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Sydney Centre for International Law

Outstanding scholarship in global and transnational law

The Sydney Centre for International Law is a hub of international legal thought and debate in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Sydney Centre for International Law was established in 2003 as a centre of excellence in research and teaching in international law. The centre fosters innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship across the international legal field, and also provides an avenue for the public to access international legal expertise. It operates within the University of Sydney Law School, building upon its well-recognised history of strength in this area.


Leadership team

Dr Rosemary Grey, Sydney Law School

Dr Rosemary Grey, Co-Director

Visit Dr Rosemary Grey's academic profile.

Associate Professor Stacie Strong, Sydney Law School

Associate Professor Stacie Strong, Co-Director

Visit Associate Professor Stacie Strong's academic profile.

Associates

Management committee

The centre is managed by a committee comprised of the following associates: Ms Irene Baghoomians, Professor Chester Brown, Associate Professor Emily Crawford, Professor Mary Crock, Dr Rosemary Grey, Professor David Kinley, Associate Professor Jacqueline Mowbray, Professor Luke Nottage, Professor Ben Saul, Professor Tim Stephens and Associate Professor Stacie Strong.

Year in Review Conference

Friday 17 February 2023

The Sydney Centre for International Law at Sydney Law School is delighted to present the eighth International Law Year in Review Conference, to be held at the Law School on Friday 17 February 2023.

This annual ‘year in review’ conference gives participants insight into the latest developments in international law over the preceding year, especially those most salient for Australia.  Participants can attend in-person or remotely.

Among other things, panels will address:

  • armed conflict in Ukraine
  • interstate dispute resettlement (ISDS)

The conference will traverse recent developments in public international law, treaty-making, international criminal law, international environmental law, and international trade and investment law. Speakers will include leading academics, practitioners and government lawyers.

Participation will enable lawyers and non-lawyers alike to remain abreast of important trends in international affairs.

If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please email law.events@sydney.edu.au.

 

Works-in-Progress Event

Thursday 16 February 2023

SCIL is hosting a works-in-progress event to be held on Thursday, 16 February 2023, the day before the International Year in Review Conference.  In addition to the various working sessions, works-in-progress participants will be invited to attend a special Thursday-night keynote presentation by Professor Gerry Simpson of the London School of Economics, who will be in discussion with Associate Professor Emily Crawford of Sydney Law School on “International Law and Ukraine”.

The purpose of the works-in-progress event is to help authors, particularly junior authors, develop draft articles for publication

Works-in-progress proposals are due no later than 1 November 2022.  Click here for more information about eligibility, attendance and submission.

 

The Public International Law Webinar Series

Wednesday 12 October - Wednesday 16 October

The organisers are pleased to invite you to attend the 2022 public international law webinar series, which will bring together leading public international law practitioners, academics and arbitrators to discuss topical issues of global importance.

There are six weekly webinars in this series. The webinars are free of charge, but places are limited, and prior registration is required.

Click here for more information and registration links.

 

Climate change – adaptation – resilience – Sydney Law School has a Plan!

Monday 17 October, 6-7.30pm

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW, will launch Professor Mary Crock’s (Sydney Law School) first illustrated children’s book and the exhibition of artwork that reflects and extends her academic work on disaster, displacement and resilience.

Hosted by the Sydney Centre for International Law and the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, join us to celebrate the publication of True Roo: Little Walla and the Bushfire.

Register here

 

Repatriating Cultural Heritage: Conflict of Laws, Archaeology, and Indigenous Studies

Wednesday 21 September, 6.-7.15 pm (webinar via Zoom)

From the intersection of conflict of laws, archaeology, and indigenous studies, this multidisciplinary webinar will explore legal and practical challenges and solutions in repatriating cultural heritage in Australia, China, the EU, and the USA.

Speakers include Dr. Evelien Campfens, Professor Anne (Annie) Clarke, Professor Zheng Xin Huo, Professor Charles T. Kotuby Jr, Mr. Craig Ritchie.

