Call for

Call for Papers: 26th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law

Call for Papers: 26th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law

The Society of Legal Scholars and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), have issued a call for papers for the 26th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law, to be held May 3, 2017, at the BIICL. The theme is: “Inside the Mind of International Decision-Makers.” Here’s the call:

26th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference
on Theory and International Law

3 May 2017, 14:00-19:00
British Institute of International and Comparative Law,
Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP


The 2017 Conference on Theory and International Law seeks to understand better the behaviour of those who shape international law – international and domestic judges, arbitrators, and state officials. Inspired by ground-breaking research that opens the “black box” of international decision-making, this Conference invites participants to theorise, experiment and speculate.

Some of the questions we will explore are: Do decision-makers behave rationally? Do they behave predictably? What factors may influence their decision-making? What are the roles of cognitive skills, intuition, and background, including education and political persuasion? What are the implications of these insights for choosing a method of dispute settlement for a particular case or designing a dispute settlement mechanism for future disputes? What are the implications for the conduct and procedures of international negotiations?

We are pleased to announce that the keynote address will be delivered by Professor Anne van Aaken, Professor of Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law and European Law at the University of St. Gallen and Vice-President of the European Society of International Law. She has coauthored an article, Inside the Arbitrator’s Mind, which is the first-ever experimentally conducted psychological study of international arbitrators.

The closing address will be given by Dr Charlotte Peevers of the University of Glasgow who will speak on ‘Prospects of truth seeking: the Chilcot Inquiry and the decision to go to war’.

The convenors welcome contributions that:

  • Draw on different disciplines, such as economics or psychology;
  • Employ experimental or empirical methods;
  • See to look behind a judgment or award to the factors that influence and motivate decisions;
  • Consider the process of decision making; and/or
  • Examine implications for dispute settlement strategies and institutions.

APPLICATION PROCESSSubmission of abstracts is open to academics, including graduate students, and to legal practitioners. Please submit an abstract in Word or PDF of no more than one page to Dr Philippa Webb ([email protected]) and Professor Christian Henderson ([email protected]). The following information should also be provided with each abstract:

  • The author’s name and affiliation
  • The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications
  • The author’s contact details, including email address

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 20 March 2017. Applicants will be informed by 31 March 2017. Regrettably, we are unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference, but there will be a reception at the end of the conference.Philippa Webb and Christian Henderson

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