Focus on critical indigenous jurisprudence for collaborative network’s 2018 events

  "Dance of Death (1945)" by Leopoldo Mendez.

A collaborative, worldwide network of socio-legal scholars founded by two Kent Law School academics will focus on critical indigenous jurisprudence for its next annual international meeting to be held in Toronto in 2018.

Earlier this year, the Collaborative Research Network (CRN) on International Law and Politics, established by Senior Lecturer Dr Luis Eslava and Lecturer Dr Rose Sydney Parfitt, ran a diverse programme of 29 interdisciplinary events loosely grouped around the theme of ‘The South’ at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association (LSA) in Mexico City.

The events included roundtables, salons, a multiple book launch and panel sessions co-ordinated by KLS Head of School Professor Toni Williams, Senior Lecturer Sara Kendall and several other members of staff at Kent. They also included two guest lectures; one by Professor Anthony Anghie from the University of Singapore and the University of Utah, a founder of the TWAIL (Third World Approaches to International Law) movement, and another by Professor Julieta Lemaitre from the Universidad de los Andes Law School, a prominent figure in the field of legal ethnography in Latin America.

Looking ahead to next year’s LSA meeting in Toronto, Dr Parfitt said: ‘Canada is such an exciting place intellectually at the moment; there’s so much new and really groundbreaking work going on there, particularly in the area of indigenous jurisprudence and political theory. Our plan is to make the international dimensions of critical indigenous jurisprudence the CRN’s theme for next year, bringing together as many indigenous scholars as we can, not only from Canada, but also from Australia, Latin America, New Zealand, the US and elsewhere. And we’ll be collaborating with our colleagues in the Law and Indigeneity CRN on all that too, which we’re really looking forward to.’

The CRN was started as a way of organising panels at the annual LSA conference but Dr Parfitt notes that many of their colleagues have now begun to use it as a vehicle through which to pursue their own collaborations and to showcase their own research projects. Dr Parfitt said: ‘ We began with a handful of members and put on six panels in the 2015 LSA annual meeting in Seattle, and now, three years later, the network has nearly 300 members worldwide, who together put on a fantastic programme of 29 different events at this year’s conference – all with a very distinctive critical, interdisciplinary, socio-legal and, of course, international flavour.’

The CRN complements the international law teaching of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students at Kent Law School as well as the research undertaken by Kent’s Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL). Dr Eslava, a Co-Director of CeCIL said: ‘The CRN extends and develops our commitment at Kent to the innovative teaching and practice of critical international law from an interdisciplinary perspective. It also helps support the work of CeCIL in encouraging the study of international law and the promotion of collaborative research across institutions within the UK and around the world.’

Members of the International Law and Politics CRN include scholars, teachers, researchers and practitioners from across multiple disciplines who share an objective to foster inter-institutional and inter-generational collaboration throughout the year. The CRN encourages members to publish work, hold public events, and to develop progressive approaches to research, teaching and international legal practice.

Members from Kent Law School include Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris, Dr Asta Zokaityte, Dr Darren Dinsmore, Dr Donal Casey, Dr Emilie Cloatre, Dr Emily Graham, Dr Emily Haslam, Dr Ed Kirton-Darling, Eric Loefflad, Professor Helen Carr, Dr Iain Frame, Dr Kate Bedford, Dr Maria Drakopoulou, Dr Nayeli Urquiza Haas, Paulo Ilich Bacca, Dr Sara Kendall, Dr Serena Natile, Dr Suhraiya Jivraj and Professor Toni Williams.

The CRN has been generously sponsored since its establishment by Kent Law School, Melbourne Law School and the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School.

Image credit: Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969), Dance of Death I (1945). Printed at El Taller de Gráfica Popular. Published by La Estampa Mexicana. Included in Incidentes Melódicos del Mundo Irracional by Juan de la Cabad. Wood engraving on grayish-ivory China paper.