ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 28 februari 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS: The International Court of Justice at 75: an Assessment (Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, DEADLINE: 15 April 2022)

Image source: MPF website


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) commemorated the 75th anniversary of its inaugural sitting this past year. The Court was set up in the aftermath of the Second World War as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN), and has historically played a central role in both the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the development of international law. The function of the Court is twofold: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, through judgments which have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, legal disputes submitted to it by States; and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorised United Nations organs and agencies of the system.

Having been established by the UN Charter, the ICJ is constituted and functions in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (Statute). The institution and procedures established in the Statute and in the Rules of the Court have provided a fertile ground for the peaceful settlement of inter-State disputes throughout the years, which is indicative of the fact that the Court is the oldest permanent international dispute settlement body in existence.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN), the ICJ is competent for a great diversity of questions of international law. The Court has adjudicated over 140 disputes brought before it by States and examined around 30 requests for advisory opinions referred to it by various UN organs and specialized agencies. These include adjudication of border disputes, issues of use of force, the protection of human rights or disputes regarding cross-border environmental pollution, etc. In addition, having adjudicated on matters from all around the world, the ICJ is both regionally and geographically diverse in terms of its case law. The Court has also continued to evolve with time as it has “demonstrated that it is equipped to tackle cases relating to new areas of international law that have emerged and developed since its first sitting.”

In light of the 75th anniversary of the ICJ, we issue this special call for papers in an attempt to curate and feature submissions that critically engage with and examine the work of the ICJ throughout these years.

Keeping the ICJ as the central focus of this special volume, we have framed possible research areas for engagement and would welcome submissions that dwell on these issues, though these are by no means exhaustive and are simply intended to stimulate thoughts and contributions;

  • Procedural aspects of the Court such as membership, composition of judges, evidentiary issues, and treaty interpretation of specific provisions within the ICJ Statute.
  • Historical analysis of the work/jurisprudence of the Court from past to present.
  • Theorising the work of the ICJ from different perspectives of international law.
  • Interaction of the ICJ with other courts or judicial bodies.
  • Examination of thematic issues adjudicated by the Court such as jurisdictional challenges, environmental law disputes, human-rights claims, use of force, law of the sea, land and maritime delimitation, etc.
  • The future of the ICJ as a principal judicial organ of the UN, and its standing as a dispute settlement body for inter-State disputes.
  • The scope of the Court’s jurisdiction under particular treaties, such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
  • The growing importance of provisional measures in the Court’s case-law.
  • The advisory jurisdiction: uses and abuses.
  • The development of international law by the ICJ.

 Submission Guidelines

Considering the overall theme is wide and far-reaching, there are several sub-topics that can be curated within this edition. We invite anyone interested in contributing to this edition to submit at first instance, an abstract proposal of no more than 500 words by 15 April 2022. Given the breadth of this topic, we encourage authors to focus closely on a particular line of legal argumentation or a specific niche within this broader debate. Please note that we particularly value innovative and creative proposals that may advance the current legal/academic literature on the topic.

In your abstract submission, please include i) the working title; ii) the main arguments to be developed in the article; and, iii) a brief explanation on how the topic fits within the scope of the Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law. Please submit your proposal in a Word document, along with a short bio (max 100 words) in the cover letter delivered by email to Managing Editor, Sai Venkatesh, at

The usual length of an article featured in the Yearbook is between 8,000 and 12,000 words, though for this thematic forum, we are also open to receiving proposals of specific case notes with a shorter word count as well. Following a positive assessment of their abstract proposal, authors will be instructed to submit a full draft of their manuscript by 31 July 2022, which will then be placed through our internal review process for consideration of final publication

In addition to featuring manuscripts pertaining to the thematic scope of this volume, we will also be featuring selected articles that fall within the overall editorial line of the Yearbook. As such, we encourage authors to send in their proposals for consideration in accordance with the same deadline and requirements indicated above.