 

Underutilisation of ADR in ISDS: Resolving Treaty Interpretation Issues

Friday 16 September, 1-2pm (webinar via Zoom)

Over the years, it has become evident that arbitration is the favoured dispute resolution mechanism over conciliation/mediation in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). This is due to the benefits of arbitration (binding process with final, enforceable award) over the shortcomings of conciliation/mediation (non-binding process with non-enforceable settlement agreements). Therefore, incentives, such as the recent adoption of the Singapore Convention on Mediation and proposed amendments by ICSID, are deemed promising developments for the promotion of more alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in ISDS.

 

Book launch: Gender and International Criminal Law

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Sydney Centre for International Law is excited to host a panel on the new book ‘Gender and International Criminal Law’ (Oxford University Press 2022), edited by Indira Rosenthal, Valerie Oosterveld, and Susana SáCouto.

In this panel, participants will hear from some of the book’s Australian authors and participate in a live ‘question and answer’ session.

 

Locating 'Human Dignity' in Cambodia

Thursday 1 September 2022

Since its inclusion in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949, ‘human dignity’ has become a foundational human rights concept, frequently used in the context of international human rights and sustainable development programs around the world. Yet despite assertions of ‘universality’, what ‘human dignity’ requires is frequently contested, while the term itself can be understood in diverse ways in different socio-cultural and political settings.

The research project ‘Locating “Human Dignity” in Cambodia’ explores these tensions, interrogating both how ‘human dignity’ is used in Cambodian law, policy, and advocacy, and how it is understood by Cambodians from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. In this event, the research team explore some of the project’s key findings, and discuss the ways ‘human dignity’ resonates and conflicts with legal, social and cultural norms in Cambodia.

This event is co-hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) and the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL).

 

Exhibition launch: Iconic: The Use and Misuse of the Red Cross Emblem

Thursday 4 August 2022

Professor Robert McLaughlin (ANU) formally launched the exhibition, created by Associate Professor Emily Crawford (Sydney Law School.) The exhibition showcased some of the most common ways the Emblem has been misused in everyday life. 

View the program here: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/601754850/

 

2022 SCIL International Law Year in Review Conference

Friday 25 February 2022

View the program

Watch the replay

Keynote speakers included:

 Professor Megan Davis, UNSW
– Tara June Winch, Winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Award for “The Yield”.

Panels:

– The latest developments in environmental law
– Private international law
– New human rights.

The conference also included the launch of Non-Binding Norms in International Humanitarian Law with author, Associate Professor Emily Crawford (Sydney Law School).

 

2021 SCIL International Law Year in Review Conference

February 26 2021

Watch the replay

View the program

Presentations:

  • “International law and the case of Julian Assange”, by Jennifer Robinson (Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers; Counsel for Assange)
  • Australia’s troubled Indigenous-Settler histories with Dr Cassandra Pybus, author of Truganini: Journey through the apocalypse (Allan & Unwin, 2020).

Panels:

  • International criminal law
  • International environmental law
  • The rights of people with disabilities
  • Australia’s changing relationship with international law
  • Private, commercial and international investment law.

Listen to SCIL's new podcast series "Sydney Talks International Law" - a coffee break length podcast where we chat with SCIL researchers & collaborators about their research.

Latest podcast: Dr Emily Crawford, Associate Professor at Sydney Law School, discusses her upcoming book on non-binding (or "soft") norms in international humanitarian law. Hosted by Dr Rosemary Grey, Sydney Centre for International Law.

Listen to the podcast

Books

Emily Crawford

Non-Binding Norms in International Humanitarian Law: Efficacy, Legitimacy, and Legality

(Oxford University Press 2021)

This monograph examines and analyses the phenomenon of non-binding instruments in the law of armed conflict, or international humanitarian law.

This volume looks at the benefits and drawbacks for States and non-State actors with regards to soft law, whether they are effective additions to the law of armed conflict, analysing the development through the lens of theories of legitimacy and legality in international law.

Mary Crock, Kate Bones, Daniel Ghezelbash, Jemma Hollonds and Mary Anne Kenny Children

Young People in Asylum and Refugee Processes: Towards Best Practice

(The Federation Press 2020)

This important book is designed to assist migration agents, lawyers, social workers and other relevant professionals to effectively represent the rights and interests of migrant children and young people seeking protection in Australia. It covers both the law and policy and cultural competence and practices. It provides practical tools and suggestions about issues that commonly arise when assisting young non-citizens who apply for protection or other status in Australia.

