Universiteit Leiden

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Comparative Procedure in State-to-State Disputes

28 May 2019 - 29 May 2019
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies is organizing  a conference on “Comparative Procedure in State-to-State Disputes” on 28-29 May 2019 in The Hague.

The objective of the conference is to engage in a transversal and comparative analysis of the procedural aspects of the settlement of interstate disputes in international law. The conference will take stock of the procedure applicable in various interstate dispute settlement bodies, including international courts and tribunals and arbitration, but will also cover regional courts and tribunals. As the settlement of interstate disputes through recourse to courts and tribunals has grown gradually over the years, not only through the creation of new mechanisms to that effect but also through the use of existing courts and tribunals, the organizers of the conference are convinced that a comparative view and analysis of the procedure – in theory and practice- is beneficial to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various procedural rules and regulations, and in the end contribute to foment cross-fertilization between interstate dispute settlement bodies.

The conference will be divided into several panels based on substantive procedural issues rather than on specific courts and tribunals, to reflect the comparative approach to the topic. Each panel will combine invited speakers and speakers which have been accepted through a call for papers.

Call for Papers

The organizers invite academics and practitioners to submit proposals for the panels, as detailed in the attached call for papers. Authors are encouraged to provide proposals that are comparative in nature, rather than focusing on one body or institution.  The deadline for the submission of papers is 31 December 2018.  The details for the submission of proposals and timeline can be found in the attachment.

Panels and topics for discussion


Panel I. The Impact of the Interstate Nature of the Dispute on the Procedure
Topics to be covered include, amongst others:
• Establishing jurisdiction over states
• Applicable law
• Challenge, Appeal, and Enforceability
• Procedural considerations related to sovereignty
• Political nature of court or tribunal / link of the court or/tribunal to a particular international or regional organization / reliance on states for funding and existence
• Transparency in state to state disputes

Panel II. Selection and Appointment of Judges and Arbitrators
Topics to be covered include, amongst others:
• Election/appointment procedures
• Lifetime appoints vs. limited-term appointments
• “Sitting” vs. “occasional” judging
• Number of judges to hear a dispute (related to deliberation and
• Conflicts/challenges
• Gender and diversity

Panel III. Procedures for written and oral argument
Topics to be covered include, amongst others:
• Limitations on, format of, and consideration of written argument
• Decisions on written argument without oral presentation
• Time periods
• Availability of oral argument
• Time for counsel
• Presentation format/order of argument
• Questions from the bench
• Language/translation

Panel IV. Evidence and Witnesses
Topics to be covered include, amongst others:
• Submission of evidence
• Rules of evidence
• Privileges specific to sovereigns (e.g. deliberative process)
• Appropriateness of adverse inferences in sovereign context
• Availability of witness testimony
• Written vs. oral submissions
• Immunity considerations with respect to state officials
• Experts

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