The Socio-Politics of Legal Design and their Epistemic Consequences

De 04 Jul hasta 05 Jul

Coordinadores: Siddharth Peter de Souza (Tilburg Law School), Joaquín Santuber (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia)

Descripción del encuentro

Our workshop aims to bring together researchers who are working in the field of Law, Justice, and Design to interrogate the emergence of vocabularies of the emergent field and unpack their epistemic consequences.
Legal design has emerged in the last decade as an interdisciplinary practice, at the intersection of law and justice, and human-centred design. Legal design research and practice focus on new forms of legal products and service delivery, as well as engaging with legal systems as a whole. However, while a refreshed perspective on design is welcomed, there is often the uncritical pursuit of innovation which has led to its application without examining its socio-political consequences.

Despite the short history of legal design as a discipline, its foundations in human-centred design have been questioned urging for an “expanded practice of inquiry”. Justifying all sorts of innovation in the universal needs of users is even more problematic for human-centred design due to its large adoption in industry and the public sector. This has turned “the human” into a marketable being, often referred to as the user. Where traditionally there was a citizen, now there is a user. Placing a market type of human at the centre for the design activity justifies the reproduction of systems by placing the spark or inspiration for new products and services in the human-user-consumer. In the field of law and justice, and in politics and democracy the unquestioned adoption of human-centred design approaches is even more problematic. The adoption of such practices in policy and legal design has served as a trojan horse to impose the market values over those of democracy, justice, and equality.

An alternative has been proposed at the intersection of critical design approaches and socio-legal studies. Moreover, socio-legal studies have also leveraged design notions and tools. Through these conversations, we are also seeing legal design being part of a longer tradition of studies at the intersection of law and society, which advocate from bridging the gap between law in books and law in action. In this workshop we will critically address issues of epistemic injustice in the designing of legal services and systems, bringing together the tradition of socio-legal studies in dialogue with new concepts and frameworks from critical design approaches.

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Workshop Coordination Team

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