The Center for Law, Society, and Culture ( is sponsored by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. The Center actively supports and promotes multidisciplinary understanding of law and legal problems through scholarship, teaching, and discussion. The Center is located in the School of Law on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, but produces, presents and coordinates research conducted by more than 70 scholars from schools and departments across Indiana University. The Center's affiliated scholars hold appointments in African-American studies, business, criminal justice, journalism, history, economics, English, law, and gender studies, among others, and are dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the role of law in society and culture. The Center supports research related to the law in a broad sense, including the cultural aspects of law expressed through political theory and scientific aspects of law expressed through technological advances in biotechnology, environmental science and information technology.

Sponsored by: Indiana University Maurer School of Law

"Digital Contact Tracing for the COVID-19 Epidemic: A Business and Human Rights Perspective" Free Download

THEODORA A CHRISTOU, Queen Mary University of London, LSE, UNICAF
MARIA PIA SACCO, International Bar Association
ANURAG BANA, International Bar Association

This report looks at COVID-19 pandemic responses, focusing on the contact tracing apps from a business and human rights perspective. It sets out the human rights criteria when either interfering with the private life of individuals under the ordinary limitations of the right, and also when states choose to derogate having declared a state of emergency. The key tests remain the same: legality, necessity, and proportionality.

Authors: Maria Pia Sacco, Senior Legal Advisor, IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit; Prof. Martijn Scheltema, Partner at Pels Rijcken (The Hague, the Netherlands) and Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Dr Theodora A Christou, CCLS, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London; Anurag Bana, Senior Legal Advisor, IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit

"A Guide to General Principles of Law in International Investment Arbitration" 
Oxford International Arbitration Series, 2020

PATRICK DUMBERRY, University of Ottawa - Civil Law Section

General principles of law play an important role in investment arbitration and can be applied by a tribunal when no treaty provision or rule of customary international law exists regarding a particular issue. They can be used in traditional means, such as the interpretation of vague treaty terms, or for wider-reaching issues emerging from the international legal order.

Following a significant increase in references to the general principles of law by Investor-State tribunals, questions have been raised around the meaning and function of these principles. Written by an expert in the field this book offers clear and comprehensive guidelines to better understand the nature, meaning, and function of general principles of law in the field of international investment law. Applying these principles to practice, this book assesses 17 concepts and notions in the field of investment arbitration, providing counsel and arbitrators with clear guidance on what should, and should not, be considered a general principle of law.

"The Common Core between Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law: A Structural Account" Fee Download
Ratio Juris, Vol. 32, Issue 3, pp. 278-300, 2019

ALAIN ZYSSET, University of Glasgow

Legal scholars and theorists have recently drawn a more sustained attention to the link between international human rights law (hereafter IHRL) and international criminal law (hereafter ICL). This concerns both positive and more normative accounts of the link. Whether positive or normative, the predominant approach to constructing the link is substantive. This overlap is normatively justified in similar terms by reference to a subset of moral human rights. In this paper, I offer an alternative to the substantive approach. After identifying two flaws in the substantive approach (the problem of threshold and the problem of ethical neutrality), I defend what I call a structural account by focusing on duty‐holders. I start by reconstructing two structural characteristics common to IHRL and ICL qua international legal regimes: who has the authority to address violations of IHRL and ICL, and who can be liable for those violations. I then infer that public authority (functionally construed) constitutes the common structural core of IHRL and ICL. I rely on the extraterritorial application of IHRL and on the collective dimension of ICL violations to further support the argument. I finally offer an argument explaining the normative point of those structural features. I hold that IHRL and ICL (their adjudicative and liability regimes) are both necessary (but clearly not sufficient) to render this exercise of public authority legitimate to its subjects.

"Global Networks and the Legal Profession" Free Download
Laurel S. Terry, Global Networks and the Legal Profession, 53 Akron L. Rev. 137 (2019)

LAUREL S. TERRY, Penn State Dickinson Law

The importance of networks and the power of exponential growth within networks have become much more apparent to the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Article addresses the topic of global legal profession networks. The introductory section provides information about our global economy and society that helps explain why global legal profession networks are valuable. It argues that global networks are beneficial for clients, lawyers, and other legal services stakeholders.

