HAC 9TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE – FROM PEACE TO JUSTICE 2012: the politics of justice

12 - 13 October 2012
  • Starts at: 15:30h
  • Venue: International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
  • Organiser: Hague Academic Coalition (HAC) and International Insttitue of Social Stdies (ISS)
  • Address: Kortenaerkade 12
    The Hague
  • Email: sofia.gerards@haguecoalition.org


The Politics of Justice: From a Human Rights Revolution to Global Justice?*

More than twenty years ago, Martti Koskenniemi (1990) published a ground-breaking article in the inaugural issue of the European Journal of International Law, entitled ‘The Politics of International Law’. Koskenniemi critiqued the liberal, normative tendency that set the rule of law above a serious engagement with politics. Cautioning against an over-reliance on legal certainty, Koskenniemi anticipated that lawyers would be obliged to venture into other disciplines, including politics, sociology and economics.
Indeed, in the twenty years that passed since Koskenniemi’s article was published, substantial developments have taken place both in law and in practice. Global governance expanded, among others through the development of international norms and institutions relevant to human rights. Michael Ignatieff (1999) referred to those developments as a (human) ‘rights revolution’, with juridical, advocacy and enforcement dimensions. However, the efforts to universalize human rights have limits if they are not consistent with the political interests of powerful states. In addition it could be argued that the human rights revolution of the 20th century has been overtaken by far greater challenges of securing global justice. These challenges include the inability of international institutions to anticipate or adequately respond to the global economic crisis, stagnated peacemaking efforts that have so far resisted legal interventions, United Nations institutions that are in great need of reform, efforts to address poverty on a global scale and even global climate change. The implications of all of this for lawyers and legal institutions urgently need further analysis. This should also compel all who are engaged with the law to heed Koskenniemi’s early warning that we engage with other sources of knowledge, particularly in addressing global issues, which are often highly contested.

Provisional agenda:

12 October, 15.30 - 18.00, Opening session: Introductory words, key note address by Professor Martti Koskenniemi, panel debate  and reception

13 October, 09.30 - 18.00, Main conference: Plenary & parallel panel sessions with paper presentations, interactive debate

Details about the programme of both days will be provided in August this year. For online registration please visit: www.haguecoalition.org.

For more information please contact Sofia Gerards:
sofia.gerards@haguecoalition.org or +31 (0) 70 4260 494/506