Conferences & Lectures

2011 - 20092008 - 20052004 - 2001

The Robbins Collection sponsors a variety of lectures, conferences, and events on comparative legal and historical topics, including many that are open to the campus community and the general public. Please visit our website again for announcements of upcoming events.

2008 Events

Daube Colloquium 2008
Collected Works of David Daube Volume Two: New Testament Judaism and Volume Three: Biblical Law and Literature

September 13, 2008
Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Fostering exploration by a new generation of scholars on the work of world-renowned religious and Roman law scholar and former Boalt professor David Daube, the Robbins Collection hosted its first Daube Colloquium in September 2008. Led by Calum Carmichael, Professor of Comparative Literature and Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell and editor of the Robbins Collection publication series, Collected Works of David Daube and Professor of Law and Robbins Collection Director Laurent Mayali, the colloquium brought an international group of experts from diverse fields of law, history and the humanities to examine and discuss Daube's scholarly legacy and issues he raised in religious law writings from in series Volume Two, New Testament Judaism (2001) and Volume Three, Biblical Law and Literature (2003).


Scholar Series on Islamic Law and Society: 2008 Lecture Series

Who Says Shari'a Demands the Stoning of Women?: A Commentary on Islamic Law and Constitutionalism
Asifa Quraishi, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison
March 18, 2008
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Islamic Legal Histories: Towards a New Research Agenda Based on Sodomy Law?
Amr Shalankany, Asst. Professor of Law, American University on Cairo
April 1, 20081
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Iraq History Project: Personal Narratives on Political Violence Before and After the US Invasion
Etelle Higonnet, Analysis Director of the Iraq History Project
October 10, 2008
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

The Robbins Collection presented these lectures as part of its annual Islamic Law and Society lecture series co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law (JMEIL).


Water Rights and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

March 13, 2008
Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

The Robbins Collection and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law welcomed experts from Senegal and France to a roundtable meeting on water rights and governance in sub-Saharan Africa. After opening remarks from Dean Christopher Edley of Berkeley Law and Berkeley Law Professor and Robbins Collection Director Laurent Mayali, Professors Mamadou Badji, Moustapha Ngaidé, and Samba Thiam from Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, and Professor Bernard Durand from Université Montpellier I, Montpellier offered perspectives on legal tradition and current models of water rights in Senegal, with Berkeley Law student Hana Ivanhoe presenting additional analysis of international norms. Roundtable discussion followed, with Berkeley Law professors Joseph Sax, Howard Shelanski, Rick Frank and Cymie Payne of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy (now the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment) and Dan McGrath, Executive Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, contributing to a broader examination of current challenges in global water rights governance. This scholarly discussion paves the way for future research and collaboration on legal and policy issues in sub-Saharan Africa as part of Berkeley Law's commitment to examining global issues in comparative and interdisciplinary contexts.


2006 Events

Norm, Knowledge, and Text in Medieval Culture and Legal Tradition

September 17–20, 2006
Asilomar conference center, Pacific Grove, CA

Historians and legal historians of the middle ages convened at Asilomar conference center in September 2006 for this two-day conference organized by the Robbins Collection. The meeting included medievalist experts from universities across the United States as well as France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain, bringing together scholars who share a common interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law, philosophy and theology in medieval culture. Papers and discussion incorporated diverse aspects of medieval knowledge, bringing a variety of themes and approaches to the table and exploring possibilities for furthering comparative and interdisciplinary scholarship in the field. Issues examined included sanctuary, sacred space and architecture; sacrilege and between law and theology; cultural and logical bases of truth in medieval judicial systems, prudentia and ethics in late medieval jurisprudence; the body as text; theology, dispensation and normative power; law, rights, and sexual identity; and civil death and legal rules.


Corpus Scriptorum Iuris Romani

July 16–21, 2006
Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

A group of international specialists in Roman law and Greek and Latin philology met at the Robbins Collection to initiate a critical edition of Roman legal texts based on the fundamental work of renowned Roman law scholar Otto Lenel. Lenel's Palingenesia laid the groundwork for generations of modern scholars, serving as a fundamental text not only for Roman law studies but also for the history of legal thought in civil law countries.

The Corpus Scriptorum Iuris Romani project was devloped by the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane in collaboration with more than a dozen European universities in Italy, Germany, Spain and France. Led by Aldo Schiavone, Professor of Law and Director of the IISU in Florence, the editorial team for the Corpus Scriptorum Iuris Romani project includes Roman law specialists from universities in Florence, Rome, Pavia, Trent, Parma, Lecce, Bologna, Siena, Cagliari, Naples, Cassino, Heidelberg, and Paris, all of whom convened in Berkeley to participate in a weeklong meeting organized by Professor Schiavone and Laurent Mayali, Professor of Law and Director of the Robbins Collection at the University of California, Berkeley.

The aim of the Corpus Scriptorum Iuris Romani project is to produce a series of volumes for publication during the next decade. Each volume will focus on one or more of the Roman jurists and include an introduction to his career and work, a reconstitution of the existing fragments of his writings, and a modern Italian translation of these passages from Latin, annotated for the reader.

The Robbins Collection, with a rare and modern Roman law collection ranked as one of the best in the world, was a venue uniquely suited to host the beginnings of this ambitious project. The opportunity to collaborate with this prestigious team of legal scholars on the Corpus Scriptorum Iuris Romani underscores the ongoing global impact of the scholarship that takes place at Berkeley Law and the Robbins Collection. This meeting also honored the legacy of Professor David Daube, one of Berkeley Law's greatest teachers, who, as a young student in Freiburg, began his studies of Roman law with Otto Lenel.

conference photo


2005 Events

Current Issues and New Perspectives in Latin American Law
Robbins Collection Lectures in Political Culture and Legal Tradition Series

The Jurisdiction of Peru's Constitutional Court
Justice Delia Revoredo Marsano, Constitutional Court of Peru
(Formerly Civil Law Professor at the Catholic University)
January 24, 2005
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Recent Developments in Brazilian Public Law
Justice Joaquim Benedito Barbosa Gomes, Supreme Court of Brazil
(Formerly Law Professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro)
February 8, 2005
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Constitutional Actions in Mexico
Justice José Ramón Cossío Díaz, Supreme Court of Mexico
February 25, 2005
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

The Duty to Obey the Law in Argentina and Latin America
Professor Carlos Rosenkrantz, University of Buenos Aires; Palermo University in Buenos Aires
April 4, 2005
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

As part of the Robbins Collection Lectures in Political Culture and Legal Tradition, a series of lectures by distinguished scholars of comparative and international law and legal history, the Robbins Collection invited an illustrious roster of speakers to Berkeley Law during the Spring 2005 semester, highlighting current issues and new perspectives in Latin American law: Peruvian Supreme Court Justice Delia Revoredo, Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Joaquim Barbosa Gomes, Mexican Supreme Court Justice José Ramón Cossío Díaz, and Professor Carlos Rosenkrantz, former advisor to Argentinean President Raúl Alfonsín. Sponsored in cooperation with the Center for Latin American Studies, this special series provided the law school and campus communities with a unique opportunity to discuss firsthand with judicial and legal authorities of Latin America some of the most pressing issues of justice, society and constitutionalism facing their countries today.