After introducing some of the scientific literature about networks in general and legal profession networks specifically, Section II identifies ways in which lawyers participate in global legal profession networks. The Article identifies global network opportunities for law firms, as well as global network opportunities for individual lawyers. This section also addresses the growth prospects for global legal profession networks. It concludes that despite recent events, these kinds of global networks already are important and are likely to grow in importance.

The final section of the Article urges individual lawyers and the organizations for which they work to recognize the global networks to which they already are connected and to consider joining additional global networks. It also explains why the “take-aways? from this Article apply to lawyers and organizations outside of the United States, as well as lawyers and organizations within the United States.

(A subsequent article focuses on a subset of global legal profession networks, which are the global networks of lawyer regulation stakeholders. This related "networks" article is Laurel S. Terry, Lawyer Regulation Stakeholder Networks and the Global Diffusion of Ideas, 33(3) Georgetown J. Legal Ethics __ (2020), available in June or July 2020.

"Impunity and Hope" Fee Download
Ratio Juris, Vol. 32, Issue 4, pp. 415-438, 2019

TONY REEVES, Clifford Chance LLP

Is there a duty to prosecute grave international crimes? Many have thought so, even if they recognize the obligation to be defeasible. However, the theoretical literature frequently leaves the grounds for such a duty inadequately specified, or unsystematically amalgamated, leaving it unclear which considerations should drive and shape processes of criminal accountability. Further, the circumstance leaves calls to end impunity vulnerable to skeptical worries concerning the risks and costs of punishing perpetrators. I argue that a qualified duty to prosecute can be substantiated on the basis of a single class of reasons, though also that standard justifications of international criminal law (as currently conceived) are not up to the task. The account exploits the expressive dimension of punishment, but locates the central good of criminal accountability in its capacity to appropriately enable an agential stance on the part of subjects in transitional circumstances. It can legitimate, in a way to be specified, hope. The approach also displays the cynicism of an anti‐impunity ethos in the absence of a robust commitment to securing basic human rights in transitional circumstances.

"Where Is God When We Need Her? Women’s Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief as Key to Promoting Gender Equality" Free Download
Tulane Law Review, Vol. 95, Forthcoming

COCHAV ELKAYAM-LEVY, Bar Ilan Faculty of Law, Bar Ilan University - Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women

The right to freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental right of every woman. It articulates women's freedom to follow their aims and beliefs and protects their personal autonomy to pursue their chosen faith (be it theistic, non-theistic or atheistic). It also guarantees that women would be able to freely express their diverse opinions, moral convictions and experiences without social or other constraints. Yet this article reveals that women’s belief liberties are a blind spot in human rights law. The right to freedom of religion or belief has thus far been widely viewed by the international community as an obstacle to women's advancement; Among many aspects of this problem, this article considers the implications of the omission of the right to freedom of religion or belief from the Women’s Convention. It shows that states receive little guidance on how to secure this right in ways that also respect the right to gender equality. It also identifies a conflict syndrome by which women are predominantly viewed through the lens of harmful practices. Lastly, it calls attention to the fact that, presently, no state is being systematically supervised for implementing this fundamental right of women. Examining possibilities for change, the article demonstrates that the right of women to gender equality and to freedom of religion or belief are inseparably linked and that international mechanisms protecting women’s belief liberties could tremendously contribute to advancing women’s equal status.

