Monday, August 20, 2007

Conference: International Law Weekend 2007

The American Branch of the International Law Association will host International Law Weekend 2007, October 25-27 in New York City. The theme is "Toward a New Vision of International Law." (The program has not yet been posted.) Why attend?

The post-9/11 era has been one of great contestation for international law. Scholars and practitioners debate basic questions about the content and nature of public international law and how the political and judicial branches of the U.S. government should interact with it. At the same time, quite removed from these controversies, international law continues to develop and expand. Trade agreements and arbitral conventions, for example, play a critical role in facilitating the ever-growing business transactions across borders, and regional human rights institutions have expanded the protection of individual rights.

This simultaneity of conflict and routine occur against a complex legal, socio-political, economic, and cultural backdrop. Literature across different disciplines has attempted to grapple with the effects of globalization and the legacy of colonialism. Traditional accounts of international governance through sovereign equality have been supplemented by divergent accounts of the role of nonstate and substate actors.

Amid these uncertainties, International Law Weekend 2007 asks what it means to move towards a new vision of international law. How should scholars and practitioners engage the multiple conceptual and normative perspectives on international law? Are these contestations within international law new? How should academics, practitioners, and policymakers interact? How are generational shifts influencing this discourse? What is the role of interdisciplinary interchange? And, perhaps most important, what would progress in international law look like?