BIICL and MLS conference

Dialogues between International and Public Law

A conference organised by British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) and Melbourne Law School (MLS),
30 June–1 July 2016, London

This two-day conference brought together for the first time leading academic and practising lawyers to pool knowledge and share perspectives on the changing relationship between public international law and domestic public law in different jurisdictions.

Organised by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) and the Melbourne Law School (MLS), the aim of the conference was to generate constructive dialogue on how national public law and public international law and practice should, and must, co-exist, combining theory with case studies and the experience of practitioners.

The conference was attended by 97 people, including prominent academics in international law and public law fields from a number of countries, experienced practitioners from private practice and government legal practice, and serving and retired members of the senior British and Australian judiciary. It took place at Woburn House Conference Centre, 20–24 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ.

The conference was co-convened by Jill Barrett, Arthur Watts Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, BIICL and Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO, Melbourne Law School. 

The conference is a result of a growing partnership between BIICL and MLS, which includes the Arthur Watts Senior Research Fellowship in Public International Law. More information on the BIICL and MLS partnership can be found here.

A Report of Proceedings is available to view online here.

Conference Proceedings

Keynote Address by Lord Peter Goldsmith QC PC, Debevoise & Plimpton: Dialogues Between International and Public Law

Panel 1: The relationship between public international law and public Law – why is it important in practice and in theory?

  • Chair: Sir Bernard Rix QC, 20 Essex St Chambers
  • Sir Frank Berman, KCMG QC, BIICL: “International and Public Law: Perspectives from Government and Private Legal Practice”
  • Professor Cheryl Saunders, Melbourne Law School: “Public law and Public International Law: a Public Law Perspective on Interdependence” 
  • Professor Gerry Simpson, London School of Economics and Melbourne Law School: “International Law as Public Law”

Panel 2: Impacts of public international law on public law

  • Chair: Professor Robert McCorquodale, BIICL  
  • Dr Veronica Fikfak, Homerton College, Cambridge University: “English courts’ ‘internalisation’ of the European Convention on Human Rights? – Between Theory and Practice”
  • Professor Michael Crommelin, Melbourne Law School: “The Pacific ‘Solution’ to the Refugee Crisis: A Case Study” 
  • Professor Dapo Akande, Oxford University: “Non-justiciability and the
    Foreign Act of State Doctrine”

Panel 3: Public law influences on public international law

  • Chair: Professor Dan Sarooshi, Oxford University and Essex Court Chambers 
  • Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, Blackstone Chambers: ”The Internationalisation of the Right to Administrative Justice” 
  • Aimee-Jane Lee, Debevoise & Plimpton: ”The Role of Public Law Notions of Proportionality in Investment Arbitration and in Contemporary Treaty Practice” 
  • Ben Juratowitch, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer: “Individual Rights in Disputes Between States”

Panel 4: Concepts of ”public” in “public” international and “public” law 

  • Chair: Jill Barrett, BIICL
  • Professor David Feldman QC, Cambridge University: “The Varying Meaning of ‘Public’ in Public Law and Public International Law”
  • Professor Dr Armin von Bogdandy, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg; and University of Frankfurt “From Public International to International Public Law. Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority” 
  • Dr Jason Varuhas, Melbourne Law School: “Against the Public–Private Law Divide: Pluralism and Public Law” 

Panel 5: Complications of Pluralism

  • Chair: Professor Dawn Oliver, University College London  
  • Alistair McGlone, International Environmental Law Consultant: “Case Study on Compliance by EU Institutions with International Obligations Arising Under the Aarhus Convention” 
  • Dr Jarrod Hepburn, Melbourne Law School: “Parallel Expropriation Norms in International Law and Australian Law” 

Panel 6: Future directions 

  • Chair: Rt Hon Sir Stanley Burnton QC, One Essex Court Chambers  
  • Tim Eicke QC, Essex Court Chambers: “The Future Potential for Human Rights and Public Law Issues to Feature in Investment Treaty Negotiations and Arbitrations” 
  • Douglas Wilson, Foreign & Commonwealth Office: “Issues on the Horizon: International Law Positions as an Act of Foreign Policy?” 
  • Professor Thomas Poole, London School of Economics: “Future Narratives on State Sovereignty: Where are we Heading?” 
  • Dr Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Oxford University: “What Can we Take Away From These Dialogues?”