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A Critical Christmas Week

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

For many of us, the end of December leads into a bit of a winter break. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter solstice on 21 December – the days will be getting lighter and longer again (good news!). Many will celebrate Christmas in the upcoming days and weeks, whether on the evening of 24 December, on 25 December or on 6 January. For some it has a strong religious importance, for many it is simply a time for gathering with the family. In many places, Christmas is all around – even if one doesn’t celebrate. We thought we’ll do a bit of lighter posting in the last week before the break and take up some themes of the season. But international law is not only in the Northern Hemisphere – for international law, 21 December marks winter solstice just as much as summer solstice! And while the institutions of international law have their particular seat and history, their outlook and practice are supposed to be universalist: religiously neutral, culturally diverse. So how does international law relate to Christmas? We decided to explore this in … the Critical Christmas week.

In this symposium, you will find some reflections around Christmas and international law: its ideas and practice, how this particular holiday is treated in the schedules and operations of international institutions, how festivities around Christmas relate to animal rights and the environment, and more. We wish you – our readers and authors – a joyful and a peaceful end of the year 2021 and a merry Critical Christmas Week!

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