Cultural Expertise in Europe: Indicators of Impact - Call for Participation

Workshop convened by Dr. Livia Holden, Principal Investigator of ERC funded project EURO-EXPERT

Venue and date: Christ Church College - 28 March 2019 

Cultural expertise has been defined for what concerns the use of social sciences knowledge in multicultural litigation in Europe as "special knowledge that enables socio-legal scholars, experts in non-European laws and cultures, or, more generally speaking, cultural mediators - the so-called cultural brokers -, to locate and describe relevant facts in light of the particular background of the claimants or litigants and for the use of the court." (Holden, L. ed. Cultural Expertise and Litigation, Routledge 2011). Yet, talking about cultural expertise is a daunting task because culture is a concept that allows for a very diverse range of contents. Opinions are divided on whether culture should or should not play a role in dispute resolution and on whether culture might be an obstacle to human rights.

At EURO-EXPERT we are working toward the reformulation of the definition of cultural expertise for integrating the use of cultural arguments in connection with rights, more broadly considered as including all kinds of minorities, indigenous people, and cultural heritage with or without the appointment of cultural experts and in a great variety of cases ranging from criminal law to civil law, and including also business and administrative law, land rights, banking law and many other fields and sub-field of law. We want to assess the use and the impact of cultural expertise from an analytical perspective that does not take sides a priori. Cultural Expertise in Europe: Indicators of Impact aims to establish indicators of impact of cultural expertise on the basis of a collaborative approach between academics and members of the legal profession with experience in cultural expertise. 

Judges, lawyers, and socio-legal scientists acting as experts (especially with experience in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) are invited to apply. Participants are expected to share their experience and knowledge in cases involving multicultural issues (with or without the involvement of cultural experts) and to actively participate to the proposed activities of the workshop such as analysis of decisions in smaller groups, focused brainstorm, and response to short questionnaires. This workshop will not include paper presentations. No activity will include the collection of personal data and/or personal information but, pictures and video may be taken according to a policy of continued consent (consent will be sought prior to filming and again prior to dissemination). Participants will be accommodated at Christ Church college for two nights in ensuite room with breakfast and will be invited to two high table dinners.

Interested participants should send an expression of interest and a short BIO note including current position and relevant experience with cultural expertise to Livia Holden by the 17 December 2018.

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