Conference Programme

@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 08.00-14.30 - Registration & Parallel ESIL Interest Groups-Pre Conference Activities
Time Pre-Conference Activities Registration
8.00-8.45 ESIL Board Meeting with IG Convenors (Faculty Club) 8.00-15.00


(Faculty Club)

9.00-11.00 IG Meetings (Faculty Club; Academias 45; Law Library)
11.00-11.30 Coffee break (Faculty Club; Law Library)
11.30-13.30 IG Meetings (Faculty Club; Academias 45; Law Library)
13.30-14.30 Lunch (Faculty Club; Law Library)
@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 15.00-16.00 - Welcome: ESIL President The President of the Hellenic Republic

Venue: Ceremonial Hall

14:00 - 14:45

Please, be on time: Security screening required. Audience must be seated by 14.45

@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 16.00-17.00 - Keynote address: Sovereignty – The past and the future

Venue: Ceremonial Hall

@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 17.00-17.30 - Coffee break
@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 17.30-19.00 - FORUM I: [Re-]Defining sovereignty: The Montevideo principles revisited

This opening Forum aims to set the scene for discussing the theme of the Conference, establishing links between statehood and sovereignty.
It is a truism that any discussion concerning statehood and sovereignty has as its point of departure the famous Montevideo Principles. When we ask whether a State has been created, we instinctively turn to these Principles (permanent population; defined territory; government; and capacity to enter into relations with other states) as a point of reference. However, are they still relevant? For some, these criteria are beginning to look increasingly dated – or even by-passed by the reality of State territories disappearing under sea-level rise; in the words of Vaughan Lowe, ‘they are a child of their time and reflect none of the preoccupations with self-determination, democracy and legitimacy’ that characterise contemporary discussions of statehood. On the other hand, it is difficult to dispute that the Montevideo requirements have aged remarkably well. Their simplicity and non-evaluative nature makes them an acceptable premise for any scholarly discourse in this regard. The debate is still going on and a possible revision of these criteria may be considered not only welcome but also necessary.

@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 17.30-19.00 - FORUM II: Challenging sovereignty: Contested statehood

Contesting statehood and sovereignty can refer to two very different exercises. The first denotes the act or stance of a State contesting the creation or existence of another State. In this familiar scenario, the well-known classical conundrums have yet to find answer; the right to external self-determination and the indissolubly linked act of secession, remain heavily contested issues. In the second exercise, contestation concerns the very concepts of sovereignty and statehood and their relevance today. From this perspective, there has been a big shift away from the conception of the State as an independent entity with supreme authority over persons and territory with its normative primacy being challenged by other private, supranational and local non-state actors. The goal of this forum is to assess both the practice and theory of contestation of statehood.

@Thursday, 12 September 2019, 20.00-21.30 - Welcome reception

Venue: Presidential Palace

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 8.00-9.00 - Breakfast Meeting-ESIL Board with New Members

Venue: : Faculty Club

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 8.00-9.00 - Meet the editors of the European Journal of International Law

Venue: : Faculty Club

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 9.00-10.00 - J. Weiler on Publishing Strategies for Young Scholars

Venue: : Faculty Club

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora I: Beyond sovereignty: ABNJ and the Law of the Sea

Negotiations for a new implementing agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea are currently underway. States and indeed all other interested users of the sea need to evaluate how the regulatory powers of States operate beyond borders in the governance of ABNJ and how to strike a balance between sustainable oceans and economic growth, especially in view of Sustainable Development Goal 14 as well as between existing institutions and the need for a comprehensive management scheme for oceans.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora II: Exercising sovereignty: Managing migratory flows

In many respects, the current crisis in the movement of people was, if not predictable, then at least foreseeable as a very likely consequence of demographic pressure, turmoil, civil strife and long-standing conflicts. To all the challenges of today, we must add the challenge of mobility itself, in a globalized world that is prone to steadily increase as profound inequalities still persist. The sovereign State has indeed reacted, with ‘securitisation’ being at the forefront of its policy. The predilection of European States and institutions for reactive measures has manifested itself in a shift of the traditional sovereignty paradigm: while the system of awarding international protection to refugees and migrants is founded on the premise of a physical border, at the gates of which an individual may request international protection, the receiving States are currently seeking means and ways to extend the notion of boundary, keeping both the migratory flows and the legal determination on the status of asylum seekers further away from their territory – an exercise of sovereignty beyond territory. On the other hand, the sovereign State is facing the serious challenge of the integration of the thousands of beneficiaries of international protection within its borders. And at the same time, calls for a more equitable, fair and just system of allocation of burdens in managing the migratory flows are becoming more and more pressing.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora III: Expanding sovereignty: Extraterritoriality as a tool

