24 August 2017

BOOK: Assaf LIKHOVSKI, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel (New York: Cambridge University Press), 352 p. ISBN 9781107176294, £ 90

Assaf Likhovski (Tel Aviv University) published Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel in the “Studies in Legal History” series (Cambridge University Press).

(Image source: CUP)

About the Book:
This book describes how a social-norms model of taxation rose and fell in British-ruled Palestine and the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century. Such a model, in which non-legal means were used to foster compliance, appeared in the tax system created by the Jewish community in 1940s Palestine and was later adopted by the new Israeli state in the 1950s. It gradually disappeared in subsequent decades as law and its agents, lawyers and accountants, came to play a larger role in the process of taxation. By describing the historical interplay between formal and informal tools for creating compliance, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel sheds new light on our understanding of the relationship between law and other methods of social control, and reveals the complex links between taxation and citizenship.

About the author:
Assaf Likhovski is a professor of law and legal history at Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Law. He is the author of Law and Identity in Mandate Palestine (2006), which was awarded the Yonathan Shapiro Best Book Award in Israel Studies.

Table of contents:
Introduction: the intimate fiscal state
Part I. The Rise of Income Taxation:
1. Before the income tax: Jewish Ottoman, and early mandatory taxation
2. The introduction of income taxation in mandatory Palestine
Part II. The Ascendancy of Social Norms:
3. Taxation without law: the Jewish voluntary tax system
4. Law and social norms in early Israeli taxation
Part III. The Transformation of Israeli Taxation and its Law:
5. The rise of tax experts: accountants, lawyers, and economists
6. The transformation of tax law: doctrinal and legislative changes

More information:

18 August 2017

SCHOLARSHIP: Lourdes Lascurain de Doucet & Gaston Ducet Library (DEADLINE 15 SEP 2017)

(image source: MPI Frankfurt)

The MPI for European Legal History has a scholarship available to work on the library of Lourdes Lascurain de Doucet and Gaston Doucet. The scholarship supports a stay in Frankfurt for scientific research related to the library collection, starting between January and March 2018, for maximum 90 days (lump sum of € 44/day). Travel costs will be reimbursed. An appartment at the Institute can be rented at about € 650/month.

The scholarship is specifically directed at scholars who do not reside in Frankfurt, or come from Latin America.

Information concerning the application (in Spanish):
Para facilitar el acceso a la colección a jóvenes investigadoras e investigadores no residentes en Frankfurt, especialmente provenientes de América Latina, interesados en hacer uso de este importante fondo, el Instituto Max Planck para la Historia del Derecho Europeo otorga anualmente un subsidio para una estancia de investigación durante un periodo de 3 meses en el Instituto. La primera convocatoria de la “Beca Doucet” se encuentra abierta y el plazo para el envío de las aplicaciones es el día Viernes 15 de Septiembre de 2017, para una estancia de Enero a Marzo de 2018 (02.01-30.03.18). Concretamente, el apoyo consta de: 44 € diarios, por un máximo de 90 días; reembolso del tiquete aéreo (hasta 1000 € para vuelos trasatlánticos, 500 € para vuelos desde Europa). Además existe la posibilidad de alquilar una habitación en las residencias del Instituto (disponible para meses completos y costos approx. 650 € por mes). Pueden presentarse jóvenes investigadores que presenten propuestas sobre la historia del derecho colonial, directamente relacionados con las monografías y ediciones de fuentes que conforman el Fondo Doucet. Para consultar los títulos que conforman el Fondo, puede acceder al catálogo de la biblioteca del instituto e ingresar “Provenienz Doucet” en el campo de búsqueda básica del Opac: Las aplicaciones (CV, descripción del proyecto y carta de motivación en relación al uso del Fondo Doucet) se recibirán hasta el 15 de Septiembre 2017, dirigidas al Prof. Thomas Duve, al correo electrónico:
More information here.

15 August 2017

ARTICLE: Anne HOLTHOEFER, Construction of International Crime: Lawyers, States, and the Origin of International Criminal Prosecution in the Interwar Period (Law & Social Inquiry XLII (2017), No. 3, 711-743)

Anne Holthoefer (Saint Anselm College) published an article on the "construction of international crime" and the interbellum.

This article explains the development of international crime as a legal category. I argue that states’ pursuit of political rights claims empowers international lawyers to develop new legal categories to grant states new tools to pursue their interests. At the same time, lawyers have a stake in defending the autonomy of law from politics, thus pushing for the development of legal norms and institutions that go beyond the original state intent. States’ turn to law thus begets more law, expanding the legal and institutional tools to solve international problems while simultaneously enforcing a commitment to principles of legality. To demonstrate the plausibility of the theory, the article studies the construction of the concept of an international crime in the interwar period (1919–1939). In response to the Allies’ attempt to prosecute the German Emperor, international lawyers sought the codification of international criminal law and drafted enforcement mechanisms. The interwar legal debate not only introduced international crime into the legal and political vocabulary, it also legitimized a new set of institutional responses to violations of international law, namely, international criminal prosecution.
Source: International Law Reporter.
More information with Wiley.

