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25th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law Beyond our comfort zone? Situating the authority of international lawyers, institutions, & other international actors

Event Details

Time: 11:30-19:00

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

25th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law

a special collaboration with the European Society of International Law's Interest Group on International Legal Theory

The SLS/BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2016. To that end, this year, the SLS International Law Section is holding a special 25th anniversary conference, organised in collaboration with the Interest Group on International Legal Theory of the European Society of International Law (ESIL IGILT), on 25 April 2016. We are delighted that The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG, will deliver the keynote address.

Keynote speaker:

  • The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG

Chair (keynote speech):

  • Professor Robert McCorquodale, Director of BIICL


Panel 1: Theory

  • Chair: Dr Gleider Hernández, University of Durham, Deputy Director of the Durham Global Policy Institute, Member, ESIL-IGILT Coordinating Committee
  • Dr Fuad Zarbiyev, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Authority to say what the international law is: competing claims and emerging patterns
  • Professor Sandy Sivakumaran, Nottingham University, State-empowered entities and the authority to make and shape international law
  • Dr Richard Collins, University College Dublin, Between False Dichotomies? Explaining Legitimate Authority in International Law
  • Dr Matthew Nicholson, Southampton Law School, Dress Code: Formal or Hegemony and International Legal Strategy

Panel 2: Intervention by Experts/Working with Experts

  • Chair: Professor Chris Henderson, Sussex University, Co-convenor of the SLS International Law Section, Society of Legal Scholars
  • Dr Michael Reynolds and Professor Jahankhani, GSM London, Evidence in the Clouds
  • Dr Hannah Woolaver, University of Cape Town, South Africa, The influence of Amicus Curiae interventions in international criminal proceedings
  • Dr Yannick Radi, Leiden Law School, The Netherlands, Rethinking the authority of investor State Dispute Settlement on Conceptual Fallacies and Professional Inabilities
  • Dr Yvonne McDermott Rees, Bangor University, Borrowed Truths: Expert Evidence and Authority in International Criminal Trials

Panel 3: The International Lawyer as Expert

  • Chair: Dr Philippa Webb, King's College London, Co-convenor of the SLS International Law Section, Society of Legal Scholars
  • Ms Maja Groff, Hague Conference on Private International Law, Responsibilities of international legal officials: a dedication to "All that remains unfinished?"
  • Dr Fernando Lusa Bordin, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, The Authority of "Codification by Analogy" in international law
  • Professor Robbie Sabel, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Do legal advisors create international law?
  • Dr Yasuo Kita, Teikyo University (Tokyo), Japan, The authority of legal advisers to the UK Foreign Office to develop the International Law of territorial waters 1923-58

Download the Programme

Download the Event Flyer

About our keynote speaker, The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG

Michael Donald Kirby AC, CMG is a renowned Australian jurist and academic who is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2009. He has held various positions as an expert. In May 2013 he was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead an inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, which issued its report in February 2014. He has recently been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as a member of the High-Level Panel on Access to Essential Medicines. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Gruber Justice Prize and the Leo Nevas Award for human rights.

Co-organised by

The convenors are grateful for the material and financial assistance of the SLS, BIICL, and the Durham Global Policy Institute.

CPD Accreditation

This event is accredited with 5.5 CPD hours.

Pricing and Registration

BIICL Members:

  • Individual - £60
  • Full-time Academic - £45
  • Full-time Student - £15


  • Individual - £110
  • Full-time Academic - £85
  • Full-time Student - £35

N.B. The Academic rate also applies to staff of government and non-profit organisations.

Free NGO Places

A limited number of places for this event are available for staff of NGOs to attend free of charge as part of an initiative by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to provide NGOs with access to legal education and training events.

Please email the Events team with your contact details, your position and the NGO that you work for. We will organise your attendance, subject to availability.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Photography and audio recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Claudia Mansaray, in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

Cancellation by us

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law reserves the right to modify or cancel any event if unforeseen circumstances arise. If we cancel an event we shall inform you as soon as possible using the contact details provided to us and offer you a full refund.

Cancellation by you

All cancellations must be made in writing via email to and be no less than one week prior to the event.

Payment for registration will always be required, and must be made prior to the event. If sufficient written notification of cancellation is received, a full refund will be given. If insufficient notice is given, payment for your registration will still be required.

No charge events

All events are costly to set up, even those for which there is 'no charge'. If you register but find you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible. As a charity we need to cover the costs of events, and we may charge you a fee of £10 for administration and catering costs if you fail to attend or give us less than 24 hours' notice.

By registering for an event, you have confirmed that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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