Luke Nottage

International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration: Australia and Japan in Regional and Global Contexts

(Edward Elgar 2021)

This thought-provoking book combines analysis of international commercial and investment treaty arbitration in order to examine how they have been framed by the twin tensions of ‘in/formalisation’ and ‘glocalisation’. Taking a comparative approach, the book focuses on Australia and Japan in their attempts to become regional hubs for international arbitration and dispute resolution services in the increasingly influential Asia-Pacific context as well as a global context.

Stacie Strong

Legal Reasoning Across Commercial Disputes Comparing Judicial and Arbitral Analyses

(Oxford University Press 2020)

This work provides important insights into how judges and arbitrators resolve complex commercial disputes in both national and international settings. The analysis is built from three major research sources which ensures that the analysis can bridge evidence of perception, behaviours, and outcomes amongst judges and arbitrators. A statistical survey provides a benchmark and point of comparison with the subjective statements arising from an extensive programme of interviews and questionnaires to provide an objective lens on the reasoning process that informs decisions and awards in practice.

Use discount code ALAUTHC4 for 30% off.

 

Edited collections

Ben Saul (ed.) 

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism (2nd edition)

(Edward Elgar 2020)

This newly revised and updated second edition of the Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism provides a comprehensive overview of international counter-terrorism law and practice from the perspectives of human rights, the law of armed conflict, the law on use of force, and international criminal law. Brand new and revised chapters provide critical commentary on the law from leading scholars and practitioners in the field.

Luke Nottage, Shahla Ali, Bruno Jetin and Nobumichi Teramura (eds)

New Frontiers in Asia-Pacific International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution

(Wolters Kluwer 2020)

An invaluable book that challenges the existing procedures and frameworks for cross-border dispute resolution in commercial and treaty arbitration. The eastward shift in international dispute resolution has already involved initiatives not only to improve support for international commercial arbitration (ICA) and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) but also to develop alternatives, such as international commercial courts and mediation. This remarkable book focuses on these initiatives and their accompanying case law and trends in the Asia-Pacific region.

Use discount code 25NEWF21 for 25% off.

Ben Saul and Dapo Akande (eds)

The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law

(Oxford University Press 2020)

The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law provides a practical yet sophisticated overview of this important area of law. Written by a stellar line up of contributors, drawn from those who not only have extensive practical experience but who are also regarded as leading scholars of the subject, the text offers a comprehensive and authoritative exposition of the field. The Guide provides professionals and advanced students with information and analysis of sufficient depth to enable them to perform their tasks with understanding and confidence. Each chapter illuminates how the law applies in practice, but does not shy away from the important conceptual issues that underpin how the law has developed. It will serve as a first port of call and a regular reference work for those interested in international humanitarian law.

Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL) offers internship positions to Sydney Law School students each academic year as an opportunity for interested students to advance their legal research and writing skills, gain exposure to developments in international law, and develop their curriculum vitae. To apply, please complete the online application form by the closing date Tuesday 25 October 2022 11:59 (AEDT).

For further information and to access the online application for, visit: https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/internships-sydney-centre-for-international-law

SCIL is organizing a student writing competition to be held in conjunction with the International Year in Review Conference.  Submissions should bear some relationship to either:

  1. Armed conflict in Ukraine
    or
  2. Interstate dispute settlement (ISDS).  The best papers will focus on the events of 2022.  There is no requirement that papers discuss Australian law.

The writing competition is open to all persons enrolled on 1 March 2023 in a program of higher education leading to a degree in law (including but not limited to the J.D., LL.B., LL.M. or S.J.D.).  Applicants may be of any nationality and may be affiliated with degree-providing institutions located in any country.

Student writing competition papers are due no later than 9 January 2023. Click here for more information about eligibility and submission.

Questions regarding any of the above matters may be directed to Dr. S.I. Strong, Co-Director, SCIL, at stacie.strong@sydney.edu.au.

International law mooting

Centre members have supported students’ successful involvement in a range of international law mooting competitions. You can access general information on moots open to student participation within Sydney Law School and beyond via the Sydney University Law Students Society (SULS) website. Students who enrol in the International Moot unit (LAWS3489/LAWS5189) may prepare for a range of competitions. For further information and staff contacts about any one of these moots, please contact the Centre Administrator.