We are confident that the conference will attract a diverse array of scholars and exciting scholarship on a wide range of issues. We expect to structure panels and presentations on a wide variety of topics related to the law of work, in keeping with previous LLRN conferences. LLRN5 Poland is thus open to any other contribution on labour law (as always, broadly conceived) on a subject that can be shown to be globally relevant. In this context, please note that descriptive submissions focusing on one legal system will not usually be accepted unless they appear to be of particular interest to scholars from other jurisdictions.
There is no strict category of tracks or themes to which papers must be aligned. Nonetheless, we encourage and particularly invite contributions that address the following themes, to stimulate an enriching global conversation.
1. Labour law norms and institutions
The socio-economic status of many countries is going through dramatic changes and countries have to adapt to these changes through reforms. Many changes and reforms are translated into new policy objectives and regulations. Appropriate legal and institutional frameworks are of paramount importance to the realization of labour norms, as well as for establishing the roles and responsibilities of the different actors involved in designing, administering, delivering, and enforcing labour norms.
The focus of this track lies with regulatory and institutional developments, including the introduction of new procedures to support the implementation of labour norms and regulatory changes in systems to enforce compliance with labour norms. What tendencies can be identified in these developments and what is the effect thereof on labour law?
2. New synergies
2.1. Labour law and environmental law
The relationship between labour law and environmental law still remains underexplored. Different in their aims, techniques and history, labour law and environmental law cannot continue to operate separately, since more and more often they do intersect: both concern the company and its operations. Climate change has been considerably affecting labour markets, yet neither labour law scholars nor environmental law scholars seem to be adequately equipped to address the complex challenges related to transitioning to a lower carbon economy and most importantly the effects of that transition on labour policy and regulation. The impact of labour law on the environment and of environmental law on labour law should thus be at the heart of the relevant track.
2.2. Labour law and migration policies
International migration has a number of consequences for the host country, and one of the areas considerably affected by the influx of foreigners is the labour market. What impact does immigration have on the wages of the national workforce? Does the influx of immigrants lead to increased unemployment among national labour resources? Is immigration an effective tool to address the problem of meeting labour demand from the national labour force?
2.3. Labour law and artificial intelligence
Digital technology has already changed working patterns. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we are only at the beginning of an unparalleled transformation, not only of the labour market, but also of the employment relationship. What exactly is meant by the impact of AI on labour relations? How labour law should be used as a legal tool to accompany the obvious transformations generated by the presence of AI in the modern world. What are the ways of adapting labour law in order to anticipate and enable a smooth transition to the new world of work. How far can AI be used to safeguard the marginalization on labour market of people with disabilities?
2.4. Transition economies and labour law
‘Transition economy’ normally refers to China, the former Soviet Union, Eastern bloc countries of Europe, some third world countries and is marked by the process of changing from central planning to free market. Most of these transition economies have faced severe short-term and long-term difficulties and have undergone (or still are undergoing) one of the most radical institutional transformations in recent history and experienced a remarkable reallocation of ownership from the state to the private sector. In contrast to highly developed capitalist countries with liberal market economies, transition economies – sometimes described as dependent market economies – are characterized by a comparative advantage of low labour costs, specialization in the production of semi-standardized goods, middle positions in the global value chain, responsiveness to the needs of foreign investors, weak trade unions, various forms on non-standard employment etc. These elements have strongly influenced the position of workers in the transition period and afterwards. Negative effects of changing from central planning to free market have contributed to an increase of populism and eventually fuelled some current political movements (new authoritarianism, new nationalism). This track invites to comment on workers’ demands for a greater share of the wealth in transition economies. In this context, labour law is always significant.
3. The values of contemporary labour law
The track aims to systematize and categorize various forms of argumentation for the value of labour law and concentrates on normative features (propria) of modern labour law. Despite the common opinion that labour law faces an identity crisis (empirical, conceptual and normative) and the fact that work has changed considerably by technological and innovative advances, the regulation of work is firmly anchored in human dignity. The very first and basic feature of labour law is expressed in its ‘humanism’, which is more consistent and radical than in other branches of law. This humanistic element present in Western legal culture derives from the general assumptions of the Mediterranean civilization shaped under the influence of two basic ideas of humanism: individualism and rationalism. However, theoretical explorations and methodical discussions on the valuation of work need to be supplemented by representatives of other legal cultures. Legal cross-cultural dialogue on values of labour law provides new and exciting research opportunities for scholars to address various aspects of this complex challenge and results in discovering valuable and novel insights for the relevant stakeholders.
4. Labour Law’s Methodologies
Labour law institutions and methodology are undergoing a transformation, as the international labour rights regime founded in the industrial era adapts to a changed and changing world. As a result, methods of labour law research are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, influenced by diverse fields, such as economy, sociology, political sciences etc. At the same time, the rapid growth in communication and information technologies have opened up new frontiers for data collection, analysis, and exchange that have the potential to revolutionize approaches to labour law work. The track encourages contributions that push the methodological boundaries by enlisting insights from other disciplines that are yet to be explored by labour law scholars.
LLRN5 Poland aims to maintain the diversity in formats of workshop presentation and discussion introduced at all previous LLRN conferences. To this end, although we very much encourage the submission of papers for presentation in panels/sessions, as well as proposals for full panels/sessions or book presentations, we also encourage proposals for innovative modes of participation that depart from these models of interaction. The noticeable change according to previous LLRN conferences is that each speaker can have no more than one active participation, which does not exclude connecting roles of speaker/chair/discussant etc. We invite submissions as follows, noting that all proposals will be subject to peer-review by the organising committees:
PAPER ABSTRACT: scholars interested in presenting papers at the conference are invited to submit an abstract of up to 500 words. Please include a title, your name and affiliation, and contact information. Also, include a “key words” line.
PANEL SESSION: scholars are also welcome to submit proposals for full panel sessions, which include 4 papers; or 3 papers and a discussant. Please try to avoid panels in which all the participants come from the same country. Proposals for full panel sessions should include (in one document) abstracts of all presentations, which have to meet the requirements of the paper abstract submission and a short description (up to 100 words) of the panel.
Book presentation: scholars who recently published a book around an important labour law issue, or otherwise wish to raise a discussion around a recent book, are invited to propose a panel with 4 speakers (authors, discussants or any combination thereof). Proposals for a book presentation do not require abstracts, just a short explanation of the book’s importance and brief biographies of the participants. Please note that these sessions (if accepted) might be allocated less time than regular panel/sessions.
Young scholars format: we are looking forward to receiving proposals from young researchers (young post-docs; i.e. 5 years from the Ph.D. award, Ph.D. candidates). Young scholars’ participation will promote scientific discussion and cooperation with senior colleagues working in the field of labour law.
Alternative formats: We also invite people to signal their interest in other forms of presentation and participation. Here are a number of formats that might be considered: roundtables, ‘fishbowls’ or ‘labour law labs’ in which people make short interventions addressing themes or issues from the standpoint of their research, designed to help resolve troubling labour law policy challenges; ‘TED’–style short talks on specific topics of interest, both inside and at the edges of the law of work; moderated or ‘hot seat’ encounters with an invited guest; films – plus discussion; art exhibits and music. Presenters who wish to innovate in these or other formats need not worry that their written work will not be available or disseminated; the conference organizers will ensure that papers of presenters in alternative formats are available on the conference website.
Applications for participation should be made on the adequate form. The form should be send via firstname.lastname@example.org or uploaded via Google Form.