Workshop en ligne

Dissenting Voices: The Making, Debating, and Shaping of Law


Les 21 et 22 janvier 2021
Jeudi 21 Janvier: 13h - 17h30; Vendredi 22 Janvier: 9h - 12h30

While laws, reforms, and public policies are often assumed to be coherent (Holm Vohnsen 2017), dissenting opinions, contradicting trends in the jurisprudence, and variations in daily administrative practices suggest otherwise. Breaking away from the assumption that legal regimes speak with one, unanimous voice, this workshop will explore the place and the role of dissenting voices in the way legality is constructed. Building on studies of legal professionals on the one hand, and on the literature on litigation and judicial decision-making on the other, we aim to explore contradictions within, resistance to, and the telling of different, potentially competing stories in legal proceedings, texts, or laws, and the manner of their interpretation. How do legal professionals decide between different trends in the jurisprudence? How do they understand their role within, or against the legal system? How do they relate to legal narratives, and to the stories of law told by the state with which they might regularly work? This workshop will delve into competing understandings of professionalism, interests at stake, and narratives around legal work, on the one hand, and the way legal actors navigate, or mobilize competing interpretations of legal texts, on the other hand. It will also investigate how unanimous voices are challenged, through cause-lawyering or strategic litigation for example, and how dissenting opinions can sometimes gain traction and trigger shifts in the jurisprudence.

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Participants will receive a link to the virtual seminar room.


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