One Hundred Years of International Administrative Law: Is the Employment Law at International Organizations Working?

Event date
19 January 2023
Event time
12:45 - 14:00
Oxford week
HT 1
The Dorfman Centre, St Peter's College, and Online via Zoom

Peter Quayle

To join (whether in person or online), please complete the Registration Form by 5:30pm on Wednesday 18 January. Please note that if you register for online attendance after this time, a Zoom link may not be sent to you.

Abstract: The existence of an employment law of international organizations parallels the international civil service that it regulates and the multilateral institutions—possessing jurisdictional immunities—that it holds accountable. Conceived at the League of Nations almost one hundred years ago, it now governs innumerable international officials serving countless multilateral mandates, expressed through thousands of decisions by tribunals established at international organizations to adjudicate staff disputes. Yet—paradoxically—despite this substantial provenance, so-called international administrative law remains obscure: why? The premise of this talk is that the employment law of international organizations tends towards incoherence, resulting in incomprehension. However, by aiming to map international administrative law onto a larger framework of international organizations law—and by inviting explanatory analogues from other lex specialis of general international law—this discussion attempts to realize a more knowable—a more workable—version of the law.

Speaker: Peter Quayle is a public international lawyer, specializing in the law, governance and jurisdictional immunities of international organizations. He has over 20 years’ experience—spanning three continents, academia, governmental and intergovernmental service—including, starting-up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing, China. He was educated at the University of Oxford and University College London, is a solicitor of England and Wales and a CEDR accredited mediator. He is editor of The Role of International Administrative Law at International Organizations (Brill Nijhoff, 2020).


The Public International Law Discussion Group at the University of Oxford is a key focal point for PIL@Oxford and hosts regular speaker events. Topics involve contemporary and challenging issues in international law. Speakers include distinguished international law practitioners, academics, and legal advisers from around the world.

PIL Discussion Group Convenor: 
Natasha Holcroft-Emmess.

The Discussion Group's meetings are part of the programme of the British Branch of the International Law Association and are supported by the Law Faculty and Oxford University Press.

The speaker will commence at 12:45pm UK Time and the speaker will present for around 30-40 minutes, with around 30 minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude by 2pm UK Time.

Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome.

Found within

Public International Law