Theories in Law – Theories about Law
Kristin Y. Albrecht and Matthias Kopp
The biennial conference of the German Section of the IVR took place September 22-24, 2016 at the University of Bremen in northern Germany. Leading scholars presented their work on this year’s topic: “Theories in Law – Theories about Law”. Ten presentations gave occasion to unravel what characterizes a theory, whether theories can be a tool for understanding and describing law and which methods, terms and definitions can be used to establish a theory about or in law.
The keynote lecture was given by Martti Koskenniemi (Helsinki). He discussed the question of Jherings’ inaugural lecture: Is legal science possible? Relieved by his affirmative answer, the conference continued: Amongst the speakers was Jan Schröder (Münster), a leading historian. He inquired if there can be timeless theories in law. Well-known philosopher Nida-Rümelin (Munich) reflected on law and moral by combining Coherentism and Naturalism. Further speakers included Helge Dedek (Montréal), Stefan Magen (Bochum), Dietmar von der Pfordten (Göttingen) and Anja Schmidt (Leipzig).
After two days of brilliant weather, excellent presentations, intense and interesting discussions, the members of the IVR left Bremen to meet again in 2018 in Freiburg, Germany. The upcoming conference will be hosted by the University of Freiburg and explicitly internationally oriented: The German Branch of the IVR is looking forward to discuss about Hans Kelsen with international scholars.