Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly <p>The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly is a legal research journal published quarterly by the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast.</p> <p>The journal is published four times a year by the School of Law, Queen's University Belfast. The journal considers prospective articles on all areas of law and from all methodologies. If you are interested in submitting an article to the NILQ, please see our '<a href="">For authors</a>' section.</p> en-US (Sally Wheeler) (Marie Selwood) Tue, 07 Nov 2017 16:08:20 +0000 OJS 60 The Pop-Up Museum of Legal Objects project: an experiment in ‘socio-legal design’ <p><em>This article explores the strategies underlying the Pop-Up Museum of Legal Objects, a project based on two collaborative events in which design-based practices were deployed to further socio-legal research. Like other endeavours focusing on legal objects, the Pop-Up project produced a collection of object-based commentaries of diverse geographical, historical and material origins – from Australia to Canada to Egypt, 1200 BCE to the present day, bark to gold to plastic. What renders the Pop-Up project distinctive among interventions in the ever-deepening legal object landscape is, first, that it aims not only to generate new knowledge about objects and about law, but also to transform research behaviours; and, second, that it pursues those aims by adopting design-based practices and experimental attitude. The paper sets out the specific roles played by model-making in each event and the experience design underpinning the project as a whole. Participant feedback collected during and after the events is used to widen the perspective throughout. The article concludes with an indication of how such model-making might extend beyond the museum into fieldwork, using an example from the author’s own practice around an ox-hide copper ingot from Cyprus.</em></p> Amanda Perry-Kessaris ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:16:39 +0000 Carte de visite of ‘The Lord Chief Justice of England’ (Sir Alexander James Edmund Cockburn, 12th Baronet) by London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, circa 1873 <p><em>The carte de visite of ‘The Lord Chief Justice of England’ (Sir Alexander James Edmund Cockburn, 12th Baronet) by London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company that dates from the early 1870s is an object that provokes and challenges ways of thinking about the judiciary and visual culture and research on the judiciary more generally. It demands that consideration be given to a history of the relationship between the judiciary, photography and mass media that has been hidden from history by the long shadows of cameras in courts research. It provides an opportunity to consider how the technological innovations that turned photography into a mass media phenomenon impacted upon the making, distribution and use of pictures of judges.</em></p> Leslie Moran ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:17:52 +0000 All under one umbrella? The Family Guide to National Insurance 1948 <p><em>The </em>Family Guide to National Insurance<em> was produced in 1948 to coincide with the introduction of the British National Insurance scheme, inspired by the Beveridge Report. The Guide tells people about their legal rights, but it also symbolises a mid-twentieth-century enthusiasm for the welfare state. Making a model of the Guide for a socio-legal workshop helped to consider the physicality of the booklet and to think about how it might have been received by its readers. This article explores the meaning of the booklet, considering its form and its content but also its reception by the public. A survey conducted in 1948 concluded that the Guide had been unsuccessful in reaching those who could most benefit from it, particularly women. This&nbsp;</em><em>article uses the findings of this survey to consider the booklet as a piece of public legal information and the role of legal consciousness in legal information provision.</em></p> Jackie Gulland ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:18:44 +0000 Legal object commentary: anti-slavery medallion <p><em>This anti-slavery medallion was cast in 1787, based on the symbol of the London Society for the&nbsp; Suppression of the Slave Trade. It was a key object and image within the movement to abolish the slave trade in Britain. The medallion conveys a particular understanding of the slave trade as a social problem (such as assuming the vulnerability and passivity of the slave). Consequently, the medallion speaks to recent literature on the social construction of social problems. That literature, however, has tended to focus on the role of discourse in problem construction – rather than material objects like the medallion. This article interrogates the nature of the medallion as a material problem representation, bringing it into dialogue with discursive representations of a related contemporary issue: human trafficking. The article suggests ways in which the medallion challenges and develops those discursive representations. It concludes that the material dimension of the representation – and construction – of social problems is easily overlooked despite its significance, and that it merits further investigation.