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Registration open: Spanish-Finnish Seminar in Legal Theory, June 28-30, 2022

The Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, in collaboration with the Law School of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), the University of Alicante and the Finnish Association for the Philosophy of Law (SOFY) will arrange the VIII Spanish-Finnish Seminar in Legal Theory in Helsinki on 28th–30th June 2022. The seminar will be held at the premises of University of Helsinki (Metsätalo building). The language of the seminar will be English. There will be no attendance fee.

Keynote speakers: Aulis Aarnio, Minna Gräns and Jesus Vega Lopez

The registration is now open.

Preliminary programme

Sign up here

Lecture: ”Legal Personhood in European Privacy Protection”, Susanna Lindroos-Hovinheimo, March 28

Susanna Lindroos-Hovinheimo will deliver a lecture based on her recent book Private Selves: Legal Personhood in European Privacy Protection (Cambridge University Press 2021).

Private Selves

Time: March 28, 2.30pm-4pm
Place: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Common Room (Fabianinkatu 24 A, third floor) / Zoom
Registration ends on March 28, 8am.

Abstract: Legal Personhood in European Privacy Protection

This paper analyses the philosophical foundations of privacy rights drawing on Foucault, Rancière and Nancy. The key question concerns what it means to be a person according to EU privacy law. In difficult cases, the European courts face the ungrateful task of outlining various aspects of a private person in the connected, digitalised and globalised world. There is no unambiguous definition of privacy to be found in European law or in political philosophy, and the openness of the concept makes it such an interesting instrument in legal regulation. As a result, European case law offers compelling material that can be studied as one index of legal constructions of personhood. The study shows that the legal subject is often understood in European privacy law according to individualistic views of personhood. This is the main critique put forward in the analysis. The paper will also consider alternatives to the individualising tendencies that are present in current privacy and personal data regulation.

All are welcome to the event.

Sign up here:

The talk will be followed by the annual meeting of the Finnish Society for Legal Philosophy (Sofy ry) at 4.15pm.

Call for Abstracts: VIII Spanish-Finnish Seminar in Legal Theory, June 2022

The Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, in collaboration with the Law School of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), the University of Alicante and the Finnish Association for the Philosophy of Law (SOFY) will arrange the VIII Spanish-Finnish Seminar in Legal Theory in Helsinki on 28th–30th June 2022. The seminar will be held at the premises of University of Helsinki (Metsätalo building). The language of the seminar will be English. There will be no attendance fee.

All scholars in legal theory/philosophy of law who are interested in presenting a paper at the seminar are invited to submit an abstract (300-500 words) by 31st March about the topic of their presentation. The seminar will contain a special section about the legal theory of Alf Ross, but all other legal-philosophical topics are welcome as well. For example, for those who are attending the 2022 IVR world congress, the seminar provides an opportunity to present a preliminary version of the congress paper.

The authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified by 15th April 2022. The final program and registration for the seminar for non-presenting participants will be announced by the end of April.

To submit an abstract, please fill out the following form by 31st March:

If you have any further questions, please contact professor Matti Ilmari Niemi (, associate professor Visa Kurki (, or senior lecturer Maija Aalto-Heinilä (

Book launch: ‘Properties of Law’ (10 November 2021)

Wednesday, 10 November 2021, from 2pm to 4pm EET (UTC+2), Zoom.

Welcome to the launch seminar, co-organised together with the Helsinki Socio-Legal Initiative, dedicated to Professor Emeritus Kaarlo Tuori’s newest book Properties of Law. Modern Law and After (CUP 2021). The book is a legal-theoretical analysis about modern state law; about sociality, normativity and plurality as its properties, and what will come after modern state law. The main objective of the study is to offer a legal theoretical recapitulation of modern state law that avoids the fallacies of legal positivism. This calls for a relationist approach where law’s sociality is related to normativity, and normativity to sociality. Avoiding legal positivism’s fallacies also includes refraining from extrapolating from modern state law to law in general; replacing legal positivism’s conceptual universalism with sensitivity to the varieties of law, and acknowledging that law existed before modern state law, that it will exist after modern state law, and that other law exists alongside modern state law. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact of digitalization on law.

