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Speaking law to power

October 12 @ 13:0014:30

Lecture: “Speaking law to power: The UN and the vertical and the horizontal dimension of the international rule of law”, Prof. Dr. Catherine Brölmann (University of Amsterdam), Finley Library, Lauterpacht Centre of International Law



Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Finley Library


Lecture summary: 

In the years after the Cold War, ‘the rule of law’ made a rapid appearance in the political and legal discourse of the United Nations. The UN has become a rule of law advocate, and is making a declared effort to coordinate and initiate “rule of law activities.” The late Kofi Annan in 2004 famously defined the rule of law as relevant for “all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself,“ and from further reports it is clear that the UN’s ambitions are geared to both “the national and the international level.” This said, it seems the Organisation frequently struggles to conceptualise and capture the international rule of law in concrete programmes and statements. The lecture traces this fact to the vertical and the horizontal dimension of the international rule of law, that exist in parallel as two –implicit- frames of reference. An exploration of this facet can help unpack the UN’s promise as a caretaker of the ‘communal’ or ‘public’ space of international law.


Catherine Brölmann:

Catherine Brölmann is an associate professor of law at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Center for International Law. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for  Public International Law of the Netherlands Government. She is co-editor-in-chief of the OUP online Oxford International Organizations (OXIO) (with Jean d’Aspremont and Iain Scobie).


More Information here.


October 12
13:00 – 14:30


Finley Library, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law
5 Cranmer Road Cambridge CB3 9BL United Kingdom + Google Map