Withdrawing from International Law?
Free Public Lecture
Theatre G08, Ground Floor
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
T: 9035 1111
2017 Sir George Turner Memorial Lecture
The international legal system has been showing signs of instability and insecurity. States have been withdrawing from multilateral treaties – for example, South Africa from the Rome Treaty for an International Criminal Court, the United Kingdom from the European Union, the United States from the Paris Agreement. Some states have been withdrawing from their investment protection treaties. Other signs of insecurity include non-appearance before international tribunals, rejection of unfavourable decisions, a weakening of the Optional Clause mechanism and denial of responsibility for refugee flows.
What does this portend? Are states entirely free to choose from the smorgasbord of international legal rules on offer? Are they free not to dine at all, to reject the underlying institutions and with them their commitments to each other?
About the Sir George Turner Memorial Lecture
The Sir George Turner Memorial Lectures were established in 1944 when Grace Melvin Turner bequeathed in her will the establishment of a lectureship in memory of her father, Sir George Turner. Sir George was admitted to practice in 1881. He was Mayor of St Kilda from 1887 to 1888, elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1889 and became Solicitor-General for Victoria in 1892. In 1894 he became Premier of Victoria. He died on 13 August 1916.
Judge James Crawford, Judge
Judge James Crawford
International Court of Justice
James Crawford AC, SC, FBA was born in Adelaide and studied law at Adelaide and Oxford Universities. He is a Judge of the International Court of Justice. From 1992 to 2015 he was Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge; he also held chairs at Adelaide. Sydney and LaTrobe Universities. He was also a member of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1982–1990). He was responsible for the ILC’s work on the International Criminal Court (1994) and for the second reading of the ILC Articles on State Responsibility (2001). During his practicing career, he was involved as counsel, expert or arbitrator in some 100 cases before the International Court and other international tribunals. Publications include *The Creation of States in International Law* (2nd edn, 2006); *Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law* (8th edn, 2012); *State Responsibility: The General Part* (2013), and *Chance, Order, Change: The Course of International Law* (2014).