Rooted in comparative law, the Juris Diversitas Series focuses on the interdisciplinary study of legal and normative mixtures and movements. Our interest is in comparison broadly conceived, extending beyond law narrowly understood to related fields. Titles might be geographical or temporal comparisons. They could focus on theory and methodology, substantive law, or legal cultures. They could investigate official or unofficial ‘legalities’, past and present and around the world. And, to effectively cross spatial, temporal, and normative boundaries, inter- and multi-disciplinary research is particularly welcome. 

Our first volume will be Seán Patrick Donlan and Lukas Heckerdon-Ursheler (eds), Concepts of law: comparative, jurisprudential, and social science perspectives. Additional volumes being prepared include:
  • Christina Allard (ed), Autonomous Sámi law: indigenous rights in Scandinavia
  • Mohamed Mattar and Vernon Palmer (eds), Mixed legal systems, East and West: newest trends and developments
  • Esin Örücü, Sue Farran, and Seán Patrick Donlan (eds), Mixed legal systems: endangered or entrenched
  • Shauna van Praagh and Helge Deldek (eds), Stateless law: evolving boundaries of a discipline
While we anticipate publishing future collections (original, conference-based, Festschriften, etc), we're also very interested in publishing monographs and student texts. For additional information, see here or contact Seán Patrick Donlan at

Juris Diversitas is also a Publishing Partner with Ashgate. 

Diffusion: The Movement of Laws and Norms
Sue Farran (Northumbria,, James Gallen (Dublin City), Jen Hendry (Leeds), and Christa Rautenbach (North West University Potchefstroom) (eds)

[Posted by Seán Patrick Donlan]

Our expectation would be to include a collection of these articles in the Juris Diversitas Series with Ashgate.

All conference participants are eligible to submit, though it’s likely that we’ll have to select from among the submissions those most relevant to the theme and that contribute to a coherent collection. Participants who presented papers on legal history should consider submitting to Comparative Legal History (UK), of which I’m Editor [SPD]. Papers that don’t suit the shape of the final collection, but should be published might will be submitted, with your permission, to the Journal of Civil Law Studies (US), edited by Olivier Moréteau. They also published one of our earlier conference collections.

All participants should have already notified Sue Farran about your intentions, whether or not you intend to submit. The deadline for final submissions is Friday, 1 November 2013. Articles shouldn't exceed 10,000 words (including footnotes) and the texts should be submitted in a complete, publishable form. To ensure consistency in the articles, submissions should adhere to the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). As the collection will be published in English, it’s extremely important that potential contributors whose first language isn’t English have their papers edited by native Anglophones, preferably other jurists broadly familiar with your subjectin advance of submitting to ensure a clear presentation of their ideas and an accurate appraisal of their work.

While no particular terminology (contaminations, transplants, etc, etc) is demanded, papers submitted should adhere as closely as possible to the conference theme of ‘Diffusion’. As I noted in Lausanne, I had William Twining’s understanding of the term—rather than its ordinary meaning—in mind as we planned the event. His use of ‘diffusion’, linked to the term’s meaning in the social sciences, is very broad:

(i) Relations between exporters and importers are not necessarily bipolar, involving only one exporter and one importer. The sources of a reception are often diverse.
(ii) Diffusion may take place between many kinds of legal orders at and across different geographical levels, not just horizontally between municipal legal systems.
(iii) The pathways of diffusion may be complex and indirect and influences may be reciprocal.
(iv) Diffusion may take place through informal interaction without involving formal adoption or enactment.
(v) Legal rules and concepts are not the only or even the main objects of diffusion.
(vi) Governments are not the only, and may not be the main, agents of diffusion.
(vii) Do not assume one or more specific reception dates. Diffusion often involves a long drawn out process, which, even if there were some critical moments, cannot be understood without reference to events prior and subsequent to such moments.
(viii) Diffusion of law often involves movement from an imperial or other powerful centre to a colonial, dependent, or less developed periphery. But there are also other patterns.
(ix) The idea that transplants retain their identity without significant change is widely recognized to be outmoded.
(x) Imported law rarely fills a vacuum or wholly replaces prior local law.
(xi) Diffusion of law is often assumed to be instrumental, technological, and modernising. But there is a constant tension between technological, contextual-expressive, and ideological perspectives on law.
(xii) There is a tendency in the diffusion literature to talk of receptions ‘working’ or ‘failing’. Only recently have attempts been made to evaluate and measure impact empirically. Many of the instruments that have been developed are suspect, but this is an area that needs serious academic attention ('Diffusion of law: a global perspective’ (2004) 49 Journal of Legal Pluralism 1, 34-35).

The article from which this is taken would be useful for anyone looking to submit. Twining also discusses the concept in numerous other articles and in his General jurisprudence: understanding law from a global perspective (2009).

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