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School of Law

CLSGC Annual Lecture by Professor Fleur Johns - On Data: Givens of Global Law

20 November 2019

Time: 6:00 - 7:00pm
Venue: Arts Two Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Mile End Road, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS

The Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context is delighted to welcome Professor Fleur Johns (UNSW) for its 2019-2020 Annual Lecture. The lecture will be chaired by Dr Isobel Roele.

On Data: Givens of Global Law

Watch the full lecture.


This talk dwells on a medium in which people, places and things are being connected, divided, aggregated and distributed juridically on the global plane: digital data. It will explore how, to whom, under what conditions and in what formats digital data are being given in certain practices of contemporary international law: specifically, in aspects of international development and humanitarian work in which the adoption of digital data and data science techniques is being encouraged. More precisely, it will consider some ramifications of the growing digitization of two key knowledge formats for international law: facts and populations. It will ask what givens may be constituted or reconstituted – or what may be established, or re-established, about international law, legal actors, institutions and operations – in the process of this shift in knowledge practice. And it will touch, finally, on what might be at stake in these changing practices with regard to the CLGSC’s three, current thematic concerns: time and place; power and capital; aesthetics and materiality.

Profile image of Fleur Johns in black and whiteAbout the Speaker

Fleur Johns is Professor in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney. Fleur studies patterns of governance on the global plane. Her current research focuses on changing modes of global relation emerging in the context of technological change. She is leading a 3-year Australian Research Council-funded project entitled 'Data Science in Humanitarianism: Confronting Novel Law and Policy Challenges' (with co-CI Wayne Wobcke, UNSW Computer Science). In 2019-20, Fleur is pursuing this and related research as a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, in the School of Social Sciences. Fleur has previously held visiting appointments in Europe, the UK and Canada and she currently serves on a number of editorial boards, including that of the American Journal of International Law. Her publications include the following four books: The Mekong: A Socio-legal Approach to River Basin Development (Routledge, 2016, with co-authors Boer, Hirsch, Saul and Scurrah); Non-Legality in International Law: Unruly Law (Cambridge, 2013); Events: The Force of International Law (Routledge, 2011, with co-editors Joyce and Pahuja); and International Legal Personality (Ashgate, 2010). Fleur is a graduate of Melbourne University (BA, LLB (Hons)) and Harvard University (LLM, SJD, where she was a Menzies Scholar).


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