Term Lectures

During the University term, the Centre holds Lunchtime Lectures on topical issues in international law given by leading academics and practitioners. Unless otherwise stated, lectures take place from 1pm–2pm with a sandwich lunch provided at the Centre from 12:30pm.

Where available, audio and video files of lectures are accessible within individual lecture profiles and via the University Streaming Media Service.

The Centre's lectures are kindly sponsored by Cambridge University Press.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Monitoring Implementation of the Decisions of the African Commission and Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights' by Professor Rachel Murray

Friday, 6 May 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: This lecture will examine how the African human rights bodies monitor implementation and compliance with their decisions/judgments and some of the challenges they face, as well as a consideration of what role other actors should play. Professor Murray will talk about this within the context of an ESRC project on implementation.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Law Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict' by Professor Dapo Akande and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard

Friday, 29 April 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summaryThe provision of life-saving assistance to people affected by armed conflict lies at the heart of humanitarian actors’ operations, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 lay down rules regulating humanitarian relief operations.  Despite this, this area of international humanitarian law has received limited attention, possibly because challenges in implementing relief operations tend to be operational rather than legal in nature.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Colombian Peace Process with the FARC and International (Criminal) Law' by Professor Kai Ambos

Friday, 22 April 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  After several years of negotiations the Colombian government and the oldest rebel organisation in Latin America, the FARC, agreed on the justice limb as the fourth and most important part of their negotiations. A preliminary (short) version of the agreement was published on 23 September 2015, and the longer document on 15 December 2015. This lecture will critically discuss these documents with a view to obligations under international (criminal) law.

Joint LCIL-CELS lecture by CJICL Young Scholar: 'Community Interest in International Energy Law: A European Perspective' by Dr Danae Azaria

Friday, 11 March 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: In 2009, in the midst of a harsh winter, populations in seventeen states, some of them EU members and others situated in the Balkan region, were left without gas and heating for thirteen days owing to a dispute between Russia and Ukraine concerning exports and transit of gas. The international press reported numerous deaths due to cold temperatures. All states involved were bound by treaty obligations regarding transit, imports and exports of gas: under the Energy Charter Treaty and/or the WTO Agreement. While the international responsibility of Ukraine or Russia was not formally invoked, this crisis has had an unprecedented influence on European energy policy and law, and has triggered the conclusion of a number of treaties between EU member states and third states concerning transit pipelines with a view to diversifying energy supplies. It has also raised awareness of the impact of interruptions of energy transit/exports on markets and human populations.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Leading the reform of the global investment regime? The EU’s approach towards international investment law' by Prof. Markus Krajewski

Friday, 4 March 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The global investment regime is subject to a fundamental reform debate and may witness a significant paradigm change in the years to come. In its 2015 trade policy “Trade for all”, the EU claims to be “best placed (…) to lead the reform of the global investment regime, as its founder and main actor.” In this respect, the October 2015 proposal for an investment protection chapter in TTIP is an important first concretization of this goal.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Rise and Rise of Legitimate Expectations: A Reflection on Sources and Development of International Investment Law' by Dr Martins Paparinskis

Friday, 26 February 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  29 May 2003 is the date of the first confirmed siting of legitimate expectations as an element of obligations in international investment law: the award of the ICSID Tribunal in Tecmed v Mexico. On the point of legitimate expectations, the award is long-winded, largely self-referential, and unpersuasive -- all qualities, one might think, of a legal argument that will have little influence on the development of international law.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Use and Abuse of Analogy in International Humanitarian Law' by Professor Kevin Heller

Friday, 19 February 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Over the past decade, the United States has consistently filled gaps in the IHL that applies in non-international conflict (NIAC) by analogizing to rules of IHL that apply only in international armed conflict (IAC). This presentation critically assesses that practice in the context of targeting and detention, arguing that international law permits applying IAC-based rules of IHL to NIAC only by convention or custom. It thus argues that the U.S.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? Transitional Justice and the Effacement of State Accountability for International Crimes' by Professor Laurel E. Fletcher

Friday, 12 February 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  If international atrocity crimes are acts so egregious that their impunity cannot be legally tolerated, why don’t we punish states that commit them? The rise of international criminal law is celebrated as an achievement of the international rule of law, yet its advance effectively may come at the expense of holding states accountable for their role in mass violence. Transitional justice has emerged as the dominant normative framework for how the international community responds to mass violence.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The UK and Allegations of War Crimes in the Occupation of Iraq: A Failure of Accountability?' by Professor Andrew Williams

Friday, 5 February 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Since 2003 there has been sustained but haphazard legal examination of the conduct of British forces during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Significant numbers of allegations of unlawful killing and abuse have been raised and are the subject of various government instituted processes of investigation.

