Creating A Network for Women in International Law

Leading female academics were gathered at Hotel Bristol August 6th and 7th to discuss topics in international law. Cecilia Bailliet hopes the conference can help create a women's network within international law.  

Participants at the Conference. Photo: Elisabeth Wenger-Hagene, UiO

Several internationally renowned female academics gathered on August 6th and 7th for the conference "The Creation of International Law: An Exploration of Normative Innovation, Contextual Application, and Interpretation in a Time of Flux." Professor Cecilia Bailliet was the organizer of the conference. One of the objectives of the conference was to create a network for female academics and practitioners in international law. Thus, only women were invited to attend the conference.


Dominated by Men

The field of international law has traditionally been dominated by male scholars. Bailliet notes that most textbooks and articles are written by men, and that lawyers and judges participating in international courts and tribunals are in general male. She does however, see an improvement and notes that the proportion of women has increased within the field. She emphasizes, among others, Roselyn Higgins, former president of the International Court of Justice in Hague, and Navi Pillay, former president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, now UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as two examples of women who have gained entry to international courts.


Women contribute with new perspectives

Bailliet believes that these women will contribute to new understandings and interpretations of international law. Another important aspect is that new positions for women within the field will provide the opportunity to influence the development of law. Professor Bailliet sees the assembly of 34 senior female researchers within international law as an unique opportunity to create a network between them. She believes such a network can act as professional support to women that will aid development and influence International Law. She also hopes that the conference has contributed positively to the reputation of the Faculty to attract talented international guest speakers.


Will create book

Professor Bailliet hopes that the conference will result in a published book. Several of the participants have contributed with a draft paper prior to the conference. She hopes that these papers will be the basis of the book. The papers have different perspectives, and assess themes such as: the economic crisis, international trade, war, forced migration and climate change.

Here is the conference website.

By Atle Kolbeinstveit
Published Feb. 6, 2012 9:10 AM