Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


Public Lecture by Sir Michael Wood

Foredrag — The functions of International Courts and Tribunals.


Date & Time:

Lecture Hall 4A-0-69 (Read area), ground floor, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Hosted by:
iCourts / Pluricourts PhD Summer School



Friday 30 June 2017, 14.00-15.30

Lecture Hall 4A-0-69 (Read area), ground floor, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

iCourts / Pluricourts PhD Summer School

The function of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is to decide in accordance with international law disputes submitted to it and to give advisory opinions. However, does the ICJ have other functions? To ‘develop’ the law? To maintain the rule of law in international affairs?  To contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security?

The same questions apply to The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and to inter-State arbitral tribunals.

Some international courts and tribunals may be thought to have (or to have asserted) a more political role: the Court of Justice of the European Union; the European Court of Human Rights; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The legitimacy of what they do is often questioned.

How do international judges see their role? How do scholars and practitioners see the role of judges?

Sir Michael is a member of the UN International Law Commission. He was the principal Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1999 and 2006. During 35 years as a lawyer in the FCO, he attended many international conferences, including the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

He spent three years at the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York, dealing chiefly with Security Council matters. He was Agent for the United Kingdom for a number of years before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights, and UK Agent in cases before the ICJ, as well as in proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and arbitral tribunals.

Sir Michael is the Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission on the identification of customary international law, and   a Senior Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.

Among his many publications are various entries in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law.

Professor Achilles Skordas, iCourts

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