Ongoing call for contributions: City reports on international law

Published 22 October 2019


The International Law Association (ILA) study group on "the Role of Cities in International Law", the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Freie Universität Berlin invite researchers to submit abstracts for reports on city practices in relation to international law.

The study group is collecting these so called ‘city reports’ with the aim to include them as annexes to the official Report of the ILA study group to the ILA Kyoto conference in 2020. The study group is further anticipating to hold an open session at the conference where a selection of these reports will be presented to ILA members. In a second step, the chairpersons of the study group will be curating a collection of city reports based on the ILA reporting process with a view to publication with a leading university press.

The city reports should engage with cities’ interactions with other cities, international organisations and/or global governance mechanisms. They can relate to cities invoking well-established norms of international law, as well as practices that connect to emerging and aspirational norms like the "right to the city".   

With regard to city practices one could think of the activities of self-declared ‘human rights cities’, the role of Sustainable Development Goals in city-to-city cooperation, the participation of cities in UN processes such as the New Urban Agenda, or the incorporation of international law in local legislation and institutional arrangements, such as a local human rights department or sustainability office. 

The reports should primarily focus on the practices of local governments, but the structure of the reports could take various forms. The study group is interested in descriptive documents detailing various forms of engagement with international norms, as well as more playful forms of analysis such as critical essays on a specific city practice. 

Please send your abstract of 500-700 words to For more information on the call, click here

ILA study group
The International Law Association study group on the changing role of cities in the international legal order begun its work at the 2018 biannual ILA conference in Sydney, at which a panel discussion on the theme of “Cities at the Frontiers of International Law and Global Governance” was organised. The study group is co-chaired by Janne Nijman, T.M.C. Asser Instituut, and Helmut Aust, Freie Universität, Berlin. The study group’s rapporteurs are Jolene Lin, National University of Singapore, and Annie-Anouch Beaudouin, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. 

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