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08 June 2023

The Centre for International Governance and Dispute Resolution officially opens

The Dickson Poon School of Law announces the official opening of the Centre for International Governance and Dispute Resolution (CIGAD).

Lots of people in an amphitheater with blurred out faces, for a conference.

The new centre has been set up at a challenging time: from interstate conflict to technological threats to the climate emergency, the world faces issues that require unprecedented levels of cooperation and a strong system of international governance.  

Yet systems of international governance established after World War II are in turmoil. International institutions are increasingly deadlocked or dysfunctional, and our rules-based system is under attack. Conflict proliferates and systems of dispute resolution must adapt.  

The centre will help tackle the myriad challenges that international governance and dispute resolution currently face. It will bring together academics, policymakers and practitioners, working with a growing network of global partners in collaborative research projects. CIGAD provides students with the opportunity to participate in world-leading research and engage in discussions on critical issues facing the international community.  

On 9 June, CIGAD officially opened with a roundtable bringing together world-renowned experts from law and policy to explore the breadth and depth of the difficulties international governance and dispute resolution face.

CIGAD is an exciting hub for research and a launching pad for impactful projects that will encourage the world to turn to King’s for ideas on tackling global challenges.

Professor Philippa Webb, Co-Director of the Centre for International Governance and Dispute Resolution (CIGAD)

Before its official launch, CIGAD has already been active in pursuing its mission, contributing research to the Legal Task Force on Accountability for Crimes Committed in Ukraine and becoming a partner in the American Society of International Law’s Signature Topic on Cooperation and Compliance through International Law and Institutions.

CIGAD strives to be not just a centre of excellence that finds real solutions to the world's real problems - but also an intellectual home for researchers working in the field and their research.

Professor Holger Hestermeyer, Co-Director of the Centre for International Governance and Dispute Resolution (CIGAD)

CIGAD has also convened high-profile events tackling contemporary issues:

Joining the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement: The UK and CPTPP

On 22 May 2023, an online event brought together experts to discuss the UK’s accession to the CPTPP. Present at the event were, UK’s Chief Negotiator for the accession to the CPTPP, Graham Zebedee, CMG, New Zealand’s Senior CPTPP official Greg Andrews from the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Deputy Director International of the Scotch Whisky Association Martin Bell (representing the UK’s largest food exporter) and Associate Director International at TechUK Sabina Ciofu.

Weaponised trade: The EU and the UK in a polarised world

On 18 May 2023, the centre hosted the Italian Ambassador to the UK Inigo Lambertini. The Ambassador delivered the guest lecture accompanied by an expert panel. The Ambassador discussed how the global trading order has increasingly become a victim of the polarisation of the world.

Identification of Customary International Law: New Challenges and New Approaches

On 5 April 2023, Dr Katie Johnston, (University of Liverpool) and Dr Massimo Lando (City University of Hong Kong) spoke about unresolved issues in the identification of customary international law, with comments provided by Sir Michael Wood (Twenty Essex). The seminar highlighted that customary international law remains an essential source of public international law, despite being unwritten law deriving from practice and accepted as law.

The ‘Changing Structure’ of the International Court of Justice

On 13 March 2023, Professor Dai Tamada (Kyoto University) delivered a talk with Professor Veronika Fikfak (Associate Professor, University College London) as discussant. Professor Tamada discussed how the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—the principal judicial organ of the UN and a forum traditionally used for the settlement of bilateral disputes— procedurally evolvedinto an organ capable of exercising control over multilateral treaties.

The UN Security Council and International Law

On 13 October 2022, CIGAD hosted the book launch for The UN Security Council and International Law (CUP 2022), written by Sir Michael Wood KC KCMG, barrister at Twenty Essex and the principal Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1999-2006) and Eran Sthoeger, litigator, consultant and advisor on public international law. The event also featured an expert panel discussion with authors, senior policy makers, advisors and various other stakeholders.

Geopolitical Narratives in the Process of Global (Dis)Ordering

On 27 June 2022, CIGAD Directors, Professors Hestermeyer and Webb convened a symposium, which was the culmination of a British Academy-funded project on the role of narrative in global (dis)ordering. Panels were arranged thematically around information and communication technologies, global health and migration. A plenary session was held on sharing, disrupting and contesting: developing a framework for narratives.

Inter-state communications before UN human rights treaty bodies: awakening and potential

On 9 June 2022, CIGAD Associate Director Dr Rosana Garciandia convened a closed expert workshop at King’s, with Dr Jean Pierre Gauci and the British Institute of International Law (BIICL). This was part of the CIGAD-BIICL project Dr Garciandia leads on inter-state communications before UN treaty bodies. It gathered legal advisers to States, current and former members of UN treaty bodies, civil society organisations, and academics. The British Judge on the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Tim Eicke, gave the keynote speech.

In this story

Philippa Webb

Professor of Public International Law

Rosana Garciandia

Lecturer in Public International Law

Federico Ortino

Professor of International Economic Law

Niccolò Ridi

Lecturer in Public International Law

Manuel Penades Fons

Reader in International Commercial Law