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SLS International Law Section/ British Institute of International and Comparative Law 20th Conferenc

3rd May 2011

On Tuesday 3rd May 2011 the Society of Legal Scholars International Law Section and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law will co-host the 20th Conference on Theory and International Law at Charles Clore House, Russell Square, London. The theme of this year's conference is: Diplomatic and Consular Protection in the 21st Century. Diplomatic protection and consular assistance are distinct legal concepts. Diplomatic protection is in essence a state-to-state process whereby a state brings a claim on behalf of one of its nationals. Consular assistance refers to the assistance provided by a state to its own nationals in another state.

Although diplomatic protection is a well-established part of the law of state responsibility, it remains one of the most controversial subjects in international law. In particular many of the conceptual foundations of the law in this area have been criticised as anachronistic and reflecting a time when the state was the single and most important subject of international law. Conflicting views exist on the efficacy of diplomatic protection as a means of protecting individual human rights. Equally controversial is the view that consular assistance is a right and not a policy matter to be exercised on the basis of administrative discretion. The dwindling role of diplomatic protection vis-à-vis foreign investments and its replacement by arbitration under Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) is also particularly significant.

Recent developments include the Citizens Consular Assistance Regulation in Europe (CARE) Project investigating the legal framework of consular and diplomatic protection within EU Member States where the Final Report was published in December 2010, the ICJ's judgment in the Case Concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea v. Democratic Republic of the Congo) delivered 30 November 2010 and the repatriation of EU nationals and others from Egypt and Libya (a practical application of Article 46 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights).

Panels will explore the diplomatic protection of foreign investors (including shareholders), the diplomatic and consular responses of various States to the detention of their nationals (and residents) in Guantánamo Bay, the International Law Commission's draft articles on diplomatic protection and issue of diplomatic protection and consular assistance in the context of the European Union (EU) including the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The conference will be of interest to academics, students and practitioners in the fields of international law, international relations, political science and diplomacy, civil liberties and human rights law, international trade and investment law.

This event has been organized by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and The Society of Legal Scholars

SLS members can book by emailing

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