Law and (in)justice in times of crisis
Feb 3-4, 2023
Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus

In association with the midwinter meeting of the Canadian Law and Society Association, the Law and Society Program at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo are hosting a two-day, in-person conference on the theme of Law and (in)justice in times of crisis.

From some perspectives, crises are everywhere, and are often intersecting: pandemic and irreversible climate catastrophes, unchecked racism and unending colonialism, democratic decline and gender backlash, economic meltdowns and mass surveillance. At the same time, there is no consensus on the nature of current crisis: not its meaning, nor cause, nor where responsibility lies, nor how to move forward.

A declaration of crisis contains within it a demand for action, critique, and creativity. It challenges what is normal and taken-for-granted and all but requires us to consider ways of thinking or acting that represent a break with current routines, institutions, and relationships. In crises’ demand for response, what possibilities are opened up, reshaped, and/or foreclosed?

In such a context, what does it mean to talk of justice and injustice? And what is the place of law, as a root or anchor of the unacceptable status quo, a site of resistance, a map of ways through the moment, an opening for change of meaning, representation, or practice? Does talk of crisis distract from solving problems at hand, or invite renewal of familiar tools, concepts, methods, and/or approaches?

As we gather in person on Wilfrid Laurier’s Brantford campus on the lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaawbe, and Neutral peoples, we invite scholars of law and society to come together to share work that intersects with our theme – including particularly, works in progress. We also welcome topics that do not fit directly into the central theme of the conference.

The submission form for the conference is here:

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