About the author
Kaarlo Tuori. Photo: Mika Ranta/Helsingin Sanomat

Kaarlo Tuori is Professor Emeritus of Jurisprudence at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has led a Centre of Excellence in European Law and Polity, funded by Academy of Finland, 2008–2013, and has served as a counsellor to the Constitutional Law Committee of Parliament and as a Member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (1998–). His monographs published in English include Critical Legal Positivism (Routledge 2002), Ratio and Voluntas: The Tension Between Reason and Will in Law (Routledge 2010) and European Constitutionalism (CUP 2015).

Provisional programme

In addition to a short introduction of the book by its author, the seminar includes prepared comments from Professors Hans Lindahl (Tilburg), Inger-Johanne Sand (Oslo) and Neil Walker (Edinburgh). The times are approximate.

2:00pm EET
Seminar opening
Panu Minkkinen (Helsinki)

2:05pm EET
Short introduction to the book
Kaarlo Tuori (Helsinki)

2:15pm EET
Prepared comments
Hans Lindahl (Tilburg)
Inger-Johanne Sand (Oslo)
Neil Walker (Edinburgh)

3:15pm EET
The author replies
Kaarlo Tuori (Helsinki)

3:30pm EET
Q&A and discussion

4:00pm EET
End of seminar

The event is open to all interested, but registration is required. Kindly register by filling in this form by Monday, 8 November 2021. You will receive the Zoom link by email after all registrations have been successfully recorded. All registration data will be deleted after the event.

About the discussants
Hans Lindahl

Hans Lindahl is Professor of Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University (the Netherlands), and Professor of Global Law at Queen Mary University of London. He obtained law and philosophy degrees at the Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) before completing his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Louvain (Belgium). Lindahl has published widely but is, perhaps, currently best known for his twin monographs Fault Lines of Globalization: Legal Order and the Politics of A-Legality (OUP 2013) and Authority and the Globalisation of Inclusion and Exclusion (CUP 2018). His current research is primarily oriented to legal and political-philosophical issues germane to globalisation processes, including participation in a six-year research program, Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene. In dealing with these topics, Lindahl draws on (post-)phenomenology and theories of collective action of analytical provenance, while also seeking to do justice to the nitty-gritty of positive law.

Inger-Johanne Sand

Inger-Johanne Sand is Professor of Public Law and Head of Department at the Institute of Public and International Law, University of Oslo, Norway. She has been Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School (2005-2007) and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Turku (2011), the University of Gothenburg (2015) and the University of Copenhagen (2018). She has published extensively in the areas of constitutional and administrative law, the sociology of law, legal theory, environmental law, and European and international constitutional law. Among her latest publications in English are the chapters ‘The Council of Europe and Pan-European General Principles of Good Administration – the Influence on the Administrative Law of Norway’ in Ulrich Stelkens and Agnė Andrijauskaitė (eds.), Good Administration and the Council of Europe: Law, Principles, and Effectiveness (OUP 2020) and ‘Varieties of Authority in International Law – State Consent, International Organisations, Courts, Experts and Citizens’ in Patrick Capps and Henrik Palmer Olsen (eds.), Legal Authority beyond the State (CUP 2018).

Neil Walker

Neil Walker is has been the Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh since 2008. Before that he was Professor of European Law at the European University Institute, Florence 2000-2008. He has published widely on questions of subnational, national, European and transnational constitutional law and theory, and also on question of policing and security. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His most recent monograph is Intimations of Global Law (CUP 2015). He is presently completing a book on the relationship between law and utopia, funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

Ari Hirvonen (1960-2021)

Sofyn entinen puheenjohtaja Ari Hirvonen on kuollut Helsingissä maanantaina 28.6.2021 60-vuotiaana. Ari oli arvostetun ja pidetyn kollegan lisäksi monelle sofylaiselle myös hyvä ystävä. Surultamme emme löydä sanoja juuri nyt, mutta muistamme Aria asiaankuuluvasti päästyämme yli pahimmasta järkytyksestä.

