Inaugural T.M.C. Asser Lecture

On 2 December 2015, Professor Joseph Weiler (President of the European University Institute in Florence, and University Professor at NYU School of Law) delivered the Inaugural Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture on “Peace in the Middle East: has International Law failed?”

Professor Weiler reversed the question by asking if we have failed international law by not applying it correctly in the Arab-Israeli conflict. After meticulously outlining his take on the correct application of the law regarding the title to territory in different stages of the Arab – Israeli conflict and evaluating whether this application had been followed in a principled and pragmatic way, a way he argued was reminiscent of Asser’s own view of legal practice, he returned to the question of whether international law itself had failed. In response to this question, he identified an indeterminacy issue in the current legal framework of belligerent occupation that allows for different interpretations by the parties to the conflict. This has turned the issue into a political dispute about the facts, for which international law can provide no more than a roadmap.

Video Inaugural T.M.C. Asser Lecture by Professor Weiler: