College of Law’s International Law Colloquium Focuses on ‘Creativity,’ ‘Seeing Around Corners’

For 11 weeks during Spring Semester, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will host guest speakers discussing international law and global policy as part of its International Law Colloquium course taught by professors Antony Anghie and Benedict Kingsbury. The discussions are free and open to the public, but participants are strongly advised to read the presenters’ papers, which will be available via the colloquium’s website, prior to attending.



International Law Colloquium web page >>



The discussions, which generally run once a week from January 11 to April 1, cover topics ranging from nuclear negotiations with Iran, climate change, renewable energy, and the rise of China and India. Organizers note that some of the topics are very practical, such as international recovery of stolen assets, or the role of prosecutions and amnesties in international business crimes or massive human rights abuses.

Kingsbury, a Visiting Professor of Law at the College of Law, explains, “These sessions are not typical lunchtime informational talks — they call for advance preparation by everyone attending, but are very rewarding.”

“The authors are highly-regarded professors, although some have also served in government. They bring serious scholarly research to bear on problems that are both very real and very hard,” Kingsbury continues. “The emphasis is on creativity — seeing around corners, learning to think outside established ideas to help make breakthroughs. We are celebrating the Pac-12, not this time for sports but as a strong community of academic interchange.”

Kingsbury explains that speakers will send works in progress, not finished papers.  “The format is very much a conversation among everyone on the speaker’s ideas, bringing out very different ways of approaching the same issue,” he says. “Students write their own response papers, to which the speaker replies.  The discussion helps students see how a serious argument is researched and constructed through numerous drafts, and helps all of us not only in research but in sharpening our thinking and seeing new approaches in our own work.  We aim also to be helpful to the speaker in producing the next draft.”