Sofyn kesäseminaari – Sofy summer seminar

In English below

Suomen oikeusfilosofinen yhdistys Sofy ry järjestää kesäseminaarin 17.-18.6.2021. Seminaarin ohjelma löytyy tämän viestin lopusta.

Johtuen kokoontumisrajoituksista tapahtuma joudutaan pitämään kokonaan verkossa. Osallistujat voivat kuitenkin halutessaan esim. organisoida yhteisen lounaan tai illanvieton. Verkkotapahtuman hyvä puoli on, ettemme joudu rajaamaan osallistujamäärää, joten tapahtumaan voi edelleen ilmoittautua täällä:

The Finnish Association for Philosophy of Law (Sofy ry) will organize a summer seminar on June 17–18, 2021. The programme of the event is now finalized, and can be found below.

The seminar will take place online. However, participants should feel free to have lunch and/or evening drinks together, if they like. The good thing about the online format is that we do not need to limit the number of participants, so we have now reopened the registration for participants:

Thursday, June 17 (in English)Friday, June 18 (in English & Finnish)
 9.15-10.15 Panel I: Rule of Law 
Massimo Fichera “Rule of law and democracy beyond the State? Short reflections”
Jeremy Scott Kleidosty: “Missiology in Early Modern International Legal Orders”

10.30-11.30 Panel II: International Law  Berfin Nur Osso: “Deciding ‘In’, Acting ‘Out’: The EU’s Search of the State Responsible” P. Sean Morris: “The Eugenics of International Law: A Narrative on Race, Structure and Participation”  

12.30-13.30 Panel III: Legal Subject
Mina Jafarisabet: “Legal Theory based on teachings of Lacan“
Visa Kurki: “Expanding Agency and Borders of Competence”  

13.45-14.45 Panel IV: Legal interpretation 
Maija Aalto-Heinilä: “Legal Interpretation in a Multilingual Context”
Dawid Bunikowski: “Law, Morality and Religion Relations: Problems for Legal Interpretation”  

15.00-16.30 Book launch: Rights of Nature: A Re-examination (eds. Daniel P. Corrigan & Markku Oksanen, Routledge 2021)  
10.00-11.30 Panel I: Criminal Law – Rikosoikeus
Otava Piha: “A Violation of Sexual Autonomy: Examining the Wrongness of Rape” (+ Q&A in English)
Esko Yli-Hemminki: “Rikoslain ihmiskäsityksestä”
Heli Korkka-Knuts: “Voiko yhtiö (sittenkin) tehdä rikoksen?”  

12.30-14.00 Paneeli II: Oikeudellinen ajattelu
Suvi Lamminpää: “Taitava oikeudellinen ajattelu”
Tomi Hämäläinen: “Oikeudellisen päätöksenteon hyveet”
Mika Viljanen: “Mitä tekoäly tekee oikeudelle?”  

14.15-15.45 Paneeli III: Oikeudenmukaisuus
Hanna-Maria Niemi: “Ihmisarvo ja tulevat sukupolvet ihmisoikeuksien subjektina?”
Veera Koponen: “Vastuullisuutta – sääntelyllä vai vallankumouksella?”
Yrjö Mattila: “John Rawlsin oikeudenmukaisuusteoria nollasopimuslaisen toimeentulon näkökulmasta”  

Sofyn kesäseminaari – Sofy summer seminar

In English below

Suomen oikeusfilosofinen yhdistys Sofy ry järjestää kesäseminaarin 17.-18.6.2021. Tapahtuma voidaan toivottavasti järjestää livetapahtumana Helsingissä, kuitenkin niin että myös etäosallistuminen tulee olemaan mahdollista. Koronatilanteen niin vaatiessa seminaari pidetään kokonaan etänä. Ilmoitamme tarkemman seminaaripaikan ja -linkin, sekä seminaarin ohjelman, toukokuun lopulla.

