Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Call for Papers: Does International Law Mean Business: A Partnership for Progress?

The organizers of the 2008 Annual Conference of the British Branch of the International Law Association, on which I posted yesterday, have issued a call for papers directed at younger scholars and practitioners. Here it is:

The 2008 annual conference of the British Branch of the International Law Association will be held on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th May 2008 at the offices of Clifford Chance LLP in Canary Wharf, London. The theme of the conference will be: "Does International Law Mean Business: A Partnership for Progress?".

As is traditional, the conference will follow a programme mixing plenary sessions with concurrent panels of speakers. This Call for Papers is designed to encourage young members of the Branch (those aged 35 years and under during the academic year 2007-08, i.e. 1st September 2007-31st August 2008) to submit a proposal for a paper to be delivered on one of the panels. A list of panels and a brief accompanying summary of the issues to be addressed by them is attached. This is not the definite programme and the information attached is for general guidance only.

Any eligible member wishing to speak on a topical subject within the themes should submit a synopsis (350-600 words) of their proposed presentation no later than Monday 3rd March 2008 at 5pm. The synopsis should provide an outline of the proposed paper and should, inter alia, identify the thesis to be advanced, and the major issues to be addressed. Proposal submissions should be accompanied by a short c.v. (no more than 2 pages).

All papers should be sent in the first instance by email to Rebecca Wallace (Director of Research, ILA British Branch) at The proposals will then be considered by members of the conference programme committee, in consultation with the officers of the Branch. The outcome of the review will be intimated not later than 21st March 2008.

Given the conference theme, a broad range of submissions is being sought from those in the academic community, be they students, doctoral candidates or teachers, as well as from legal practitioners of international law and related subjects.

Requests for further information should be directed in the first instance to:

Rebecca Wallace (; or Mary Footer(


Panel 1: International Law and the Bottom Billion

This Panel will consider theses advanced by Professor Paul Collier in his recent book, The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) and, in particular, the role international law might play in improving the lives and prospects of the bottom billion (the poorest and most oppressed of the world's populations).

Panel 2: International Law and Business

This Panel will consider the interaction and possible interdependency of international law and business. Why is international law relevant for business (and vice versa)? How might international law adapt to embrace business as both a rule maker, and a rule taker? How can international law assist in harnessing the resources of business towards lifting the bottom billion out of poverty and distress?

Panel 3: The Race for Resources

As the world's resources come under greater pressure and increasing demand, how can international lawyers deal with the three challenges of scarcity, sustainability, and security? Is international law presently capable of preventing future resource conflicts? Can international law moderate the race for resources so that it does not exacerbate the plight of the most vulnerable populations of the world?

Panel 4: Money and Governance

This Panel will examine the role of donor governments and intergovernmental organisations in achieving effective governance in fragile and post-conflict states. It will also examine recent international law initiatives aimed at combating corruption and recovering misappropriated assets. How can investment in developing economies and post-conflict states (whether donor-led or private) be made more effective?

Panel 5: Current Human Rights Challenges

This Panel will explore a number of topical human rights themes relevant to the peoples of the world's poorest countries, or countries in conflict: including, for example, displacement of populations; immigration and refugee issues; child labour; human trafficking.

Panel 6: Dealing with Climate Change

This Panel will look at: the ways in which climate change is affecting the world's poor; and how businesses are responding to climate change. Is the private sector assisting the search for sustainable solutions? Can business play a role in forging consensus for a post-Kyoto regime?

Panel 7: Trade and Poverty

This Panel will examine the indications of stalemate in the Doha Development Round and the shift of focus towards the elimination of poverty, and towards trade policy coherence amongst the major international financial institutions and the World Trade Organisation.

Panel 8: Security Issues in a Post-Conflict Environment

This Panel will cover a range of issues including the international law dimensions of the fragility of borders in a State-centric system; the role of private security in post-conflict situations (and accountability dilemmas that arise from that role).

Panel 9: Foreign Direct Investment and Human Rights

This Panel will seek to answer the question, how can the protection of foreign investors' economic interests be reconciled with the promotion and protection of the human rights of local populations?

Panel 10: Is Transnational Law Eclipsing International Law?

This Panel will examine whether public international law has kept pace with globalisation; in particular, has it adequately responded to the emergence of new global, but non-State, actors? Or, is transnational law the "truly international" law? What lessons are there for international lawyers in studying the development of transnational law?