CFP: Justice (France) (4/15/07; 9/28/07-9/29/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Georges-Claude GUILBERT
contact email: 

Call for papers – "Justice" / Appel à communications -
International Conference / Colloque International
28-29, September 2007 / 28-29 septembre 2007
François-Rabelais University, Tours, France/
Université François-Rabelais, Tours.
Research center: GRAAT / Unité de recherche: GRAAT


There are two main definitions of the term "justice,"
both remarkably broad: one predominantly
institutional, based on positive law (which refers to
all the legal rules and regulations in force in a
given state), the other more philosophical and moral,
akin to natural law, i.e. unchanging principles
founded on fairness and common sense, and defined as
superior to the law itself. The second definition is
concerned with the essence of what is just and
equitable, honest and impartial, while the first reads
as follows in the Oxford English Dictionary: "Judicial
administration of law and equity (maintenance of
legal, social and moral principles by the exercise of
authority or power, administration of law and legal
processes, infliction of punishment)." The object of
this conference is to compare and confront both
concepts of justice through artistic representation
(novels, plays, poems, paintings, films, television
shows) and through civilisation (history, history of
ideas, sociology, political science) in order to bring
to light the idiosyncrasies of justice in the
English-speaking world, one of which is the common
law, other examples of which can be found in the field
of institutional justice (English justice v. Scottish
justice, British justice v. Canadian justice). The
conference will also aim at studying the opposition
between the universal and relative qualities of
justice which reflects the strained relationship that
exists between on the one hand the administration of
justice and on the other hand a true adherence to
morality, reason, truth and fairness as outlined by
the second definition. Such tension could also lead to
an examination of the actual state of justice in the
English-speaking world (e.g. the consequences of the
Patriot Act, the problems linked to the distribution
of constituencies in the USA or the effects of the
Human Rights Act of 1998 on the role of the judge in
the UK) or to an analysis of political discourse and
how it repeatedly uses and even exploits the notion of
justice in all its different meanings. Just as
important is the symbolic dimension of justice
epitomized by the figure of the judge (the judge as
the embodiment of social, colonial or patriarchal
oppression, etc.) whether in literature strictly
speaking (e.g. Ben Jonson, Dickens or Hawthorne), in
the press through satirical cartoons, in paintings (in
the form of allegories) or in films and in television
shows (court-room drama). Because of the emphasis
placed on the necessity to compare and confront the
two notions of justice mentioned above, the
fundamental question of the representation and
practice of justice could for instance lead to an
examination of the relationship between human justice
and divine justice or between justice and justness.
Organisation of conference:
Deadline for submission of proposals: 15, April 2007.
Proposals should be sent by email to Dr. Priscilla
Morin ( or Dr. Alexis
Chommeloux ( for
civilization and Dr. Frédérique Fouassier
( for literature with
an attached file containing the title, the surname and
first name of the author/presenter, contact details
and an abstract of 250 words (in format RTF or DOC
Times New Roman 12).
Please mention "GRAAT conference on justice" as the


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Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 16:45:55 EST