Professor Horatia Muir Watt (Sciences Po Law School): Ecological Jurisprudence and the Nomos of the In-Between: Aesthetic and Ontological Dimensions of Cross-Border Legality.

Ernst Rabel Lecture 2022

  • Date: Nov 7, 2022
  • Time: 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Location: Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
About the speaker:
Horatia Muir Watt is Professor at the Law School, SciencesPo Paris, where she currently co-directs the speciality ‘Global Governance Studies’ with the Master of Economic Law program. She teaches and publishes in the field of private international law and comparative law, where she develops critical and interdisciplinary approaches. She was elected in 2013 to the Institute of International Law and in 2018 to the Institut Universitaire de France.

She is Director of the Revue critique de droit international privé and on the editorial board of various international law reviews or journals (Journal of Private International Law, European Review of Contract Law, Transnational Legal Theory) and co-editor of various collections: International Studies in the Theory of Private Law (Hart, Kluwer, Dalloz), Private Law in European Context (Kluwer Law International) et « A droit ouvert » chez Dalloz (with Antoine Lyon-Caen). Her books include Aspects économiques de droit international privé (Recueil des Cours de l’Académie de droit international de la Haye, t307, 2005); Droit international privé, PUF Thémis, 4e éd 2017, co-authored with Dominique Bureau; a co-edited volume (with D. Fernandez Arroyo) published by Oxford University Press in 2014, Private international law as global governance; Private International Law and the Application of Public Law, Elgar Publishing, Research Series (direction), 2 vol, 2016; Discours sur les méthodes du droit international privé : des formes juridiques de l’inter-alterite, RCADI La Haye (2017) and pocket edition (2018); with co-editors (Lucia Bizikova et al.) Global Private International Law: Adjudication without Frontiers, 2019, and the French edition, Le droit international privé dans le tournant global, Pédone 2020.

She co-directs the public research seminar called successively PILAGG (2011-2019), GLOBINAR (2020- 2022) and soon RECITALS (2023-) that is designed to encourage interdisciplinary thinking from a legal standpoint. The seminar is now attached to the Circle of Political Humanities, a wider research and pedagogical initiative co-organised by the Law, History, and Political Theory departments at SciencesPo Paris.

Forthcoming publication by Hart 2023: Law’s Last Frontier. Towards an Ecological Jurisprudential Horizon.

About the topic:
In stark contrast to “jurisdictional thinking” that empties, divides, disenchants and flattens the world, separating humanity and the planet (us and them; the body politic and its surroundings), the alternative, shadow scheme that has always haunted the history of cross-border legality (- the conflict of laws) resonates with an ecological “jurisprudence of the border”, drawing our attention to the paradoxical centrality of the “in-between”. This lecture reflects upon the ways in which to introduce greater plurality within law’s separatist aesthetic and binary ontological scheme. Indeed, the existence of a shadow avatar of the discipline of the conflict of laws will serve to show that there is nothing inevitable, nor above all universal, in the above understanding of law’s “second nature”. In terms of legal ontologies and aesthetics, an alternative nomos derived heuristically from its minor jurisprudence, in the penumbra of the former, resonates strongly with ideas of plurality, interstitiality and in-betweenness currently developed in the field of indigenous ecological epistemologies.

About the Rabel Lecture:
The Rabel Lecture is one of the highpoints of academic life at the Institute. It is dedicated to the memory of Ernst Rabel (1874-1955), Institute founder and pioneer of modern comparative law and private international law. The biennial lecture is held by an outstanding researcher from these disciplines and focuses on basic questions arising in a particular area of Institute research.
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