CONFERENCE: Humanitarianism and the Remaking of International Law: History, Ideology, Practice, Technology (Melbourne, 31 May-1 June 2018)

(image source: Blogger
Conference Humanitarianism and the Remaking of International Law: History, Ideology, Practice, Technology
Call for Papers: Deadline 1 September 2017
The language and logic of humanitarianism occupy an increasingly central place in international law. Humanitarian reason has shaped the ideology, practice, and technologies of international law over the past century, including through the redescription of the laws of war as international humanitarian law, the framing of mass displacement and armed conflict as ‘humanitarian’ crises, the use of humanitarian justifications for intervention, occupation, and detention, and the representation of international law as an expression of the conscience of humanity.
For some, this trend is clearly positive – international law is reimagined as humanity’s law, humanity as the alpha and omega of international law. Yet critics have pointed to the dark side of these developments and of the humanitarian logic operating within international law, arguing that consolidation of the laws of war has served the interests of powerful groups and states at key moments of potential challenge to existing systems of rule, humanitarianism has been taken up as a language to rationalise the violence of certain forms of occupation, intervention, and warfare, international humanitarian law has displaced other more constraining forms of law as the world becomes imagined as a global battlefield, humanitarian NGOs have served as a fifth column that has enabled particular forms of social transformation and constrained others, and a supposedly impartial humanitarianism has displaced politics.
This conference will bring together scholars working in law, history, international relations, and political theory to think critically about the ideology, institutions, practices, and technologies that condition modern humanitarianism and its relation to international law. Confirmed speakers include Amanda Alexander, Leila Brännström, Markus Gunneflo, Helen Kinsella, Martti Koskenniemi, Dino Kritsiotis, Frédéric Mégret, Naz Modirzadeh, Gregor Noll, Rose Parfitt, Hani Sayed, Ntina Tzouvala, Boyd van Dijk, and Fabia Veçoso. Selected papers will be published in an edited collection by a leading publisher.
Paper proposals related to the conference theme are now invited. Possible topics for papers include:
  • laws of war and the social question
  • international humanitarian law and revolution
  • decolonisation and the remaking of international humanitarian law
  • humanitarian intervention and occupation in international law and history
  • humanitarian and securitisation responses to dispossession, displacement, and refugees
  • international humanitarian law and the framing of civil war
  • international humanitarian law and national liberation movements
  • incidents and events in the history of international humanitarian law-making
  • humanitarian law and human rights law in the 'global' battle space
  • humanitarian organisations and the politics of intervention
  • the relation of humanitarianism and counter-terrorism in international law
  • knowledge production and international humanitarian law
  • humanitarian law and visual culture 
  • international humanitarian law and practices of distinction
  • the technologies of humanitarian law and war
  • humanitarian law and algorithmic warfare
  • humanitarianism and the penal turn in international law
  • the meanings of humanitarian law across time and space
  • the political economy of international humanitarianism
  • critical geographies of international humanitarian law
  • international law after humanity
Those proposing papers for presentation at the Conference should submit a one page abstract and brief bio by email to Professor Anne Orford at by 1 September 2017. 

(source: International Law Reporter)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: David Berg Foundation for Law and History, Tel Aviv University (bibliography on Israeli legal history)

(image source: Tel Aviv University)

David Schorr reports on H-Law that a new bibliography of Israeli legal history has been published by the David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History at Tel Aviv University.

More information here.

CONFERENCE: Great Christian Jurists (Maria Laach, 28-29 Sep 2017)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Prof. Mathias Schmoeckel (Universität Bonn) organises a conference on Great Christian Jurists.

September 28, 2017
Welcome Reception / Registration / Coffee
17:00 – 18:00
Eike von Repgow (Tilman Repgen, University of Hamburg)
18:00 – 19:00
Johann von Buch (Mathias Schmoeckel, University of Bonn)
19:00 – 20:00
Andreas Gaill (Wolfgang Forster, University of Tübingen)

September 29, 2017
08:30 – 09:30
Samuel von Pufendorf (Robert von Friedeburg, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
09:30 – 10:30
Christian Thomasius (Christoph Strohm, University of Heidelberg)
10:30 – 11:30
Carl Gottlieb Svarez (Sebastian Michels, University of Bonn)
11:30 – 12:30
Friedrich Carl von Savigny (Joachim Rückert, University of Frankfurt)
12:30 – 13:30
Friedrich Julius Stahl (Heinrich de Wall, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
13:30 – 14:30
14:30 – 15:30
Karl Friedrich Eichhorn (Steffen Schlinker, University of Greifswald)
15:30 – 16:30
Sylvester Jordan (Hans-Georg Hermann, University of Munich)
16:30 – 17:30
Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg (Hans-Peter Haferkamp, University of Cologne
17:30 – 18:30
Maximilian Anton von Seydel (Malte Becker, University of Bonn)
18:30 – 19:30
Rudolf Sohm (Andreas Thier, University of Zurich)

Source: HSozKult

BOOK REVIEW: Hans-Jürgen BECKER reviews Franck ROUMY, Mathias SCHMOECKEL & Orazio CONDORELLI (eds.), Der Einfluss der Kanonistik auf die europäische Rechtskultur published a review by Hans-Jürgen Becker of Franck Roumy, Mathias Schmoeckel and Orazio Condorelli's collective work on the influence of canon law on European legal culture, published originally in the Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 2016/4.

