Proactive International Law

The Department of Global Governance at the Institute of the Foundations of Law and the Institute of International Law and International Relations are inviting you to a guest lecture by Dr. Sivan Shlomo Agon (Bar Illan University, Tel Aviv)

17:30 - 19:00
HS 15.04

The reactive character of international law is one of its notable features. For the most part, international norms and institutions have been devised in response to previously observed crises and incidents, be they wars, pandemics, environmental disasters, economic breakdowns, or technological advances.

In her lecture, Dr. Sivan Shlomo Agon will challenge this centuries-old reactive and past-oriented approach of international law.

It will hold that while the reactive paradigm has facilitated adoption of practical solutions to concrete problems faced by the international community, this paradigm has led international law to be backward-looking and short-sighted, hindering the discipline from acting in anticipation of long-term problems and developments. Against this backdrop, the lecture will call for a conceptual shift, arguing that it is high time to couple international law’s traditional reactive paradigm with a more proactive, forward-looking approach—one that is geared towards the future with a view to preventing risks and realizing opportunities well in advance.

Such a shift, the lecture will contend, is particularly critical given that many of the global challenges on the horizon—such as artificial intelligencesynthetic biologyenvironmental degradationdemographic transformations, or outer space commercialization—are more complex and diffuse than those encountered in the past. 


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erika de Wet, LL.M. (Harvard)

Dr. Aiste Mickonyte, LL.M.

LIVE STREAM OF THE LECTURE​ (no registration needed)