ASIL Signature Topics

 
The Signature Topics Initiative was launched in 2018 to focus the Society’s resources, talent, and expertise on particular areas of international law of pressing concern to the members. Past Signature Topics have included:

The Society’s Program Committee invites members to propose ideas for a new signature topic. They may address any international law topic, in any field, so long as it conforms to the Society’s non-advocacy policy.

Activities furthering discussion, research, and scholarship on the selected topics will be coordinated with the Program Committee, AJIL Board of Editors, Interest Group co-chairs, cooperating organizations, and other partners as relevant. Such activities might include reports with recommendations, articles, and symposia, including the American Journal of International Law, AJIL Unbound, or ASIL Insights; public education panels; podcasts and webinars; roundtables; co-sponsored events; Annual and Midyear Meeting sessions; and other activities that might be proposed.

ASIL members interested in proposing a topic for consideration should complete the form below and attach their proposal, which should be drafted in compliance with the “Signature Topics Proposal Instructions” (instructions below). The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2022. Questions about submissions for review can be directed to submissions@asil.org.

 

 

 

Please limit your proposal summary to 250 words.
 

Please attach full proposal here. PDF or Word documents only.
 

A proposal for a signature topic should, if possible, address cross-cutting issues that are of interest to multiple constituencies within ASIL. Co-authored proposals are welcome. Proposals should be no more than 2000 words in length. Such proposals should address some or all of the following elements:

A proposal for a signature topic should, if possible, address cross-cutting issues that are of interest to multiple constituencies within ASIL. Co-authored proposals are welcome. Proposals should be no more than 2000 words in length. Such proposals should address some or all of the following elements:

  1. Importance. Indicate why this topic is of such significance today to the field of international law that ASIL should focus a wide range of ASIL programs on it as a signature topic.
  2. Value Added and Concrete Objectives. Explain how ASIL could provide "value added" by contributing to public understanding of the issues in a non-partisan manner. The proposal should also identify the specific goals it wishes to accomplish (seminars, workshops, reports, webinar series, publications, etc.).
  3. Existing ASIL Programs. Identify existing ASIL entities that could be encouraged to pursue work on this topic. For example, indicate interest groups that might wish to organize events related to the topic. Identify potential linkages with the annual meeting or the midyear meeting.
  4. Engagement with current ASIL Interest Groups. Proposals submitted with explicit support from ASIL Interests Groups, whose co-chairs are willing to contribute programmatic, publication, and research support to the proposed signature topic, will be considered favorably.
  5. Existing ASIL Publications. Perhaps suggest sub-topics that could be the focus of one or more of ASIL's publications (such as a symposium in AJIL or AJIL Unbound).
  6. Future ASIL Programs. Discuss whether it might be advisable to create a new programmatic entity, such as: a task force (short-term, likely leading to a report with recommendations); a study panel (longer-term, potentially leading to a book-length project); or roundtable (bringing together different constituencies for focused discussions). To the extent feasible, for any new initiative that may involve significant costs, provide a rough estimate of expected costs and identify potential sources of funds to support the initiative.
  7. Webcasts/podcasts.  ASIL has become increasingly active in pursuing delivery of content over the Internet. Indicate the issues/sub-topics that might be appropriate for webcasts/podcasts on this topic. 
  8. Persons Who Might Serve as a Steering Committee.  Identify specific individuals who would be willing to serve as the steering committee for the topic. These individuals must be diverse across practice areas, perspectives, and gender and ethnicity. All proposed individuals must be Society members or willing to join for the duration of the topic.
  9. Organizations That Might Participate. Identify organizations with whom ASIL could potentially collaborate in working on the topic. Such organizations might include other non-profit organizations, inter-governmental organizations, international law or other societies from outside the United States, ASIL academic partners or law firm partners, or perhaps donor organizations who might contribute funds to support work on the topic.
  10. Prior Work on the Topic. Identify recently published books, articles, studies or other materials that have made important contributions related to the topic.
  11. Final Work Product: Identify the anticipated final cohesive product of the Signature Topic. The Society is seeking topics that will produce content that can be used going forward by its members. Ideally, there will be a coordinated final project or product of some kind from the topic, whether that is a conference, a report, a book, or some other specific result.