PIL for a better world: Vision – Reality – Aberration?

PIL for a better world: Vision – Reality – Aberration?

German Conference for Young PIL Scholars, 18/19 March 2021

Following up on previous conferences held in Bonn and Würzburg, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg hosted the third Conference for Young PIL Scholars on 18 and 19 March 2021. Held online because of the Corona pandemic, the conference was a rousing success and boasted over 200 registered participants. A conference volume assembling papers presented at the conference will be published by Mohr Siebeck and has an expected release date at the end of 2021.

We are particularly happy that Angelika Nußberger, former judge of the European Court of Human Rights, delivered the opening lecture of the conference. [Link to video]

We are equally grateful to Roxana Banu (Queen Mary University of London), Hans van Loon (former Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law) and Ralf Michaels (Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law), who participated in the concluding panel discussion. [Link to video]

Conference Theme

The provocative title “PIL for a better world: Vision – Reality – Aberration?” (“IPR für eine bessere Welt: Vision – Realität – Irrweg?”) aimed to draw attention to the changing role of PIL and its potential to bring about societal change. We sought to address and question the conflicting expectations towards a field of law which is supposedly neutral but is increasingly expected to achieve political goals.

The program took up the tension inherent in the theme of the conference. A variety of questions were addressed in this context. Should PIL, for instance, be used to achieve societal change? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach? Does such an approach amount to an unacceptable departure from the neutrality of PIL?

The Conference for Young PIL Scholars offers young researchers a discussion forum of their own and facilitates personal exchange that stretches across national borders and university campuses. The next Conference for Young PIL Scholars is scheduled for 2023 in Vienna and is being organized by Martina Melcher and Florian Heindler.


We thank all the participants for their engaged participation and interest in discussion!

Konrad Duden
Christiane von Bary
Kristin Boosfeld
Florian Heindler
Nicola Kleinjohann
Tobias Lutzi
Alix Schulz
Christine Toman
Denise Wiedemann
Felix M. Wilke

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