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1917: Revolution, Intervention and International Law(s)

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1917: Revolution, Intervention and International Law(s) 

Conveners: Kathryn Greenman, Anne Orford, Anna Saunders, and Ntina Tzouvala

1917 was nothing if not eventful. The October Revolution and the revolutionary Mexican Constitution shook the foundations of the international order and international law in profound, unprecedented, and lasting ways. One hundred years later, living again through eventful times, this conference revisited 1917 as an international legal event and examined its multidimensional impact on the discipline of international law. More specifically, we were interested in analysing the importance of these revolutions for various international legal fields, including the law of armed intervention, the laws of state succession, state responsibility and state immunity as well as international investment law and the rules governing statehood for the purposes of international law.

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This conference drew together speakers from law, history, and politics to explore the place of revolution in the international legal order. How did or does international law conceptualise or juridify revolution? What different mechanisms did international law employ in response to the various challenges posed by revolution to particular interests, regimes, or paradigms (of property, peace, or politics)? What different forms of intervention (through the laws of war, of expropriation, or of restitution) did they prompt? In the wake of a revolutionary event, should we speak of international law, or rather of rival international laws? Is international law's structure a means of countering or containing revolution?

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Speakers included Amanda Alexander (ACU), Hilary Charlesworth (Melbourne), Daria Davitti (Nottingham), Marco Duranti (Sydney), Alison Duxbury (Melbourne), Sheila Fitzpatrick (Sydney), Kathryn Greenman (Amsterdam), Rob Knox (Liverpool), Dino Kritsiotis (Nottingham), Vidya Kumar (Leicester), Andrea Leiter (Melbourne), Kate Miles (Cambridge), Scott Newton (SOAS), Anne Orford (Melbourne), Umut Özsu (Carleton), Nikolaos Pavlopoulos (UCL), German Sandoval (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Juan Pablo Scarfi (Universidad Nacional de San Martin) and Owen Taylor (SOAS). A programme and additional photos of the event can be viewed below.

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Conference Programme