2022 Programme

Monday 10 October: Day 1
09.00-09.45 Registration, networking and exhibition
11.30-13.00   Panels
PANEL 1: Addressing the climate emergency: from COPs to courts

Taking place a month before COP 27 in Egypt, this panel will bring a timely discussion on the latest initiatives to address the current climate emergency, including advances made at COP26 with the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact and the finalisation of the Paris Rulebook. In addition to considering the current climate regime and its implementation, the panel will also focus on the enforcement of its rules and the new avenues for climate litigation before international courts, tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies.

While Vanuatu and other small island states are seeking to petition the UN General Assembly to request the ICJ to address the climate crisis through an advisory opinion, other states are considering to initiate proceedings before international courts and tribunals against other states for not meeting their international legal obligations to address climate change. This raises important questions of international law: What legal arguments can Vanuatu or other plaintiff states make, what is the best forum to make them, and what are the chances they will succeed? Can international courts and tribunals really help to address the climate crisis?

This panel will bring a combination of crucial perspectives on the key trends and outstanding challenges, considering prospects both from climate negotiation and litigation.

Contributors include:

The Right Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill, former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Professor Christina Voigt, University of Oslo, Norway: Co-chair of the Paris Agreement´s Compliance and Implementation Committee and Chair World Commission on Environmental Law – IUCN

Jessica Gladstone, Partner, Clifford Chance LLP

Professor Lavanya Rajamani, Professor of International Environmental Law, University of Oxford


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 2: Investor-state dispute settlement and states in emergency

The panel will examine the issues coming to the fore as investors respond to the loss of their investments due to annexation, invasion and other situations of crisis by bringing arbitration claims. Whilst the system of ISDS has been much criticised in the past decade, the existence of a potential source of jurisdiction to protect investors in times of crisis appears of unusual value, including to the system of international law as a whole.

Contributors include:

Christopher Harris QC, Barrister, 3VB

Profesor Alina Miron, Professor of International Law, University of Angers

Christian Leathley, Head of the Latin America Group; US Head of International Arbitration, Herbert, Smith, Freehills


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 3: International criminal law and the politics of impunity

Despite the major advance of international criminal justice over the last thirty years, both at the domestic, regional and international levels, impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern still prevails. In some arenas, vast efforts are being made to address this gap. For example, in Ukraine, domestic prosecutions have taken place, with the promise of more to come; the ICC is active; and various initiatives have been launched to deal with the crime of aggression. In others situations however, the international community has paid comparably little attention to the atrocities that continue to take place. This panel will discuss a number of situations where impunity prevails (including Ukraine), the challenges that exist in achieving accountability, and possible solutions to enable delivery of justice.

Contributors include:

Sir Howard Morrison QC, Independent Adviser to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General

Professor Olympia Bekou, Professor of Public International Law and Head of the International Criminal Justice Unit, The University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre

Professor Roger O’Keefe, Professor of Public International Law, Bocconi University, Italy

Angela Mudukuti, Senior Legal Advisor, Global Justice Center


Panel Location: TBA
14.00-15.30   Panels
PANEL 4: Human and collective security – use of force

What kind of security system do we need, especially when faced with global existential crises such as those posed by the pandemic and the climate emergency? Is the UN collective security system fit for purpose when considering these new threats to our very own existence? What is the role of the UN GA and are political decisions helpful in times of emergency?

Contributors include:

Professor Christian Tams, Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow

Professor Diane Desierto, Professor of International Law and Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame Law School, USA


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 5: International settlement of disputes in a time of crises

States may respond to crises and emergencies by seeking to bring matters before international courts and tribunals–but have to deal with the consensual basis of jurisdiction in international law. This panel will discuss such responses, including the ‘shoehorning’ of disputes into seemingly ill-fitting compromissory clauses and how courts and tribunals have in turn responded to the issues of consent. The panel will also look at the role of diplomatic means of dispute settlement and their nature as political means of settlement–are these appropriate tools for dealing with emergencies?

Contributors include:

Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG, Distinguished Fellow, International Law, Chatham House

Marney Cheek, Partner, Covington and Burling LLP

Sam Wordsworth QC, Essex Court Chambers

Professor Philippe Sands QC , Professor of Public Understanding of Law, University College London

Judge Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Germany


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 6: At a crossroads: jurisdiction and enforcement at sea

The manner in which prescriptive jurisdiction over activities at sea are addressed has changed significantly in recent years, becoming increasingly functional rather than zonal in nature. However, enforcement jurisdiction remains essentially unchanged, largely centred on flag/zonal jurisdiction. Panellists will consider whether this dissonance runs the risk of creating a space in which threats to the seas and from the seas, can emerge which might threaten the effectiveness and integrity of ocean governance. The panel will explore current approaches to the assertion of jurisdiction at sea, asking whether there is a need for rethinking more fundamentally our approaches to how jurisdiction is exercised in practice in the light of particular threats.

