American Foreign Policy Ideology and the International Rule of Law” 

We are delighted to invite you to a talk with our guest speaker, Dr Malcolm Jorgensen, a Senior Research Fellow from the Max Planck Institute

In this talk, Dr Malcolm Jorgensen will be discussing his book American Foreign Policy Ideology and the International Rule of Law: Contesting Power Through the International Criminal Court (Cambridge University Press, 2020), both as a contribution to the re-emerging field of ‘Comparative International Law’ and as a framework for better understanding contested legal responses to recent and ongoing global conflicts. Appeals for international legal solutions to the most consequential of global security challenges systematically demonstrate that international law can just as often replicate political contestation as offer a common language for dispute resolution. Rather than focusing primarily on what the law is in these cases, it can be more meaningful to identify and compare the underlying ‘international legal policy’ of each state, being the specific type of foreign policy concerned with the conception of and strategies taken in relation to international legal rules and institutions. This interdisciplinary concept encompasses the causal role of political approaches to legal authority, which is evident in the distinctive patterns within a named state’s foreign policy towards the international legal order. The American case offers compelling evidence that policymakers receive international law through established foreign policy ideologies, which correspond with longstanding divisions in both legal scholarship and diplomatic history. Comparing these international legal policies offers a fine-grained account of the contestation over interpretation and development of ICC jurisdiction, including over alleged crimes committed in connection with the war in Afghanistan (2001-2021) and, more recently, in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War.

The talk will be held in an in-person-only format and will take place on Friday 24 February, at 3.00pm in the Stair Building: Room 330 – The W M Gloag Lecture Room, 5-9 Professors’ Square.

Following the talk, there will be a Q&A session with our audience, continued at a drinks reception in the Halliday Room.

To attend, please register via Eventbrite .

Dr Malcolm Jorgensen is a Senior Research Fellow in the Max Planck Research Group ‘Shades of Illegality in International Peace and Security Law’ at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg. He holds a PhD in International Law and American Foreign Policy from the University of Sydney, which has been published as American Foreign Policy Ideology and The International Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press, 2020). He is a non-Resident Fellow of the DFG funded Berlin Potsdam Research Group ‘International Law – Rise or Decline?’ and an Associate of the Sydney Centre for International Law, Sydney Law School. During his doctoral studies Malcolm was resident at the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, where he was a Research Associate and Lecturer in American Politics. He has previously served as a Judge’s Associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland and as an Assistant Director in the Legal Division of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.