This chapter explores some legal and literary ramifications of “accident” in British law and society from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth century. This period saw changes in common law and legislation relating to accidents, including the emergence of negligence as a distinct tort and statutory provisions for employer liability and workplace compensation. The chapter turns on the institution of the deodand, a common-law rule that allowed inquest juries to assess liability for accidental deaths caused by non-humans. After such entities began to include industrial machines, the deodand was abolished by Parliament in 1846. Examining legal-historical cases and norms alongside literary-cultural representations, the chapter claims that the deodand’s disappearance, and concurrent transition to fault liability regimes, marked a loss in the understanding of accident. If the nineteenth-century emergence of modern accident law tended to simplify accidents into surrogates for human interaction, the deodand qua institution grasped how reckoning with accidents demands an alertness to human entanglement with non-human causality. Literary representations of vehicular accidents afford a glimpse of what was coming to be lost in this changing legal-cultural dispensation. From Thomas De Quincey to Thomas Hardy to E. M. Forster, the complex non-human, material, and affective dimensions of accident dissipate into the background, where they continue to supply narrative and formal motivation even as they leave human obligations and institutions in the light.
Richard P. Boast
This chapter examines the connections between the field of legal history and the various ways in which claims against states by indigenous groups are adjudicated and resolved. It focuses on ‘indigenous’ and ‘settler’ relationships, and on redress mechanisms in Australia and New Zealand. In both cases, the establishment of such mechanisms arose out of political and legal conjunctures within each country, and owed little to developments in international law. The Waitangi Tribunal in New Zealand and the Native Title Tribunal in Australia have very different functions, utilize different kinds of expert evidence, and operate in very different political and constitutional settings. While both bodies require expert evidence typically provided by non-indigenous specialist researchers, the required expertise in each case is different: anthropology in the Australian case, and history in New Zealand.
This chapter, which focuses on English law, considers preference for adoption in some circumstances from a comparative law perspective, before comparing the treatment of adoption to that of other forms of care: parental care, kinship care, foster care, and institutional care. It argues that although adoption is the most satisfactory outcome for some children, it should not be considered a panacea. While a range of options is available for children in England whose parents encounter difficulties in looking after them, the government has a stronger preference for adoption than is the case in many other jurisdictions. I view this preference with a critical eye, given that it is likely to be “easier” than investing properly in foster care services and other forms of lesser intervention.
This chapter discusses two domains of research into and theorizing about human emotions of interest to legal theorists and practitioners in the law. Written by a non-lawyer with expertise in English literature, narrative theory, and interdisciplinary empathy studies, it offers basic definitions of the terms “empathy” and “affect,” brief overviews of research areas, suggestions about the relevance of affect and empathy studies to law, and cautions about those applications’ limitations and liabilities. By no means prescriptive in intention, this chapter’s discussion of affect and empathy studies lays bare some of the underlying assumptions and critical attitudes of work in differing fields. All varieties of empathy, with their affordances and limitations, are resources for the rhetorical arts of persuasion. Writers and practitioners in the law should alertly consider the roles that empathy and affect play in the law, especially when legal abstractions, doctrines, and documents that evoke strong feelings are accorded the imaginative status of persons by means of Einfühlung.
This chapter begins by examining the origins of agonism in the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s early text “Homer’s Contest.” It then attempts to formulate a political interpretation of agonism that could provide law and legal studies a post-Marxist and Nietzschean critical position in which democracy is central. A first attempt at the formulation is an analysis of the constitutional theorist Carl Schmitt’s “antagonist” and “polemical” notion of politics that is based on a friend-enemy distinction, and of the consequences of such a notion for state constitutions and law. Schmitt serves as the background for the political theorist Chantal Mouffe, whose “agonistic pluralism” represents a conscious effort to moderate Schmitt’s existentially belligerent critique of liberalism into a workable politics in late modernity. Interpretations of agonism provided by William E. Connolly and Bonnie Honig and their possible links to law and legal studies are then briefly discussed. The chapter concludes that there is a kinship between political agonism understood in this way and a contemporary strain in political theory represented by, for example, Jacques Rancière. The roots of this kinship are traced finally to a post-Marxist tradition of “radical liberalism.”
This chapter examines the scholarship in the new and growing field of study of Islamic animal law. It starts by defining the field of animal law generally and then explaining what makes animal law scholarship Islamic. Turning to Islamic animal law, the chapter first explains the origins of the field and then discusses contemporary Islamic animal law scholarship, which dates to the early-twenty first century and has focused on questions of purity and the dog; causing animals harm; anthropocentricism; and slaughter and the designation of halal. The chapter concludes by identifying promising areas for future scholarship.
John R. Bowen
The anthropology of Islamic law is concerned centrally with observing and analyzing practices governed by explicit norms that are given Islamic justification, from commercial transactions to marriage and divorce to rituals of worship. This article traces the work of anthropologists in courtrooms and in informal social settings, and the process of developing collaborative relationships with text-based scholars. It highlights two recurrent tensions: one between “law” and the Islamic categories of shari‘a/fiqh/hukm, the other between emphasizing cultural distinctiveness and emphasizing cross-societal processes of interpreting and applying Islamic texts and tradition. Included in the treatment are shari‘a councils, fatwa bodies, mahr and marriage contracts, medical ethics, and realms of ‘ibadat.
