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Non-State Actors in International Law: Annual BIICL/SLS Workshop

Date: 20 November 2023

Time: 12.00 - 17.15 (UK time)

Venue: Online

Co-organised with:

BIICL/ SLS Workshop 2023: 
Non-State Actors in International Law

Whilst international law remains very much 'State based' in that its core subjects are States themselves, individuals, corporations and other non-State entities are playing an increasingly important role in the evolution of international law, its implementation and even its enforcement. Judicial and quasi-judicial bodies regularly receive communications and cases initiated by individuals; NGOs are bringing cases before domestic courts challenging instances of the non-application of international law; there is a growing body of work on regulating the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations; non-State armed groups, including terrorist organisations, often exercise considerable public power, including in the context of war; and NGOs regularly implement development and humanitarian aid projects whilst also advocating for and contributing to the creation of new international standards, and subscribing themselves to international accountability frameworks.

This year's BIICL/SLS Workshop will focus on these developments. Presentations selected through a call for papers will engage with innovative avenues of engagement by non-State actors with international law, and evolving practices to ensure compliance with international standards by non-State actors in both war and peacetime. Sessions will cover areas in which non-State actors are engaged and specific types of non-State actors.

This event is convened by Georgia Greville and Jean-Pierre Gauci in collaboration with the International Law Section of the Society of Legal Scholars.


Watch  recordings of the sessions from the workshop using the link here.   

Join the conversation @BIICL #InternationalLaw #NonStateActors


12.00 - 12.10pm: Welcome and Introductions

12.15pm - 1.45pm: Parallel Session 1

Panel 1: Non-State actors and international human rights and humanitarian law

Chair: Georgia Greville, BIICL 

  • Lauren Bursey:  The role of non-state actors in the illicit trade of cultural heritage
  • Denys Rabomizo and Tymur Korotkyi: The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Documenting War Crimes and Ensuring Accountability in the Context of International Armed Conflicts: Ukraine's Experience
  • Gayathree Kalliyat Thazhathuveetil: International Responsibility of De-Facto Regimes for Human Rights Violations: Prospects and Challenges
  • Tania Atilano: The Chiapas Uprising and the Application of International Humanitarian Law by Non-State Armed Groups

Panel 2: Non-state actors and climate change

Chair: Aditi Shetye, BIICL

  • Laura Mai: 'Opening Up' the Climate Regime: The Evolving Role(s) of Non-State Actors following COP21
  • Lisa-Marie Ross: The Role of NGOs in Accelerating Climate Adjudication
  • Eghosa Ekhator: The Role of NGOs in Regulating the Activities of Multinational Corporations in Africa: Perspectives from Regional and Sub-Regional Courts
  • Siyu Bao: Involving Non-State Actors in Enhancing Compliance with FTA Climate Provisions: Theorisation through Contextual Lenses

2.00pm - 3.30pm: Parallel session 2

Panel 3: The role of NGOs in international law

Chair: John Trajer, BIICL

  • Manvi Kishore and Arnold Stanley: The Role of NGOs as Non-State Actors in International Diplomacy: The Interplay between their Functional Roles and Accountability in International Governance
  • Roman Yedeliev and Natalia Hendel: The Ukrainian NGOs in Establishing Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression Initiative
  • Jean-Michel Marcoux: NGOs at UNCITRAL Working Group III: A Twofold Contestation of ISDS Reform
  • Andrii Zharikov: The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its Role in the Development and Harmonisation of International Trade Finance Regulation

Panel 4: Businesses and international law

Chair: Georgia Greville, BIICL 

  • Marisa McVey: Outsourcing the Corporate Responsibility to Respect? Considering the Impact of Third-Party Actors in Business and Human Rights
  • Akinwumi Ogunranti: Multinational Corporations as Norm Saboteurs and Anti-preneurs in International Law
  • Ji Ma: Targeting Multinational Corporations: The Privatization of Soft International Law
  • Mevelyn Ong: Enforcing the International Law Responsibilities of Foreign Investors in International Arbitration

3.45pm - 5.00pm: Parallel session 3

Panel 5: The media and international law 

Chair: Georgia Greville, BIICL 

  • Henning Lahmann: The Media's emerging role in counter-narrating State Conduct with Digital Open-Source Information
  • Marko Svicevic: The Media's Influence on Public Perception in International Law: Conflating the Abilities and Realities of the UN Security Council
  • María Belén Paoletta and Iván Levy: From State's Goals to Media's Roles: The Impact of Online Platforms on the Validity of Unilateral Acts in International Law

Panel 6: Non-State actors and new frontiers

Chair: Solon Solomon, SLS 

  • Kushagr Bakshi: Sovereignty and Property in the Final Frontier: Neocolonialism and the Artemis Accords
  • Fiona Naysmith: Space Pirates: Securing Non-State Actor Liability in Outer Space
  • Alberto Pecoraro: Who Can Enforce the Common Heritage of Humankind? NGOs, Judicial Review, and the Governance of Deep-Seabed Mining in the International Seabed

Panel 7: Other categories of non-State actors

Chair: Saeed Bagheri, SLS 

  • Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg: Regulating Collective Non-State Entities: Rights and Obligations Under International Law
  • Omar Grech: The Development of a Jus Pacis Post Bellum: What Role for Conflict Resolution and Peace Practitioners
  • Shea Esterling: Indigenous Peoples as International Law Makers: Restitution, Rights and Wrongs

5.00pm - 5.15pm: Closing remarks

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 5 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Event Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or 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 recordings or photographs, please contact the Events team to let us know ahead of the event.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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