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  • 14 Sep 2022 19:00 | Manuel Fanega

    Here it is my contribution to this blog, on my enriching experience in Oñati, where I relate a bit of my experience in my first one-month-stay in the International Institute for the Sociology of Law.

    To start with, it is good to know that the working language is English. Switch to English as you pass through the door of Antia Residence. When someone don’t speak Spanish or Basque, all the group switch to English immediately. This is not rare but frequent: I met people from Canada, Australia, France, Hungary, the USA…

    Traditional and critical criminology is everywhere. The Institute has a big library on Sociology of Law. Perhaps for this reason, if you are a criminologist, you’ll feel very comfortable there. The library has three spaces. One, with physical (and electronic) journals (Eguzquilore, Punishment and Society, and so on) and one scanner; and two more spaces plenty of books, mainly written in English, but also in other languages. You’ll find many references to include in your writings on Social Control, Policing, Prisons, Human rights, Governance, etc. and there are also many fundamental pieces on Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy, Law, etc.

    Practice of sports. Within a five-minute’s walk from the Institute or the Residence you can find the public Zubikoa Sport Centre. In my case, I frequently enjoyed the pool (open all-year-round), but there are further sports to practice. During summer there’s also an area to sunbath. You can buy a single ticket for every session or to get a 10-sesions-boucher. The staff is very friendly, as all Oñati inhabitants. Also, in summer, don’t forget to walk or bike to the natural pool of Usako, that it’s very near of Oñati.

    Accommodation. Although you’ll arrive to Oñati with a prearrangement accommodation, once you are there you may find other offers. Sometimes, there’re availability of apartments or rooms from Oñati’s inhabitants, which are very kind and reliable. In my case, I stayed one week in an apartment, because the Residence was full in those days. The landlord was very kind (thanks M. for the bikes and your hospitality). Also, the Institute staff will do everything to help you and make your stay as happy as possible.

    Communications. I used public transports in my stay. Based on that experience, I’d to recommend you get the Gipuzkoa card to save a bit of money traveling within this province. Besides, there’re one or two direct buses from Bilbao airport to Oñati, but everybody will recommend you go to San Prudentzio bus stop, which is a busy commuting point to Oñati, Bilbao, San Sebastian-Donosti and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

    Food. Since you’ve a well-equipped kitchen in Antia Residence, you can prepare your own meal. Within five-minutes-walk you can find a medium-side supermarket called Eroski, and a bigger Eroski by ten-minutes-walk in the opposite direction; this one with fresh fish and seafood. In that way there are also a small supermarket called Coviran, that opens until ten, even on Sundays. If you can’t live without fresh bread every morning, go to Atzeko Kalea, 14. Also, you can have breakfast in Ogi Berri or Bizipoz Kafe in your way to the Institute. At lunch time, I used to go to the building of Mondragon University in Oñati (no id. is required to access to the canteen, but ask the staff to be seated). Their daily-menu is wealthy, tasty and it cost around 13€. Don’t leave Oñati without learn about the Mondragon’s cooperative system, where the supermarket previously mentioned, Eroski, is also a part of.

    Finally, and the more important: Oñati is a hub of ideas, scholars and a very productive place. It doesn’t matter when or where. You’ll write a lot in the morning, confront your ideas with colleagues in the afternoon (at the same time you enjoy a glass of Basque cider during pintxopote) or attend a private master class on methodology of science in the terrace of Antia at night (thanks Javier B.).

    To sum up, Oñati is a perfect ecosystem where time lets you space to enjoy, rest, think, write and share. That is, to fully live knowledge.

    Thanks for all, OC! 

    Manuel Fanega (Loyola University, Spain) 

  • 19 Aug 2022 17:32 | Jennifer Koshan

    For the month of June 2022 I had the honour of being a visiting scholar at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati. I had been to Oñati twice before for workshops, and like most people I fell in love with the people, place, and pintxos. I could not wait to spend longer at the Institute, though wait I did until pandemic conditions allowed. After over two years of limited travel and in person interactions, it felt like a dream to hang out in the IISL library with other visiting scholars, graduate students, helpful staff, and the immense and diverse collection of socio-legal tomes. Almost every day included a long walk, writing time, a coffee in the main plaza, and the aforementioned pintxos (usually accompanied by txakoli). My partner joined me for 3 weeks and he would add afternoon naps to that list. We had many potluck dinners at the Residencia Antia, where we shared offerings from the Saturday market, discussed local and international politics, and made plans for weekend hikes and excursions to other parts of Basque country. Fortunately the Residence stayed cool despite the heat wave, but we were still happy to discover the local swimming hole, Usako. We were also fortunate to experience several local festivals, including Corpus Christi. I felt a true sense of belonging when I was whacked by a cabezudo wearing a rooster head in the plaza.

    My writing project while at the Institute was a paper on myths and stereotypes about domestic violence, which I presented in July at the International Congress on Feminism, Law and Citizenship at L’Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne in Paris (for an earlier blog post on this work see here). Although the topic is a heavy one, the ability to think and write in the idyllic setting presented by Oñati was instrumental to the progress I made. I also valued the opportunity to discuss my research (and theirs) with people from a range of different legal system contexts.

    There are many encounters that Zoom and other platforms allowed socio-legal scholars to approximate during the pandemic, but I am so grateful for the encounters I was able to have in person in Oñati this summer. Eskerrik asko to the Institute for making the dream of a Canadian socio-legal scholar a reality.    


  • 3 Aug 2022 15:07 | María de los Ángeles Ramallo

    7th Global Meeting on Law and Society. Abstracts of the papers presented by Members of the Oñati Community (PART 3). 

