Each October, the American Branch presents International Law Weekend (ILW) in New York City. This two-and-a-half-day conference features over 30 panels, and many of the world’s leading international lawyers and diplomats participate. In recent years, keynote luncheon speakers have included the president of the American Society of International Law and the Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State. Gala receptions have been hosted by the Finnish, Belgian, British, and Singapore missions to the United Nations.
Recent ILWs have attracted an audience of over 1,200 practitioners, academics, U.N. diplomats, business leaders, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, journalists, students, and interested citizens. Registration for ILW is very reasonably priced as a service to our members. It is free for students. Sponsorship by law firms, universities, and interested practitioners is welcomed and recognized.
Save the date: ILW 2024 will take place October 24-26 in New York City!
International Law Weekend 2023:
Beyond International Law
ILW 2023 was held October 19-21, 2023 in New York City.
The unifying theme for ILW 2023 was Beyond International Law, as follows:
International law is at a crossroads. While there have been many successes, the system’s shortcomings still remain visible, exposed by prolonged armed conflicts, a lack of accountability for atrocities, a global pandemic followed by an economic downturn, and entrenched economic and social inequalities exacerbated by the disastrous effects of climate change. The time is ripe for the international legal community to consider what lies beyond current international law. If existing legal solutions fall short, how can international lawyers and leaders effectively harness their creativity to tackle the complex challenges of today? How does international law interface with other disciplines that also seek to promote peace and equality, such as domestic law, diplomacy, trade, social change movements, and global solidarity initiatives? How can international law adapt to become more effective in responding to the world’s shifting crises? ILW 2023 encourages participants to think beyond international law.
ILW 2023 explored these issues through a diverse set of engaging and provocative panels, plenary sessions, and keynote addresses. As in prior years, we had nearly 2,000 registrants. The program included a broad array of both public international law and private international law topics in each time slot, all of which offered CLE at no additional cost. The Weekend also included networking opportunities for both professionals and students, social events, and award ceremonies, as well as the 101st Members Meeting.
Plenary and Keynote Speakers Included:
- Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations
- Maxine Burkett, Assistant Director for Climate, Ocean, and Equity, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Judge Gatti Santana, President, International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
- Gregory Shaffer, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of International Law, Georgetown University Law Center; President, American Society of International Law
- Christopher Ward SC, Immediate Past President & Vice President, International Law Association
Organizing Committee Members ILW 2023
William Aceves, Co-Chair
Floriane Lavaud, Co-Chair
Milena Sterio, Co-Chair
Yaw Otu Mankata Nyampong
Madaline George, Chief Operating Officer
Leila Sadat, ex officio
Michael Scharf, ex officio
International Law Weekend 2022: The Next 100 Years of International Law
ILW 2022 was held October 20-22, 2022 in New York City. A recap is available here.
The unifying theme for ILW 2022, held during ABILA’s centennial year, was The Next 100 Years of International Law, as follows:
On the occasion of ABILA’s centennial anniversary, International Law Weekend 2022 invites reflection on the past and future of international law. Which foundations from the last century of international law should remain in the next century, and which should be reimagined? Today, the international legal order faces extraordinary challenges—threats to the peace, persistent economic and social inequalities, environmental and global health risks, and populist isolationism. Yet there are also many ways that international law has succeeded over the past century in resolving differences, keeping the peace, protecting human rights, and facilitating human flourishing. Present circumstances offer the opportunity to reevaluate the core features of international law. ABILA’s centennial ILW explores the areas of international law that offer robust solutions, and those that require reinvention.
ILW 2022 explored these issues through a diverse program of 35 panels, three keynote addresses, and a High-Level Opening Plenary. The Weekend included many networking opportunities for both professionals and students, social events, and award ceremonies, as well as the 100th Members Meeting. ILW 2022 also featured a Centennial Gala on Thursday, October 22 at White & Case LLP, with a keynote address by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of the International Court of Justice.
Additional keynote and plenary speakers included H.E. Dr. Fatou Bensouda (Gambia High Commissioner to The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth); Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares (UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs); Justice Richard Goldstone (former Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa; former Chief Prosecutor, UN International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda); H.E. Ambassador Beth Van Schaack (US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice); Dr. Christopher Ward (immediate past President of the International Law Association); and Judge Ganna Yuriyivna Yudkivsk (former Judge on the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Ukraine).
International Law Weekend 2021: Reinvesting in International Law
The conference theme was Reinvesting in International Law, as follows:
Hindered by a retreat from multilateralism, the international legal community is struggling to respond to the global challenges of our day; climate change, economic inequality, impunity for atrocity crimes, and now the pandemic. We are at a key inflection point in crafting our response to these challenges. We must ask ourselves, “where is the international legal order meeting expectations and where is it falling short?” Where should we reinforce the current system and where must we develop new solutions? How can we revitalize our global health, economic, and human rights institutions to make them more durable and impactful? Where do we require more robust legal frameworks and where, perhaps, do we need less regulation? How should we tailor our reinvestment in international law?
ILW 2021 explored these issues through a diverse collection of 32 engaging and provocative panels, a High-Level President’s Opening Plenary, and two keynote addresses. The conference also featured the 99th Members Meeting, award ceremonies, the Second Annual Trivia Night, a Career Session, and many networking opportunities for both professionals and students. The final program can be found here.