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Call for Papers: International Conference "Justice": Deadline


GRAAT, François-Rabelais University Tours (France)
28-29 September 2007

There are two main definitions of the term “justice,” both remarkably broad: one predominantly institutional, based on positive law (which refers to all the legal rules and regulations in force in a given state), the other more philosophical and moral, akin to natural law, i.e. unchanging principles founded on fairness and common sense, and defined as superior to the law itself. The second definition is concerned with the essence of what is just and equitable, honest and impartial, while the first reads as follows in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Judicial administration of law and equity (maintenance of legal, social and moral principles by the exercise of authority or power, administration of law and legal processes, infliction of punishment).”

The object of this conference is to compare and confront both concepts of justice through artistic representation (novels, plays, poems, paintings, films, television shows) and through civilisation (history, history of ideas, sociology, political science) in order to bring to light the idiosyncrasies of justice in the English-speaking world, one of which is the common law, other examples of which can be found in the field of institutional justice (English justice v. Scottish justice, British justice v. Canadian justice).

The conference will also aim at studying the opposition between the universal and relative qualities of justice which reflects the strained relationship that exists between on the one hand the administration of justice and on the other hand a true adherence to morality, reason, truth and fairness as outlined by the second definition. Such tension could also lead to an examination of the actual state of justice in the English-speaking world (e.g. the consequences of the Patriot Act, the problems linked to the distribution of constituencies in the USA or the effects of the Human Rights Act of 1998 on the role of the judge in the UK) or to an analysis of political discourse and how it repeatedly uses and even exploits the notion of justice in all its different meanings.

Just as important is the symbolic dimension of justice epitomized by the figure of the judge (the judge as the embodiment of social, colonial or patriarchal oppression, etc.) whether in literature strictly speaking (e.g. Ben Jonson, Dickens or Hawthorne), in the press through satirical cartoons, in paintings (in the form of allegories) or in films and in television shows (court-room drama).

Because of the emphasis placed on the necessity to compare and confront the two notions of justice mentioned above, the fundamental question of the representation and practice of justice could for instance lead to an examination of the relationship between human justice and divine justice or between justice and justness.

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15, April 2007.

Proposals should be sent by email to Dr. Priscilla Morin ( ) or Dr. Alexis Chommeloux ( ) for civilization and Dr. Frédérique Fouassier ( ) for literature with an attached file containing the title, the surname and first name of the author/presenter, contact details and an abstract of 250 words (in format RTF or DOC Times New Roman 12).

Please mention “GRAAT conference on justice” as the subject.

Към новина: 20/02/2007 Call for Papers: International Conference "Justice"

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