Thursday, February 15, 2018

"International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation;" ESIL Research Forum at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

I am happy to pass along information about an upcoming research forum that promises to be quite interesting.  The European Society of International Law Research Forum, International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation, will be hosted by the Hebrew University of Jersulam's Faculty of Law. It is sponsored by ESIL, the International Law Forum of the Hebrew University and the Hebrew University Faculty of Law. The organizing committee included Prof. Christina Binder, Prof.Tomer Broude, Prof. Pierre d’Argent, Prof. Guy Harpaz, Prof. Moshe Hirsch, Prof. Yuval Shany, Prof. Yael Ronen

The Research Forum brings together a marvelous group of scholars considering issues of the moment. Research Forum Concept Note and Program follow below.  Also of interest the ESIL Board Statement justifying an event in Israel.

International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation

2018 European Society of International Law Research Forum - 28 February - 1 March 2018
Hebrew University Faculty of Law, Jerusalem, Israel
Call for Papers: International Law in Times of Disorder and Contestation 

The ESIL Research Forum is a scholarly conference that promotes engagement with research in progress by members of the Society. It has a small and intensive format. The Forum targets in particular scholars at an early stage of their careers, especially advanced PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. Approximately 15 - 20 papers will be selected from among the submissions and, during the Forum, paper presenters will receive comments on their papers from members of the ESIL Board and invited experts. 

The 2018 Research Forum addresses challenges to the international legal order emanating from dynamics of disengagement from multilateral governance, a perceived erosion of support by states and other stakeholders in existing international institutions, contestation of universal values, shifts in hegemonic power at the global and regional level, and the rise in populist, antiliberal, anti-institutional and isolationist political sentiments in various regions of the world. Such processes occur in tandem with growing concerns about the suitability of the existing international legal structures and approaches to address global phenomena such as migration, cyber-security threats and climate change, and to influence the conduct of non-state actors such as corporations. It is the combination of the ‘re-emergence of the state’ from out of the shadows of multilateralism and international governance, a growing discontent and backlash from multiple sectors of society directed against existing international norms and institutions and the limited ability of the latter to address serious contemporary problems, which generate a sense of crisis and a possible plunge towards world disorder (Although, it may also be claimed that the current state of affairs creates new opportunities for introducing much needed reforms in international law). 

The deadline for submission of abstracts has passed. The organizing committee is currently considering the applications it received. The decisions of the organizing committee will be published as soon as possible.
Organizing Committee:
Prof. Christina Binder, Prof.Tomer Broude, Prof. Pierre d’Argent, Prof. Guy Harpaz, Prof. Moshe Hirsch, Prof. Yuval Shany, Prof. Yael Ronen. 

Pre-conference activity
Tuesday, 27/2/18
15:00 Study Tour: Jerusalem and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
18:00 ESIL Side Event: Practicing International Law in a Conflict Zone         
Wednesday, 28/2/18
9:00-13:00 IG Programs + Masterclass session (parallel sessions)
11:30-13:00 Masterclass session: Larry Helfer (Duke) - Treaty Exit and Intra-Branch Conflict at the Interface of International and Domestic Law – How to Develop a Research Agenda?
Conference Activity
Opening remarks - Luis Hinojosa (Granada), Michael Karayanni (Hebrew), Yuval Shany (Hebrew)
Keynote Speaker – Basak Cali (Koc/Berlin)
15:30-17:00 Panel I – International Adjudication in Times of Backlash
Chair – Luis Hinojosa (Granada)
Henry Lovat (Glasgow) - International Tribunal Backlash: A Pluralist Approach
Johannes Hendrik Fahner (Luxembourg) - International Judicial Deference as Response to Backlash
Salvatore Caserta (Copenhagen) and Pola Cebulak (Amsterdam) - Regional International Courts in Times of Crisis
Commentator - Pierre d’Argent (Louvain)
17:30-19:00 Panel II – Contestation against the Implementation of Human Rights
Chair – Christina Binder (Vienna)
Raffaela Kunz (MPI Heidelberg), Domestic Courts and Constructive Contestation in the European and the Inter-American Human Rights Systems
Ramute Remezaite (Middlesex) - Explaining compliance with ECtHR Judgments in New Member States of the South Caucasus
Andrea Carcano (Milan) - A new obstacle to Human Rights Protection: The Vulnerability of the Democratic State in Times of Globalization and Populism
Commentator – Yaël Ronen (Hebrew/Sha’arei Mishpat)
Conference Dinner
Day II – 1/3/18
9:00-10:30 Panel III Law making in a Changing Landscape
Chair – Mykola Gnatovsky (Kyiv)
Bryan Druzin (Hong Kong) – Strengthening International Institutions in a Time of Global Disorder by Haarnessing the Network Power of Soft Law
François Delerue (Scineces Po) - Cyber International Law: Transformation or Decline of the Norms of International Law?
Yahli Shereshevsky (Michigan/Hebrew) - Back in The Game: The Reengagement of States in International Humanitarian Law Making 
Commentator – Moshe Hirsch (Hebrew)
11:00-12:30 Parallel Sessions 
Panel IV – Legal Responses to Violence   
Chair – Guy Harpaz (Hebrew)
Asli Ozcelik-Olcay (Glasgow), The Role of International Law in Peace Negotiations: Certainty, legitimacy, malleability
Shiri Krebs (Deakin)When More Information Means Less [Shared] Knowledge: Experimental Data on the Impact of Legal Investigations on Wartime Controversies in the United States and Israel
Chatch Khamphet (Kiel) –Easing Rohingya Refugee Crisis: A Westphalian Approach to Counter Refugee-Generating Policy
Commentator – Maria Issaeva (Threefold, Moscow)
Panel V – International Courts and Their Quest for Legitimacy
Chair – Fulvio Palombino (Naples)
Jens Theilen (Kiel), The European Court of Human Rights as the Knight of Faith: Expelling Sociological Legitimacy from the Field of Human Rights
Zuzanna Godzimirska (Copenhagen) - Discursive Legitimation of International Courts
Nino Tsereteli (Masaryk) - The European Court of Human Rights and Legitimacy Management in Times of Change
Commentator – André Nollkaemper (Amsterdam)

