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Registering Registration

Call for Papers

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair system. They must be no longer than 300 words and must include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for the submissions is Monday 19 January 2015.

Registration is both an ancient and contemporary tool of governance and law. It is about beginnings and endings; about crossing boundaries, opening doors and closing off possibilities. From a range of substantive case studies, and drawing on empirical, socio-legal, critical and doctrinal approaches to law, we intend to explore the place of registration in law. We seek methodological, substantive and personal musings on your relationship with registration as a legal academic. How can we see registration and what is registration doing? How do different legal registrations speak to each other? What does registration hide or reveal? How can we excavate its contingencies, and explore resistances to it? Once it is stripped away, if it can be stripped away, what are we left with?

We are interested in the possibilities and problems which arise both from registration itself and an engagement with registration. We seek to explore how registration can fix, evidence, & objectify; the ways registration might inaugurate law, and the implications of that inauguration. We hope to explore how registration can call jurisdictions into being, invoke law’s authority and ritual and provide a starting point for resistance, engagement or submission to law’s power. We see registration making and changing legal subjects, embedding identity and regulating markets; cutting across law’s boundaries, leaving law’s imprints on birth and death, marriage and home, vocation and education. Acting in time and space; as a process or a point of transformation; we want to examine registration’s appearances, whether through paper certificate, electronic record, office holders or elsewhere.

We argue that registration’s continuing power and relevance is revealed by high profile campaigns, from the need for a register of political lobbyists to calls to have a mother’s profession included on a marriage certificate. It is seized upon by politicians, statisticians and policy makers as a tool to shape markets and govern conduct; from moves to register private landlords to the registration of animals, possibly standing in for more substantive legal reforms. Registration often makes public incredibly private information, while also framing the terms of valid recognition and categorisation.


Session Programme (Papers and rooms are subject to change)

Tuesday: Session 2: Ramphal Room 2.41

Session Title: 'Hiding and revealing'

Papers: What's in a birth? - Julie McCandless:

Making land liquid: registration of title as technology of dispossession - Sarah Keenan:

Recording marriages - Rebecca Probert:

Regulatory registers: unwinding the list and the strike-through - Marie-Andree Jacob:

Wednesday: Session 3: Ramphal Room 2.41

Session Title: 'Secrecy, privacy and addressing 'the public'

Papers: “Anyone can register a death, well, within reason” - Ed Kirton-Darling:

The changing identity of title registration data: from record to resource - Victoria Moss:

Registration “below the waterline”: public review of secret surveillance - Bernard Keenan:

Wednesdat: Session 4: Ramphal Room 2.41

Session Title: 'Excluding and over-promising'

Papers: Birth registration and same-sex parenting in the UK and Canada: some unanswered questions - Phil Bremner:

The land register in England and Wales: reflection of reality or history? - Emily Walsh:

The lake home - Henrietta Zeffert: