The Fifth Annual Asser Lecture 2019 with Prof. Anne Orford

28 November 2019
  • Starts at: 16:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: The Academy Hall, Peace Palace
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Address: Carnegieplein 2
    2517 KJ The Hague
  •   Register

While international law has played a central role in creating the conditions for market liberalisation on a global scale, many international lawyers have paid less attention to the social question, leaving human welfare, social unrest, labour relations, or migration to be addressed by economists, criminologists, sociologists, or demographers.

According to Prof. Orford, the current situation of people who are dispossessed or impoverished by economic liberalisation, and the exhaustion of the world’s resources have become inescapable barriers to the continuation of ‘global business as usual’.

In our Fifth Asser Annual Lecture entitled: "International law and the social question", Prof. Orford puts the social question back on the international law table. How might international economic law-making and adjudication be re-embedded within political processes? And how can foundational political questions about property, security, survival, and freedom be returned to democratic control?

We are very honoured that Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in The Netherlands will join us to celebrate the fifth year anniversary of the Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture (to be confirmed). 

About the speaker
Anne Orford is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law, and an Australian Laureate Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where she directs the Laureate Program in International Law. Anne Orford is also an elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has held visiting positions at Lund University, University Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), the University of Gothenburg, NYU School of Law and Harvard Law School.

Her work combines the study of history and theory of international law with an engagement with central debates in social theory, history, economics and philosophy. Orford aims to grasp the changing nature and function of international law and its relation to social, political, and economic transformation. Her major publications include International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge University Press 2011), Reading Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge University Press 2003), the edited collection International Law and its Others (Cambridge University Press 2006), and, as co-editor, The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law (Oxford University Press 2016). A collection of her essays in French, entitled Pensée Critique et Droit International, is forthcoming with Pedone. Her latest monograph International Law and the Politics of History, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. Her work has been recognised by numerous honorary doctorates of laws.

Early this year, Prof. Orford responded to a lecture delivered by Prof. Martti Koskenniemi at the Grotius Lecture at the ASIL conference, offering direction for international law in an era of globalisation and multilateralism. Watch the video here

15:15 Registration
16:00 Welcome and introduction 
16:30 T.M.C. Asser Lecture
17:15 Q&A
17:30 Reception

About the Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture
Each year, the Asser Institute invites an internationally renowned jurist and outstanding public intellectual to deliver the Annual Lecture. They are called to take inspiration from the Dutch jurist Tobias Asser’s vision and to examine – as Tobias Asser did in his days (1838-1913) – how to respond to ‘the condition of society’, especially in the 21st century. The First Asser Annual Lecture was organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Asser Institute. Previous speakers at the Annual Lecture were Prof Martti Koskenniemi, Prof Saskia SassenOnora O'Neill and Prof Joseph Weiler.