International institutions

Traversing divides: a symposium in honour of Deborah Cass

This symposium honours the work of Deborah Cass, 15 February 1960 – 4 June 2013, a brilliant Australian constitutional and international lawyer. Deborah studied at the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School and taught at Melbourne Law School, The Australian National University and the London School of Economics. She was a member of The Australian National University’s Centre for International and Public Law from 1993 – 2000.

Civil-ising conflict through law?

This talk will explore the origins, nature and effects of the war crimes investigative work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), set up in 2011 to build case files against alleged suspects in the Syrian civil war.

Is International Law International?

Book cover showing a connected map of the world

Author/s (editor/s):

Anthea Roberts

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Oxford University Press - Is International Law International?

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Is International Law International? Preface and Chapter 1 (2MB)

Is International Law International? Chapter 3 (14MB)

About the book

This book takes the reader on a sweeping tour of the international legal field to reveal some of the patterns of difference, dominance, and disruption that belie international law’s claim to universality.

Pulling back the curtain on the ‘divisible college of international lawyers’, Anthea Roberts shows how international lawyers in different states, regions, and geopolitical groupings are often subject to distinct incoming influences and outgoing spheres of influence in ways that reflect and reinforce differences in how they understand and approach international law. These divisions manifest themselves in contemporary controversies, such as debates about Crimea and the South China Sea.

Not all approaches to international law are created equal, however. Using case studies and visual representations, the author demonstrates how actors and materials from some states and groups have come to dominate certain transnational flows and forums in ways that make them disproportionately influential in constructing the ‘international’. This point holds true for Western actors, materials, and approaches in general, and for Anglo-American (and sometimes French) ones in particular.

However, these patterns are set for disruption. As the world moves past an era of Western dominance and toward greater multipolarity, it is imperative for international lawyers to understand the perspectives and approaches of those coming from diverse backgrounds. By taking readers on a comparative tour of different international law academies and textbooks, the author encourages them to see the world through the eyes of others - an essential skill in this fast changing world of shifting power dynamics and rising nationalism.

States and peoples in conflict

This event marks the launch of ‘States and Peoples in Conflict: Transformations of Conflict Studies’, edited by Michael Stohl, Mark Lichbach, and Peter Grabosky.

International law at a crossroads in the United States

The Trump Administration, Nationalist Populism, and the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States

Presented by Attorney-General’s Department in association with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Centre for International and Public Law and the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet).


Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet