Announcing the new ANZSIL History and Theory of International Law Interest Group

We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the ANZSIL History and Theory of International Law (HTIL) Interest Group. The new HTIL Interest Group has been established in response to the sustained growth of diverse and vibrant scholarship in the history and theory of international law. Scholars inspired by the Third World Approaches to International Law movement have sought to historicise the discipline and uncover the continuing influence of imperialism on its doctrines; intellectual histories of international law have sought to better contextualise its development as a profession; and empirical studies have tried to verify and/or quantify the effectiveness of international legal instruments. The significance of international legal history and theory is even more pronounced in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, given the central role of international legal doctrines and techniques in legal and political battles surrounding settler colonialism and the ongoing negotiation of settler-Indigenous relations. Scholars based in both countries have been important contributors to these debates, and remain active in advancing academic and public conversations on related questions of decolonisation, economic relations and environmental justice. The HTIL Interest Group is open to all who research in the history and theory of international law, or are generally interested in the ways that history and theory might inform their work. 

The HTIL Interest Group is convened by Dr Ntina Tzouvala (Australian National University), Dr Guy Fiti Sinclair (Victoria University of Wellington)and Dr Cait Storr (University of Technology Sydney), with a view to rotating committee membership in future. The Interest Group can be contacted at If you wish to be added to the mailing list, please email with ‘Mailing List’ in the subject line.

Our event program will commence with a reading group and a series of book talks (full details below). In 2021, these will be joined by a series of seminars. All are welcome at HTIL Interest Group events, so please note the following four events for your diaries:

HTIL Book Talk Series 

To celebrate and disseminate the historically and theoretically orientated research of our members or of interest to those based in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, the HTIL Interest Group will host a series of book launches for recent publications. Suggestions for books to launch in the future are most welcome. 

Everyone is welcome to join us for the following events: 

-Book Talk – Humanitarian Disarmament: An Historical Enquiry by Dr Treasa Dunworth(University of Auckland), published in August 2020 by Cambridge University Press. Dr Dunworth will join us, and Dr Amanda Alexander (Australian Catholic University) has kindly agreed to act as a discussant.

Thursday 22 October 2020 at 12pm – 1.15pm AEDT (UTS +11) / 2pm – 3.15pm NZDT  

– Reading Group Session One: Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 1.00pm – 2.15pm AEDT (UTS +11) / 3.00pm – 4.15pm NZDT

  • Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann, ‘The Battle for International Law: An Introduction’ in Jochen von Bernstorff and Philipp Dann (eds), The Battle for International Law: South-North Perspectives on the Decolonization Era (OUP, 2019), 1–31.
  • Georges Abi-Saab, “The Newly Independent States and the Rules of International Law: An Outline” (1962) 8 Howard Law Journal, 95–121.

Contact details and mailing list

All inquiries regarding the Group, including suggestions for future book talks or readings, should be directed to our email address: htil[dot]anzsil[at]gmail[dot]com. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, please include ‘Mailing List’ in the subject line. If you want to register for the book talk or the reading group, please email the same address including ‘Event Restoration’ in the subject line. 

With our best wishes, 

Ntina, Cait and Guy

ANZSIL HTIL Interest Group Convenors