This online conference will compare and contrast national practices relating to the growing phenomenon of non-binding international agreements. Instead of making formal treaties, nations increasingly are making agreements that are not intended to be legally binding under international law. These non-binding agreements are part of a broader trend of informality in international lawmaking, not only with respect to the output of lawmaking but also with respect to the processes and actors involved. Non-binding agreements take a wide variety of forms, including Memoranda of Understanding, joint communiques, and multilateral compacts. Sometimes these agreements are concluded at the highest levels of government, but often they are concluded by administrative agencies and departments of the government with their counterparts in other countries. Although the agreements are not legally binding, they may impose political constraints and can have indirect legal effects. Typically, however, they are not subject to the usual domestic rules that govern legislative participation in treaty-making or the reporting and publication of treaties. Moreover, there is often little in the way of centralized monitoring and coordination within executive branches of the conclusion of these agreements. The participants in the conference will discuss the role that non-binding international agreements play within the foreign relations practices of various nations and the extent to which these nations do and should regulate the phenomenon.
The conference is being hosted by Curtis Bradley (University of Chicago Law School), and co-hosted by Helmut Aust (Freie Universtät Berlin, Germany), and Thomas Kleinlein (Universtät Jena Faculty of Law, Germany).
Conference time is 9 am - 1 pm EDT; 8 am - 12 pm CDT. Participation in this conference is by invitation only.
The conference agenda can be found here.
Helmut Aust (Freie Universtät Berlin, Germany)
Curtis A. Bradley (University of Chicago Law School, United States)
Amichai Cohen (Ono Academic College, Israel)
Adam Chilton (University of Chicago Law School, United States)
Gib van Ert (Litigation Counsel, Canada)
Carlos Esposito (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
Mathias Forteau (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France)
Jean Galbraith (University of Pennsylvania Law School, United States)
Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago Law School, United States)
Jack L. Goldsmith (Harvard Law School, United States)
Oona A. Hathaway (Yale Law School, United States)
Duncan Hollis (Temple Law School, United States)
Thomas Kleinlein (Universtät Jena Faculty of Law, Germany)
Arabella Lang (Deputy Research Director, Public Law Project, United Kingdom)
Nahuel Maisley (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Michael Mattler (Assistant Legal Adviser, US State Department, United States)
Jide Okechuku Nzelibe (Northwestern University Law School, United States)
Anna Petrig (University of Basel, Switzerland)
Roland Portmann (Public International Law Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland)
Noortje van Rijssen (Legal Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands)
Alejandro Rodiles (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo, Mexico)
Naomi Elimilech Shamra (Director, Treaties Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel)
Kaija Suvanto (Director General, Legal Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland)
Michael Waibel (University of Vienna, Austria)
Ramses Wessel (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
Hannah Woolaver (University of Cape Town, South Africa)