Read more on the website of the Max Planck Foundation.

dinsdag 22 februari 2022

BOOK: Michaël RIEPL, Russian Contributions to International Humanitarian Law: A contrastive analysis of Russia’s historical role and its current practice (Nomos, 2022)

Image Source: Nomos
Has Russia turned from “Paul to Saul” with regards to international humanitarian law (IHL)? This book aims to answer this question by contrasting the past and the present. Firstly, it offers a comprehensive account of the remarkable Russian contributions to IHL since 1850. Secondly, it analyses Russia’s current approach to IHL, drawing on a wide range of legislation, case law, diplomatic records, and military practice. Finally, the author contrasts the past and the present – not without embedding his findings in the changed context of our time. The book is aimed at international law experts as well as people interested in legal history. Its author is an IHL researcher and practitioner with extensive experience in the post-soviet world.
Read more on the publisher's website.

BOOK: Jenny BENHAM, International law in Europe, 700-1200 (Manchester University Press, 2022)

Image Source: MUP


Was there international law in the Middle Ages? Using treaties as its main source, this book examines the extent to which such a system of rules was known and followed in the period 700 to 1200. It considers how consistently international legal rules were obeyed, whether there was a reliance on justification of action and whether the system had the capacity to resolve disputed questions of fact and law. The book further sheds light on issues such as compliance, enforcement, deterrence, authority and jurisdiction, challenging traditional ideas over their role and function in the history of international law.

International law in Europe, 700-1200 will appeal to students and scholars of medieval Europe, international law and its history, as well as those with a more general interest in warfare, diplomacy and international relations.

Table of Contents:

1 The sources of international law: treaties
2 That which is practised on a daily basis: displacement of people
3 The rules consistently obeyed: redress, amnesty, and transitional justice
4 Justifying action: law, responsibility, and deterrence
5 Resolving disputes: arbitration, mediation, and third-party intervention

Source: Manchester University Press

maandag 7 februari 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS: Arbitration in Britain and its Empire: Developments and Divergences (University of London, 22 October 2022, DEADLINE: 30 April 2022)

Source: IALS
Arbitration in Britain and its Empire: Developments and Divergences
A symposium at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London
Organised by Francis Boorman (IALS), Christian Burset (Notre Dame) and Catharine MacMillan (King’s College London)
22 October 2022
10am to 6pm
Not all disputes in Britain and its Empire were resolved in courts in the period between 1600 and 1900; arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution were commonly employed during this time.  Although scholars have long recognised the importance of dispute resolutions which occurred outside formal court structures, historians and social scientists still struggle to understand these processes.  The frequently informal nature of arbitration has made it hard to identify and even harder to quantify.  These factors have, in turn, impeded efforts both to assess the changing importance of arbitration over time and to assess the relative importance of arbitration within Britain and Empire.  Historiographical silos create further obstacles as the histories of colonial law and of British and imperial arbitration have largely developed independently of each other; each silo provides only a partial view of alternative dispute resolution in Britain and Empire. This symposium will work to overcome these difficulties by bringing together scholars from a range of subfields and disciplinary backgrounds.
We invite applicants to reflect on the many ways in which arbitration (both private and court-sponsored) was used to end disputes in early modern and modern Britain, and its colonies and dominions. We encourage papers relating to the British Empire that, for instance, explore how British dispute resolution mechanisms were transplanted and reinterpreted in colonies and former colonies, or how local systems and traditions were adapted, disrupted, or otherwise affected by colonial administrators. We welcome papers that take a comparative approach, anywhere across a long and loosely prescribed period of 1600 to 1900.
The event will involve several panel discussions relating to the development and changing practices of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Successful applicants will be placed in panels of three to four and asked to give a short presentation, then reflect on the wider themes suggested by other speakers and the audience. The symposium will culminate with a plenary lecture. We are especially pleased to announce that the plenary speaker will be Professor James Jaffe of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who will give a lecture entitled ‘Crossing Borders, Crossing Cultures: Arbitration in India under the Company Raj and After’. Professor Jaffe has published important research into the history of arbitration in Britain and colonial India.
The event has arisen out of the arbitration history project based at IALS and will address themes related to arbitration, mediation and access to justice that are of historical interest and contemporary importance. This event will speak to the research interests of Derek Roebuck and Johnny Veeder, in whose memory the history of arbitration project is funded.
An important aspect of this symposium is that we hope it will interest and benefit graduate students and early career researchers.  We actively encourage participation of graduate students and early career researchers, and the attendance of students on taught postgraduates. The symposium will also be of interest to those practising law, particularly arbitrators.

• Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words along with a short cv of not more than one page to by 30 April 2022.
• Each speaker will have 20 minutes to present. Papers will not be pre-circulated. There will be time for questions and discussion at each panel.
• We will notify presenters of their acceptance by 3 May.
• Registration will cost £35, or £10 for postgraduates. This will include tea, coffee and a sandwich lunch at IALS.
• We are able to offer four travel grants of up to £100 each. Priority will be given to postgraduate students and early career researchers. Applications will be invited once the programme is confirmed.
• The event will allow time for further conversations and networking. We hope to have a reasonably priced dinner, for those who wish to attend.
• This event will be held in-person.  Should government or institutional rules prohibit in-person events, the event will be moved online.

CALL FOR PAPERS: International History and Diplomacy on the history of human rights and humanitanarism (Liverpool, 13 May 2022, DEADLINE: 4 March 2022)

We invite submissions for the fifth annual International History and Diplomacy conference, to be held at Liverpool John Moores University on 13 May 2022. Established in 2015, the aim of IHD is to provide an accessible, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating forum for doctoral candidates, early career researchers and established academics in which to showcase, reflect upon, and discuss their research findings within international history and diplomacy.
IHD’s 2022 symposium will explore the history of human rights and humanitarianism, broadly construed. We invite papers that address any aspect of the development of human rights and humanitarianism as concepts, from the rise of the international human rights movement to the response it generated among perpetrators of human rights abuses across the globe.  The organisers are particularly interested in papers that adopt international and transnational perspectives, including – but not limited to – those addressing the role of international organisations and non-state actors, the development of transnational networks, and the significance of actors in the Global South.
To this end, the conference organisers invite both twenty-minute paper proposals and complete panel submissions from postgraduates, early career academics and established scholars, as well as journalists, politicians, think tanks and those in related fields, on topics relevant to the conference. Paper proposals should consist of a 300-word abstract and a few descriptive key words. Panel proposals are expected to include a chair and consist of three papers and should be submitted by one person who is willing to serve as the point of contact. In addition to 300-word abstracts for each individual paper, panel submissions should also include a brief 150-word introduction describing the panel’s main theme. Proposals should be sent to the IHD email by Friday 4 March. Please indicate clearly alongside your submission whether the panel/presentation is conceived as an in-person or online session. Unfortunately we are unable to facilitate hybrid panels. Please note that proposals will be considered in accordance with IHD’s equality and diversity policy and all male panel proposals will not be accepted.
Decisions on inclusion will be made by Friday 11 March. Updates regarding the conference will be posted to the IHD website. There will be no fees for delegates. It is hoped that participants will be able to call upon their departments for any transportation and accommodation expenses.
Keynote Address: Dr Laure Humbert (University of Manchester)
Plenary Address: Dr James Crossland (Liverpool John Moores University)

Source: IHD

WORKSHOP: Discovering International Economic Thinkers (EUI, Zoom, 14-15th February 2022)

Source: EUI website

This workshop is part of an ERC-funded project devoted to the history of 20th-century international economic thinking hatched in the landscapes of multilateral organisations.

This workshop seeks to explore the roles and ideas of international economic thinkers, especially the women among them, who made unique contributions in these international settings to the struggles over the path of globalisation.

