Ceremonies of Law: Doctrine, Ritual, Ceremonial in Australia

For you students in Australia or others country, there is a conference that will be held on 7 to 9 December 2011 in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. This conference organized by: Legal Intersections Research Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong.

Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 30 September 2011.

Conference Description and Call for Papers:

Ceremonies of Law

Questions of ceremony and ritual have never been far from the concerns and controversies of Western law. For some there is no law or entry into law without ceremony and ritual. It is ceremony and ritual that inaugurate the space and time, give it its symbolic form, and animate its material life. It shapes the meeting place of laws and marks obligations of relation and exchange. Without doctrine, ritual and ceremonial there would be no articulation and animation of the knowledge, desires, friendships and loves of the law. For others, it is the rule of government, institution, and police that give law its shape. The ceremonies of law at best mask both the detail of the technical and archival ordering of law and the broad sweep of political, economic, social, and cultural form of legal relations.

Over the last twenty five years legal scholarship based in the humanities and social sciences has addressed a broad range of concerns about the representational and ceremonial character of law. It is important and appropriate for two conferences that have been committed to critically investigating the conditions of lawful engagement in Australasia to focus attention again on the modes of authorising law. Where recent conferences have placed emphasis on crossings, markings, movements, passages, recollections, reflections, transcendences and transformations, this conference invites consideration of research in the light of what holds, binds, and elaborates lawful relations

The joint conference of the Law Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia and the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand invites contributions involving the consideration and reconsideration of the ceremonies and ceremonial form of law in all its forms and functions, including, but not limited to, explorations:

  1. On the representation of lawful relations
  2. On questions of doctrine, ritual and ceremonial in law
  3. On law’s rites and performances
  4. On the transmission and transformation of law
  5. On indigenous relationships of law
  6. On the tradition and wisdom of laW
  7. On legal ceremonies  of crime and criminality
  8. On international forms of law and justice
  9. On postcolonial imaginaries of law and justice

Here are some keynote speakers:


We are delighted confirm the participation of extraordinary keynote speakers to engage with questions surrounding Ceremonies of Law:

Professor Jeanne Gaakeer Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Professor Gaakeer is one of the most important law and literature scholars working within a European context.  The co-founder of the European Network for Law and Literature Scholarship, Jeanne has published extensively and widely in the fields of legal and literary studies; including Hope Springs Eternal: An Introduction to the Work of James Boyd White (University of Michigan, 1998), and co-editor of Crossing Borders: law, language and Literature, Wolf Legal Publishers The Netherlands, 2008.

Professor William MacNeil Dean, Griffith Law School, Brisbane, Australia

Professor MacNeil is the pre-eminent scholar of jurisprudence and cultural legal studies. A Canadian by birth, Bill’s highly acclaimed book, Lex Populi: The Jurisprudence of Popular Culture, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007. His second book, Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction, is due out in 2011.  Bill is a founding editor of Law, Culture and the Humanities and sits on the advisory board of Law and Critique, Law and Literature and the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law.

Dr Richard Mohr Consultant, Social Research, Policy and Planning Pty Ltd Australia

Rick Mohr was founding Director of the Legal Intersections Research Centre and is Managing Editor of Law Text Culture. He has been researching courts for 30 years, and has written on the semiotics and architecture of courts and, most recently, on judicial evaluation in Australia and Europe. He is a regular visitor to the Research Institute of Judicial Systems (IRSIG-CNR) Bologna, and is co-author of Judicial Evaluation: Traditions, Innovations and Proposals for Measuring the Quality of Court Performance (2008).

You can visit the for more details.

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