17:30 to 19:00
End date
17 January 2018
Haldane Room, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Book Colloquium: Law and Memory

Towards Legal Governance of History

How should we commemorate the victims of past atrocities, heroic individuals, or emblematic national and social events?

Recent controversies such as the removal of Confederate monuments in the United States demonstrate just how central such acts of collective remembrance are to our conception of contemporary societies.

Memory laws enshrine state-approved interpretations of these crucial historical events, and have forged both national identities and integration processes in Europe and beyond.

In this book colloquium, a panel of speakers will discuss the recent book Law and Memory: Towards Legal Governance of History (edited by U. Belavusau and A. Gliszczyńska-Grabias) and explore both the nature and role of legal engagement in historical memory. They will address a number of key questions, such as:

  • When do memory laws conflict with values of democratic citizenship, political pluralism, or fundamental human rights?
  • Are the punitive laws inevitably abusive?
  • Are the non-punitive ones mostly benign?
  • Are there optimal ways for states to propagate historical memory?

Against the background of mass re-writing of history in different parts of the world, the panel will attempt to draw answers to these issues, and map out a relatively new and foundational area of international law and transitional justice.



Chair: Denis Galligan, Emeritus Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and Director of Programmes, Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford

Dr Uladzislau Belavusau, T.M.C. Asser Insitute (The Hague), University of Amsterdam

Professor Eric Heinze, Professor of Law and Humanities, Queen Mary University London

Dr Nanor Kebranian, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Félix Krawatzek, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford

Dr Ioanna Tourkochriti, NUI Galway


This book colloquium is organized in collaboration with the Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspectives (MELA) Project and the Centre for Law, Democracy, and Society at Queen Mary University of London.