The Interest Group on International Organisations (IG-IO) was formally established in January 2017 with the purpose of serving as an arena for academics and professionals working on international organizations to dialogue, debate and exchange their experience continually and through specific events and publications. Its Organising Committee is formed by Catherine Brölmann, Richard Collins, Philip Burton and Sufyan El Droubi. More than 240 ESIL members have demonstrated their interest in this area by joining the IG-IO.
To attain the objective of providing a continued platform for dialogue and debate, the IG-IO established its presence on Twitter and LinkedIn. It is also instituting a website that will serve as a focal point for its presence online.
Furthermore, the IG-IO organised two major events in 2017. The first of these events saw the formal launch of the IG-IO with a Joint Workshop with the Manchester International Law Centre (MILC), University of Manchester, on 26 and 27 January 2017, on the topic of “The Role of International Organizations and Non-State Actors in the Formation of Customary International Law”. In response to our call for papers, we received more than 50 submissions from different regions of the world, from senior and young scholars. Speakers included, among others, Sir Michael Wood (UN International Law Commission), Niels Blokker (University of Leiden), Catherine Brölmann (University of Amsterdam), Jan Wouters (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Iris Muller (International Committee of the Red Cross), Iain Scobbie (University of Manchester), Jean d’Aspremont (University of Manchester), Sufyan Droubi (University of Manchester and University of Sao Paulo), William Worster (The Hague University of Applied Sciences). Moreover, the IG-IO organised a special panel on the topic of “Institutions and Sources”. At this panel, speakers included Catherine Brölmann, Jean d’Aspremont, Richard Collins (University College Dublin) and Philip Burton (University of Manchester). The workshop consisted in two days of high level exchanges among senior and young scholars from different regions of the world. The best papers will be published as two volumes within the series Melland Schill Perspectives to International Law, jointly managed by MILC and Manchester University Press.
The second event was another joint workshop, this time with the ESIL Interest Group on the EU as a Global Actor, on the topic “Exiting Institutions”. This workshop took place as a side event at the ESIL Annual Conference held in Naples, on the 6th September 2017. Speakers included Jan Wouters, Jed Odermatt (University of Copenhagen), Siri Silvereke (University of Luxembourg), William Worster, Juan-Pablo Perez-Leon-Acevedo (University of Oslo), Frederick Cowell (Birkbeck, University of London), Nicolas Kang-Riou and David Rossati (both Salford University) and Guy Fiti Sinclair (Victoria University of Wellington). Hence, a total of seven papers were presented and will likely be published either as part of the ESIL general series or as separate series.
Faithful to the ethos of the IG-IO, these events provided speakers with the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback, and enabled all participants to enhance and solidify their academic network. Publications are planned from both events, which will clearly enhance the scholarship and debate on international organisations. Finally, both events strengthened the community of academics and lawyers interested in the law of international organisations – it is important to notice that many of the speakers and participants in the initial Manchester event were also present at the second event in Naples.