Call for Papers: Online Workshop for school working on the Arms Trade and the Law

Every year, weapons are transferred in transactions valued at billions of dollars, involving not only major powers such as the USA, Russia, and China but almost every country in the Global North and South. Small arms and light weapons have caused the death of millions of individuals in civil wars in the last two decades, while new cyber products provide rulers with the means to surveil their populations and concentrate power. Despite increased public interest in the harms associated with the arms trade (defined broadly to include the trade in security products and services, including cyber products), scholars have only recently begun to explore the role of law in this trade, spurred by the drafting of the Arms Trade Treaty, recent legal proceedings against Europeans for complicity with war crimes in Yemen through the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, and scandals involving Israeli surveillance software. Scholars have pointed to the numerous failings of international law in constraining the arms trade and achieving the UN Charter’s declared objective of disarmament.

With the objective of establishing an international network of scholars studying the relationship between law and the arms trade broadly defined, we invite researchers (doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, faculty and researchers in think tanks and other institutions) to present works in progress in an online workshop to be held regularly during the 2022-23 academic year. All disciplines, theoretical approaches and methodologies are welcome. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • The international regulation of arms trade, including formal rules, soft law arrangements, and transnational tort litigation
  • Domestic arms export control regimes
  • The human rights obligations and corporate social responsibility of defense and cyber companies
  • The human rights obligations of arms exporting states
  • Legal consciousness among actors in the arms trade
  • Law and the environmental impact of the arms trade
  • Regulating international trade in spyware 

Participants will be expected to send their paper at least one week prior to the date of their presentation. The paper will be discussed in a one-hour session open to registered participants only. The sessions are expected to be held approximately every six weeks on Wednesdays 17:00-18:00 Tel Aviv time, from September 2022 to February 2022.

To apply, please complete this online form by April 30, 2022. For any questions, please contact one of the conveners:

Dr. Natalie Davidson, Tel Aviv University ([email protected])

Dr. Tamar Megiddo, College of Law & Business ([email protected])

Dr. Yahli Shereshevsky, Haifa University ([email protected])

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