For a long time, extraterritoriality was conceived mainly through the territorial scope of application of human rights treaties. States increasingly seek to move beyond physical borders their sovereign functions and powers, including control over persons, for example, for migration control purposes; or jurisdiction over areas beyond national jurisdiction (outer space, high seas, seabed); or indeed obligations pertaining to environmental protection. Extraterritoriality thus becomes a very useful tool at the hands of the sovereign State to expand its powers and at the same time a very challenging concept for international law. Is extraterritoriality a contemporary and real challenge to the traditional paradigm of State sovereignty or an inherent feature in the change and progress of international law?

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 10.30-11.00 - Coffee break
@Friday, 13 September 2019, 11.00-12.30 - FORUM III: Diluting sovereignty: State finance and economic decision-making

Globalization of the economy has yet to alter the quintessentially horizontal character of an international legal
system founded upon sovereign equality. As a result, how global economy works today and the respective role of
states may not always appear to conform to post-1648 Westphalian conceptions of sovereignty.
This is not to say that sovereignty has eclipsed; rather, the way globalization impacts on economic decision-making
by States advocates for a less ‘dense’ and more sophisticated understanding of sovereign power, perhaps in line with
John H. Jackson’s concept of ‘Sovereignty-Modern’; and, indeed, the economic challenges faced by States may prove to
require such an up-dated approach to state sovereignty. Sovereign economic decision-making is now increasingly
put to international judicial scrutiny and tested against the requirements of international norms, e.g. those
belonging to international human rights law and international investment law. Moreover, the choice of soft law
instruments in international financial law and the role of institutions, ranging from the International Monetary Fund,
G-20 and the European Stability Mechanism, to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International
Organization for Securities Commissions, suggest (if not demand) new ways of viewing sovereignty. In other words,
States may well remain the gatekeepers in international economic affairs, but the keys are occasionally shared with
other subjects or users of international law.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 11.00-12.30 - FORUM IV: Adjudicating sovereignty: Consent in dispute settlement

The fundamental premise for the peaceful settlement of international disputes remains the principle of State consent, which is nothing less than a tribute to and a limiting factor of State sovereignty: Consent by States provides international courts and tribunals with the power to say what the law is (juris dictio) and resolve international disputes in a binding manner. And yet we continue to witness the familiar State criticism against international courts and tribunals for judicial activism and excess of powers, instances where international adjudicators are essentially requested to deal with sovereignty pleas by States. Would all this put the judicialization of international dispute resolution under threat? – and what would be the way forward?

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 12.30-13.30 - EiPro Launch OUP

Venue: Garden

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 12.30-14.30 - Lunch

Venue: Garden

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 13.30-14.30 - Mentoring Event

50 places

Pre-Registration is required!

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 13.30-14.30 - Meeting of the International Law Journals Editors

Venue: Argyriadis Foyer

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 14.30-16.00 - Agora IV: Apportioning sovereignty: Delimitation as a sovereignty exercise

Delimiting State boundaries has always been one of the most significant sovereignty exercises, a contentious issue, particularly as regards the extended zones of maritime jurisdiction—the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The question of the outer limit of such zones has also become increasingly important, as the interests of the international community as a whole have begun to be defined through the submissions made to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. In the air the allocation between national airspace and international airspace was effectively facilitated through the systematic and efficient work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since the 1950s. Does one size fit all?

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 14.30-16.00 - Agora V: Questing Sovereignty: The corporation in international law and the role of non-State actors

References to ‘non-State actors’ nowadays routinely include multinational corporations, armed rebel groups, NGOs, private sustainability initiatives and so on. Non-State actors find themselves in a position to exercise power, which States have bestowed upon them, or which they have wrestled from States. Consequently, international practice has turned to the creation of mechanisms/processes through which such non-State actors may be held responsible/accountable. The essence of that debate may be encaptured in the status and role of the corporation in international law. In parallel to the operation of the UN Global Compact and the on-going road-testing of the UN Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights, States have been trying to conclude an international treaty on the question of multinational corporations and human rights. In sum, non-State actors invite the adoption of multiform regulatory strategies but also prompt reflection on the role of international law in this context.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 14.30-16.00 - Agora VI: Extending sovereignty: Space activities and new frontiers

