A strong cohort of researchers from the Glasgow Centre for International Law presented their research at the 15th ESIL Conference in Athens this month. This year’s Conference was hosted by the Athens Public International Law Center based in the Faculty of Law of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. 90 speakers from more than 30 countries and a host of promising young scholars in 14 ESIL Interest Groups explored a wide range of international legal issues relating to this year’s theme “Sovereignty: A concept in flux?”.

On the first day of the conference, Centre Director Professor Christian Tams talked on the topic of “Arbitrating sovereignty: lessons from investor-state dispute settlement” as part of Forum IV, while Gail Lythgoe and Dr Akbar Rasulov presented a joint paper entitled “Examining the modern practices of sovereignty and its relationship to territory through the lens of international tax law” at Agora VII.

During the pre-conference meeting of the Interest Group on the History of International Law, Connor MacBain presented a paper entitled ‘Parcel of Rogues in a Nation: The Story of the Darien Company and the Forgotten Role of Corporate Sovereignty in Scots Colonisation of the “New World”’. Finally, Jessica Schechinger co-organised the pre-conference meeting of the Interest Group on the Law of the Sea.

Our team thanks the Programme Committee for a stimulating conference and their hospitality!


The European Society of International Law (ESIL) is a dynamic network of researchers, scholars and practitioners in the field of international law. The Society’s goals are to encourage the study of international law, to foster inquiry, discussion and innovation in international law, and to promote a greater understanding of the role of international law in the world today. Every year, ESIL holds an annual conference in a different venue for the exchange and promotion of new ideas. After Athens, future conferences will be held in Stockholm (2020) and Aix-en-Provence (2021).

As well as annual conferences, ESIL also holds an annual Research Forum, a scholarly event which promotes engagement with research in progress by early-career members of the Society. The 2020 Research Forum will be held in Catania.