International student conference “Iustoria 2021: Law and Religion” held

International student conference “Iustoria 2021: Law and Religion” held

The University of Belgrade Faculty of Law Department of Legal History organized the second international student conference on Legal History – Iustoria 2021, from March 25th to 27th. The topic of the conference, “Law and Religion”, was chosen as this year marks 100 years from the adoption of the Vidovdan Constitution, which is especially significant for being the first in the region to introduce multiconfessionalism. Unfortunately, as the epidemiological situation failed to improve, this conference, just like Iustoria 2020, had to be held, with hopes that next year it will finally be possible to organize the conference in person.

At the beginning, the dean of the Faculty, Prof. Dr Zoran Mirković, asked for his greetings and wishes for a successful conference to be conveyed to all the participants, as he was unfortunately experiencing technical difficulties and therefore was prevented from opening the conference. Prof. Dr Milena Polojac, the head of the Department of Legal History and professor of Roman Law, and Ass. Prof. Dr Dalibor Đukić, professor of Ecclesiastical Law and member of the Organizational Committee, greeted and addressed the participants next. During the opening of the conference, Prof. Dr Sima Avramović, the president of the “Alan Watson” Foundation, held a short speech about the Foundation and announced this year’s winner of the Foundation’s competition – Milica Ristić, a master’s student at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law.

All three days of the conference started off with keynote lectures in English. On the first day, participants had the opportunity to hear Prof. Dr Srđan Šarkić’s lecture on “Crimes against the Church and Religion in Medieval Serbian Law”. The second day, Prof. Dr Wim Decock had his lecture “The Law and Morality of Business in Early Modern Europe”. Last but not least, Prof. Dr Pietro Lo Iacono addressed the participants with his lecture “The Roman Catholic Church and non-catholic denominations in the history of the Italian legal system” on the final day of the conference.

More than 40 participants from 12 countries from all over the world were divided into 9 sessions, some of which were conducted in English and some in Serbian. Students had the opportunity to summarize the results of their research on the relations between law and religion, covering the period from the Antiquity to the Modern Era and analysing various polytheistic and monotheistic religions. Some of the topics that were addressed were: the role of Jupiter in Cicero’s orations, Themis and Dike in Ancient Greek Law, trial by ordeal and celibacy in the Antiquity and Middle Ages, various aspect of the Catholic Canon Law and their relations to the legal systems throughout Europe, Orthodox Church and its regulations in Medieval Serbia and modern Montenegro, Hebrew Law, Sharia Law in Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, non-converted indigenous people in Portuguese America, law and religion in Japan during the Meiji Restauration, law and religion throughout the history of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, religious issues in the Nazi Germany…

Finally, Ass. Prof. Dr Nina Kršljanin, the president of the Organizing Committee, closed the conference and thanked all the participants for the interesting presentations and dynamic discussions. Every participant will have an opportunity to publish their papers in the International academic student journal “Herald of Legal History“, issued by the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law since 2020.