The Judicialization of International Relations 2015 Workshop – International Organizations & International Law (IO/IL)

Karen J. Alter and Erik Voeten Co-Conveners

A Workshop Sponsored by International Organization and the IO/IL working group of the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University

Application deadline: December 1, 2014 sent to
Workshop date: June 12-13, 2015

The end of the Cold War introduced a new era of international adjudication marked by the proliferation of international courts, an increased use of permanent and ad hoc international adjudicatory mechanisms, a widening of the issue areas that fall under the jurisdiction of adjudicatory bodies, and a rise in the domestic judicial enforcement of international laws, agreements, and court judgments. This workshop examines if and how the increased involvement of domestic and international judicial actors is transforming international relations; a process often referred to as the judicialization of politics.

Our common starting point is the judicialization in international relations via the introduction of a new set of institutions and actors with the authority to interpret and issue binding rulings involving international law. We define adjudicatory bodies broadly to include any institution, domestic or international, so long as it is composed of quasi-independent adjudicators that have the formal authority to issue binding legal determinations. This definition includes arbitral tribunals, ad hoc courts and domestic courts. Judicialization generates the possibility that decision-makers will begin to make decisions in the shadow of potential domestic and/or international judicial review.

The workshop will bring together scholars working on issues such as regional integration, terrorism, investment, trade, human rights, war crimes, law of the sea, the environment and other issue areas where adjudication is increasingly shaping international relations. We invite proposals for papers that make theoretical and/or empirical contributions towards understanding what, if any, effect this increased judicial application of international law has on international politics. Although we will consider papers that examine the causes and varied design of judicialized institutions, our primary interest is in the effects of judicialization in international relations.  We especially welcome papers that address the following sets of issues (although we are open to others):

  • Studies that examine whether states, international institutions, firms or other nonstate actors act differently in the shadow of adjudication
  • Studies comparing politics in non-judicialized to judicialized contexts
  • Studies of the impact of judicialization across countries, regions or issue areas
  • Studies that analyze whether and when adjudicators are becoming consequential creators of international law
  • Examinations of the potential counter-responses to the increased authority of judicial institutions. For example, how and when do state actors successfully seek to influence adjudicators or otherwise reduce their jurisdiction or authority?
  • Analyses of whether international law differentially influences states depending on how much authority domestic judicial bodies have to utilize international law.
  • Inquiries into the larger theoretical implications of the emergence of these judicial actors.
  • Studies that provide generalizable insight into the practices, processes, politics and decision-making of adjudicatory bodies that have an international or transnational jurisdiction.

Application and Workshop logistics

The ultimate goal of this workshop is to improve scholarly papers that might some day be published in International Organization. Interested participants should submit a paper proposal of no more than 500 words, and the name, institutional affiliation and contact information of the author(s) to Selected participants will be notified by January 10 and invited to attend a two-day workshop to be held at Northwestern University June 12-13,  2015, where IO editors and participants will discuss each paper.

A paper of no more than 14,000 words is required in advance of the workshop, and all participants will be asked to write a review that provides feedback on at least one workshop paper. Travel expenses, economy class, and lodging for at least one author will be reimbursed by International Organization.

Questions can be addressed to Erik Voeten ( and Karen Alter (

Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy 2015 Workshop

Date: January 2-11, 2015, Doha, Qatar
Deadline for applications: September 12, 2014
Addressed primarily to doctoral and post-doctoral law scholars and junior faculty, the IGLP Workshop aims to strengthen scholars of today through interaction and exchange of different ideas with their colleagues from around the world.

From the relevant press release:
The Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School invites you to apply to participate in our 2015 Workshop in Doha, Qatar, from January 2-11, 2015.

About IGLP:
The Workshop is an intensive residential program designed for doctoral and post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty. This initiative aims to promote innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy, and social justice in the aftermath of the economic crisis. Our aim is to strengthen the next generation of scholars by placing them in collaboration with their global peers as they develop innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy, social justice and governance.The Workshop brings 50-100 doctoral, post-doctoral scholars, and junior faculty together in Doha with a core group of senior IGLP faculty from around the world for a unique series of lectures and intensive interdisciplinary debates. While in residence in Doha, participants review current scholarly developments, reconsider canonical texts and network with colleagues from across the world. Intensive Writing Workshops offer all participants the opportunity to share their own work in progress with a small group of colleagues and leading scholars. Discussion groups also offer participants an opportunity to meet with peers and more senior colleagues in small groups, and focus on discussion of the themes and Stream readings of the Workshop.
While in residence in Doha, participants review current scholarly developments, reconsider canonical texts and network with colleagues from across the world. Intensive writing workshops offer participants the opportunity to receive valuable feedback on their own research from their peers and more senior colleagues in small group settings.

The Institute for Global Law and Policy is committed to keeping the Workshop as cost-free as possible for admitted applicants, including travel, meals and lodging. The Workshop is funded with generous support from the Qatar Foundation, Santander Universities, and is co-sponsored by the School For Oriental And African Studies (SOAS) in London, the Bernard And Audre Rapoport Center For Human Rights And Justice at the University of Texas, Melbourne Law School and Sciences Po Law School in Paris.

Application procedure: The deadline for applications is September 12, 2014.
To apply, see here

The Legal Toolkit: Workshop for Environment Non-profits

Presented by: Sustainability Network, Ecojustice and the Canadian Environmental Law Association

When: Thursday, October 30, 2014
Time: 9:00am – 4:30 pm EST
Where: 215 Spadina Avenue (Ground Floor Connector), Toronto.

Join us on Thursday October 30th at the Sustainability Network offices in Toronto for this one-day training session. The workshop will be hosted by John Swaigen of Ecojustice who has designed the session to educate nonprofits active in the environmental field about the legal tools available to protect our air, water, land, and human health.

The workshop will help you to understand what laws and policies exist to protect the environment and how to use them effectively as well as the opportunities provided by law to participate in government decision-making. It will also help you to understand where the legal framework for environmental protection is absent, incomplete or otherwise inadequate so that you can work to obtain stronger laws and policies.

Participants will receive a nuts and bolts overview of the laws that protect our environment. We’ll have legal experts covering a wide variety of key topics including:

  • Dr Elaine MacDonald, Staff Scientist Ecojustice, on “soft law” remedies such as Federal Auditor General Petitions, CEC petitions, and FOI requests
  • Charles Hatt, Staff Lawyer Ecojustice, on using tribunals and judicial reviews of administrative actions
  • Lara Tessaro, Staff Lawyer Ecojustice, on Commissions of Inquiry
  • Ian Miron, Staff Lawyer Ecojustice, on Charter challenges
  • Ramani Nadarajah, Staff Lawyer Canadian Environmental Law Association, on private prosecutions
  • Richard Lindgren, Staff Lawyer Canadian Environmental Law Association, on torts and using Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, and
  • Joseph Castrilli, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Environmental Law Association, on Environmental Assessment

Participants will also have an opportunity to engage in small group discussions to apply the day’s learnings to a fact situation in consultation with some participating lawyers.

Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration ($100 pp)

Register for Workshop