Juridification of history

between collective memory,
historiography and politics of memory

December 18, 2020

Polish Academy of Sciences
Scientific Centre in Vienna

Juridification of history – between collective memory, historiography and politics of memory is the 6th international conference after well-established series of historical conferences: the previous ones took place in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018. Each year the conference has a different leading topic. In 2020, the main theme will be juridification of history.

The conference will provide a legal and philosophical contribution to the discussion on the juridisation of history – a process of interference by legislator and the courts with public debate about the past. The formulation of narratives referring to the past is a key element of the politics of memory by countries and nations competing for “moral capital” or striving to achieve other goals. The memory laws (lois mémorielles, Erinnerungsgesetze, prawa pamięci) may therefore be either anti-negationist or anti-defamatory. In the former case, they are to set the boundaries to historical denialism, whereas in the latter – to protect against libel and defamation, i.e. behaviors that also demonstrate strong, yet more subtle revisionistic potential. Whatever they nature, memory laws create legal taboos that restrict freedom of expression.
The premise of the conference is therefore to provide scientific perspectives on legal and philosophical questions related to the juridisation of history. Conference’s main focus is on the laws enacted in various jurisdictions as well as judicial practice (national and international) regarding remembrance of Holocaust and other crimes committed during World War II. Some contributions will be dedicated to exploration of other junctions between law and memory.

The conference will result in a post-conference publication.



Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Centre in Vienna

Main tasks of the Scientific Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Vienna are the promotion of Polish sciences in Austria and the support their further development. Moreover it helps in establishing cooperation projects between Polish and Austrian research institutions by organizing scientific and popular lectures, exhibitions, conferences and symposia with the participation of scientists from Poland, Austria and other countries, from the social sciences over humanities to natural sciences.

Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Centre in Vienna
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