Theme: Diversity and International Law
International Law is a system that governs relations among a heterogenous group of states seeking to coexist and to collectively address thorny challenges. Diversity would seem to be a natural cornerstone, in terms of the individuals involved, the governance approaches taken, and the methodological approaches taken to studying international law. But how diverse is it, in reality?
This year’s conference of the Canadian Council of International Law invites participants to think critically about whether and how International Law is adequately accommodating and promoting diversity. For example:
• Does international law appropriately reflect the variety of states, peoples, and organizations that constitute the international community?
• Are international forums and institutions adequately diverse or representative? Or might they sometimes be used to restrain or impede diversity?
• How exactly are international institutions including the different perspectives of actors such as states, IOs, individuals, NGOs, and identity groups (such as women, indigenous peoples, LGBTQ)?
• What methodologies and techniques might international law use to better reflect legal and cultural diversity?
International law scholars, practitioners and students are invited to discuss these questions at the 48th annual conference of the CCIL through different eyes and from different perspectives.
Professor Dapo Akande
University of Oxford
"The Diversity of Rules on the Use of Force: Implications for Evolution of the Law"
Dapo Akande is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford where he is also Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC). He was a member of the International Group of Experts that prepared the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (2017, CUP) and a member of the International Advisory Panel for the American Law Institute’s project on the Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States.
An acclaimed writer on international law and member of the Editorial or Advisory Boards of several law journals, Professor Akande is a Trustee on the board of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and was, until 2019, a Counsellor on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. He is founding editor of the scholarly blog: EJIL:Talk! the blog of the European Journal of International Law, and has published widely on international law.
His extensive experience in international law includes serving as consultant, expert or adviser to international organizations, states and non-governmental organizations. In addition, he has worked on cases before national courts and international law tribunals, including the UK Supreme Court, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, international arbitral tribunals in mixed disputes, World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Area Dispute Settlement panels. In 2017/18 he acted as legal adviser to the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Drone’s Inquiry into the ways in which the UK works with partners on the use of drones.
Professor Payam Akhavan
McGill University Faculty of Law
"Fixing the Broken Mirror: Diversity and Survival in the Global Village"
Payam Akhavan LLM SJD (Harvard) is Full Professor at McGill University Faculty of Law, Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and formerly the first Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.
His prior academic appointments include Yale Law School, University of Toronto, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, European University Institute (Florence), and the University of Oxford. Professor Akhavan has published extensively on international criminal law and in 2017 he delivered the bestselling CBC Massey Lectures “In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey.”
Professor Akhavan’s wide-ranging experience in international criminal law and international human rights law includes serving with the UN in Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Timor Leste, assisting the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, advising on the Yazidi and Rohingya genocides, and appearing as counsel in notable cases including Prosecutor v Erdemović (1996), the first case before the ICTY Appeals Chamber, Application of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2010 Georgia v Russia, before the International Court of Justice), the admissibility challenge on behalf of Libya in Prosecutor v Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senusi (2014, before the International Criminal Court), Akçam v. Turkey (2011) and Perinçek v Switzerland (2015, before the European Court of Human Rights), Hamdi v Rumsfeld (2004, before the Supreme Court of the United States), and Kazemi v Iran (2014, before the Supreme Court of Canada).
Judge Kimberly Prost
International Criminal Court
"The International Criminal Court after 20 years : Accomplishments and Challenges"
A gold medalist graduate from the University of Manitoba Law School, Kimberly Prost was elected as Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2018, for a term of nine years. Judge Prost had been previously elected by the UN General Assembly in 2006, to sit as an ad litem judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on a multi-accused trial (Popovic et al) related to events at Srebrenica and Zepa. In June 2010, Judge Prost was appointed by the Secretary General as the first Ombudsperson for the Security Council Al Qaida Sanctions Committee. Prior to being elected as a Judge, she has served as Chef de Cabinet for the President of the ICC for a two-year term.
At the domestic level, Judge Prost worked for the Canadian Department of Justice for eighteen years, appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada and before Canadian Courts in all other levels. As the Director of the International Assistance Group, she participated in the negotiation of over 40 extradition/mutual legal assistance treaties and was a member of the Canadian delegation for the negotiation of the Rome Statute of the ICC, as well as the UN Conventions against Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption.
Judge Prost also held managerial positions with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, delivering a range of programs for States on international cooperation, money laundering and asset forfeiture, counter terrorism, implementation of the Rome Statute, and combating organized crime and corruption.
Banner art: Summer Chatter, 1977, by Alex Janvier
Image courtesy of Janvier Gallery