WG Law and Politics
Chair: Karina Ansolabehere, IIJ-UNAM
Miroslaw Michal Sadowski | University of Wroclaw
Citizens of what? Local identities, the Mainland, collective memory: The question of citizenship in Hong Kong and Macau
Hong Kong and Macau, the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China have spent centuries as colonies of far-away metropolises. Their handovers to the PRC in, respectively, 1997 and 1999, were supposed to end the period of being ruled by a foreign power. As it turned out, however, Hong Kong and Macau are still heavily influenced from the outside, only now by a local, rather than remote, metropolis. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the issues of local identity and citizenship in the two SARs twenty years after their handovers to China. In the first part of the paper, the author briefly introduces the Hong Kong and Macau legal systems, focusing on their Basic Declarations and the question of the two SARs autonomy. M. M. Sadowski analyses the frameworks in place, then tries to establish how autonomous the cities are de facto, not only de iure, and finally asks in what way the scope of their autonomy affects the shape of the two cities’ citizenships. The second part of the paper is devoted to the issue of local identity in the two cities. The author pithily presents the history of Hong Kong and Macau, and then examines the question of identity in the two cities. Focusing notably on the past twenty years, M. M. Sadowski shows how the backlash against the so-called Mainlandisation from the Hong Kongers and the Macanese, together with collective memories of the times of colonialism, has led to the creation of strong local identities and the growing will of independence in the two SARs. In the third, main part of the paper, the author focuses on the links between the issues of citizenship and identity in the two SARs. He analyses the legislation regulating the question of citizenship currently in place, and contrasts it with the emerging legal and political problems with regards to the matter of local identity, notably ‘the right to abode issue’ and the rise of pro-independent parties in Hong Kong. Ultimately, in the fourth part of the paper, the author ventures to make predictions about the future of the autonomy of the two SARs in relation to the growing pressure from Beijing, and also about the shape of their citizenship and identity in the globalising environment which has already turned them into cities of the world.
Carolina Vestena | University of Kassel
The ambivalent role of law in mobilisations of social movements in times of austerity
The worldwide wave of demonstrations that started in 2011 had a specific resonance in Europe. The protests in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and more recently France, represented a milestone for the debates on the democratic characteristics of the European Union and the role of economic institutions in shaping political decisions. The critique of austerity measures and curtailment of social rights is nowadays at the core of the claims of social movements, this time not only in the Global South, but also in Europe, especially following the impoverishing effects of the “one size fits all” policies proposed by international institutions and the so-called “Troika”. Since then, academic and activist debates are trying to understand the multiple meanings of these struggles and also the strategies of the movements in this context. Significant literature has already been produced on this matter, both in the legal and sociological fields. However, it does not fully explain the role of activists lawyering in their cooperation with social movements in the frame of anti-austerity struggles yet. Considering this context, this study focuses on two cases of contestation and legal strategies of social actors against austerity which still need attention and more empirical research from the perspective of the social movements studies, namely the legal confrontation during the peak of the Portuguese crisis (2011) and the social mobilizations against the labour law and “its world” and the Nuit Debout movement in France (2016). Putting the first steps of the analysis of these two cases in conjuncture, the aim of my presentation is to discuss the complex relationships between social movements, lawyers and courts through three central conceptual questions: first, the ambivalent character of the use of law by social movements; second, the need of reshaping time-space scales in the study of social movements; and, finally, the understanding of the idea of success or failure of mobilizations using legal strategies.
Ainhoa Montoya | Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London
Citizens as Lawmakers: Banning Mineral Extraction in El Salvador
Conflicts over metal governance in El Salvador have increasingly taken on legalistic and law-like expressions. The Mesa Nacional frente a la Minería Metálica, an alliance of grassroots movements and NGOs that formed in the mid-2000s in tandem with a rise in metal exploration in the country’s northern regions, took steps to advance its views through a combination of political and legal actions. Members of the Mesa Nacional—with the support of national and international NGOs specializing in legal issues and litigation—resorted to legal instruments, especially the drafting of various pieces of legislation to assert their position against mining and their rights over the territories where these are deposited. This paper will explore the cultures of legality that developed through the Mesa Nacional initiatives, which culminated in El Salvador’s 2017 ban on metallic mining, as well as the implications of legal arenas as a locus of conflicts over resource governance.
Shozo Ota | The University of Tokyo
Junko Kato | The University of Tokyo
Takeshi Asamizuya | The University of Tokyo
The Neuro-cognitive Structure of Lay Perception and Judgments on Legal Problems: Standard of Proof and Defendant's Repentance in Criminal Procedure
This paper is a preliminary report on our research of neuro-cognitive structure of lay perception and judgments on legal problems, employing multi-disciplinary methods of social psychology, legal sociology, and brain science. We asked the participants (non-law students) to read the vignettes about criminal procedure cases and to make judgments on the legal problems about the cases, while their brains are scanned by the use of MRI. Before they go into the scanning machine, they answer questionnaires based upon legal sociology and social psychology. The scenarios are (1) a robbery murder case where the manipulation is whether the defendant shows repentance or not, and (2) the burden of proof where the manipulation is the instructions based upon two contradictory precedents on the standard of proof. In the scenario (1), our aim is to determine whether and to what extent emotional judgment vis-a-vis rational judgment plays a role in the participants' determination of prison terms; in the scenario (2) our aim is to identify whether and to what extent participants react differently to the instructions on standard of proof in their fact-finding judgments. The experiments were conducted in the fall of 2017 in the Komaba Campus of The University of Tokyo using 1st year and 2nd year non-law volunteer students. In the academic year of 2018 beginning from April, we plan to conduct the same experiments on law students and young practicing attorneys to compare with the non-law students. This research is a part of our larger project to identify empirically what "legal mind" is, i.e., whether and to what extent legal professionals decision-making structure is different from that of the lay citizens.