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The Athens Public International Law Center was extremely pleased to host the 15th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law. This is the first time that an ESIL annual event is hosted in Greece. The Conference, entitled “Sovereignty: A Concept in Flux?” was held from 12 to 14 September and was attended by more than 500 participants. The conference took place at the main building of the University of Athens, and the formal opening, in the prestigious Aula, was held in the in the presence of H.E. The President of the Hellenic Republic, Professor Prokopios Pavlopoulos who delivered the opening speech. This was followed by a keynote address by Professor Yves Daudet (Université Paris-I Panthéon Sorbonne), setting the theme of the conference.

The aim of the conference was to revisit state sovereignty in international law and the current challenges that call into question its basic contours. In keeping with the Society’s tradition, the conference featured keynote speakers, a closing discussion round table, and six fora, exploring the normative, theoretical and practical aspects of sovereignty. In addition, twelve agorae, with speakers selected on the basis of calls for papers, examined more specific aspects of state sovereignty in various areas of international law: economic law, environmental law, law of cyberspace, maritime law, law of culture, use of force, refugee and migration law and international dispute resolution. In all, 90 speakers from more than 30 countries participated in the fora and the agorae of the conference. Among them, judges from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); members of the International Law Commission (ILC) and the UN treaty bodies; national supreme court justices and legal advisers to international organizations and Ministries of Foreign Affairs; distinguished academics from world-renowned research institutes and more than 50 universities worldwide; eminent practitioners from leading law firms; and a number of scholars who discussed the future of international law in 14 ESIL Interest Groups, held prior to the main conference.

The welcome reception was hosted at the Presidential Palace and the Gala dinner was held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Photos and posts from the works of the conference are available on the conference website and via the Athens PIL social media.

A report of the conference (in German) can be found here.