Fulltext here (public law) and here (penal law and penal procedure).

CALL FOR PAPERS: Fifth International Conference of the History of Political Thought, "Crisis and Renewal in the History of Political Thought" (Heidelberg, 11-13 Oct 2018); DEADLINE 30 Sep 2017

The European Society for the History of Political Thought (ESHPT, ) invites proposals for individual papers and panels for its next international conference. In view of the contiguous research areas with (comparative) legal history, we reproduce the call:

Amongst the keywords that have shaped the language of media, public conversation, politico-economic discourse and academic debate in the last few years, ‘crisis’ holds a prominent place. The term is applied to a huge variety of domains: from the never-ending cries of a ‘global economic crisis’ to descriptions of war zones as ‘crisis-torn’, on to characterisations of professionals as ‘crisis-experts’ as well as references to governmental ‘crisis-management’ teams. The frequency with which the word is utilised though does not signify clarity of meaning, nor does it denote historical and theoretical accuracy with regard to its origins and usages. In fact, the wide range of uses makes it for much uncertainty: from indicating stark alternatives and non-negotiable decisions, it has assumed vague connotations, which might be seen as a sign that the current historical era is deeply marked by instability and lack of clear direction(s).
If the Oxford English Dictionary stresses that ‘crisis’ pointed, first and foremost, to the medical sense of ‘the turning-point of a disease for better or worse’, before the connotations closer to those normally referred to nowadays, that is of ‘times of difficulty, insecurity, and suspense in politics or commerce’, it is important to underline that plenty of historians have reflected on crisis from different angles. Economic and social historians (Eric Hobsbawm, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Roland Mousnier, Geoffrey Parker and others) have addressed the ‘general crisis of the seventeenth century’ as a series of calamities in Europe inaugurating the dynamic development of capitalism and the emergence of modern states. In a similar vein, Paul Hazard described the late seventeenth-century ‘crisis of the European mind’ as leading to the Enlightenment, while according to Reinhart Koselleck enlightened ‘critique’ represented a challenge (i.e. of the political by the social, ethical and cultural), and ‘crisis’ the moment of subversion. In each of these approaches the idea of ‘crisis’ comes across as a kind of ‘testing time’ that might give rise to new experimentation. As a matter of fact, this throws interesting light on the current, apparently ‘critical’ predicament of liberal democracy and the agenda this might prescribe for political theorizing.
Whilst taking into consideration these approaches (which are just a sample), our conference at Heidelberg University, where Koselleck was a student and wrote Kritik und Krise, is shaped by the thematic and methodological preoccupations of the history of political thought. Our aim is to broaden some of these themes in new directions and investigate the notion of ‘crisis and renewal’ (also as a mirror image of work on ‘decline and fall’). We ask papers to focus on the ways in which the self-reflection of innovative thinkers in critical times moulded their vocabularies and the modalities in which the ‘critical’ element of their contributions was articulated. We invite proposals that address, but are not confined to, the following questions:
- How does political thought react to critical moments in history?
- Does political thought produce ‘crisis/es’?
- Are moments of ‘crisis’ also moments of creativity for the history of political thought and political theory?
- Are existing concepts at a given time suited to face crises or are established principles employed in different ways to respond and make sense of them?
- How can we theorise, indeed reflect both theoretically and historically, vis-à-vis (notions of) ‘crisis’?
- How do we account for the complex changes and developments occurred in the meanings of ‘crisis’ from ancient Greece (where the word was coined) up to the last few decades?
- What trajectory/ies did ideas of crisis take in different contexts at different historical junctures?
- What are the relations between political ideas and material factors such as famine, war, weather etc. in conjunction with ‘crisis’?
These questions need to be addressed by embracing the full geographical and chronological spectrum of ‘European political thought’ from antiquity to the present. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the ESHPT and of the discipline of the history of political thought, we welcome papers and panels seeking to cover some of the questions above from multiple methodological and historiographical perspectives (e.g., political thought, political theory, history, philosophy, law).
Keynote speakers: Erica Benner (Berlin)
Paschalis Kitromilides (Athens)
Proposals for individual 20 minute papers should be no longer than 250 words, and proposals for panels should not exceed 500 words. Short CVs of the speakers should be added (name, institutional affiliations, major publications – no more than five). Panels at the conference will normally last 90 minutes, with 3 papers each. (Exceptionally, panel proposals consisting of more than 3 papers can be accommodated.)
Please send your proposals by 30 September 2017 to László Kontler,, cc to Gregor Stiebert,
Authors will be notified of paper acceptance or non-acceptance by 15 December 2017.