LCIL Friday Lecture ' “Shioki (Control)”, “Fuyo (Dependency)”, and Sovereignty: The Status of the Ryukyu Kingdom in Early-modern and Modern Times' by Professor Masaharu Yanagihara

Friday, 29 January 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The status of the Ryukyu Kingdom after 1609, when the islands were conquered by the Satsuma Clan from Japan, is profoundly puzzling and ambiguous, seen from a contemporary viewpoint. The Ryukyu Kingdom continued to deliver tribute to China every two years, to have a Ryukyu house at Fuzhou in China, and to receive Chinese envoys of investiture at the coronation of new kings at Naha, the capital of Ryukyu.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Can Behavioral Economics Inform International Legal Theory?' by Professor Anne van Aaken

Friday, 22 January 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  “What is law and what distinguishes law from other social practices?" “Is international law law?” “How (well) does international law influence state behavior”? Those questions are connected, especially if we integrate psychological insights. Examining whether international law is law first requires one to figure out all the ways in which legal systems must be capable of affecting behavior to be law. H.L.A. Hart wrote a “sociological theory” of law, but a psychological theory is still missing.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Can Courts Promote Democracy in an Era of Global Governance? The Case of the Mega Regionals' by Professor Eyal Benvenisti

Friday, 15 January 2016 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  This talk will examine the potential for and limits of the promotion of global interests by national and international courts. The talk will begin with the suggestion that the judicial function is inherently "community minded" because its legitimacy depends on consistency and hence judges must look beyond the specific parties and take broader interests into account. Moreover, in a fragmented legal space, judges look beyond the particular dispute when they take part in developing secondary "rules of recognition" that have general applicability.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Structuralism and International Legal Thought' by Dr Justin Desautels-Stein

Friday, 27 November 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Twenty five years after the first publication of Martti Koskenniemi’s From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument, the book remains a mystery for much of the international legal community. Sometimes regarded as the pinnacle of nihilistic legal theory, while at other times perceived as a paradigmatically ivory tower affair, From Apology to Utopia is often seen as useless, if not a real danger to the international rule of law. These conventional views of the book are, I will argue, mistaken.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Judicial Law-Making at the International Criminal Courts: Experimenting with General Principles of Law' by Dr Neha Jain

Friday, 13 November 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Imagine that an accused before an international criminal tribunal has been charged with the crime against humanity of murder and admits his commission of the offence. He argues that he has a defense because he acted under duress. The text of the Statute establishing the tribunal is silent and says nothing about the possibility of the defense of duress. How should the matter be resolved?

LCIL Friday Lecture 'International Economic Courts and the Protection of Cultural Heritage' by Professor Valentina Vadi

Friday, 6 November 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Economic globalization and international economic governance have spurred a more intense dialogue and interaction among nations—potentially promoting cultural diversity and providing the funds to recover and preserve cultural heritage. However, these phenomena can also jeopardize cultural heritage. Foreign direct investments in the extraction of natural resources have the ultimate capacity to change cultural landscapes and erase memory; trade in cultural goods can induce cultural homogenization.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Arms Trade Treaty: Achievements, Failings, Future' by Professor Laurence Lustgarten

Friday, 30 October 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The Arms Trade Treaty, the first global legal instrument in history devoted to regulating the trade in conventional arms, came into force in December 2014. It was the product of more than a decade of campaigning, and of two separate sessions of hard negotiation and compromise. This talk will examine the multiple objections to the arms trade that led to the movement for international legal regulation; look at the major areas of dispute between key States in the negotations; and then cast a critical eye on the central provisions of the Treaty.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Legal Idealism and Global Administration' by Professor Patrick Capps

