Legal Reading Group: Is international Law International?

Professor Malcolm Langford will discuss Anthea Roberts' book  'Is International Law International?' (OUP, 2017).

Powerfully challenges the conception that international law is universal and that international lawyers exist in a single "invisible college"

Guides readers through the "divisible college of international lawyers," showing how international law academics in different states have different incoming influences and outgoing spheres of influence in ways that affect how they understand and approach international law

Explores factors that lead to this divisible college, including differences in where international lawyers in different states study, the languages and places in which they publish, and the connections they commonly have to practice

Demonstrates similarities and differences in how international law textbooks approach international law using eye-catching graphics and helpful visual representations like word clouds

Explores how Western approaches in general, and Anglo-American approaches in particular, have had a disproportionate influence in defining what counts as the "international" as a result of factors such as the turn to English as the lingua franca for international law

Shows how differences in the way international lawyers approach international law manifests itself in concrete contemporary controversies, such as Russia's annexation of/reunification with Crimea and the South China Sea arbitral award

Read more about the book

You can download chapter 3 of the book 'Comparing International Law Academics' at SSRN


The legal reading group meets on a regular basis to discuss leading publications on international courts and tribunals. The aim is to develop our understanding of an article/book chapter and how it might be relevant for our own projects, through sharing insights on its substance, merits, and broader context. The reading group managed by PluriCourts, but open to everyone that is interested.

Published Sep. 27, 2017 11:23 AM - Last modified July 29, 2018 9:37 PM