Law and the Senses Series – Smell

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The Law and the Senses series continues with taste’s neighbouring sense — smell. Smells are invisible, intangible and transitory, but despite their elusive quality they are intrinsically normative. Although hardly graspable by law, they both share the potential to perform the same acts of unification and division when constructing normative spaces. It is along these lines that this series engages with the olfactory: not as law’s object of regulation, but as a means through which the law performs, actualises, perpetuates and materialises itself. Smell exposes to view, it airs the way in which law conceptualises and contextualises its own actuality. Smell brings law forth by allowing it to show its underbelly, its elusive sense-making that is invariably sacrificed to the necessity of legal constancy. However, smell’s fragmentary, discontinuous and unstable nature, despite all the ordering that goes to it, poses a peculiar challenge to the law. This issue sets out to investigate this juncture.

Law and the Senses Series – Taste

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Non Liquet is pleased to publish the first issue on ‘Taste’ from the online Law and the Senses series.

This first issue of the Law and the Senses series deals with the sense of taste. Although perhaps non self-evident, there is a tight kinship between law and taste, primarily for the fact of sharing the same core mechanism: judgement. To taste is always to embark into a discriminating judgement over what is good and what is not. Likewise,  law’s relentless juridification of the world, i.e. the reduction of the world into legal categories, could be understood as a digestive process according to which law ingests its ‘outside’ (that is, what law presupposes as its outside) by tasting it, and emitting moral judgements accordingly.

This issue addresses taste as a tool whereby pushing law beyond the narrow confines into which it often perceives itself. Through the three contributions by Merima Bruncevic & Philip Linné, Andrea Brighenti and Nicola Masciandaro, we are offered as many compelling attempts to rethink our relation to objects and space, to reformulate the question of judgement as tentative, processual and contextual tasting, and to open up law from inside, disclosing the geo-philosophical fact of its openness to justice in the here and now.


Law and the Senses
The Westminster Law & Theory Centre,
April 18-19, 2013
Address:The Pavilion, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 7UW map
Admission is free but places are limited. RSVP to Victoria at
Link to Conference programme   Law & the Senses
The Organising Team:
Andrea Pavoni, Danilo Mandic, Caterina Nirta
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos,
The Westminster Law & Theory Centre