The Practice of Interpretation in International Law

The TRICI-Law project and the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies of the University of Groningen have the pleasure to invite you to a conference on ‘The Practice of Interpretation in International Law: Unity, Diversity, and Evolution’ which will take place on 1-2 December 2022. This 2-day Conference aims to reflect upon the prospects and limitations of rules of interpretation in international law focusing on the law and practice of interpretation of rules stemming from different sources of international law and/or governing different fields of international law. 


Substance of the Conference

The overarching theme of the Conference is to establish whether and to what extent a unified law of interpretation has emerged which engulfs all rules of international law regardless of their source or subject-matter or, conversely, whether special rules have emerged with regards to specific sources or subject-matters.

Judge Ineta Ziemele (Court of Justice of the European Union) will deliver the keynote speech. Speakers include renowned experts in general international law, international human rights law, international environmental law, international law of the sea, international criminal law, and international economic law.

The conference will form part of the research conducted by the project ‘The Rules of Interpretation of Customary International Law’ (TRICI-Law). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (‘ERC’) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement No. 759728).

Schedule *Amsterdam Time Zone (CET) (UTC+01:00)

09:00-09:30Opening of the Conference: Dr Sotirios Lekkas and Professor Panos Merkouris (TRICI-
09:30-10:30Keynote Speech: Judge Ineta Ziemele (Court of Justice of the European
10:30-11:00Coffee Break
11:00-12:30Panel 1: The Rules and Methods of Interpretation of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Chair: Judge Hilary Charlesworth (International Court of Justice)

Professor Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque (Catholic University Lisbon) ‘The role of the ECHR in the development of ICL’
Ellen Policinski (Legal Adviser, Commentary Update Unit, ICRC) ‘Treaty interpretation in the fog of war: The evolution of the ICRC’s methodology’
Professor Vasilika Sancin (Vice-Chair, UN Human Rights Committee; University of Ljubljana) ‘The Role of the Committees in Interpretation of the Fundamental UN Human Rights Treaties’
12:30-13:30Lunch Break
13:30-15:00Panel 2: The Rules and Methods of Interpretation of International Environmental Law/Law of the Sea

Judge Liesbeth Lijnzaad (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; Maastricht University)

Professor Elisa Morgera (Strathclyde University) ‘Mutually supportive interpretation of the law of the sea, international biodiversity law and human rights – clarifying the path towards transformative change’
Dr Ilias Plakokefalos (University of Athens)
Professor Jean-Marc Thouvenin (University Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense; Secretary-General, Hague Academy of International Law; Sygna Partners) ‘The Conventional and Customary Law of the Sea: what practice, if any, is relevant for its interpretation?’
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-17:00Panel 3: Rules of Interpretation in the Law on Sources

Chair: Professor Larissa van den Herik (Leiden University)

Professor Catherine Brölmann (University of Amsterdam) ‘Rules of Interpretation in an institutional context’
Professor Antonios Tzanakopoulos (University of Oxford)
Professor Jure Vidmar (Maastricht University) ‘Rules of Interpretation Outside of Treaty Law’
09:00-10:30Panel 4: The Rules and Methods of Interpretation of International Criminal Law

Chair: Professor Carsten Stahn (Leiden)

Professor Olympia Bekou (University of Nottingham) ‘Core international crimes at the interface: In search of unity amidst diversity in the interpretation of international criminal law’
Professor Caroline Fournet (University of Exeter) ‘The national laws of States’ as an interpretative tool of international criminal law’
Professor Leila Nadya Sadat (Washington University School of Law)
10:30-11:00Coffee Break
11:00-12:30Panel 5: The Rules and Methods of Interpretation of International Economic Law

Chair: Dr Anna-Alexandra Marhold (Leiden University)

Professor Gabrielle Marceau (WTO; University of Geneva) ‘The WTO’s approach to Articles 31-32-33 of the VCLT’
Dr Thomas-Nektarios Papanastasiou (Neapolis University Pafos) ‘Methods of interpretation of international investment law: The use of the object and purpose of investment treaties in interpreting territoriality’
Professor Yannick Radi (UC Louvain) ‘Comparative Reasoning in Investor-State Arbitration’
12:30-13:00Discussion & Closing of the Conference

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.