The Series

The series examines the relations between private legal obligation and political struggle.
Details of each seminar (times, venue, speakers) are available by clicking Seminars on the menu above.
Audio recordings of completed seminars are available by clicking Audio on the menu above.
Blogposts including commentary, reflections on completed seminars are available below.
To register for the final seminar in the series, ‘Protest, Precarisation, Possibility’, click Register on the menu above.
For updates, our twitter and facebook links are at the bottom of the page.
For any other questions, email m.enright[at]
Private law has an ever more demanding public life. If it ever had any material reality, the traditional view that saw public law as underpinning the just distribution of power between citizens and the state, and private law as primarily concerned with regulating individual apolitical projects, is no longer viable. Private law is increasingly visible in the management of political conflict, whether that is the use of ‘persons unknown injunctions’ to prevent protest, tort and land law litigation for human rights abuses or the privatisation of religious divorce. It frequently determines the legal and political spaces in which disputes are staged, and sets the thresholds for entry into those spaces. By transposing political disagreement into its own discourse of risk, responsibility, duty, agreement, harm, restitution and compensation, it opens some possibilities for political action and constrains others. All this occurs according to the peculiar sanctions, remedies and flows of power which private law entails. The series seeks to investigate new uses of private law, which may generate novel ‘strategies of rupture’ or jarring or violent experiences of being ‘bound to law’; of political and legal dislocation.

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