EJIL: The Podcast!-logo

EJIL: The Podcast!

Education Podcasts

EJIL: The Podcast! aims to provide in-depth, expert and accessible discussion of international law issues in contemporary international and national affairs. It features the Editors of the European Journal of International Law and of its blog, EJIL: Talk! The podcast is produced by the European Journal of Law with support from staff at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.


United Kingdom


EJIL: The Podcast! aims to provide in-depth, expert and accessible discussion of international law issues in contemporary international and national affairs. It features the Editors of the European Journal of International Law and of its blog, EJIL: Talk! The podcast is produced by the European Journal of Law with support from staff at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.






Episode 22: Organizing International Organizations

International organizations are often expected to solve problems that states cannot or do not solve. But how should we understand international organizations? Marking the year-long symposium ‘Hidden Gems in International Organizations Law’ in the European Journal of International Law, this podcast discusses how international organizations have been theorized by various scholars and practitioners. Special attention is paid to international organization practitioner SKB Asante and scholar Rao Geping. Hosted by EJIL Editor in Chief Sarah Nouwen, the discussants are Kehinde Olaoye, Yifeng Chen and Jan Klabbers.


Episode 21: The ICC’s Other Africa Bias?

The International Criminal Court has been frequently accused of a bias against Africa in that all its defendants thus far have been from Africa. But might the ICC suffer from another bias that disadvantages Africa? EJIL editor-in-chief Sarah Nouwen discusses with Stewart Manley and Pardis M. Tehrani who, together with Rajah Rasiah, have authored the EJIL article ‘The (Non-)Use of African Law by the International Criminal Court’ (free access!).


Episode 20: Disordering International Law

Much of international law is about ordering. But in her article in issue 33(3) of the European Journal of International Law, Michelle Staggs Kelsall calls for the disordering of international law. This is not an appeal to create more chaos in the world – there seems to be plenty of it. It is an invitation to open up new ways of thinking about and in international law. Tune in to her discussion with Luis Eslava, Andrea Bianchi and podcast host Sarah Nouwen, to learn … and to unlearn.


Episode 19: From Russia with War: Part Deux

In this episode Marko Milanovic, Dapo Akande and Philippa Webb are joined by Oona Hathaway (Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School) to discuss big legal issues arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one year on, including the arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin, the application of international humanitarian law in the conflict, and problems regarding reparation and immunities of frozen Russian assets.


Episode 18: Be Careful What You Ask For

In this episode Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic and Philippa Webb are joined by Philippe Sands and Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh. They reflect on the role and significance of advisory opinions by international courts, particularly in the context of various current efforts to litigate legal issues regarding climate change in such advisory proceedings in several different courts. They also discuss previous high-profile advisory proceedings before the ICJ, including the Nuclear Weapons, Wall and Kosovo cases, focusing on the different types of advisory cases, their legal and political purposes, the litigations strategies of the parties and the need to formulate questions tailored to the particular moment and the particular forum.


Episode 17: What’s wrong with the international law on jurisdiction?

What conduct occurring where are states allowed to regulate? The international law on jurisdiction provides part of the answer. But international lawyers use different images when conceptualising the geographical reach of states' jurisdiction to prescribe their laws. In this podcast, the two contenders in a debate in issue 33(2) of the European Journal of International Law engage with each other’s images and their ensuing conclusions as to the international law of jurisdiction. Nico Krisch posits that the traditional image is inappropriate, that in practice jurisdiction - at least when it relates to global markets - has come "unbound" and that this unbound jurisdiction has allowed economically powerful states to exercise global governance in a hierarchical fashion, triggering fresh demands for public accountability. Roger O’Keefe replies that this supposedly traditional image was never his understanding, argues that the current law of jurisdiction is fit for purpose and cautions against blaming this law for the perpetuation of the world’s economic inequalities. EJIL Editor in Chief Sarah Nouwen hosts the debate.


