Conference / Meeting

The Use of Human Rights Language in International and EU Law

XXI Conference of Young Scholars of International Legal Studies
5 December 2024
6 December 2024
Palazzo di Giurisprudenza - Via Verdi 53, Trento
Sala Conferenze Fulvio Zuelli
Target audience: 
Reserved meeting
Contact person: 
Chiara Tea Antoniazzi e Caterina Milo


The annual Conference of Young Scholars of International Legal Studies (Incontro di studio tra giovani cultori delle materie internazionalistiche) has taken place in Italy since 2003 and offers a critical discussion forum for doctoral students, early career academics, and young legal professionals. The XXI edition of the Conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Law of the University of Trento and will be held in the context of the Horizon Europe’s project HRJust (

The Theme for the XXI Conference

Over the last decades, human rights have progressively informed the international and EU legal debate. Notwithstanding waves of political pushback and doctrinal contestation, leading to talks of a ‘post-human rights era’, human rights today appear more alive than ever.
The title of the Conference purposefully refers to broad concepts such as ‘use’ and ‘language’ to capture the pervasiveness of human rights in all its ramifications. The complex nature of the use of human rights language is apparent not only in the many forms that it may take but also in the actors behind it and the objectives that they pursue. Furthermore, the Conference aims to discuss the effects, both in law and in practice, of the use of human rights language. Indeed, whether the widespread use of human rights language in international and EU law can represent a lodestar for cross-fertilization among legal sectors may be questioned. Broader legitimacy questions also arise. Is the language of human rights fully a language of empowerment for disenfranchised individuals and communities, or is it still rooted in Western and hegemonic conceptions? Can new uses of human rights language result in abuses, distorting human rights’ essence, and are there any remedies against such potential abuses?

Call for papers

Applicants are welcome to submit unpublished proposals related to the theme of the Conference. Critical and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 20 June 2024. The call for papers is attached.

PDF icon Call for papers (PDF | 252 KB)