REFLEXIVITY AND RESPONSIVENESS IN LAW
12–14 March 2019, University of Lapland
Registration by Mon 18 February.
Seminar languages are Finnish and English
The annual Research Seminar of Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland is a platform for the whole research community, from professors to students. Plenum guest speakers this year are Rob van den Hoven van Genderen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Tuomas Hupli (University of Turku), Natalia Ollus (HEUNI) and Niko Soininen (University of Helsinki).
In an interview, the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu once came to the following conclusion “I think sociology should define its social demand and functions on its own”. This requires continuous and autonomous critical exploration of one’s own principles: reflexivity; and completely setting aside the question about what or whom one should serve, said Bourdieu. Bourdieu’s invitation to reflexivity suits just as well in legal research, if not even better.
In the spirit of Bourdieu, we invite our researchers to scientific self-scrutiny; it is again the time to bring some clarity to our own usefulness and tasks in society. This time the theme is Reflexivity and Responsiveness in the Law. In other words, we will be discussing the law in a functioning society.
The seminar and its theme are suitable for any stage of the research career and for any field of the law. For example, you can just tell about state of affairs in your field or about the subject of your research, but it would be great if you could give examples or other ways of showing the relationship between the legal system and the rest of society.
As a whole, the concern of the research seminar is the ability of the legal system, not only to keep with social development, but also to defend its own principles, values and goals, to the language of which the new problems should be translated.
By responsiveness, we mean the ability of the legal system to respond to the expectations and needs stemming from other parts of society. On the one hand, the seminar will focus especially on the social expectations and needs emerging from people's well-being, use of natural resources, and technological development. Expectations may conflict with each other and needs may be mutually exclusive, which is why the legislative solutions often remain under constant tensions. On the other hand, it can be assumed that the function of the whole legal system, in particular its procedural aspect associated with decision-making and dispute resolution, is to meet people’s expectations of justice where tensions develop into conflicts.
By reflexivity we mean, first of all, the ability of the legal order to maintain its identity in the face of external expectations and needs. For example, can equality in the protection of workers be compromised, if vitalization of economic activity requires it? What about the protection of private life, if prevention of terrorist acts requires compromises? Whereas responsiveness refers to the ability of the legal system to modify and adapt itself, reflexivity means a sort of resilience. In the legal system, this is maintained in particular by constitutional law, which embodies the requirements of democracy and the rule of law, as well as the procedural law, embodying the requirements of independence and transparency of decision-making and the equal right of individuals to defend themselves.
Reflexivity can also refer to a certain stage in the legal development, to a paradigm of law. Reflexive type of law is one that provides to other social systems – such as the systems of environmental management, human health and wellbeing, and technological development – fair forms of procedures and other tools to locate and define their own function and identity. Reflexive law does not guide other systems in substance, but provides them legal means to define their own principles and objectives and to choose the appropriate means. The question may be raised whether the reflective law paradigm is the dissemination of the concept of procedural law to the whole legal system, somewhat similarly to what has taken place with fundamental right since the 1990s.
However, these are only one type of elaborations of the theme and they should not restrict the possibility of making completely other type of contributions. Please come and tell about your own way!
Please register your participation on 18 February at latest through email to email@example.com.
Please note that presentation does not bind you to the work of that group throughout the seminar, but you can choose freely what program you are participating in.
1) Presentation in a working group
- Please mention in which group you want to present and whether you will be submitting a paper.
- Submit an abstract of 100 to 200 words with your registration. Abstract should summarize the paper's research problem and, for example, the starting points and goals for the work. The abstracts will be published on the seminar website after the end of the registration period.
- Please mention your name, e-mail address and on how many days you will be attending.
- Once you have received a registration confirmation, you can book your trip and accommodation.
- If you want your paper to be shared with other participants in the working group, please send it to the team leader by March 4th.
If you do not present a paper in a working group (for example, if you are not planning to complete Theory or Method as PhD student by participation) and only keep the presentation, please submit an abstract anyway.
The organizing body may suggest moving your presentation to another working group other than what is stated in the announcement. In this case, the organizers will contact you personally.
2) Participation without presentation
If you participate without presentation, please submit registration anyway. In this case, only include your name, e-mail address and information on how many days you will be attending.
Credits for Doctoral Students
By way of participating in the Research Seminar; by writing a ten-page paper for it; and by giving a 15 minutes presentation on the basis of it, you will get the required Theory (5 credits) or Method (5 credits) sections for your study record (Faculty of Law.) These belong to the curriculum of your post-graduate studies. Please send the paper to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 11.
On the structure of doctoral studies, see Postgraduate degrees.
Some tips for readings:
- Habermas, Jürgen (1996) ‘Paradigms of Law’. Chapter 9 of Between Facts and Norms. Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, pp. 388–446. Also in 17 Cardozo Law Review (1995–1996) pp. 771.
- Foucault, Michel (2008) ‘Lecture on 17 January’ and ‘Lecture on 28 March’. Chapters 2 and 11 of The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France 1978–1979. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 267–290.
- Koskenniemi, Martti (2006) Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification And Expansion Of International Law. http://legal.un.org/ilc/documentation/english/a_cn4_l682.pdf.
- Luhmann, Niklas (2004) ‘Society and its Law’. Chapter 12 of Law as a Social System. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 464–490.
- Nonet, Philippe & Philip Selznick, Law & society in Transition: Toward Responsive Law
- Teubner, Gunther (2012) Constitutional Fragments: Societal Constitutionalism and Globalization.
- Teubner, Gunther & Andreas Fischer-Lescano (2004), Regime-Collsions The Vain Search for Legal Unity in the Fragmentation of Global Law. Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 999-1046.
- Teubner, Gunter (1983) ‘Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern Law’. Law & Society Review Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 239-286.
More information about the Research Seminar and its program will appear on this Internet page.
The seminar is open to anyone interested and participants from other faculties are also welcome.
For previous Research Seminar, see: OPENINGS - Research Seminar in Legal Studies 2018
Please address your inquiries to Iiris Kestilä, email@example.com
The person responsible for the seminar on the whole is Samuli Hurri, firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Fairness of legal proceedings (only in 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:
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:
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 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
Changes are possible
Venue: Rovaniemi, University of Lapland, LS 19
9.15. Welcome, Samuli Hurri
9.30. Plenum, Rob van den Hoven van Genderen & Rosa Ballardini
12.15 Working groups
14.15 Working groups
16.15 Working groups
9.15 Plenum Niko Soininen & Jukka Similä
12.15 Working groups
14.15 Plenum Tuomas Hupli & Mikko Vuorenpää
16.15 Working groups
9.15 Plenum Natalia Ollus & Minna Kimpimäki
12.15 Working groups
14.15 Working groups
16.15 Working groups