Conference Theme

International law has long been influenced by other fields of law and other disciplines and this conference will explore these influences and the way that they are intertwined. International law may regulate, mostly through treaties, other fields of law such as commercial, employment, family or environmental law; the use of international law is very different in each of these fields and international lawyers may be criminal lawyers, investment arbitrators or administrative law specialists while still considering themselves international lawyers. At the same time, international law needs to be understood in a broader context. The fluctuating content of international law – as a result of its decentralized norm-making process – and the various compliance and enforcement structures – due to the lack or weakness of centralized policing institutions – often require meta-legal reasoning when it comes to explaining the normative quality of international law and to understanding what the law is and why it should be followed. These trends have increased recently and threatened international law with fragmentation through over-specialization. In order to see the whole picture, international lawyers need to understand how international law is distinguished from and linked to other fields and disciplines.

The 2014 ESIL conference in Vienna will explore these interconnections and will also look at whether the boundaries of international law have been crossed, and in what ways. The title ‘International Law and …’ indicates that the focus is on the interplay between international law and other fields of law and between international law and other disciplines.


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