    Remember that if you have done a presentation at the Global Meeting and you want your abstract to be uploaded, you can contact mramallo@derecho.uba.ar

    The Interview as Text. Sharyn Roach Anleu and Kathy Mack (Flinders University)

    The interview is often a preferred method to study emotion. Interviews can enable a far-reaching flow of consciousness, allow scope for reflexivity and provide opportunities for probing. However, the interview is not just an extraction of information. The process is a dynamic and interactional co-production and may entail emotional work for the interviewer and interviewee. Interviews also have limitations. They are conducted in an artificial situation, in which interviewees provide accounts, even justifications, of their actions and approaches. The interviewer/researcher cannot always gauge the alignment between an interviewee’s description of a past situation and what they felt in the moment. We wish to explore two issues:

    (i) Interviews about emotions can be difficult for those in legal settings, eg judicial officers, who frame their work as rational or cognitive, not emotional or feeling. Interviewees may not be used to thinking about emotions or may regard them only to be avoided or suppressed. Some judicial officers may perceive questions about emotion as personal and so intrusive. The interviewer might not be able to discern whether judicial officers are reticent to talk about emotion or whether they lack the language to do so.

    (ii) Interviews have an important temporal dimension. An interview occurs and is recorded at one point in time. Later it is transcribed, and much later analyzed, perhaps several times in different ways and possibly by different readers/researchers. The interview as narrative or conversation becomes text. Its interactive nature shifts from interviewee and interviewer to the researcher(s) -- necessarily the interviewer -- who interprets the interview transcript, identify themes, and codes the text. This research process can be more akin to historical research that generates insight about emotion from documents.

    Can the jihadist women speak? The construction of self-identity under totalitarian semantics. Wanda Capeller (Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra)

    This reflection aims to analyze the complex conditions that determine desubjectivation process by which self-identity and self-image of European young women are reconstructed under the impact of totalitarian semantics and ideological rhetoric, what led them to join a pre-modern way of life in ISIS’s patriarchal society. In terrorist community women have an ambiguous social role, on the one hand, a subaltern role of wife and mother devoted to the domestic space, and on the other hand, an active role in the community, notably as a combatant woman. After the fall of ISIS, in 2019, those women are living in Syria and Turkey’s refugee camps, asking to return to their origins countries. These women are being heard by European political and judicial authorities? I will argue on two points, as follows: 1) jihadist propaganda as a powerful dispositive allowing the formation of subaltern subjectivity; 2) voiceless women facing European hesitant “return policies” to the rescue of jihadist women.

    What Are Victim Impact Statements For? Susan A. Bandes (DePaul University College of Law)

    In Payne v. Tennessee, the US Supreme Court upheld the admission of victim impact statements (VIS) on the ground that they provide valuable information to the sentencer. In the three decades since, two additional rationales for VIS have become ascendant: most prominently, a therapeutic rationale, and more recently, a public education rationale. In this article, I expand upon my critiques of the informational and therapeutic rationales in light of a growing body of empirical evidence about how VIS affect both sentencers and crime victims. Focusing on the powerful and viral VIS delivered at the Larry Nassar guilty plea hearings and the Brock Turner trial, I consider whether VIS can be defended as a vehicle for informing the public about the impact of crime—particularly crimes that are underenforced or poorly understood. I conclude that ultimately the current VIS regime arises from and reinforces an individualistic model of crime that is not well-suited to illuminating the scope or consequences of criminal behavior, particularly in multi-victim cases like those of Larry Nassar. More generally, I argue that there are fairer and more robust models for achieving the informational, healing, and educative goals that victim impact statements are meant to serve, and that these models may well require decoupling those goals from the narrow ambit of the criminal justice system. 

    Suggested Citation: Bandes, Susan A., What are Victim Impact Statements for? (June 08, 2022). 87 Brooklyn Law Review 1253 (2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4118829

    The Interplay Between Customary Law on Inheritance in Southern Cameroons and the Human Rights Principle of Gender Non-Discrimination. Mirabelle Chi Epse Okezie (University of Tasmania)

    Like most Sub-Saharan African countries, Cameroon runs a plural legal system which consists not only of western legal models introduced by the French and the British during colonialism, but also of municipal legislation and human rights principles, all existing side by side with a fragmentary system of norms based on native laws and customs – customary law. Among these rules, the relationship fostered between customary law and human rights principles is particularly characterized by tension, friction, and conflict, resulting from their divergent features. Customary law in Cameroon is imbued with a discriminatory structure that is highly patriarchal and disadvantageous to women, while human rights values, on the other hand, are imbued with humanity and usually advocate egalitarian principles that presuppose gender equality and non-discrimination between men and women. Under customary law in Southern Cameroons for example, women are regarded as legal minors who can only enjoy usufruct rights in property but can neither freely contract nor acquire and dispose of property, thus disempowering them in the area of inheritance.

    Efforts to discourage such discriminatory customary laws include the adoption of the repugnancy and the incompatibility tests (Section 27(1) of the Southern Cameroons High Court Laws) in the enforcement of customary law by the ordinary courts in Southern Cameroon. However, these have only led to a divergence in customary laws rather than solve the problem. What the ordinary courts recognize as customary law is different from what the society including unofficial customary courts considers as such. This is because, when the ordinary courts reject the enforcement of a particular custom which is said to conflict with human rights values, nothing is done to further prevent the continuous observance of such customary law in society. Thus, because customary justice in Southern Cameroon is equally exercised by unofficial customary courts (local chiefs empowered to settle disputes using native laws and customs) which tend to be more widely used in most rural and poor urban areas, the observance of discriminatory customary laws and practices remains a huge problem and warrants attention. This article focuses on the interplay between customary law on inheritance in the Southern part of Cameroon and the human rights principle of gender non-discrimination.

