2012 Workshops

Workshop 1: Private Law – Theories and Methods
Organizer: Bonnie Holligan
Workshop description
This workshop aims to reflect on the theoretical foundations and future development of private law, and to consider the following questions: Is the idea of private law still relevant? What is the value of an internal perspective on private law doctrines? Can and should private law be understood as, using Weinrib’s term, a “self-understanding enterprise”? How do we draw a boundary between public and private law? Is there something distinctive about private law reasoning? What is the function of private law in a post sovereign world? What impact does globalization have on private law? Or, in a narrower context, what does the “Europeanisation” of private law mean for national legal traditions?
Discussion of these issues will provide an important opportunity for researchers who have chosen to adopt a doctrinal approach to reflect on the nature and limitations of their work. It will also allow theories of private law to be tested through application to specific legal doctrines. In particular, the workshop will focus on contract and property law.
Workshop programme

9.15 – 10.00:   Property and the private
Professor Larissa Katz, Queen’s University, Kingston, “Privity and Force: The Significance of Possession in Law.”
10.00 – 11.20: Contract Law: Theories and Limits
Dr Prince Saprai, University College London, “Penalty Clauses and the Promise Theory of Contract,” and Dr Emmanuel Voyiakis, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), “Contract Law and Reasons of Social Justice.”
11.20 – 11.35: Coffee Break
11.35 – 12.55: Private law and Europe
Professor Peter Sparkes, University of Southampton and Professor Dr O.O. (Olha) Cherednychenko, University of Groningen.
12.55 – 13.00: Closing remarks
If you have any questions about this workshop, please don’t hesitate to contact the workshop organizer at B.Holligan@sms.ed.ac.uk.

Workshop 2: Challenging Individualism: Why the Individual Might no Longer be the Appropriate Focus for Ethics in the Regulation of Medicine and Research 
Organisers: Nayha Sethi and Emily Postan
Workshop description 
It is now common to encounter in the literature on bioethics and regulation the view that individualistic models of value, autonomy, consent and identity may be increasingly inappropriate to meet contemporary challenges posed by globalisation and genetic technologies in particular. These challenges join the perhaps longer-standing critical analyses from feminist and communitarian perspectives. This workshop will seek to explore the interplay between these diverse pressures on individualism in the principled regulation of medicine and clinical research.
Confirmed speakers
Professor Michael Parker (Professor of Bioethic and Director of the Ethox Centre, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford)
Professor Heather Widdows (Professor of Global Ethics, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham)
Professor David Townend (Associate Professor of the Law of Public Health and Care, Department of Health, Ethics & Society, Maastricht University)
Workshop programme
14.00 – 14.05:   Chair’s Welcome
14.05 – 14.40:   Session 1 – Global Bioethics. Speaker: Professor Heather Widdows
14.40 – 15.15:   Session 2 – The Shared Nature of Genetic Data. Speaker: Professor Michael Parker
15.15 – 15.30:   Coffee Break
15.30 – 16.05:   Session 3 – Public Health Research. Speaker: Professor David Townend.
16.05 – 16.15:   Session 4 – Reflecting on the Common Themes from the Papers, ‘Challenges to Individualism’
16.15 – 17.00:   Plenary questions and discussion
If you have any questions about this workshop, please don’t hesitate to contact the workshop organizers at nayha.sethi@ed.ac.uk or e.r.postan@sms.ed.ac.uk.

Workshop 3: Objectivity Between Scientific and Legal Decision-Making 
Organizer: Luiz Silveira
Workshop description
This workshop focusses on the application of theories of science in the context of jurisprudence, and, more specifically, in the context of legal decision-making. Especially during the 20th century, legal theorists have attempted to build a stronghold for objectivity in legal decision-making by bringing insights from the philosophy of science. This approach rises two issues we want to deal with. First, it might be the case that those theories about scientific decision-making and objectivity do not hold water in the context of legal decision-making and legal theory when they are simply transplanted (as they often were) from one field to the other. Secondly, even where those theories are relevant, the discussion in the philosophy of science has, over the past decades, evolved much without being followed by legal theory.
Workshop programme

