Call for Papers: International Law Association (British Branch) Annual Conference – April 2013

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The  International Law Association (British Branch) has issued a call for papers its 2013 spring conference which will be on the following theme:

The Changing Face of Global Governance: International Institutions in the International Legal Order

Venue: University of Oxford

Date: 12-13 April 2013

The Conference Keynote Address and Inaugural Oxford Global Justice Lecture will be delivered by:

by Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel


The conference will explore the changing nature of international institutions and their impact on international governance, international law-making and law-enforcement. International institutions have become ‘a kind of superstructure over and above the international society of States’ (Mosler, 1974, referring specifically to international organisations). In the past, the content of the term ‘international institutions’ was by and large exhausted by reference to international organisations. However, the term comprises today not only traditional intergovernmental organisations but includes an expanded range of formal and informal institutions of global governance. The conference will explore the full range of international institutions, including international judicial and quasi-judicial organs, which—even when they are (subsidiary) organs of an international organisation—have acquired a life of their own; conferences of parties with wide-ranging powers over the interpretation and application of international treaties; compliance mechanisms; hybrid organisations which provide vital content to generic provisions of international treaties; a system of international criminal justice diffused in States and complemented at the international level; non-governmental organisations; informal networks of regulators, and so forth.

Papers will examine the role of international institutions in making, developing, interpreting, applying and enforcing international law and thus shaping the legal landscape of international and transnational interaction in a globalised world. The conference theme explores the multifarious impact of ever-present international institutions on international law, both by querying their impact in the areas of law-making and law-enforcement and by tracing their presence and importance in ‘sectoral regimes’ of international law, ranging from the law of armed conflict to international economic and investment law, through to the global environment.


Submissions are invited for papers within the conference theme. That theme is broad enough as to encompass any type of international institution that has an impact on the creation, interpretation, development, and enforcement of international law.

Two areas of enquiry are envisaged:

(i) To what extent is the nature and form of international institutions changing? What is the law regulating the operation of such international institutions? What is the ‘international institutional law’ according to which they operate, and at the same time, what is their impact on our traditional understanding of international law-making and law-enforcement?

(ii) What is the nature and impact of international institutions in specific areas of international law? We invite papers on the nature and impact of institutions in the areas of international economic and investment law, international law and security, international environmental law, international human rights and humanitarian law, the international law of the sea, and international criminal law, among others.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words; they should be submitted by 15 January 2013 to ila2013oxford {at} gmail(.)com.

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