Seminaari on avoinna kaikille oikeusfilosofian tutkijoille. Mitään tiettyä teemaa ei ole, vaan tarkoitus on luoda katsaus meneillään olevaan suomalaiseen oikeusfilosofiseen tutkimukseen. Seminaari on oiva tilaisuus testata esimerkiksi tekeillä olevan väitöskirjan tai artikkelin keskeisiä väitteitä ja verkostoitua muiden oikeusfilosofien kanssa. Ja kuten aina Sofyn tapahtumissa, ”oikeusfilosofia” ymmärretään laajasti, niin että tilaisuuteen ovat tervetulleita myös muiden kuin oikeustieteiden tai filosofian tutkijat. Tarvittaessa yksi tai useampia sessioita voidaan pitää englanninkielisenä.

Seminaarin yhteydessä järjestetään myös kirjanjulkistamistilaisuus Markku Oksasen ja Daniel Corriganin toimittaman kirjan Rights of Nature: A Re-examination (Routledge 2021) tiimoilta. Tilaisuus on tarkoitus pitää suomeksi.

Jos haluat pitää alustuksen seminaarissa (n. 20 min. esitys + 10 min. keskustelua) tai osallistua ilman alustusta, ilmoittaudu tällä lomakkeella su 23.5.2021 mennessä:

The Finnish Association for Philosophy of Law (Sofy ry) will organize a summer seminar on June 17–18, 2021. The seminar will take place in Helsinki, but online participation will also be possible. If the Covid-19 pandemic will not yet allow a live meeting, the seminar will be organized fully online.

We welcome presentations also from non-Finnish speaking scholars who are doing legal theoretical/philosophical research in Finland. If you are interested in giving a presentation (20 minutes presentation plus 10 minutes discussion), or wish to participate without giving a presentation, please fill out this form by May 23:

The seminar is open to everyone and free of charge. The languages of the seminar will be Finnish and English. We will inform the participants about the practicalities by the end of May.

Sofyn vuosikokous ja esitelmä (Virpi Mäkinen)

Sofyn vuosikokous pidetään etänä zoomin väityksellä ke 31.3.2021 klo 17.00. Zoom-osoite on:

(Meeting ID: 677 5534 2888, Passcode: 360950)

Kokouksen fyysinen paikka on Itä-Suomen yliopisto, Kuopion kampus, Medistudia, huone 3251, missä paikalla on kokouksen puheenjohtaja Maija Aalto-Heinilä. Muita jäseniä pyydetään osallistumaan etänä.

Kokouksen jälkeen jo viime vuodeksi tilattu Virpi Mäkinen esitelmöi aiheesta ”Äärimmäisen hädän periaate lain, moraalin ja politiikan välineenä ennen ja nyt”. Tämäkin tapahtuu etänä, saman Zoom-yhteyden kautta. Esitelmä alkaa n. klo 17.45. Esitelmää kuuntelemaan ovat tervetulleita myös muut kuin Sofyn jäsenet.

Opiskelija- ja mentoripalkinto

Sofy jakaa vuosittain palkinnon parhaasta yhdistyksen toimialaan kuuluvasta opinnäytetyöstä (maisteritutkielmasta tai pro gradu -tutkielmasta) edistääkseen oikeusfilosofian harrastusta Suomessa.

Oikeusfilosofia on tässä ymmärrettävä laajasti, yhdistyksen monitieteisen luonteen mukaisesti. Erinomainen oikeusfilosofinen opinnäyte voi syntyä yhtä hyvin filosofiassa, yleisessä oikeustieteessä kuin aineellisoikeudellisissa oppiaineissa. Myös muut pääaineet voivat tulla kyseeseen. Keskeistä on opinnäytteen aihe eikä opiskelijan suorittama tutkinto.

Etsimme parasta opinnäytetyötä opiskelijalta, joka valmistui tai valmistuu maisteriksi vuonna 2020. Opinnäyte voi olla varhaisemmaltakin ajalta koska määräävää on opiskelijan valmistumisvuosi.

