CONFERENCE: ”The History of Legal Aid in the Premodern and Modern World”
18–19 March 2019, University of Turku, Finland
CALL FOR PAPERS (deadline 18 November 2018)
The idea of providing legal assistance to the poor has long roots. In the medieval world, it was often linked to theological notions of charitas and was one form of aiding personae miserabilis. The topic of legal aid was discussed in many writings since the early Middle Ages, and distinctions were made e.g. between deserving and undeserving poor. Many ecclesiastical and secular rulers felt the need for providing such assistance officially and positions of advocate for the poor (advocatus pauperum) were established.
In the modern world, new challenges, such as industrialisation and urbanisation, emerged creating an ever-growing demand for legal aid and its proper organisation. In France, legislation on legal aid (l’assistance judiciaire) was passed in 1851, with many other countries reforming legal aid in the following decades, as well. However, the actual organisation of legal assistance to the poor took varying forms from country to country. Some made it the charitable responsibility of lawyers to provide legal aid pro bono, others created special legal aid offices, while elsewhere the state or the communality paid lawyers to take on legal aid cases, and sometimes legal aid was created through the initiatives of women’s associations, religious organisations or trade unions. In many places, the 1970s witnessed another surge of legal aid reform.
This conference aims to bring together the various aspects of legal aid around the world and throughout history, highlighting common features and individual particularities.
Papers could discuss e.g.:
-the discussion of legal aid in jurisprudence
-what the rationale for providing legal aid was
-how and at who’s initiative legal aid was organised
-who legal aid lawyers were
-the relations between legal aid lawyers and other lawyers
-the participation of laymen in legal aid offices
-legal aid given by others than lawyers, e.g. social workers
-notions of access to justice
-what qualifications applied to those eligible for legal aid
-what kind of cases were handled
-developments in legislation
-legal advice given in newspapers and magazines
Confirmed keynote lectures will be given by Prof. Felice Batlan (Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology) and Dr. Hiroki Kawamura (University of Frankfurt).
Deadline for paper proposals with abstracts (max. 400 words) is 18 November 2018. For further information, as well as sending paper proposals, please contact Dr. Marianne Vasara-Aaltonen (marianne.vasara-aaltonen[at]utu.fi).