from 13 to 14 February, 2012

Is the centre of international law reasserting itself ?

This informal seminar is one of two seminars organised primarily for international law scholars, at Sciences Po, Paris I Sorbonne, and École normale supérieure, Paris X, Paris XI, the SARFAL network, and the University of Oslo with the Centre Franco-­norvégien en sciences sociales et humaines (CFN) at FMSH.

Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Mads Andenas, and Eirik Bjorge have been on the academic committee for the seminar.

Some academics see in the developments in the jurisprudence, or case law, of the International Court of Justice a response to the ‘fragmentation’ of international law with ‘multiplication’ of treaty regimes and courts and other enforcement bodies. Others are still concerned that the rapid advance of international law in different fields may weaken the coherence of international law. The seminar offers an opportunity to hear the views of leading national and international lawyers on developments in the International Court’s jurisprudence and they can be placed in the wider context of development of international law as a system, as well as the relation between international and national law. The seminar will focus on recent developments strengthening international law as a legal system. One of the topics that will be covered in several of the sessions is the development of customary international law, and the doctrines of erga omnes and peremptory norms of international law will be addressed. In this regard the interplay between treaty interpretation and international courts’ identifcation of customary norms is central. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has in recent times, such as in Diallo and Pulp Mills, showed willingness to identify the development of cutomary international law, making statements on 'rules of general international law that are binding on States in all circumstances, even apart from any treaty commitments’. The willingness of the ICJ to move the law forward was also evident in Georgia v Russia (Provisional Measures), where the Court well ahead of the European Court of Human Rights pronounced that human rights treaties ‘generally’ must apply extraterritorially. Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v Italy), of 3 February 2012, provided the Court with new opportunities to develop jus cogens. We see is an International Court that, both in relation to the interpretation of diverse types of treaty and in relation to the development of customary international law, is affirming its position as ‘the principal judicial organ of the United Nations’. The Court’s response to misgivings about fragmentation has been to give a lead and develop the law in different areas of international law. If, in the 1990s and early 2000s, the centre of international law was afraid of losing its importance, it is now reasserting itself in strong and convincing wa


13 February

10.00 -­ Opening Statement: Professor Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences Po

10.30 - 11.30 -­ Ronny Abraham, Judge at the International Court of Justice
The seminar offers an opportunity to hear Judge Abraham’s views on the developments in the International Court’s jurisprudence, and to discuss how they can be placed in the wider context of the development of international law as a system. Judge Abraham’s intervention will be followed by more informal seminar discussi

11.30 - 12.30 -­ Geir Ulfstein, University of Oslo
Treaty bodies and the increasing public character of international law

12.30 - 13.00 -­ Professor Mads Andenas, Sciences Po and University of Oslo The centre reasserting itself

13.00 - 15.00 -­ Lunch

15.00 - 16.00 -­ Introduction to panel discussion by Mads Andenas, comment by Professor Hélène Ruiz Fabri, Sorbonne Law School
Hierarchy of norms in international law

16.00 - 17.00 -­ Professor Alain Pellet, Paris X
Reservations to treaties, human rights and customary international law

17.00 - 18.00 -­ Bernard Stirn, Président de la section du contentieux du Conseil d’État
La relation entre la juridiction administrative et le droit international

14 February

10.00 - 11.00 -­ Professor Jean-­Louis Halpérin, École normale supérieure

11.00 - 12.00 -­ Professor Lorenzo Gradoni, Bologna and Sorbonne Law School
Is there one customary international law? Method and strategy in the discovery of international unwritten law

12.00 - 13.00 -­ Professor Paul Tavernier, Paris XI
The ICRC Study on Customary IHL, its reception, and what it says about customary international law

13.00 - 15.00 -­ Lunch

15.00 - 16.00 -­ Dr Filippo Fontanelli, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa
The exception of non-performance and treaty obligations. Reflections after the FYROM v Greece judgment.

16.00 - 17.00 -­ Eirik Bjorge, Sciences Po and École normale supérieure
Peremptory norms and the passage of time

17.00 - 18.00 -­ Summary: Ronny Abraham & Mads Andenas


Venue : Building Le France
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