This domination of the State in space matters has taken place in a no-sovereignty context: The fundamental principle of the freedom of exploration and use of the outer space, enshrined in Article I (2) of the Outer Space Treaty (OST), is necessarily completed by the principle of non-appropriation, provided in Article II OST, according to which ‘outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means’. However, in recent years, the rise a real private-sector ‘invasion’ in space-based activities, characterized as ‘NewSpace’ activities, has already led some States to rethink the sovereignty issue in outer space, including a possible review of its fundamental principles.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 16.00-16.15 - Coffee break
@Friday, 13 September 2019, 16.15-18.00 - ESIL General Assembly
@Friday, 13 September 2019, 18.00-19.30 - Agora VII: Enforcing sovereignty: The rapidly expanding international tax law

Taxation is perhaps the core manifestation of sovereignty, since it provides the State with the financial necessary resources to discharge its sovereign functions. However, we are currently witnessing a shift from bilateralism to a multilateral approach, through the OECD Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), a novel treaty-making exercise, which purports to amend tax treaties already in force between its parties in implementation of the results from the OECD/G20 BEPS Project. Added to tax arbitrage and the resolution of international tax disputes in the context of other international regimes, are we witnessing a shift to multilateralization of the international tax regime?

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 18.00-19.30 - Agora VIII: Defending sovereignty: Protectionism in international trade and investment

The ‘backlash against globalization’ has again translated into new discourses about protectionism in international trade and investment. In that context, the very role international law plays is to strike a veritable balance between legitimate national interests and compliance with international undertakings regarding free trade and investment liberalization. Inevitably, this balancing act would necessitate the identification of the limits and scope of legal and legitimate protectionist policies regarding international trade and investment, in effect recalibrating the exercise of state sovereignty in these areas.

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 18.00-19.30 - Agora IX: Attacking sovereignty: Terrorism and the use of force

The challenge of terrorism suffered my contemporary societies has generated a response involving use of force – and a wider debate on the means and ways such force may be employed outside the traditional State-centred context but in defence of State power. Is that a trend in international law or a temporary aberration? – or even a derogation from the full enjoyment of human rights norms?

@Friday, 13 September 2019, 20.00/20.30-23.00 - Conference Dinner

Venue will be announced

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora X: Circumventing sovereignty: The challenges of environmental regulation

Environmental concerns are notoriously difficult to tackle, not only in real life but also in terms of international regulation. Shimmering at the backburner in the era of climate change, international environmental obligations still present formidable challenges to the present system of international law. Environmental law rules seem to emerge as customary rules out of soft-law principles, in fact bypassing the express consent of the States. State responsibility
for breaches of environmental obligations is in effect circumvented by non-compliance arrangements, largely dependent upon the will of the State concerned. On the other hand, the idea that each State may set its own goals unilaterally, even in a conventional context, and be evaluated on them would indicate the outer limits of sovereign action while still operating within the constraints of the international community. Adding to the mix the current increase in environmental litigation, the tug-of-war between unfettered sovereign action and common concerns appears inescapable. Is that the way to the future?

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora XI: Interest Group proposal
@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 9.00-10.30 - Agora XII: Interest Group proposal
@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 10.30-11.30 - Coffee break

Venue: Garden

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 10.30-11.30 - Conversation with the ESIL Book Prize Winner

Venue: Drakopoulos Foyer

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 11.30-13.00 - FORUM V: Current events
@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 11.30-13.00 - FORUM VI: Bypassing sovereignty: Enforcing rules in cyberspace

Despite the fact that cyberspace is not a law-free zone, its nature and activities taking place therein are usually regulated either on a sub-Statal level or rely entirely upon the self-regulation attempts of the industry. The infinite variety of such activities, for the most part undertaken by private actors, may well cause us to rethink the suitability of traditional international legal concepts and structures to the task. A multitude of questions have yet to receive definitive answers, regarding for example the relationship between the non-intervention principle and cyber-attacks, the qualification of cyber-attack as an armed attack and the concomitant exercise of the right to self-defence, State responsibility and attribution, as well as human rights protection and extraterritorial law enforcement.

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 13.00-14.00 - Round-Table Discussion: The way ahead

Venue: Ceremonial Hall

@Saturday, 14 September 2019, 14.00-14.30 - Closing ceremony

Venue: Ceremonial Hall