On Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 April 2021, the University of Catania Law Department will host the European Society of International Law’s annual Research Forum.
The ESIL Research Forum is a scholarly conference that promotes engagement with research in progress by members of the Society. It has a small and intensive format. The Forum targets in particular scholars at an early stage of their careers, especially advanced PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The selected speakers will receive comments on their paper presentations from members of the ESIL Board and invited experts during the Forum.
The 2021 ESIL Research Forum addresses the topic:
Solidarity: the Quest for Founding Utopias of International Law
Solidarity is a founding utopia of international law. It has long appeared in the legal discourses of leading international law scholars as a value and political concept incorporated into international legal norms and evidenced in multilateral and bilateral treaties as an essential condition of interstate cooperation. As a principle of international law, it is mostly identifiable through the trust and confidence shown by states to one another in order to reap the mutual benefits of cooperation. In a broader sense, it also reveals a highly ambiguous ethical ideal – not extraneous to the ‘civilizing mission’ – of a world order of interdependent states and communities addressing shared needs in a spirit of global cooperation and mutual responsibility.
In response to the new global challenges faced by today’s international legal system, solidarity has acquired a special prominence with unprecedented developments in various fields of international law (e.g. trade law, environmental law, humanitarian law, disaster law, health law) while its utopian dimension has been stressed and expanded towards new directions.
The 2021 ESIL Research Forum aims to inspire thoughtful reflections on the genealogy of international solidarity by focusing on the actors, norms and processes influencing its evolution over time. Beyond the search for definitions, the scope of the Forum is to explore transformations and practical manifestations of this longstanding principle in the international legal community. Special attention will be given to international solidarity as interpreted by international and domestic courts and tribunals and to the analysis of some key areas where solidaristic paradigms have led to either positive outcomes or controversial repercussions.