Institute of Global Law

Institute of Global Law

Institute Events

Past Events

Tuesday 21 February 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
How Constitutions Change: Some Surprising Findings
Professor Carlo Fusaro (University of Florence)
Chair: Professor Dawn Oliver (UCL)
Time: 1-2.30pm
Venue: UCL Faculty of Laws

About this lecture
Professor Dawn Oliver of UCL and Professor Carlo Fusaro of the University of Florence recently completed a project in which they compared the ways in which fourteen broadly liberal constitutions, and the EU 'constitution', change. The results are published in How Constitutions Change (Hart Publishing, 2011). Constitutional change can come about in a surprisingly wide range of ways: not only as a result of formal constitutional amendment procedures such as special majorities in the Parliament or referendums, but as a result of changes in the standing orders of parliaments, decisions by the courts, some of which have been rather revolutionary, changes in conventions or governmental praxis, informal agreements between constitutional bodies, or in the form of soft law - codes, guidance, protocols. Lessons can be taken from this project as to the conditions in which constitutional change can or cannot take place and the implications if the political culture in a country makes formal change impossible.

About the Speaker:
Carlo Fusaro is Professor of Comparative Public Law at the University of Florence. His research and teaching interests cover the form of government; parliamentary and presidential democracies; the role of present time parliaments; institutional reforms in Italy; history of the Italian institutions; majoritarian principle and democracy; the role of the judiciary in Italy; electoral legislation; comparative government (expecially France); and public utilities in Italy and in Germany.

Thursday 3 May 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
The Proliferation of Preferential Trade Agreements: The Beginning of the End of the Multilateral Trading System?
Professor Michael Trebilcock (University of Toronto Law School)
Chair: Dr Ioannis Lianos (UCL)
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: UCL Faculty of Laws
Accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB (pending)

About this lecture
The moribund state of Doha Round WTO negotiations has heightened concerns about the impact of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on the progress of global trade liberalization. PTAs have proliferated over the past two decades. There are approximately 300 PTAs now in force, and all but one WTO member is now party to a PTA. The nature of PTAs is also rapidly evolving, with agreements encompassing issue areas beyond WTO commitments and increasingly involving developing countries.

Compared with an ideal world of multilateral free trade, the welfare implications of PTAs are deeply troubling. However, considered in the actual context of persistent barriers to global trade, the theoretical and empirical literature is ambivalent on whether PTAs enhance or detract from global welfare. This is an issue unlikely to be resolved, and the debate has now moved beyond whether PTAs should be categorically opposed. PTAs are firmly entrenched in the law and politics of international trade. The question is how the relationship between these two modes of trade liberalization can best be managed to enhance complementarities and minimize conflicts.

The paper identifies key challenges to multilateralism posed by the growing number and changing nature of PTAs. Lessons are drawn from the international investment regime, where, in the absence of a comprehensive multilateral treaty governing investment, over 2600 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have been formed in the past 20 years. Recommendations are made for reform at the WTO and in the institutional design of PTAs, with a view to safeguarding the multilateral trading system in the context of PTA proliferation.

About the Speaker:
Michael J. Trebilcock is Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Toronoto School of Law. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1962 with an LL.B. and completed his LL.M. at the University of Adelaide in 1965. He joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto in 1972. He was selected as a University Professor in 1990. Professor Trebilcock specializes in Law and Economics, International Trade Law, Competition Law, Economic and Social Regulation, and Contract Law and Theory.

Wednesday 23 May 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
Macroeconomic Co-operation and International Law
Professor Eric Posner (University of Chicago)
Chair: Professor Philippe Sands QC (UCL)
Time: 6-7pm
Venue: UCL Faculty of Laws
Accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB (pending)

About this lecture
The macroeconomic policies of states can produce significant harms and benefits for other states, yet international macroeconomic cooperation has been one of the weakest areas of international law. We ask why states have had such trouble cooperating over macroeconomic issues, when they have been relatively successful at cooperation over related issues like trade. We argue that although the theoretical benefits of macroeconomic cooperation are real, in practice it is difficult to sustain because states’ macroeconomic interests are diverse and frequently change over time, creating end-game problems for individual governments; the benefits require cooperation among a large group of states rather than small groups or pairs, so that free-riding becomes a problem; and there is a great deal of uncertainty about optimal policy. For these reasons, robust macroeconomic cooperation across populations may require monetary unification, which itself is frequently impossible and in any event raises numerous, even more complex issues for states. The European monetary union, the Bretton Woods Systems, and the gold standard are discussed.

