As part of the execution of T5.8 within WP5 “Law and Practical Rationality” and T.6.6 within WP6 “Practical orientated legal fundamentals” of the ALF Project, University of Belgrade’s postdoc fellow Julieta Rabanos undertook a research stay period at the Centre for Law and Philosophy of the University of Surrey School of Law (United Kingdom), from 26 February to 29 March 2024. The research stay was made possible by a scholarship provided by the Centre for Legal Fundamentals (CLF), scholarship that had the purpose of allowing University of Belgrade’s researchers to improve of personal knowledge and research skills through direct interaction with other groups of research from other legal traditions and main experts on one of the legal fundamentals – in this case, practical rationality.

Within this research stay, Rabanos further developed her postdoctoral research and had the opportunity to discuss it with both professors and fellows from the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy, such as Kenneth Ehrenberg, Hrafn Asgeirsson, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Ambrose Lee, and Christopher Taggart. She particularly discussed about her past and future research on authority with Ehrenberg and Rodriguez-Blanco, and her plans to further it by addressing shortcomings of contemporary discourses on authority in the face of contemporary challenges to authority. Moreover, she had fruitful discussions about her and others research with several Surrey PhD candidates and international visiting doctoral and postdoctoral fellows working at the Centre at the time of the stay. One of the specific things she worked on was her presentation for the ALF Conference “Belgrade Meets Surrey” (2 to 4 April, Belgrade), as well as the revisions of accepted papers in scientific journals, and the submission of another (co-authored) one.

Rabanos was also participated as a guest lecturer within the undergraduate “Legal Obligation and Punishment” course, offered by Ambrose Lee and Christopher Taggart. After Taggart presented a schematic general view of different positions in regard to the existence of a general duty to obey the law, following questions about the possibility and plausibility of free will, Rabanos presented a broad way to understand Joseph Raz’s position and possible criticism both about it and his Service Conception of authority. She then offered different questions about Raz’s position for the students to reflect on and participated in the debate that followed. She then also participated in Lee’s introduction about punishment and its justification, questioning some understandings of theories of justified punishment.

She also actively participated in all the activities the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy had within this timeframe. On the one hand, she participated in several meetings of the SCLP Seminar series, which included presentations by Giada Frantantonio (University of Glasgow) and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (University of Pennsylvania). On the other hand, she participated in several meetings of the SCLP PGR Work-in-progress Seminar, which included presentations by Robson Gonçalves Valadares Filho (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Daniel Goldsworthy (University of Melbourne). Moreover, she participated at a SCLP Book Symposium on a recent book by Alec Walen (Rutgers University); and she participated the Toulson Law Lecture 2024, offered by The Right Hon Lord Burrows (Justice of the UK Supreme Court), where she had an exchange of opinions with the speaker about differences in common law/civil law traditions. Finally, she also participated in a meeting of the Public International Law Discussion Group Seminar (University of Oxford), which included a presentation of Mona Paulsen (LSE).

In her free time, Rabanos participated in informal gatherings with fellow researchers from the Surrey Centre of Law and Philosophy, as well as Law and International Relations fellow academics from Oxford and LSE, and she was invited to attend a traditional British birthday tea party. She was also invited to attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the UK Parliament, where oral evidence was being presented regarding the current situation in Ukraine and the UK’s response to it; she then had the opportunity to tour the House of Lords, guided by member of the House. She rediscovered London and Oxford gems, including their great libraries and parks, as well as traditional landmarks, and paid respects to the great Jeremy Bentham at UCL.