Friday, 23 October 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  What is noticeable about both the positivist and Kantian conceptions of global law is that the sovereign state is the institutional locus for legal authority. For this reason, both must reject that much global administration is an authoritative form of law. Much global administration lacks consent on the positivist model, and Kant worried greatly about the proliferation of bodies that could interfere with the carefully drawn moral relationship between citizens and the republican states that govern them.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Does transitional justice affect democratic institution-building' by Prof. Chandra Lekha Sriram

Friday, 16 October 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Transitional justice (TJ) processes have been in operation for over three decades, and practices have expanded globally. One of the foundational claims about transitional justice is that it can help countries which are transitioning from authoritarian rule or armed conflict to build more democratic states. But empirical and historical evidence supporting this claim remains limited and inconsistent.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'An International Community: Is there any such thing?' by Dr Stephen Neff

Friday, 9 October 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The lecture will be on the question of whether the states of the world form a mere aggregation of independent entities, or whether they can be considered, instead, as fellow members of a single community. I.e., whether international law is best seen as a set of rules of conduct for each state to adhere to “on its own,” or whether it is best seen as a civil code for the governing of a civil society.

'Balancing the Principle of Complementarity between International and Domestic War Crimes Tribunals' by Dr Mark S. Ellis

Friday, 8 May 2015 - 2:00pm

The drafters of the ICC’s Rome Statute, foresaw what would become the main challenge to the Court’s legitimacy: that it could violate national sovereignty. To address this concern, the drafters added the principle of complementarity to the ICC’s jurisdiction, in that the Court’s province merely complements the exercise of jurisdiction by the domestic courts of the Statute’s member states. The ICC honours the authority of those states to conduct their own trials.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Interpreting Crimes in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court' by Dr Leena Grover

Friday, 8 May 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The first permanent international criminal court is governed by the Rome Statute, which defines more than ninety crimes under international law – genocide, other crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. How these crimes are interpreted contributes to findings of individual criminal liability and moreover affects the perceived legitimacy of the Court. So how should these crimes be interpreted? Broadly, so that violations of internationally recognized human rights are captured?

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Investment Tribunals and Human Rights' by Professor Ursula Kriebaum

Friday, 1 May 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  This lecture explores the uneasy relationship between investment arbitration and human rights. Observers have criticized the paucity of references by investment tribunals to human rights documents. What are the reasons for this reluctance to engage in a discussion on human rights? Is investment arbitration the proper forum for the pursuit of human rights? Is there a need to change the current practice and if so, how?


LCIL Friday Lecture 'Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction – a survey of recent developments' by Chanaka Wickremasinghe

Friday, 24 April 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  This lecture will consider the importance of immunity in the maintenance of international relations and the structure of international law, before looking at how it relates to other areas of the law, including the development of international criminal law and the protection of human rights. It will look at the progress on the this topic that the International Law Commission has achieved to date, and consider what courses may be open to it in its future work.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The South China Sea Disputes and the Law of the Sea' by Dr Vasco Becker-Weinberg

Friday, 13 March 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Over the years, as a result of overlapping claims, disputes in the South China Sea between coastal States regarding the exercise of rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction have increased, particularly with respect to the exploration and exploitation of non-living marine natural resources. The ongoing disputes have not prevented certain States from undertaking seabed activities, which have often lead to confrontation.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The immunity of States and international organizations in the face of employment disputes: the new human rights dilemma?' by Dr Philippa Webb

Friday, 6 March 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  At the end of 2014, it appeared that there was little hope for an exception to State immunity for grave violations of human rights. A succession of decisions by international, regional and national courts – Jurisdictional Immunities (ICJ), Jones v UK (ECtHR) and Kazemi v Iran (Supreme Court of Canada) - rejected the existence of such an exception under customary international law.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'International Law and World War I' by Professor Oliver Diggelmann

Friday, 27 February 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The lecture will focus on two main topics. Can international law be regarded as an "underlying cause" of World War I in the sense of the Thucydidean distinction between immediate and underlying war causes? It will be argued that the specific alliance between "ius ad bellum" and "social darwinism", the lack of personal responsibility of political and military leaders and the functioning mode of reprisals substantially contributed to a war-prone constellation. The second focus are the legal key topics that came up during the war.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Access to justice: revolutionizing the role of women' by Dr Ilaria Bottigliero

Friday, 13 February 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  One of the most important elements of the corpus of international human rights law is ‘access to justice’ because it conditions the extent to which any person can enforce their human rights. But what does ‘access to justice’ really mean? For women and girls, the poor, migrants, minority and marginalized communities, and other disadvantaged sectors in developing countries, serious cultural, religious, legal, social and institutional barriers make access to justice an empty concept.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Strategically Created Treaty Conflicts and the Politics of International Law' by Dr Surabhi Ranganathan

Friday, 6 February 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture Summary: Dr Ranganathan will present her newly published monograph Strategically Created Treaty Conflicts and the Politics of International Law (CUP 2014). The monograph calls attention to the fact that small groups of powerful States have often sought to coerce and capture multilateral legal regimes by creating treaties that conflict with them.

