Call for Papers: 10th Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law

Deadline: 

05/7/21

Event Date: 

12/13/21 to 12/15/21

Location name: 

Pretoria, South Africa (permitting)

Organization: 

University of Pretoria

The Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law is delighted to announce that the tenth Forum will be hosted by the South African Research Chair on International Constitutional Law in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative and International Law in Africa of the University of Pretoria. It will take place on Monday December 13, Tuesday December 14 and Wednesday December 15, 2021, and has been scheduled to coincide with the University of Pretoria Centre for Human Rights Annual Graduation Celebrations. The tenth Forum will have a strong Africa focus: it will be open to junior faculty affiliated with an institution based on the African continent and to those junior faculty based elsewhere whose research specifically relates to the continent. The venue of the Forum will be the Future Africa Campus of the University of Pretoria.

Designed as an annual feature of the international law calendar, the Forum is aimed at bringing together junior faculty working in the field of international law in order that their work can be presented before an audience of peers and experts and then discussed by more senior scholars in international law and related fields. The initiative is thus dedicated toward encouraging and facilitating the work of young international law scholars by creating an important platform of intellectual opportunity, stimulation and exchange. The inaugural Forum was held at New York University in May 2012; it has been followed by the second Forum at the University of Nottingham (May 2013), the third Forum at the University of Melbourne (July 2014), the fourth Forum at the European University Institute in Florence (June 2015), the fifth Forum at New York University (June 2016), the sixth Forum at the University of Nottingham (May 2017), the seventh Forum at the University of Melbourne (May 2018), the eighth Forum at the National University of Singapore (August 2019), and, most recently, the ninth Forum, hosted in virtual format by the Renmin University of Beijing in China (September and October 2020).

The convenors of the tenth Forum are Christof Heyns (University of Pretoria), Dino Kritsiotis (University of Nottingham), Sarah Nouwen (European University Institute/University of Cambridge), Dire D. Tladi (University of Pretoria) and J.H.H. Weiler (New York University).

As with previous years, selected presentations from the tenth Forum shall be encouraged for publication in the European Journal of International Law (Oxford University Press), a co-sponsor of the event at the University of Pretoria, subject to the outcome of the peer review process.

FOR THE TENTH FORUM, THE CONVENORS ARE PROCEEDING INITIALLY WITH PLANS FOR AN IN-PERSON EVENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA IN DECEMBER 2021, BUT RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE LATER IN THE YEAR TO THE DEFAULT OPTION OF VIRTUAL FORMAT (AS WAS THE CASE LAST YEAR WITH THE NINTH FORUM AT THE RENMIN UNIVERSITY OF BEIJING). MORE DETAILS FOLLOW IN THESE PAGES.

Closely modeled on the Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum devised by Alan Schwarz (Yale Law School) and Ronald Gibson (Stanford Law School), the Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law involves an annual competition open to all international legal scholars who are in no more than their sixth year of an academic position.

For the tenth Forum at the University of Pretoria, junior faculty must be affiliated with an institution based on the African continent, although applications from those junior faculty based elsewhere but working on research for the Forum that has a strong African focus will also be considered. Those who are engaged in full-time Ph.D. study programs are not eligible to apply. The Forum has, however, admitted applications from those who are registered full-time on post-doctoral fellowship programs.

Applications can be made irrespective of the position or title within the institution (member of academic staff, research fellow, postdoctorate, etc.) or the tenure status of the applicant. Certain exceptional circumstances (e.g. career break, maternity leave) might entitle an applicant to special dispensation in respect of the six-year eligibility rule, but these will need to be specified in the cover letter that accompanies their application.

ALL APPLICANTS MUST MEET BOTH OF THESE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS—FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT BY AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT/RESEARCH WITH A STRONG RESEARCH FOCUS **AND** NO MORE THAN THE SIXTH YEAR OF THEIR ACADEMIC CAREER—BEFORE PROCEEDING ANY FURTHER. Where joint applications are made, the applicants must make sure that each of the applicants satisfies both elements of the eligibility criteria.

The Forum welcomes applications from international lawyers teaching in faculties or schools other than law schools. For example, international lawyers teaching in political science, history or international relations may also (and, indeed, are warmly encouraged) to apply: from its beginnings, it has adopted a pluralistic philosophy on both the materia and the methodologies of writing and research in the discipline of (public) international law.

