Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conference: The Individual and Customary International Law Formation

The Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington will host a conference on "The Individual and Customary International Law Formation," April 3-5, 2008. The program is not yet available online. Why attend?
At this exciting conference, we will explore the current disjuncture in customary international law that results in individuals being subjects of this category of law, but not legitimate participants in its formation. During a classical moment in international law, states were believed to have a monopoly on customary international law formation. This position was acceptable and accepted given the status states enjoy as the sole subjects of international law. The end of the twentieth century, however, was a period in which legal personhood was extended to a wider range of actors, including individuals. During this same period, individuals came to participate meaningfully in treaty-making in some key areas of international law, including human rights. Unlike in the area of treaty law, however, there remains no recognized opening in traditional customary international law doctrine for individuals to participate in the law-making process. Uncomfortable with this state of affairs, we plan to bring together some of the foremost scholars of customary international law to investigate whether the participation of individuals in the formation of this realm of law is desirable and practicable.