CfP: ‘Contemporary International Law, Jewish Law and Jewishness’. Jewish Law Association European Regional Conference Fürth-Nuremberg, 31 July – 2 August 2018

Call for Papers – Jewish Law Association European Regional Conference Fürth-Nuremberg, 31 July – 2 August 2018

Contemporary International Law, Jewish Law and Jewishness

The Jewish Law Association invites proposals for papers to be presented at the JLA European Regional Conference 2018. We particularly invite papers which address themes relating to one or more of the following areas:

  1. (a)  the significance of contributions made by Jewish lawyers for the development of the principles of international law, including the concept of „rights“;
  2. (b)  the influence of Judaism (whether Jewish Law, Jewish culture or Jewish history) on the contributions of Jewish lawyers to the practice and discourse of international law; and
  3. (c)  the shifting contexts of “international law“ for thinking about rights in Jewish Law and the rights of Jews, both as individuals and as Jews under international law.

As is the practice in JLA conferences, with a view to promoting wider exchange with scholars and practitioners from countries in which the study of Jewish Law is less developed than in Israel and the United States, proposals relating to other aspects of Jewish law will also be considered.

If you are interested in presenting a full paper or a poster for work in progress in the Young Researchers’ Atelier, please send an abstract of between 400 and 750 words to Stephan Wendehorst <>, to be received no later than 20 May 2018.

The main, though not exclusive foci of the Fürth-Nuremberg regional conference of the Jewish Law Association will be:

Jewish Lawyers and the Development of Contemporary International Law: How did the Principles of International Law associated with the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal respond to the promptings of Jewish lawyers and the concerns of Jewish voices? What role have Jewish lawyers played in related areas of international law – from the Geneva Conventions, the Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights to the development of new approaches to State and individual responsibility in matters of international criminal law since the Nuremberg Trials? In what ways has their Jewishness been seen to explain this?

Jewish Law, Human Rights and International War Crimes: How are the notions of universal rights and international war crimes understood in the contemporary development of Jewish Law? How has the development of the post-Westphalian state system affected Jewish legal works on the universality of rights, obligations and crimes? Does the treatment of rights in discussions of Jewish Law hold lessons for other legal systems?

International Law and Jewish Rights in the Inter-War, War and Immediate Post-War Period

The link between Raphael Lemkin, the Shoah, the United Nations, and the genesis of the Anti-Genocide Convention is arguably the most direct connection yet been made between a Jewish lawyer, a specifically Jewish experience and the emergence of an institution of international law. Perhaps its very prominence and the universality of ist legacy has obscured some of the complexity of the trajectory of its emergence. The conference will attempt to explore the United Nations Anti-Genocide Convention within two contexts, first, the broader struggle for Jewish rights in the interwar period, encompassing the diverse approaches of Zionist inspired Gegenwartsarbeit, Bundist demands for Jewish rights as a national minority, the Agudist agenda and Lucien Wolfs updated classical liberal concepts, and, secondly, the East-Central European interwar legal discourse regarding the protection of endangered minorities. How did Jewish lawyers address the challenges and the catastrophe of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s? How did their efforts compare – and interact – with non-Jewish responses to related questions?

We welcome contributions from practitioners as well as established and emerging academics. In addition to sessions with full papers, we hope to have a range of research workshops for work in progress, and shorter presentations of early stage projects. Those wishing to register for the conference must be current members of the Jewish Law Association; discounted rates for membership are available to students, low or unwaged participants. Depending on funding, it may be possible to offer financial assistance to early career scholars or those without university support who would otherwise find attending the conference financially prohibitive.

The JLA 2018 regional conference will be hosted by the Institute for Legal and Constitutional History at the University of Vienna and the Jewish Museum of Franconia in Fürth, Schnaittach & Schwabach. It will take place in conjunction with the Summer Academy on the History of the Jews in the Holy Roman Empire and its Successor States. Further organisational details will be sent in due course.

Stefan Goltzberg, Brussels
Nechama Hadari, Hebden Bridge

Stephan Wendehorst, Gießen/Vienna

George Wilkes, Edinburgh

Founded in 1978, the Jewish Law Association seeks to promote study and research in Jewish Law. It provides a major interdisciplinary meeting point for scholars and practitioners in both Law and Jewish Studies. Its membership represents diverse religious, philosophical and intellectual perspectives, and is drawn from many nations, from Israel to Argentina, from Canada and the United States to Australia, from Western Europe to South Africa.

For further information about the Jewish Law Association please visit its website at:


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