News & Events Upcoming

Luca Ferro
Conference on 'The well-being of the inhabitants of occupied territories: Limiting or gutting the duty of non-recognition?'

The Centre de droit international (ULB) and Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI), under the auspices of the Belgian Society of International Law, are hosting a conference on 'The well-being of the inhabitants of occupied territories: Limiting or gutting the duty of non-recognition' in Brussels on 14 and 15 November 2019. It will feature presentations by academics and practitioners alike. Here is the conference abstract:

When confronted with territorial situations resulting from the unlawful use of force or established in violation of peoples’ right to self-determination, States and international organizations are under the obligation not to recognize such situations as lawful. However, the precise scope of the duty and the exact obligations it entails for States are subject to continuous debate, which is of particular relevance in situations of long-term occupations and areas of contested statehood such as the Palestinian occupied territories, the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, the ‘Republic of Nagorno-Karabah’ and the ‘Moldovan Republic of Transnistria’. There, the exercise of legislative, executive and judicial powers has grown significantly over the years (if not decades), and produced acts the legal effects of which have on occasion been taken into consideration by States and international courts and tribunals. Such considerations do not necessarily defy the obligation of non-recognition. But how to strike such a balance in the context of protracted occupations? And to what extent can the duty of non-recognition be stretched for the purpose of guaranteeing the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories without stripping the duty of its raison d’être? These are the questions that the conference intends to tackle. 

The conference will consist of three panels (on non-recognition and the protection of individuals’ rights, the development of commercial/cultural activities) as well as a keynote speech (by Hans Corell, the Former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel of the United Nations) and roundtable devoted to the case of Western Sahara. Other well-known speakers include Ineta Ziemele (President of the Constitutional Court of Latvia, former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights) and Prof. Roger O'Keefe (Università Bocconi).

For more information, see the updated flyer here!

Tom Ruys
guest lecture by Steven Hill

On Wednesday 27 November 2019, Steven Hill (Legal Advisor and Director, Office of Legal Affairs at NATO) will give a guest lecture on NATO, his role as legal counsel and the relevance of international law in that context.  The lecture takes place in the framework of the course 'Inleiding tot het Europees and internationaal recht', and will take place from 16.00-17.30 in Auditorium 1, Ledeganck, Ghent. Persons that are not enrolled in the course are welcome to join, but are invited to signal their attendance beforehand to Ms. Kristien Ballegeer.

Mr Hill is Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s chief legal adviser and a member of his senior management team. He leads the multinational legal team in the Office of Legal Affairs, which provides legal counsel on issues on a wide range of issues, including the law of armed conflict, cyber law and the law of new technologies, privileges and immunities, status of forces, investigations, and the law of the international civil service. He also oversees litigation on behalf of NATO before the NATO Administrative Tribunal and in national courts.

Prior to joining NATO in February 2014, Mr Hill worked in New York as Counselor for Legal Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York. He represented the U.S. in Security Council and General Assembly negotiations on the rule of law, sanctions, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and the protection of civilians. He was also a member of the Management Committee for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Principal Donors Group for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the U.S. observer delegation to the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court.


Tom Ruys
Conference: 'What Room for Military Assistance on Request in the International Legal Order?'

On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 December 2019, the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law (JUFIL, Routledge) and the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) will host an international conference focusing on ‘military assistance on request’. Having regard to recent third-State interventions in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere, the conference seeks to explore the legal framework governing such interventions, including relevant uncertainties and shortcomings as well as proposals de lege ferenda.

The conference features a keynote address by Prof. Claus Kreß (University of Cologne), and separate expert panels will be devoted to the ‘authority’ to invite outside intervention on the one hand, and the permissibility of third-State intervention in situations of civil war on the other hand. Confirmed panelists include Prof. Inger Österdahl (Uppsala University), Prof. Eliav Lieblich (University of Tel Aviv), Prof. Gregory Fox (Wayne State University), Prof. Raphaël Van Steenberghe (Université catholique de Louvain-la-neuve), Prof. Karine Bannelier-Christakis (Université Grenoble-Alpes), Prof. Erika De Wet (University of Pretoria and University of Bonn), Prof. Alonso Gurmendi-Dunkelberg (Universidad del Pacifico), and Prof. Christian Henderson (University of Sussex).

You will find all information, including the full conference programme and registration link, here!