The GCILS is the home of world-leading research in the fields of international law and security at the University of Glasgow.

We host webinars on the most pressing issues and challenges in international law and global affairs.

Our staff regularly publish on a broad range of fundamental and topical issues of international law, shaping debates in academia and beyond.

We offer a range of executive training and traditional academic programmes in international law.

Our staff offer consultancy, advice, and training to a wide range of public and private international actors.

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Endless Conflicts

15th April 2020

Professor Robin Geiß (PI), Dr Giedre Jokubauskaite (Co-I) and Dr Asli Ozcelik Olcay (Co-I) have received a prestigious research grant (£315,960) from the AHRC/DFG Funding Initiative in the Humanities in support of their project “The Law of Protracted Armed Conflict: Overcoming the Humanitarian-Development Divide”. In collaboration with Professor Heike Krieger and Dr Andreas Buser from Freie Universität Berlin, they will research the humanitarian-development nexus in the context of protracted armed conflicts. The project promises to make fundamental advances towards the operationalisation of the humanitarian-development nexus in the pursuit of sustainable peace, by examining how an integrated and sustainable humanitarian and development response can be anchored in and promoted by international law.  This project has also its own website: www.endlessconflicts.org   The Law of Protracted Conflict: Bridging the Humanitarian-Development Divide Contemporary armed conflicts have become protracted, complex and urbanised with far-reaching socio-economic consequences, such as severe damage to infrastructure, disruption of services, and protracted displacement.  The dire socio-economic dimensions of protracted conflicts, as well as the link…

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ReVisions Seminar Series

1st February 2020

The ReVisions Seminar Series invites scholars to share their current research on international law.  The process of revision provokes a re-interpretation of the record of international law and seeks to rethink and re-define the central questions that we should ask about, of, and for international law. At the centre of this exercise lies the recognition of the importance of perspective, both in its temporal and spatial orientations: revisioning from a situated perspective entails a critique of the familiar ‘god trick’ of objectivity (Donna Haraway); revisioning from a temporal perspective that looks both backwards and forward opens the possibility of displacing the uniformity of received memory with a multiplicity of knowledges that otherwise would be rendered silent and invisible.   Given the worldmaking forces highlighted by Nelson Goodman, in particular that “we dismiss as illusory or negligible what cannot be fitted into the architecture of the world we are building”, we call attention to the politics of legal architecture, its present construction and its potentialities, and the politics of ‘we’ in re-imagining different built worlds of law. The inaugural 2017/18 series included topics ranging over disasters, the relationship between international law and ethnicity,…

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‘The Hope of Ages is in the Process of Realization’: Establishing a World Court, 1920-1922

1st January 2020

During 1920-1922, experts and diplomats established the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), located in The Hague. This was no mean feat: for centuries, activists and lawyers had argued that a ‘world court’ would be a guardian of peace. The League of Nations’ Secretary-General, Sir Eric Drummond (a British diplomat of Scottish ancestry) counted the PCIJ’s opening among the most ‘distinguished marks in the progress of mankind’; James Brown Scott asserted that ‘the hope of ages is in the process of realization’. Image of the PCIJ in action. Source: https://www.icj-cij.org/en/pcij A century onwards, as global and European courts face sustained opposition, such statements may seem naïve, and yet the idealism of the early 1920s continues to inspire. It is one of the drivers towards the much-proclaimed ‘historical turn’ in international legal scholarship (and of the parallel ‘normative turn’ in historical research). Building on such ‘turns’, this project interrogates a particular significant moment in the development of international law, namely the debates leading up to the PCIJ’s establishment. The project seeks to test assumptions about the establishment of the PCIJ in the early 1920s, and about the factors that affect the success and failure of…

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