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University College London (UCL), Law Faculty Events

ILA: Rethinking Jurisdiction in International Law

UCL Faculty of Laws

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 18:00 (GMT)

ILA: Rethinking Jurisdiction in International Law

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Rethinking Jurisdiction
in International Law 

by Dr Alex Mills, UCL

Chaired by
Dr Thomas Schultz
(Reader in Commercial Law, Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London and Editor-in-Chief at the Journal of International Dispute Settlement)

Wednesay 5 February 2014
from 6-7pm
(with a drinks reception to follow).

The lecture will be held at the Faculty of Laws, UCL, Bentham House (Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG).

This lecture is accredited with 1 CPD hour by the SRA and BSB. It is also accredited with 1 CPE point for Notaries. 


About the lecture:
Jurisdiction has traditionally been considered in international law as purely a question of the rights and powers of states. Conceived in this way, the rules on jurisdiction serve the function of delimiting (while accepting some overlap of) state regulatory authority – the question of when a person or event may be subject to national regulation – a function which is shared with the cognate discipline of private international law. This paper suggests that the idea and consequently the rules of jurisdiction in international law require reconceptualisation in light of three developments. The first is the growing recognition that in some circumstances the exercise of national jurisdiction may, under international law, be a question of duty or obligation rather than right. The second development is the increased acceptance that such jurisdictional duties may in some circumstances be owed not only to other states but also to private parties. The third development is the widely recognised phenomenon that private parties have the power to confer jurisdiction on national courts and to determine themselves which law governs their relationships. In combination, these developments suggest the necessity of rethinking the concept of jurisdiction in international law, to reflect the more complex realities of a modern international legal order under which states possess both jurisdictional rights and obligations, and are no longer the exclusive actors.

About the speaker: 
Alex Mills joined UCL in September 2011 from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Fellow and College Lecturer at Selwyn College and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Law from 2006-2011. He holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Law from the University of Sydney, Australia, and practised for three years as a Solicitor in Sydney before completing an LLM and a PhD (awarded the Yorke Prize in 2007) in Law at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. Alex has published, taught and given presentations to both academic conferences and legal professionals, widely and internationally. He has held visiting academic positions at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Private Law and Private International Law in Hamburg, Columbia University School of Law in New York, the University of Nancy II in France, and the University of Sydney in Australia. In 2009 he was awarded an Early Career Fellowship from the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge. In 2010, he was awarded the American Society of International Law’s inaugural Private International Law Prize (“recognizing an exceptional article in the field of private international law”). He has been consulted on private international law issues by government departments, legal practitioners and non-governmental organisations, and has served as an expert witness on matters of English and European private international law.


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When & Where

UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens
WC1H 0EG London
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 18:00 (GMT)

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UCL Faculty of Laws

For almost 200 years, UCL Laws has been one of the leading centres of legal education in the world. Recognised as offering an outstanding educational experience to our students, we combine a strong theoretical foundation in the law with practical teaching from world-leading academics and practitioners.


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ILA: Rethinking Jurisdiction in International Law
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