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When the military capabilities of belligerent powers are not simply unequal but so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other the weaker party to the conflict wages war on many fronts. Lately, one of the key areas of confrontation has been the legal one (labelled as ‘lawfare’), for the major advantage the legal field offers is that there is no noticeable disproportion in weight with the enemy. The noticeable trend to use international courts and tribunals in such a way has brought to the fore a novel litigation strategy, multi-forum litigation. This all-out judicial war that engages as many institutions as possible to rule upon an international dispute opens a can of worms.

This event will attempt to assess the effectiveness of the International Court of Justice when incorporated in such a strategy. What are the limits of its instrumentalization? Can ICJ advisory opinions be utilised to resolve bilateral disputes? Is ICJ interim protection an efficient tool to promote strategic gains in underlying negotiations? Answers to such questions are important for two reasons: i) to assess the functionality of the international dispute resolution system and ii) to explore, as conflict proliferates, the limits of adaptation of this system to new realities.


  • Professor Philippa Webb, King's College London (Chair)
  • Dr Nikolas Voulgaris, University of Athens & European Law and Governance School
  • Professor Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Dr Yusra Suedi, University of Manchester

At this event

Philippa Webb

Professor of Public International Law

Event details

Nash Lecture Theatre
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS