[Lecture] Can law restrict power? The international legal order in global governance

26 September 2023
  • Starts at: 16:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Asser Institute
  • Address: R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
    2517 JN The Hague
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Why does international law matter, even to the most powerful actors in our global order? Join us for a discussion led by Dr Alain Germeaux, Principal Legal Adviser to the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the importance of international law and how it affects the behaviour of even the most powerful actors of our global community.

Reflecting on the precarious nature of our global order remains as necessary as ever. In the aftermath of a global pandemic that has strained belief in the bonds of international cooperation, and within a world experiencing dozens of ongoing armed conflicts, UN Secretary General António Guterres has even felt the need to remind us that: “We will not solve our common challenges in a fragmented way.” Dr Alain Germeaux, in his book The International Legal Order in Global Governance, highlights how this ‘requires a normative framework for actors to communicate, exchange claims and justify conduct.’

The international legal order aims to provide us with one such framework. Yet, it suffers from an enduring problem. Many question whether international law is up to the task of restricting those actors powerful enough from pursuing their own particular interest, at the expense of common goals. The current ongoing international conflict between Russia and Ukraine, to provide but one example, only adds fuel to these concerns.

In this lecture, Dr Germeux is joined by Thea Coventry, Dr Kostiantyn Gorobets and Dr Letizia Lo Giacco to engage in dialogue over these enduring problems surrounding the publicness of international law, and core claims raised in his book.

The lecture is co-organised by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the Hague, and with the ‘Public interest(s) inside/within international and European institutions and their practices’ strand of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. This research strand zooms in on how public interests shape, and are shaped in the institutional practices of international and European courts, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as well as organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

List of speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Mike Hentges – Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the Netherlands
  • Dr Alain Germeaux – Principal Legal Adviser to the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Kostiantyn Gorobets – Groningen University
  • Dr Letizia Lo Giacco – Leiden University
  • Thea Coventry – T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • (Chair) Dr Sofia Stolk – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, T.M.C. Asser Instituut Fellow