Contributors include:

Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, Professor of Public International Law, University of Bristol

Judge Tomas Heidar, Vice-President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

Laura Rees-Evans, Counsel, Fietta Law


Panel Location: TBA
17:00 Close of Day 1
18.00   Drinks Reception – all delegates welcome
Location: Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St. James’s, London SW1A 1BB
Tuesday 11 October: Day 2
08:30-09.00 Networking and exhibition

Plenary 3: In conversation with…

Karim Khan QC, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)

11.00-12.30   Panels
PANEL 7: Protection of human rights during crises

Contributors include:

Rashmin Sagoo, Director – International Law Programme, Chatham House

Dr Tatyana Eatwell, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers

Sonya Sceats, Chief Executive, Freedom from Torture

Murray Hunt, Director, Bingham Centre for Rule of Law


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 8: Formation and development of international law in times of emergency

Emergencies require emergency action: and yet, international law may not be a useful ‘rapid response’ tool. This panel will discuss the value (or not) of attempts to move the content of customary law more rapidly, including through domestic courts and tribunals and international litigation; it will also consider resort to means of interpretation as a vehicle for the successful application and possibly development of both customary law and existing treaties; and will finally discuss ‘escape valves’ such as necessity and force majeure.

Contributors include:

Sir Michael Wood, member, International Law Commission; Barrister, Twenty Essex

Sean Aughey, Barrister, Essex Court Chambers

Dr Federica Paddeu, Associate Professor and Derek Bowett Fellow in Law, Queen’s College, Cambridge; Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Cambridge


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 9: International economic law in an enduring period of economic crisis

The once unyielding march towards a more liberalised system of international economic law has become a scramble to hold together existing frameworks. In circumstances where domestic economic systems are evolving (and in some cases diverging), the climate crisis is becoming increasingly critical, and the pandemic has exposed the fragility of global interconnectedness, how can States and international institutions respond, what does the future look like for international economic law, and how will that play out in practice? How effective are trade law and policy tools in addressing the crises of the world today?

Contributors include:

Dr Greg Messenger, Associate Professor, University of Bristol Law School


Panel Location: TBA
13.30-15.00   Panels
PANEL 10: Legal and political reactions to crises: the role of sanctions

The Ukraine crises has put sanctions back into the news. States can exercise economic pressure on other states in a number of ways: the available toolbox ranges from retorsion to unilateral coercive measures to sanctions imposed by the Security Council. This panel will explore the legal framework for sanctions (with an emphasis on unilateral sanctions), sanctions design, the requirements of human rights and due process that apply to sanctions, as well as attempts to counteract sanctions/economic coercion. Along with these more technical issues the panel will pose the question whether sanctions work and how they could be improved.

Contributors include:

Professor Holger Hestermeyer, Professor of International and EU Law, King’s College London

Professor Leila Choukroune, Professor of International Law, University of Portsmouth


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 11: Ethical challenges to the legal profession in situations of emergency

In the context of recent high-profile (and, in certain cases, public) withdrawal of lawyers from the representation of states, questions of ethics in the representation of states or in the provision of advice appear of ever-increasing importance. Further issues include the challenges faced by law firms with a presence in sanctioned states, as well as the reaction of scholarly societies to (some) emergencies (but not others).

Contributors include:

Amy Sander, Barrister, Essex Court Chambers ​


Panel Location: TBA
PANEL 12: Cyberwarfare and other challenges to the law of armed conflict

As the on-going conflicts around the world tragically demonstrate the fundamental challenge to the law of armed conflict continues to be that of ensuring respect for the rules – whether in international or internal conflicts. But while the fundamental principles remain clear, new and not-so-new technologies and concepts continue to raise challenges in determining how those principles are to be applied. The risks and uncertainties that this brings to modern armed conflict have accelerated in recent years as the use of cyber technology in warfare has moved from the textbook onto the battlefield, the military application of artificial intelligence raises its own novel questions, outer space re-emerges as another potential domain of conflict and the increasing use of concepts such as “hybrid warfare” risk bringing more confusion than clarity to the application of the law.

This panel will examine some of the key challenges that these technologies and concepts pose to the application of, and respect for, the law of armed conflict and the on-going efforts in both the diplomatic and academic communities to bring clarity and ensure responsible behaviour by actors in a fragmented and fragile international environment.

Contributors include:

Paul Berman, Legal Director, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office


Panel Location: TBA

Plenary 4: Taking stock

Speakers TBA

17:00 Close of Day 2

Refreshments will be provided at points throughout the conference. Lunch will be served between 13:00 and 14:00 on Day 1 and 12:30 and 13:30 on Day 2.