Episode 16: Disputing Archives

In the third episode of ‘Reckonings with Europe: Pasts and Present’, James Lowry and Meredith Terretta take up the object of archives: how law conceptualizes the archives of states; the ‘displaced’, ‘disputed’ or ‘migrated’ archives left when empires and states are reconstituted; and what state archives can and cannot tell us. Works mentioned, in order of mention: James Lowry (ed), Displaced Archives (Routledge, 2017) James Lowry (ed), Disputed Archival Heritage (forthcoming), esp chapter by J J Ghaddar, ‘Provenance in Place: Crafting the Vienna Convention for Global Decolonization and Archival Repatriation’. Meredith Terretta, Claimants, Advocates and Disrupters in Africa’s Internationally Supervised Territories (forthcoming; for a sense of work to date on anticolonial advocate lawyering see ‘Claiming Land, Claiming Rights in Africa’s Internationally Supervised Territories’ in Steven L.B. Jensen and Charles Walton (eds), Social Rights and the Politics of Obligation in History (CUP, 2022) 264-286 https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009008686.014; ‘Anti-Colonial Lawyering, Postwar Human Rights, and Decolonization across Imperial Boundaries in Africa’. Canadian Journal of History 52(3), 448-478 (2017)). James Lowry, ‘Radical empathy, the imaginary and affect in (post)colonial records: how to break out of international stalemates on displaced archives’. Archival Science 19, 185–203 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10502-019-09305-z (For concise background on the ‘migrated archives’, see James Lowry & Mandy Banton / Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers position paper). Umut Özsu, ‘Determining New Selves: Mohammed Bedjaoui on Algeria, Western Sahara, and Post-Classical International Law’ in Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann (eds), The Battle for International Law: South–North Perspectives on the Decolonization Era (OUP, 2019) DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198849636.003.0016. Stanley


Episode 15: Now or Never, Or Maybe Later: The Use of Force to Recover an Occupied Territory

This episode accompanies the launching of a new rubric in the European Journal of International Law – Legal/Illegal. The first installment of Legal/Illegal, which appears in issue 32(4), focuses on the question whether the use of force by a state to recover a territory that has been occupied for many years may be considered a lawful act of self-defence. In the Podcast, Michal Saliternik interviews the authors of this section: Tom Ruys and Felipe Rodriguez Silvestre on the illegal side, and Dapo Akande and Antonios Tzanakopoulos on the legal side. Beginning with the second Nagorno-Karabakh war, passing through the conflicts over the Falkland Islands, the Golan Heights, Northern Cyprus, and the Chagos Islands, and concluding with the Russian occupation of Ukrainian territories, they discuss the compatibility of forcible recovery of an occupied territory with the self-defence immediacy and necessity requirements as well as with the obligation to settle territorial disputes through peaceful means. They also discuss questions of justice and fairness, both towards the conflicting states and towards the inhabitants of the occupied territory.


Episode 14: From Russia With War

In this episode Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic and Philippa Webb, joined by Rebecca Barber and Mike Becker, examine various aspects of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The discussion begins with an evaluation of Russia’s legal justification for invading Ukraine, moving to an analysis of the responses to Russia’s aggression by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. We then turn to the proceedings brought by Ukraine against Russia before the International Court of Justice pursuant to the Genocide Convention, the investigation initiated by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the commission of inquiry created by the Human Rights Council, and the pros and cons of an initiative to set up a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression.


Episode 13: Loot!

In this second instalment of the 'Reckonings with Europe: Pasts and Present' series, Evelien Campfens, Chika Okeke-Agulu and Dan Hicks reflect on calls for return of cultural artefacts looted under European empire. How does (international) law respond to these calls? Does law even matter—and if so which kind? Who resists return, and why? And what might return mean today? Select texts and reports discussed: Felwine Sarr & Bénédicte Savoy, 'The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage. Toward a New Relational Ethics' (French original) (2018) Association of Art Museum Directors, 'Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums' (2002) Dan Hicks, The Brutish Museum: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (2020) Evelien Campfens, https://www.boomdenhaag.nl/isbn/9789462362505 (Cross-Border Claims to Cultural Heritage: Property or Heritage?) (2021)


Episode 12: No Licence to Kill

In this episode Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic and Philippa Webb discuss the legal issues that arise from targeted killings conducted by states outside their territory. They begin with a discussion of the recent blockbuster judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case concerning the killing in London in 2006 of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko. They talk about how the Court dealt with the attribution of the killing to Russia and then explore the extraterritorial application of human rights treaties obligations - a question on which many courts and treaty bodies have given inconsistent answers. The podcast then moves on to the legal issues that would arise if the courts of the territorial state were to seek to exercise jurisdiction over the individuals accused of committing the killing or over the state that sent them. Would those individuals be entitled to the immunity from foreign criminal jurisdiction which those who act on behalf of a state are normally entitled to? If not, why not and how does the ongoing work of International Law Commission on immunity deal with this issue?


Episode 11: The Limelight on ESIL!

In this episode of the podcast, Joseph Weiler is joined by Helene Ruiz-Fabri, Photini Pazartzis and Marko Milanovic, to discuss the EJIL’s sister institution, the European Society of International Law (ESIL) – its foundation, mission, governance, and plans for the future, including the forthcoming annual conference in Stockholm.


Episode 10: Whatever happened to International Law & Democracy?

