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31st ANZSIL Annual Conference 2024 - Call for Papers

International Law: Crisis, Conflict and Cooperation
31st Annual Conference of the
Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law

Melbourne Law School
Melbourne, Australia
Wednesday, 3 July – Friday, 5 July 2024

Co-hosted by the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH)
at Melbourne Law School

The Call for Papers has now closed.

‘International lawyers revel in a good crisis. A crisis provides a focus for the development of the discipline and it also allows international lawyers the sense that their work is of immediate, intense relevance.’*

These words, written by Judge Hilary Charlesworth over twenty years ago, provide a starting point for considering the role of international law in dealing with crises in the international community. Crises may be the result of armed conflicts, human rights violations, climate change, environmental damage, disruptions in the financial system or global trade, and, as we have so recently experienced, pandemics. The framing of an event or situation as a crisis may lead to intense periods of coordination and cooperation, and result in rapid developments in international law. Examples may be found in the increased activities of regional and international organisations, the creation of new organisations or legal instruments, the hosting of dedicated conferences to discuss problems of global concern, and increased collaboration between states, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations.

However, the focus on crises has also led to conflicts within the discipline as to the applicable legal principles or appropriate theoretical lens through which to frame a situation. As Judge Charlesworth noted, views may differ on whether a situation amounts to a crisis in need of an immediate response from international lawyers and whether the focus on crises distracts international lawyers from systemic issues. Is it still accurate to frame international law as a discipline ‘of’ crisis, or indeed, as has been suggested, a discipline ‘in’ crisis?  Have patterns in how international lawyers deal with crises changed over time? What are the problems and limitations on how we frame and read crises? What crises do we focus on and what crises do we ignore? How are disputes arising out of crises resolved? Do states have a duty to cooperate to respond to conflicts and crises? Do crises lead to periods of conflict or cooperation within the discipline? How do we strengthen cooperation within the discipline for lasting impact?

We invite participants at the 31st ANZSIL Annual Conference to consider the impact of periods of crises on the development of international law and institutions, and whether the focus on crises has led to conflicts, or renewed cooperation, within the discipline. The Organising Committee invites paper submissions and panel proposals in any area of public and private international law relevant to the Conference theme. In the tradition of ANZSIL Conferences, the Organising Committee also invites proposals on international law topics not connected to the conference theme and the submission of panel proposals from ANZSIL interest groups.

The Organising Committee welcomes panel or paper proposals on transdisciplinary projects that push the boundaries of international law scholarship or that adopt innovative formats.  ANZSIL aims to promote diversity in the international law community and strongly encourages submissions from Māori, Indigenous Australians and from individuals and groups traditionally underrepresented in this forum.

Process and Dates

The Call for Papers has closed. The Organising Committee will endeavour to inform applicants of the outcome of their proposals by mid-March 2024. All presenters will be required to register for the Conference by early May to be included in the final Conference program. Further information about the Conference, including program and registration details, will be made available on the ANZSIL website at anzsil.org.au/events in due course.

Conference Fee

The conference fee will be confirmed in early 2024. We anticipate charging a fee of approximately AU$450 for ANZSIL members for the full conference.

Alice Edwards Breakthrough Researcher Award 2024

Applications for the Alice Edwards Breakthrough Researcher Award 2024 have now closed.


*Hilary Charlesworth, ‘International Law: A Discipline of Crisis’ (2002) 65 Modern Law Review 377.


Contact us:

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ANU College of Law | The Australian National University | 5 Fellows Road | Canberra ACT 2601

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