RESCHEDULED: Markus Gunneflo, Walter Benjamin and Targeted Killings: Seminar with Daniel Steuer (Brighton)

Walter Benjamin’s writings such as his “Critique of Violence” play a particular role in Markus Gunneflo’s draft thesis. Daniel Steuer, Senior Lecturer in German at the School for Humanities, University of Brighton, will engage Markus Gunneflo in a conversation about the potential and limits of thinking so-called Targeted killings with Benjamin.

RESCHEDULED to Wednesday 22 May, 10.15-12.00 hrs

NEW LOCATION: Styrelserummet, Level 4, Faculty of Law, Lund

No registration needed. Most welcome!

Grounding Wars

A Workshop in the Pufendorf Series, 22 May 2013

  • Max Liljefors (Art History and Visual Studies, Lund): Vision and War: Limits of Anthropomorphism
  • Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Law, Westminster): Atmosphere
  • Daniel Steuer (English, Brighton): Readings of the Natural History of Destruction
  • Gregor Noll (Law, Lund): Future Wars and Law’s Language
War is a way to relate the human mind to the world. In doing that, it provides a form of grounding. This gives the sensory and experiential dimension a central role. The playing of war games, the conditioning of soldiers in mission-specific training environments, the ways militaries seek to address post-traumatic stress, psychological operations and the winning of hearts and minds are all pertinent examples. In crafting this relationship, warfare is pitched against limits that are imagined as absolute in some form. Time, terrain, physics, psychology, the capacity of the human body, the laws of war are but a few examples. These limits are an inextricable part of the grounding in the world provided by war.

In this workshop, the normative dimensions of this grounding process will be explored. The limits present themselves as a ground for a minimalist international community that gathers friend and foe, state actors and non-state actors, combatants and civilians. Such limits are embattled in their own right, precisely because the grounding process has a double legitimatory function – that of legalizing acts of war as much as that of legalizing a particular image of historical destiny and international community.

Date: 22 May 2013, 13.00-17.00 hrs

Venue: Althin room, Tryckeriet building, Faculty of Law, Lund University

As the number of places is limited, please register with at your earliest convenience.

Most welcome!

29 May IL Research Seminar with Ida Elisabeth Koch: The Rule of Law According to the ECtHR

In the course of this seminar, Professor Ida Elisabeth Koch will present and discuss an article on the notion of the rule of law as understood by the European Court of Human Rights. An abstract is included below.

Please send a mail to for a copy of the full text.

Date: 29 May, 10.15-12.00

Venue: Röda tornrummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law, Lund.


The article deals with the way in which the European Court of Human Rights understands the notion of the rule of law, and examines how this perception is reflected in the case law of the Court. This exercise is approached from a discourse analytic perspective.

The article includes references to other discourses concerning the notion of the rule of law. However, it has not been my driving force to go deep down into the numerous ways in which judicial bodies and/or legal scholars talk about the notion of the rule of law. I have no interest in taking sides and enjoy the privilege not having to give my support to a particular perception of the rule of law. It is not the hegemony that interests me but the discourses as such.

Despite the many discourses about the rule of law, there is a general agreement that the rule of law is a fundamental principle. The Court must of course define which elements should be included in the notion the rule of law. However, the Court would appear more trustworthy if it were to consider its application of the rule of law term more carefully.

10 April Pufendorf Research Seminar: Wouter Werner on “Showing Trials”

On 10 April 2013 at 13.15-15.00 hrs, Professor Wouter Werner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will hold a Pufendorf Research Seminar. The topic of his talk will be

Showing Trials- Documentaries in International Criminal Law.

Venue: Styrelserummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law.

Prospective participants may request a draft chapter of Wouter Werner’s forthcoming book by mailing


New Article on Trafficking by Vladislava Stoyanova

Vladislava Stoyanova has published

The Crisis of a Definition: Human Trafficking in Bulgarian Law

in the recent issue of the Amsterdam Law Forum.


