Navigation auf


Faculty of Law Lehrstuhl Fiocchi

Police Power: Historical Foundations between Domestic and International Law


I. Content of the Seminar

What is the “police power”? How did it shape from Middle-Ages, to modern and contemporary times? What are the (historical) relationships between domestic and international law concerning the “police”?

The seminar will reconstruct the complex meaning of the term “police power” in different temporal and spatial contexts, with a special focus on the development of it in domestic and international law. In the seminar, together with Prof. Dr. Santiago Legarre, we will analyse theories, events and national and international practices with regard to police power from a comparative legal-historical perspective. Special attention will be awarded to thinkers such as Pufendorf, Vattel, and Blackstone. The development of their ideas in North and South America will be tracked too.

The seminar will conclude with the exploration of the practical implications of these historical developments in contemporary constitutional law (from a comparative perspective) and in the international law of investment arbitration, where the police power is at the roots of regulatory power.


II. Academic Requirements

Writing a paper and presenting it at the seminar is required. In addition, active participation in the discussions of the papers of the other participants is expected. The oral performance will be factored into the final grade.


III. Place and Time

The seminar will take place at the University of Zurich. Room and dates (2 days) are to be determined.


IV. Proceeding of the Seminar

The seminar will be held in English. Each day consists of presentations of student papers and ensuing discussions. The sessions will be introduced by key note speaker Prof. Dr. Santiago Legarre (Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina) who will also participate in the discussions.


V. Admission

A maximum number of 20 students will be admitted. Students can be at the Bachelor or Master levels. Students from other faculties are also welcome.


VI. Master Thesis

Students have the option to write a Master thesis. A presentation of results and thoughts of the research is expected at the seminar.


VII. Application and Registration

Please apply by email and indicate name, address and Matrikelnummer (privacy will be observed) and suggest a topic you are interested in.

Final applications are due by 30 May 2020. Topics will be discussed with Prof. Dr. Elisabetta Fiocchi before this date.

Registrations are binding.


VIII. Paper Deadline

The final date to submit papers will be two weeks before the seminar.