Conferences and Workshops at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights (June and August 2018) – University of Helsinki

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The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, (ECI), housed at the University of Helsinki Faculty of Law, organizes and co-organizes a variety of scientific events in summer 2018.


The Conference on "Ethical Leadership in International Organizations: Concepts, Narratives, Judgment and Assessment" will take place on 7 and 8 June 2018.

The Conference marks the end of Professor Jan Klabbers’ five-year Martti Ahtisaari Chair, Academy of Finland Professorship devoted to the theme "Towards a Credible Ethics for Global Governance" and focusing on the professional roles of relevant actors.

The Conference venue is Unioninkadun Juhlahuoneistot at the address Unioninkatu 33. Please, find more information about the conference here, and register for the event by 30 May 2018, using this e-form.


The Workshop on "Legal Experts in Transnational Policy-making - Professional Integrity Without Political Accountability?" will take place on 14 and 15 June 2018.

The Workshop studies different dimensions of legal expertise in various political decision-making contexts. The project is driven by the acknowledgement that we lack both theoretical concepts and empirical data to generalise about legal expertise, a gap that we try to narrow. The questions we pose to understand legal expertise are invitational rather than interrogative. What counts as legal expertise, and who counts as legal expert? What is legal expertise made of? What are its defining features? To whom does it belong? What kind of presumptions or ethical norms guide the work of legal experts? How do legal experts see the objectivity of their legal advice and deal with political questions? Who should carry the political responsibility for the choices that they advocate? How does the characterisation of legal expertise affect legal scholarship and its relationship to other neighbouring disciplines? What is the value, political, economic and social, of lawyers’ legal expertise?

The Conference venue is Porthania (Yliopistonkatu 3). Please, find more information about the workshop here and register for the event by 30 May 2018, using this e-form.


The Workshop on "What is Critical Research in International Law Today?" will take place on 31 August 2018.

The Workshop will consist of two parts. The morning is devoted for a Master Class – a discussion between Professors Anne Orford (Melbourne) and Martti Koskenniemi (Helsinki) with doctoral candidates and young researchers on problems in critical research. In the afternoon, both will be available, together with Professor Jan Klabbers and Professor Päivi Leino-Sandberg to speak on larger themes and challenges for research in international, European and transnational law as well as human rights. Doctoral candidates and young researchers working on the above-mentioned fields are invited to participate in the Master Class on the morning of 31 August at 9.30-13.00. Those interested to have their research topics discussed should submit a one-page (maximum) exposé of their research plan. Professors Orford and Koskenniemi will then discuss a limited number of those exposés. However, everyone is entitled to participate. The point is to take up typical problems that arise in seeking to adopt a critical perspective in one’s research on international law and human rights. After a lunch break, participants are invited to continue debating problems of critical legal research and practice in the afternoon session. A more detailed programme will be published in due course.

Exposés for the Master Class can be submitted, by 18 June 2018 at the latest, to

Please, register to attend the event with or without an exposé by 1 August 2018 using this e-form.



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