27th ANZSIL Conference: International law futures: the intersection of law with knowledge, information and expertise

Date & time
9am Thursday 4 July – 1pm Saturday 6 July 2019

Crawford School of Public Policy

Lennox Crossing

Professor Christina Voigt
Dr Joshua Meltzer


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Part of the ANZSIL Annual Conference series

2019 ANZSIL conference

International law increasingly faces a complex future. New challenges are constantly arising for the international community, often driven by technological developments. At the same time, existing challenges continue but manifest in new ways. Key to how future international law and international lawyers will manage novel challenges, or new iterations of old ones, is the field’s intersection with knowledge, information and expertise. Whose information, knowledge or expertise is considered, how these sources are gathered and evaluated, and what mechanisms are used for dealing with information deficits and uncertainty are questions of growing importance for international law in managing possible futures. The 27th Annual Conference is an opportunity to explore these questions as they arise across a range of international legal contexts, addressing issues such as:

  • The role of expertise in international law-making, implementation and adjudication, including the role of other knowledges or ways of knowing such as indigenous traditional knowledge or the place of practice-based experience versus academic knowledge;
  • Processes for gathering and accessing knowledge, information and expertise in international law such as fact-finding, investigation and multidisciplinary expert panels;
  • Mechanisms for dealing with information deficits and uncertainty in international legal decision-making;
  • Debates over the role of public views, participation and popular/democratic opinion in international legal processes, the consequences of growing resistance to evidence-based policy approaches in some areas, and the challenges of deploying expertise and communicating international law in an era of social media, “fake news” and disputed facts;
  • The role of networks in disseminating knowledge and information in international law;
  • Challenges presented by new technologies such as satellites and space technologies, cyberwarfare, cybercrime or digital trade and by new information systems like big data, drones and artificial intelligence, including questions of transparency, public participation, data privacy, human rights protections and the regulation of private conduct;
  • Characteristics of international law that might need to be developed to accommodate possible futures.



  • Professor Christina Voigt »

    Dr Christina Voigt is Professor at the Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo, Norway, and an expert in international environmental law. She is also works at the Center of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Global Judiciary – Pluricourts - at the University of Oslo where she coordinates the research on “International Law and Global Commons”.

    She works in particular on legal issues of climate change, environmental multilateralism and sustainability. Professor Voigt is the author of “Sustainable Development as a Principle of International Law” (Brill, 2009), numerous academic articles and several edited volumes. Her forthcoming edited book is “International Judicial Practice on the Environment – Questions of Legitimacy” (CUP, 2019). Others include “Courts and the Environment” (with Z. Makuch, EEP, 2018), “Research Handbook on REDD+ and International Law (EEP, 2016), and “Rule of Law for Nature” (CUP, 2013). In 2009, she was awarded the first IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Junior Scholarship Prize for her academic work. In 2018, she co-drafted the UN Secretary General´s report on “Gaps in International Environmental Law and environment related instrument”.

    Since 2008, she has been the principal legal advisor to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and the Environment and negotiator in the UN climate negotiations (on legal aspects as well as REDD+). She participated in the negotiations of the 2015 Paris Agreement and its Rulebook, adopted in December 2018. In 2018, she was co-facilitator of the negotiations on the rules for Agreement´s compliance committee.

    Professor Voigt is the chair of the Climate Change Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and a member of the IUCN Climate Change Task Force.

    She has two young sons to whom she dedicates her work.

  • Dr Joshua Meltzer »

    Dr Meltzer is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. At Brookings. Meltzer is an expert on digital trade law and policy issues and leads Brookings Digital Economy and Trade Project.  He also works on the legal and regulatory aspects of financing sustainable infrastructure projects to meet climate change and development needs.

    Meltzer has testified on international trade and climate change issues before the U.S. Congress, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the European Parliament. He has been an expert witness in litigation on digital trade and privacy issues in the EU and a consultant to the World Bank on trade and privacy matters. He is also a member of Australia’s National Data Advisory Council.

    Meltzer teaches digital trade law at Melbourne University Law School and a course on emerging technologies and the law at Monash University Law School. He has taught international trade law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School and Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and has been a guest lecturer on digital trade at Columbia University Law School.

    Prior to joining Brookings, Meltzer was posted as a diplomat at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. where he was responsible for trade, climate and energy issues and prior to that he was an international trade lawyer and trade negotiator in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has also worked as an attorney at Sackville Wilks & Co in Melbourne, Australia.

    Meltzer has appeared in print and news media, including the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, CBS, Fox, the Asahi Shimbun and China Daily. Meltzer holds an S.J.D. and LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor and law and commerce degrees from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

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