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Rechtshistorikertag 2022: Forms of Validity of Law

23. April 2022

Time: 08. - 12. August 2022
Place: Zürich, Switzerland

Legal norms claim to be binding and thus valid. However, their validity cannot be taken for granted. Depending on its social, political, economic and cultural environment, legal normativity is described in very different ways, and its declared binding and enforced by very different mechanisms. The presentations, talks and discussions of the 43rd Legal History Conference will identify, analyze, and compare notions and limits of "legal validity" at different historical stages.

Plenary lectures will ask about types and forms of legal validity in antiquity, the Middle Ages, the early modern and the modern period.

In contrast, the sections of the Legal History Conference will focus on special contexts and problematic situations of the rule of law. With legal pluralism, the much-discussed question of the coexistence and, if necessary, also coexistence of claims to validity of different legal norms is examined. The section on arbitration focuses on the validity of legal norms and their application beyond the state. In the section on religious rights, the question is asked how and in what way the validity of law arises in the context of religious associations, sometimes in competition with secular sovereign rule. The interstate sphere of the rule of law is the subject of the section on the history of international law. The section “Media Change and Law” is devoted to the interdependence of the rule of law and the medial shaping of law. Last, but not least, the importance of specialized legal knowledge for the validity of law is the subject of the section “Expert Cultures of Law”.

The validity of law, its foundations, its limits, and its content have repeatedly become questionable in the present. The 43rd Legal History Conference 2022 offers a broad historical horizon of reflection also and especially to these debates.

Additional information can be found here.