Dr. Jeff Handmaker speaks at Leiden and Ostende

On 3 February 2017, INFAR member dr. Jeff Handmaker has delivered an invited public lecture at the Leiden Socio-legal Seminar Series, organised by Leiden University. The lecture was entitled ‘Peering through the legal mobilisation lens to analyse the potential of legal advocacy’. Full announcement and the abstract of the lecture can be found here: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2017/01/peering-through-the-legal-mobilisation-lens-to-analyse-the-potential-of-legal-advocacy

14-16 September, 2017, dr. Handmaker also presents a paper at the European Law and Development Research Conference in Ostende, Belgium, hosted by the University of Antwerp. His presentation will be based on his paper titled ‘Evaluating the potential of law and development through the lens of legal mobilization.’ The conference focuses on perspectives from the Global South on the field of Law and Development. For full program of the conference, see here: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/conferences/law-development-conference-days/



Professor John Bell (Cambridge) gives keynote lecture

The workshop is organized by ESL’s research programme ‘Rethinking the Rule of Law’ in collaboration with The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) at Queen Mary University, London.

Varieties of Consequential Reasoning and the Rule of Law: Theory and Institutional Contexts

Legal decision-makers and judges frame their judgments in terms of the legal order they work with. Usually, this means that their decisions are argued for on the basis of the existing legal norms. However, these decisions do not only look back, they also have consequences for the future. In this workshop we will consider the forward-looking aspects of legal decision-making: in what ways do legal decision-makers, and judges in particular, refer to and consider future consequences in their reasoning? More particularly, the focus of the workshop is on tracing the relationship between different types of consequences that play a role in legal reasoning and how consequential reasoning relates to the rule of law.

The workshop will take place on 25 November. For participation or the programme, please click here

Workshop with prof. Brian Z. Tamanaha

The INFAR-program of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence of the University of Amsterdam cordially invite you to a workshop with

Prof. Brian Z. Tamanaha

Prof. Tamanaha will discuss his new book on Social Legal Theory with Prof. Martijn Hesselink (University of Amsterdam) and Prof. Jan Klabbers (University of Helsinki)

Date: 13 June 2016
Time: 14.00-17.00h
Location: TBA, UvA Amsterdam


Introduction by Prof. Tamanaha
Comments on chapter 5 ‘Law in the Modern Age’ by Prof. Hesselink

Coffee break

Comments by on chapter 6 ‘What is International Law?’ by Prof. Klabbers
Questions and discussion with the audience



The basic idea of the book is an effort to redraw the lines of contemporary jurisprudence, away from the dominance of analytical jurisprudence (and natural law), toward a social-historical theory of law. The Introduction and first chapter pave the way for this reconstruction by articulating the perspective of social legal theory and the place it occupies in jurisprudence. Chapters 2 and 3 are analytical chapters that cast doubt on prevailing assumptions within analytical jurisprudence about the concept of law and necessary, universal truths about law. Chapter 4 begins to construct an alternative theory of law by tracing the development of law over time in connection with growing social complexity, and the spread of law as a social construction. Chapter 5 highlights how law has transformed in the modern age of organizations. Chapter 6 moves the analysis to the international realm, describing the historical development of international law, and how that relates to interaction between and across polities in relation to transnational organizations and regulation (this chapter needs a bit more refinement).

Brian TamanahaProfessor Tamanaha is a renowned jurisprudence and law and society scholar, and the author of eight books and numerous scholarly articles. Three of his books have received book awards, including A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society, which won two prizes, one in legal theory one in law and society. His book, On the Rule of Law, has been translated into five languages, and altogether his publications have been translated into eight languages. He has delivered public lectures in a dozen countries, including the Kobe Memorial Lecture in Japan, the Julius Stone Lecture in Australia, and the Montesquieu Lecture in The Netherlands, as well as four endowed lectures at U.S. law schools. He spent a year in residence as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he completed Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide. In 2013, a National Jurist poll of 300 law deans and professors voted Professor Tamanaha #1 Most Influential Legal Educator, owing to his critical examination of the legal academy, Failing Law Schools. Professor Tamanaha has twice been selected Professor of the Year by student vote. Before becoming a law professor, he clerked for the Hon. Walter E. Hoffman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Hawaii, was an Assistant Attorney General for Yap State in Micronesia, and was Legal Counsel for the 1990 Micronesian Constitutional Convention. After these varied practice experiences, he earned a Doctorate of Juridical Science with a focus on legal theory at Harvard Law School.

Guest lectures dr. Nathanael Ali

Nathanael AliINFAR member Dr. Nathanael Ali delivered invited guest lectures titled ‘Risk Management and Collateral Damage in Global Governance: the Case of Anti-Terrorism Financing’ at the University of Edinburgh and University of Amsterdam, 16 March 2016 and 5 April 2016 respectively. The lecture at Edinburgh took place during the Law School’s international law discussion group seminar series. The lecture at University of Amsterdam was delivered as a Paul Scholten Colloquium, at the Paul Scholten Center for Jurisprudence.

A brief abstract of the lecture can be found here

4 April 2016: prof. Taekema speaks at ISS

TaekemaINFAR project leader prof. Sanne Taekema will speak at ISS on 4 April in their DRS 2016- Dialogue on Legal Mobilization – Moving forward on ‘Legal Mobilisation: Interactional Law as a Bridge between Instrumentalism and Law’s Values’ with comments by Dr. Ilaria Bottigliero, Director Research and Learning, International Development Law Organization (IDLO).

“Legal instrumentalism has a bad name: it is criticized for reducing law to a policy instrument for external political or economic goals. During the ISS Dialogue on Civic Innovation Research on April 4, I aim to rehabilitate instrumentalism, at least to some extent, by reinterpreting it from the perspective of pragmatist interactionism. By seeing law as emerging from the interactional expectancies of people towards one another, law is conceptually based on horizontal relationships (building on the theory of Lon Fuller). I will argue that this horizontal orientation can provide a specific version of an instrumental view of law because it pluralizes law’s instrumentality. Law is no longer seen as a policy instrument in the hands of authorities, but as a tool for everyone who makes use of it (making use of John Dewey’s pragmatism).”

Read the whole abstract of prof. Taekema on the blog of ISS, by clicking here.

You, particularly if you are within the INFAR research group or IDLO, are encouraged to add “real world” perspectives on the ISS-blog in order to generate a pre-seminar discussion.

INFAR member Prof Wibren van der Burg gave invited lectures at UK universities

Wibren vd burgOn 25 November 2015, Prof van der Burg spoke at the work-inprogress seminar of Queen Marry University of London Law School on ‘The Merits of Law: Towards a Framework for Evaluative Judgments and Normative Recommendations in Legal Research’.

On 4 December 2015, he gave a presentation at University of Warwick Law School titled ‘Legal Interactionism and Theory of Law and Morality’. The presentation was based on his book The Dynamics of Law and Morality. A Pluralist Account of Legal Interactionism, Farnham: Ashgate 2014.