Mar 25
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Public Seminar in Law and Humanities: The Dialogical Language of Law and Human Rights Adjudication

Public Seminar in Law and Humanities

The Dialogical Language of Law and Human Rights Adjudication


25 March 2024 (Monday)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

NEW VENUE: Rm901, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong


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Seminar description: 

We live in a dialogical world. The normative environment around us is many-voiced. Legal activities like drafting, negotiating, interpreting, judging, invoking, and protesting the law take place in dialogical encounters, all of which presuppose entrenched forms of social dialogue. And yet, the dominant modes of thinking about the law remain monological. How can we bring our legal conceptions into alignment with the dialogical world in which we live? The seminar will engage with two of Dr Julen Etxabe’s articles, published in 2022 and 2023, which follow in the footsteps of a Bakhtinian dialogical theory of language and that challenge the roots of contemporary positivist conceptions of law and language underpinning large swathes of legal academia and the legal profession—including recent approaches to legal interpretation called corpus linguistics. The first article is “The Dialogical Language of Law”, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, vol 59, no 2 (2022); the second, “A Dialogical Model of Human Rights Adjudication”, ICON (2023). Through discussion of these two articles, the seminar will open up the possibiity of a richer and more textured dialogical jurisprudence to encompass the various aspects, activities, and genres where legal language is employed. 


Presenter biography: 

Dr Julen Etxabe is Canada Research Chair in Jurisprudence and Human Rights and Assistant Professor at the Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. His current research combines legal and literary theory to identify a new model of dialogical judgment emerging in the area of human rights, which is transforming inherited notions of reasoning, rights, authority, and law in the post-national and diverse societies of the 21st century. Grounded on cultural and humanistic approaches to law, Dr Etxabe is the author of The Experience of Tragic Judgment (Routledge, 2013) and has edited Cultural History of Law in Antiquity (Bloomsbury, 2019). He is also the co-editor of Rancière and Law (Routledge, 2018) and Living in a Law Transformed: Encounters with the Works of James Boyd White (Michigan, 2014). From 2012 to 2017 he was editor-in-chief of No-Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice and is a member of the editorial committee of Law & Humanities.


Poster 240325

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