CFP: International Law and Time

Deadline for abstract submission: February 15, 2015

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (IHEID), International Law Department, is convening a conference entitled ‘International Law and Time’ from June 12–13, 2015, to explore the phenomena of time and change in international law.

Time is an inherent component of many of the most important international law concepts. However, it also fundamentally determines international law as a field. International law has been inconstant dynamic change since its inception. Capturing and understanding this change in time is one of the discipline’s fundamental challenges, as is the difficulty of working with the constantly changing materiae of international law in practice.

The conference is intended to create an opportunity to reflect and debate together the fundamentals of international law in depth. The themes sought to be explored include, interalia, the identification of international law in time; change in international law; the tension in international law between change and stability; the impact of history (and our perception of past and future) on conceptualization and interpretation of international law; the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of ideas, themes and concepts overtime; retroactivity; the role of time in creation and operation of international law norms and key international law concepts.

The conference will be structured into the following 6 sessions:

1.   Attributing Meaning to Time: Visions of History and Future

2.   International Law on a Given Day

3.   Role of Time in Creation and Operation of Norms

4.   International Law between Change and Stability

5.   Continuity, Discontinuity, Recurrence

6.   Regulating the Past: The Problem of Retroactivity

For details please see the conference website at:

The conference is open to both junior and senior international law scholars and practitioners. The organizers especially encourage current and recent doctoral students to apply. Papers will be selected based on quality, originality, and their capacity to provoke productive debate. Submissions of general character will b epreferred over specialized contributions.The organizers will seek to publish the proceedings from the conference. Organizers will financially assist those selected speakers who would otherwise be unable to undertake the cost of the trip to Geneva.

Submissions: Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted through the online form at by 15 February 2015. Selected applicants will be informed of their acceptance by March 15, 2015 and will be asked to submit their papers of around 6,000words in length by May 20, 2015. The conference papers will be distributed to the other conference participants in advance to facilitate an in-depth discussion. The Graduate Institute is a bilingual institution; submissions in either English or French are welcome. Any questions should be addressed to the conference organizers (Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg; Leon Castellanos Jankiewicz and Luca Pasquet) at [email protected].

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