Extension, Deadline Legal History Section, SLS Bristol Conference

The deadline for the call for papers for the Legal History section of the 2024 Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference has been extended to Wednesday 3 April 2024, 11:59pm UK time.

The conference will be held at Bristol University, from 3rd-5th September. The Legal History section will meet in the first half of the conference on 3-4 September and will have four sessions, each lasting 90 minutes. The theme of the conference is “Learning from Others: Lessons for Legal Scholars?”.

As scholars, we interact with others – students; fellow academics; legal practitioners; the wider public – and the 2024 conference will reflect on the gains we can achieve from such interaction in a global academic environment. The conference will examine this theme in two ways. First, as scholars attending the SLS conference, we benefit greatly from meeting colleagues from different backgrounds and disciplines and, notably, from other legal jurisdictions (both within and outside the common law world). What can we gain from taking an international or comparative perspective to our work? To what extent do different perspectives, such as socio-legal, interdisciplinary or historical viewpoints, assist our research? Secondly, one of the significant elements of the conference is the inclusion of papers from both junior and senior scholars. What lessons can we gain from each other, both in terms of mentoring and in recognising the need to promote the interests of early career legal scholars and offering support for those entering the academy? No scholar is an island. The SLS provides a positive inclusive environment for legal academics at whatever stage of their career to engage with each other and learn valuable lessons from a diverse and inclusive community of legal scholars. Doctoral students are very welcome and are encouraged to submit papers for consideration in the Subject Sections Programme.

The 2024 conference will be primarily in person with a virtual element. ECR and EDI sessions, together with the AGM and Council meeting, will be available virtually free of charge. A small charge will be made for virtual attendance at the plenary sessions. Council members who are not attending the 2024 Conference will still be able to attend the Council meeting and AGM virtually and, consistent with our EDI priorities, speakers who cannot attend may, on sufficient notice, be able to present virtually. We will also endeavour to allow speakers unable to attend at the last minute due to ill-health or travel restrictions to present virtually. This decision reflects a move globally to resume in person conferences, the significant costs of virtual attendance which would require a rise in price due to the absence of suitable facilities at Bristol University and evidence of a significant drop in numbers for virtual attendance at the 2023 conference. We will also continue to offer support for attendance via our Annual Conference Additional Support Fund (ASF) to support those with special circumstances warranting additional support. Priority for support will be given to applicants who have no other source of funding.

If you are interested in delivering a paper or organising a panel, please submit your paper abstract or panel details by 11:59pm UK time on 3 April 2024. All abstracts and panel details must be submitted through the Oxford Abstracts conference system which can be accessed here – and following the instructions (select ‘Track’ for the relevant subject section). If you registered for Oxford Abstracts for last year’s conference, please ensure that you use the same e-mail address this year if that address remains current. For those whose papers are accepted, the original submission offers the facility to upload a full paper nearer the time. If you experience any issues in using Oxford Abstracts, please contact slsconference@mosaicevents.co.uk. If you are submitting as part of the Gesellschaft für Rechtsvergleichung there will be a tick box option for you to select as you complete the form.

This is the second year we will be running first blind peer review, with a subsequent non-blind review once initial decisions have been made to consider profile diversity before final decisions are made and communicated. The feedback from convenors on this process was overwhelmingly positive.

Decisions will be communicated by the end of April 2024.

We welcome proposals for papers and panels on any issue relating to “Learning from Others: Lessons for Legal Scholars?” representing a full range of intellectual perspectives and methodological approaches in the subject section, and from those at all stages of their careers.

Those wishing to present a paper should submit a title and abstract of around 300 words. Those wishing to propose a panel should submit a document outlining the theme and rationale for the panel and the names of the proposed speakers (who must have agreed to participate) and their abstracts. Sessions are 90 minutes in length and so we recommend panels of three speakers, though the conference organisers reserve the right to add speakers to panels in the interests of balance and diversity.

As the SLS is keen to ensure that as many members with good quality papers as possible can present, speakers should not present twice at the conference at the expense of another credible paper. When you submit an abstract via Oxford Abstracts you will be asked to note if you are also responding to calls for papers or panels from other sections.

Please also note that the SLS offers two prizes. First, The Best Paper Prize, which can be awarded to academics at any stage of their career, and which is open to those presenting papers individually or within a panel. The Prize carries a £300 monetary award, and the winning paper will, subject to the usual process of review and publisher’s conditions, appear in Legal Studies. To be eligible:
speakers must be fully paid-up members of the SLS (Where a paper has more than one author, all authors eligible for membership of the Society under its rule 3 must be members. The decision as to eligibility of any co-authors will be taken by the Membership Secretary, whose decision will be final.)
papers must not exceed 12,000 words including footnotes (as counted in Word; figures and tables are not included in the word count);
papers must be uploaded to the paperbank by 11:59pm UK time on 23 August 2024
papers must not have been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication; and
papers must have been accepted by a convenor in a subject section and an oral version of the paper must be presented at the Annual Conference.
In 2020 the Society launched the Best Paper by a Doctoral Student Prize, which is open to currently registered doctoral students who are members of the Society. The Prize is £300. There is no link to publication in Legal Studies arising from this award, but any winner would be welcome to submit their paper for consideration by the Society’s journal. To be eligible:
speakers must be fully paid-up members of the SLS who are Doctoral students. (Where a paper has more than one author, all authors eligible for membership of the Society under its rule 3 must be members and all authors must be Doctoral students, whatever their discipline). The decision as to eligibility of any co-authors will be taken by the Membership Secretary, whose decision will be final;
papers must not exceed 12,000 words including footnotes (as counted in Word; figures and tables are not included in the word count);
papers must be uploaded to the paperbank by 11:59pm UK time on 23 August 2024
papers must not have been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication; and
papers must have been accepted by a convenor in a subject section and an oral version of the paper must be presented at the Annual Conference.
Where a paper eligible for this prize wins the Best Paper Prize, the judges may at their discretion award the prize for Best Paper by a Doctoral Student to a different nominated paper
The judges may announce a shortlist at their discretion with the winner to be announced by the first week in August.
We have also been asked to remind you that all speakers will need to book and pay to attend the conference and that they will need to register for the conference by 14 June 2024 to secure their place within the programme, though please do let us know if this deadline is likely to pose any problems for you. Booking information will be circulated in due course and will open after the decisions on the response to the calls are made.

With best wishes,
Caroline Derry and Helen Rutherford
(Co-Convenor and Acting Co-Convenor)