'The Law as to Reciprocity in Asymmetrical Warfare' by Professor Robbie Sabel

Thursday, 5 February 2015 - 3:00pm

Lecture summary:  The lecture will examine the general principles and rules as to reciprocity in international law. There will then be an analysis of the role, if any, of reciprocity in International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Particular emphasis will be placed on the issue of reciprocity in asymmetrical military conflicts between regular armies complying with IHL and irregular combatants who do not comply with the rules. There will be a discussion on issues such as the rules of distinction between civilians and combatants and the use of "Human shields."

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Challenges to Arbitrators' by Professor Stefan Kröll

Friday, 30 January 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  In recent years the Investor State Dispute Settlement System has come under serious attack. One of the main criticism concerns the arbitrators deciding the cases, who are often accused of being inherently biased towards investors. Consequently, the rules on challenging arbitrators play an important role for the legitimacy of the whole system.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Mixed Commissions, the Slave Trade and International Criminal Legal Histories' by Dr Emily Haslam

Friday, 23 January 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Histories of international criminal law typically trace the discipline’s origins to the legal principles established in the post-world war II Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals. The transatlantic slave trade and international abolition are conspicuously absent. International abolition generated extensive litigation in the nineteenth century, including with regard to the limits of intervention against suspected foreign slave ships and criminal responsibility for slave trading.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'On the Siren Song of Sui Generis: Customary law, humanitarian law, and the ILC' by Professor Robert Cryer

Friday, 16 January 2015 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The International Law Commission is currently studying customary international law. To this end, its Rapporteur, Sir Michael Wood, has issued two significant reports on point. These have displayed for the most part, a preference for the traditional ‘two box’ approach to the formation, evidencing, and identification of customary law. In the first report, Sir Michael raised the possibility that the identification of customary international humanitarian law or criminal law might be subject to different approaches to other areas of international law.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'TTIP, CETA, TPP and the Post-Bali WTO: Toward a New World Trade Order?' by Professor David A. Gantz

Friday, 28 November 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Should two economic super-powers (the European Union and the United States) enter into a comprehensive trade agreement—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership—that agreement will have a potentially significant impact on the parties’ other trading partners and on the WTO’s membership more generally. The TTIP carries the considerable allure of expanding an economic partnership that accounts for almost 50% of global output, a trillion dollars in annual trade (about the same as NAFTA), $4 trillion in investment and 13 million jobs.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Science and international environmental law: a meeting of minds, or two disciplines worlds apart?' by Jolyon Thomson

Friday, 21 November 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:   Looking at international processes for the use of science in international environmental law, Jolyon Thomson will consider the significance of scientific data in treaty development and will ask which of the two disciplines is playing catch up.

Jolyon Thomson is a Deputy Director and Head of the International and EU legal team in Defra Legal Advisers in the UK Government.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The particularities and effects of the use of BIT State - State Dispute Settlement in Investor –State Dispute Settlement' by Dr Blanca Gomez de la Torre

Friday, 14 November 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: After the Tribunal in the Chevron II Case had issued its final award, the Republic of Ecuador sought to persuade the United States to issue a joint interpretation of Art 2(7) of the Ecuador-USA BIT as regards denial of justice.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Principle of Due Diligence: A Core Principle of International Human Rights Law?' by Lorna McGregor

Friday, 7 November 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  In a series of recent cases in regional human rights courts, the principle of due diligence appears to have finally overcome the restraints of the Osman case to become a principle capable of preventing and protecting individuals and groups in positions of vulnerability from abuse and discrimination by third parties. The principle is also frequently advanced when examining states' obligations for the acts of corporations although less frequently in relation to third states.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Power of Process: Procedural Fairness in Security Council Decision-making' by Dr Devika Hovell

