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ICJ Election - Prof. Georg Nolte

Prof. Georg Nolte has been elected as judge of the International Court of Justice for a 9 year term where he will start his judgeship in February 2021.

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KFG Working Paper Series: Working Paper No. 45

Working Paper No. 45, 'Populism, the Pandemic & Prospects for International Law' by Campbell McLachlan has been published.

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KFG welcomes new senior fellow: Andrea Schapper

On 01.10.2020, Dr. Andrea Schapper joins the Research Group as a new senior fellow.

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Conferences and Workshops

"General Principles of Law"

Workshop on General Principles of Law
12-13 December 2019,
Humboldt University Berlin, Wengler Library

General principles of law are among the three classical sources of international law (Article 38, paragraph 1 (c), of the ICJ Statute). So far, general principles of law have played a lesser role in international legal practice than the other two classical sources, treaties and customary international law. The increased use of general principles of law in the past several years by various international courts and tribunals has, however, stimulated interest in this source of law. It is in this context that the International Law Commission has, in 2018, put the topic “General Principles of Law” on its active agenda. In 2019, the Commission debated the first report by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Marcelo VázquezBermúdez.

With a view of mutually enriching academic research and the work of the International Law Commission, Georg Nolte, together with ILC Special Rapporteur Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez, invited a small group of researchers with a special experience in the field and/or with ILC work to discuss, in an informal setting, questions regarding general principles of law which are currently debated in the scientific discourse and which will be debated in the future ILC work. Instead of asking participants to make prepared statements, the discussion proceeded from draft elements of the Special Rapporteur’s next report. The basic distinction which emerged from those text elements was that between general principles of law which are derived from other (national/domestic/internal) legal systems, on the one hand, and general principles which are, or which may be, formed within the international legal system.

The discussion on all aspects of the topic was very rich, ranging from the general significance of general principles of law for the current development of international law to specific questions of legal construction and regarding the significance of individual court decisions and their reasoning. Participants agreed that the workshop had shed much light on the topic and been helpful for their own projects. Mr. Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez, Special Rapporteur, emphasized that the same was true for his ongoing work for the International Law Commission.


Danae Azaria, University College London; Humboldt Fellow, Humboldt University Berlin, and former Fellow, Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Mads Andenæs, University of Oslo and Institute of Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Janina Barkholdt, Humboldt University Berlin and Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Alfredo Crosato Neumann, The Graduate Institute Geneva

Roman Kolodkin, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg

Julian Kulaga, Humboldt University Berlin and Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Huw Llewellyn, UN Secretariat and Practitioner-in-Residence, Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Campbell McLachlan, University of Wellington and Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Georg Nolte, Humboldt University Berlin and Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Paolo Palchetti, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne and former Fellow, Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Catherine Redgwell, University of Oxford

Xuan Shao, Queens College, Oxford

Grigory Vaypan, Institute for Law and Public Policy, Moscow

Marcelo Vázquez-Bermúdez, Special Rapporteur, ILC, Quito

Isabel Walther, Berlin Potsdam Research Group

Lukas Willmer, Berlin Potsdam Research Group

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