Conference Announcement & Call for Papers



  The Purpose of the Conference

   Academic literature within law and elsewhere is replete with works addressing various aspects of globalisation, and within this literature there are copious attempts of taking one theoretical perspective or another on the subject matter treated. Nevertheless, there is a recognised paucity of theoretical underpinning for the development of law as an academic discipline into the broader territory that current global trends now present, and this lack is recognised even among those whose own work is at the forefront of theoretical inquiry in the area. Part of the explanation for this state of affairs is that in confronting the novel extensions to the concerns of academic law, new perspectives have been borrowed from other disciplines rather than working through the consequences for a distinctively legal approach (no matter how much resonance with other disciplines such an approach might ultimately enjoy). Another contributory factor is that the explosion of new types of legal phenomena in the global arena has multiplied issues to address faster than any developing theory can keep up with them. And a related factor is that where theory has succeeded in developing to a significant extent it has tended to be confined to dealing with a particular aspect of the subject matter or to expounding a particular theoretical perspective, without fully addressing the implications for or from other aspects, nor fully engaging with other perspectives.

    The rationale for the conference lies in seeking to bring together a number of disparate and often inchoate concerns about theorising law in the global context – concerns that may focus on constitutionalist frameworks or on culturalist forces, that may be inspired by traditional insights of the peculiarly institutional nature of law or be captivated by the potential for law to be transformed by extra-legal impulses – and  by providing a venue for debate, engagement, and exploration of ideas, to broaden the understanding of academic lawyers of the issues and openings for further work in what amounts to a critical area of legal research and scholarship.

  The Structure of the Conference

   The conference programme has been given a distinctive structure so as to encourage fruitful interaction between wider reflection on overarching themes and detailed investigation of  specific topics that in different ways illustrate the implications of globalisation for law. The structure is also designed to provide delegates with the opportunity of contributing during the course of the conference to the development of  thinking on theorising the global legal order.

   The first morning will be taken up with scoping papers, whose authors will provide personal views on the issues and approaches that best provide illumination, or clarify outstanding work needing to be done, in relation to the subject matter of the conference. Patrick Glenn, Neil MacCormick and William Twining have already accepted invitations to present scoping papers. The following afternoon and the next morning will be organised to allow a number of parallel sessions to be run on basic themes in which papers from delegates on a number of specific topics will be considered. While addressing particular concerns relating to those topics, delegates will also be asked to examine the implications of their discussion for some of the general issues raised in the first morning session. This will then feed into a report-back to a plenary discussion held on the second afternoon. Following this a number of delegates including, but not restricted to, the authors of the scoping papers will be invited to make brief concluding observations.

  The Planning Process

   Initial enthusiasm for holding such a conference has given rise to a formal planning process with a steering committee composed of the following.

Academic Directors: Professor Andrew Halpin and Professor Volker Röben, Swansea University
Adviser: Professor William Twining, Quain Professor Emeritus, UCL
Other Members of Steering Committee:
Mr. Richard Hart, Managing Director, Hart Publishing
Professor Ko Hasegawa, Director of the Advanced Institute for Law
       & Politics, University of Hokkaido
Professor Thilo Marauhn, Professor of Public European and
       International Law, University of Giessen
Professor Dennis Patterson, Co-Director, Institute for Law and ,
       Philosophy Rutgers University/ Professor of Jurisprudence and
       International Trade, Swansea University
    The following scholars have also indicated an early interest in contributing to the conference–

             Professor Olexiy Kresin, Senior Research Fellow of Volodymyr Koretskyi
                    Institute of State and Law (National Academy of Science of Ukraine)/
                    Professor of Kiev International University
             Professor Sir Neil MacCormick, Edinburgh University
             Professor Christian Walter, Professor of Public and International Law, University
                    of Münster
             Professor H. Patrick Glenn, Peter M. Laing Chair, McGill University
             Professor Stefan Kadelbach, Professor of European Community Law and Public
                    International Law, University of Frankfurt (Main)
             Professor Yasuo Hasebe, Professor of Constitutional Law and Dean of Law,
                    Tokyo University
             Professor Xie, Dean of Law, and Professor Wang, Vice-Dean,
                    Shandong University

