Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World
From 20-23 June, Dr. Helen McKee and Dr. Lorena Ossio attended the Law & Society Annual Meeting. This conference constitutes one of the largest meetings in the field of Sociology of Law and socio-legal studies, with over 3000 participants. Normally held in North America, this year’s event was hosted in Mexico City. As such, there was a large number of stimulating papers both on, and from, Latin America. Whilst not a strictly legal history conference, there were several panels which addressed legal history and related topics. In particular, there was a strong presence of legal historical studies which dealt with the colonial era in places such as North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. For the first time, it was possible to hold presentations in Spanish. In these, the emphasis was put on the history of Social Constitutionalism in Latin America and the celebration of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.
Dr. McKee's and Dr. Ossio's panel was entitled “Law & Diversity in Latin America and the Caribbean” and it was chaired by Pooja Parmar of the University of Victoria in Canada. The titles of the presentations were “Treat as a Vagrant every Man who Acts as a Vagrant: Vagrancy in Post-emancipation Jamaica” (Helen McKee) and “The Legal Historical Perspective of Conflict Regulation in Indigenous Legal Systems in Bolivia” (Lorena Ossio). As this was a salon session, in other words a more informal, discussion-based session, we were able to discuss amongst ourselves, the chair and the audience some of the following themes: indigenity, colonialism, legal pluralism, and legal marginality.