ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 21 april 2015

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: The Theory of Just War. Behind the Jurisprudential Defense of (Abstaining From) Military Action (Warsaw, 13-14 October 2015); DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015

 (image source: saevientibus2015)

The Departments of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Law and Administration, as well as the International Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Łazarski Universities (Warsaw) host a conference on 13-14 October 2015 on the eternal interdisciplinary topic of "Just Wars". More information:

On 5th July 1415 the participants of the Council of Constance – a historically pivotal gathering of the ruling and clerical elite of contemporary Europe – were provided with the first of a series of legal writings concerning a momentous dispute between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (the Teutonic Knights). The case centered around the legitimacy of military attacks undertaken by the State of the Teutonic Order on the region of Samogitia (northwestern part of today’s Lithuania), whose inhabitants were the last ethnic group in Europe to resist conversion to Christianity. Arguing for the Polish side was Paul Vladimiri (Paweł Włodkowic), rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who, following the most prominent theological and legal thinkers of the time, defended the rights of pagans to have their own states, safe from the attacks of Christians, provided they themselves refrained from attacking their Christian neighbours. Based on the idea of mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different political communities, Paul Vladimiri’s argumentation has gone down in history as one of the prototype versions of the theory of just war. 600 years after its original presentation, some fundamental issues raised during the medieval dispute are still of utmost urgency:

What type of rationale legitimizes the use of force against an autonomous political community?

What are the preconditions of a morally/legally justified military intervention undertaken on the territory of an independent state?

Which international institution possesses the entitlement to authorize the enforcement of universally recognized standards of execution of political power, e.g. respect for basic human rights?

Are there any moral/legal constraints on the membership in alliances aimed at eliminating specific threats to world peace?

To what extent are individual people responsible for the aggressive policy of (morally deplorable use of force by) their state leaders?

Answers to these and many other questions related to the idea of just war will be discussed during a conference held at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland, on 13-14 October 2015. We are inviting proposals for paper presentations (up to 20 minutes long) that will contribute to the conference debate. Themes of presentations, accompanied by paper abstracts (maximum 300 words), should be submitted by May 31, 2015, via e-mail to . PDF copies of Paul Vladimiri’s writings (the Latin original with its Polish and English translations) as well as the abstract submission form are available on the conference web page: Selected presenters will be contacted via e-mail by June 15, 2015 and required to register. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

Registration procedure must be completed by September 15, 2015 by paying the conference fee of 100 EURO (or 115 USD; for details, see the Practical Information tab)

The conference fee does not cover accommodation. The organizers may assist participants in making hotel reservations (selected options are presented in the Practical Information tab of the conference web page).