Conference “Contemporary state-church law” was held

From October 12 to 14, 2023, the third international scientific conference on state- church law was held in Budva. This year’s conference was held under the title “Contemporary state- church law”. As in 2015 and 2019, the co-organizers of this year’s international scientific conference were the Institute of Comparative Law  Belgrade and the Metropolitanate of the Montenegro and Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church, with the support of the Municipality of Budva.

The conference was opened by His Eminence, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral and Exarch of the Holy Throne of Peć,  Joanikije, President of the Budva Municipality Assembly Nikola Jovanović and director of the Institute of Comparative Law, prof.  Vladimir Colović.

In his address, Metropolitan Joanikije recalled the long legal tradition in these areas, as well as the medieval ideal of the symphony between state and church, which, in his opinion, appears in modern conditions as a model of cooperative separation of state and church.

The President of the Assembly Municipality of Budva, Mr. Jovanović, welcomed the participants of the meeting to the city of Budva with the wish that there will be no more religious discrimination against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, for which compliance with legal norms is a necessary prerequisite. Director of the Institute of Comparative Law, prof. Vladimir Čolović pointed out that we live in challenging times and expressed the hope that gatherings like these will contribute to calming down religious tensions and conflicts in the future. You can watch the official opening of the conference at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6R1srHiTr0&t=1076s

Almost 60 authors from 13 countries of the world took part in the work of the international scientific conference “Contemporary state – church law”. During three working days, authors from the USA, India, Germany, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary presentedtheir articles.

The first day of the meeting was devoted to topics from the legal theory, public law and autonomous church law. The presentations on the first day were opened by the doyen of state-church law, professor emeritus of the Faculty of Law of the University of Milan, Silvio Ferrari, who spoke on the topic “Freedom of religion in a weakened Europe – is it possible to turn a decline into a possibility?”. During the first day, researchers from the Institute of Comparative Law also presented their articles, namely: prof. Vladimir Đurić, editor of the proceedings and conference, with the topic “Churches and religious communities as legal entities of public law”, Vasilije Marković, assistant editor, with the paper “Conceptual comparison of the „political question“ and „religious question“ doctrines – the autonomy of churches and religious community and the scope of judicial control”, as well as Assoc. Prof.  Miroslav Đorđević, who presented a co-authored work with  Miloš Stanić, on the topic “State symbols and the secularity of the state within the framework of European states”. The entire recording of the session devoted to the legal theory, public law and autonomous church law is available at the following links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIMyjXwiTjY&t=1806s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEYbKZwS780&t=2s

The second working day of the conference was devoted to comparative law, historical foundations and international aspects of freedom of religion. The session was opened by another doyen of this scientific discipline, prof.  Gerhard Robers from the Faculty of Law of the University of Trier who spoke on the topic “Cooperation between the State and the Church – German and European perspective” as well as prof.  Elizabeth Clark from Birgam Young University in the USA, who presented the paper “Legal position of religious communities in the USA”. From the Institute of Comparative Law, within legal history session prof.  Samir Aličić presented the  topic “On the role of the Church and the Empire in the Serbian tradition in the light of Roman law”, and within the international law session, Milica Matijević presented a co-authored paper on the topic “A few lines about the non-derogatory character of freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the concept of absolute human rights”, written with Ana Zdravković, as well as Vesna Ćorić’s co-authored paper on the topic of “Freedom of religion or belief in the internal and external policies of the European Union” written with Ana Knežević Bojović. You can watch the recordings of the comparative law, legal history  and international law sessions at the following links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9AXHMCv65A&t=5373s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbrVy7B1ZlI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZDOJUALsEY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GMoFK85IAA

The third and last working day of the “Contemporary State-Church Law” conference was dedicated to freedom of religion and digital technologies, criminal law and various private law disciplines (real law, commercial law, insurance law and family  law). From the Institute of Comparative Law, within the unit dedicated to digital technologies and freedom of religion, the co-authored paper “Church, digital technologies and the metaverse – pleas for the necessity and method of legal regulation” written by prof.  Jelena Ćeranić Perišić and Aleksandra Višekruna, was  presented by prof. Ćeranić Perišić. As part of the private law session, researchers from the Institute presented their articles: prof. Vladimir Čolović on the topic “Status of property of church endowments”, Iva Tošić on the topic “Insurance of religious buildings – challenges and possible solutions”,  Mirjana Glintić on the topic “Challenges in the regulation of organizing religious trips as an economic activity of churches and religious communities”, Ivana Radomirović on the topic “Res sacrae – legal status and legal protection” as well as Oliver Nikolić and  Ana Čović on the topic “The influence of the crisis of religion on the weakening of the patriarchal family”. You can view recordings of presentations from the third day of the conference at the following links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfDBfDOsCyk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5HiFvdtOSQ&t=1s

Presentations during all three days of the conference were followed by an interesting and fruitful discussion, and after the working part of the conference, an excursion and tour of the Podlastva Monastery near Budva was organized for the participants.

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