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


Exercising or Evading International Public Authority? The Many Faces of Environmental Post-Treaty Instruments

Tim Staal



Post-treaty instruments (PTIs) are informal instruments adopted by consensus of the treaty parties as follow-up decision to a particular provision in a treaty. PTIs are potentially significant instruments for advancing environmental global governance, as the treaty parties may use them to transform indeterminate treaty provisions into more specific environmental rules and decisions. While a number of PTIs are rightly characterized as exercises of authority, this article seeks to demonstrate how certain environmental PTIs with rule-setting character (‘PTRs’) amount to evasions of authority by reducing international authority over States’ environmental policies, or alleviate rather than tighten the treaty parties’ obligations, through their content or legal status. First, some PTRs avoid authoritative language, requiring little or no concrete action by the treaty parties. Some treaty-based assignments to adopt PTRs are never even acted upon. Other PTRs simply water down the obligations of the treaty parties compared to the underlying treaty provisions. Second, PTRs possess an ambiguous legal status both in legal doctrine and in the practice of domestic and EU courts. The article further argues that consensual decision-making may well be at the root of this ambivalent practice. As a broader contribution to the debate about International Public Authority (IPA), the proposition is advanced that we need to scrutinize more carefully what kind and degree of authority an instrument exercises exactly – or not. Evasions of authority and alleviations of obligations – which can be conceived as a special type of exercising authority through inaction – have important implications for what future legal frameworks of international public law must deliver in terms of effective and legitimate procedural design.



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