</em></p> Owain Johnstone ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:19:29 +0000 The Gweagal shield <p><em>When British naval officer James Cook first landed on the continent now known as Australia in April 1770, he was met by warriors of the Gweagal nation whose land he was entering uninvited. The Gweagal were armed with bark shields and wooden spears. Cook fired a musket at them, hitting one. The shield from that first encounter, complete with musket hole, is today displayed in the British Museum. It is subject to a repatriation request from Gweagal man Rodney Kelly, who wishes the shield to be displayed in Australia where Aboriginal people will be able to care for and view it. In this article, I outline the contested legal status of the shield. Centring Kelly’s perspective, I argue that, regardless of whether he is able to prove the precise genealogy of either the shield as object or himself as owner, as an Aboriginal man he has a better claim to the shield than the British Museum. What is at stake in the dispute between Kelly and the British Museum is not just rights over the shield but also the broader issue of basic colonial reparations: in this instance returning an Aboriginal object to Aboriginal control. The issue of ownership/possession of the Gweagal shield cannot be separated from the historical reality of Britain’s mass theft of Aboriginal land, decimation of Aboriginal people and destruction of Aboriginal culture.</em></p> Sarah Keenan ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:20:21 +0000 Encountering settler colonialism through legal objects: a painted drum and handwritten treaty from Manitoulin Island <p><em>Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes region and the British. Two such objects, a drum painted with Anishinaabe imagery and a treaty, handwritten by a British treaty commissioner, were created in close proximity in both time and location. This paper explores the encounter between the Anishinaabe and the British through a parallel engagement with both drum and treaty; placing them in conversation with each other. We consider the divergent paths taken by these objects by comparing the material, legal and sensory landscapes in which they were produced with their current contexts. In dialogue, the objects reveal their performative contributions to the British imperial project; one as an authorised claim to (indigenous) property, the other as (British Museum) property, displayed as artefact. Read in parallel, the treaty’s assertions of authority and the drum’s mute resistance interrogate the form of law itself, and the agency of law’s objects.</em></p> Ruth Buchanan, Jeffery G Hewitt ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:21:30 +0000 Janus-headed intaglio <p><em>The traditional use of research methods is to provide a framework for constructing a project to address particular questions or interests. The idea behind this is that, by utilising these frameworks, research will be assessable by other researchers who are then able to judge any given research output through a common framework, while still allowing each project to stand (or fall) on its own merits. At risk of getting lost, or silenced, in this process is any attention to how the individual researcher understands their own project. This article explores the potential for developing a self-reflective research method. How does the researcher engage with, and understand, their own work? How does this provide a new pathway for disseminating research to others within the academic community? How does an object-centred approach to this self-reflection aid in engaging both the researcher and the audience in a shared experience?</em></p> Steve Crawford ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:22:17 +0000 Grotius’ book chest, international law and material culture <p><em>What is the relationship between international law and material culture? This article argues that both material cultural studies and international legal scholarship can (and have) benefit(ed) from dialogue and mutual learning, and that such interaction has gradually become more and more explicit. Nevertheless, a traditional reticence remains, at least among international lawyers, about the merits of using material cultural in the theory and practice of international law. Therefore, the article illustrates the promises and pitfalls of the use of material culture in international legal scholarship and highlights that the use of material culture is as risky as it is promising.</em></p> Valentina Vadi ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:23:00 +0000 The holy thorn reliquary and cultural heritage <p><em>A thorn, a valueless piece of wood, is displayed in an exquisite box made of gold and precious stones, and ornamented with intricate figures and symbols. This rare artefact showcases a worthless item, but for the meaning attached to it – the belief that it comes from the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus Christ, during the Crucifixion. In the British Museum, the reliquary is one among many objects displayed for their tangible rather than intangible values. Thus, it becomes a metaphor for the definition of heritage, the identification of heritage values and the framework of cultural heritage law.