The University of Belgrade Faculty of Law

is opening a
for the international conference

(Un)fit to rule: themes of acceptance and rejection of rulers throughout history 

to be held on October 26th-28th, 2022

In 2022, it will be 700 years since King Stefan Uroš III Dečanski ascended the Serbian throne in 1322. It was not a simple succession, though: he had unsuccessfully rebelled against his father, King Stefan Uroš II Milutin in 1314, and, as punishment, he was blinded and exiled. He was thus believed no longer to be a candidate for the throne, but his vision was ‘miraculously’ restored and he managed to conquer the throne after his father’s death. This anniversary presents an occasion for a comparative overview of requirements for a ruler – or, from a different angle, circumstances that made a person unfit to take the throne or govern a country.

Physical and mental disabilities, gender, religion and nationality, even such intangible issues as personal charisma and honour, could be and have been disqualifying circumstances in various countries and periods, that either prevented a person from ascending a throne or, upon emerging during one’s rule, led to their overthrow. Yet what was a legally binding disqualification in one legal system could be a mere practical inconvenience in another, and no serious obstacle at all in a third. Numerous examples can be found, and it is their analysis and comparison that is the aim of this conference. For more information, please consult the full Call for Papers at the conference webpage ( and Facebook page

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