SVRSP ROUSSEAU LECTURES
Prof. John Mikhail (Georgetown University, Washington D.C.)
"The Sense of Justice, Private Interest, and Public Duty in the Age of Trump"
15 - 17 November 2017, University of Zurich
Pictures of the Event:
In November 2017, the Swiss Association for Legal and Social Philosophy organized the first SVRSP Rousseau Lectures. The lectures would like to contribute to the public debate on fundamental questions of law, state, international order and justice. In times in which political conflicts in democratic constitutional states are widespread and the international order is undergoing a profound crisis, it is essential to reaffirm the foundations of legal orders in order to defend them against enemies as well as against indifference or carelessness.
Prof. John Mikhail (Georgetown University, Washington D.C.) addressed such basic questions in his two-part lectures on «The Sense of Justice, Private Interest, and Public Duty in the Age of Trump». The lectures embodied both historical as well as substantive and contemporary perspectives of legal philosophy.
The event was supported by the Faculty of Law of the University o Zurich, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Mme Marie Gretler Foundation, the Temperation Foundation, ZUNIV and the Socrethics Foundation.
In the future, the SVRSP Rousseau Lectures will be held biannually at different Swiss Universities. In 2019, they will be organized jointly by the University of Geneva and the University of Lausanne.
Guest lecture by Prof. Stephen J. Morse
Law & Neuroscience: Hope or Hype?
The discovery of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which permits non-invasive imaging of brain function, was an immense scientific breakthrough that seemed to create the possibility of previously unimaginable understanding of the relation between brain function, mind and behavior. Legal academics and lawyers, especially within criminal law, were quick to embrace this new technology. Some thought new discoveries might cause profound changes in legal doctrine and practice and perhaps even revolutionary reforms. This talk addresses the current state of law and neuroscience and suggests that legal changes based on neuroscience have been few to date and that contributions for the foreseeable future will be modest.
Thursday, 2nd of March 2017, 18.00
Lecture room KOL-F-121, City Campus, University of Zurich
Guest Lecture by Prof. Dr. J. Christopher McCrudden, 18.11.2015: "Human Rights Histories: Genesis, Validity and Ideology"
The history of human rights is a rapidly expanding scholarly discipline. One of the central academic debates among historians of human rights is to seek to ac-count for the origin and spread of human rights. Central questions are: How far does current human rights practice demonstrate continuity or radical discontinu-ity with previous attempts to secure rights? Is the history of human rights of foundational importance for their legitimacy? Are human rights nothing but a recent piece of normative ideology, destined to fade away in a future beyond rights?
Room RAI-H-041, 6 pm
Lecture Series "Constitutional Reform and Social Change in Asia and the Middle East: Law, Politics and Theory"
Constitutional reforms are being discussed and/or implemented in different regional contexts today. These endeavors develop in a context of increased transnationalization of norms and orders. Yet, they also vary from one region to the other. Furthermore, while debates on constitutional reform do not always lead to concrete changes of the Constitution they can evoke the emergence of new constitutional interpretations and lead to the transformation of norms. This lecture series aims therefore at inviting experts in the field of constitutional reform to present constitutional debates in different regional settings (namely Japan, India and the Middle East) and to analyze ensuing political transformations, normative changes and emerging new discursive patterns.
Prof. Dr. Chibli Mallat, University of Utah / Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon, 17.03.2015: "2011 and the Middle East Challenge to World Constitutionalism"
In the lecture, Professor Chibli Mallat presents the most challenging themes to constitutionalism in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. He will discuss in particular: religion in the constitution, the sectarian conundrum, civil society and the state, and the (Swiss) model of rotating executive. These themes are examined extensively in his new book, Philosophy of Nonviolence: Revolution, Constitutionalism, and Justice beyond the Middle East, Oxford University Press 2015.
KOL-F-117, 18.15 - 20.00
Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Nishihara, Waseda University, 28.04.2015: "Zwischen anspruchsvollen Erwartungen vom Staat und Repräsentationsdefizite: Warum akzeptieren viele Japaner den LDP-Entwurf der anti-freiheitlichen Verfassungsrevision"
Since about the start of this millennium, the political movement in Japan has been enlivened by efforts to revise its democratic Constitution, striving towards an emperor led totalitarian military State. The Japanese population that enjoyed its freedom and peace during the second half of the 20th century, does not show much reluctance to the new supporters of restoration. In order to better explain this contradictory phenomenon, I will analyze the peculiar mode of reception of democracy by the post-war Japanese and its current consequences.
KOL-F-117, 18.15 - 20.00
Prof. Dr. Arun Thiruvengadam, National University of Singapore, 07.05.2015: "Assessing the Social Rights Jurisprudence of India: Perspectives from Constitutional Theory and Comparative Law"
In recent years, there has been considerable debate in the field of comparative constitutional law on the issue of social rights and their enforcement by the judiciary in particular. This talk will engage with these debates by focusing on the record and experience of the Indian judiciary in enforcing the social rights provisions of its Constitution. The Constitution of India contains several provisions relating to social rights, many of which are housed in a part of the text that is expressly stated to be 'non-justiciable.' Over time, however, the Indian judiciary has, through a process of creative interpretation, mandated that the executive and legislature take proactive steps towards the implementation of these rights provisions. The talk will focus on this process, which has been the subject of considerable controversy but has, over time, gained the qualified support of progressive communities in India. The talk will focus on cases from the early 1980s through to more recent cases in the new century, and will also cover the scholarly literature in India and abroad that has developed around these issues. Finally, the talk will seek to draw contrasts and comparisons with the approach to social rights taken by judiciaries in South Africa and Colombia in particular.
KOL-F-117, 18.15 - 20.00