First European Conference on the Theory
and Philosophy of International Law
The ESIL Interest Group on International Legal Theory and Philosophy (IGITLP) cordially invites European scholarly institutions to express their interest in hosting and co-organising, together with IGILTP, the First European Conference on the Theory and Philosophy of International Law.
At this stage, IGILTP is only looking for an expression of interest in organising the conference. All details of the proposed conference, including date, format, selection of speakers and topic are subject of discussions between IGILTP’s Co-ordinating Committee and those expressing an interest in hosting the event. We nonetheless wish to propose a potential topic as basis for negotiations:
Unseen Fission? The Drifting-Apart of Theories
and Philosophies of International Law
Has the proliferation of theoretical (including philosophical) approaches to international law, the increasing specialisation of (legal-)theoretical research, together with a radicalisation of their argumentative foundations, silently killed any hope for a common theoretical discourse about international law? Have legal theorists become too legalistic to hear and be heard by philosophers? Have theoretical discourses become too theoretical – and black-letter lawyers too practice-oriented – for each to be able to speak to the other? These questions (and more like it) are the unseen heart and unsung story of theoretical research into international law in Europe and beyond; the conference will explore it. The event is designed to foster maximum inclusivity, both regarding the approaches studied as well as regarding the method(ologie)s used to study these phenomena.
Please submit expressions of interest to IGILTP’s chair, Jörg Kammerhofer (firstname.lastname@example.org), until Wednesday, 31 January 2018. Informal queries can be directed to the same address.
The ESIL IGILTP Co-ordinating Committee
Noora Johanna Arajärvi, Gleider I Hernández, Jörg Kammerhofer, John Morss, Ozlem Ulgen, Ekaterina Yahyaoui
The Call document can be dowloaded here IGILTP FECTPIL Call for Expressions of Interest (Final) 2017-10-12
IVR German Section Conference 2018
27–29 September 2018, Freiburg, Germany
Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law: Conceptions and Misconceptions
The German Section of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg, will hold its 2018 biennial conference in Freiburg. Up to 24 contributions to six panels will be selected by means of a call for papers.
Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law provides a particular approach to law and normativity. It offers a grammar and a vocabulary that helps us identify some legal concepts and problems as essential and to dismiss others as alien to the main tasks of legal scholarship. Far more fundamentally, it also is and claims a theory of what legal scholarship is, can or should be. This approach to what it means to engage in scholarship is often implicit and seldom discussed in literature – this lack of sustained attention means that it is also one of the more problematic parts of the Pure Theory inviting critique and dissent.
The Pure Theory of Law has not lost its potential to spark interest and controversy in the more than one hundred years since Kelsen first expounded it. However, it also still generates, as it always has, a fair amount of perplexity but also of misinterpretation. The international scholarly community has long discussed and continues to discuss some writings and some notions, yet large tracts of his work and many strands of argument are relatively unknown. In addition, while Kelsen’s own writings are frequently read and discussed, this is not the case for other members of the Vienna School of Jurisprudence. The conference wants to broaden the debate on the Pure Theory between legal cultures by also including some of its lesser discussed aspects.
The conference thus attempts to bridge legal-cultural, linguistic and professional divides and will explore the relevance of the Pure Theory’s arguments today. It will go beyond the exegesis of Kelsen’s oeuvre and aims at open conversations about the merits and flaws of the Pure Theory of Law in confrontation and communication with fundamentally diverging views. Which of its conceptions are still helpful today, which of its misconceptions – or misconceptions about it – are to be avoided?
The organisers invite the submission of abstracts for six panels. Abstracts applying the Pure Theory’s ideas to particular areas of black-letter law, reflecting on the problems faced by doctrinal scholarship and practitioners, are particularly encouraged, for example:
– Private law: legal personality, subjects of law; subjective rights and the autonomy of the sub-jects of private law (Privatautonomie); the distinctions and connections between material and procedural law
– Criminal law: exceptions/defences; causality and attribution
– Public and international law: constitutional avoidance (verfassungskonforme Auslegung); multilevel constitutionalism; private and public law analogies in international law; general principles of law; cosmopolitan constitutionalism: international political theory and international legal theory.
