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Public Lectures and Other Events

4 December 2017: Thomas Franck Lecture by Andrea Bianchi

“The Unbearable Lightness of International Law”

"It is by becoming aware of having a choice between possible options, by realizing one has discretion, that one experiences a moment of vertigo. This moment consists of the vertigo of professional freedom, when we realize it might well be the other way. After all, this is the unbearable lightness, the emotional experience we go through when we realize that international law might not be at all what we think it is."

30 November 2017: Thomas Franck Lecture by Angelika Nußberger

“From high hopes to disillusionment? Human rights protection in Europe in an ever more hostile environment.”

"What if you say you have accepted to play with a cat that might grow, but all of a sudden, the cat has turned into a tiger? What is development and what is metamorphosis?"

13 November 2017: Thomas Franck Lecture by Bardo Fassbender

“The International Rule of Law and the United Nations Charter - Original Design and Present Challenges”

"Notwithstanding the changes in language and style, the drafters of the UN Charter would have subscribed almost 500 years later to Nicholas Upton’s thought: ‘The annoying and hurtful appetite of men for power and gains must be controlled by the Rule of Law which informs mankind of how to live honestly’ and, they would have added, ‘peacefully’."

4 July 2017: Public Event "International Law in an Era of Populism" - Indiana University Joint Speaker Series

"International Law in an Era of Populism" - Indiana University Joint Speaker Series

24 June 2017: Panel Discussion “International law in crisis – On the challenges caused by terrorism and populism”

"International Law in Crisis – On the Challenges Caused by Terrorism and Populism"

21 June 2017: Thomas Franck Lecture by Campbell McLachlan

“Acts of State and the Principle of Legality in International Affairs - The law’s response to withdrawal from international adjudication”

"We must defend international courts against a tide of withdrawal that, calling forth a siren song of nativism, would seek to criticize international adjudication as intervening in national self-determination, when in reality the international court is seeking to protect other states and individuals from unbridled executive power by applying the principle of legality in international affairs."

6 February 2017: Thomas Franck Lecture by Jean d'Aspremont

"International Law as a Belief System"

"The suspension of the belief system teaches you that the interpretation of a doctrine is not the interpretation of the fundamental authoritative text where they are nested. What you interpret when you intervene to adjust a doctrine is not the text itself. In doing that, it makes you more powerful reformers, it makes you more aware of how you can intervene in the making, remaking, unmaking of these fundamental doctrines."

15 December 2016: Thomas Franck Lecture by Andrew Hurrell

"The End of the Global Rule of Law?"

"We can imagine a world in which some big power bargains are done between governments whose concerns are not particularly attractive; we can imagine a world where there is a withdrawal from much of the solidarist law and activity in human rights and democracy; we can imagine a world in which there is a lot more sovereigntism in international regimes and institutions. And we can plausibly say that that might not be a completely unstable world. It would not be a defeat for the idea of the Global Rule of Law, it would be a defeat for a particular idea of what law should achieve."

12 December 2016: Thomas Franck Lecture by Robert McCorquodale

"Defining the International Rule of Law: Providing Reality to a National Legal Idea"

"It is inappropriate to use the type of institutions found in most national systems to determine if there is a rule of law in the international system and to seek to find the same procedural aspects of national law in an international rule of law. The rule of law remains about values or meta-principles within a system, and constraints on the use of power […]."

17 October 2016: Thomas Franck Lecture by Pierre-Marie Dupuy

"Are we facing a 'Disenchantment' (Entzauberung) of the International Legal Order?"

"The pursuit of peace and the renunciation of recourse to force today still constitutes a crucial direction of travel, together with the promotion of human rights and the right of humanity. In order to give the Charter back its messianic dimension, however, we need to add to it the inherently universal cause of guarding and restoring the health of the planet."

18 June 2016: KFG at the ICON-S-Conference 2016 on "Borders, Otherness and Public Law"

Panel on "The International Rule of Law - Rise or Decline?"

15 June 2016: Thomas Franck Lecture by Jutta Brunnée

"The Global Climate Regime 1992-2016: Shifting Norms, Changing Structures and Moving Targets"

"What we have now in the Paris Agreement is in part shaped by three big longer term developments: The first one is a shift in the collective understanding of common but differentiated responsibilities. The second one is the change in the structure of the climate regime and the blending of the traditional treaty based modes with other, more bottom-up, approaches. The third on is a range of movements with respect to the emission targets."

18 April 2016: Thomas Franck Lecture by Angela Kane

"Abrüstungsverträge in der UN: Erwartungen und Chancen"

"Die gegenwärtige Stimmung ist abwartend bis negativ, die Unzufriedenheit groß, die Kluft zwischen Nuklearstaaten und Nicht-Nuklearstaaten erweitert sich mit jedem Jahr und der Wille, zugunsten des Gemeinwohls nationale Abstriche zu machen ist - um es vorsichtig auszudrücken - kaum vorhanden."

14 April 2016: Inaugural Thomas Franck International Law Debate

"The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline in a Changing Global Order?"

24 September 2015: Opening of the Wengler library

On September 24th, the Wengler library at Humboldt University Berlin was officially opened.

Freie Universität Berlin      Hertie School of Governance in Berlin      Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin      Universität Potsdam      WZB Berlin
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