In bringing successful applicants together, the specific purpose of the Forum is to pair each junior faculty member with a senior scholar in the field in order that the senior scholar may critically and constructively discuss the paper that has been prepared for presentation at the Forum, as well as open the paper up to a broader discussion within the Forum. The idea is to test and cultivate new lines of research inquiry and investigation, where successful applicants are given the opportunity to present their work before an intimate and specialized audience. The format of the Forum is that successful applicants will be allocated thirty minutes to present their work that has been previously circulated to all participants of the Forum; the senior scholar will then provide twenty minutes of response with a further twenty-five minutes devoted to a general discussion of the presentation by the entire Forum. The intention is to create a process of sustained exchange and interaction, as well as to contribute to the intellectual development of the junior faculty selected in any given year. Applicants must be made aware that work submitted as part of the Forum process must not have been published or submitted for publication prior to the Forum (i.e. in December 2021).

The five convenors are planning to host the tenth Forum as an in-person event in Pretoria. This position will be reviewed in June and July of this year (2021) in view of developments with the coronavirus situation. They reserve the right to switch to their default option of hosting a virtual event for the tenth Forum and, if this happens, it will occur over a number of weeks in December 2020 and January 2021.

However, as an initial step, successful applicants should be informed that their accommodation in Pretoria will be covered for four nights from December 12, 2021 (when a welcome reception will be planned, so, ideally, everyone will arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on that date in order that deliberations can start the following day).

Applicants will be responsible for securing funding for travel from their home institutions; the convenors will be more than happy to supply letters of support to successful applicants to the Forum to secure funding from their respective institution (or from other sources) and the timetable allows for sufficient time to secure this funding. The University of Pretoria will make a limited amount of funding available on application for those that are unable to cover travel to and from Johannesburg. Applicants in need of financial assistance will need to outline in their cover letter that accompanies their application (a) evidence of financial need and (b) a costed itinerary of air travel to and from Johannesburg.

Successful applicants will be responsible for making enquiries for visa applications and other paperwork, travel insurance etc., that will need to be made. Again, letters of support to assist these applications will be provided by the convenors and/or the host institution (University of Pretoria).

Finally, successful applications to the Forum will not be able to defer participation from one year to the next. The Forum is also unable to accept applications from those who have already presented their work at the Forum.

As part of the application procedure, all applicants are invited to set out in a single document of no more than EIGHT PAGES the following THREE components and are requested to place these components in the following order in their application:

A. a cover letter (of no more than two pages) introducing the application and identifying the suitability of the applicant and their research project for the Forum format, as well as setting that project within the broader context of the applicant’s career research and future plans. Where appropriate, relevant circumstances must be provided to explain why the applicant is outside the six-year eligibility rule. Applicants applying for financial assistance should also provide circumstances of financial need in this part of the application, together with the extent of the assistance requested.

AND

B. an updated (and, if needs be, abbreviated) curriculum vitae of the applicant (of no more than two pages) that makes clear:

  • the current position, commencement date of employment and institutional affiliation of the applicant (please bear in mind for the tenth Forum: applicants must be affiliated with an institution on the African continent; however those based elsewhere but whose research presentation has a strong African focus);
  • the employment history of the applicant so as to demonstrate accordance with the six-year eligibility rule and 
  • the main publications (including those publications accepted for publication) of the applicant published/accepted for publication thus far.

AND

C. a document of the proposed research presentation for the Forum (of no more than four pages) that includes:

  • the title of the proposed research presentation and
  • the content of the proposed presentation, setting out in clear terms what ideas, argument or set of arguments, critique/s or analysis they wish to present at the Forum.

It is important to emphasize that work submitted as part of the Forum process must not have been accepted for publication prior to the occurrence of the Forum in December 2021. 

PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL THREE COMPONENTS ABOVE (OF NO MORE THAN EIGHT PAGES) ARE SUBMITTED IN A SINGLE DOCUMENT OF PDF FORMAT, ALTHOUGH DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED IN WORD.DOC/WORD.DOCX WILL BE ADMITTED.

Applicants are invited to submit their applications to the Forum email address (annualjuniorfacultyforumIL@gmail.com) and must do so by the deadline of MAY 7, 2021. Applications submitted after this date will not be entertained.