Tag Archives: Seminar Series

Open Seminar: Power and Pluralism in the International Law of Property: On the Difficulties of Decolonizing Investment Law

Professor David Schneiderman

(University of Toronto/Gothenburg)

The Transformations of Property Project, Presents:

The Pasts and Futures of Property Seminar Series #1

  • Date: 30 January 2020
  • Time: 10:15–12:00
  • Venue: Styrelserummet at Faculty of Law–Lund University
  • Organizer: Dr. Leila Brännström

The recognition and protection of property under international law takes many forms. It takes its most muscular shape in the regime to protect foreign investors, entitling these actors to exorbitant damage awards against capital-importing states for breach of international treaty obligations. Multinational business firms operating abroad have been able to secure such protections at the urging of powerful capital exporting states and their lawyers in departments of state and foreign affairs. It is an extraordinary achievement in the contemporary legal world. One strategy for blunting the privileged position accorded to foreign economic actors is to refer to other operative regimes, for example, ones that protect the communal property interests of Indigenous peoples. Evidence of this strategy can be found in José Alvarez’s article on ‘The Human Right to Property.’
At this seminar, I will sketch a book chapter on the difficulty of decolonizing investment law. I plan to argue, first, that the legal security provided to foreign investors by investment law exhibits features characteristic of the legal hegemony achieved by colonial settlers over First Nations, namely, the dispossession of land, the displacement of local law, and the ‘depoliticization’ of development. That is, international protections for metropolitan-based entrepreneurs consolidate victories similar to those secured by the ‘internal colonialism’ of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. In addition to mapping similarities between foreign investment law and the law of settler states, I will argue, second, that the logic and practice of investment law makes it more difficult to engage meaningfully with Indigenous peoples regarding their relationship to traditional lands. As a consequence, it is highly unlikely that investment law’s property protections will disturb unbalanced power relations between Indigenous peoples and settler states. What is elided by those promoting international property is the continuing exercise of power and authority over subject populations, within and without of capital exporting states.

If you wish to attend the seminar Please send an email to Leila.brannstrom [at] jur.lu.se for instructions and material.

*** This is an open event /// No registration is required ***

*** This event is organised in collaboration with: Transnational Law and Politics Research Group ***

Seminar: Decolonizing law and conceptualizing transnational law – theoretical and methodological implications for labour law scholarship

Professor Adelle Blackett (Faculty of Law McGill University)

Date: December 6th 2019
Time: 10:15–12:00
Venue: Styrelserummet at Faculty of Law – Lund University
Discussants: Dr Amin Parsa, Sociology of Law, Dr Niklas Selberg, Faculty of Law
(Lund University)

Professor Blackett is a unique and important voice in a conversation about the critical rethinking of (labour) law and its foundational narratives, as well as aspirations to refocus (labour) law ‘by asking what happens when labour law is forced to see itself in historically rooted, relational, and contextualized terms”. While refusing continuity for its own sake Blackett stresses the need for developing spaces in which alternative and counter-hegemonic narratives – i.e. narratives emerging from labour law’s peripheries in colonized land, dispossessed and disenfranchised people in the global South and North – of the purpose of (labour) law can be taken seriously. Blackett calls for a transnational solidarity in which “those of us articulating alternatives need to redouble our commitment to ensuring inclusive, truthful, and redemptive spaces for each other and for ‘other others’ to ground, (un)learn, and struggle together for emancipatory futures”.

*** This is a public event /// No registration is required ***

Seminar: Refugees Welcome?

Professor Leti Volpp (Berkeley Law)

Date : November 21, 2019, 10:00 – 12:00

Venue: Department of Sociology of Law – Lund University Hus M, Room M 331

“Along the Southern portion of the I-5 freeway in California appears a yellow sign depicting the silhouette of a man, woman, and female child in flight, captioned with text in black stating “Caution.” In the United States, the sign’s clear reference is to “illegal migration,” and serves as a meme for longstanding debates about immigration to the United States. But the sign has a different association in Europe, where the identical image of running man, woman and child has been popularly paired with the text “Welcome Refugees.” The sign’s history, and its afterlife as a symbol of bodies moving across nation-state borders reveals unpredictable resignification, and starkly diverging understandings of human flight.”

Leti Volpp is Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice at Berkeley Law, University of California. She researches immigration and citizenship law with a particular focus on how law is shaped by ideas about culture and identity. Her latest book (co-edited with Marianne Constable and Bryan Wagner), Looking for Law in all the Wrong Places: Justice Beyond and Between, Fordham University Press (2019) is available here: https://www.fordhampress.com/9780823283712/looking-for-law-in-all-the-wrong-places/

*** This is a public event /// No registration is required ***

This event is organized in collaboration with Critical Border Studies: http://www.criticalborderstudies.com/