Panel 1: Sociology of courts, tribunals and legal professions
Courts, tribunals and legal professions form the center of “the law”. The law’s independence translates into independence and autonomy of judicial institutions and professions. The panel discusses how these are embedded in different social and political settings.

Rafael Mrowczynski: Post-socialist Transformations, Law-based State (Rechtsstaat) and Institutional Autonomy of Legal Professions

Larissa Vetters: Aspirations of legal concord in asylum appeal hearings. Rule of law practices among administrative judges and their wider perception in public debates about migration and the rule of law in Germany

Britta Rehder: Strategic Litigation and Judge-Made Law. Research Questions and Perspectives

Panel 2: Sociology of Constitutional Courts
Constitutional jurisprudence has long been considered political. The panel presents the newest approaches to empirical research on constitutional courts and discusses the resulting new insights to an understanding of an “illiberal democracy”.

Oliver Lemcke: Empirical Research on Constitutional Courts: New Approaches and New Designs

Hanna Dębska/Tomasz Warczok: Variable Geometry of Legal Legitimization. The Polish Constitutional Court and the „Populist” Revolution

Silvia von Steinsdorff: Beyond socio-political sources of legitimation: The Constitutional Court of Turkey between legal and political reasoning

Panel 3: Situated positions in judging
The legitimacy of the law depends as much on independence as on objectivity. Feminist criticism has long addressed gender biases in judging. The panel gives examples of the role of gender in judging and discusses how objectivity could reflect the socially situated positions of judges.

Ulrike Schultz: Effects of the Feminization of the Judiciary: Do women judge differently?

Eva Kocher: Objectivity and situated judging

Panel 4: Critiques of the law from the political right
Critiques of the law and denials of its autonomy have long been part of narratives from the political Right. The panel discusses different motifs in and framings of these narratives.

Marta Bucholc: National-conservative critique of law in Poland: a postcolonial narrative of postsocialist legal transformation

Andrea Kretschmann / Walter Fuchs: Right-wing Legal Aesthetics: A force against the Rule of Law

Panel 5: Critiques of Legal cultures in socio-legal perspectives
Socio-legal studies show that it is not only legal rules and institutional arrangements that take care of the law’s independence and autonomy. Legal culture plays an important role in safeguarding and embedding social practices of autonomy. The panel critically discusses these contexts in comparative perspective.

Jan Winczorek / Karol Muszyński: The access to justice gap and the rule of law in Poland

Daniel Witte: Rule of law and legal culture. On cultural conditions, textures and effects of a legal form

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