New research initiative on the interface between International and national law

PluriCourts' annual Concepts and Methods conference was dedicated to the new research initiative on the interface between international and national law. 

Photo of one of the speakers during the conference

New ideas and input: The goal of the Concept and Methods cconference was to come up new ideas for the research initiative and to identify interesting research questions. Photo: Hanna Jarstø Ervik


The research initiative on the interface between international and national law is a new cooperation project between PluriCourts and the Faculty of Law. The main objective is to research the legal dimensions of the interrelationship between international law and different areas of domestic law. This will be done in a comparative context but with a particular emphasis of Norway. The initiative intends to include both normative and political research, and will seek to analyze and explain how international law is currently being implemented and how it should be best implemented in Norwegian legislation, administration, and case law.

To kick-start the work, PluriCourts’ annual Concepts and Methods conference was dedicated to the new initiative.The conference took place 12. November with the aim to identify interesting research questions, discuss existing research in the field, and map out how to further develop the research initiative.

The conference

The first part of the program provided comparative and political science perspectives with introductions from Helmut Aust (Freie Universität Berlin), Antonios Tzanakopoulos (Unviersity of Oxford), Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen (iCourts/University of Copenhagen), and Øyvind Stiansen (PluriCourts). The second part of the program consisted of three introductions on the interface between international and Norwegian law. Benedikte Moltumyr Høgberg (UiO) highlighted the constitutional aspects, Finn Arnesen (UiO) provided insight on the internationalization of law and legal method, and lastly, social welfare law was introduced by Ingunn Ikdahl (UiO).

Finally, about 30 participants were divided into groups that looked closer at challenges related to the interface between international law and different areas of Norwegian law, including constitutional aspects, legal method, and human rights and social welfare law. One group was devoted to questions related to comparative and interdisciplinary aspects.

Implications for the research initiative

At the end of the conference, the participants from the different groups came together to discuss their ideas in plenary. Participants agreed that PluriCourts has the potential to contribute to the international research agenda with its multidisciplinary approach to legitimacy. However, many also stressed that we need more specific approaches to what problems international law brings with it. This should needs be more thoroughly integrated in the methodological courses in the Law degree. As a first step, PluriCourts will create a colloquium among faculty members as a forum for further discussion on the interface of international and national law. 

By Mahalet Tadesse
Published Nov. 29, 2021 11:19 AM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2021 3:49 PM