The Role of Opinio Juris in Customary International Law

Duke-Geneva Institute in Transnational Law
University of Geneva
July 12-13, 2013

Conference Overview

On July 12-13, 2013, Duke Law School will be hosting a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on “The Role of Opinio Juris in Customary International Law.” Customary international law covers a wide range of subject areas, including the law of the sea, sovereign immunity, conduct during wartime, extraterritorial jurisdiction, and international human rights. This conference will explore the generally accepted idea that nations must be acting out of a sense of legal obligation (i.e., opinio juris) in order for their practices to generate binding rules of customary international law.

The conference will be held in conjunction with Duke’s summer program in Geneva, the Duke-Geneva Institute in Transnational Law, and is supported by Duke’s Center for International and Comparative Law. The subject matter of the conference overlaps with an ongoing project of the United Nations’ International Law Commission (ILC) concerning customary international law, and some members of the ILC will participate as commentators.  The specific topics to be addressed include: the historical origins of the opinio juris requirement, the proper evidence of opinio juris, and the relationship between opinio juris and national consent. A variety of leading scholars and lawyers from around the world will be participating, including a number of faculty members from Duke Law School: Curtis Bradley, Mitu Gulati, Larry Helfer, and Richard Schmalbeck.

This conference is being co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law.

See the conference schedule