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School of Law


Past events

Webinar: Resisting Democratic Law: Circumstances, Methods, and Examples

Thursday 21 May 2020

Resistance to democratic laws, from solitary disobedience to mass protests, is a salient feature of the current political landscape. This workshop aims to investigate some of the most fundamental questions related to a citizen’s choice to disobey democratic law and the legal system’s responses to such lawbreaking.

What are the limits to citizens’ obedience and under which circumstances does disobedience become justified? And which methods of resistance are morally permissible? How should citizens respond to the escalating climate crisis? How can we understand Extinction Rebellion’s activities, and how should courts treat lawbreaking activists? These are some of the questions this workshop will explore by bringing together a group of experts from different disciplines.

Memory Laws in Europe and Beyond: Towards Ethical Governance of Historical Narratives

Friday 24th May 2019

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Nationality Now: The History, Culture, and Politics of Contemporary Citizenship

2 April 2019

The Centre for Law, Democracy, and Society at Queen Mary, University of London presents Nationality Now: The History, Culture, and Politics of Contemporary Citizenship.

This event was sponsored by the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences and The Global Research Initiation Scheme. 

Download the full programme [PDF 615KB].

What is a war crime? Identifying priorities for prosecution in International Law

The Centre for Law, Democracy and Society (CLDS) is delighted to host a conference on 'What is a war crime? Identifying priorities for prosecution in International Law' at the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London.

This event will discuss priorities for war crimes prosecutions. Questions to be discussed include whether the international community should be responsible for making these decisions as well as what part in the prosecution process local communities and victims should play.

Find out more and book your place.

The Role of Free Speech within Democracy

15 February 2019

This seminar gathers scholars from law, geography, philosophy, and politics to consider the origins of free speech in democratic institutions and to discuss and debate its effectiveness in ensuring democratic legitimacy.

Speakers include: Professor Eric Heinze (Law-Queen Mary University of London), Dr Jacob Rowbottom (Law-Oxford University), Professor Simon Reid-Henry (Geography-Queen Mary), Dr Manjeet Ramgotra (Politics and International Relations-SOAS), Dr Emanuela Fronza (Legal Sciences-University of Bologna), Dr Robert Simpson (Philosophy-UCL), Professor Alison Scott-Bauman (History, Religions and Philosophies-SOAS)

Recognition, Denial, and Human Rights: Theoretical Approaches

24 May 2018

This event considers how human rights affect and are affected by recognitions and denials of historical atrocities. Do recognitions of past crimes ensure the protection of human rights among perpetrator states? Do denials of such crimes undermine these rights? What kinds of rights must be in place to promote recognitions of difficult pasts?

Speakers include: Professor Eric Heinze (Queen Mary), Professor Wayne Morrison (Queen Mary), Professor Eva Pils (King’s College), Dr Ioanna Tourkochoriti (NUI Galway), Dr Ceren Özgül (NYU), Dr Félix Krawatzek (Oxford), Dr Elizabeth Nolte (Warwick), Eldad Ben-Aharon (Royal Holloway).

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Memory Laws in Post-Transitional Democracies: Case Studies from Post-Communist States

5 October 2018

Mirror Room, Staszic Palace, Polish Academy of Sciences 
Sala Lustrzana, Pałac Staszica, Polska Akademia Nauk

'Hobbes, Weber, and Modern Public Law and Administration' by Professor Morten Kinander (BI Norwegian Business School)

11 October 2017

Max Weber’s main contributions to the hall of fame of social and democratic theory lie in his model of bureaucracy.  He insists on the importance of rules and principles of legality, which produce predictability and security for members of the state. Weber also marks a turning point with his focus on the role of institutions for social development and stability, in addition to his thesis of the monopoly of violence and his definitions of the state. The alternatives to his theoretical approach are more expressly normative theories of the intrinsic good of democracy and rights. This talk suggests that what Weber described, Hobbes had prescribed 250 years earlier. Hobbes’ ideas were modern not only in content, but also in method. Many of the ideas that we normally take to stem from the ‘Enlightenment’ or liberal democracy, are already present in Hobbes, especially as to the mode and form of argument, as well as material administrative principles at the very core of modern rule of law states. As I shall argue, there is not much in Weber’s model of bureaucracy that Hobbes did not already take to be crucial to a stable state. We can perhaps say, then, that one of the principal aims of the Leviathan is to present a distinct theory of administrative law, a still neglected field of political theory. The aim of this talk is to look a bit closer at how Hobbes is a deep seated Weberian, and what that can tell us about both the importance and the philosophical pedigree of all the mundane details of administrative law.

Morten Kinander is Professor of Law at the Norwegian Business School, where he currently serves as Director for the Centre of Financial Regulation. In addition to his background as a finance lawyer in a large Norwegian law firm, Kinander holds a doctoral degree in legal philosophy. He has published extensively, and his works in English include The View from Within: An analysis and critique of legal realism and descriptive jurisprudence; The Hermeneutics of Practical Perspectivism; and Comparing Courts: The Accountability Function of the Constitutional Courts of Poland and Hungary.

Law and Memory in Established Democracies

24 March 2017

The four-nation research consortium on Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspectives (MELA) launched its first annual conference on 24 March 2017 at the University of Bologna, Italy.

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