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The Case of the S.S. Lotus: The first 100 Years

Discussed and dismissed, celebrated and critiqued, the Case of the S.S. “Lotus” has inspired controversial debates ever since it was decided by Max Huber’s presidential casting vote in 1927. As we approach the centenary of the Lotus Case in 2027, we invite reflections on the legacy of the decision and the principle it stands for. Our aim is to discuss the historical significance of the case, assess the impact it had on the theory and practice of international law and to consider its contemporary significance.

Subject to the availability of funding, we would like to hold these Lotus-related conversations at the three places most closely associated with the ship: Marseille (the homeport), Istanbul (the site of the Turkish proceedings triggering the PCIJ case) and The Hague (the seat of the PCIJ). The specific dates for these workshops will be agreed upon among the participants following the inaugural workshop on 9-10 January.

We are aiming to publish the papers presented at these workshops / conferences either as an edited collection or as a special journal issue. The detailed arrangements in this regard will be communicated to the participants of the inaugural workshop as soon as they become available.

Possible themes that papers could explore include:

  • Context: The historical and geographic settings, the domestic proceedings in Turkey, the newly established league and the PCIJ, the emergence of the rule-based international order…
  • Actors: The court’s president, the judges and their various opinions; the Turkish and French counsel; the persons often forgotten – the sailors of the Bozkurt; the passengers on the Lotus…
  • Substantive aspects: jurisdiction; law of the sea; the Lotus Principle, the consent-based international legal order…
  • Legacy: Legacy in Turkey, in France, in international law more generally…
  • We also welcome papers and proposals related to any other aspect of the decision…

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by 4 October 2024 to Valentin Jeutner at: For the inaugural workshop (Lund/online), accepted participants are asked to prepare short working papers (ca. 1000-2000 words) setting out initial ideas / proposed approaches to questions related to the Lotus Case.

If you would like to join the Lotus-project’s email list and receive updates about further events planned in connection with the anniversary, please let us know by e-mailing:

Project committee: Serde Atalay (Lund), Valentin Jeutner (Lund), Federica Paddeu (Cambridge) and Daniel Peat (Leiden).

Project website:

Organisation: Lund University
Deadline: 04/10/24
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