Fourth Annual International Criminal Law Workshop:
“The Politics of International Criminal Law”
Faculty of Law, The University of Western Australia, Perth
15-16 September 2016
CALL FOR PAPERS
Deadline for abstract submission: Monday 9 May 2016
Keynote speaker: The Honourable Justice Kevin Parker AC QC, former Judge of the ICTY
SUMMARY: The Faculty of Law at The University of Western Australia is convening the
Fourth Annual International Criminal Law Workshop to explore the theme, “The Politics of
International Criminal Law”. The Workshop organizers – Professors Holly Cullen, Philipp
Kastner and Sean Richmond – request paper proposals of up to 400 words that examine this
theme or ICL more generally. Following the Workshop, selected papers will be published in a
special issue of the International Criminal Law Review and, possibly, an expanded edited book
with Brill. Up to five travel awards of up to $1,000 are available for Higher Degree Research
(HDR) students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) whose proposals are accepted.
THEME: Exploring “The Politics of International Criminal Law” is timely for scholars and
policy-makers working in the field of ICL and related areas. Law and politics of course
interact at both the international and domestic level. But this interaction appears particularly
charged in international criminal law, where at root a nascent legal regime aims to regulate the
longstanding power of states to define and manage war and crime. Reflecting this tension, the
creation and operation of ad hoc international criminal tribunals have depended on political
will and powerful countries, and the prosecution of individuals in these forums has affected
how we understand justice and peace in warring societies and the international community.
Similarly, the now permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) was first celebrated by those
seeking to end impunity and strengthen the international rule of law. Recently, though, the
Court’s legitimacy has been increasingly questioned, and some African members have said
they will withdraw from the ICC because they are disproportionately targeted for prosecution.
QUESTIONS: Cognizant of the above observations, the dominant doctrinal work that focuses
on the substance and procedure of ICL has started to expand, and new research has started to
theorize and study the relationship between law and politics in this field. Our Workshop seeks
to build on this exciting scholarship, and help clarify and advance the interdisciplinary debate
within and beyond this literature. We therefore invite papers from different conceptual,
methodological, and disciplinary approaches that address the following kinds of questions:
• What do we mean by “politics”, “law” and “legitimacy” in ICL? What distinguishes each?
• Do international criminal trials actually achieve what they aim to achieve? What unintended
consequences result from these trials? How do local actors use or contest such efforts?
• How should we understand variance in the participation of states in international criminal
initiatives such as the ICC, and the unequal regional application of such initiatives?
• How have powerful countries influenced ICL, and how has ICL affected these countries?
• How have feminist and critical perspectives influenced the creation and application of ICL?
What political relevance has this had at the domestic and international level?
• Does ICL ultimately erode the sovereignty of states, or shift and empower it in ways that
traditional theories cannot adequately explain?
• What do recent developments in ICL tell us about the pursuit of international justice and
peace in the 21st century, and the role of states and non-state actors in these pursuits?
SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Paper abstracts of up to 400 words are due by Monday 9
May 2016. Please also include a short two-page CV with your submission. Proposals should
be emailed to the Workshop organizers at: ICLWorkshop2016@gmail.com
Decisions and responses will be made by 15 June 2016. Applicants whose proposals are
selected will be expected to submit a 6,000 – 8,000 word draft of their paper by 31 August.
These will be shared with panel discussants and Workshop participants in advance of the event
on 15-16 September. This will help ensure lively and informed discussion at the Workshop.
TRAVEL AWARDS: To support and incentivize leading HDR students and ECRs
throughout Australia and abroad to participate in the Workshop, we are pleased to provide up
to five awards of up to $1,000 to help meet the costs of travelling to and staying in Perth. If
you would like to be considered for such support, please indicate this in your submission and
briefly explain your circumstances. For clarity, ECRs are Level A and B academics (or the
equivalent outside Australia) who received their doctorate less than five years ago.
PUBLICATION PLAN: Following the Workshop, we will ask selected presenters to revise
their papers for anonymous peer review and potential publication in a special, pre-approved
issue of the International Criminal Law Review. Depending on the quality and quantity of
papers presented, the organizers have also secured editorial support to possibly expand this
issue into an edited book with Brill Publishing.
WORKSHOP DETAILS: The event will be held at the University Club of Western
Australia, a leading conference facility located next to the Law Faculty at The University of
Western Australia. All food and drink will be provided for attendees during the Workshop.
Thanks to funding the organizers have secured, there will be no registration fee for participants.
We are pleased to welcome Justice Kevin Parker as the keynote speaker for the Workshop.
Justice Parker was an Australian-nominated Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia from 2003-11, and Vice-President of the Court from 2005-08.
Confirmed participants also include UWA Winthrop Professor Stephen Smith. Professor
Smith was Australia’s Foreign Minister from 2007-10, and Defence Minister from 2010-13.
In addition to the Workshop itself, participants will also have the opportunity to attend an
informal social dinner at a local restaurant on the evening of Thursday 15 September 2016.
There will also likely be a drinks reception hosted by the Perth USAsia Centre, a leading thinktank
operating out of UWA.
Visiting participants who wish to extend their stay may want to look at the many tourist
highlights in Perth and the surrounding area, including the world-class Margaret River wine
region located two and a half hours southwest of the city. Closer to the time of the Workshop,
we will provide information about accommodation options near the UWA campus.
Until then, if you have questions about the Workshop, please feel free to contact the organizers
at the above mentioned email address. For information about the International Law Research
Hub at UWA Law, see: www.law.uwa.edu.au/research/international-law-research-hub
We look forward to welcoming you to UWA, and to sunny Perth.
Holly Cullen, Philipp Kastner and Sean Richmond