Conference will be translated simultaneously:  english - italian,  italian - english

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Faculty of Social Sciences

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Idea of the conference

“The House on the Rock – Axiology of Law for the Europe of Tomorrow” conference is part of the debate about the future of the culture of social life, both in the local and international context. Maintaining the appropriate quality and shape of interpersonal relations which ought to be described, regulated and protected by the law is a vital element of that culture. Should these relations be shaped solely on the basis of arbitrary human decisions, or perhaps should we strive to find the lost foundation from which they originate? It is necessary to discuss whether such a foundation does in fact exist and can be determined objectively, and, if so, conclude whether it is possible, and to what extent, to define its actual composition or at the very least demonstrate the real need for its existence, so that it can become a common point of reference when creating, interpreting and applying law. 

Although it is the law that will be the main topic of the conference debates, it will be presented in an interdisciplinary manner. The starting point of the discussion will be the society in its anthropological dimension. Afterwards, the conversation will proceed to the intellectual and spiritual spheres, which have affected the way in which relations have been formed throughout the centuries of the Old Continent’s existence, as well as threats regarding that which, ironically enough, can reduce the law to a tool of destruction or simply one that does not protect the harmony of interpersonal relations to a sufficient extent, both in the case of individual states and the continent as a whole.

The context of the conference is the Mediterranean Sea basin, which was the point of origin of the Hellenic, Roman and Judeo-Christian cultures that have had the strongest impact on Europe and the rest of the world. The most vital culture was that of Rome, with its present and past heritage, all of which is a true chronicle of the rise to power and subsequent fall of a civilisation, the cradle of European identity and the origin of its cultural, political and legal foundations. The location where the conference will take place is the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum University, one of the finest European universities, inspired by the philosophy of one of the greatest thinkers of all time – Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The conference participants will consist primarily of lawyers and philosophers and will include several of the most outstanding contemporary thinkers and creators: Chantal Delsol, Christian Hillgruber, András Lánczi, Elisa Grimi, Ivica Žižić and Roman Joch, as well as other prominent individuals. The main part of the conference will be preceded by a day of reflection and concentration at the sanctuary of the patron saint of Europe, the St. Benedict Monastery in Subiaco.

The conference organisers are the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome and the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture. The event is addressed to people of science, and especially those who work in the fields of law, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics and ethics, as well as everyone who uses such knowledge in professional and social activities, thereby contributing to the process of building the foundations of the modern world.

The event is particularly aimed at students of all state and private papal universities in Rome, as well as anyone willing to travel to the Eternal City from other parts of the continent.

This conference is born out of concern for the future of Europe, which must rediscover its identity and place it on sound foundations built of permanent, unchanging and eternal values in order to survive. Being aware of their existence, as well as having knowledge of them is in the best interest of both present and future generations.

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Roman Joch

Chantal Delsol

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski 

SER Mons. Artur Miziński 

Christian Hillgruber

Tymoteusz Zych

Jarosław Krzewicki

Luigi Troiani

Jerzy Kwaśniewski

Paweł Lisicki

Jonathan Price

Elisa Grimi

Artur Kotowski

Alejandro Crosthwaite

Ivica Žižić

 SER Juan Ignacio Arrieta

Krzysztof Szczucki

Benjamin Harnwell

Łukasz Warzecha

Joanna Lemańska

Beata Kempa

András Lánczi 

Grzegorz Górny


Holy Mass for the inauguration of the Conference will be celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica at the Altar of St. Sebastian (Tomb of St. John Paul II) on 28/11/2019 at 8:45.   The service will be presided and the sermon will be given by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

Friday, 29  November 

9.00 Reception

9.30 – 14.oo


Leader: Padre Alejandro Crosthwaite

1. Jaroslaw Krzewicki, The influence of Christianity on the development of law in Europe

2. Jonathan Price, Are consent, equality, and autonomy sufficient to secure the rule of law?

3. Paweł Lisicki, Why are we still losing? Christians' battle for natural law.

Coffee break

Leader : SER Mons. Artur Miziński 

4. Elisa Grimi, Is an axiology free law possible?

5. Luigi Troiani, Politics and law in EU: between legitimacy and praxis.

6. Tymoteusz Zych, Human rights exploited against man? The consequences of misconceptions about human dignity.

Lunch – 14.00

15.00 - 18.00


Leader: Łukasz Warzecha

1. Roman Joch, Natural Rights, Liberal Democracy, and Legal Positivism.

2. András Lánczi, Contemporary problems in lawmaking.

3. Artur Kotowski, Problem of law interpretation.

4. István Kovács, Human rights -  solid foundation or attractive fiction?

Coffee break

4. Beata Kempa:  Axiology of law and democracy

5. Jerzy Kwaśniewski, Axiology of law – universal norms in times of ever-changing standards.

6. Joanna Lemańska, Problem of applying the law on positivist grounds, judge's dilemmas, judicial paradoxes.

Saturady, 30 November

 9-30 – 14.00 


1. Chantal Delsol, "After christendom"

2. Ivica Žižić, Quale ethos per l’Europa ? Alle radici cristiane della cultura europea.

3. Christian Hillgruber, Human dignitas a legal concept. A contribution to european culture.

Coffee break

Leader : Grzegorz Górny

4. SER Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Reform of the law by Pope Francis.

5. Krzysztof Szczucki, Axiology and ethics at the base of lawmaking .

6. Benjamin Harnwell. Weakness of law, liquidity of borders - life under protection.

7. Bartosz Zalewski, Discovery or creation of law? Between law and politics. 

Lunch, 13.00


Work in groups:

1. Contemporary problems of the philosophy of law - postpositivism or  the renaissance of natural law theories? 

2. Protection of life from conception to natural death - challenges and  perspectives. 

3. Between the throne and the altar. Christian involvement in promoting  the axiology of law. 

4. Protection of family in international law - does Europe need the  Convention on the Rights of the Family?



Please Support Us

Why did The Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture together with the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in Rome take the effort to organize a large, interdisciplinary event called “The House on the Rock – Axiology of Law for the Europe of Tomorrow”? Because we believe Europe must rediscover its identity and return to the unchanging and eternal values that have guided Europe and Europeans through the centuries, making the world what it is today. 

It is a fundamental condition for Europe to survive. Being aware of their existence and having knowledge of those core values is in the best interest of both present and future generations. Our aim is to mark a starting point for future European generations and to disseminate the conclusions of the conference. This is why we made participation in the conference free of charge. We hope that will enable the participants to be with us for the duration of this remarkable event.

At the same time, we must stress that Ordo Iuris is a non-governmental organization, fully financed by private donors. This means that the costs of the conference and hosting its participants are covered by donors on an ongoing basis. Fixed costs of the event are only partially covered.

However, we estimate that overall cost, together with variable costs depending on the number participants, could exceed EUR 55 per person. It is essential for the success of the event to pay for the speakers’ flights and accommodations, technical support, translations and catering.

If you are able, we would greatly appreciate your donation of EUR 55 to help us cover all the costs of this unique conference. Thank you in advance for your donation. Here are ways you could make your donation:

In behalf of The Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, we thank you once again for your support.

Download promotional materials

Feel free to download and use promotional materials of the conference.

At this LINK you can download leaflet in english, italian and polish for both print and digital use.