Advocacy is the art of persuasion on behalf of a person or cause. In this presentation, the way in which lawyers advocate before the International Court of Justice, throughout each phase of a proceeding, is examined, from the different perspectives of civil (francophone) and common (anglophone) lawyers. The presentation will cover all aspects of presenting and handling a case: issues of strategy and procedure, written and oral pleadings, and the compiling and presentation of evidence, including by fact witnesses and experts. It will also consider ways in which the Court is modernizing, and is likely to further change its approach, in our generation. The presentation will draw upon the speakers’ extensive experience as junior counsel before the ICJ, in more than 10 recent and pending cases.

Benjamin Samson, Ph.D. Candidate, University Paris-Nanterre and Visiting Scholar, George Washington University Law School

Benjamin specialises in public international law and inter-State arbitration. He acts for States on issues including maritime and land boundaries, law of the sea, environmental law, immunities, nuclear disarmament, treaty and customary obligations and State responsibility. Benjamin has acted as counsel in eight cases before the International Court of Justice, four of which are pending, as well as several cases before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and UNCLOS Annex VII Tribunals, one of which is currently pending. Benjamin holds a masters degree in public international law from the University Paris-Nanterre and has published on French, European and public international law issues. He has taught at University Paris-Nanterre and Science Po (European Franco-German Campus).

Dr Kate Parlett, Barrister, 20 Essex Street, London

Kate specialises in public international law and international arbitration. She acts for States and private entities on issues including land and maritime boundaries, investment treaty and contract disputes, human rights, law of the sea, State responsibility, treaty obligations, immunities, environmental law, sanctions and international crimes. Kate has appeared as counsel and advocate in seven cases before the International Court of Justice, four of which are currently pending. Kate also represents States and investors in investment disputes, involving claims under treaties and contracts, across a range of sectors and geographic regions. Kate has a doctorate and a masters degree in public international law from the University of Cambridge and is widely published, particularly in the law of international dispute settlement. She has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Geneva, Paris-II (Panthéon-Assas), Queen Mary (University of London) and Queensland.


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

The group typically meets each Thursday during Oxford terms in The Old Library, All Souls College, with lunch commencing at 12:30. The speaker will commence at 12:45 and speak for about forty minutes, allowing about twenty five minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude before 2:00.

Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome. No RSVP is necessary.

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.

To join the Public International Law Discussion Group email list, which offers details of all events and other relevant information, send a message to: . (You do not need to write any text in the body of the message, or even put anything in the Subject: line unless your mailer insists on it.) You will be sent a confirmation request, and once you reply to that, a message confirming your subscription will follow. Alternatively, you can send an email to Jenny Hassan to be added to the PIL mailing list.

Convenors of the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group are Patricia Jimenez Kwast and Nikiforos Panagis. 

Kindly sponsored by the ILA - British Branch Association and Oxford University Press.