</em></p> Sophie Vigneron ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:24:00 +0000 Privacy and the mashrabiya screen: Knowledge is Sweeter than Honey <p><em>This paper is offered to demonstrate the value of legal objects in the consideration of key legal concepts. In it&nbsp;I indicate the opportunities presented by an encounter with Susan Hefuna’s large Mashrabiya Screen artwork in the British Museum to supplement, criticise and disrupt current thinking and attitudes towards the concept of privacy. In contrast to the increasingly contested and transactional nature of contemporary understandings of this concept, in which privacy is sometimes imagined just as one more complex function in the reasonable management of dataflows, Hefuna’s screen can help to articulate and support a different approach to privacy. This approach is Privacy by Design, and through a consideration of the physicality of Hefuna’s work, together with her own artistic ambition, my claim is that her art object helps to make the alternative approach to privacy manifest and tangible, prompting a reappraisal of the proper scope and nature of privacy protection.</em></p> Lisa Dickson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:24:49 +0000 United Enemies <p><em>This commentary presents the sculpture ‘</em>United Enemies<em>’, in the context of international legal research.&nbsp;It relies on experimental theatre and related understandings of performance to explain how internal selfdetermination language and rhetoric are used in the texts of African intrastate peace agreements to bring together former enemies. In doing so, it identifies two categories of connection between the legal object and the research question: conceptualisation (how to tell this story) and dissemination (how to communicate its research findings).</em></p> Kelly Stathopoulou ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:25:41 +0000 Self-sacrificing mothers as revered deities of social policy initiatives: reflections on the Huastec mother goddess and conditional cash transfer programmes <p><em>This paper explains how an object – a sculpture of a Huastec goddess – has caused me to reflect differently&nbsp;on my doctoral dissertation work and how it has contributed to my research by helping to challenge and develop existing qualitative research methods used in my project. My research project investigates gender equality in the context of conditional cash transfers in Argentina in order to investigate whether they are empowering women. The sculpture of the Huastec Goddess has impacted on my research methods in different ways. Firstly, it has allowed me to emphasise the instrumentalisation of beneficiary women. Secondly, the Huastec sculpture has challenged my epistemological assumptions. Finally, the Huastec sculpture as an object moving from culture to culture and ending up in a museum as a collected artifact has encouraged me to think more carefully about the ethical implications of qualitative research.</em></p> Melissa Handl ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:26:22 +0000 On the ‘Horniman walrus’ <p><em>This article considers the connections between a walrus displayed in the Horniman Museum in south-east London and international environmental law. Drawing on my experience of reproducing this walrus in clay, it uses the walrus as a microcosm of international environmental law’s engagement with nature in the context of cultural and philosophical trends involving the artefactualisation, socialisation and humanisation of nature.</em></p> Matthew Nicholson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:27:06 +0000 When is a Haida sphinx: thinking about law with things <p><em>The ‘law and . . .’ field of legal scholarship verges on consensus about the co-constitution between law and nearly everything else. Co-constitution raises questions about how to differentiate law from other things. The contemporary turn from words towards the material brings fresh perspective on these questions by suggesting that law’s differentiation is fabricated through materiality. This article considers whether and how material techniques that differentiate law might fabricate the difference of a thing not commonly understood by Western law as law. Its focus is an object created in Haida Gwaii in the late nineteenth century and now displayed in the British Museum. It shows that while techniques common to Western law differentiate this thing, competing materialities are also at work. Furthermore, jurisdictional choices are embedded in the fabrication of this thing’s difference. Understanding law as differentiated materially does not escape the social and jurisdictional forces that underpin how the matter of law comes to matter.</em></p> Genevieve Renard Painter ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:27:55 +0000 Probabilistic reasoning and the rhetorical reconstruction of DNA profiling evidence <p><em>The co-production of forensic–scientific knowledge claims, across disciplinary boundaries, requires the mobilisation of separate (and competing) domains of expertise. The task of the interdisciplinary socio-legal researcher – exploring the collaborative practices which contribute to the construction of DNA profiling evidence – is, therefore, a complex one. It requires an understanding of the ways in which the heterogeneous groups of institutional actors, who populate the criminal justice system, set about capturing biological substrates. Further, it requires the researcher to follow a complex series of laboratory translations: technological metamorphoses, which serve to convert evidential material into graphical representations, textual inscriptions, and probabilistic outputs. This paper explores the ways in which these dynamic processes may be more comprehensively understood through the use of visual research methods. Further, it demonstrates the capacity for socio-legal modelling to contribute to interdisciplinary forensic research.</em></p> Karen Richmond ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:28:36 +0000