Thursday, May 23, 2013

Call for Suggestions: 2014 Joint ASIL Annual Meeting and ILA Biennial Conference

The American Society of International Law and the American Branch of the International Law Association have issued a call for suggestions for a joint conference, which will comprise the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law and the 76th Biennial Conference of the International Law Association. The conference theme is "The Effectiveness of International Law." Here's the call:

The Effectiveness of International Law

International law today touches on nearly every aspect of our lives, from the price of practically everything we purchase, to the health of the environment that surrounds us, to our ability to communicate seamlessly worldwide. These encounters serve as daily reminders that, as Louis Henkin famously put it, “almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time.”

Yet at the same time, there are regular reminders that not all nations, groups, or individuals observe all principles of international law or all of their obligations all of the time. International law violations such as human rights abuses, trade law breaches, and law of armed conflict violations remain all too common.

When, how, and why is international law most effective? Are there greater challenges to effectiveness in some areas of international law practice than in others? If so, what are they, and how can they be addressed? What role do domestic and international courts play in enforcing international law and thus enhancing its effectiveness? Does the increasingly intertwined transnational economy offer tools that may be used to enforce international law against states and individuals, or does it instead make international law more vulnerable by making evasion of national authority simpler? Do the challenges facing international law vary in different parts of the world, and, if so, how might those challenges be met? What role do non-state actors—non-governmental organizations and corporations chief among them—play in making international law more or less effective? And what role should they play?

The 2014 joint ASIL Annual Meeting and ILA Biennial Conference will address these questions.

Program Suggestions Sought

In April 2014, the American Society of International Law and the American Branch of the International Law Association, host of the 76th Biennial ILA Conference, will join forces to convene a joint ILA Biennial and ASIL Annual Meeting. A joint Program Committee, made up of members of the ABILA, ILA, and ASIL and chaired by Oona Hathaway, Larry Johnson, and Fionnuala Ní Aolain, will organize the joint program (what is generally called at ASIL Annual Meetings the "program," and at ILA Biennial Conferences the "parallel program" that runs alongside the ILA Committee and Study Group sessions).

The Program Committee welcomes suggestions from practitioners and academics on a range of topics encompassed within the joint conference theme, "The Effectiveness of International Law." To view the theme statement, please click here. The Committee welcomes suggestions of both complete sessions and individual papers to be incorporated into sessions, including two sessions that will be dedicated to "New Voices."

The aim of the joint conference is to promote discussion of important topics by including a range of voices and perspectives. To this end, the Program Committee will draw on the submissions process as it identifies important topics and knowledgeable speakers. Drawing on members' suggestions, the Program Committee will create a program with the following goals in mind:

  • Ensuring coverage of a wide range of important topics of current interest.
  • Ensuring wide participation by individuals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives (for example, to the extent possible, including in each session both academics and practitioners, both women and men, and those of different nationalities and perspectives).
  • Ensuring a place in the program for some sessions organized by ASIL Interest Groups and ILA Committees or Study Groups.
  • Ensuring a vibrant exchange of ideas through the use of innovative program formats.
Please be aware that out of a desire to achieve these four goals, even if your suggested session is included in some form in the final program, it may differ significantly from the original suggestion, as to the framing of the topic, format, or speakers. The Program Committee will inform proposers by email about the status of their suggestion(s) by early September.

In order to suggest a topic or paper to the Program Committee, please complete the form by no later than Friday, June 21, 2013.