Annual Lecture Series in International Law - ‘Ringvorlesung’

In each academic year, the WSI organises a lecture series (‘Ringvorlesung’) on topical and fundamental issues in the domains of Public International Law and European Law. Renowned lecturers from Germany and abroad are invited to share their perspective on recent developments in international law. The ‘Ringvorlesung’ is open to students as well as the interested public. It is usually, but not exclusively given in German, so a working knowledge of the language is generally advisable.

The lecture is usually held monthly, on Thursdays at 18 hrs. c.t., CAP 2 (Audimax), room K.

Current Lecture Series: Cultures of Public International Law


Lecture Dates

Wintersemester 2016/2017:
10.11. Das Völkerrecht aus russischer Perspektive Prof. Dr. Lauri Mälksoo, LL.M.(Georgtown)
(Universität Tartu (Estland)
15.12. Das Völkerrecht aus chinesischer Perspektive Prof. Dr. Björn Ahl
(Universität Köln)
19.01. Das Völkerrecht aus indischer Perspektive Prof. Dr. Philipp Dann, LL.M. (Harvard)
(Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
Das Völkerrecht aus US-Amerikanischer Perspektive
Prof. Dr. Mehrdad Payandeh, LL.M. (Yale)
(Bucerius Law School, Hamburg)
Sommersemester 2017:
04.05. Das Völkerrecht aus lateinamerikanischer Perspektive Ximena Soley, San José (Costa Rica), Research Fellow
(Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg)
18.05. Das Völkerrecht aus islamischer Perspektive Prof. Dr. Ebrahim Afsah, M.Phil (Dublin), MPA (Harvard) (Universität Kopenhagen (Dänemark))
08.06. Das Völkerrecht aus afrikanischer Perspektive Dipl.-Jur. Hatem Ellisie, MLE (Malta/Hannover)
Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Halle)
29.06. Das Völkerrecht zwischen universellem Anspruch und Differenz Alexandra Kemmerer, LL.M.Eur. (Würzburg), Referentin
(Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg)



2015/16: Fighting Terrorism by Means of International and European Law

Die Bekämpfung des Terrorismus  mit Mitteln des Völker- und Europarechts

With what kind of legal means can international and European law combat terrorism? Do the existing tools even suffice to tackle the phenomenon of 21st century terrorism or do they need to be further developed and amplified accordingly?

Lectures were given i.a. on measures taken by the United Nations (Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schmahl, LL.M. (Barcelona)) and the EU (Prof. Dr. Kirsten Schmalenbach) to combat international terrorism. Regarding the comprehension of the highly debated term of terrorism, the struggle of finding a legal definition of it at the international level was addressed by Dr. Dominik Steiger. Dr. John Beuren presented examples of fighting different terror organisations, such as the so-called ‘Islamic State’ or Boko Haram.

For a detailed outline of the lecture series and its speakers (in German), please click on this link.  


2014/15: 350 Years University of Kiel: Public International Law from the 17th century until Today

350 Jahre Universität Kiel: Das Völkerrecht vom 17. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart


The University of Kiel came into being in an age also known as the birthplace of modern international law. In 1648 – seventeen years before its establishment – the treaties subsequently  called Peace of Westphalia marked a turning point and laid the basis for a new form of international law. Marking the 350th anniversary of the University of Kiel, this lecture series invited renowned lectures from Germany and abroad to discuss the developments in international law from the 17th century until today.

As an opening to the lecture series, Prof. Dr. Rainer Grote, LL.M. (Edinburgh) argued whether the ‘System of Westphalia’ is a fact or a myth. This was followed by a presentation on ruptures and continuities in the history of international in the 20th century held by Prof. Dr. Jochen von Bernstoff, LL.M. (EUI). Regarding the development and the strengthening of the individual in international law, Prof. Dr. Anne Peters, LL.M. (Harvard) analysed the transformation of the view/conception of man in international law.

For a detailed outline of the lecture series and its speakers (in German), please click on this link .


2013/14: The Status of Groups as Subjects of Public International Law

Der Status von Gruppen im Völkerrecht


The question whether groups of people can be considered at least partial subjects of public international law is highly relevant and can be addressed from different perspectives and with a view to different examples.

The lecture series considered the question whether and to what extent public international law affirms specific rights for groups of people such as refugees (Dr. Roland Bank), minorities (Prof. Dr. Norman Weiß) or indigenous peoples (Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze) and how the relevant rights have developed (Prof. Dr. Eckart Klein).

For a detailed outline of the lecture series and its speakers (in German), please click on this link.  


2012/13: Spaces in International and European Union Law

Räume im Völker- und Europarecht


Territorial disputes represent the main threat to global peace and security. From a legal point of view, however, they are generally of little interest. It is only in areas and spaces beyond national jurisdiction that they raise complicated and, to a certain extent, novel issues.

Among the guest lectures were Prof. Dr. Stephan Hobe, LL.M. (McGill) talking about air and outer space, Sönke Lorenz from the Federal Foreign Office presenting the challenges regarding Antarctica, and Prof. Dr. Udo Fink outlining the legal framework of an ambiguous space – cyberspace.

For a detailed outline of the lecture series and its speakers (in German), please click on this link