In different ways, the wars in Ukraine and Gaza have placed great stress on the leading norms and key institutions of international law. Both conflicts have raised profound questions, in the context of current geopolitical realities and the nature of modern warfare, about the meaning and application of such fundamental norms as the prohibition on aggression, the requirements of self-defense, the protection of non-combatants during armed conflict, and the right to self-determination. In both conflicts, there has been a striking absence of any underlying international consensus on what these widely accepted norms mean in actual practice. The wars also have underlined the severe limits on international institutions such as the United Nations to prevent, manage or affect in any meaningful way the course of events, especially by comparison with the role played by individual state actors, formal and informal alliances, and other groupings of states driven by domestic and external economic, political, and geostrategic interests. The presentation will close by raising the question of what these two wars may tell us about the current state of international law and its future prospects.
Before joining DePaul, Alberto R. Coll served for five years as dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, the U.S. Navy’s foremost strategic research center. A cum laude graduate from Princeton University in history, he earned his JD and PhD in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Professor Coll is the author of The Wisdom of Statecraft and editor of several other books on international relations and law. He is the author of prize-winning articles in the American Journal of International Law and the Naval War College Review, as well as articles in Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, Harvard Journal of International Law, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, and the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. Professor Coll is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Instituto de Estudios Juridicos y Politicos at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. At DePaul, he teaches courses on international law, international human rights, U.S. foreign relations, terrorism, international trade and Latin America.
NOTE: The venue has been updated. The seminar will now take place at the SCCL’s auditorium, located on the 6th floor of the Library building (elevator to the right before the library entrance), Södra husen, Frescati Campus.
The workshop has a hybrid format, either in person at the Faculty Room or on Zoom:
No registration needed.