Where does international law stand on Iraq?

Professor Hilary Charlesworth

Professor Hilary Charlesworth

Friday, 7 September 2007

Is it possible to legally invade a country on the basis of changing its form of government? That's one of the questions international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth will address next week during a lecture at the University of Adelaide.

Professor Charlesworth will present the 2007 James Crawford Biennial Lecture with a lecture titled 'Debating Democracy in International Law' on Tuesday 11 September at 7pm.

"We are living in an age of democracy-promotion," says Professor Charlesworth. "Iraq is an example of an international intervention on the grounds of bringing democracy to an authoritarian state. But what does international law say about democracy-promotion? What forms of democracy are supported by international law? Should we consider a two-track democracy where we expect less of 'fragile' or 'failing' states?"

Professor Charlesworth taught in the Law School at Adelaide in 1993-96 and is now a Professor in RegNet (Regulatory Institutions Network) and Director of the newly established Centre for International Governance and Justice at the Australian National University, with interests in international law and human rights law.

In 2005 she was awarded a Federation Fellowship by the Australian Research Council for a project on building democracy and justice after conflict. Her current research includes looking at the legitimacy of UN Security Council decisions.

She has held visiting appointments at Washington & Lee School of Law, Harvard Law School, NYU Global Law School and in 2005 was the 24th Wayne Morse Professor at the University of Oregon.

This is the third in the series of James Crawford Biennial Lectures on International Law hosted by the University of Adelaide's Law School. The first was presented in 2003 by Professor James Crawford SC, one of the University of Adelaide's distinguished graduates and Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. Professor Crawford will also attend this year's lecture.

Also joining the lecture will be a prestigious audience of University alumni and members of the legal profession in Kuala Lumpur via videoconference, in an event organised by the University of Adelaide Alumni West Malaysia and the law firm Thomas Philip.

The 2007 James Crawford Biennial Lecture is free and will be held in Lecture Theatre 2, Law School, Ligertwood Building, North Terrace Campus at 7pm on Tuesday 11 September.

 

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