  • 1 Aug 2022 10:04 | Anna Di Ronco

    I visited Oñati in March this year during my research leave. My hope was to be able to write my book on the policing of eco-justice movements in a tranquil and intellectually stimulating environment. In my two-week stay I did progress with my writing but also did much more than that: I enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the gorgeous library, had amazing walks in the nature around Oñati, and connected with the other Visiting Scholars and Master Students at the residence. During my second week I also went to Donostia-San Sebastián to meet Gema Varona (also in the Oñati Community) and gave a lecture in her course at the University of the Basque Country. During my stay, I also visited Vitoria-Gasteiz (the Country's capital) and Zarautz (at the seaside). I travelled around the region mostly by bus, which gave me the chance to chat with people and appreciate their generosity and attachment to their beautiful Country. I won't elaborate on the regional food but, as everyone knows, it is remarkable (I loved the pintxos!!). Overall, I very much enjoyed my stay and felt enriched by it - and I will definitely come back again in the future, should the opportunity arise. 

    My book 'Policing, Social Control and Environmental Activism: Power and Resistance in Urban Struggles for Eco-Justice' will be published by Bristol University Press next year.   

  • 27 Jul 2022 15:23 | María de los Ángeles Ramallo

    7th Global Meeting on Law and Society. Abstracts of the papers presented by Members of the Oñati Community (2nd part) 

    Remember that if you have done a presentation at the Global Meeting and you want your abstract to be uploaded, you can contact mramallo@derecho.uba.ar

    Judicial Dialogues and the Rule of Law. Joxerramon Bengoetxea (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU and Oñati IISL)

    My contribution is based on a recently published monograph that analyzes judicial dialogue, locating it in judicial governance studies and research on the Judiciary-. It proposes an innovative taxonomic typology of judicial dialogues. The presentation for the Lisbon Conference focuses on its European dimension, especially when a clash appears between the Rule of Law in different legal systems. This is the question of primacy, and gives rise to the debate on Constitutional Pluralism. Judicial Dialogue has sometimes been presented as a possible remedy to the clashes (the rage) produced by alternative claims of supremacy (and sovereignty).

    A sort of constitutional pluralism has emerged in the EU following the doctrine of the primacy of EU law, as the uniform law of the Union, and the reactions against this doctrine originating in some national courts and juridical circles. This is not a new phenomenon and Neil MacCormick coined the theory of mild or soft constitutional pluralism to understand it. Pluralist predicaments are hard to reconcile with hierarchical and pyramidal Western legal theory, and this tension is likely to create stress for national legal and judicial cultures and national constitutionalism.

    Amongst the strategies developed by jurists to deal with this tension like comity, subsidiarity, margin of appreciation, local standards, conform interpretation, indirect effect, horizontal effects of fundamental rights, effet utile, or national constitutional identity, this contribution focuses on judicial dialogues.

    The concept, typology and functions of "judicial dialogue" and the methodology and sociolegal and jurisprudential theories required for their analysis and appraisal show their potential in dealing with the stress of competing claims and clashes on who has the competence over competence (K-K). To analyze judicial dialogue, it is necessary to address justice from a constitutional and socio-legal governance perspective, where the social sciences complement the legal analysis, based on the institutional theory of law (MacCormick).

    The rapprochement between sociology and legal theory uses a realist concept of law as an institutional normative order(ing), which addresses norms and conflicts within the realm of practical reason. A hermeneutic understanding is necessary to understand Judges and Judging —as a power and as an institution— and the practice of judicial dialogue, and requires an epistemology that overcomes the dialectical tension between legal sociology and dogmatic theories of law. Open to Justice and to the theories of the Judiciary, as its institutional manifestation, this approach explains Judicial dialogue as an epiphenomenon or side effect of Justice, as a power and as a field.

    Law, politics and justice are intertwined, as public forums of Practical Reason, something that reveals the difficult cases that are settled in the judicial vertices (apex), raising instances of judicial dialogue, of all sorts. The rich diversity of judicial dialogues calls for a systematic focus on the different categories of judicial dialogue in Europe.

    Ultimately, the legal culture of the judicial, constitutional and juridical communities involved will determine their success or failure in tackling such stressful situations of contestation of authority.

    Bridging Legal Theory and Socio-Legal Studies in the Iberian context. Joxerramon Bengoetxea (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU and Oñati IISL)

    My presentation has three points. The first deals with epistemic communities. The second with marginality of sociolegal knowledge. 

    As regards epistemic communities, while there is there is no centre of any significant size in Spain, comparable to eg Lund's Department of Sociology of Law, or to Coimbra, there is the interesting case of the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, and its Master, Workshops, Publñications, Visiting Schemes and Master, and the Oñati Community virtual network of sociolegal scholars; and there are some centers where sociolegal studies are carried out with that label (Barcelona, Zaragoza, Carlos III Universities, or Girona for Legal Cultures). There are interesting studies in different legal disciplines, away from traditional dogmatics. Especially the development of criminology and economic analysis of law. But this is not systematic. The Spanish law degree syllabus does not give any weight to Law & Society, nor Law & Economics for that matter. Only under the cloak of Legal Theory can Sociology of Law have a presence. Even less so regarding the professional Master for Law School Practice, or that for the School of the Judiciary. Still much to be done.

