Questions of ceremony and ritual have never been far from the concerns and controversies of Western law. For some there is no law or entry into law without ceremony and ritual. It is ceremony and ritual that inaugurate the space and time, give it its symbolic form, and animate its material life. It shapes the meeting place of laws and marks obligations of relation and exchange. Without doctrine, ritual and ceremonial there would be no articulation and animation of the knowledge, desires, friendships and loves of the law. For others, it is the rule of government, institution, and police that give law its shape. The ceremonies of law at best mask both the detail of the technical and archival ordering of law and the broad sweep of political, economic, social, and cultural form of legal relations.
Over the last twenty five years legal scholarship based in the humanities and social sciences has addressed a broad range of concerns about the representational and ceremonial character of law. It is important and appropriate for two conferences that have been committed to critically investigating the conditions of lawful engagement in Australasia to focus attention again on the modes of authorising law. Where recent conferences have placed emphasis on crossings, markings, movements, passages, recollections, reflections, transcendences and transformations, this conference invites consideration of research in the light of what holds, binds, and elaborates lawful relations
The joint conference of the Law Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia and the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand invites contributions involving the consideration and reconsideration of the ceremonies and ceremonial form of law in all its forms and functions, including, but not limited to, explorations:
- On the representation of lawful relations
- On questions of doctrine, ritual and ceremonial in law
- On law’s rites and performances
- On the transmission and transformation of law
- On indigenous relationships of law
- On the tradition and wisdom of law
- On legal ceremonies of crime and criminality
- On international forms of law and justice
- On postcolonial imaginaries of law and justice
We welcome abstracts from individual presenters and from panels of up to three presenters (four presenters can be accommodated – see ‘Sessions’ below).
Length of abstract: 200 words per presenter.
Panel proposal: 50-100 word overview in addition to the abstract for each presenter.
Sessions will be programmed to run for 90 minutes. Presenters will have 20 minutes in which to present their paper. For presentations involving panels made up of four presenters, 15 minutes will be allocated for each presenter. A consolidated 30 minute period at the end of the session will be devoted to questions and commentary.