The ASIL Annual Meeting

The Promise of International Law

From April 1-4, 2020, the American Society of International Law will convene its 114th Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting Committee (chaired by Adejoké Babington-Ashaye, Ruchi Gill, and Jarrod Wong) welcomes ideas for sessions reflecting the meeting's theme, "The Promise of International Law."

Annual Meeting theme:

In a world of increasing polarization and threats to individual and collective security, many turn to international law for guidance and protection, while others consider this body of law and the institutions that apply it ill-equipped to address evolving needs. Has international law lived up to its full potential and is it equipped to safeguard the peaceful coexistence of its subjects, to protect human rights and the environment, and to contribute to the attainment of shared prosperity?

The year 2020 will give us much to reflect upon and to reaffirm. Even as states have withdrawn or sought to withdraw from agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Treaty on European Union, the international community will commemorate other enduring institutions and commitments in 2020. For example, the United Nations will mark its 75th anniversary amidst calls for significant reforms to global governance. The year 2020 also will see the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Versailles and of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, and the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. At the same time, the year 2020 will serve as a reminder that we have but ten years left to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which envisage "a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination."

At its 114th Annual Meeting in 2020, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) invites policymakers, practitioners, academics, and students of international law to reflect upon the successes and failures of international law. Has international law held states, military forces, multinational corporations, and other actors – both public and private – to account for their international obligations? What role do regulatory bodies, international institutions, and non-governmental organizations play in actualizing the objectives of international law? Can and should international law be expected to produce just outcomes in all circumstances? The Annual Meeting presents an opportunity for the Society to take stock of the past successes and failures of international law while reaffirming the promise it holds for the future.

Session Tracks:

  • International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Criminal Justice
  • Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Dispute Resolution
  • Trade, Investment, Finance, and Technology
  • Sustainable Development and Global Governance
  • Security, Foreign Relations, and Use of Force
  • Energy, Environment, Sea, and Space

Call for Session Ideas

To suggest a session to the Committee, please complete the form below by no later than July 16, 2019.


Submitter Information


Suggested Track



Please provide a description of the idea you think the Annual Meeting Committee should consider. This can be as short as a sentence or two or as long as 500 words.

Please provide the reason you think this idea would be important for the Annual Meeting to include. Connection to the Annual Meeting theme is important and will be considered during the program creation process. (500 word max)

Please include any specific elements you think would make this idea more appealing to attendees, including non-traditional formats (debates, simulations, etc.), specific events or cases that would make it a timely discussion in 2020, or other elements. This may include proposed speakers, but please note that you should not contact any individuals about potential speaking roles, as the Society follows strict guidelines on speaker selection to ensure diversity across several matrices, and may draw on speakers other than those suggested.

Selection criteria:
The Annual Meeting Committee welcomes ideas addressing this year's theme both within and across the many sub-fields of international law. Drawing on submitted ideas, the Committee will create a program with the following goals in mind:
  • coverage of a breadth of timely international law topics of interest to ASIL members;
  • participation by diverse individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds including academics and practitioners; and
  • a vibrant dialogue through the use of engaging program formats, including rapid-fire programming, simulations and debates, as opposed to the conventional talking heads model.
Important note on how the ASIL Annual Meeting program is developed:
The Annual Meeting Committee appreciates the work required to submit an idea for an Annual Meeting session. Given the inevitable similarities between some ideas, and the goals and themes articulated above, not all ideas will fit into the Annual Meeting program. Following the Committee's meeting at the end of August, Committee members may follow up with proposers to discuss their ideas and potential speakers. Those who propose ideas in response to this Call for Ideas will receive recognition in the official Annual Meeting Print Program.