    Secondly, the marginality, critical focus and exclusion of sociolegal theory in the formation of the internal legal culture. There are two major gaps in Spanish legal education: sociolegal studies and comparative law. Big challenge for Jurisprudence and Legal Theory. Even Legal Theory (Jurisprudence) or Legal History are marginal disciplines. There could be many more bridges between the marginal legal subjects. Behind these disciplinary confrontations there are issues of power, and sites of research; for instance what sort of career paths are open to researchers and who decides on the law curriculum? Who is in charge of granting access to the legal professions and what is studied there? Law departments, Law Faculties v Law Schools, State exam for legal practice, Access to Judicial school, and similar issues. L&S has some presence at the earlier formative years, as marginal as history, comparative law, or Jurisprudence.

    Thirdly, the need for bridges between Jurisprudence and Sociology of Law, is to be found in the need for a solid conceptual foundation and in awareness of law in action.How far apart are L&S v Jurisprudence? Is it possible to build bridges?

    1. specific topics legal theory and sociolegal studies allowing for convergence: bioethics, criminology and punishment, the market (labour and property), coloniality, and so many more

    2. approaches to law-making (drafting), and judicial decision-making; collaboration between legal theory, political science, sociolegal studies is possible and can yield very useful results

    3. the more philosophical issues: here is where I detect the greatest gap. Analytical jurisprudence has sometimes gone very formal, and sociolegal studies very specific and casuistic, almost dictated by the rigours of research methods, which consider theoretical issues are not sociolegal. Bridges are necessary here, much more interaction, more feedback between the disciplines, also with comparative law, legal geography and legal history.

    The Cartography of repression: an analysis of the clash with the drugs trade in the city of Curitiba. Laís Gorski (Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra, CES-UC)

    The study seeks to demonstrate the main problems raised by the paradigm of Political Sociology in the Penal Field, namely in the sphere of the dysfunctionalities and the structural contradictions in the systems of penal persecution, to be revisited in Brazil in light of the very application of the current criminal legislation. To do so, we propose a critical reflection on prisons notorious for the crime of drug trafficking, before analyzing data obtained by means  of  observations  and  empirical  studies  carried  out at  the  2nd  Police  Station of  the City of Curitiba in Paraná. The data collected on the police’s activities points  to  a  selectivity  in  criminal  prosecution  across different levels,  to  have  invariably  led  to  the  individualization of certain punishable social groups.

    “After Speaking With the Judge, My Enrollment Fee Was Paid”: the Use of Constitutional Remedies in Colombia’s Educational System and Transformative Law in Latin America. Markus Ciesielski (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)

    Latin America is characterized by extreme social inequalities since colonial times. Education alleviated extreme poverty. Nevertheless, education is not reducing substantially the economic, cultural, and ethnic disadvantages of historically marginalized actors and communities. Racial and gender discriminations persist although education is a mostly region-wide justiciable fundamental right. This leaves unresolved a central topic of socio-legal scholars: The social transformation through law. I argue that a constructivist approach is necessary for research on the transformative effects of law. My argument relies on an exploratory study on the Colombian acción de tutela. The tutela is a frequently used remedy for fundamental rights (Lehoucq and Taylor 2020). It is commonly used by marginalized actors. I will present a qualitative analysis based on about 30 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2021. Interviews were selected out of over 140 case files provided by Colombian courts. I interviewed students from ethnically diverse regions. They claimed the right to education between 2016 and 2020. The analysis of the qualitative interview data shows transformative effects of law. Students reconstruct imaginaries of educational inequalities by using the tutela-remedy. Tutela-related events like the phone call of a judge or the tutela-sentence can support but also undermine what students expect from their education. Colleges, universities, public-school administrations, and institutions for scholarships become actors in these imaginaries on the right to education. With these findings I suggest supplementing existing research on legal transformation. The results underline the importance of concepts like habitus, legal framing, and legal consciousness. These concepts contribute to a critical examination of the use of legal remedies by historically marginalized actors and communities in the global south.

    Into the Looking Glass: The Construction of Absence in Law and Legal Education. Annette Lansink (University of Venda, South Africa)

    This paper examines the renewed calls for the decolonisation of law and legal education in South Africa. It discusses the process of deconstructing legal knowledge and valorising subjugated African knowledges as an act of epistemological liberation and transformation without essentialising identities. It does so, aligned to the conference theme of rage, reckoning and remedy, within the context of reconciliation and the lacunae in the implementation of transitional justice. The paper further endeavours to examine how legal knowledge can be contextualised and respond to the social realities of communities without losing sight of the contemporary imperative of internationalisation in a global world. This paper accordingly argues that universities should engage the legitimate calls for decolonisation and address issues of epistemic justice in a poly-epistemic and transcultural world as a way of redressing the constructed absences of African knowledges and experiences in law and legal education.

  • 18 Jul 2022 18:31 | María de los Ángeles Ramallo

    The 7th Global Meeting on Law and Society took place in Lisbon from July 13 to 16. Members of the Oñati Community participated in different sessions presenting their research. Here are some of the abstracts of the papers presented: 

    Translocal legalities: local encounters with transnational law. Marisa N. Fassi (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina), together with Matthew Canfield, Giulia Fabini, Emma Nyhan and Mariana Prandini

    The presentation was based on an article published in Transnational Legal Theory, which presents what we term translocal legalities –emergent forms of normativity constituted through grounded encounters with local and transnational legal practices, discourses, subjectivities, resistance. We shift the gaze of transnational legal scholarship away from a top-down mapping of the structures of global law, towards the situated forms of legality that are produced as legal norms from different scales and contexts circulate, interact, and encounter one another. Analyzing the phenomenology of the encounter, we develop an analytical and empirical approach to understanding these encounters by focusing on how law is constituted not solely within traditional legal organizations and institutions, but through the everyday practices, discourses, subjectivities of those mediating local, national and transnational norms.

