The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

For queries and clarifications – please contact

Adjudicating Conflicts Over Resources: The ICJ’s Treatment of Technical Evidence in the Pulp Mills Case

Juan Guillermo Sandoval Coustasse, Emily Sweeney-Samuelson



Conflicts over resources and the consequences of utilizing those resources can ignite social and political demonstrations, especially when the conflict is over a shared resource.  Solving those conflicts requires both an institution and a procedure that are not just binding but also legitimate in front of the constituencies.  This process must achieve transparency and technical adequacy.

The recent Pulp Mills case involved concerns over the environmental consequences of installing two pulp mills on the Uruguayan shore of the river that separates Argentina from Uruguay.  A controversial point of the decision, as highlighted by the separate opinions of various judges, is how the court established the facts of the case; in particular, the role of experts.  The separate writings raised fundamental questions as to the fitness, capacity and even will of the court to decide a controversy based on complex evidence.

The criticism is logical and the risks evident:  The court might not be properly equipped to solve disputes that require deeper technical analysis. However, should it refrain from facing the challenges, the authoritative status of the Court may be threatened.  As a result, a disruption in the evolution of international law could occur.  A major goal of the ICJ is to achieve uniformity in international law, and the interplay of several specialized tribunals, for instance, without inter-court binding precedent, could result in a variety of decisions on the same principles, affecting the development of substantive law.

When applied to international conflicts over resources, an effort towards transparency and legitimacy is being demanded by constituencies and governments.  Conflicts over shared resources, as in the Pulp Mills case, or over actions of a state affecting resources located in another, can affect a state’s economic viability and its legacy to future generations.  Transparency in the handling of evidence can help achieve legitimacy for the Court as a proper organism for these types of disputes,  and for governments when facing enforcement of a decision in front of their constituencies.


Download the full text as a PDF