Conferences & Events


The Minerva Center for Human Rights at Tel Aviv University was established with the primary purpose of effecting social change and developing awareness towards human rights in both the academic and public spheres.


Over the years, the Center has hosted, co-hosted and participated in dozens of conferences and events, covering a wide range of topics that are at the heart of human rights law and policy development. 


Below is a prtial list of such events.


The Minerva Annual Lecture Series on Human Rights

An important cornerstone for TAU's Minerva Center was the establishment in 2003 of the Minerva Annual Lecture Series on Human Rights, which has brought pioneering intellectuals to Israel to discuss human rights. Among them:

  • Prof. James Loeffler, "The Small End of the Shofar: Reimagining Human Rights History" (2018/19 Academic Year).

  • Prof. Jennifer Nedelsky, “A Relational Approach to Rights: Reflections on Responsibility for Rights Violations” (2012/13 Academic Year).
  • Prof. John Milbank, "Do Humans Have Rights?" (2011/12).
  • Prof. Ulrich Beck, "Global Inequalities and the Human Rights Regime" (2010/11).
  • Prof. Seyla Benhabib, “Another Universalism: On the Unity and Diversity of Human Rights" (2007/8).
  • Prof. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights without Foundations” (2006/7).
  • Prof. Jon Elster, “Terrorism and Civil Liberties” (2005/6).
  • Prof. Michael Walzer, “Beyond Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights in Global Society” (2004/5).


Conferences & Workshops

The Minerva Center for Human Rights organizes and conducts a variety of theme-based conferences and research activities throughout the academic year.

Among these are a series of national and international group meetings which are formed around a specific theme concerning human rights, and typically meet twice every year. These events consist of informal workshops which allow scholars to exchange their initial ideas.

The workshops are then followed by public conferences (held six to twelve months later), in which participants have an opportunity to present their full research papers. The joint projects are usually co-sponsored by the Center and a collaborative institute with at least one meeting taking place in Israel.


Other activities include various academic and public meetings hosted in collaboration with different departments in the University, as well as with other universities and human rights organizations in Israel.



Author Meets Readers in Human Rights and Political Theory

In 2004, the Center established another influential series for the human rights community in Israel: The Author Meets Readers in Human Rights and Political Theory, which each year invites one or two internationally-renowned guest speakers to discuss, in an informal setting open to the public, their recent writing in the field of political theory and human rights.

In 2005, Dr. Naama Carmi presented her book on the Palestinians’ right of return and Akiva Eldar and Edith Zartal presented their book on settlements in the occupied territories. The series continues to run today.



Transnational Conferences on Corporate Responsibility for Involvement in the Holocaust

Founded as an Israeli-German collaboration, the Minerva Center for Human Rights is strongly committed to bringing together scholars from Israel, Germany and elsewhere, in order to promote study of corporate social responsibility, which is aimed at heightening Holocaust knowledge and awareness, and seeking to empower victims and survivors. So far, the center has held three conferences on the topic.


The first conference (16-18 December, 2012): “Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations: A New Relationship between Law and History?” brought together jurists and historians from Israel, Germany, Canada and the US in order to address the issue of corporate liability for human rights violations in a transnational sphere.


The Second conference (11-12 December 2013), explored the relationship between corporations’ internal structure and various regimes of legal responsibility. The conference focused on the works of historians and historical commissions on business involvement in the Third Reich and the normative, institutional, and procedural implications of this research for legal thinking on corporate responsibility for human rights abuses.


The third conference ( December 2014). Lessons from Transitional Justice in Israel/Palestine. The conference was built on a year-long academic collaboration between students and researchers from Israel, Palestine and South Africa who participated in an intensive two-week summer school on transitional justice at the University of Johannesburg. At the conference, international and local scholars shared perspectives on current transitional justice theories and practices that could shed light on a possible transitional justice process for Israel/Palestine. In the concluding panel students presented papers based on their research during the summer school and received comments from leading transitional justice scholars from Germany, Switzerland, the U.S., South Africa and Israel.

Forum on Law, Globalization and the Transnational Sphere

The Center hosts a unique Forum which explores the tension between the public and private spheres in light of the changes experienced in the transnational era.


The Forum's aim is to foster dialogue among scholars exploring this tension from various legal fields (e.g. corporate, criminal, constitutional, administrative, tort, procedure, international, contract, labor law, etc.), as well as to formulate new questions in relation to this tension and to assess the adequacy of existing analytical tools.


The meetings provide an arena for exchange between senior and junior scholars, and generate fertile dialogues among diverse perspectives.


The Forum is organized around three related projects: monthly meetings under various formats (paper, round table, guest lecturer, etc.), graduate student research groups (i.e., funding for individual research projects and specialized workshops with the participation of senior faculty members), and faculty research grants, with a strong emphasis on scholars from outside of Israel.


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