    For access to the full article,  click here.

    Fostering a methodological “evergreen”: the Socratic debate into educational environments and public contexts. A practice to forge a more participatory, honest, and responsible society. Ivan Daldoss (Università degli Studi di Padova) 

    My contribution shows a methodological path to improve the educational environments through a specific linguistic practice, namely, the debate, conceived as a regulated relationship between opposing parties. Firstly, its great similarities with the game of chess stand out. Indeed, every chess match is played according to predetermined rules and within clear boundaries: the chessboard is the only space where black and white pieces can interact dialectically. Similarly, during a debate, opposite theses clash to confront their best arguments and thus identify which position is the prevailing one. Secondly, in the wake of this parallel, the purpose of implementing educational processes through the Socratic debate finds inspiration in concrete learning experiences: the specific case of a debating tournament is illustrated, recently held in digital form, which has been involving Italian high school students and teachers for over a decade, registering considerable participation and results. Starting from similar realities, my paper holds that new educational avenues can be imagined and developed both in higher educational institutions –such as universities– and public contexts as well, precisely because the debate is one of the ‘best practices’ to be promoted for the creation of stimulating environments. Thirdly, the article particularly argues for the need to exercise Socratic debate as a method to reach a personal dimension of truth –the goal of ‘Parrhesia’– and thus make rationally based decisions (‘choice-based learning’). Its dialectical dynamic allows for a selective comparison among the various linguistic alternatives at stake. Moreover, the ‘socratically oriented’ debate is presented to be the ideal tool for developing in those who experiment with it a sense of community belonging, as well as a set of skills that are increasingly relevant for social participation and the public dimension of existence (‘soft skills’). Furthermore, this kind of practice favors the emergence of mediative spaces (‘common grounds’) between the positions involved in the dialectical contest, thus contributing to building a more inclusive and pluralist society. Hence, the Socratic debate is displayed as a fundamental approach to forging a more participatory, honest, and responsible society.

    Women prosecuted for terrorism in the Basque Country: Deconstructing judicial, media, and NGOs discourse from a feminist perspective. Malena Maceira (Universidad de Buenos Aires)

    The aim of my research is to observe how ‘women terrorists’ are produced as subjects by existing discourses (Foucault, 1986) and if that production implies an extra element of punishment in the convictions that these women obtain. The production of subjects was observed through the critical analysis of discourses such as the ones that the justice system produces, the media, or the statements published by victims of terrorism’s organizations. 

    In the research, I selected three cases where women took part in events that were –and still are, with nuances– considered political violent acts or acts of terrorism. By using Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (Lazar, 2007) I gathered judges’ rulings from the Audiencia Nacional and the Tribunal Supremo in Spain that involved these three women. As well, as newspaper articles from four newspapers (two regional from the Basque country and two at the national level). Finally, I gathered the victims of terrorism’s organizations statements that were made regarding these three women.

    As for the findings of the research I have obtained strong evidence that women are produced as subjects that are located remotely from the idea of subject ‘women’ without the element of violence. It seems to prevail the idea that women are no capable to exercise violence without being considered as a monstrosity. This viewpoint is more nuanced in the rulings but very much openly debated within the newspapers articles and even more when observing the victims’ organizations. In addition, I can say that in part, the extra component of punishment that society applies to women that are considered ‘deviant’ exists, and it is easily observed through how the media reflects on the amount years of punishment that these women received.

    Therefore, from this starting point, I believe that further discussions remain regarding how these women are convicted and in which way their conviction is being executed. This translates into a research project that would shed light on the execution of punishment from a feminist perspective.

    Specters of Abolition: A Decolonial Reading of Slavery, Race and Law in Catalonia. Deo Szpiga (International Institute for the Sociology of Law, UPV/EHU)

    My paper presents the main arguments and findings of my Master’s dissertation. I examine the contribution of Catalonia to the production of the current modern/colonial world-system. Through a genealogical analysis, and from postcolonial and poststructuralist epistemologies, I take the case of Catalan participation in the transatlantic slave trade to reveal how law and coloniality have co-produced a triumphalist narrative of abolition and end of slavery, while simultaneously (re)producing the ontological coloniality that was the basis for slavery in the first place, and concealing its contemporary continuities. In this sense, understanding law as a dispositif which produces subjects of colonial governmentality, thus justifying the dispossession and appropriation of knowledges, resources, and bodies in the Global South; the same technologies that, coincidentally and since late-modernity, have been employed by the imperial-colonial Spanish regime to constitute and perpetuate the status of Catalonia as a stateless nation. The paper is structured in four main axes, with a single unifying thread (i.e. the relationalities between race, power, and law): 1) law as a race-making regime; 2) slavery and the law; 3) abolition and emancipation in the 19th century; and, finally, 4) law as abolition. In this context, the interrogations that drive the dissertation are the following: 1) What role did the law play in creating, defining, and sustaining the Manichean subjectivities of slave/slave owner, colonized/colonizer?; 2) Why did the formal abolition of slavery and the slave trade through law fail to put an end to such practices?; 3) What are the paradoxes and myths of law-as-abolition, and which interests did law as a discourse of abolition serve?; 4) How does Catalonia, specifically, fit into these contradictory ontological modalities, being —at times inconcurrently, at times simultaneously— both a colonizing power and a colonized people itself?