Friday, 31 October 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Dr Hovell will discuss the problem with formalist approaches to the development of a procedural framework for Security Council sanctions decision-making. By examining the values underlying due process protections, it becomes clear that the preferred procedural framework for sanctions decision-making is not the court-based process that many lawyers advocate.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'International Law's Objects' by Dr Jessie Hohmann

Friday, 24 October 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The legitimacy and authority of international law have traditionally been considered in terms of its normative and regulatory frameworks, its subject areas, subjects and politics. Cases, treaties, and volumes of academic writing are the legal sources through which most of us working in international law relate to the subject and, at times, we might feel these texts are our major project and output.

Yet international law has a rich existence in the world. International law is often developed, conveyed and authorised through objects or images.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The Changing Structure of International Law and Its Normative Consequences: International IP Law as an Example' by Dr Holger Hestermeyer

Friday, 17 October 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Much like international law as a whole, international intellectual property law has undergone significant structural changes since its inception. The presentation will conceptualize these changes as a fundamental paradigm shift: an initially sparsely regulated field with minimal obligations focusing on non-discrimination has turned into a densely regulated area of international law. The development of international IP law thus to some extent mirrors the development of international law as a whole, albeit with an accelarated time frame.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'The internationalization of energy law' by Professor Catherine Redgwell

Friday, 10 October 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The importance of international law in the field of energy has continued to grow over the last decades.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Big Brother's Little Helpers: Corporate Responsibility under Human Rights Law and Intelligence Gathering' by Dr Yael Ronen

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Following the revelations on the extent of intelligence gathering through internet service providers, this lecture concerns the responsibility under international human rights law of internet and communication companies involved in disclosure of personal data to government authorities. Received doctrine provides that corporations are not legally responsible under international law, and that the primary responsibility for enforcing their compliance with the latter lies with governments.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'International Law and the Global Green Economy' by Dr Markus Gehring

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  As argued in the 2011 UN Green Economy Report, States face an important opportunity to move from current resource depleting, polluting and wasteful forms of economic growth to a different, low-carbon, sustainable green economy. New markets and industries are emerging, for clean renewable energy, environmental goods and services, local organic agriculture, sustainable transportation and construction, and payment for ecosystem services. International economic law is evolving rapidly, and holds the potential to foster rather than frustrate this shift.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Rights for others: the slow home-coming of human rights in the Netherlands' by Professor Barbara Oomen

Friday, 25 April 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  One of the most striking elements of contemporary human rights discourse is their 'home-coming' in countries which traditionally considered these rights to be foreign policy concern. This process only takes place slowly. Generally, in a country like the Netherlands, human rights still have surprising little meaning as a discursive frame for addressing social and political issues. During this lecture, the reasons for this will be explored, as will the conditions under which this home-coming does take place.

LCIL Evening Lecture 'The Contribution of Ad Hoc Criminal Tribunals to International Accountability' by President Theodor Meron

Thursday, 3 April 2014 - 5:30pm

Lecture summary:  Today, there is a general expectation that individuals who commit serious crimes during armed conflicts have a realistic prospect of facing criminal liability—on either an international or domestic level—for their actions, regardless of their rank or role within a government or military. There is, in short, an expectation of accountability, rather than impunity.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'The Role and Limits of International Law in Settling the South China Sea Dispute' by Professor Tai Ikeshima

Friday, 14 March 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The recent rise of China as a maritime power in the Pacific Ocean and its surrounding waters has attracted the attention of the world, particularly as the rise to power relates to the dispute over the islands in the South China Sea and China’s maritime interests there. This lecture will examine the nine-dashed line, the issue of historic rights and historic waters, and some other related topics in light of the role and limits of international law as a mechanism used to settle such disputes.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Who may exercise the International Residual Responsibility to Protect?' by Professor Ademola Abass

Friday, 7 March 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: My talk seeks to examine the whole question about the exercise of the residual responsibility to protect. Under the doctrine of responsibility to protect (R2P), the international community is charged with the responsibility to protect people from avoidable harms once the territorial State is unable or unwilling to protect its people. Since this responsibility is secondary, it is referred to either as remedial or residual. There is a growing doctrinal debate about who bears this responsibility on behalf of the international community.

