International Legal Profession

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Re-enacting ourselves: academic behavior in research seminars

This blog is about two similar events: one in Amsterdam, the other in Florence. Both events looked like a normal research seminar. We booked a room, circulated a paper in advance, we arranged a discussant and a chair. A paper was presented and comments and questions followed. It was also meant as a normal seminar, except for one thing: it was not. This was a re-enactment of a typical research seminar.  The focus was not on the paper, nor on the comments or questions. The main focus was on the behavior of the participants. What happens if we take an ironical distance towards our own behavior in research seminars? What happens if we adopt roles of typical academics and re-enact them in a staged research seminar? Why did we choose to do this? It all started with a question from a first year’s PhD candidate. An obvious and legitimate question-- and yet it came as a surprise.  “How should I behave in research seminars, conferences or workshops?” I was puzzled: How to answer a…

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A Brechtian Way of Mooting

This year, international legal education reached a (cinematic) milestone. The documentary film African Moot (Shameela Seedat, African Moot, 2022) was showcased at the international documentary festival HotDoc and entered several other film festivals across the world. The film follows a group of law students who take part in the annual African Human Rights Moot Competition. The audience…

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Self-Constitution of Mankind without Constitutional Constructivism?

Philip Allott’s recent essay on EJIL: Talk! criticized power-oriented conceptions of ‘international law among sovereign states’ that privilege the self-interests of governments and contribute to the ‘collapse of global government’. His description of international relations as ‘a lawless world’ and ‘a legal wasteland in which those involved in events and transactions can pick and choose among competing…

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Still Losing: A Short History of Women in Elections (and By-Elections) for the UN International Law Commission

On 12 November 2021, the UN General Assembly held the sixteenth regular election for the International Law Commission (ILC). As the Assembly extended the mandate of the current members until the end of 2022, in response to the exceptional situation created by the pandemic, the newcomers, numbering 18, will have over a…

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Closing the Gaps: Pre-Deployment Role of the Military Legal Adviser

As US involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes to an end after twenty years, it is worth taking stock of how things stand in relation to the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). This law serves dual purposes: military necessity (which permits measures which are necessary to fulfil a legitimate military purpose provided they are…

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