Centre for Critical International Law

A University of Kent research centre

The Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) at Kent aims to foster critical approaches to the field of international law, and other areas of law that touch upon global legal problems, through promoting collaboration and exchange at KLS and within the broader scholarly community.

Based at Kent’s Canterbury campus, the Centre offers an annual programme of activities for KLS students as well as a speaker and films series, workshops designed to engage scholars based at other institutions, and an annual lecture addressing emerging themes in critical scholarship in the field of international law. CeCIL also strives to engage students, scholars and practitioners interested in the critical study of international law around the world by developing collaborations, joint research efforts, our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and CeCIL’s podcast, Fool’s Utopia.

Research and teaching in international law at Kent begins from the premise that international law is not apolitical, and that its political ideology reflects the interests of powerful states and other actors. Through their research and teaching, Canterbury and Brussels-based staff place international law into the contexts of history and political theory and extend its reach into international relations. A number of staff also engage in the practical application of international law through litigation, training, research and consultancies for international organisations, NGOs and states.

Current and past activities of the Centre have focused on key themes in critical international legal scholarship, including the production of victimhood in and through international legal frameworks and interventions, and economic and social rights in the neoliberal age.

Aims and Objectives

  • To promote research, both individual and collaborative, with staff and postgraduate students both within KLS and in collaboration with other academics and academic institutions.
  • To promote conferences in both Canterbury and Brussels and publications reflecting the ethos of the Centre.
  • To encourage and enable cooperation with other international law schools both in the UK and internationally.
  • To coordinate and develop new teaching methods and resources and to create a library of visual resources, with the objective of facilitating innovative teaching in international law and international relations.
  • To encourage visiting scholars interested in critical international law to participate in the activities of the Centre.
  • To provide a focus for academic collaboration and cooperation between the Canterbury and Brussels campuses of the University of Kent.
  • To build upon the guest lecture programme, which brings in academics and practitioners working critically on international law.

CeCIL is part of a global network of centres dedicated to the study of law from an international perspective, which today includes the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law (CePTL) at VU Amsterdam, the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH) at Melbourne Law School, the Erik Castrén Institute, at Helsinki University, the Manchester International Law Centre (MILC) at Manchester University, the Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law Group at Liverpool University, the Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute (TIL) at King’s University, the Westminster Law & Theory Lab at University of Westminster, the Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law (CCEIL) at SOAS, the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School, the Centre for Law, Regulation and Governance of the Global Economy (GLOBE) at the School of Law University of Warwick, and the Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law (ECIGL) at Edinburgh Law School. CeCIL is also a member of the International Economic Law (IEL) Collective.

If you’d like to get in touch with a specific CeCIL member, please visit our People page for contact information. Otherwise, for general queries, please email klsresearch@kent.ac.uk

CeCIL cover image courtesy, Andrés Pascual.