Prevention as an Objective and Strategy in Standards and Policies of International Organizations

Prevention is a critically important concept for the theory and practice of international law. Many international legal obligations are geared toward preventing varies types of harm to people and their surroundings. For example, the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea requires States Parties to "prevent" pollution of the marine environment; parties to foundational treaties in human rights and humanitarian law, such as the Genocide Convention, undertake to "prevent" violations of their substantive obligations; and the internal regulations of international development banks seek to prevent harm to the communities in which they make investments. Indeed, it could be said that the principal aim of whole fields of international law regulating health, the environment, corruption, sanctions, and beyond is to prevent various kinds of harm.

This interactive roundtable--the first event in the International Organizations Interest Group's multi-year study of the role of international organizations in the international rule of law--will bring together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners to discuss what prevention means in their fields, the capacity of international law and international organizations to engage in harm prevention, and what tools are available to make them more effective at it.


  • Shahla Ali, University of Hong Kong
  • M.J. Durkee (moderator), Washington University in St. Louis
  • Fiona Mangan, UN University’s Centre for Policy Research
  • Remi Moncel, World Bank
  • Wes Rist, Bureau of Conflict & Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State

This event is organized by the ASIL International Organizations Interest Group. It's co-sponsored by the Human Rights Interest Group and the International Legal Theory Interest Group.