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Faculty of Law Chair Mahlmann


Lecture and panel discussion with Prof. Dr. Yuval Shany

20.12.2023: Book presentation Mind and Rights (The Minerva Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

14.12.2023: Book presentation Mind and Rights (Faculty of Law, Istanbul Bilgi University)

Symposium on Matthias Mahlmann's book Mind and Rights

Gerechtigkeit und Freiheit jenseits der Menschenrechte? (Justice and Freedom Beyond Human Rights?)

The Mentalist Theory of Ethics and Law

Mind and Rights: The History, Ethics, Law and Psychology of Human Rights

International Conference URPP Equality of Opportunity

Contested Equality - International and Comparative Legal Perspectives

University of Zurich - 20/21 October 2022

Website URPP Equality of Opportunity

Law and War: Voices of Philosophers - Panel (07 October 2022)

Panel discussion within the VI Kharkiv International Legal Forum

07. October 2022, 1 – 6 p.m.(GMT+3:00, Kyiv), online

Website VI Kharkiv International Legal Forum

Mind and Rights - Public Talk of Prof. Mahlmann at Bonavero Institute of Human Rights

On the 8th of February 2022, Professor Mahlmann held a public talk concerning the topic of "Mind and Rights – Why Human Rights Have Deep Roots in Human Psychology, History, Ethics, and Law" at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights of the Oxford Law Faculty. The talk presents central theses of Professor Mahlmann's book "Mind and Rights: The History, Ethics, Law and Psychology of Human Rights." The talk may be viewed here.

Rechte der Nachgeborenen - Public lecture by Lukas Bärfuss

Public lecture (PDF, 889 KB) by Lukas Barfuss, part of the series «Lectures for law in society»

November 18, 2021, 18.30h

Aula of the University of Zurich (KOL-G-20), Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich

Public Seminar

November 19, 2021, 10 – 12h

Register here:

Terrorism and the Decline of Liberalism (public lecture) / Human Rights in Contemporary Conflicts (joint workshop) 

Prof. emeritus Mordechai Kremnitzer (Hebrew University Jerusalem and Israel Democracy Institute) gave a public lecture on December 12, 2019, 19:30 at KOL G 217 EV, main building, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich.

The lecture was part of the joint workshop "Human Rights in Contemporary Conflicts" with the Hebrew University Jerusalem and Free University Berlin, which was held at the University of Zurich, from December 12 - 13, 2019. 

The joint workshop was generously supported by the Graduate Campus.

Program workshop HRCC 2019 (PDF, 719 KB)

Flyer (public lecture) (PDF, 115 KB)

Please contact youlo.wujohktsang(at) for further information.

Conference "Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations in the Age of Reemerging Nationalism - Are They Really Justified?"

21/22 November 2019, University of Zurich

If extraterritorial application of human rights shall be realized and implemented in practice, it seems necessary to return to addressing the foundational question of their justifiability as well as counter arguments that promote a territorial limitation of states’ human rights obligations. By combining legal and philosophical perspectives, this is the aim the workshop hoped to achieve.

Speakers included:

  • Prof. Mark Gibney, University of North Caroline-Asheville
  • Prof. Sigrun Skogly, Lancaster University
  • Prof. Marko Milanovic, University of Nottingham
  • Prof. Veronique Zanetti, University of Bielefeld
  • Prof. Matthias Mahlmann, University of Zurich
  • Prof. Tilmann Altwicker, University of Zurich
  • PD Dr. Franziska Martinsen, Leipzig University Hannover / Käte Hamburger Kolleg Bonn

Program and further information: Conference Program (PDF, 6 MB)

SVRSP Rousseau Lectures -​​​​​​​ Droit et Littérature

The second edition of the SVRSP Rousseau Lectures will be held at the University of Geneva from November 13-15, 2019. More information on the programme is available here (PDF, 536 KB).

IVR World Congress 2019

Further information on the XXIX World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, which took place in Lucerne from 7th to 13th July 2019, may be found via following link: : Website IVR Congress 2019

Joint Workshop FU Berlin / UZH Call for Abstracts

Grundrechte und ihre Konkretisierung in bereichsspezifischen Dogmatiken (PDF, 115 KB)

Joint workshop organized with Freie Universität Berlin, November 15-16, 2018.

Submission deadline is September 14, 2018.


SVRSP Rousseau Lectures 2017

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


Lecture I - Rawls, Rousseau, and the Sense of Justice - 15/11/2017

Lecture II - The Sense of Justice in the Age of Trump - 16/11/2017

Pictures of the Event:


Media Coverage:

Tages-Anzeiger: Interview with John Mikhail

UZH News: Die Idee der Gerechtigkeit im Zeitalter von Trump

ZS: Rousseau in Zürich


SVRSP Rousseau Lectures 2017, Flyer (PDF, 142 KB)

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.

With comments by:
Prof. Dr. Monika Betzler, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Prof. Dr. Francis Cheneval, University of Zurich
Dr. Dr. h.c. Gret Haller, former National Councillor and Publicist
Dr. Anne Kühler, University of Zurich
Prof. Dr. Lutz Wingert, ETH Zurich
Prof. Dr. Simone Zurbuchen Pittlik, University of Lausanne

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.

Poster Guest lecture (PDF, 510 KB)

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?

Flyer (PDF, 193 KB)

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.

For more information, please see the Website of the URPP Asia and Europe Websiteand the preview in the "UZH news"-section.

Flyer (PDF, 620 KB)

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


Weiterführende Informationen

Flyer public lecture Lukas Bärfuss

Rechte der Nachgeborenen - Public lecture by Lukas Bärfuss

Terrorism and the Decline of Liberalism

Public lecture: Terrorism and the Decline of Liberalism (Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer)

UNIL_Rousseau Lectures 2019

SVRSP Rousseau Lectures 2019

Droit et Littérature

Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations

Conference "Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations"