CfP: How Objective Can Judges Be: Legal Rule, Evidence, Narratives, Society

14-16 May 2014; University of Antwerp, Belgium.

The academic workshop will investigate how sound, objective and ethically informed judgments can be reached in the courtroom, balancing the influence of the judge (the working of the legal profession, the role of rhetoric and language, etc.), with the input of new scientific methods, the influence of other actors (the attitude of the parties, their lawyers, experts and their aura of irrefutability, …) and the socio-political context (political responsibility, social pressure, media influence, …).

Besides empirical and juridical research, also historical, economical, conceptual, methodological related contributions are welcomed for submission. The topics are centred around, but not limited to, the following themes:

1. LEGAL RULE: How do judges handle and interpret legal rules?

2. EVIDENCE: What is the influence of expert-witnesses in judicial decision making? What are the legal (and other) constraints that guide judges when assessing evidence?

3. PERSONAL NARRATIVES: How do the personal narratives of judges may play a role in judicial decision making or not?

4. SOCIETY: Is there a trend and a societal need for judges to express themselves in their judgments in a more subjective, more political tone of voice?

For more information on the programme, click here.

The deadline for submitting your application is Sunday 2nd of February 2014. Candidates should send in the completed submission form, accompanied by a short academic curriculum vitae and an outline of the proposed paper. The decision of the selection committee will be communicated by the end of February 2014 the latest.

Selected participants will present their papers in a panel session (20 minutes in English). A selection of papers presented at the workshop will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed book volume on the topic of the workshop.

On our website you will find a full project description, as well as the application procedure and the online submission form.

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