Past Events

29.10.2018 Colloquium: An Extended Critique of International Adjudication

Ingo Venzke, Professor of International Law and Social Justice, University of Amsterdam

The paper illustrates how different ways of thinking about past judicial decisions effects their appearance. More specifically, it draws on insights from experiments to show what explaining past judicial decisions not only increases the perceived likelihood of those decisions but also makes them look more just. Conversely, thinking about alternative decisions makes them look less likely and less agreeable. In short, the appearance of the path of international law very much depends on the posture with which it is received.

06.06.2018 Colloquium: Human Rights Treaty Obligations and State Commitment

Wayne Sandholtz, Professor of International Relations and Law, University of Southern California

Research on human rights treaty commitment analyzes the costs of ratifying treaties in terms of regime type and other state-level attributes. But little scholarship to date has analyzed the effects of treaty design, in particular, the substance of treaty obligations, on the likelihood of ratification. We analyze new data that code every provision of ten global human rights treaties for the strength and precision of the obligations they contain. We classify obligations that are strong, precise, and that require domestic action as “demanding.” We hypothesize that treaties containing more of these demanding obligations would be seen as more costly to ratify because they imply potentially greater policy adaptation or compliance costs. Event history analyses are consistent with that hypothesis.

04.06.2018 PATHS Brainstorming Workshop

This workshop brought together scholars from the Graduate Institute and the broader Geneva area to discuss preliminary ideas for the project. The aim was to explore potential synergies with other research projects currently undertaken in Geneva and beyond, and engage in a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue. We also initiated a conversation about the ways in which legal change occurs in different issue areas and the differences between them.

14.05.2018 Colloquium: Global Lawmakers: The Sociology of International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets

Terence Halliday, Research Professor, American Bar Foundation and Honorary Professor, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University

Global lawmaking by international organizations holds the potential for enormous influence over world trade and national economies. Representatives from states, industries, and professions produce laws for worldwide adoption in an effort to alter state lawmaking and commercial behaviors, whether of giant multi-national corporations or micro, small and medium-sized businesses. Who makes that law and who benefits affects all states and all market players. Global Lawmakers offers the first extensive empirical study of commercial lawmaking within the United Nations. It shows who makes law for the world, how they make it, and who comes out ahead.

Using extensive and unique data, the book investigates three episodes of lawmaking between the late 1990s and 2012. Through its original socio-legal orientation, it reveals dynamics of competition, cooperation and competitive cooperation within and between international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, IMF and UNIDROIT, as these IOs craft international laws.

Global Lawmakers proposes an original theory of international organizations that seek to construct transnational legal orders within social ecologies of lawmaking. The book concludes with an appraisal of creative global governance by the UN in international commerce over the past fifty years and examines prospective challenges for the twenty-first century.