Law and Humanity: A PGR Research Carnival

Monday 14 September 2020 (09:00-17:00)
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The postgraduate researcher members of Global Legal Studies present this one-day Research Carnival, showcasing the work being undertaken by doctoral researchers in BLS, including in the GLS research group.

In addition to presenting and discussing this work, the event will include the official launch of the Post-Millennial Law Group: a transnational, peer-network for doctoral researchers whose work engages techniques and topics relevant to global legal studies and is oriented towards imagining new, post-millennial futures. 

Organising Committee: Céline Hocquet, Emma Ahmed-Rengers, Magalí Brosio, Marcelo Carvalho Loureiro, Zeenat Beebeejaun

Call for papers

In an era of growing economic inequalities, rapid technological development, and contested yet accelerating globalisation, the relationship between law and humanity has become increasingly rich and complex. Law has played a salient role in the conceptualisation of the “modern human”, notably through the emergence of concepts such as human rights and human dignity, yet recent societal developments prompt us to critically examine the role of the law in relation to the conceptualisation and governance of "humanity." In this conference, we are interested in exploring the past, present and future of the different dimensions that arise from the intersection between law and humanity. We welcome broad and diverse interpretations of this theme, including but not limited to:

  • Between Humans and Non-Humans What is the role and importance of human decision-making in law? What are the potential benefits and risks of automation and artificial intelligence in law and regulation? Should the division between human and non-human animals be challenged, what is in the future? 
  • Law, Humanity, and Change Can existing legal systems accommodate and include alternative and diverse standpoints and experiences? Are legal systems ready for the societal and economic developments of a new era of extremes?  If so, how does that work in practice? If not, what are the alternatives? To which extent is law a brake or an accelerator of developments and changes for humanity and its environment?
  • Governing/Managing Humanity How does law regulate humanity? Does law regulate/govern all humans the same way?  How do human statuses and the law interact in practical and theoretical contexts? To what extent has ‘humanity’ been a pre-condition to access and have rights? How does the law conceive Humanity? Is law a precondition or an obstacle for “humane” governing?
  • Law and Humanities in a Pandemic COVID-19 has triggered various setbacks in the daily lives of humans across the globe which might have had chilling effects on human rights. Has the pandemic revealed a stratified bond between law and humanity? Has state security superseded human security? 

This online conference is organised by the PostMillenial Law Group (Birmingham Law School). The goal is to provide early career researchers, including postdoctoral, doctoral and master degree researchers, within and beyond the University of Birmingham with a chance to present their own work and receive feedback from peers and faculty members, to compensate for the missed opportunities due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. We welcome submissions in any legal areas as well as perspectives from non-legal disciplines.


Please submit an abstract (max. 200 words) by 3rd August

Selected participants will be asked to share an extended submission by 31st August 2020 (please note that extended submissions are not necessarily full papers and that we welcome different formats). If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to email us via

Key Dates

  • 3 August: Abstract submission
  • 10 August: Notification of acceptance
  • 31 August: Extended submission
  • 14 September: Online conference

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