2022 Multidisciplinary Form on Longtermism and the Law



Event Date: 

06/9/22 to 06/11/22

Location name: 

University of Hamburg, Germany


University of Hamburg and Legal Priorities Project

Humanity has seen improvements in quality of life over time resulting from advancing knowledge, economic growth, and stronger institutions, among others. These developments have also led to technologies that threaten the existence of future generations. We have long been aware of the dangers of nuclear weapons and climate change to the long-term future of humanity; however, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we are not prepared to tackle many of the greatest existential threats. Whether or not we address these and other risks will drastically affect the well-being of both present and future generations. Though our actions (and inactions) may have historically unique consequences for humans living hundreds or even thousands of years into the future, their rights and interests are rarely represented in current political and economic systems.

The University of Hamburg and the Legal Priorities Project are co-organizing the 2022 Multidisciplinary Forum on Longtermism and the Law on 9-11 June 2022. The guiding theme of this Forum is the role of law in sustaining and improving life hundreds or even thousands of years into the future. The Forum is planned as a hybrid event, with participants unable to attend in person at the University of Hamburg having the option of presenting virtually.

We invite proposals for papers from researchers of various disciplines to be presented at the Forum. Participants are encouraged to consult the research agenda of the Legal Priorities Project on the foundations of legal longtermism and promising research avenues. Of particular interest are submissions that address legal mechanisms to protect future generations or engage with the regulation of existential risk, either in general or as a result of advanced artificial intelligence, runaway climate change, synthetic biology, and pandemics. We welcome and highly encourage submissions that consider creative ways to tackle issues on the theme of Longtermism and the Law.

Submission Instructions and Notification

Interested participants should submit an abstract of not more than 500 words and their biographical information by 15 February 2022 via the Apply page. Applicants will be notified of our decisions before 10 March 2022. At the selection stage, we intend to provide preliminary feedback to selected applicants, when doing so would improve their contribution to discussions on law and longtermism.

Conference Fee and Travel Funding

There will be no conference fee for successful applicants. Travel funding may be available for a limited number of applicants who are not eligible for reimbursement by their home institution.

Blog Symposium

Successful applicants will be required to produce a blog post setting out the main arguments to be presented at the Forum. Blog posts are to be no more than 1500 words and finalized by 10 May 2022. The top posts will be published on Verfassungsblog as a Blog Symposium on Longtermism and the Law.


After the presentations and discussions at the Forum, applicants are invited to submit a full-length paper by 1 November 2022 for publication in an edited compilation with a reputed publishing house and/or a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. Final papers might be workshopped further as part of a mini-workshop or sent for peer review in preparation for publication.