LCIL Evening Lecture 'Private International Law before the International Court of Justice' by Professor Benedetta Ubertazzi

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 - 5:00pm

Lecture summary:  This paper analyses the relationship between the International Court of Justice and private international law, highlighting the importance of this Court for the development of private international law, whilst at the same time demonstrating the relevance of private international law to reach public international law aims.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Stability and Change in Times of Fragmentation. The Limits of Pacta sunt Servanda revisited' by Professor Christina Binder

Friday, 28 February 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Stability versus change is one of the fundamental debates of the law of treaties. The limits of pacta sunt servanda – under which conditions a state may derogate from treaty obligations when circumstances change – appears as a constant throughout the history of international law. This presentation examines the limits of pacta sunt servanda in times of fragmentation.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Transformative Occupation and Creeping Unilateralism' by Professor Gregory H. Fox

Friday, 21 February 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The 2003 occupation of Iraq ignited an important debate among scholars over the merits of "transformative occupation." An occupier has traditionally been precluded from making substantial changes in the legal or political infrastructure of the state it controls. But the Iraq experience led some to claim that this conservationist principle had been largely ignored in practice.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Sanctions: current issues of implementation and enforcement' by Penelope Nevill

Friday, 14 February 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  The success of UN and EU sanctions measures depends on States implementing and enforcing sanctions within their jurisdiction through their national legal systems and extraterritorially within the limits allowed by international law.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Claims under Customary International Law in Investment Arbitration' by Dr Kate Parlett

Friday, 7 February 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: There is little controversy that customary international law has a subsidiary role to play in investment arbitration, and in particular when the investment claim is based on a treaty. However, the extent to which customary international law may be used to broaden the scope of an investment tribunal (constituted under a treaty or a contract), as a basis for a claim (for example, for expropriation) remains controversial, as recent investment tribunal decisions demonstrate.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Splendid fragmentation? The emergence of preferential trade agreements and the future of the world economic order' by Professor Peter-Tobias Stoll

Friday, 31 January 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Particularly after the European Union gave up its reluctance in late 2006 and became active in this regard, a huge number of free trade agreements have been concluded or are negotiated around the world, including some "mega" deals – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) and the Transpacific Partnership (TPP).

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties' by Dr Marko Milanovic

Friday, 24 January 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  This talk will examine how human right treaties apply to states’ conduct outside their borders. In doing so it will look at the meaning of the concept of jurisdiction in human rights treaties, and at the policy considerations that underlie and shape the often-conflicting case law of international human rights courts.

LCIL Friday Lecture 'Backlash: The Undeclared War against Human Rights' by Professor Susan Marks

Friday, 17 January 2014 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: If once you had to turn in the United Kingdom to specialist sections of the progressive press to read about issues of human rights, today you are as likely to read about them on the front pages of the conservative press. And what you will read on those front pages is mostly pretty bilious. So are we witnessing some kind of backlash against human rights? Have human rights become something which conservatives love to hate?

LCIL Friday lecture '2013 in review, a panel discussion' - in LG18, Faculty of Law

Friday, 6 December 2013 - 1:00pm

Panel members:

Judge van den Wyngaert
Professor Christoph Schreuer and


Professor Marc Weller

(Please note: Professor Hugh Thirlway is unable to participate in the review)

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Nationality laws and the prevention of statelessness in Sudan and South Sudan' by Bilqees Esmail

Friday, 29 November 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Bilqees Esmail will deliver a lecture on the topic of statelessness in international law. She will focus on the legal issues that arose upon the independence of South Sudan in 2011, following one of Africa’s longest civil wars. In particular, she will explore how the decisions taken by both governments with respect to their nationality laws were shaped by years of conflict. The lecture will explore the following questions: How does a government decide on who becomes the national of a newly created state?

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Theorising International Environmental Law' by Stephen Humphreys

Friday, 22 November 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  International environmental law raises a paradox. As the body of international law dealing with the 'natural world', it might be expected to comprise a cornerstone of the international legal system. What, after all, is more fundamental to the constitution of the world than the human relation to nature? And yet what is most immediately evident about international environmental law is how little it does, in fact, regulate.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Complementarity in the line of fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan' by Sarah Nouwen

Friday, 15 November 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Of the many expectations attending the creation of the first permanent International Criminal Court, the greatest has been that the principle of complementarity would catalyse national investigations and prosecutions of conflict-related crimes and lead to the reform of domestic justice systems.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Facts, Evidence and Causation: Practice of the ICJ' by Robert Volterra

Friday, 8 November 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  Every professional litigator knows that cases are won - and lost - on the facts. This is no less true for cases before international courts and tribunals. Robert will examine the Court's approach to facts by reference to different procedures related to evidence and causation used by the Court in a number of such cases, including cases in which he has been involved.


LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Recent Developments in the Administration of Justice in International Organisations' by Dr Olufemi Elias

Friday, 1 November 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: International administrative law, or the law of the international civil service, has been the focus of increased attention in recent years. The role and contribution of international administrative tribunals to the development of the law continue to be an important part of discussions of good governance and accountability of international organizations. Much of the discussion has focused on the design of the justice mechanisms of international organizations, exemplified by the overhaul of the internal justice system of the United Nations in 2009.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'The Devil and the Holy Water: Will Human Rights Tame War or Will War Corrupt Human Rights?' by Guglielmo Verdirame

Friday, 25 October 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Few would nowadays question that, as a matter of positive law, human rights law applies to armed conflict. Once confined to human rights courts, this principle is now settled in the jurisprudence of a wide range of international and domestic courts. Law of armed conflict specialists however remain concerned about the suitability of human rights law to regulate war.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Gender Justice and Legitimacy at the International Criminal Court' by Professor Louise Chappell

Friday, 18 October 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: The gender justice provisions of the ICC's Rome Statute provide better recognition, representation and redress for victims of sexual and gender-based violence than any prior instrument of international criminal law. These provisions have helped draw attention to an often marginalized constituency under international law. However, both in their design and interpretation these provisions have also triggered a contentious gender politics at the ICC, leading some of its other constituents to question the Court's impartiality and legitimacy.

LCIL Friday Lecture: 'Research as Curiosity' by Professor Jan Klabbers

Friday, 11 October 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary:  For all the talk about the relevance of research, it is rarely realized that in international law, different kinds of research vie for prominence and may be seen to promote different agendas. This lecture aims to take stock of the various kinds of research that can be identified, asks what drives these different kinds, and whether some are more laudable than others.

LCIL evening lecture: 'International Law as Smart Power' by Professor Harold Koh

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 - 5:00pm

Professor Harold Koh will be giving an informal talk entitled 'International Law as Smart Power' at the Lauterpacht Centre on Tuesday 28 May. The lecture will start a 5pm and be followed by a drinks reception.

'How Does Customary International Law Change? The Case of State Immunity' by Pierre-Hugues Verdier

Friday, 10 May 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Customary international law (CIL) is a widely accepted source of international law, but it is poorly understood from a social science standpoint and has eluded systematic empirical analysis. In recent years, scholars have proposed theories under which CIL rules are described as cooperative equilibria in a repeated multilateral prisoners' dilemmas sustained by reciprocity, retaliation and reputation.

'Too Much History: The Growth of the ius contra bellum' by Professor Randall Lesaffer

Friday, 3 May 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Traditional narratives present the history of international use of force law in terms of a stark contradiction between the jus ad bellum of the 19th and early 20th century and the jus contra bellum as enshrined in the Pact of Paris (1928) and the UN Charter (1945). Historical surveys of the evolution of use of force law in the early 20th century often read as the story of a progressive restriction of the right to use force through consecutive, key texts.

'The International Lawyer and Social Media' by Professor Sarah Joseph

Friday, 26 April 2013 - 1:00pm

Sarah Joseph is Professor and Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University. Her research focuses on many aspects of human rights, including companies and human rights, trade and human rights, the UN and human rights, human rights and terrorism, and, lately, the media (including social media) and human rights.

'Making States Pay Up! - The ICJ and State Immunity' by Lady Fox CMG QC

Friday, 15 March 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture Summary: In this lecture, entitled Making states pay up! - is the ICJ right to accept that a State's immunity from enforcement in respect of its property 'is distinct from and goes further than its immunity from adjudication'? Lady Fox will examine aspects of State immunity post 2012, with particular reference to para. 113 of the 2012 Judgment in the Jurisdicational Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy) case in the International Court of Justice.