The organisers also encourage submissions of other papers staying broadly within the conference theme. Potential topics for discussion include:
– Philosophical foundations of the Pure Theory of Law: making the philosophical modus op-erandi plausible for jurists and legal theory inviting for philosophers; confronting the Pure Theory of Law’s implicit theory of legal scholarship (Rechtswissenschaftstheorie) with today’s philosophy of science; anti-essentialism and the Pure Theory’s criticism of legal dualisms
– The normative access to the world: about the possibility of norms; the Pure Theory of Law’s concept of normativity confronted with alternative candidates; norms as reasons for action?; law and practical reason; the concept of ‘positive law’
– The structure and dynamic operation of the legal order (Stufenbau): theoretical bases and other conceptions of legal ordering; empowerment norms; the unity of the legal system; So-cial Systems Theory as new Pure Theory of Law?; factuality in norm-creation; gaps in the law; conflict of norms; derogation; logic in law; the problem of erroneous decisions; Fehlerkalkül; tacit alternative clause; defeasibility; Rechtskraft
– The Pure Theory of Law’s theory of interpretation and modern approaches: corpus linguistics; linguistic philosophy; hermeneutics
– Judge-made law: conceptualising law creation by legal officials; precedential authority
– The sound of silence? Topics which the Pure Theory does not (or cannot) address
– Kelsen’s Schüler and the next generations of Kelsen scholars
– John Gardner (Oxford): Keynote Address
– Robert Alexy (Kiel), Stanley L Paulson (St Louis, MO/Kiel): The Philosophical Foundations of the Pure Theory of Law
– Christoph Kletzer (London), Lena Foljanty (Frankfurt): The Structure of the Legal Order
– Alexander Somek (Vienna), DA Jeremy Telman (Toledo, IN): Entanglements and Trans-Culturality (‘Lost in Translation’)
Those interested in participating should submit an abstract, in English or German, of 800 words maximum, summarising the ideas they propose to develop for presentation. Successful appli-cants will be expected to deliver a talk of no more than fifteen minutes. Each of the six panels will include a general discussion of the papers of approximately 45 minutes. Papers that have been accepted for publication elsewhere are in principle eligible for consideration, provided that they will not appear in print before the conference. The organisers have secured funding to cov-er a significant part of the travel and accommodation costs for all speakers. However, partici-pants will have to bear a small portion of costs themselves.
Abstract submissions should be sent to email@example.com by 20 October 2017, together with the applicant’s contact details, a short curriculum vitae and an indication whether they intend to present the paper in English or German. Questions regarding this call for papers may be directed to the same address.
On 6 September 2017 The Interest Group in International Legal Theory and Philosophy will hold a workshop on the occasion of the ESIL Annual Conference in Naples.
The pursuit of general interest through global public goods and global commons using traditional international law mechanisms poses multiple challenges. These challenges cannot be addressed adequately without taking into consideration what could be called the ‘democratic participation gap’ in international law and global governance, more broadly. Many potentially affected stakeholders are absent or under-represented in decision-making processes about the definition and provision of global public goods and global commons. How does international law and modern international law scholarship address this challenge? Taking into account international law’s own uneasiness with democracy, the urgency of reflecting on this issue becomes even more evident. This workshop brings together scholars providing different but complementary insights into these democratic and participatory challenges.
The workshop will take place from 11am to 1pm. The speakers are:
Eva Kassoti, Integrating Democratic and Participatory Principles in the Definition of Global Public Goods: International Lawyers and Existential Angst
Samuel Cogolati, International Law to Save the Commons? The Protection of Commons through Participatory Rights in Development
Aravind Ganesh, Unilateral Jurisdiction to Provide Global Public Goods: A Republican Theory
The workshop is organised by Ekaterina Yahyaoui and Claudio Corradetti
More information about the 2017 ESIL conference is available here.