Call for papers: Protecting Community Interests under International Law: Challenges and Prospects for the 21st Century

The papers will be presented on conference, taking place in Oslo on Monday, 3 June 2019. Submission deadline 15 March. The conference aims at gathering leading scholars and young researchers to discuss an important topic for international law and governance, which has gained increased attention in the last decades.

Community interests under international law

This conference aims at providing insights on the role and function of international law in a framework of increased global governance by focusing on how ‘community interests’ are articulated and protected and global public goods are provided.

Judge Simma, judge on the International Court of Justice from 2003 until 2012, has noted that community interests embody a consensus according to which respect for certain fundamental values is not left to the free disposition of States individually or inter se, but is recognized and sanctioned by international law as a matter of concern to all States.
He has pointed out the development of international law from bilateralism to protection of community interests and multilateral treaties serving as the vehicle par excellence of community interests.

Contemporary global challenges

Over time these community interests have come to encapsulate some of the contemporary global challenges facing the international community, including ensuring global human security, managing shared natural resources and countering climate change, and protecting world cultural heritage.

While displaying different degrees of normative intensity and institutional development, these broad areas of international law and governance involve the provision of different global public goods.

Challenges and prospects

The comprehensive impact of community interests visible today also reveals a fundamental tension in contemporary international law – the tension between the need to make international law adequately express and support what are assumed to be universally held moral beliefs and the need to make it firmly reflect its political context.

The presentations in this conference will focus primarily on and try to address the following three questions:

  1. Can international law mediate effectively between competing sovereign and collective concerns?
  2. What are the main challenges and prospects of realizing community interests through and across international law?
  3. What improvements are necessary to the normative framework and the operating system of international law to ensure an optimal protection of community interests?

We welcome submissions on different sub-fields of international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law, international economic law, international peace and security law, international institutional law, natural resources and the global commons, and open access technology.
Researchers performing multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary analysis across international law fields and institutional frameworks are particularly encouraged to apply.

Procedure and timeline

To apply, please send an abstract of maximum 600 words and your CV to
Gentian Zyberi by 15 March 2019

Please take contact, if you have any inquiries.

If selected, you will be asked to submit a short paper of 5,000-6000 words by 25 May 2019. The paper may be a partial draft of the final paper. Please note that failure to share a short paper with the conference organizers may result in exclusion from the conference. Speakers will receive the papers in advance and are expected to have read them prior to the start of the conference. 

Please take note of the following timeline:

  • 15 March – deadline for submission of abstracts and scholarship applications;
  • 31 March – applicants will be informed of the results of the selection process;
  • 25 May – deadline for submission of draft papers;
  • 3 June – conference event.

Funding and scholarships

There is no fee for attending the conference and registration will open at the beginning of May 2019 (please save the date). As a general rule, participants will have to cover their own expenses. There will be a very limited number of scholarships to contribute to covering the attendance expenses of speakers who do not have access to sufficient funding, especially young researchers. An important objective of these scholarships is to ensure a balanced group of speakers. We will use technology to allow participation of overseas speakers where necessary and possible.

To apply for a scholarship, please include in your application, in addition to your abstract and CV, a short motivational letter stating why you are not able to cover your travel expenses, how much funding you would need, and how participation in the conference fits your current research plans. 

Output: Selected papers will be published in an edited book volume or a special issue in an international law journal. This process will be coordinated with the individual authors at a later stage after the conference. 


Professor Gentian Zyberi, Head of Department, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and Human Rights, Armed Conflicts, and the Law of Peace and Security

Published Jan. 22, 2019 2:07 PM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2022 12:03 PM