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International Law Foresight Project ILA 2023 - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 30 2020

Dear international law practitioners, scholars and students,

I am following up on the invitation to participate in the International Law Foresight Project ILA 2023 - Projet de prospective du droit international ADI 2023.

In 2023 the International Law Association is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and the ILA France organizers of this event (whether it will be an in person or virtual conference) are keen that the celebratory conference in Paris not only be a retrospective, but that it also look to the future for what is needed to continue to question, build and improve global rule of law.

The ILA anniversary organizers are seeking to engage the next generation of international lawyers to invigorate the ILA and shape future directions for the development of international law. In the next three years there will be a global effort to engage international law scholars and practitioners to develop this forward-looking international law agenda.

This work is being coordinated regionally. Because this is a futures project, coordinators have been asked to encourage participation of younger practitioners and scholars. I would also encourage collaborations between more senior and junior practitioners and researchers. For background information I have set out the original description of the project at the end of this email.

As the North American research coordinator, I invite you to submit to me by no later than November 30 2020 a research proposal of 200 words, a methodology description of 100 words, and a biographical note of 50 words (please use the chart below). The proposals received will be reviewed (25 so far!) on a rolling basis and authors will be asked to submit short essays of 1000-2000 words elaborating on their proposals. In December, all accepted research proposals will be forwarded to the Jury established by ILA France.

The best short essays will be published on the ILA Canada website and shared with the Jury. In the coming months we will also organize a virtual colloquium to discuss and develop the proposed research topics.

Since Catherine Kessedjian provided the indicative list of potential topics (see below), the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed all of us, highlighting some of the weaknesses of international law and governance, in relation to health protection, inequality and marginalization, gender and human rights, economic security, environmental resilience and international solidarity.

We invite proposals that consider these evolving circumstances. You are also encouraged to suggest any topic that you consider will be important to the future of international law.

• Governance

• Self-regulation

• Party autonomy

• Sustainable development

• The role of business enterprises

• Diversity (gender, culture etc.)

• Indigenous peoples

• Artificial intelligence and big data

As noted in my earlier correspondence we will do some of our work regionally as the North American group but also seek to work with the other regions to produce global projects. Many of you will have useful networks to facilitate this kind of interregional research and collaboration.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to receiving your proposals in the coming weeks.

Thank you and best regards,

Oonagh Fitzgerald

Phone: (613) 415-7791


Title of Proposal

Author’s Name

Research Proposal (200 words)

  • Describe the issue, the research you propose to conduct, and the objective you hope to achieve

Research Methodology (100 words)

  • Is the topic regional or international?

  • Are there regional or international partners?

  • Are you considering virtual collaborations?

Author’s Biographical Note (50 words)

  • Are you early career, mid-career, senior?

  • Are you a practitioner or researcher?

  • What is your field of expertise and interest?

Submit to E-mail: by no later than November 30 2020



2023: 150 Years of the International Law Association

Paris, France

Two-day and a half event – 18-19-20 June 2023

Ideas Lab for programme content



The 2023 conference, which will mark 150 years of the International Law Association, should be used as an opportunity to rethink our legal norms and how we apply them in response to the challenges lawyers are facing daily.

Put another way, the 2023 conference will not be a retrospective. We will spend half a day in 2023 celebrating history – whether in the broad sense or the narrower one, that of the organization itself – not because of its intrinsic interest, but because of what it tells us about our identity, our current role and how we can better prepare for the future.

What are the challenges facing us?

The challenges

Multilateralism, as we have built it since the Second World War at least, is being eroded one piece at a time by actions clearly taken by states in their short-term interests without much heed to overall cohesion or any spirit of cooperation with others. How should citizens and companies set about leading the ‘good life’ suggested by Aristotle, in a climate that is so volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA)?

The destruction of the present world order, whose limitations we have to acknowledge, is proceeding without any alternative proposal for how we might address the harmful and pernicious degradation of planet Earth. Civil society, which at one time gave reason for hope, seems powerless to organize itself into a true countervailing power. Businesses could play a positive role, but they seem slow to grasp what it means for them to be ‘citizens’ too, or the fact that, as such, they have power to act in the common interest.

Where lawyers are concerned, although their everyday working tool, the legal rule, has probably never had a greater role to play, they are unsure how to integrate complementary norms such as ethics, soft law or standards. What part are lawyers prepared to play, other than the merely technical application of positive law? What can or should be the role of an organization like the ILA, and in which areas?

We plan to set up working groups to look at all these questions, region by region across the globe, using the approach set out below.

The approach

Each working group will be put together and coordinated by one person (see below for a list of those initially approached to act as coordinators) who will be responsible for a given geographic area. That person, to be known as the coordinator, will be part of the Foresight Panel set up to prepare for ILA Paris 2023.

Coordinators should give priority to persons in the 22-35 year age group, to ensure full representation of holders of doctorates, doctoral and post-doctoral students and young professionals. The age range is subject to a degree of flexibility.

Cooperation between the different geographic areas and groups is not only possible but encouraged, as no area should be treated as hermetically sealed.

A list of ideas will be drawn up. Each idea will show the name of the person or persons proposing it (the ‘champion’), with their contact details. Ideas must be innovative and have future potential, as well as being sufficiently specific to allow for further development (see the timetable below).

The following themes could be addressed, though the list is far from being exhaustive:

  • Governance

  • Self-regulation

  • Party autonomy

  • Sustainable development

  • The role of business enterprises

  • Diversity (gender, culture etc.)

  • Indigenous peoples

  • Artificial intelligence and big data.

The timetable

2020: The working groups will consider the topics and submit their ideas to the French Branch by the end of 2020.

1st quarter 2021: The jury will make its first selection.

2nd quarter 2021: The champion(s) of each idea selected will produce a 5-page presentation.

3rd quarter 2021: The jury will select the champions to be invited to present their ideas in poster form and those who will be invited to take part in a panel.

4th quarter 2021: Formal invitations will be issued. Each champion chosen must indicate whether their institution can bear the cost of their travel to Paris and accommodation. If not, these costs will be borne by the French Branch.

The Foresight Panel

Arthur Capella, (USP) Brazil

Humberto Cantú, University of Monterrey, Central America

Oonagh Fitzgerald (HRREC University of Ottawa), Canada and North America

Shotaro Hamamoto, (University of Kyoto), Japan

Makane MBenge (University of Geneva), French-speaking Africa

Valère Ndior (University of Brest), France and Western Europe

Damilola S. Olawuyi (Afe Babalola University, Nigeria), English-speaking Africa

Vasilka Sancin (University of Ljubljana), Eastern Europe

Steven Sarangavany Sengayen, (Mauritius), Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the region

Asako Wechs Hatanaka (University of Ritsumeykan), subject matter IP and Mediation

Liu Xiaohong, (University of Shanghai) China (TBC)

The jury

Anne van Aaken, Humboldt Professor, University of Hamburg

Rajput Aniruddha, Member of the UN International Law Commission

Régis Bismuth, Professor, Sciences Po, Director of Studies, ILA French Branch

Nicola Bonucci, Managing Director, Paul Hastings LLP, Former Director of Legal Affairs, OECD

Hyun Jung Kim (金玹廷), Associate Professor, Yonsei University

Jean-Pierre Mattout, Honorary Avocat, Former bank legal adviser, Visiting Professor at the International law School, University Panthéon-Assas Paris II

Anne-Thida Norodom, Professor, University of Paris-Descartes

Louis Perreau-saussine, Professor, University Paris-Dauphine

Mónica Pinto, Professor, Facultad de Derecho Universidad de Buenos Aires

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