Call for Papers: Public International Law, International Criminal Law & International Human Rights Law: A Critical Evaluation of the Scholarship of Professor William Schabas

Written by

From: Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Senior Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland & Prof. Joshua Castellino, Professor of Law & Head of Law Department, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom.

Over the last half a century the discourse of public international has been enlivened by a growing emphasis on international human rights law, spawning robust debate and discussion, and also the creation of an imperfect system of accountability for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. In the last two decades in particular, the scholarship and activism of Professor William Schabas has had a significant impact on the growth and direction of the normative frameworks around these subjects. In addition through his own engagement in different theatres, Professor Schabas has also contributed to the spread of implementation models worldwide, and has supervised a growing number of successful doctoral contributions that have further enhanced the quality of the debate. His sterling role on the Sierra Leone Truth Commission is but one manifestation that that his contribution has spread well beyond the realms of the classroom: recognition that is also reflected in the bestowal of the Order of Canada upon him for his contribution to human rights.

On the occasion of his 60th year, we are seeking contributions from scholars, practitioners, judges and others that critically engage with the published contributions of Professor William Schabas. We seek this in the belief that the best testament to a scholar is a critical engagement with their work. We therefore invite contributions of between 8,000 and 10,000 words, in English or French that critically assess the work and impact of Professor Schabas’ writing. The book is likely to be published by Cambridge University Press and will therefore adhere to the house style of that publisher, with further details provided with the invitation letter to those whose abstracts have been accepted. The range of topics that we anticipate include: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the creation and functioning of the International Criminal Court, the death penalty, the concept of reservations to treaties, norms of jus cogens, minority rights, religion and human rights, truth commissions, reparative justice and  other topics including literature and human rights.

To be considered for publication we request interested authors submit a 500 word abstract, outlining the general thrust of their contribution and highlighting the aspect of Professor Schabas’ scholarship that will be engaged. This abstract should be sent to either of the two editors by the 1st of October 2011. The abstracts will be vetted by a panel of hand-picked editors who are familiar with the work of Professor Schabas, with potential authors informed of the acceptance of their abstract by mid December 2011. Since this is a competitive call for papers, we intend to enforce a strict deadline on the submission of full papers, which will be due on the 1st of May, 2012. The submissions will be peer-reviewed by our esteemed editorial board with feedback to the authors within six weeks of submission. Those considering this call for papers are welcome to have an informal discussion with either of the two editors.

Detailed Timeline

June 2011                    Publication of the call for papers, distributed widely through email lists and through the Society of Legal Scholars (UK) and similar subject bodies abroad

October 2011             Deadline for detailed abstracts, to be vetted at first instance by us, with the assistance of the editorial panel.

December 2011        Feedback on Abstracts and issuance of invitations for full papers.

May 2012                     Deadline for the full papers, which will be sent out the panel for refereeing and comments.

July 2012                      Formal feedback to authors, requesting any suggested changes.

October 2012             Final deadline for papers, with the submission forwarded to Cambridge University Press two weeks later.

Editorial Board

We have engaged a formal panel of editors who are familiar with Professor Schabas’ work and will be able to assess contributions and make suggestions to writers. These include: Professor Andrew Clapham (Geneva), Professor Francoise Hampson (Essex), Professor Douglas Cassel (Notre Dame), Professor Dinah Shelton (George Washington), Professor Christine Chinkin (LSE), Professor David Scheffer (Northwestern), Professor David Wippman (Minnesota), Professor David Kretzmer (Hebrew U), Professor Diane Marie Amann (UC Davis), Professor Emmanuel Decaux (University Panthéon-Assas Paris II), and Professor Alain  Pellet (University Paris Ouest).

Contact Details

Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Senior Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland. Tel: +353 92 49 3799 E: Kathleen.Cavanaugh {at} nuigalway(.)ie; Prof. Joshua Castellino, Professor of Law & Head of Law Department, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 208 411 4735 E: J.Castellino {at}

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