ESIl 2018 – EUGlobal Workshop: ‘The European way, universality and fragmentation of international law’

ESIL Annual Conference 2018, Manchester
Thursday, 13 September, 11:00-12:30 (room TBC)

At this IG workshop we will question the existence of universalism of international law as one of the (fundamental) principles of current European law by assessing the contemporary reception of international law in EU law and practice in general, and the (level of) recognition of universalism of international law more specifically. How – if at all – does universality of international law inform or affect the current practice of the European Union institutions and EU policies? To what extent do the EU institutions endorse international law in their legislative and judicial processes, how are international law and standards accommodated in the EU’s external activities and treaty-making, and to what extent does (the label) ‘universalism’ of international law matter in those scenarios? How does the recognition of universal international law as part of the European legal order relate to the EU’s ambition to export (its own) norms and values to the rest of the world? What international norms are considered ‘universal’ by the EU, and when?

The papers that will be presented focus on different areas of international law in order to provide the starting-point for comparison as well as an overall assessment of the impact of international law and universalism on the law and practice of the EU. Four panellists (from different EU Member States ranging from North to South and East to West) will analyse the practice of the EU’s judiciary and/or legislator with regard to particular areas of international law. They seek to assess the EU institutions’ interactions in those areas (where appropriate), and place their findings in the broader context of scholarship on the autonomy of the EU legal order, universality and fragmentation of international law. While the first two presentations analyse the role of the EU Institutions (with a focus of the CJEU) in contributing to international law, the second two papers use this as a basis to zoom in on two key and topical fields of law: migration and trade.

On the basis of draft papers and the expected discussion during the session, the panel aims at identifying common features and divergences in the practice of actors within the EU legal order regarding universalism of international law in a variety of fields. At the same time, it will provide further insights regarding the implications of institutional practice for the recognition and operation of a principle of universalism of international law within the EU legal order.

  • Prof. Sara Poli (Pisa): The European Court of Justice’s interpretation of international law with a European sensibility and its contestation
  • Dr. Jed Odermatt (Copenhagen): The European Union and Its Approaches to International Law: Towards Fragmentation or Universality?
  • Dr. Tamas Molnar (Budapest & European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights): The place and role of international human rights law in the EU Return Directive and in the related CJEU case-law: Approaches worlds apart?
  • Dr. Markus P. Beham (Passau): Universality through Trade and Investment: Challenges and Strategies for ‘Megaregionals’ of the EU

The workshop will be chaired by two of the IG convenors, Dr Anne Thies (Reading) and Professor Ramses Wessel (Twente).

The presentation and discussion of papers will be followed by a general discussion about the IG’s objectives and activities.

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