    The coloniality of international law: The Agreement between Argentina and the IMF as a case study to critically rethink the relationship between law, power and politics. Juan Martín Liotta (International Institute for the Sociology of Law (UPV/EHU), Universidad de Buenos Aires) 

    My presentation shares to my Sociology of Law master´s dissertation.  I seek to contribute to the critical legal studies on international law and colonialism. I focus my analysis on the agreement signed between Argentina and the IMF in July 2018. This agreement has been strongly criticized for being contrary to the institution`s regulations and for supporting presidential electoral chances of a political party in 2019.  

    I use this Agreement, as a case study to argue that international law legitimizes and reproduces neocolonial relations between Global North and Global South states. This research is guided by the following questions: what role does international law play in regulating relations between states in the global North and South? How does transnational actors manage to impose their private interest and reflect them into public policies?  

    From a postcolonial and poststructuralist understanding of law and power, I  will refer to Enrique Mari´s body of work. Especially to his concept of law as a part of a dispositif that legitimizes and reproduces power relations. I further highlight the “colonial legacies” of modern law. This is, during the last centuries, law evolved pierced by political and social context of colonial expansion and adopted the strategic function of legitimizing these relations. The legal discourses reflect an ideology which aims to perpetuate dynamics of power and dominance that favor Global North states, transnational private actors and local elites. In this context, the International Monetary Fund played a necessary and key role since de 1970s in imposing neoliberal policies in Global South states, promote a transnational governance and reduce local sovereignty. The rulemakers role was then adopted by private actors, according to its own interests. This process had as a consequence the privatization of democracy.  

    The case study will be helpful to notice how this process has placed in the Argentinean context in the 21st century. I aim to reveal how international law adapts itself to legitimize neocolonial domination. 

    Pluralism of sources and human rights of children and adolescents. Laura Lora (Instituto Ambrosio L. Gioja, Universidad de Buenos Aires). 

    Following the 1994 constitutional reform in Argentina, Article 75, paragraph 17 of the Constitution establishes that Congress has the power to "recognize the ethnic and cultural pre-existence of Argentina's indigenous peoples" and "guarantee respect for their identity". It follows that the culture and, therefore, the identity of such communities must be safeguarded and that there is not only a legal interest in this, but also a constitutional interest. And, obviously, this culture can be manifested through written (laws) or unwritten (customs) norms. 

    Likewise, Article 75, paragraph 22 grants Constitutional hierarchy to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which in its Article 3, paragraph 1, establishes that "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration".

    I propose to reflect on the narratives of rights based on a concrete case involving the human rights of a girl living in a Wichi community in Tartagal, where the conduct of a member was judged, accused of having repeated carnal access with his stepdaughter, since her menarche, which took place when she was 9 or 11 years old, and whom he impregnated a year later.

    If you have done a presentation at the Global Meeting and you want your abstract to be uploaded, you can contact mramallo@derecho.uba.ar.


  • 5 Jul 2022 09:17 | Gonzalo Torquemada

    The digital industry has developed substantially since the beginning of the 21st century with new tools, such as social networking sites (SNSs) and apps, providing new scenarios for criminality sometimes difficult to recognize due to their digital nature. Additionally, social media has swiftly gained access to data traditionally managed by police departments, transferring it to a more public sphere. Therefore, a better understanding of these digital dynamics, not often seen from either the mental health or criminal perspectives, is needed. This paper presents HUMANIZATECH (HTECH), an empirical longitudinal research (Dec. 2015–Dec. 2021) gathering systematic data from 174 police departments worldwide on the criminal use of SNSs and apps against minors. The main findings include 1) a profile of potential victims; 2) evidence of a swift move to more sophisticated criminal dynamics related to online child exploitation and abuse (OCSEA); 3) evidence of an evolution in the use of SNSs towards human trafficking; 4) a list of 58 platforms proved to be used for luring children and adolescents; and 5) a list of 23 more platforms used for minor offences, which are under the radar of law enforcement agencies. Through its research, HTECH has gathered specific information related to the above findings for a genuine understanding of the online modus operandi from the perspectives of the criminal mind and the underage user. These will contribute to designing accurate resources for strategies by law enforcement agencies (intervention) and families (prevention). UPDATED MARCH 22.

               Keywords: Police, SNSs, Apps, Minors, Cybercrime, OCSEA, Grooming, Trafficking. https://www.cybercrimejournal.com/IJCC-3-2021%20UPDATE%20FINAL-1.pdf

  • 12 Mar 2022 21:22 | Susana Arrese (Administrator)

    Sociolegal scholars of the OC agree on a statement condemning Russian aggression on Ukraine

    The Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine and its terror attacks against civilians violate fundamental principles of law and humanity, breach Human Rights and constitute an act of aggression that should be the subject of international prosecution and indictment. As socio-legal scholars, we recognize the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human family to be the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.  Expansionist attacks against democratic states, and denial of the right of self-determination of peoples all violate basic requirements of justice and international law.

    The Russian attack on Ukraine, ordered by President Putin further displays a manifest disdain for the values of democracy, the rule of law and the dignity of human beings. The victims of this aggression also include brave Russian citizens who demonstrate against the war and reporters who dare tell the truth about the atrocities committed by the Putin dictatorship and face flagrant Human Rights violations but the serious victims are Ukranians and all civilians living in Ukraine. The war and its consequences threaten to destroy the basis for meaningful international cooperation.

    As scholars we have the duty to recognize and raise awareness about the fact that violations of international law and military aggressions have happened in other countries, and to stand against all breaches of international law, and all violations of human rights and against the use of violence and military aggression in international relations. We therefore join the many voices demanding an immediate stop to Russian aggression, a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine’s territory and the search for a diplomatic, peaceful, and politically sustainable solution of the crisis. We extend our profound sympathy to our colleagues in Ukraine, thinking very particularly of Yuriy Fedkovich Czernivtsi University, a historic symbol of our discipline, where Ehrlich developed sociology of law, to the people of Ukraine, and to the victims of Russian aggression.