Ehdotuksen palkinnonsaajaksi esittelee hallitukselle palkintolautakunta, johon tänä vuonna kuuluvat Hanna Lukkari ja Pauli Rautiainen.

Palkintolautakunta pyytää yhdistyksen jäseniä ilmoittamaan palkintoehdotuksia 1.2.2021 mennessä osoitteeseen

Lisätietoja löytyy täältä:

Sofy jakaa seuraavassa vuosikokouksessaan myös uuden Vuoden mentori -palkinnon. Onko sinulla mielessäsi henkilö, joka ohjaa nuorempia kollegoitaan, kommentoi käsikirjoituksia, auttaa hakemusten tekemisessä, kirjoittaa suosituksia, jne., mutta jonka tärkeä työ muiden hyväksi jää usein huomaamatta? Ehdota sopivaa henkilöä Vuoden mentori -tunnustuspalkinnon saajaksi lyhyiden perustelujen kera  1.2.2021 mennessä osoitteeseen Henkilön tulee edustaa oikeusfilosofiaa tai -teoriaa (väljästi ymmärrettynä.) Sofyn hallitus valitsee palkinnon saajan. Lisätietoja täältä:

Call for Papers: Contemporary Criticism of Democracy

Democracy is the grounding element of western political thought. The democratic development started with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Despite its successes, democracy has always been a subject of criticism. The criticism has addressed practical implementations, outcomes, and the foundational principles of democracy. Democracy has been criticized from conservative as well as from radical points of views. It has been claimed that democracy has betrayed its own ideals; yet, at the same time these very ideals have been questioned. In contemporary discussions the abilities of democracy to provide answers to the problems related to globalization, environmental crises, social media, extreme left and right populist thought, new technologies, and, most recently, to the covid 19-pandemic, have been challenged.

Our research project The Many Crises of Democracy (DEMKRI), funded by the Kone Foundation invites researchers from different disciplines to contribute to a collection of articles. The purpose of the collection is to analyse the contemporary criticisms of democracy – or of specific aspects of democracy – and the answers to the criticism. The planned collection aims at participating in the politico-philosophical discussions on democracy, by developing new interpretations and presenting fresh points of views. The collection is published in English and it will be addressed to international audience. The idea is to present new research and fresh analyses, yet the collection is also intended to work as a university level textbook. As our research project is multi-disciplinary, we wish to receive contributions from scholars across disciplines. Article suggestions, for example, from political science, political theory, philosophy, history of ideas, study of ideologies, sociology, gender studies and theology are warmly welcome. The articles may handle, for example, political institutions, organizations, representative democracy, direct democracy, political debates, ideologies, economy, technology, mass-media, social media, international politics, globalization, religions, and non-European points of views on democracy. Especially welcome are texts that discuss central problems of democratic theories.

We wish to receive article proposals by the 30th of November 2020. The proposals should include the title and the main questions and themes tackled in the article in appr. 500 words.

We will send an E-mail to all those who have sent their article proposals by the 15th of January and inform about our decision of acceptance. The final article manuscripts should be around 15-25 pages and not previously published. They should be sent for comments by the 30th of June, 2021. We send our recommendations for revisions and corrections to the authors by the end of September, 2021. The corrected article manuscripts are to be submitted to the editors by the 31th of November, after which they will be sent to the publisher.

Our plan is to proof-read all articles that are written by authors whose mother tongue is not English. If necessary, we may offer an allowance for proof-reading.

We invite you to send an abstract of your article proposal to Professor Eerik Lagerspetz ( and a copy to Dr. Pol. Oili Pulkkinen ( Please send your E-mail with the subject ”DEMKRI Proposal”, your own name and contact information.

With kind regards from the editors of the collection,

Eerik Lagerspetz, Professor of Philosophy
University of Turku

Oili Pulkkinen, Dr. Pol., Researcher in the DEMKRI project
University of Jyväskylä