Lunch Break and Poster Session: Benedetta Cappiello (Changing Things so Everything Stays the Same, the Protection of International Values Through National Policy); Dana Burchardt (The Idea of Separation of Powers and the Current Backlash against International Courts); Felix Lange (Withdrawal, Non-Bindingness, Regional Layering and Constitutional Identity -  Challenges to Multilateral Treaties from South Africa, the United States, India and Germany); Relja Radović  (A Changing Jurisdictional Framework of Investment Treaty Arbitration: Quo Vadis?); Sean Butler (Whose Vision of World Order? Normative Contestation of the ‘Global Constitutional Framework’); Tamar Megiddo (Reports of its Death have been Greatly Exaggerated: The Role of International Organizations in Mitigating Fragmentation); Dmitry Kurnosov (Electoral Rights before the International Courts: An Invitation for Backlash?)
14:00-15:30 Parallel Sessions
Panel VI – International Law and Economic Crisis
Chair – Tomer Broude (Hebrew)
Alexandra Hofer (Ghent) - Reconsidering international law’s enforcement in times of disorder and contestation
Lys Kulamadayil (Geneva) - Stabilizer, Servant and Seductress: How the Bretton Woods Institutions Use Law
Vladislav Djanic (Amsterdam) - Governance in International Investment Law in Historical Perspective
Commentator – Anne van Aaken (St. Gallen)
Panel VII – The Limits of Adjudication
Chair – Andreas Paulus (Goettingen)
Manuel Casas (Yale) - The Existence of a Dispute, Functional Justiciability, and Jurisdictional: a Means of Avoiding Backlash Against International Judicial Institutions?
Jed Odermatt (Copenhagen) - A Political Question Doctrine in International and Regional Courts
Anna Facchinetti (Pavia) - Domestic Courts and the Defense of Shared Fundamental Values
Commentator – Larry Helfer (Duke)
16:00-17:30 – Panel VIII – Human rights in a changing context
Chair – Ganna Yudkivska (ECHR)
Ximena Soley and Silvia Steininger - Inter-American Lessons on Backlash
Damian Gonzalez (Sheffield) – The (Monetary) Value of Suffering in International Human Rights Law: An Empirical Study of Reparations for Non-Pecuniary Damage in the Americas
Emma M.B. Nyhan (Florence) - Generating Indigenous Peoples: The Global Knowledge Production of International Law Concepts and Categories in Context and the Significance of the Transnational
Commentator – Fay Pazartzis (Athens)
18:00 Closing Session



The ESIL Board and ESIL as a whole take very seriously concerns about organizing events in states which have engaged in serious violations of international law. However, the Board does not support academic boycotts of such countries as a general policy, and more importantly of our colleagues in such countries.

In accepting the proposal of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law to organize the Research Forum in Jerusalem on the premises of the Law School, the Board was and continues to be careful to ensure that the organisation of such an event cannot be perceived as ESIL endorsing the Israeli occupation of Palestine or any violation of international law. In particular, while taking into account the reputation of the local individual organizers as some of the foremost scholars of international law and human rights law in Israel, the Board decided that no Israeli government officials will take part in the event, and that no part of the event would take place in occupied territory.

The Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University in which the Research Forum will take place is not occupied territory. On that basis, the University is eligible to receive research grants from the European Union, under the relevant EU policy. As the European Commission explained, “The place of establishment of the Hebrew University is within the 1967 lines. Therefore, as long as the funded activity also takes place inside the 1967 lines ... the grant application will be considered eligible”. The ESIL Board felt that the same approach was warranted here, and that it could take the views of the EU on equivalent matters into account. The Board appreciates that there are those who argue for a total academic boycott of Israel, but again it felt that it would not be appropriate for the Society to adopt such a policy.

The whole matter of the organization of the Jerusalem Research Forum was debated at the ESIL General Assembly during the Naples conference in September 2017. At that meeting, the ESIL President explained to the membership the Board’s approach and conditions for holding the research forum in Jerusalem. The Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed this position.

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