Call for Papers

The Inaugural Conference of the Western Sahara Research Group will take place in 14th January 2022 at NOVA School of Law (Lisbon), with a complementary online attendance option depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. This Conference will have as the general theme the international situation of Western Sahara almost 50 years after the landmark ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the self-determination of that territory.

This Conference aims at looking at this general theme through a multidisciplinary approach. As such, the organizers hereby invite all interested to submit contributions for one or more of the following thematic groups:

Thematic group 1: Western Sahara and Self-Determination

            This group aims at analysing the problems arising from the international of Western Sahara from the viewpoint of its self-determination, international recognition and the military and political situation in the region. Topics: Self-Determination; Use of Force and Law of Occupation; Law of Territorial Acquisition; Human Rights; International Humanitarian Law; Recognition; Self-Governance.

            Thematic group 2: Western Sahara and Natural Resources

            This group aims at exploring the legal issues arising from the exploration of natural resources in the Western Sahara region, especially relating to the main issue of the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources. Topics: Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources; Maritime Boundaries, Jurisdiction and Resources; International Trade Law; Foreign Investment Law.

            Thematic group 3: Western Sahara and the European Union

            This group focuses on the international stance and actions of the EU regarding the Western Sahara region, as well as past, pending and future legal questions presented to the institutions of the EU, especially the European Court of Justice, regarding that region. Topics: ECJ litigation; EU Trade Policy; EU External Action policy; Member-States’ diplomatic and international practice.

            Thematic group 4: Western Sahara in International Politics

This group aims at considering the international political and diplomatic causes and consequences of the ongoing dispute regarding the status of the Western Sahara region. Topics: International Relations; Geopolitics; Diplomatic practice; Regional Politics; African Union; United Nations.

The contributions should be sent in the form of a summary (500 words) of the paper to be presented at the conference, accompanied of the title of the paper and four keywords. This summary, as well as further inquiries, should be sent to the following email until 2nd October 2021. More details can be found in the website of the Research Group:

Lisbon/Milan, 8th June 2021

The Organizers,

Francisco Pereira Coutinho (NOVA School of Law)

Andrea Mensi (Bocconi University/University of Lugano)

João Francisco Diogo (NOVA School of Law)