The international scientific conference and the presentation of the book of the same name "Ethnic Diversity, Plural Democracy and Human Dignity: Challenges to the European Union and Western Balkans" will be held on November 4, 2022, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb (Trg Republike Hrvatske 3, hall IV). The conference is organized by the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, the Croatian Academy of Legal Sciences and the Croatian Association for Legal and Social Philosophy and Theory of Law and the State (Croatian IVR section).

The importance of the topic will be presented by the book's commentators and editors, and the authors of the book's contributions will present their contributions in the context of contemporary international, European and national current events.

We would be pleased if you would join the discussion. For remote online participation, please contact mario.kresic@pravo.hr.

Conference Program (link)


Commentators: Antonija Petričušić (Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb) and Ivana Tucak (Faculty of Law, University of Osijek).

Book editors: Mario Krešić, Damir Banović, Alberto Carrio Sampedro (Faculty of Law, Pompeu Fabra University) and Jānis Pleps (Faculty of Law, University of Latvia).

Authors of the contributions: Mario Krešić (Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb), Damir Banović (Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo), Alberto Carrio Sampedro (Faculty of Law, Pompeu Fabra University), Maja Sahadžić (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp), Harun Išerić ( Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo), Jānis Pleps (Faculty of Law, University of Latvia), Snježana Vasiljević (Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb), Bruce Anderson (Faculty of Law, Saint Mary's University), Kim Morgan (Faculty of Art and Design Nova Scotia ), Alberto Carrio Sampedro, Ander Errasti López (Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona), Jernej Letnar Černič (European Faculty of Law, Nova Universa).

Topic and the content of the conference

"Given their ethnic diversity, to what extent, and at what cost and benefit to human dignity, can European countries adopt and adapt plural democracy?" The answer to this question will be offered from a variety of disciplinary perspectives within the framework of the integral theory of law and the state. The shared aim is to explain legal phenomena in the context of social issues and to identify, analyse and critique conceptualizations, problems and situations relevant to such issues. The discussion is rooted in the historical and contemporary European experience with special cases from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia, Spain and Canada which are relevant for understanding the European problem. Solutions to the problem are sought through innovative interpretations of the rule of law, democracy and human dignity, which are followed by argumentation about how these concepts, when recognized as European legal principles, can be implemented in order to avoid ethnic conflicts.

At the beginning, it is necessary to define the problem at the centre of the discussion and explain how legal theory can be used to address it. After that, discussion is opened for contributions aimed at understanding and solving the problem, divided into three thematic sections. The first section covers topics concerning the European principles which can help avoid ethnic conflicts: the principle of compulsory adjudication in interstate relations, the principle of democracy and principles regarding the recognition of individual and collective identities. These European principles are investigated by drawing on legal and political theories. The second section presents three ways of conceptualizing ethnic needs in multi-ethnic states: asymmetric federalism, democratic account and cooperative federalism. The third and final section elaborates on issues concerning the protection of minority rights: the role of judicial ideology in the protecting minority rights, citizenship, the EU mechanism for the protection of minority rights, and the importance of remembering tragic events that affecting minorities.

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