    (Adam Czarnota-Poland;Aida Araceli Patiño-Mexico;Alejandro Celorio-Mexico;Alexander Kondakov-Russia;Alfred Hill-Liberia;Andrés Hernandez-Colombia;Ana Vaideanu-Romania;Andrew Goldsmith-Australia;Angela Melville-Australia;Anna Lundberg-Sweden;Anne Wallace-Australia;Annette Lansink-SouthAfrica;Antonio Rodrigues de Freitas-Brazil;Bart van Klink-The Netherlands;Ben Semple-Northern Ireland;Blacej Kaucz-Ireland;C Ernesto Gonzalez Zarate-Mexico;Carlos Lista-Argentina;Carlos Perette-Argentina;Carolyn Mckay-Australia;Colin Sumner-UK;David Wexler-Puerto Rico;Deborah Brock-Canada;Dolores Morondo-Spain;Dota Szyborska-Poland;Elijah Tukwariba  Yin-Ghana;Eugenia Relaño Pastor-Spain;Fátima el Fakih-Venezuela;Fernando Tapia-Spain;Fiammetta Bonfigli-Italy/Brazil;Filip Cyunczyk-Poland;Francesca Scamardella-Italy;Gabriela Farinha-Portugal;Gema Varona-Spain;Giovanni Torrisi-Italy;Grazyna Skapska-Poland;Heike Jung-Germany;Ihintza Palacin-France;Iker Nabaskues-;Ilse Griek-the Netherlands;Jacek Kurczewski-Poland;Jason Keith Fernandes-India;Javier de Lucas-Spain;Jernej Letnar-Slovenia;Jill Hunter-Australia;Jiri Priban-UK/Czechia;Johannes Feest-Germany;John Brigham-USA;Jose Maria Sauca-Spain;Joxerramon Bengoetxea-Spain;Karolina Kocemba-Poland;Kiyoshi Hasegawa-Japan;Kristina Cufar-Slovenia;Laura María Melián-Spain;Letizia Mancini-Italy;Linda della Raggione-Italy;Lucero Ibarra-Mexico;Luigi Cominelli-Italy;Lukasz Bojarski -Norway;Maciej Pichlak-poland;Maggy Barrere-Spain;Marcin Wróbel-Poland;Marije Mesonero-Spain;Martin Ramstedt-Germany;Masayuki Murayama-Japan;Mavis Maclean-UK;Michal Peno-Poland;Michal Stambulski-Poland;Monjuriul Ahsan-Bangladesh;Nick Frijns-The Netherlands;Nicola Giampietro-Italy;Nikolaos Intzesiloglou-Greece;Nkoli Aniekwu-Nigeria;Noe Galizia-Mexico;Paula Gisele Pelaez-Argentina;Peter Alldridge-UK;Peter Brezina-Czech Republic;Phoebe Heilig-Canada;Pierre Guibentif-Portugal;Ramiro Avila-Ecuador;Ramon Flecha-Spain;Ricardo Leon Pastor-Peru;Richard Lempert-USA;Rogelio Perez Perdomo-Venezuela;Roger Cotterrell-UK;Sara Ramshaw-Canada;Sarah Blandy-UK;Sharyn Roach Anleu-Australia;Silvana Begala - Argentina;Susanne Karstedt-Germany;Stefanie Khoury-UK;Stephan Parmentier-Belgium;Susana Arrese-Spain;Susana Santos-Portugal;Tamar Pitch-Italy;Tanya Monforte-USA;Teresa Picontó Novales-Spain;Ulrike Schultz_Germany;Valeria Verdolini-Italy;Viacheslav Tuliakov -Ukraine;Victoria Capriles-Venezuela;Vincenzo Ferrari-Italy;William L.F. Felstiner-USA;Wladimir L. R. Dias-Brazil;Xabier Arana-;Xabier Fernandez-Spain;Yordanka Bekirska-Bulgaria)


  • 3 Dec 2021 09:05 | Ihintza Palacin Mariscal

    I want to use the opportunity of celebrating the international day of the Basque language to reflect on the recent (legal) events concerning the teaching in Basque in the Northern Basque Country (Iparralde), located in France.

    In a country where unity is mistakenly synonym of uniformity, the lesser-used or minority languages are still fighting for their rightful space in education. 2021 can be marked as a year where immersive education in regional1 languages (Basque included) has been a focal point in France. The latest development on the legislation concerning the Basque language was brought this year by the law on the heritage protection of the regional languages and their promotion, known as the Molac law.

    In a nutshell, this law sought to strengthen the protection of regional languages, notably in the areas of education and diacritic signs. This would have resulted in the inclusion of immersive schooling in regional languages in the public schooling system (Article 4). This law also aimed at financially supporting the enrolment of children in schools offering the teaching of a regional language when the option was not available in their municipality (Article 6). Finally, another key point was the inclusion of the use of diacritic marks in civil status documents (Article 9).

    The French National Assembly adopted the Molac law on the 8th of April 2021, with 247 votes in favour and 76 against, and 19 abstentions. This marked a historic win for the regional languages in France. However, despite this law being adopted, it was challenged before the Constitutional Council, resulting in the decision nº2021-818.

