UCL Faculty of Laws


The Assault on International Adjudication and the Limits of Withdrawal

16 October 2019, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

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This lecture is part of the International Law Association (British Branch) Lecture Series.

Event Information

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UCL Laws


UCL Laws (Gideon Schreier LT)
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens
United Kingdom

This lecture is part of the International Law Association (British Branch) Lecture Series.

Speaker: Prof. Campbell McLachlan, Victoria University of Wellington
Chair: Sir Frank Berman QC, Essex Court Chambers

About this event

Withdrawal from international adjudication–or threats to withdraw–has become a major contemporary phenomenon, affecting the operation of many different courts and tribunals. In a wide ranging review and critique, Professor McLachlan argues that the act of treaty withdrawal is not merely a unilateral executive exercise of the individual sovereign prerogative of a State. International law places checks upon the exercise of withdrawal, recognising that it is an act that of its nature affects the interests of other States parties, which have a collective interest in constraining withdrawal.

The arguments advanced against international adjudication in the name of popular democracy at the national level can serve as a cloak for the exercise of executive power unrestrained by law. McLachlan submits that the submission by States of their disputes to peaceful settlement through international adjudication is central, not incidental, to the successful operation of the international legal system.

About the speaker

Campbell McLachlan QC is Professor of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. His principal publications include: International Investment Arbitration: Substantive Principles (with Weiniger & Shore, 2nd edition, Oxford UP, 2017); Foreign Relations Law (Cambridge UP, 2014); and Lis Pendens in International Litigation (Nijhoff, 2008). He is a Specialist Editor of Dicey, Morris & Collins on the Conflict of Laws (15th edn 2012) and Joint Editor-in-Chief of ICSID Review–Foreign Investment Law Journal.

In 2015, he was elected to the Institut de Droit International and is Rapporteur of its 18th Commission on Equality of Parties before International Investment Tribunals. He has taught at The Hague Academy of International Law and has held visiting fellowships at Cambridge, All Souls College Oxford and New York University. He has been President of the Australian & New Zealand Society of International Law. He is currently a senior research fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin as part of the research group ‘International rule of law: rise or decline?,’ where he is writing a new book on Systemic Integration of International Law.

Campbell McLachlan also practises in the field of international dispute resolution and sits as an international arbitrator.

In 2020, he will hold the Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professorship in Legal Science in the University of Cambridge.

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