A special issue of the journal Jurisprudence has been published, with a book symposium on Ruth Dukes’ The Labour Constitution: The Enduring Idea of Labour Law.
This book examines the idea of labour law – its scope and its defining purpose or paradigm – and advocates the capacity of scholarship in the field to retain its critical edge. Drawing on Hugo Sinzheimer and Otto Kahn-Freund’s foundational ideas of, respectively, ‘the labour constitution’ and ‘collective laissez-faire’, Ruth Dukes applies a political economy (and historical sociological) approach to argue for the continued utility of the idea of the ‘labour constitution’, a body of law which calls labour into a community with ‘property’ i.e. capital, democratising the economy and work. In doing so, Ruth critiques modern arguments which favour reorienting labour law to align more closely with the functioning of labour markets, offering a robustly-argued corrective to new orthodoxies in both legal scholarship and policy, which prioritise market rationality as the governing metric of economic life and conceive of labour law as primarily concerned with the ‘law of the labour market’.
In this symposium, five highly respected scholars across the fields of legal theory, labour law, industrial relations, human rights and migration law explore the relevance of the themes in the monograph for legal theory and labour law scholarship nationally and internationally (with particular reference to the EU, the US and Israel).