Whatever happened to International Law & Democracy? Accompanying the Symposium on that question in EJIL issue 32(1), this podcast contains a duel between anti-anti-international-law& democracy scholar Akbar Rasulov and anti-international law & democracy scholar Brad Roth. Hosted by EJIL Editor in Chief Sarah Nouwen, they disagree on the curious fate of international law & democracy, on the politics of form versus the politics of substance and the role of the international lawyer.


Episode 9: Reviewing Book Reviewing

Which author of a legal monograph has not had that frustrating feeling -- Why is my book not getting reviewed (and his or her book is...!)? And yet, in one of the many exquisite paradoxes of academic life, all Book Review editors of legal journals will attest to the difficulty of getting colleagues to accept to do a book review. 'I have to read that book carefully (i.e. going beyond the index and checking if I am cited and whether the engagement with my work is ok) and then write a couple of pages which count for nothing in the current lamentable state of quantitative academic appointments and promotions? Thank you but no thank you is the usual reply. We want our books reviewed but we don't like reviewing books. Or as readers of legal book reviews -- have you ever had the frustrating feeling of 'I want to read about the book and this reviewer is just using it to inflict on us his own thoughts and ideas'. Or the opposite -- if I want to read a description of the book I can go to the publisher's website (or the author's homepage...). Why is this review so bland and lacking in critical bite? These are just some of the issues that Cait Storr, Fuad Zarbiyev, EJIL book review editor Christian Tams and EJIL editors in Chief Sarah Nouwen and Joseph Weiler discuss in this EJIL Live! The podcast accompanies issue 31.4 which contains a 'Bumper' Book Review section. At the end of the podcast, plans for another EJIL innovation are revealed…


Episode 8: After the Fall

In this new series, 'Reckonings with Europe: Pasts and Present', Surabhi Ranganathan and Megan Donaldson host conversations about enduring legacies of empire, capitalism, and racism in international law and the legal academy. Joined by Matthew Smith, Mezna Qato, and Rahul Rao, they open the series with a discussion about statues, less tangible legacies woven into institutions, and the place of law in struggles about pasts and futures.


Episode 7: “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?” An Interview with Laurence Helfer and Erik Voeten

In this podcast, EJIL editor Sarah Nouwen interviews Laurence Helfer and Erik Voeten about their article “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?”, published in EJIL issue 31(3). What does it mean to “walk back human rights”? One day one has a human right and the next day no longer? And how does one assess whether human rights are being walked back? But also: how does one keep a single voice in a co-authored text?


Episode 6: Trumping International Law?

This episode examines the effects of the four years of the Trump Administration on international law. Dapo Akande is joined by Joseph Weiler, Neha Jain and Chimene Keitner. In their conversation, they explore the impact of the last four years on the future of multilateralism. They discuss the impact of Trump policies on international institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the International Criminal Court. Did those policies simply expose weaknesses in those institutions? How might those weaknesses be remedied, and how will the relationship between those institutions and the US develop over the course of the new Biden administration?


Episode 5: Breaking Bad - in a Specific and Limited Way

In this episode Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic, Sarah Nouwen and Philippa Webb analyse the Internal Market Bill currently pending before the UK Parliament, which the UK government’s own legal officers admit breaches international law by reneging on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union and the Northern Ireland Protocol thereto that the UK had freely entered into less than a year ago. The team discuss why the UK government has put this Bill forward, how it is fairly unique for a state to admit to breaking international law before actually doing so, and why no international legal argument would work to justify this course of action. The team also discuss whether the concept of the rule of law should be bifurcated between the domestic and the international spheres, and what the role of governmental legal advisors should be in such situations.


Episode 4: Court between a Rock and a Hard Place

The International Criminal Court has for a long time been criticised for exclusively focusing on Africa, as opposed to investigating situations in which powerful western states are heavily involved or have strong interests. In the first part of this podcast Kamari Clarke joins Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic, Sarah Nouwen and Philippa Webb to discuss whether black lives matter before the ICC and whether it can deal with structural injustice. The second part of the podcast discusses some of the political and legal challenges that have arisen when the Court goes after nationals of states not party to its Statute. The focus is on the recent US sanctions against the Court in response to the investigation into the situation in Afghanistan and whether the ICC is able to determine the territorial boundaries of Palestine.


Episode 3: Hacked Off!

With cyberattacks against the health care sector on the rise, this episode focuses on international law and cyber operations, especially in the context of the fight against COVID-19. For this discussion, Dapo Akande, Marko Milanovic, & Sarah Nouwen are joined by Harriet Moynihan (Chatham House), and Tilman Rodenhäuser (International Committee of the Red Cross). They consider whether international law imposes obligations on states to refrain from such attacks having effect in other states. They also examine the obligations, under international human rights law and other bodies of law, to take positive action to prevent such attacks by non-state actors.