'Occupy London' and the profane
Posted on 21/03/2012
The first Graduate Research Seminar of the newly-renamed Dickson Poon School of Law took place on Tuesday 20 March 2012. Research students and staff members gathered in the Moot Court Room in Somerset House to discuss papers from Ms Hayley Gibson and Ms Sabrina Gilani.
The first paper, delivered by Ms Gibson, was entitled 'From Occupation to Profanation: Giorgio Agamben's Challenge to Constitutional Theory'. Ms Gibson's paper considers the High Court judgment in the 'Occupy London' litigation. It draws on the work of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben to construct a critique of the High Court judgment in City of London v Samede & Others  EWHC 34. Ms Gibson's paper challenges how constitutional theory deals with the 'profane' - those acts which seek to reclaim political space for use by ordinary men and women.
The second paper, presented by Ms Gilani, had the equally ambitious title of '(de)Constructing Legal Subjectivity: Occidental Law and the Remaking of "Aboriginality" in Delgamuukw'. Ms Gilani's work, which draws on her doctoral studies of 'occidental legality', offers a critique of the Canadian judgment on First Nations rights in the case of Delgamuukw. Ms Gilani's paper poses questions about the dehumanising effect that legal constructions of citizenship can have and the manner in which law should accommodate alternative normative orders.
The session was chaired by Dr Cian Murphy, Director of Graduate Research Studies, with Dr Christoph Kletzer, Senior Lecturer in Legal Philosophy, acting as first respondent. The papers by Ms Gibson and Ms Gilani will be presented at a 'Law & Boundaries Conference' at Science Po, Paris. The conference takes place on 28 & 29 March and the keynote speakers will include the renowned systems theorist, Gunther Teubner.