Natural Law and Direct Democracy

Natural Law and Direct Democracy

4. Scientific conference Neuchâtel,

Hôtel Alpes et Lac, Place de la Gare 2, Hall

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9:00 to 16:30

The fourth scientific conference of the Research Institute direct democracy ( focuses on new research findings, which illuminate the importance of natural law for direct democracy. For some time, Christian and modern natural law has been ignored as a scientific basis for democracy and human rights. In schools and universities, natural law is introduced as just one more “approach“ and often seen in contrast to “modern and progressive worldviews“. With postmodernism and ahistoric approaches, however, historians and other scholars try to bring  in a „post-democratic“ and “transnational“ era. Such approaches usually lead away from a personal image of mankind and create the basis for antidemocratic to sometimes totalitarian tendencies.
After having closer looked at the “trilogy“ of political and religious influences on direct democracy (Catholicism, liberalism, Utopian socialism), with the issue of “natural law“ the Research Institute would like to start a series of conferences dealing with the theory of direct democracy .



welcoming adress

  9.45 Uhr

Dr phil René Roca, Head Research Institute direct Democracy


  9.50 Uhr



10.00 Uhr

Dr phil René Roca: “The significance of natural law for direct democracy in Switzer- land“


10.45 Uhr


Panel 1


The tradition of natural law in Switzerland


11.15 Uhr


lic phil M.A. Moritz Nestor: “Emer de Vattel and the school of natural law in Frenchspeaking Switzerland”


12.00 Uhr

Dr. phil. René Roca: “Wilhelm Snell and his young school of law”


12.45 Uhr


Panel 2


natural law today


14.15 Uhr

Dr phil M.A. Christian Machek: “natural law thinking based on common good (according to Johannes Messner) as a basis for democracy”


15.00 Uhr

Prof Dr Joachim Höfele: “On the currency of natural law in our time”


15.45 Uhr

Speakers and audience (end: 16.30)



Outlook and discussion





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