13th -14th October 2015

The Honorary Patronage
of the President of the Republic of Poland
Mr. Andrzej Duda


Department of Ethics
Department of History of Philosophy
Faculty of Law and Administration
International Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University
Łazarski Univesity
Warsaw, Poland

are pleased to announce



A Conference Commemorating the 600th Anniversary of the Presentation of Paul Vladimiri’s Corpus Diplomaticum

Warsaw, 13-14 October 2015

Keynote Speaker:

Professor Michael Walzer, the author of “Just and Unjust Wars” (1977),
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey


On 5th July 1415 the participants of the Council of Constance – a historically pivotal gathering of the ruling and clerical elite of contemporary Europe – were provided with the first of a series of legal writings concerning a momentous dispute between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (the Teutonic Knights). The case centered around the legitimacy of military attacks undertaken by the State of the Teutonic Order on the region of Samogitia (northwestern part of today’s Lithuania), whose inhabitants were the last ethnic group in Europe to resist conversion to Christianity. Arguing for the Polish side was Paul Vladimiri (Paweł Włodkowic), rector of the Academy of Kraków, who, following the most prominent theological and legal thinkers of the time, defended the rights of pagans to have their own states, safe from the attacks of Christians, provided they themselves refrained from attacking their Christian neighbours. Based on the idea of mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different political communities, Paul Vladimiri’s argumentation has gone down in history as one of the prototype versions of the theory of just war. 600 years after its original presentation, some fundamental issues raised during the medieval dispute are still of utmost urgency:

What type of rationale legitimizes the use of force against an autonomous political community?

What are the preconditions of a morally/legally justified military intervention undertaken on the territory of an independent state?

Which international institution possesses the entitlement to authorize the enforcement of universally recognized standards of execution of political power, e.g. respect for basic human rights?

Are there any moral/legal constraints on the membership in alliances aimed at eliminating specific threats to world peace?

To what extent are individual people responsible for the aggressive policy of (morally deplorable use of force by) their state leaders?

Answers to these and many other questions related to the idea of just war will be discussed during a conference held at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland, on 13-14 October 2015.  Accepted papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

Registration procedure must be completed by September 15, 2015 by paying the conference fee of 100 EURO (or 115 USD; for details, see the Practical Information tab). The conference fee does not cover accommodation.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee

Adam Cebula, PhD
Przemysław Gawron, PhD
Magdalena Płotka, PhD


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