    For this short discussion, the key element to take into account is the sanction of Article 4 by the Constitutional Council. In fact, Article 4 of the Molac law amended Article L.321-10 of the Code of Education, concerning the teaching of regional languages, adding a third point that included immersive education. The Constitutional Council poorly motivated the unconstitutionality of Article 4, arguing since immersive schooling is not limited to the teaching of a regional language, but rather uses this language as the “main language of teaching and as the language of communication in the school”, Article 4 of the Molac law breached Article 2 of the Constitution.2 Yet article 4 included immersive schooling alongside other forms of schooling, and mentioned immersive schooling should be performed without hindering “the objective of a good knowledge of French”. In other words, Article 4 added an additional choice to the parents for the schooling of their children and did not impose sending their children to an immersive classroom in a regional language. Once againthe Constitutional Council seems to automatically pair immersive schooling in a regional language with the imposition of a language other than French, hindering the teaching of regional languages.

    2021 has shown two things to the Basque-speakers of Iparralde. On the one hand, it marks an achievement with the adoption of the Molac law, yet on the other hand, still in 2021, Basque speakers know there is still a lot to fight for.  Therefore, on this December 3rd, let us remind ourselves of the still precarious situation of the Basque language in Iparralde, but more importantly, let us celebrate the achievements obtained by the perseverance of Basque and regional language speakers, in a quite difficult legal environment towards their language(s).

    If you are interested in this issue, this topic (and more), please join us for the discussion of my PhD dissertation in January 2022 hosted by the Oñati Community!

    Laster arte!

    See you soon!

    1 In France, the Basque language is listed as being a “regional language”. The author will use the term “regional language” to be consistent with the French law. However, she does not believe this is the best term to use in France to refer to these languages due to its underlying value judgments, and the delimitation of these languages to “regional matters”.

    2 “The language of the Republic shall be French.”

  • 22 Nov 2021 17:07 | Malena Maceira

    Voy por mi segundo invierno consecutivo y pandémico, pienso. Las mejillas coloradas del calor de la calefacción y las manos heladas. Mala circulación. Estoy sentada en el piso de mi habitación apoyada contra la pared. En la falda tengo la computadora de mi compañera. Ella está sentada al lado mío. Aunque la habitación es grande, vamos pegadas una al lado de la otra tratando de darnos ánimo. Cada cual la lee a la otra. Cada corrección se hace sin ánimo de desanimar y con amor. Sororidad, decimos y reímos también para no llorar. 

    Mientras me mira tipear me dice "¿te pone nerviosa que te mire?" y yo le digo que no, que me mete un poco de presión no más, pero que no pasa nada. Por dentro pienso que sí, que un poco nerviosa me pone porque no estoy acostumbrada a trabajar en equipo. 

    Después de que terminamos nuestras correcciones me pregunté porqué me ponía nerviosa trabajar en equipo. Y recordé que hacía unos días, o ya quizás unas semanas -el tiempo en estos contextos se percibe con mucha distorsión- otra de nuestras compañeras (no lo es formalmente porque es una visiting scholar, pero ya es como si lo fuera) había reflexionado sobre lo mismo. No sobre el trabajo en equipo, sino de que justamente, las ideas fluían muy bien cuando se compartían. Y eso fue lo que me sacudió por un momento. Toda nuestra carrera universitaria vamos armando un recorrido de soledad tal que el trabajo en equipo no es un beneficio. Es un yunque. 

    Los espacios de crecimiento académico que atravesé durante los últimos diez años estuvieron marcados por la soledad: si querés algo bien hecho, hacelo vos mismx. Si querés las cosas hechas, no delegues. No confíes en lxs demás. Nunca sabés cuándo están al lado tuyo y después, chau: tu idea se fue con ellxs. 

    Esta y otra cantidad de ideas tan esperanzadoras se forjan día a día en un contexto de aprendizaje capitalista, clasista y jerárquico en el que quienes no nos sentimos comodxs, tenemos que seguir avanzando. 

    Sin embargo, algo pasó. Esa incomodidad del trabajo colectivo vino para sacudir lo que tenía bastante adormecido. La incomodidad del registro del otrx. Las lógicas aprehendidas en los últimos años llevan tiempo de deconstrucción y cierto es que estos espacios como la Residencia, como la Oñati Community vienen a mostrarnos que hay que darse el espacio.

    Las condiciones del contexto son apabullantes: miles de kilómetros de casa, un frío calador de huesos, pocas horas de sueño, un cerebro fragmentado en idiomas. 

    En ese contexto de vulnerabilidad es que me quiebro y algo aparece. La posibilidad de identificación con quien está adelante. Desde la diferencia, desde las similitudes. 

    El imperativo de la soledad como garantía del trabajo bien hecho se desdibuja y empiezan a calar hondo otras como tales. Lo individual deja de ser importante cuando la lectura compañera es quien le da el tono que faltaba. El trabajo de unx de nosotrxs ya se convierte en el trabajo de todxs. No es una sola cabeza pensando únicamente un tema si no que en el almuerzo hablamos de cómo hacer una pregunta correcta para ver quién puede responderla. Entre este pequeño colectivo de personas de varios países se construye una identidad propia: la del grupo de estudiantes de un mismo máster en una pequeña ciudad. 

    Por eso creo que más allá de cualquier aprendizaje académico -que por cierto ya observo su vastedad- el más importante es cómo trabajar en la academia. Y por si fuera poco y de la pandemia sabemos que salimos entre todxs, con esto solo lo refuerzo. 

    El conocimiento tiene que ser una construcción colectiva. De lo contrario solo puede perecer en el llano de mi propia cabeza. 

    ¡Eskerrik asko a todxs por creer y apoyar la construcción colectiva de conocimiento!

    Malena Maceira (malemace@gmail.com)



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