McCutcheon on The Misconception of Literary Characters as Copyright Works @UWALawSchool

Jani McCutcheon, University of Western Australia Law School, is publishing Works of Fiction: The Misconception of Literary Characters as Copyright Works in the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA. Here is the abstract. This article critiques US jurisprudence, commentary and industry practice suggesting that fictional literary characters constitute separate copyright works distinct from the literary works in which they are situated. The scholarship on this jurisprudence tends to lament the ambiguity of the courts’ character delineation standards, and the inconsistency of court decisions applying them, but rarely, if…

Tobia on Testing Original Public Meaning @kevin_tobia

Kevin P. Tobia, Yale University; ETH Zurich, has published Testing Original Public Meaning. Here is the abstract. Various interpretive theories recommend using dictionaries or corpus linguistics to provide evidence about the “original public meaning” of legal texts. Such an interpretive inquiry is typically understood as an empirical one, aiming to discover a fact about public meaning: How did people actually understand the text at the time it became law? When dictionaries or corpora are used for this project, they are empirical tools, which might be reliable or unreliable instruments. However,…

Polsky on The Concepts of Fundamental Law and Constitution in 18th Century Russia

Sergey Polskoy, National Research University, Higher School of Economics, has published The Concepts of Fundamental Laws and Constitution in the 18th Century Russia as Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 169/HUM/2018. Here is the abstract. In this article, we attempt to trace the semantic changes two key concepts of the Modern period – fundamental law and constitution underwent at the 18th century and investigates how these European concepts were adapted and used in the Russian political language. The concept of the constitution and fundamental laws in eighteenth-century…

A Seminar at ANU College of Law

The Australian National University College of Law Centre for Law, Arts, and the Humanities presents a Seminar on Vertigo: Fake news/real theory. The event takes place on December 12, 2018. The ANU contemporary critical theory group is hosting a one-day seminar exploring law, art, politics, and society in the 21st century. This event will feature short papers of no more than 15 minutes that make an intervention or articulate an argument with succinct vigour, leaving plenty of room for lively and even contentious discussion. We particularly encourage the attendance and…

Julien Mezey Dissertation Award–Deadline December 7, 2018 @Law_Cult_Huma

The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities invites submissions for the Julien Mezey Dissertation Award. This annual prize is awarded to the dissertation that most promises to enrich and advance interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of law, culture and the humanities. The Association seeks the submission of outstanding work from a wide variety of perspectives, including but not limited to law and cultural studies, legal hermeneutics and rhetoric, law and literature, law and psychoanalysis, law and visual studies, legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence. Scholars completing…

Wilson on the Legal Foundations of White Supremacy @Erika_K_Wilson

Erika K. Wilson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, College of Law, has published The Legal Foundations of White Supremacy, 11 DePaul Journal for Social Justice 1 (2018). From the introduction: The election of former President Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, temporarily changed the discourse around race in America. Despite America’s sordid racial history, President Obama’s election was hailed as evidence that race was no longer a salient factor in meting out opportunities—that the country was finally “post-racial.” Indeed, some even went so far as to suggest that…

Etienne Madranges, Les Palais de Justice (2011) @LexisNexisFr @etimad

ICYMI: Etienne Madranges, Les palais de justice de France (Lexis/Nexis, 2011). Ce livre est la mémoire du patrimoine judiciaire français dans sa diversité, avec ses aspects parfois émouvants, parfois somptueux, et des anecdotes étonnantes. Des centaines de palais, du plus simple au plus solennel. L’auteur a voulu montrer au grand public la richesse, les curiosités, les endroits et objets insolites des temples de la Justice de France. Il en a visité plus de 1 000 et a pu, avant la fermeture récente de 200 tribunaux, fixer par l’image tous ces lieux…

Comedy and Law in America (Oxford University Press, 2018) @templelaw @OxUniPress

Forthcoming from Oxford University Press: Laura Little, Temple University School of Law, Guilty Pleasures: Comedy and Law in America (2018). Here, from the publisher’s website, is a description of the book’s contents. Few people associate law books with humor. Yet the legal world–in particular the American legal system–is itself frequently funny. Indeed, jokes about the profession are staples of American comedy. And there is actually humor within the world of law too: both lawyers and judges occasionally strive to be funny to deal with the drudgery of their duties. Just…

Murrell on How the Independence of Judges Reduced Legal Development in England, 1600-1800 @UofMaryland

Peter Murrell, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, has published The Independence of Judges Reduced Legal Development in England, 1600-1800. Here is the abstract. Conventional wisdom on English development confers iconic status on the clause of the Act of Settlement (1701) that mandated secure tenure for judges. Because the Act’s effect on tenure was partial, the effect of tenure on judicial decisions can be identified. The paper estimates how the awarding of tenure changed the number of citations to judges’ decisions, a measure of judicial quality. The empirics uses two…