(In-person, Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge, 24–25 April 2023)


Language is essential to international law. International law terms and phrases are regularly invoked to specific ends, extending their operation beyond legal rules to a form of discourse: states initiate military operations using the justifications of ‘genocide’ prevention, ‘humanitarian’ aid, and the ‘responsibility to protect’; claim ‘discrimination’ in trade; and operationalise the language of ‘sovereignty’ to avoid obligations. While the multilingual translation and interpretation of legal texts is essential to the practice of law, exact semantic transposition of concepts is unattainable, and undermines both participation in, and the efficacy of, international law. Language itself is pertinent to the expression of identity and can render groups vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion from the public sphere. Big data has become a new language in international law, heavily relied on in international efforts to prevent crime, and as a basis for regulation. Altogether, language remains the unacknowledged core of international law, relevant not only to treaty interpretation but to the understanding of the discipline and its components as a whole.

The Conference Convenor and Editors of the Cambridge International Law Journal (CILJ) welcome submissions for the 12th Annual Cambridge International Law Conference, which will be hosted in person at the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge from 24 to 25 April 2023. Submissions may be on any area of public or private international law, and should raise issues relevant to the theme The Use of ‘Language’ In International Law. Papers potentially may address, for example, any of the following indicative themes:

  • The cooptation of language to achieve legal ends;
  • Interpretative methods in international law;
  • Global access to international law;
  • International legal discourses and the role of the international lawyer;
  • Language, identity, discrimination and the protection of minorities; and
  • Big data and global governance.


An abstract of no more than 500 words, together with a CV, should be submitted via the following link by 11:59pm GMT, 20 January 2023:

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their proposals in February 2023. The authors of selected papers will be required to submit a 4,000-word extended abstract to by 20 April 2023.

Authors who present at the Conference may also be invited to submit their papers for consideration for Volume 12(2) of CILJ, the dedicated conference issue of the Journal, to be published in December 2023.


Registration for the Conference will open in February 2023. Further information will be posted on the CILJ website in due course. In the interim, please contact with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your interest in writing for the CILJ Blog. Please complete the form below and upload your article as a Word document (.docx).

Blog Posts may be submitted at any time and are considered on a rolling basis. Submissions should not exceed 1,500 words and can be on any issues of international law, including EU law. Please do not submit unrevised university projects, or pieces under consideration elsewhere to the Blog directly. Please include hyperlinks to all sources in your submissions, without footnotes, unless crediting research support.

 n 2022/23 we will be working on a turnaround time of 10 days from submission to taking a decision on whether to publish. However, over the holiday seasons the turnaround time will be longer and we will endeavour to get back to authors as soon as possible. 

Please send any queries to the CILJ Blog Managing Editor, Tejas Rao ( 

Cambridge International Law Journal