The psychobabbling food-loving seamstress.

Who’s afraid of International Law?

Posted in general musings, Law, writing by Ambs on June 18, 2010

I was talking to a colleague in regards to the first in the series of Wednesday lectures at ACU I went to entitled “Who’s afraid of International Law?” by Professor Gerry Simpson, she asked if it gave me hope?

I had to think for a moment, as I had been so frustrated and all out of hope in regards to international law in the last few months, I had walked out of the lecture feeling a little lighter, but not hopeful for international law as a set of rules that so many people rely on, yet are so malleable and pliable in so many ways (yet I suppose law in general can be looked at in that way).
In answer to the question, I found the lecture to be one of the most realistic and thought provoking on the topic.

I knew I should have taken notes, as most of what was said has washed and mashed together.
I think I’m still processing a lot of what was said, the fact that a lecture that could be concluded as being realistic in regards to whats currently going on (and past events for that matter), as opposed to extremely opinionated, which has fueled my frustrations on the topic in recent months.

It is safe to say that I am well and truely sick of hearing and reading individualistic rhetoric and big bold statements which serve us to no end.  “State A should be prosecuted for crimes agaist humanity….blah blah blah.”

Such bold statements are usually made by people who are experts in the given field, but instead of making the situation realistic, it only seems to serve egotistical (or monetary in some instances)  interests.
Sadly enough I have been finding myself constantly dismayed by people I would describe as heroes growing up of late.

Anyways back to the lecture…
I have sat in on a couple of Professor Simpson’s Public Lectures in the past, but they have not purely been lectures, they have been in-conversations (with Gideon Boas and Philip Alston), or him presenting lecturers for the APCML, so I’ve never seen him talk for anymore than about 15 minutes.

This was a treat for me.  I bought one of Gerry’s book a few months ago, but still have not had the chance to read it yet.
I really enjoyed the way that he broke it up into sections, the hopeful side (which he referred to a the Geoffrey Robertson section), the side which is realistic about the limitations of international law in certain conflicts and also the side which is open ended, and what can sometimes be achieved when international law is able to be instituted on the basis and rules that have been created.

All in all it has set the mood and tone for what looks to be an excellent series of lectures over the next 6 weeks.

I’m especially looking forward to both Tim McCormack and Raimond Gaita’s lectures in the coming weeks.