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Welfare law and social change

Language: Finnish and English.

Welfare law examines norms related to the different phases of a human life cycle - their overall effects and legal dimensions. While its perspective may pertain to social law,  welfare law is connected to other fields of law and research disciplines as well. Social structures that safeguard welfare are changing, which calls for exploration of well-being as a legal phenomenon more widely. Similarly, one may ask what is the relevance of different legal phenomena and instruments regarding welfare. We welcome papers reflecting interfaces between welfare and justice, coming from any field of law.

Papers may deal for example the the following type of questions:

- How can wellbeing be promoted through the legal system? (e.g. by strengthening the position of victim in crimes such as human trafficking, hate speech and stalking) - What are current social changes in progress and what can legal researchers do about it? (e.g. health and social care reforms SOTE and SOTU) - Are there legal preconditions for wellbeing? (e.g., with respect to the suggested alterations to the status of employee)
Fairness of legal proceedings (only in Finnish)

Language: Finnish

According to Article 21 of the Finnish Constitution and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, a fair trial with its constituent elements is both fundamental and human right. However, legal procedures are not limited to court proceedings, but the scope of legal proceedings is much wider. For example, the taxation procedure, the military discipline procedure or even the procedure in the Consumer Disputes Board are without a doubt legal procedures, although they may not be legal proceedings in the sense of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The working group probes into the elements of due process in judicial trials and other legal proceedings, as well as the differences between the elements pertaining to different types of procedures. Topics may include:

- On what criteria the European Court of Human Rights defines a procedure as a legal court procedure?- Applicability of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights outside the court procedure, e.g., the procedural rights in military discipline procedure- Interpretation of so called Engel criteria- Any topic directly or indirectly related to these topics or any other subject related to procedures.
Complex environmental problems, uncertainties and law

Language: Finnish and English

Natural resources and ecosystem services such as food, minerals, timber, and water sustain human life and development. Unsustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services are deteriorating ecosystems on which they are based, and are even risking that planetary boundaries are exceeded. Climate change and loss of biodiversity are examples of global challenges, whereas eutrophication of the Baltic Sea and deterioration of migratory fish stock are regional examples. In the Arctic, vulnerable ecosystems and rapidly increasing temperature makes the situation especially sensitive. Environmental problems are inter-twined in complex ways to economic, social, technological systems. Uncertainties related to scientific knowledge, and unforeseeable developments make the situation even more complicated. Furthermore, changing environmental values may confront previous policies and legal binding decisions affecting how natural resources are currently used. As a result of all of this profound changes in all societal systems, including legal system, are needed. One particular challenge for legal system is how to improve its capacity to face uncertainty and changing values without deteriorating the foundations of other legal values, such as predictability, stability, and equity. 

The Natural Resources Law Group invites presentations on the topic of complex environmental problems, uncertainties and law. Proposals broadly related to the topic are welcome, including but not limited to the following issues: 

- sustainable use of natural resources - tackling with uncertainties - science and law interplay- changing values, historical decisions and law- natural resources and communities in the Arctic - governance of transnational resources - ecological compensation- circular economy
Technology, law and the otherness of life

Language: English and Finnish

In the present stage of the technological era, humanity’s way of life experiences disruptions through varied technological developments. Technological improvements imply an edge to a known way of life, unknowingly developing it into an extended cyborg of sorts. One visualizes it around the ideas of technological self and otherness, emerging in varied spaces, such as digital (online identities, privacy), mechanical (bionic appendages), robotics (AI, programs) and genetic (mitochondrial manipulation).

The Law, Technology and Design Thinking (LTDT) group invites papers on this seminar on the technological self and otherness of life. Inquires relate to but are not limited to, 

- Law and the digital / technological self- Law and the digital / technological other- Legality of genetic manipulation - Electronic personality- Law and AI- Law and digital platforms
Law in a functioning society

Language: Finnish and English

This working group invites presentations from any field of law, general jurisprudential studies or other sciences. The more specific theme of the working group is the relationships, interdependence and correlations of the legal system with the social reality, including values. We hope for presentations of concrete cases or developments where these relationships are visible, but also more theoretical analyses. In this working group, we offer an opportunity also for general theoretical and philosophical reflection.

Presentations can, for example, deal with how

- some regulatory reform is influenced by the social objectives and expectations (e.g., traffic law reform, the information society reform, but also reforms at individual points of law, such as the rape crime qualifier, etc.)- some fields of law have sought to define or update their definition of the social needs they are trying to address (eg social civil law, extension of the scope of the European law, Drittwirkung of constitutional law, etc.)- the whole legal system or some part of it has, in a certain historical phase – including the present – reacted to social change (e.g., the development of labor law through the rise of the working class, change of the self-understanding of criminal justice through sociological knowledge, development of family law through new gender thinking, etc.)- information produced by other sciences (eg knowledge of people's economic behaviour, knowledge of crime, knowledge of structural and historical injustices, knowledge of other cultures, etc.) affects rendering of justice and how legal standards impose requirements on production of information (eg research ethics, historical interpretation, sensitivities related to discrimination, etc.)- the general arrangement social power is characterized by communication and confrontation between different governing practices and systems; social and human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften) and so-called hard sciences are separated or intertwined (possibly with some connection to justice, but not necessarily)- something else related to the theme.