Western democracies have determined the extent and limits of free expression largely within rights-based frameworks. As captured by Mill’s classically liberal “harm principle,” expression is permitted except insofar as legislatures and courts deem it to cause some unacceptable harm. Through a review of certain texts foundational for democracy, however, we can identify principles different from the standard liberal principles. Beginning in ancient Athens, we discover that questions of legal legitimacy invariably become questions of civic participation; and civic participation is nothing if not expression. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Western political philosophy altogether begins with that observation: Plato’s Crito presents the West’s first systematic inquiry into the question of legal legitimacy—that is, the question of when the law can bind us through moral rightness, beyond sheer physical coercion. The law binds us precisely to the extent of the freedom we have enjoyed to disagree with it.
Disputes involving Olympic athletes can arise from a wide range of decisions made by a host of entities. A disputed decision may involve the eligibility of an athlete, employment of coaches and staff, organizational governance, doping, and commercial contracts. Three disputes involving athletes and the modern Olympic games show how arbitration has come to play a central role in resolving contested decisions of sporting associations. First, the case of sprinter Harry Reynolds illustrates the limitations of using national courts to challenge doping-related sanctions. Second, the eligibility struggles of Oscar Pistorius demonstrate how athletes and national sporting associations can benefit from arbitration’s efficiency. Finally, the case of Claudia Pechstein offers a recent example showing the deference given arbitration by national courts, for better or worse.
The world of reproductive technology, including donor gametes and surrogacy, brings new challenges to identifying parents and respecting children’s rights. An intending parent—married or unmarried—is not necessarily the genetic contributor to the resulting child. And children have interests in knowing the identity of their genetic progenitors. This chapter focuses on whom the law recognizes as parents when a child has been created through assisted reproductive technology. While the chapter traces how intent has emerged as the critical factor in determining parentage, it also shows how intentional parenthood might sometimes be in tension with functional parenthood. The chapter provides a brief history of the technologies and their implications for parentage law and children’s rights to know their genetic origins. It also considers how the law might better adjust to changing technologies and family structures to produce outcomes that respect the child, rather than abstract concepts of equality—or even the parents’ interests.
The sports agent performs a critical function as an intermediary between management and athletes by handling contract negotiations, endorsements, financial planning, and other associated activities. This chapter provides a history of athlete representation beginning in the 1920s with the efforts of Christy Walsh and Charles C. Pyle through the increased role of players associations during the final third of last century. In the 1980s, professional associations and state legislatures launched efforts to regulate agent behavior as a reaction to evidence of abuse. In the 2000s, these problems prompted the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to introduce the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, a legislative initiative ultimately adopted by over 80% of states, and the U.S. Congress passed the Sports Agent Responsibility Trust Act. Both initiatives addressed the tension between the NCAA’s amateurism standards and efforts by agents to attract clients before the completion of their eligibility.
Alexandra J. Roberts
This chapter examines the protectability and registration of athletes’ names, nicknames, and catchphrases as trademarks under federal law. More and more athletes are seeking to register their names, nicknames, catchphrases, and fan slogans as federal trademarks in an attempt to monetize their fame and cultural capital. However, their goals in filing those applications are not often in accord with the traditional goals of trademark law. After providing an overview on trademark use and registration, the chapter discusses some of the limitations for trademark protection, including those based on distinctiveness, false association, and confusion. It also explains how trademark doctrines affect athletes’ ability to protect certain words or phrases as trademarks. Finally, it considers how the general goals of trademark law correspond to an athlete’s desire to protect words and phrases associated with him or her and prevent others from appropriating them.
This article explores the relationship between respect for individual autonomy and the law governing end-of-life treatment in the United States. It begins with a review of the law governing treatment decision-making for competent adults, incompetent adults, and children. It then turns to the issue of determining death. After that, the article discusses the limitations of the autonomy-based approach in addressing three areas of end-of-life law: “futile” treatment disputes, treatment decisions for incompetent patients, and access to physician-assisted death. It concludes that courts and other legal decision-makers will face pressure to consider the proper role of quality of life, cost, medical judgment, and patient vulnerability in determining end-of-life law.
This chapter examines how civil liability assessments and criminal convictions have affected the legality of blood sports. Blood sports can be divided into three categories: human versus human contests, human versus animal sports, and animal versus animal fighting. For over a century, blood sports have been under both social and legal attack, resulting in significant changes in most of the historic forms of combat worldwide. The chapter begins with an overview of the most popular violent sports today, including contact sports such as American football and ice hockey. It then considers criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits that arise from contact sports, including the “concussion suits” filed on behalf of athletes who suffered head injuries. It also discusses the doctrine of assumption of risk in sports and concludes with an analysis of how legislative intervention can obviate private tort liability for latent, chronic injuries to the brain of players.
