In this seminar, Scott Newton discussed the legal-institutional project of mature Stalinism and its post-liberal legality through a shared toolkit of legal concepts, processes and approaches with other 20th century post-liberal legalities. He argued that Stalinism stands as a monument to the Soviet legal imaginary in its radical scope and Promethean ambitions, notwithstanding its limitations and flaws.
In this seminar, Dr Robert Knox examined recurring accusations of hypocrisy and their significance for international law. Rather than being merely political and extra-legal, he argued that these accusations are integral to international law and that they have played varying roles throughout history. Are these accusations politically fruitful, or do they reaffirm the wider system in which they are made?
Rule of Law or Rule by Lawyers? On the Politics of Translating in International Law
Maj Grasten (Copenhagen Business School)
In this seminar, Maj explored the way in which the rule of law is deployed in order to justify and sustain international interventions. She used a multi-sited ethnography in order to trace the inscription of meaning by international lawyers into the rule of law in post-conflict situations, and to reveal the politics of legal translation inherent in humanitarian practices.
Towards a Maximalist Reconception of Human Security regarding Forced Displacement
Maria Varaki (Helsinki)
In this seminar, Maria Varaki outlined the debate on emerging norms of sovereign responsibility for human security. Through linking human security to forced displacement, she proposed an expansion of current understandings of human security, and an agenda for further research.
Brazilian Responses to British Interventions in the Name of Slavery Abolition
Adriane Sanctis (São Paulo)
This seminar explored how Brazilians employed domestic and international legal techniques to resist and contest significant British interferences in the context of the escalating slave trade following its formal abolition in Brazil (1831-1850).
State Responsibility for Rebels in the Venezuela Arbitrations: Reading Joseph Conrad’s 'Nostromo'
Kathryn Greenman (Amsterdam)
In this seminar, Kathryn Greenman drew on Joseph Conrad's epic novel Nostromo – with its critique of economic imperialism and its ideas about the inherent chaos of Latin American society – to explore how the international law doctrine of state responsibility for rebels was forged in the postcolonial encounter between the West and Latin America.
In this seminar, Viktorija Jakjimovska developed a legal and conceptual analysis of British responses to the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832). She explored how the tensions between legal arguments about intervention and the political context in which they were defended contributed to shaping civil war as a legal concept within the jus ad bellum.
This seminar presented by Nele Verlinden analysed alternative thresholds in jus in bello that have been developed to deal with increasing ‘non-lethal’ State support to parties to an armed conflict, such as the provision of air-to-air refuel services, the sharing of crucial intelligence information or allowing territory to be used for launching drone operations.
In this seminar, Ville Kari explored the classical doctrine of civil war which preceded the era of modern collective security and of decolonisation in international law. Working backwards from Erik Castrén's last monograph Civil War (1966), he discussed this tradition of legal thinking and why it has since been abandoned.
WEB Du Bois, the Pan-African Congresses and the 'romantic international'
Christopher Gevers (KwaZulu-Natal)
In this seminar, Christopher Gevers explored the romantic internationalism of WEB Du Bois, the ‘Father of Pan-Africanism’, through his essays, political writings, and novels.
Christopher Gevers teaches international law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and is a PhD candidate at Melbourne Law School.
In this seminar, Sebastián Machado Ramírez (Laureate Program, and former Senior Advisor on International Law to the Attorney General of Colombia) discussed the Colombian peace process, the considerations that led to the decision to hold a referendum, the causes for its failure, the perceived tension between amnesties and human rights, and the possible scenarios that could unfold.
In this seminar, Professor Andrew March examined the fight over the legality of US operations in Syria against IS, focusing on the lawsuit brought by Captain Nathan Smith against President Obama.