4132 Between Political Choices, Citizen's Perception

Room: C3.02


Chair: Susana Costa | Centro de Estudos Sociais

Pete Sanderson | University of Huddersfield

Phil Drake | University of Huddersfield

Making sense of the law in a time of austerity'?





Larson notes the significance of the distinction between the lawyer’s procedural, or in Weberian terms formal rational, conception of justice and the vernacular substantive conception, in differentiating the lawyer from the layperson (2013, 168).  Further, many commentators have identified the way in which this formal understanding of justice is embedded in the forms of legal education and hence fundamental to the production of lawyers (e.g. Jensen and Nerland, 2014). However, in certain areas of law work, such as legal advice clinics, and other settings dealing with the legal problems of the marginalised (particularly in an era of austerity), formal and substantive understandings of justice become co-mingled in the sense-making of advice practitioners (Sarat and Felstiner), and in their actual transactions and practice (Mertz 2007; Daicoff 2004 and Granfield 1992).    This paper explores the formal/substantive dichotomy through an analysis of law students’ learning experience as volunteers in a legal advice clinic, and discusses the utility of the concepts of hybridity and institutional logics in framing an understanding of the value conflicts which arise. 

Samuel Kirwan | University of Warwick

Advising citizens: on the disruptive capacity of the ‘generalist’ advice service




This paper considers the changing dynamics of citizenship in the United Kingdom from a specific standpoint, namely the provision of, and access to, legal advice. The paper presents findings from ongoing research in the advice sector, involving participant observation in an advice setting and interviews with with senior figures in the advice sector and Local Authority representatives. The paper places particular emphasis upon the Citizens Advice service, the largest provider of advice in the UK, discussing the particular role played by ‘citizenship’ within the organisation.
Adopting an embodied and enacted approach to citizenship, I describe the specific legal and policy changes that are shaping ‘acts of citizenship’ (Isin and Nielsen, 2008) in the UK, namely the (now stalled) process of welfare reform and ongoing attempts to restrict, along citizenship-status lines, access to the benefits and health services. The paper then considers the particular tensions of citizenship at play in the advice sector. Services that play a key role in enabling acts of citizenship, by opening access to legal information and representation, are seeking to negotiate conditions that place this radical role under threat: funding regimes, by delimiting the services they can offer, restrict this ‘openness’; the legal frameworks to which they provide access increasingly discriminate against certain ‘citizens’; and the open-door policy that underpins ‘generalist’ services is increasingly unpopular (and under scrutiny). The paper argues that advice services play a key role in disrupting citizenship as static and bordered, and that there is a pressing need to resist measures that, by stealth, constrain this capacity.

Inês Rebanda Coelho | CECS- Uminho

The inadaptation of the EU’s Author’s Rights and Related Rights to the Modern Era




What kind of consequences could exist in a legal system that doesn’t follow their object of protection and/or its society? The current legislation in most of EU countries couldn’t keep up with the cinematic and television panorama evolution and can be harming both the works’ economic exploitation as well as the evolution of those arts themselves. The problematic that raises concern pertains to one of the central questions of the Authors’ Rights and Related Rights, the concept of authorship. In this paper it is intended to defend that the authorship concept enshrined in the Authors’ Rights and Related Rights probably doesn’t correspond to the existing authors within today’s cinema or television. The Authors’ Rights and Related Rights defends cinema and television as a work made in collaboration, where their elected coauthors change from country to country.
For the construction of the arguments that will be defended in this communication, a bibliographic study was made of both the legislation as well as documents and investigation studies regarding authorship, cinema, television, Author’s Rights and their doctrine and jurisprudence. Also, an analysis of audiovisual works was carried out in order to demonstrate the existence of other authors, beside those already appointed by law. 
Therefore, the purpose is to discuss the dissonance between the law and the reality of the arts that we are interested in studying, which are cinema and television, and also society’s point of view of these audiovisual media’s authors. Which raises the question: has the law created its own idea of how these media work in each country and decided it without basing its knowledge on the industry of these arts or even on society’s view and development? We want to propose a study of the Author’s Rights and Related Rights through the eyes of two of the artistic areas that it defends, since it is a matter that affects the sustainability of the Author’s Rights and Related Rights relatively to audiovisual works. We intend to show that cinema and television possibly have more authors and this legislation provision can be limiting the way of creating the filmic works in some European countries, as well as the stagnation of their economic exploitation. 

João Paulo Dias | Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra

Conceição Gomes | Centro de Estudos Sociais

Under pressure: the impacts of troika on judicial reforms in Portugal




The approval and implementation of the new judicial organisation/map in Portugal, including other reforms, during 2013, became the perfect example of an external induced reform process. Nevertheless, to have an internal minimum consensus, it was possible to involve several judicial actors in the process. During the troika ruling in Portugal, it was possible to observe the largest process of reforms ever seen within the justice system in tandem with budget cuts in the justice area as a result of the Portuguese financial crisis (external financial support obliging strong austerity measures).
The principal reform was the judicial organization/map, reducing 232 lower courts to 23 district courts (concentration process), each with jurisdiction over a larger territory and deepened specialization. Most of the former smaller courts were transformed into local sections or branches of the now streamlined judicial system in an attempt to retain proximity to the citizens. This reorganisation, including a totally new management model, provoked a deep organisational change and altered the relationship of the citizens to justice administration.
Therefore, the aim of this proposal is to discuss the context, the actors and the politics involved in this judicial reform process as an example of a top-down pressure strategy to answer an external “order” with the influence of internal actors. Citizenship and democracy were, within this reform, kept outside the court.



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