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Conferences

Recent conferences include:

-Queen’s University Belfast, Critical Legal Conference 2013 (Reconciliation and Reconstruction), 5-7 September 2013. Here I will present a paper (Reconstruction, return or revolution? The phenomenon of critical legal thought in European post-communist countries stream) titled "On the a theoretical and un critical nature of Romanian law post 1989"

Abstract:

In this paper I offer a thesis and two arrows. The thesis is that after 1989, the Romanian law has just exchanged one ideology (pseudo Marxism) with another (neo liberalism). The arrows are directed towards the new ideology, and towards a perceived Romanian theoretical style post 1989, a style which arguably lacks any critical power.

Thus, I am arguing that as a consequence of this ideological replacement the law student and the jurist are completely disoriented when attempting to grasp the sense and the directions of the Romanian legal changes. Although the student or the jurists perceive discrete changes, due to the complete unhistorical and a theoretical nature of the Romanian legal discourse, they fail to put these discrete changes in relationship with any social context. The general level of theorisation is as non critical and of diminished quality as it was before 1989, but what changes is the replacement of one set of ideological assumptions (vulgar Marxism) with another (neo liberalism). To show all the above, I focus on two areas of law immensely important for the neoliberal ideology, property and contract, and also on several declarations of the former Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc, and of the former Ministry of Justice Predoiu. Those high ranking Romanian officials, when enacting several substantial and procedural laws in 2011, explicitly declared that they “would bring” American litigation style close to Romania. I will therefore show that unlike in the United States in the second and third decade of the twentieth century, where the so called Legal Realists successfully challenged all the formalistic “liberal” assumptions and paved the way for a nuanced understanding of law, Romania lacks such a sophisticated school of legal thought. Moreover, the “new formalism” and the superficial legislative function developed in Romanian law post 1989 represent steps backward in rapport to the sophisticated Romanian legal thinking of the inter war period or even in raport to the legal thinking of the “real existing” socialism characterising Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej or Nicolae Ceausescu’s eras."

-Strategies for Realising Socio-Economic Rights in Practice:Multi Disciplinary Experiences for Early Career Researchers (University of Warwick School of Law & Centre for Human Rights in Practice), 12-13 December 2012. Here I made a presentation, titled: Socio economic rights (by litigation) in an unsecure economic world. Some Romanian and East European perspectives

-"Not Just Law" University of Warwick School of Law Conference, 5 July 2012. Here I submitted a paper titled Communist and Post-communist Property.

Summary:
In more detail, my discussion considered "three important claims connected with the (neo-liberal) monumental transformations of property regimes undertook post 1989 in all the former communist countries; that communist organisation of property was a regime in which property was lacking, that the post-communist transformations could be conceptualised as a transfer of a “bundle of rights”, and that the transformation could be realised top down and in a simple way, by enacting laws which transferred the property holdings of the former communist enterprises to newly created capitalist corporations. My thesis was that a theory of post-communist property transformation based on such claims lacks any explanatory power, and that moreover, it does not explain the general perception of the populations of post-communist countries that such transformation was unfair. Instead, a theory of transformation based on anthropological and comparative law insights, which considers communist organisation of property on its own merits and as a distinctive, socio-legal reality would be more appropriate to explain the post-communist property transformation in its dynamics.In order to defend this thesis I intended to show the following.First, I intended to show that the conceptualisation of post-communist property transformations as a transformation from a feudal or non-property system (communist) to a bundle of rights system (post-communist), which empowers and liberates the property owners is inappropriate when theorising such transformations. Second, that such conceptualisation explains nothing of the “trauma” suffered by post-communist citizens during (and because of transformation). And third, that a comparative law perspective, based on anthropological theory insights related to communist organisation of property is more appropriate, when theorising such transformation(s).The discussion was divided in several parts.In the first part, I offer a general introduction to the bundle of rights paradigm of property and explain its shortcomings, when applied to post-communist property transformation(s). In the second part, I moved to the anthropological description of communist organisation of property and offer the main characteristics of such organisation.In the third part, I explore the dynamics of post-communist property transformations and advance the claim that several characteristics of communist organisation of property, preserved during the post-communist transitions made impossible the transformation of such a property in a system based on private property by top down, simple legislative enactment.In the fourth part I advanced an alternative model of change for post-communist property than that offered in the neoliberal theory of communist property transformation(s).I ended the discussion with a brief conclusion."

-Conference on Business Law hosted by the University of Bucharest Law School, the Romanian Bar and Juridice, The University of Bucharest School of Law, Bucharest, Romania, 11 May 2012. Here I delivered a discussion titled "Class Actions in American Law. A review of the original system and developments in Comparative Law"

-4th Post-Graduate Law Conference, King’s College, London, April 2010. Here I presented a paper selected by the Conference Committee, and titled "Some Considerations on the Impact of Recent Romanian Constitutional 'Reform' in the Activity of the Constitutional Court and of the Ombudsman"

-Debatte Conference 1989-2009: The East European Revolutions in Perspective, London 17-18 October 2009. Here I presented a paper titled "From Communist bureaucracy to a liberal state in East Central Europe? Lustration and its implications”