Working paper series

LSE Law Working Papers, Spring 2022

26 April 2022

We are delighted to announce the first issue of the LSE Law School’s Legal Studies Working Paper Series for 2022. 

In this issue, Nicola Lacey (WPS 1/2022) revisits Patrick Devlin's The Enforcement of Morals, by situating it within the social, historical and intellectual context in which it was written, to argue it has played an important role in the development of criminal law scholarship, and raises further questions about how far the text should remain a key focus in the ongoing discussion of whether and in what ways criminal law should enforce morality; Marco Goldoni and Michael Wilkinson (WPS 2/2022) track the development of the notion of the material constitution in selected authors associated with Western Marxism (Marx, Lassalle, Lenin, Luxemburg, Gramsci, Balibar and Negri), explain its intermittent presence in the Marxist canon, and highlight the insights offered by Marxist authors to grasp the material constitution in the 21st century; Jacco Bomhoff (WPS 3/2022) presents brief overviews of work concerned with the (1) identification, (2) explanation, (3) interpretation, and (4) critique, of proportionality’s global diffusion and ‘success’, and argues that comparative legal scholarship will have to grapple with the contradictory tasks of simultaneously investigating and questioning proportionality’s (real or purported) hegemony; Kai Möller (WPS 4/2022) shows that the German Federal Constitutional Court's Lüth judgment of 1958 was the birth hour of the now globally dominant conception of constitutional rights, according to which rights are not primarily concerned with the limitation of the power of the state but rather with the adequate protection of the right-holder’s personal autonomy; Michael Wilkinson (WPS 5/2022) develops aspects of the argument in Authoritarian Liberalism and the Transformation of Modern Europe in this response to critics, explaining how authoritarian liberalism operates by suppressing political freedom and democracy and by limiting the constitutional imagination in all member states of the European Union; Jacco Bomhoff (WPS 6/2022) examines ‘proportionality review’ in German public law focusing on the legal education offered by commercial providers called Repetitoren, where proportionality is presented as a doctrine that works within a world that proportionality itself has helped to constitute, and suggests that its success risks coming at the price of a narrowing of the legal and constitutional imagination; Abenaa Owusu-Bempah (WPS 7/2022) critiques the admissibility and use of rap music as evidence in English criminal trials by challenging the categorisation of rap as ‘bad character evidence’ and the ways in which the courts have addressed questions of relevance and prejudicial effect; and Rebecca Lewis and David Murphy (WPS 8/2022) probe the public policy conflicts surrounding stakeholders in central counterparties (CCPs) by surveying the different resolutions offered by three stylised edge case models of the role of central counterparties, and argue that none of the models sufficiently explain existing CCP practice which, in turn, suggests that the current policy conflicts are rooted in fundamental disagreements about the role of the CCP.