Book history, understood broadly as the analysis of written communication, interacts with legal studies in two main areas: first, legal rules frame the production and dissemination of books or written documents (in many cultures); second, books and written documents can act as meaningful objects within the legal sphere. This chapter focuses on the second area and shows by way of examples how taking the materiality of the book as a starting point can help to uncover cultural structures linked to the law. The chapter demonstrates the potential of this approach by focusing on a period in which books with legal contents radically changed their function: the Middle Ages in Europe, with their shift from writing down customs in the vernacular as a means of preservation to actual law books used as works of reference. As can be shown, the design of legal manuscripts played an important role in this process of codification. But not only law books are elements of the legal sphere: the chapter also outlines the function of books in legal rituals with religious implications as well as the merging of “law” and “literature” in some medieval manuscripts. Finally, the chapter draws attention to the opportunities book history offers for research into intercultural relations and into the change of legal culture in the digital age.
This chapter outlines the several scales at which material arrangements of architecture, urbanism, and territory are bound up with surrounding legal contexts. Using these three scales, the chapter elucidates the reciprocity of law and space, a reciprocity through which the law is spatialized by its distributions across places and locales and space is differentiated and particularized by law. A courtroom, for example, is a physical space and a locus for legal process; a city street is a material conjunction of objects and persons as well as a concretization of codes and regulations; a territorial boundary is a demarcated section of land and an inscription of legal permissions and constraints. These different mediums of social inhabitation, of such different scales, are imperfectly coordinated, yet with their often inextricable connections they comprise a domain of great relevance to law and humanities. Within this domain, which consists of disciplinary intersections of law with architectural history and theory, with geography, and with urban studies, the complex interactions of norms with the contingencies of myriad cultural productions come into view. Regulatory instruments, plans, buildings, pillars, rooms, regions, and other arrangements can be seen to function as techniques for the projection and translation of juridical and spatial orderings.
This chapter examines the influence of elements of Canada’s constitutional model abroad, in three areas: (1) the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as an innovative way to institutionalize the relationship among legislatures, executives, and courts with respect to the enforcement of a constitutional bill of rights, as justified by “dialogue theory”, that contrasts starkly with its leading alternatives, the American and German systems of judicial supremacy; (2) Canada’s plurinational federalism as a strategy to accommodate minority nationalism and dampen the demand for secession and independence within the context of a single state, by divorcing the equation of state and nation; and (3) the complex interplay between a constitutional bill of rights and minority nation-building, as reflected in the constitutional politics surrounding the recognition of Quebec’s distinctiveness, and the role of the Supreme Court of Canada in adjudicating constitutional conflicts over official language policy arising out of Quebec.
The capture and long-term storage of carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial installations may prove a key technology in climate change abatement strategies. Regulatory frameworks for carbon capture and storage (CCS) are now being developed in a number of jurisdictions. The European Union produced the first comprehensive legislation on the subject in 2009, which provides a compelling example of challenges associated with the design of regulation dealing with a novel technology. This chapter identifies three issues, each of which reflects aspects of regulatory legitimacy: the extent to which states within a federal or quasi-federal system should have the legal discretion to reject a technology; the way in which regulation provides for opportunities for public participation and engagement in issues concerning the new technology; and whether, and at what point, the state should assume responsibility for storage sites, given the long timescales necessary for secure storage.
This chapter explores some challenges that arise in respect of the regulation of human enhancement. It opens by advocating a definitional pluralism that acknowledges the existence of many concepts of human enhancement. These highlight different moral concerns about the application of genetic and cybernetic technologies to human brains and bodies. I identify one concept that is particularly effective at expressing the upsides of human enhancement. Another concept serves better to reveal enhancement’s downsides. I describe a further concept that reveals moral issues connected with great degrees of human enhancement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of attempts to regulate enhancement in elite sport. I defend the efforts of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to keep artificial means of enhancement out of sport.
This chapter reconsiders and reorients performance as a critical practice in law and the humanities, turning away from the philosophically and sociologically inflected variants of performance and performativity, toward the possibilities of performance and the theatrical as jurisprudence. In its Kantian ideal, law is expected to function in isolation and absent the self. Performance and the theatrical could not think more differently, creating conditions that enable bodily responses to engender responsiveness that affords the possibility of noticing. This ability to notice is lost in abstraction, but it is needed to enliven and point to failures or fractures in law. Lived experience provides the most potent means by which we notice; in its absence, performance offers the possibility to write experiences on our bodies, helping us to notice when law helps or hinders, harms or helps, showing us how easily law can offer or deny justice simply through the ability or inability of lawyers or justices to notice the effects and consequences of law. At least three registers of noticing can be identified through performance and into law. In no particular order, the first happens through the noticing body, triggering recognition of the consequences of a doctrine, principle, or provision because the lawyer has experienced the same or a cognate situation; the second comes from the dramaturgically grounded nodal knots binding together a present and a past and a past with a present; while in the third, bonds of recognition are created through and by association, or through training.