On 19 July 2019, we welcomed back to Geneva many alumni of the Seminar for the Network’s inaugural conference.
Around 100 members, from more than 50 different countries, attended an afternoon of debate and discussion in the historical Room VII of the Palais des Nations. (The full programme is available here.)
The theme of the first panel was International Law and the Environment, ably moderated by Prof. Marcelo Kohen (Graduate Institute of Geneva). It featured:
- Prof. Marja Lehto (Member of the ILC and Senior Expert in Public International Law for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland), who reflected on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict, with a focus on the role of prevention in the development and implementation of the rules of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law;
- Dr. Jasmine Moussa (First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Egypt in Geneva) who presented a critical reappraisal of the codification of the Law on International Watercourses, sharing also from the experience of the Nile Basin States, and argued that the ILC should revisit this topic;
- Prof. Shinya Murase (ILC member and Professor Emeritus of Jochi University in Tokyo), who discussed the role of science in international law from the angle of the progressive development of international environmental law, as well as in the context of dispute settlement (particularly the issue of scientific evidence before international courts and tribunals); and
- Prof. Gentian Zyberi (Member of the Human Rights Committee and Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway) who commented on the relationship between on human rights and the protection of the environment from substantive, procedural and institutional perspectives.
Prof. Christian Tomuschat (President of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, and Professor Emeritus at Humboldt University of Berlin), alumnus of the 2nd session in 1966, gave the keynote speech, reflecting on the international landscape, the work of the ILC and the ILS from its early days, to the present and shared some personal thoughts and wisdom about the future.
The second panel, which focused on Procedural Issues in International Dispute Settlement, was moderated by Dr. Brian McGarry (Lecturer and Senior Researcher at the Geneva Centre for International Dispute Settlement) and featured:
- Prof. Antonios Abou Kasm (Professor of International Law at Lebanese University) who discussed the concept of voluntarism as an element of and a continuous challenge in international dispute settlement;
- Monica Feria-Tinta (Barrister, 20 Essex Chambers) who discussed the procedural aspects of the settlement of international claims, identifying key issues that a potential study of the subject by the ILC might entail with a view to systematising principles in this area;
- Dr. Philippe Gautier (Registrar of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea), sharing his observations on ITLOS’s application and further development of past products of the ILC, in particular the articles concerning the Law of the Sea, Diplomatic Protection and State Responsibility; and,
- The Hon. Raul Pangalangan (Judge of the International Criminal Court) who spoke on international criminal tribunals and the shift from State responsibility to individual criminal responsibility.
We are grateful to all members who gave their time to help organise the event, and to all those who travelled to attend. Particular thanks to the Permanent Mission of Singapore, the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and the Geneva Center for International Dispute Settlement (CIDS) for their sponsorship of this event.