From 6-8 December 2012, the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice will be presenting the first Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law Conference.  Frédéric Mégret (McGill) will give the keynote speech.  The conference is organized by IGLP Workshop alumni and IGLP Collaborative Research Grant recipients Michelle Burgis, Paul Kingsley Clark, Tor Krever, Heidi Matthews, John Reynolds and Christine Schwobel.

The field of International Criminal Law (ICL) has recently experienced a significant surge in scholarship, in institutions, and in the public debate. The contemporary debate is predominantly focussed on ICL’s contribution to projects of justice, peace, legality, addressing impunity and accountability. While there are individual sites of critique, they are largely limited to effectiveness arguments: If the International Criminal Court is not functioning as well as it could be, then it must be made more effective; if peace is not yet achieved through tackling impunity, then there must be more accountability. This limited critique has fostered a seemingly self-congratulatory, uncritical, and over-confident area of international law which has marginalised deeper critical approaches.

What is missing from the mainstream debate are the possible complicities of ICL in injustice, conflict, exclusions, and biases. In this conference, we hope to shift the debate towards such complicities and limitations in the contemporary understanding of ICL. We hope to question some of the assumptions which inform the field and which may cause injustice, conflict, exclusion and bias.

The first day and second days of the conference follow an open call for papers and will be held at the International Slavery Museum. The third day will include roundtable discussions on teaching and writing with critical approaches to ICL. Attendance of the roundtable requires an invitation. Registration is now open!

This event is co-funded by the University of Liverpool and the Institute of Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School. For more information, including a conference program and how to register, please visit the conference website.