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45th Annual Conference • November 3-5, 2016 • Ottawa, Canada

The Promise of International Law: Solutions for the World’s Crises

Keynote Speakers

Fatou Bensouda


Mrs. Fatou Bensouda is the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), having assumed office in 2012. In 2011, she was elected by consensus by the Assembly of States Parties to serve in this capacity.Mrs Bensouda was nominated and supported as the sole African candidate for election to the post by the African Union.

The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell


The Honourable Thomas Cromwell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 22, 2008. He had previously been appointed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal on August 27, 1997.

Copyright of Supreme Court of Canada photo by  Phillipe Landreville

Valerie Hughes

Valerie Hughes will be the recipient of the John E. Read Medal at this year's Conference. Valerie Hughes is currently Director of Legal Affairs of World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat. 

Joseph H.H. Weiler

European Union Jean Monnet Chair, New York University School of Law 

President, European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy

Thank you to our sponsors | Merci à nos commanditaires






In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.”

― John F. Kennedy


In a global climate of accelerating change, there is a need to adapt quickly and implement solutions to address crises.


The term crisis can be applied to a variety of subjects based on social, political, economic, and environmental issues. In fact, it can be applied to almost any international law issue. For example, climate change,genocide, fluctuating oil prices, unstable economies, human migration, disease outbreak, poverty, consumerism/consumption, war, species extinctions, corporate instability, lack of governance, and more.


International law experts constantly have to adapt to stay relevant in this fluctuating world. But one may wonder whether we are moving fast enough with technology? Can treaties and governance helpin situations of constant changes? What about the differing levels of efficacy and enforceability? Is the current international legal system yielding enough solutions to addressnew crises? Most importantly, what are those potential solutions and what is the action-plan to move forward?


The term “crisis”itself raises question. Is it too abrasive? For instance, can the slowing economy and fluctuation of oil prices really be considered a crisis? Perhaps they are just cyclical challenges with solutions just around the corner. Even climate change, is it a crisis already? If not yet at that level, can a crisis on the international legal issues be averted through cooperation and international law? What are the crisis-prevention measures exactly, and what do they look like?


All these issues, and more, will be discussed at the 45th Annual Conference of the Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL). Join us as we discuss solutions to the world’s crises.

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