments.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Montreal group to explore the legal in the historical and vice versa

Colour me jealous. First time I wished I lived in Montreal.

A legal history reading group is to be hosted by McGill's Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas beginning January 17:  LEGAL HISTORY: EXPLORING THE LEGAL IN THE HISTORICAL & THE HISTORICAL IN THE LEGAL.

According to my source, Charles Hoffman, Richard H. Tomlinson Doctoral Fellow
McGill University Institute of Comparative Law (whom I thank for the info):

Over the course of seven sessions, this reading group will explore how historians and legal scholars specifically, and other scholars generally, approach legal history. The goal is to provide a forum in which scholars from a variety of disciplines can come together to discuss legal historical issues and questions. In particular, this reading group will serve as a venue for those interested in legal history to learn from one another and discuss their common research interests. We will begin by asking what “legal history” is, and then explore how legal scholars utilize history and how historians utilize the law. For most sessions, we will read and contrast an article written by a Professor of History with an article written by a Professor of Law on a related topic. Topics will include the study of legal cases, legal biographies, labour conflict, urban pigkeeping, “monstrous births”, and the use of fiction in legal history.
PLACE: 3610 McTavish St., Room 21-6
TIME:  2:00-4:00pm
DATES: 17 January, 31 January, 14 February, 28 February, 13 March, 27 March, 3 April
For more information, visit  (which provides a pdf seting out the themes and readings, with pictures no less!) or email .

It would be wonderful if one or more of the participants could report on one or more of these sessions for this blog. No need for live-blogging; after the fact reflections would be great. Send them along at I will post them verbatim or edited, your choice!

Legal History of the British Empire Conference in Singapore

Happy 2012 to all!

From Shaunnagh Dorsett of the Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney NSW, a call for registrations for the Legal History of the British Empire Conference (title: Law, Spaces, Cultures & Empire: Engagements & Legacies) to be held in Singapore, July 5-7, 2012.  The keynote is Professor Catherine Hall of University College London. The plenary speaker is the Hon, Justice Andrew Phang of theSingapore Court of Appeal. In addition, there is a Blue Ribbon Panel consisting of our own John Weaver of McMaster University along with Martin Wiener of Rice University, and Bridget Brereton of University of the West Indies.  For more info, see the conference website.  While the call for papers is closed (a draft program will soon be available on the website,) registrations are open for non-presenters.

If you happen to be in the area this summer, or have travel money to spend, this looks like a good one.