About the Speaker:
Eric Posner is Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar at the University of Chicago. His books include Law and Social Norms (Harvard 2000); Chicago Lectures in Law and Economics (Foundation 2000) (editor); Cost-Benefit Analysis: Legal, Economic, and Philosophical Perspectives (University of Chicago 2001) (editor, with Matthew Adler); The Limits of International Law (Oxford 2005) (with Jack Goldsmith); New Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis (Harvard 2006) (with Matthew Adler); Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts (Oxford 2007) (with Adrian Vermeule); Climate Change Justice (Princeton 2010) (with David Weisbach); and The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic (Oxford 2011) (with Adrian Vermeule). He is also an editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. He has published articles on bankruptcy law, contract law, international law, cost-benefit analysis, constitutional law, and administrative law, and has taught courses on international law, foreign relations law, contracts, employment law, bankruptcy law, secured transactions, and game theory and the law. His current research focuses on international law, immigration law, and foreign relations law. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Tuesday 12 June 2012
Negotiating Religion Workshop:
Legal Frameworks: Schools and Religious Freedom

Convened by Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin (UCL Laws)
Confirmed participants include Prof. Patrick Weil (Pantheon-Sorbonne University), Prof. Maleiha Malik (KCL), Prof. Norman Doe (Cardiff), Dr Russell Sandberg (Cardiff), Prof. Ian Leigh (Durham), Peter Cumper (Leicester), Prof. Eric Barendt (UCL), Prof. Lucy Vickers (Oxford Brookes), Colm O'Cinneide (UCL), Dr Ronan McCrea (UCL), Dr Tobias Lock (Surrey), Prof. Julian Rivers (Bristol), Dr Peter Petkoff (Brunel), Dr Julia Ipgrave (Warwick), Dr Javier Oliva (Manchester),
Time: 9 - 5.30pm
Venue: UCL Faculty of Laws

Download the programme for this workshop
Download details of the full Workshop Series

For further information about this workshop series, please contact Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin

About the Event:
Common thread: How and to what extent do legal frameworks - judicial reasoning, legal processes (excluding constitutional frameworks, focus of another workshop) allow a space for negotiating religious issues? Does this negotiation take place with religious communities or directly with the individuals who claim that their religious freedoms have been infringed? What are the main actors of the negotiating process? Who benefits from it? What are the risks of « negotiating »? Is « negotiation » the best way to reach a fair compromise between conflicting rights and claims? Is negotiating with religious freedoms any different to negotiation in respect of other human rights? What special features/dangers derive from the school context in which this negotiation takes place? What does teaching in a secular institution imply? These crucial questions will be addressed through analysis of topical case law and legal scholarship under four headings: religious symbols; religious education and teaching content; religion and staff; faith schools.


Past Events:


Thursday 2 February 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
Global Administrative Law and Global Governance: The Normative Agenda
Professor Richard B. Stewart (NYU Law School)
Chair: Dr Ioannis Lianos (UCL)
Accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB

About this lecture
Many different global regulatory bodies and their domestic counterparts increasingly follow global administrative law practices of transparency, participation, reason giving and review in making decisions. This lecture will address two fundamental questions regarding this striking new development. First, can Global Administrative Law improve global governance by, for example, fostering the rule of law, securing accountability, protecting disregarded interests, or promoting democratic values? Second, and related, to what extent are the elements of global administrative law “law,” as opposed to simply good administrative practice? The answers have profound implications for the legal profession and for law’s contribution to global governance.