The category of international economic thinkers , actors who have not yet attracted systematic attention in the study of 20th century globalisation, includes better-known, ‘mid-level’ and ‘non-intellectual’ economic thinkers. Their work extends across a range of ‘distributional imaginaries’ and conceptions of international economic integration. International economic thinking therefore includes economic policy and economic problems broadly defined, including labour, social policy, welfare, and development. The workshop emphasizes thinking that takes place in or with intergovernmental organizations and international non-government organizations.

By focusing on these actors and ideas, our aim is to shift the discussion about 20th century economic globalisation and capitalism. Among the questions we want to ask are: Who are the international economic thinkers, what are their ideas, and how did these ideas move throughout international sites? What does the study of international economic thinkers tell us about the nature and role of international organisations as distinct sites of negotiations of imaginaries of global economic integration? How useful is the concept of international economic thinkers in opening new investigative paths into the history of globalisation and/or capitalism?

donderdag 3 februari 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS: Thinking the Unthinkable: Beyond International Law’s Imaginaries (University of Manchester, DEADLINE: 18 February 2022)

Image Source: University of Manchester, WILNET

The Women in International Law Network (WILNET) is holding a hybrid Emerging Voices Workshop on 25 & 26 April 2022 in Manchester, UK. The aim of the Workshop is to provide a platform to new voices in the field and showcase the important  research being undertaken that seeks to rethink international legal imaginaries. 

Law is a particularly powerful imaginary and we encourage submissions that unsettle orthodox thinking(/s) about international law, including thinkings that might present themselves as unconventional. Papers may adopt a variety of approaches, from doctrinal, theoretical, critical, empirical to historical perspectives. Applicants are invited to propose new imaginaries and go beyond well-established beliefs, languages, assumptions, or ways of thinking in international law, or else to critically reflect upon this call to think beyond current imaginaries. 

Papers might consider addressing, but are in no way limited to, questions such as: Does international law require a radical re-imagination today and if so, what would this look like? Can international law’s fundamental/basic legal categories make sense of contemporary institutional/ised practices, technocratic regulatory authority, and the deformalised and privatised exercise of power? Why do we persist with principles such as the ‘sovereign equality of states’ when much of the profession acknowledges the uneven distribution of power and resources, and where such principles serve only to hide imbalances? What is the power, if any, in challenging orthodox thinking? How does one go about thinking the unthinkable? Does the state-centricity of orthodox international law virtually secure its eventual decline/insignificance in a de-centred world or are there merits in sticking to formal law-making and state-centric conceptions of international law? What should come after critical scrutiny of orthdox thinking(/s) and is this exercise performative or useful at all to act upon the world? 

Participants will receive substantive tailored feedback on their research from commentators. If the proposal is accepted, participants will be asked to submit a 3,000 essay by 15 April 2022. These will be circulated among the workshop participants in advance to facilitate an in-depth discussion. Further guidance on the essay format will be sent to participants.

There is funding that can be made available to participants to cover local travel and accommodation for those attending in person. When submitting your application, please indicate whether you would be interested in receiving financial support to attend in person. Decisions about funding will be made by 24 February 2022. 

We welcome submissions from anyone who identifies as a woman. We define a ‘new voice’ inclusively, openly, and broadly. It includes anyone who is 5 years post-PhD, but we also take into consideration periods of leave, for example maternity, care, or sick leave.

Key Dates:

  • An abstract of no more than 750 words, together with a small biography of no more than 250 words, should be submitted by 18 February 2022 to
  • We will respond to the submissions by 28 February 2022. 
  • The authors of selected essays will be required to submit a 3,000 extended paper by 15 April 2022.
  • The hybrid workshop will be held on the 25 and 26 of April online and in Manchester.

This workshop was made possible thanks to support from the University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences Small Grants Competition 2021/22.

Organising Committee

  • Dr Işıl Aral (Koç University)
  • Dr Rumyana van Ark (T.M.C. Asser Instituut)
  • Dr Gail Lythgoe (University of Manchester)
  • Dr Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi (University of Manchester).
(Source: WILNET)