Experts, Authority and Law: conference at the University of Hull, 14-15 Sept. 2009

This interdisciplinary conference will examine the authority of experts, the authority of law, and the relations between them.

The general aim of the conference is to explore the bearing of contemporary developments in the area of social epistemology on the study of the institution of law. More specifically we are interested in exploring the interrelations between epistemic and practical authority with special reference to the authority of law. The conference will address both theoretical and applied issues.

Speakers will include:

  • James Connelly (University of Hull), ‘Expertise and Authority in Deliberative Democracy’
  • Miranda Fricker, (Birkbeck University of London), ‘Modelling Institutional Virtue and Vice’
  • Claire Grant (University of Warwick), ‘Knowing the Law’
  • Scott Hershovitz (University of Michigan), ‘The Role of Authority’
  • Dimitrios Kyritsis (University of Sheffield), ‘Joseph Raz’s Conception of Authority and Jurisdiction’
  • Paul Roberts (University of Nottingham), ‘Forensic Expertise: Is Criminal Justice too Important to be Left to Experts?’

We welcome papers on the following themes from legal, philosophical, historical, sociological and any other relevant perspectives.

  • The nature of theoretical and practical authority. What are the parallels and differences between the authority accorded to experts and the practical authority of legislators and judges?
  • Expertise as a basis of political authority. To what extent does the legitimate authority of legislators and judges depend on their claim to expertise on the matters about which they pronounce?
  • Establishing and contesting expert authority in legal settings. How do (or should) courts decide which experts to trust and what weight to give their evidence? Is the authority claimed by experts a threat to the claims of courts (and in particular juries) to make fair and authoritative determinations of questions of fact?
  • Experts in the democratic process. What is the proper role of experts in making law and policy? To what extent can legal procedures provide a model for lay decision-making based on expert knowledge (e.g. citizens’ juries)?

Further details can be obtained from either: Dr Tony Ward, Law School ( or Dr Antony Hatzistavrou, Philosophy Department (


Monday 14 September 2009

10:00 Registration and coffee

10:30-13:00 Plenary Session 1

10:30-11:45 Miranda Fricker (Birkbeck University of London),

Modelling Institutional Virtue and Vice

11:45-13:00 James Connelly (University of Hull)

Expertise and Authority in Deliberative Democracy

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-16:00 Parallel sessions

Parallel Session 1

14:00 – 14:40 Graeme Gooday & Efstathios Arapostathis (University of Leeds)

Authority and Trustworthiness: Historical Perspectives on the expert and judge in intellectual property disputes

14:40-15:20 Pam Fisher (University of Leicester)

Ethics and Expertise in the 19th century

15:20-16:00 Agnes Desmazieres (European Institute)

The Theologian, the Physician and the Layman: Changing Conceptions of the Expert at the 2nd Vatican Council

Parallel Session 2

14:00 -14:40 Peter Jaffey (Brunel University)

Practical and Theoretical Authority in the Common Law

14:40 – 15:20 Matthias Bodig (University of Aberdeen)

The Authority of Law and the Professional Culture of Lawyer

15:20 – 16:00 Miroslav Imbrisevic (Heythorp College)

Why is (claiming) Ignorance of the Law no Excuse?

16:00-16:15 Coffee

16:15-18:45 Plenary Session 2

16:15 – 17:30 Claire Grant (University of Warwick)

Knowing the Law

17:30 – 18:45 Dimitris Kyritsis (University of Sheffield)

Joseph Raz’s Conception of Authority and Jurisdiction

19:00 for 19:30 Dinner


9:30-10:45  Plenary Session 3

Michael King (University of Reading)

Knowing and ‘Not Not Knowing’ within Modern Society.  The Case of Children’s Future.

10:45-11:00 Coffee

11:00-13:00 Parallel Sessions

Parallel Session 1

11:00 -11:40 Tony Ward & Phil Bielby (University of Hull)

Experts and Rights

11:40 – 12:20 Judith Rowbotham (Nottingham Trent University)

The State, Individuals and the Boundaries of Legal Duty: Examining Good Intentions, Expert Advice and Individual Choice in a Historical Socio-legal Context

12:20 – 13:00 Sophie Carr, Michael Stockdale and Natalie Nortley (Northumbria University)

Reliability as a Prerequisite to the Admissibility of Expert Evidence

Parallel Session 2

11:00 – 11:40 Brian Feltham (University of Reading)

Authority, Expertise and Consensus

11:40 – 12:20 Bernd Krehoff (University of Oxford)

Authority, Expertise and Democracy

12:20 -13:00 Antony Hatzistavrou (University of Hull)

Socrates on Experts and the Authority of Law

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:20 Parallel Sessions

Parallel Session 1

14:00 – 14:40 Stella Gonzalez-Arnal (University of Hull)

Expert Knowledge and Rationality

14:40 – 15:20 Paul Gilbert (University of Hull)

New Laws for New Wars

Parallel Session 2

14:00 – 14:40 Rupa Redy (SOAS)

The Construction of Culture in Honour Crimes: The Role of the Judge, the Witness and the Expert

14:40 -15:20 Haydn Davies (Birmingham City University)

Judicial Advisors and the Due Process Model: Challenges for Adversarialism

15:20 -15:35 Coffee

15:35 – 17:00  Plenary Session

Paul Roberts (University of Nottingham)

Forensic Expertise: Is Criminal Justice too Important to be Left to Experts?

Discussion of future directions for research on experts.

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Christelle Rabier (2 septembre 2009). Experts, Authority and Law: conference at the University of Hull, 14-15 Sept. 2009. Expertise & sciences humaines. Consulté le 14 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search