New book on Law’s Hermeneutics co-edited by Dr Simone Glanert

A co-edited collection of essays on Law’s Hermeneutics: Other Investigations, for which Dr Simone Glanert acted as Lead Editor, has been published by Routledge.

The book brings together papers presented by leading academics at an interdisciplinary workshop held in Oxford in June 2015. The workshop was co-organised by the Kent Centre for European and Comparative Law (Kent CECL) and the Maison Française d’Oxford (MFO).

Dr Glanert said: ‘This book revisits legal hermeneutics by making particular reference to philosophy, sociology and linguistics. On the assumption that theory has much to teach law, that theory motivates and enables, the writings of such intellectuals as Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricœur, Giorgio Agamben, Jürgen Habermas, Ronald Dworkin and Ludwig Wittgenstein receive special consideration. As it explores the matter of reading the law and as it enquires into the emergence of meaning within the dynamic between reader and text against the background of the reader’s worldly finiteness, this collection of essays wishes to contribute to an improved appreciation of the merits and limits of law’s hermeneutics which, it argues, is emphatically not to be reduced to a simple tool for textual exegesis.’

The edited collection of essays offers a fresh critical challenge to the traditional views governing legal interpretation, legal theory and jurisprudence. It is expected to be of particular interest to legal scholars and philosophy scholars seeking an improved appreciation of the implications arising from the understanding and application of law (particularly those working at the interface of philosophy, linguistics and law.)

The collection was co-edited by Dr Fabien Girard, Assistant Professor (Maître de conférences) at the Faculty of Law, Université Grenoble Alpes, where he teaches philosophy of law, civil procedure and criminal justice. His PhD dissertation on the law of evidence in a cultural context was published with Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille in 2013. While on secondment at the Maison Française d’Oxford (MFO) from 2014 to 2016, Dr Girard conducted a research programme on ‘Theory of Law and Legal Anthropology’.

In addition to Dr Glanert and Dr Girard, contributors to the book include Dr Cosmin Cercel (University of Nottingham), Professor Jean Grondin (Université de Montréal), Professor Pierre Legrand (Sorbonne), Professor François Ost (Université Saint-Louis, Brussels), Professor William Outhwaite (Newcastle University), Professor Ralf Poscher (Universität Freiburg), Dr Paul Yowell (Oxford) and Dr Julia Tanney (University of Kent). In addition, the editors obtained permission from MIT Press to reprint a text on ‘Understanding the Other: A Gadamerian View on Conceptional Schemes’, that Professor Charles Taylor (McGill University), acknowledged as one of the leading contemporary thinkers in the Western world, published in Jeff Malpas et al. (eds), Gadamer’s Century: Essays in Honor of Hans-Georg Gadamer (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002), pp. 279-97. Permission was also obtained from Blackwell to reprint an article on ‘Hermeneutics’ that Professor Cristina Lafont (Northwestern University, Chicago), a leading expert in Heidegger Studies, published in Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall (eds), A Companion to Heidegger (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), pp. 265-84.

Dr Glanert’s work in editing the workshop papers was supported by a Brown Foundation Residency Fellowship. The residency, directed by the Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, was awarded to Dr Glanert for one month at the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France.

Dr Glanert is Director of English and French Law at Kent Law School. She is also a member of the Executive Editorial Board of the American Journal of Comparative Law and is President of the International Scientific Committee, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Alpes, Grenoble, France. Amongst Dr Glanert’s most recent publications are two edited books, published by Routledge, Comparative Law: Engaging Translation and Special Issue on “Law in Translation”.

Kent CECL encourages and enables co-operation between academics whose research focuses on comparative law and European Union law whether in the UK or abroad. MFO is a French research centre in the humanities and social sciences and a member of the Network of French Research Institutes Established Abroad (IFRE) operating under the auspices of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).