'The True Nature of International Law' by Professor Philip Allott

Friday, 8 March 2013 - 1:00pm

Professor Philip Allott is a barrister and a long-standing member of the Faculty of Law and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1960 to 1973, he was a Legal Adviser in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of HM Diplomatic Service. From 1965 to 1968, he was the Legal Adviser, British Military Government, Berlin. From 1972 to 1973, he was the first Legal Counsellor in the UK Permanent Representation to the European Communities, Brussels, at the time when the UK became a member of the European Communities.

'Reducing Genocide to Law - Definition, Meaning, and the Ultimate Crime' by Dr Payam Akhavan

Friday, 22 February 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Could the prevailing view that genocide is the ultimate crime be wrong? Is it possible that it is actually on an equal footing with war crimes and crimes against humanity? Is the power of the word genocide derived from something other than jurisprudence? And why should a hierarchical abstraction assume such importance in conferring meaning on suffering and injustice? Could reducing a reality that is beyond reason and words into a fixed category undermine the very progress and justice that such labelling purports to achieve?

'Credit Rating Agencies: Using Indicators to Measure Transnational Governance Responses to the Global Financial Crisis' by Professor Mary Footer

Friday, 15 February 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: Our global society is populated by a variety of indicators, ranging from composite governance indicators, supported by the UN, which measure everything from human population growth to foreign direct investment, to commercial country risk indexes designed to rank laws and regulations, institutions and the performance of governments. Such indicators potentially exercise an important form of power in transnational economic governance.

'International Law in Domestic Courts - Beyond the Term «Part»' by Dr Veronika Fikfak

Friday, 8 February 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture summary: The talk will focus on a forthcoming article which puts under question the idea that judicial function in relation to international law is triggered automatically and only by actions of other branches which incorporate international law into domestic. Instead, it argues that domestic courts have extensive powers in defining their role vis-à-vis international law and influence the relationship between domestic and international law.

'The ICC's Role in Promoting International Justice: A Comparison of the Sudan, Kenya and Libya Situations'

Friday, 1 February 2013 - 1:00pm

Speakers: Mr Karim Khan QC, Temple Garden Chambers, London (Chambers profile); and  Mr Rodney Dixon, Temple Garden Chambers, London (Chambers profile)

Date: Friday 1 February 2013

Time: 1pm with sandwiches from 12.30pm

'Amity, Enmity and Identity' by Mr Rory Brown, Barrister, 9 Stone Buildings

Friday, 25 January 2013 - 1:00pm

Lecture Summary: The roles played by amity, enmity and identity in the British-American response to terrorism as a way of to attempting to understand their contribution to the philosophy and phenomenology of international law. The discussion will touch upon the important and conflicting visions presented by Samuel Huntington and Martha Nussbaum as well as other contemporary philosophers relevant to international jurisprudence.

'General Custom in a Complex and Diverse Legal System' - ILC Panel Discussion

Friday, 18 January 2013 - 1:00pm

ILC panel discussion featuring:

Professor Concepción Escobar Hernández, Legal Adviser, Spain
Professor Georg Nolte, Humboldt University of Berlin
Mr Sam Wordsworth, Barrister, Essex Court Chambers
Sir Michael Wood, Barrister, 20 Essex St Chambers, former FCO Legal Adviser (chair)

'International Law: The Year in Review 2012' - In LG19, Faculty of Law

Friday, 30 November 2012 - 1:20pm

Professor Marc Weller, is the Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. He has served as legal advisor in a wide range of peace-processes, ranging from Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia in Europe, to Sudan and Somalia in Africa, and Burma, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Asia/Pacific region. During the period of the Arab Spring of 2011-12, he served as Senior Mediation Expert in the Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, supporting peace negotiations and transitions in the Middle East and North Africa.

2012 Lauterpacht Lectures: Q&A Session - Jurisdiction and Admissibility in International Courts and Tribunals

Friday, 2 March 2012 - 1:00pm

A Q&A session on the 2012 Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures by Professor Yuval Shany, Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Lecture is a series of annual lectures given in Cambridge to commemorate the unique contribution to the development of international law of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht.

Lauterpacht Centre - Lecture Programme and Information »
Numbers are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Please note the lecture programme is subject to revision without notice.

If you would like to be notified by email about forthcoming lectures and events, please contact admin@lcil.cam.ac.uk.