9:30 – 10.30: The Third Theory of Legal Objectivity
Presenter: Prof. Aldo Schiavello, Professor of Legal Philosophy (University of Palermo, Italy)
Discussant: Dr. Euan MacDonald, Lecturer in Jurisprudence (University of Edinburgh)

10.40 – 11.40: Transcending the Discovery-Justification Dichotomy
Presenter: Dr. James MacLean, Lecturer in Law (University of Southampton, UK)
Discussant: Dr. Minna Gräns, Senior Lecturer in Private Law and Jurisprudence (Uppsala University, Sweden)

11.40 – 12.00: Coffee break
12.00 – 13.00: Objectivity as Intelligent Inquiry and Critical Reflection
   Dr. Bruce Anderson, Associate Professor (Saint Mary’s University, Canada)
   Discussant: Luiz Fernando Castilhos Silveira, PhD Candidate (University of Edinburgh)

Workshop 4: Practical Reason, Objectivity and Legal Judgement
Organizer: Felipe Oliveira
Workshop description
This workshop focusses on the relations between practical reason, objectivity and and the activity of judging things according to the law. Broadly speaking, the workshop aims to discuss the following questions: How is the objectivity of legal judgment affected by character traits of legal decision-makers? Can and should the activity of judging things according to the law be understood as essentially reflexive? If so, in what ways? The practical agent is usually seen as ‘featureless’ or ‘characterless’: her self-image is that of an impartial agent who should exercise judgment on the basis of reasons alone and who should remain unaffected by emotional influences. Is that really so? What are the implications of that assumption for the practice of legal judgment?How is the reflexive dimension of legal judgement to be combined with the normative ideals of the rule of law (e.g. publicity, legality and predictability)? What are the moral and political costs of recognizing the fact that the subjectivity of legal decision-makers plays an essential role in the way they make and justify their decisions?
Workshop programme
14.00 – 15.00: Session 1: Doctrinal Knowledge and Objectivity
Dr. Matyas Bodig (Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK)
Discussant: Professor Zenon Bankowski (Edinburgh)
15.00 – 16.00: Session 2: The concept of obligation: some critical remarks
Dr. Stefano Bertea (Reader in Law, University of Leicester, UK), Discussant: Professor Zenon Bankowski (Edinburgh)
16.00 – 16.10: Coffee break
16.10 – 17.00: Session 3: Practical Wisdom in Legal Decision-Making
Dr. Claudio Michelon (Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh), Discussant: Felipe Oliveira (PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh).
Workshop 5: Is Parliament Still Sovereign? 
Organizer: Alexander Latham
Workshop description 
The workshop will look broadly at two linked questions: ‘Is Parliament still sovereign?’ and ‘Should it be?’. The notion of parliamentary sovereignty lies at the heart of the traditional Diceyan view of the UK constitution, but after Factortame, Jackson and the Human Rights Act, does it remain an accurate label? More fundamentally, is the concept of parliamentary sovereignty a useful one to invoke in modern liberal democracies, or ought it be disposed with altogether, perhaps in favour of a deeper concept of constitutionalism based around the rule of law? A common defence of parliamentary sovereignty is that granting courts the power to strike down legislation would be undemocratic. But does democracy mean simply that laws should reflect what the majority of people believe, or does it have a substantive dimension, requiring respect for equality and human rights? And if democracy does require respect for human rights, does this mean there is no cost to democracy when legislation interfering with human rights is struck down by the courts?
Confirmed speakers
Nicholas Barber (Oxford University)
Dr Pavlos Eleftheriadis (Oxford University)
Dr Aileen Kavanagh (Oxford University)
Dr Alison Young (Oxford University)
Workshop programme
Session 1 – ‘Is Parliament still Sovereign?’
10.00 – 10.20:   Speaker 1 – Dr Alison Young
10.20 – 10.40:   Speaker 2 – Nicholas Barber
10.40 – 11.10:   Questions and group discussion
11.10 – 11.20:   Coffee Break
Session 2 – ‘Should it be?’
11.20 – 11.40:   Speaker 3 – Dr Aileen Kavanagh
11.40 – 12.00:   Speaker 4 – Dr Pavlos Elefteriadis
12.00 – 12.30:   Questions and group discussion