By Ninell Silberberg
In How Nations Behave, Louis Henkin’s classic book on law and foreign policy, he noted that “almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all of the time.” The purpose then, of international law, is to provide a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations and a process for resolving conflicts when they arise.
International law is an interesting field because countries are not obligated to abide by it unless they have expressly consented to do so. Thus, international lawyers are at the forefront of deciding the legality of issues that can affect the futures of billions of people. Do you ever wonder whether targeted killing is legal; if Somali pirates can be arrested in open waters; or whether all nations should be held to the same environmental standards? International lawyers regularly answer these questions.
A group of 1,500 international law scholars, students, and practitioners will convene in Washington, D.C. from 3-6 April at the American Society of International Law’s 107th Annual Meeting. They will come together to share research, commiserate, and catch up with friends from around the world. They will ask themselves how the international legal order should evolve in a world that is more inter-connected and multi-polar than ever before.
Those who have been to the ASIL annual meeting before know that it is a three day conference packed with informative panel discussions and networking events. This year’s conference is no different. Each of the panels sound fascinating, with impressive participants including Dinah Shelton, Dame Rosalyn Higgins, and Harold Koh, while The Hudson Medal Luncheon honoring Judge Bruno Simma, the Annual dinner presenting the ASIL Honors and Awards, and the Grotius Lecture are not-to be missed.
If you’re wondering what to do when you’re not attending sessions, check these conference-related happenings:
- Wednesday: Hugo Grotius is considered to be the founder of International Law, so it’s only fitting that the conference begins each year with a lecture in his honor. This year’s Grotius Lecture takes place on Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Thursday morning, the first full day of the conference, is great time to check out the exhibits. Most offer conference discounts and fun giveaways. If you enjoy browsing, the booths will have less traffic today than on Friday or Saturday. On Thursday night, The President’s Reception takes place at the National Portrait Gallery, where you can discuss the current state of international law while enjoying portraits of the people who shaped history.
- Friday: Curtis Bradley will be signing copies of his book, International Law in the U.S. Legal System, at the Oxford booth from 2:00-2:30 p.m. directly following the Hudson Medal Luncheon. On Friday night, the International Law Students Association will host a Desert and Dance Party from 10:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m.
If you are lucky enough to be joining us in DC, don’t forget to visit the Oxford University Press booth (tables 4-7), where you can demo our new law products, browse our award winning books, and pick up an Oxford journal.
See you in DC!
Ninell Silberberg is an Assistant Marketing Manager on the Law team at Oxford University Press USA.
Oxford University Press is a leading publisher in Public International Law, including the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, latest titles from thought leaders in the field, and a wide range of law journals and online products. We publish original works across key areas of study, from humanitarian to international economic to environmental law, developing outstanding resources to support students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide.