School of Law

Seminar on the role of legal and scientific expertise in the avoidance and settlement of water law disputes

5 December 2014

Time: 1:00am
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS

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This seminar is organised by Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific and former member of the International law Commission; Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Professor of International Law, Queen Mary University of London; Attila Tanzi, Professor of International Law, University of Bologna; and Christina Leb, Senior Water Resource Specialist at the World Bank with support of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and Lakes, which is a global Convention. 

Draft Programme

Please note that the programme, times and participants may be subject to change. 

  • Opening
    • Introduction to the workshop by Professor Attila Tanzi, Chair of the Implementation Committee under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention)
    • Welcome by Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Queen Mary University London
    • Introduction to the Water Convention and its Implementation Committee by Nicholas Bonvoisin, Secretary of the Water Convention, UNECE
  • Setting the scene
    • This general session will set the scene on (a) the relationship between international law-making, law enforcement, negotiation and litigation and (b) the relationship between the role of the legal and scientific expertise thereto.
    • Introduction on the relationship between international law-making, law enforcement, negotiation and litigation, by Professor Tanzi
    • Panel discussion
  • Standard setting as a means of dispute avoidance
    • In this session, consideration will be given to the dialogue between lawyers and scientists in the actual making of and follow up to the 1992 UNECE Water Convention and the 1997 New York Convention. The UNECE Water Convention has been followed up by the Guide to Implementing the Convention (September 2013) and the Model Provisions on Transboundary Groundwaters (February 2014), developed as a result of collaboration between the Convention’s Legal Board and the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management.
    • Panel discussion
  • International litigation
    • Within this session, comparative consideration will be given to the different use of experts in water law disputes and other kinds of disputes, with special reference to the International Court of Justice case on Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay and the Permanent Court of Arbitration matter on the Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration.
    • Case recently before the International Court of Justice on Whaling in the Antarctic, by Professor Fitzmaurice
    • Panel discussion
  • Conclusions
    • Final observations by Professor Stephen McCaffrey


CPD Points

Please note that as of 1 November 2014, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has changed their approach to CPD Points. Please visit their web site for more information on these changes and how to claim CPD. 

How to Book

As places are very limited, please register for your place as early as possible via the Queen Mary eshop.


  • Standard registration - £25
  • Student registration - £5


For additional information, please contact

Photography, video and audio recording

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