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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

Georg Jellinek and the Origins of Liberal Constitutionalism in International Law

Jochen von Bernstorff



At the end of the 19th century, Georg Jellinek developed a new theoretical foundation of international law, which he termed a “positivist” approach to international law. It became by far the most influential theory of international law developed in the 19th century in Europe. The structural ingredients of his attempt to construct a “scientific” foundation of international law as a binding and objective law of an “international community” continue to encapsulate the cornerstones, paradoxes and limits of liberal constitutionalist thinking in international law. In the 20th century reception of his international law works, Jellinek’s concept of “auto-limitation” was often portrayed as a staunch apotheosis of German (hegelian) notions of absolute State sovereignty (by Kelsen and Lauterpacht). Although this somewhat distorted reception during the interwar period seems to have buried a more nuanced understanding of Jellinek’s sophisticated theory of a “proto-constitution” of international law, it has after all had an arguably lasting impact on our modern concept of international law.


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