"Are Special Economic Zones in Emerging Countries a Catalyst for the Growth of Surrounding Areas?" Free Download
Transnational Corporations Journal, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2019

SUSANNE A. FRICK, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
ANDRÉS RODR?GUEZ-POSE, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

What is the impact of special economic zones (SEZs) in emerging countries on the economy of surrounding areas? Despite the popularity of SEZs as a policy tool in virtually all developing countries around the world, there is little evidence to date which systematically analyses this question. This paper sheds light on this topic by examining the economic growth spillovers generated by 346 SEZs in 22 emerging countries. The analysis uses night light data as a proxy for SEZ performance as well as the economic performance of the surrounding area in order to overcome the lack of reliable economic indicators when measuring SEZ performance. It also relies on a novel data set on SEZ characteristics in order to understand how far they impinge on the economic fortunes of the surrounding areas. The results indicate that SEZs have a positive impact on the economic performance of the areas surrounding the zones. However, the growth spillovers are limited in area and display a strong distance decay effect: the magnitude of the impact decreases continuously up to 50 km. Furthermore, zones located in more remote areas seem to have less of an impact on neighbouring areas. Moreover, factors assumed to have a facilitating effect, such as the manufacturing base in the country and political stability, do not seem to matter on a structural basis.

"Proportionality of Fundamental Human Rights: A Reflection of Low Income Communities vis-a-vis Corona Virus Epidemic." Free Download

KUDAKWASHE MAPAKO, Canadian Institute for International Law Expertise (CIFILE)

Proportionality has been a pivotal pillar in upholding the Rule of Law and also providing limitations to human rights interference by States as a way of preserving Human Rights and establishing a balance. This article seeks to shed light and spark a discussion around the issue of Proportionality of Fundamental Human Rights in the wake of a global emergency/threat. By looking at measures of ‘isolation and lockdown’ that have been inserted by States around the globe to mitigate and deal with the Coronavirus epidemic. Thereby unpacking proportionality with consideration of the severity and effects it has waged to low-income communities. Thus a discussion whether the interference of fundamental human rights in low-income communities is justified to the objective, which has been identified as of sufficient importance.

"Can Export Restrictions Be Deterred?" Free Download
Pelc, Krzysztof. 2020. "Can Export Restrictions Be Deterred?" Canadian Journal of Political Science. Forthcoming

KRZYSZTOF PELC, McGill University

The COVID-19 global health pandemic has led some 75 countries to restrict their exports of hundreds of products, ranging from antibiotics and face masks to medical ventilators. The cost of these measures, which lead to global shortages, will be counted in human lives. Yet the multilateral trade regime lacks effective legal disciplines on export restrictions. In response, scholars have pinned their hopes on the prospect of potential retaliation working as a deterrent. Are such hopes warranted? Early evidence suggests not: the threat of retaliation cannot effectively deter most export controls, because the most flagrant country users are also shielded by the very characteristics that render them prone to imposing export restraints in the first place. The empirical evidence indicates the prospect of retaliation has played no role in the decision to restrict exports by the world’s biggest exporters of essential medical goods. Yet autarky is unlikely to be a workable solution to assure domestic supply. I suggest that attempts at limiting market consolidation of essential goods may be one way of reducing the incentive to implement export controls in the first place.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

This area includes content focused on empirical or theoretical scholarship on international and comparative law topics from any disciplinary perspective.

Editor: Christiana Ochoa, Indiana University


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Advisory Board

Law & Society: International & Comparative Law eJournal

Roscoe C. O'Byrne Professor of Law, Indiana University-Bloomington, Maurer School of Law

Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Fred W. & Vi Miller Chair in Law Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Law School, American Antitrust Institute

Willard and Margaret Carr Professor of Labor and Employment Law, Indiana University, Maurer School of Law

Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program and Center for the Study of Law and Society

Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas, Wellesley College - Department of Anthropology

Voss-Bascom Professor of Law, Professor of Sociology [Emeritus] Review Section Editor - Law & Social Inquiry, University of Wisconsin Law School

Professor of Law, Adjunct Professor of Latino Studies, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

John & Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison

Co-Director, Center for Law, Society and Culture, Professor of History & Law, Indiana University-Bloomington, Maurer School of Law

Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Editorial Advisory Board, Law and Society Review, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Sociology

Professor of Law and Political Science, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law