Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Call for Papers: Annual Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference

The Annual Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference will be hosted by Leicester de Montfort Law School on April 7-9, 2009. As in previous years, there are a number of sessions exploring different legal and sociological issues. The Irish Centre for Human Rights is organising two streams at this year's conference: Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Full details of the conference and the online abstract submission process can be found here. Abstracts should be submitted by February 1, 2009. Further details about the call for papers under the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law streams can be found below.

Human Rights

Niamh Hayes and Yvonne McDermott will be co-ordinating the Human Rights stream for this year's Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference. The topic for this year's stream is "Human Rights in the 21st Century: Challenges and Conflicts". The 20th century saw the birth and development of human rights law and principles; the 21st century has seen some of the sharpest challenges to the human rights system to date. The aim of this stream is to examine legal lacunae within the human rights framework, new developments for which the existing norms are outdated or insufficient, issues which have been underdeveloped within the human rights system, and challenging subjects which have been overlooked to date or which give rise to a potential clash of rights. Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be sent via the DMU SLSA Abstract form here by no later than February 1st 2009. Early submission would be much appreciated.

If you have any queries, please feel free to email Niamh Hayes (niamh1@gmail.com) or Yvonne McDermott (yvonne.mcdermott@gmail.com).

Humanitarian Law: The relevance of international humanitarian law in the 21st century: challenges and applicability

The nature and quality of warfare is changing rapidly, and the 21st century will undoubtedly see the emergence of unforeseen methods and means of armed conflict, many aspects of which international humanitarian law will not be prepared for. Since the end of the Second World War, armed conflict has largely, though not entirely, become evident in the form of civil wars and conflicts between non-state actors rather than in conflicts between states or coalitions of states. Despite this downscaling in the formal appearance of armed conflict, present day conflicts have the potential to affect millions of people over geographically vast (and often unconnected) areas of the earth due to the development of new technologies, the employment of new techniques and the inability of international humanitarian law to regulate this new conduct.

Although there are more instruments of international humanitarian law in existence at present than ever before, quantity is not synonymous with quality in this field and so the relevance of these current laws must be questioned in light of modern day conflict situations and conditions. In doing so, the challenges that face international humanitarian law must be explicity identified and examined and the applicability of present day norms must be critically assessed. This stream welcomes the submission of paper abstracts dealing with these concerns in the form of case studies of particular conflicts, comparative analyses of several conflicts, a critique of the present law of armed conflict, discussion of asymmetric threats and post-Westphalian crimes, analyses of criminal prosecutions of IHL violations, the suggestion of reforms that are necessary to 'future-proof' international humanitarian law, or indeed any treatment of the laws of war that fit broadly into the scheme outline above.

Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be sent via the DMU SLSA Abstract form here by no later than February 1st 2009. Early submission would be greatly appreciated.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Eadaoin O'Brien (eadaoin_o_brien@yahoo.co.uk) or Tara Smith (smithtar@gmail.com).