A conference on the theme of peace, revenge and war

University - 04 August 2022

In November, two study days in our Athenaeum

AIDEL Symposium 2022
November 23-24

As part of the research initiatives undertaken by the university on the theme of peace (overcoming conflictuality), the annual conference of the Italian Association of Law and Literature 2022 (AIDEL) will be held on November 23-25 next, entitled "Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell": Peace, War, Revenge, and the Law. Scholars from leading national and international universities will discuss the relationship between revenge and law, which has been often the object of literature.

Revenge represents the ancestral form of righting wrongs. The logic of revenge anthropologically permeates not only the relationships between individuals, but also those between human communities. Often war is merely a form of retaliation/vindication against wrongs, real or presumed, suffered by those who resort to it. The development of the legal system represents, already according to the oldest reconstructions (ne cives ad arma veniant), a tool to neutralize the circle of revenge, and ensure peace.
In the context of the legal system, the offended person agrees to entrust institutions with the task of appeasing his or her sense of justice, to the extent that this coincides with the social sense of justice transfused into law. Many rules of international law and numerous constitutions, including the Italian constitution, choose non-bloody means of resolving international disputes, starting with the activity of international organizations, such as the UN, precisely to prevent the use of war as an act of retaliation.
However, literature and the arts warn us that even in legally evolved societies the instinct of revenge survives. The relationship between law and revenge can be reconstructed, then, not only in terms of alternation, but also in terms of coexistence and competition. The rules of vengeance may compete with those of positive law, giving rise to situations of legal pluralism, which are not uncommon even in colonial or post-colonial non-European contexts. State law itself, on the other hand, as well as international law, can legitimize forms of retaliation that allow the offended to legally inflict suffering on the offender.
Rather than the sterilization of revenge, legal systems seem, thus, to aim at a juridification of revenge that ensures its coexistence with other, conflicting and higher goals, starting with peaceful coexistence among individuals and peoples.

The conference is organized with contributions from the Departments of Humanities and Business, Law, Economics and Consumer Affairs.
The event is recognised by the Order of Lawyers of Milan as an activity for Continuous Training.

The event will be held in English and is open to the public. To participate fill in this form

Download here the leaflet of the meeting.
Download here the programme