Call for Papers
 and Expressions of Interest

    We made the first open call for papers at the end of 2007 to legal scholars whose academic interests relate to any aspect of the globalizing world and who are concerned to consider the broader theoretical ramifications of their work. Details of the programme will be established by the academic directors with the guidance of other members of the steering committee, and be posted on the website in early 2008. We anticipate making a final call for papers in February 2008, to cover a limited number of slots remaining. Queries or other expressions of interest from potential delegates should be sent to Andrew Halpin ( or Volker Röben ( Some may wish to participate in discussions without formally presenting a paper. Attendance at the conference is not restricted to those presenting papers. However, since the number of spaces available will be limited, early expressions of interest are encouraged.

   Examples of particular topics already suggested as falling under the subject matter of the conference include:

The permeability of norms · Intercultural legal transformation · EU law as a microcosm for global law: applications and limitations · Hard and soft supranational law · Harmonisation of laws within a society – and between societies · Levels of congruence and diversity: regionalism and subsidiarity · The management of diversity · The lessons from law and development · The vertical and horizontal relationships of courts · The role of legal tradition and the rejection of legal order · The re-emergence of ius post bellum · Discovering environmental norms · An emerging global administrative law · The relationship between international law and the law of states · The role of non-state actors · Substantive and institutional agendas for a global legal order · Implications for international trade

 Outline Programme

    The subject matter of the conference has been broken down into four basic themes, around which topics will be arranged in organising the parallel sessions –

            (a)     legal transplants
            (b)     supranational law

            (a)     finding common denominators
            (b)     imposing external norms

            (a)     human rights
            (b)     the rule of law

            (a)     extending the scope of international law
            (b)     the space emerging beyond the nation-state

   The timetable for the conference is as follows –

evening of previous day arrival in Swansea
@ @ @ @ @
day 1  8.30-9.00 coffee and registration
 9.00-9.30 welcome and introduction
 9.30-12.45 scoping papers with coffee break midway
12.45 break for lunch
 2.00-3.30 parallel sessions on themes (1) and (2)
 3.30 break for tea
 4.00-5.30 parallel sessions on themes (1) and (2) continued
 7.00 dinner
@ @ @ @ @
day 2   9.00-10.30 parallel sessions on themes (3) and (4)
10.30 break for coffee
11.00-12.30 parallel sessions on themes (3) and (4) continued
12.30 break for lunch
  1.45-3.15 themes (1) and (2)
report back and plenary discussion
 3.15 break for tea
themes (3) and (4)
 3.30-5.00 report back and plenary discussion
 5.00-6.30 concluding observations
 7.30 conference dinner
@ @ @ @ @
morning of following day departure from Swansea after breakfast, with optional social activity for those able to delay their departure and engage in further informal discussion

 Publication of Proceedings

   The enduring value of the conference will not be limited to any advantages gained by its participants and must be found in the potential of its published proceedings to inform the future progress of theoretical inquiry in the area, and of the airing of theoretical issues and insights to encourage and assist more practical lines of inquiry. Publication of the proceedings is crucial, and in a manner that fits the objectives of the conference. It is intended that the published proceedings will follow the format of the conference in including scoping papers, a selection of papers on particular topics, and papers providing reports and observations on the general state of the subject and the room for further study – with contributions being revised and expanded following the conference, prior to publication.

    Main papers in the conference was published by Hart Publishing in the autumn of 2009.


   A standard conference fee of £250 will cover conference materials, refreshments, lunches and dinners, including the formal conference dinner on the final evening. In addition, delegates will need to arrange bed and breakfast accommodation, available from a number of nearby providers, ranging from the more modest guesthouse to 4*/5* hotels, from around £35-£95 per night. Further details will be made available on the conference website.


   Related Sites

    We hope this academic endeavour may command the wider interests of active legal scholars in this globalizing world.