Procedure and criteria for choosing venues for ESIL Annual Conferences

This document aims to formalise the procedure for the selection of venues for ESIL annual conferences and to articulate the criteria for the selection.

1. How many years in advance will the Board decide on a conference venue?

The decision needs to be taken in good time for the local organisers to arrange practical matters e.g. book a venue, contact sponsors, and raise funds.

In general, proposals should be sent to the Board as soon as possible, but at least three and a half years in advance so that the Board can discuss the proposals at the Board meeting on the occasion of the Research Forum three years before the proposed date.

Firm acceptance of a proposal will be given at least three years in advance of the event. For example, a decision about the September 2022 conference will be taken during the September 2019 Board meeting.

2. How can members interested in hosting an annual conference indicate their interest?

ESIL members who wish to express interest in hosting a future conference are asked to write to the ESIL President (cc ESIL Secretariat) no later than three and a half years in advance of the event. For example, expressions of interest for hosting the 2022 conference should ideally be received by March 2019.

The proposal document to be sent to the ESIL President should be 4 – 5 pages long.

Expressions of interest should include the following information:

  • the institution where the event would be organized
  • the venue
  • the year(s) when the event could take place at that venue

In addition, proposals should include full information about each of the criteria listed below.

3. How will the ESIL Board select the best option?

The following criteria will be considered, in order of importance:

  1. Geographical variation; the Board will need to ensure that annual conferences take place in different countries and different regions in Europe.
  2. The proposed theme; the theme should be of broad general interest to the Society and not about a very specific topic or a sub-branch of international law. The ESIL Board will consider  themes that are able to appeal  to all members of the Society.
  3. Institutional capacity of the organisation that would host the event, including prospects for funding. Please note that annual conferences are funded entirely from the funds raised by local organizers (through grants, sponsorship, registration fees, exhibitors’ fees, etc.) and not from ESIL funds.
  4. The involvement in the Society of the person(s) making the proposal (as convener of an Interest Group, as a Board member, as a lifetime member, or a continuous member etc.)
  5. The ease of reaching the venue (distance from major airports, etc.) and the average cost of hotel accommodation.

All other things being equal, priority will be given to those who have sent an earlier expression of interest.

If the proposal is accepted, the content of the final programme will be determined jointly by the local organisers and the ESIL Board.

When a venue has been selected for a specific year, the local organiser (if not already an ESIL Board member) is co-opted to the Board for two years prior to the conference in order to keep the Board informed about conference planning.

At the first Board meeting attended by the co-opted local organiser, a Conference Programme Committee will be set up, consisting of at least: a) the local organiser, who will function as Chair of the Programme Committee, b) three Board members, including one of the Board’s vice-presidents and c) two external experts who are ESIL members.

Timelines for major decisions to be taken in the run-up to the conference are listed in the Guidelines for the organisation of annual ESIL conferences.

For general enquiries about this memo, please write to:

Printable version of the document.