CAICL Annual Lecture - Race and International Law

5:00pm - 6:30pm / Tuesday 20th October 2020
Type: Lecture / Category: Research / Series: Black History Month
  • Admission: Free event.
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CAICL invites you to a lecture in honour of Black History Month.

Race and International Law
Racism and international law have hit the headlines recently, often in the same story. In these stories, international law tends to be understood as curtailing or constraining the actions of racist, right wing politicians – serving as the hero or villain of the piece depending on one’s political outlook. This reflects the fact that international law and international lawyers are formally committed to opposing and combating racism. Indeed, the only times in which international law explicitly invokes ‘race’ is to condemn racism.

In this lecture I will argue that despite this formal ‘opposition’, international law is in fact deeply intwined with racism both historically and today. I will demonstrate the close historical relationship between capitalist expansion, racism and international law, and trace how racial assumptions continue to structure international legal discourse. Even where international law is formally ‘silent’ on race, it necessarily draws upon a racialised logic. Thus, even as racism is disavowed international law continually reproduces the logic of racialisation.

Dr Rob Knox is Senior Lecturer in Law, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool.

Online event please register via the Eventbrite link.