About the Speaker:
Professor Richard B Stewart is recognized as one of the world's leading scholars in environmental and administrative law, Richard Stewart is University Professor and John Edward Sexton Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Prior to joining the NYU School of Law faculty, Stewart had served as a Byrne Professor of Administrative Law at Harvard Law School and a member of the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resource Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Thursday 19 January 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
Courts, Climate Expertise and Civic Epistemologies
Professor Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard Kennedy School)
Chair: Dr Ioannis Lianos (UCL)
Accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB (pending)

About this lecture
The role of experts in the legal process has generally been examined from the standpoint of juridical capacity to distinguish reliable from unreliable knowledge. In an era of globalization it is more important to understand how courts evaluate the universal claims of science in relation to background cultural norms of reason, demonstration, and evidence—in short, to the collective knowledge ways that Professor Jasanoff has elsewhere termed "civic epistemologies." Using climate science as an example, she compares US and UK developments in climate law and policy to illustrate how courts reproduce the background norms of reasoning that give specificity to modern political cultures. Courts in this analysis are sites in which competing, quasi-constitutional understandings of the right relations between knowledge and power are tested and dominant ones are reaffirmed. Judicial decisions are at once markers of national difference and signposts to the epistemic habits that must be acknowledged and addressed in building common legal responses to global public problems.

About the Speaker:
Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 100 articles and chapters and is author or editor of a dozen books, including Controlling Chemicals, The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, and Designs on Nature. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies, with particular attention to the nature of public reason. She was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell University and has held numerous distinguished visiting appointments in the US, Europe, and Japan. Jasanoff served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. Her grants and awards include a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship and an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria. She holds AB, JD, and PhD degrees from Harvard, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente.

Friday 13 January 2012
IUS Commune / Institute of Global Law Series
'The System of the Constitution': A Critical Discussion
Professor Adrian Vermuele (Harvard Law School)
Commentators: Nick Barber (Fellow and Tutor in law, Trinity College, Oxford); Timothy Endicott (Professor of Legal Philosophy, Fellow of Balliol College and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford) ; Jeff King (Senior Lecturer, University College London) ; Christian List (Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, London School of Economics); Thomas Poole (Reader in Law, London School of Economics)
Accredited with 3 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB (pending)
About this event
Professor Adrian Vemeule (Harvard Law School) is one of most interesting and dynamic scholars of public law and constitutional theory now writing in the United States. His work combines deep and broad knowledge of legal and political theory, decision theory and organizational behavior, as well as careful attention to legal doctrine and the plethora of empirical studies on judging within the American system. His earlier work Judging Under Uncertainty (2006), Law and the Limits of Reason (2008), and The Executive Unbound (2011) present formidable challenges to the received wisdom about the role of appellate judges in constitutional democracies. Professor Vermeule is a notable advocate of judicial restraint.

In The System of the Constitution (OUP, 2011) Vermeule presents a systems-analysis of constitutional orders, arguing that constitutional orders are ‘aggregates within aggregates, systems nested within systems.’ Legal and political theorists often fail to account for this structure, and commit the fallacy of composition by making invalid inferences from what might be true of part of the system, to what is true of its whole. Vermeule takes us deep into systems theory, offering a concrete and readable account of it and showing what difference it makes to our understanding of constitutionalism in any complex society. He explores the general theory of second-best, applying it to constitutions, and brings the books’ insights to bear on process of legal interpretation undertaken by judges. Notably, he argues that theorists have overlooked the dynamic mutual adjustments that occur between selection of constitutional actors (e.g. judges) and the interpretive doctrines they are meant to apply.

For this event, five notable scholars of constitutional or political theory examined Professor Vermeule’s book in critical detail, and Vermeule responded before the floor opened for discussion.

Wednesday 18 May 2011
UCL Institute for Global Law / IUS Commune Lecture
Global standards for national democracies?

