Property and Investment in Contemporary Jus Post Bellum: Clarifying Norms, Principles and Practices 

Allocation and protection of property are fundamental challenges in many situations of transition from conflict to peace.1 Societal choices regarding property in this context involve complex legal and policy choices regarding the protection and implementation of individual rights (e.g. housing and property rights), the preservation of global public goods (e.g., culturally significant property), conditions for socio-economic reform and access to justice (e.g. administrative or judicial claims procedures). Some of these areas, such as ‘Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons’2 or the protection of cultural property3 have received significant attention in research, practice and specific situations. Other aspects, such as investment in conflict and post-conflict environments have been mostly treated from a situation-specific perspective. In current practice, these issues are typically part of Rule of Law or Transitional Justice discourse. But they are treated in isolation from each other, or from the perspective of particular bodies of law (e.g. human rights, international humanitarian law, international economic law) or conflict situations. This seminar takes a different perspective. It seeks to review policies and practices relating to the protection of property from the angle of multiple frameworks/bodies of law and their mutual interaction.

The aim of the seminar is to bring together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from different disciplines to (i) review the feasibility of contemporary principles, guidelines and practices applicable in the transition from armed conflict to peace, and (ii) to identify macro-norms and practices that should guide processes of transition and interaction of different legal regimes in the jus post bellum context.

It will focus specifically on three main areas: (i) Housing, land and property of refugees and displaced persons, (ii) protection of culturally significant property, and (iii) investment. It will investigate how property and investment rights can be reconciled with other rights in the context of jus post bellum; and what approaches law are most likely to produce a just and sustainable peace.

We are seeking submissions of academic research papers, built on critical review or identification of identifiable guidelines and practices, for presentation at the seminar. Submissions should include an abstract of no more than 300 words and be accompanied by a CV. Please indicate for which seminar the abstract is intended. Submissions must be written in English and sent to and no later than 27 January 2014. Selected participants will be informed 22 February 2014. Final papers should be submitted by 16 May 2014.

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