UCL Faculty of Laws


In-Person | The Identity of Governments in International Law

03 June 2024, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

A view of teh General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters

A UCL Laws organised panel discussion exploring the regulation of governmental status in international law in light of the new book by Dr Niko Pavlopoulos

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens


As the ongoing situations in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Venezuela show, it is not uncommon for the identity of a state’s government to be contested or otherwise unclear. Such uncertainty can create difficulties for virtually every matter to which the representation of a state is relevant, such as the denunciation of a treaty, access to state assets situated abroad, and consent to foreign military presence.

While the importance of the international legal rules concerning the identity of the governments of states is apparent, there exist several unresolved questions in this regard. For example, on what basis is a claimant to be treated as the government of a state for the purposes of international law? What are the legal consequences of a state recognizing the ‘wrong’ government? In dealing with matters of state representation, to what extent must international organizations strictly follow the position under customary international law on the identity of governments?

To discuss such matters, this event brings together a distinguished panel with the author of the recently published book The Identity of Governments in International Law (Oxford University Press), which offers a distinctive and comprehensive account of the regulation of governmental status in international law. Drawing on their academic and practical expertise, the speakers will consider, among other things, recent state and organizational practice as well as conceptual and other legal questions with a view to better understanding the international legal framework regulating the identity of the governments of states.

The Identity of Goverments in International Law is available to order on the OUP website.

The Panel

Dr Niko Pavlopoulos (Associate Legal Officer, International Court of Justice) - Author


  • Sir Michael Wood KC (Twenty Essex)
  • Professor Roger O’Keefe (Bocconi University)
  • Dr Federica Paddeu (Queen’s College, Cambridge)
  • Belinda McRae (Twenty Essex)

The event will be chaired by Professor Alex Mills (UCL)

Book your place

UN Photo/Manuel Elias