Monday, November 23, 2015

Call for Papers: International Legal Advice and Decision Making in Times of Crisis

The Interest Group on Peace and Security of the European Society of International Law has issued a call for papers for a panel proposal for ESIL's 12th Annual Conference, in Riga. Here's the call:

IGPS Interest Group Agora Proposal

International Legal Advice and Decision Making in Times of Crisis

The title of the Agora would be ‘International Legal Advice and Decision Making in Times of Crisis’. The Agora would explore how International Law shapes decision making in times of crisis and indeed how international law is shaped by times of crisis. The Agora would explore this aspect primarily through case studies of actual conflicts, where Governments have either acted to respond to an armed attack or initiated an armed attack.

Examples that papers might canvass include:

  • the US response to the 9/11 attacks
  • the decision by Western Governments to intervene in Iraq
  • the Rules of Engagement under which various UN peacekeeping operations have been conducted in places like Srebrenica, Rwanda or the Congo, or
  • the response to the Paris attacks.

In particular, we are seeking papers that analyse how international law shaped the ultimate decisions taken by Governments or how Governments have acted to shape international law in response to a crisis. This could include how international law may have acted to contain options or how a crisis led to an active or passive reshaping of international law.


Papers will be considered by a co-ordinator on behalf of the Board of the Interest Group on Peace and Security, which would ultimately consider and approve paper proposals.

To be considered for this Agora please submit an abstract in Word or PDF of no more than 400 words to The following information must be provided with each abstract:

  • the author’s name and affiliation
  • the author’s email address
  • whether the author is an ESIL member, and
  • whether the abstract should be considered for the ESIL Young Scholar Prize.

The following selection criteria are drawn from the criteria for acceptance to the ESIL annual conference:

  • originality and innovativeness of the work
  • links to the conference theme
  • geographical and gender balance
  • only one abstract per author will be considered.

Abstracts will also be selected on the additional basis of their alignment with the description and objectives of the Agora. Inquiries about the Agora may be directed to

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 18 December 2016. Applicants will be informed of the decision on the proposed papers for the Agora no later than 25 January 2015. The Interest Group on Peace and Security will then submit the proposal for the additional Agora to the ESIL conference organisers by 31 January 2016. We expect to receive a response by 31 March 2016, which we will then subsequently communicate to the Members of the Interest Group.

Interest Groups are unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference. Please see the call for papers and the ESIL web site for information on finances and for other relevant information about the conference.