Professor Sabino Cassesse, University of Rome
Friday 11 February 2011
UCL Institute for Global Law / IUS Commune Lecture
EU Citizenship: post-national or Post-nationalist?
On the Rottman case (2010) and its Implications

Professor Mario Savino, Universita della Tuscia di Viterbo
Monday 17 January 2011
UCL Institute for Global Law / IUS Commune Lecture
National legal studies in the European legal area

Professor Dr. Armin Bogdandy, Max-Planck Institut
About the book
By mapping the icon of Justice (a woman with scales and sword) and by tracing the development of public spaces dedicated to justice (courthouses), the authors explore the evolution of adjudication into its modern form as well as the intimate relationship between courts and democracy.  

Law, Religion and Education Conference
On 8 th and 9 th October 2010, the “Law, Religion and Education” conference was held with great success at Maison française d'Oxford (MFO) under the auspices of the Institute of Global Law (UCL) and MFO with the support of the Institute for Human Rights (UCL).

The comparative and multidisciplinary perspective adopted shed a new light on the delicate articulation of Law and Religion in the sphere of education and on the contours of religious freedoms. Leading academics, barristers specialised in the field, representatives of religious and secular organizations and educationists took part and contributed to the richness of the papers and ensuing debates.

See full programme and list of sponsors:
Conference Outline [pdf]
Conference Programme [pdf]
Law and Religion Conference Abstracts and Profiles [pdf]

Listen to the conference speakers here:- http://www.mfo.ac.uk/en/node/1298

An edited collection (Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin (ed.)) will be published by Ashgate, Cultural diversity and the Law series, in 2011.


Ius Commune/Global Law speaker series
In November 2009, the Institute of Global Law and the Centre for Law and Governance in Europe jointly agreed to launch the Ius Commune/Global Law speaker series. The objective of this series is to invite established and promising scholars to present papers on various aspects of comparative law (public and private) or interdisciplinary papers on themes that are of interest to a variety of legal systems.

Ius Commune / Global Law speaker series

Prof. Hein Kötz: The Jurisdiction of Choice: England and Wales or Germany?
Chair: The Right Honourable Lady Justice Arden DBE:
20 January, 2010, (UCL Bloomsbury Campus, London)

In 2007, the Law Society published a brochure 'England and Wales: The Jurisdiction of Choice' to be followed two years later by a similar brochure put out by the German lawyers' associations entitled 'Law - Made in Germany'. In both brochures reasons are set out, in no uncertain terms, why parties should select English or German law as the law governing their contracts, and why they should opt for English or German courts as the best forum to resolve their disputes. Professor Kötz made a critical look at the statements made in these brochures. The assertions, that a codified law is more rigid and prescriptive. That the availability of a general provision on good faith in the German Civil Code breeds uncertainty and leads to an influx of contractual morality and considered the questions, ."Does a certain 'commercial flavour' emanate from English contract law, and is it based on the view that 'it is better that the law should be certain than that in every case it should be just'?", and "What are the specific strengths and weaknesses of English and German civil procedure?"

The Institute of Global Law gratefully acknowledges the support by the law firm Clifford Chance and the German Academic Exchange Service for this event.

Ius Commune/Global law speaker series

Dr. Hannes Rösler "Protection of the weaker party in European Contract Law - Standardised and Individual Inferiority in Multi-Level Private Law "
3 December 2009 (UCL Bloomsbury Campus, London)

The first speaker in this series Ius Commune/Global law speaker series Dr. Hannes Rösler , Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute in Hamburg ( http://www.mpipriv.de/ww/en/pub/staff/roesler_hannes.cfm ). Dr Rösler Presented a paper on the " Protection of the weaker party in European Contract Law - Standardised and Individual Inferiority in Multi-Level Private Law "
Chaired by Professor Hugh Collins from the London School of Economics ( http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/staff/hugh-collins.htm )

Tripartite Conference between the UN, France and Germany on The State's Reaction to Terrorism ,
London (14 November 2006) (in cooperation with the French Embassy, the German Embassy, the DAAD, the Franco-British Lawyers' Association and King's College London)

"Patterns of Federalisam and Regionalism"
7 November 2003 at the Faculty of Laws, UCL
View the programme | Read a review of the conference

The Application of the Law of State Responsibility by InternationalCourts and Tribunals
Conference held in October 2002. more ...