Call for Proposals, International Law Weekend 2011

by Peggy McGuinness

The American Branch of the International Law Association has a call for panel proposals for International Law Weekend 2011, which takes place October 20-22 in New York City.  The theme of this year’s ILW is “International Law and National Politics.” The call for proposals can be found here, and includes the following information about submissions, which are due to the organizers by Wednesday, May 4:

This year’s three-day conference will explore the intersection of international rules and norms and domestic politics and policymaking. To what extent do international standards influence the application and interpretation of national law including complimentary or countervailing policies sought by domestic policymakers, non-governmental actors and/or civil society? Expert panels and discussion sessions will examine these and other issues with regard to such diverse areas as human rights and humanitarian intervention, national security, immigration, trade, labor, health care and the environment.

The Co-Chairs of ILW 2011 are Professor Martin S. Flaherty, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, mflaherty17 [at] yahoo [dot] com, Sahra Diament of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, diament [at] un [dot] org, and Jill Schmieder Hereau, Program Coordinator at the International Law Students Association, jshereau [at] ilsa [dot] org. [Donald Donovan of Debevoise and Plimpton has also
joined as a co-chair.]

The Co-Chairs invite proposals for panels for ILW 2011. Please submit proposals by email to each of the Co-Chairs no later than Wednesday, May 4, 2011. The proposals should be structured for 90-minute panels, and should include a formal title, a brief description of the subjects to be covered (no more than 75 words), and the names, titles, and affiliations of the panel chair and three or four likely speakers. The proposals should also describe the format envisaged (point-counterpoint, roundtable, or other). One of the objectives of ILW 2011 is to promote a dialogue among scholars and practitioners from across the legal spectrum, so whenever possible, panels should include presentations of divergent views.

On a related note, students, faculty, and practitioners who are not already members of ABILA should consider joining.  In addition to access to ABILA publications, membership entitles you to special rates at ILW and the biennial ILA meetings.  Members of the ILA are also actively involved in drafting projects and studies along with the 45 other state associations.  Our friend Ruth Wedgwood is the current President of ABILA and passes along the following exciting information about ILA membership:

The studies of the ILA are enormously influential — see, for example, Maurice Mendelsohn’s study on Customary International Law, which has been widely cited by courts, including the International Court of Justice, and in the academic literature, with the unique authority of a group founded in 1873, that has truly international membership and international exchanges of views.

Over 25 members of the American Branch of the ILA have recently served on these international committees, including Professor Barbara Stark as chair of the ILA International Family Law committee, Christina Cerna of the ILA International Human Rights committee, Professor Linda Silberman as a U.S. member of the ILA International Civil Litigation committee, Professor Jim Naziger as chair of the Cultural Heritage Law committee.  and Coalter G. Lathrop as rapporteur of the Law of the Sea Baselines. Women have played a major role in the organization, with Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics as the current headquarters director of studies, Professor Catherine Kessedjian of the University of Paris as chair of the International Civil Litigation committee, and Professor Laurence Boisson de Chazournes of the Unversity of Geneva as co-chair of the Practice and Procedure of International Tribunals committee — alongside such eminent male-persons as former UK legal adviser Franklin Berman as chair of the Soft Law and International Investment Committee, and Professor Nicolaas J. Schrijver and Kamal Hossain as co-chairs of the UN Reform Committee.

There are also study committees of the American Branch itself, and its studies are published both in the biennial proceedings of the Branch and will soon be published on the web as well.  The American Branch director of studies is currently Professor Andrea Bjorklund of the University of California at Davis.

It’s a value-proposition, with lots of opportunity to break outside the bubble of American views of international Law.  Besides, the next Biennial ILA meeting in August 2012 is in Sofia, the pearl of the Black Sea.  The 2014 meeting is in Japan, and the 2016 meeting will be in Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact Ruth Wedgwood, at rwedgwood [at] jhu [dot] edu, or visit the American Branch web site at  Membership is $70 for new members for the first two years, which is divided between the American Branch and the London headquarters which supports the study activities.  See  For those who are able, the Branch also welcomes sustaining members at $200 per year.

3 Responses

  1. Christina Cerna is now Chair of the ILA International Human Rights Committee.  I, Cynthia Lichtenstein, keep the American Branch in very close touch with the ILA itself as I am now one of the 3 Vice Chairs of the ILA which is chaired by Jonathan Mance, a member of the U.K.’s Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords).  ..

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