The Editors of the Cambridge International Law Journal (CILJ) and the Conference Convenors welcome submissions for the Ninth Annual Cambridge International Law Conference, which will be held at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge on the 16th and 17th of April 2020.


This year, the Conference invites the submission of papers under the theme ‘International Law and Global Risks: Current Challenges in Theory and Practice’.

Humanity is facing multiple and serious risks on a regional or global scale: from the impacts of climate change—including sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, food insecurity and population displacement; to the threats of nuclear proliferation and cyber warfare; to growing wealth inequality, ‘trade wars’ and global economic instability. At the same time, new social, technological and political developments may impact on the ways in which such risks are addressed. For example, the growing influence of social media, increased use of artificial intelligence in decision making, and declining State involvement in multilateral institutions may each play a role. In this context, how can international law help to manage regional and global risks? And what theoretical and practical challenges must be overcome in order to maintain and strengthen international rule of law?

The Conference welcomes diverse contributions on the concept of risk and its place in the theory or practice of international law. Papers may focus on one or more subject matter areas of international law, such as environmental law, trade and investment, human rights, the law of the sea, air and space law, or international humanitarian law and security. Alternatively, papers may address crosscutting issues or themes, for example:

  • The role of positive obligations of prevention, due diligence and impact assessment in international law;
  • Empirical and interdisciplinary methods in international risk regulation;
  • The evolution or adaptation of existing international law in an era of rapid change;
  • Litigation in response to regional and global risks;
  • Lawmaking as a response to risk: the efficacy of current multilateral treaty structures and institutions for addressing regional and global risks;
  • Law breaking as a response to risk: the rise of unilateralism, treaty-withdrawal and protection of essential/national interests at the expense of compliance with international law.

Papers addressing other topics within the theme of the Conference are also welcome.


The Conference is pleased to announce the following keynote speakers for 2020:

Professor Anne Peters, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Heidelberg (Germany); Professor at the universities of Heidelberg, Freie Universität Berlin, and Basel (Switzerland); and William W. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan

Dr Chaloka Beyani, Associate Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons

Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan, President of the Trial Division, and Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber VIII of the International Criminal Court; and former Dean and current Professor of Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law


Please note that the submission of abstracts for the 2020 Conference has now closed. Successful applicants have already been notified by the Conference Convenors. The authors will be required to submit a 2,000-word extended abstract to by Friday, 14 February 2020.

Authors who present at the Conference will also be invited to submit their papers to be considered for publication in Volume 9(2), the conference issue of the Journal, to be published in December 2020, subject to the normal double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be contacted about this after the Conference.


Registration for the Conference is now open. Please visit the registration page. Please contact with any questions or concerns.