08 September 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS: 4TH ESCLH BIENNAL CONFERENCE 2016 28 Jun-1 Jul GDANSK: Culture, Identity and Legal Instrumentalism; DEADLINE 15 NOVEMBER 2015

(image source: dr. Anna Klimaszewska)

The Organising Committee of the 4th Biennal Conference and the Executive Council of the European Society for Comparative Legal History are pleased to call for papers for the upcoming conference to be held on 28 June – 1 July 2016 at the University of Gdańsk (Poland) on: “Culture, Identity and Legal Instrumentalism”. The main theme picks up threads of thought from the earlier ESCLH conferences in Valencia (2010), Amsterdam (2012) and Macerata (2014).

The conference will focus on the issue of law as an instrument of transforming reality in the individual cultural circles and sub-circles of Europe and the world. Papers addressing this theme are welcome, to be submitted before 15 November 2015 as explained below.

The conference seeks to understand the instrumentality of law through two broad themes. Law may be considered as an instrument either (1) through the prism of analysis of techniques (functional approach) or (2) of objectives (axiological approach). Within the first approach, particularly welcome are those papers which address how legal problems are identified and their solutions developed, whether autonomously or by transplantation and subsequent adaptation. Within the second approach, we welcome papers exploring how law can transform reality, especially as a tool of modernisation and/or as a means to shape and strengthen national identity or other goals defined through the prism of national interest.

Papers should be novel, properly researched and referenced. They should address the conference theme, exploring doctrinal, theoretical, cultural or methodological aspects of comparative legal history. The organisers particularly welcome addressing multiple cultures. This includes where a similar legal system functions in two different cultural circles as a result of en masse transplantation of foreign legal solutions and where a given homogeneous cultural circle has been divided and various legal systems function in its individual parts.

The conference organisers intend to publish a volume, drawing on the best papers presented at the conference as developed in line for publication.

Practical details:
1. To offer a paper, please send the title of their paper, a short abstract (of 200-400 (strict maximum) words) and a short CV (no more than 4 pages) by 15 November 2015 to the organizing committee, c/o Anna Klimaszewska, University of Gdańsk ( or Michał Gałędek, University of Gdańsk (
2. The presentations should be in English.
3. It is also possible to submit a complete proposal for one or more panels (3-4 papers for every panel).
4. The list of accepted papers will be announced by 6 December 2015.

Shortly, a conference website will be launched with fuller details of the conference. For the moment, some transport and accommodation information follows.

Gdańsk is well-communicated city. Lech Walesa Airport, 10 km west of Gdańsk, is one of three most important international airports in Poland, effectively operating as a spare airport for Okecie Airport in Warsaw. A new terminal opened ahead of the football competition, Euro 2012, offers frequent direct flights to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rome and Berlin. The major airlines flying into the airport include Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, AirBaltic, Air Berlin, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Swiss, TAP Portugal, and Poland's national carrier LOT. Additional low cost airlines operating to and from Gdańsk include Ryanair and Wizz Air. A new train line linking the Pomeranian Metropolitan Area has recently opened and there are otherwise extensive road connections; it is about a 20 minute journey to Gdańsk, and Sopot and Gdynia are easily accessible as well. Gdańsk is linked to the Polish highway network by the A1 motorway (E75). You can also get to Gdańsk from Warsaw in around three hours on the Express InterCity Premium trains (or fly in around 40 minutes). Gdańsk offers many accommodation possibilities ranging from five-star hotels, through elegant pensionsin historical houses and private rooms to beds in youth and student hostels. For postgraduates the University of Gdansk offers cheaper accommodation in student dormitories.

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