This article develops two arguments. First, at a national level in Bulgaria, the human trafficking framework is inoperable for identifying abuses worthy of consideration. By comparing the Bulgarian criminal law definition of human trafficking with the international law definition, I argue that the national criminal law definition is overly inclusive. This state of the Bulgarian criminal law makes it difficult to undertake a realistic assessment of the problem. Second, I submit that because the focus in Bulgaria has been exclusively directed towards the crime of human trafficking, the fact that the abuses of slavery, servitude and forced labour as such have not been criminalised at a domestic level has remained ignored. Thus, abuses that constitute slavery, servitude and forced labour, but do not manifest elements of human trafficking, might be left without proper investigation and prosecution.

SEK 11 Million Grant for Migration Law Programme at Lund and Uppsala

The Lund/Uppsala Migration Law Network (L/UMIN), initiated by the Faculties of Law at Uppsala and Lund, has been granted SEK 11 Million by the European Refugee Fund to implement a 30-month program me comprising of two post-doctoral and four doctoral research projects. We are very grateful to our friends at Uppsala for the excellent cooperation. In particular, our thanks go to Dr. Rebecca Stern (who coordinated the application) and to Professor Thorbjörn Andersson.

At the Lund end, funding will be used to finance

  • Anna Bruce’s post-doc on Children with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in the asylum procedure;
  • Matthew Scott’s doctoral project on climate-related needs of protection and strategic litigation; and
  • a doctoral project on burden sharing (or solidarity) within the EU and between the EU and third states. A doctoral position will be advertised at the Faculty of Law soon. If you are interested, you should follow postings on the Faculty’s website (click on “In English).


28 February Pufendorf Research Seminar: Ingo Venzke on Interpretation

On 28 February 2013 at 14.15-16.00 hrs, Dr. Ingo Venzke (Universiteit van Amsterdam) will hold a Pufendorf Research Seminar. The topic of his talk is

Constraints of the International Legal Discourse and the Creativity of Interpretation
Venue: Styrelserummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law. The seminar will be chaired by Professor Ulf Linderfalk. Please be in touch with Simret Goitom for a copy of the seminar material.
Dr. Venzke’s bionote can be accessed here.

Hans Ruin commends Lund colleagues’ work on Carl Schmitt

Our colleagues Matilda Arvidsson and Dr. Leila Brännström contributed chapters to a Swedish language anthology on Carl Schmitt’s political thought that was favorably reviewed in an essay by Professor Hans Ruin of Södertörn College. Ruin’s piece was recently published in Dagens Nyheter, the leading Swedish daily.

In particular, Professor Ruin highlights that legal researchers have made their entry into a multidisciplinary treatment of the issues related to Schmitt’s work, which he connects to a generational shift. Ruin commends Dr. Brännström’s contribution, giving it a detailed treatment in the review.

Jon Wittrock & Hjalmar Falk ”Vän eller ­fiende? En antologi om Carl Schmitts politiska tänkande” (“Friend or Foe? An Anthology on Carl Schmitt’s Political Thought”)Daidalos, 2012 Details here.

21 November Pufendorf Research Seminar: Elspeth Guild on European Military Engagements Abroad

On 21 November at 13.15, the next Pufendorf seminar will be held by Elspeth Guild, currently Jean Monnet Professor ad personam at Queen Mary, whose extensive oeuvre comprises texts on European human rights law, refugee law, the Common European Asylum System and the securitization of law. Elspeth Guild was awarded the degree of doctor honoris causa by our faculty in 2008.

She has kindly agreed to return to Lund in the context of a Pufendorf Research Seminar, for which she has chosen the topic of

“European Military Engagements abroad, the Legitimate Use of Violence and European Human Rights Law”.

Elspeth comments that “I am returning to some work I did in 2005 around extraterritorial reach of European human rights law in the context of military occupation. The issue has been the subject of three important ECtHR judgments over the past few years which I am trying to unpick.”

Venue: Faculty of Law, 4th floor, Röda Tornrummet

Elspeth Guild’s text for the seminar is available by registering with Simret Goitom at

Noll: Neuroweapons and the Law (video)

Neuroweapons and the Law

In this talk, Professor Gregor Noll (Lund, Sweden) explains how neuroscience can be used to develop new weapons systems, and addresses how this may affect the ability of weapon operators to implement international humanitarian law.