Dublin International Law Seminar Series (DILSS)

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Dublin International Law Seminar Series (DILSS).  This is a joint initiative of the Irish Society of International Law, University College Dublin, Maynooth University and Dublin City University. The new seminar series will act as a platform for scholars working in the field of public international law, locally and overseas, to present papers and to discuss new and emerging research. There will be 2 - 3 seminars held each semester, but the inaugural seminar in the series will be held on Wednesday 3 May at 6.00pm, at the National University of Ireland (NUI) offices at 49 Merrion Square, Dublin.

Details below.

If you have any queries about the series or are interested in presenting your research in the coming academic year (2017-18), please contact Richard Collins at r.collins@ucd.ie


Competing Models for Treaty Interpretation: Treaty as Contract, Treaty as Statute, Treaty as Delegation

 Professor Paul R. Dubinsky (Wayne State)



In interpreting treaties, American courts have long employed analogies. Two of these – the “treaty as contract” and the “treaty as statute” – have been interpretive tools for a long time and were recognized in the 1987 Third Restatement. Since then, courts and scholars have advanced an alternative analogy, the “treaty-as-delegation.” This new model assumes that treaties and implementing statutes are Chevron delegations of interpretive authority to executive departments and agencies. What follows is that executive understandings of treaties become entitled to ahistorically high levels of deference by courts. This chapter opposes the rush to Chevronize U.S. treaty law. Whatever the merits of Chevron in statutory interpretation, importing administrative law into treaty interpretation comes with major drawbacks: accentuating the tendency to view treaty obligations unilaterally; moving away from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; prioritizing short-term political and foreign policy results; and departing substantially from the predominant U.S. historical understanding of treaties.


About the Speaker

Paul R. Dubinsky is Professor of Law at Wayne State University, Vice-President of the International Law Association (U.S. branch), and book review editor of the American Journal of Comparative Law. He received his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and his LL.M. magna cum laude from the Universiteit Katholieke in Leuven, Belgium. His publications have appeared in the American Journal of Comparative Law, the Michigan Law Review, the Stanford Journal of International Law, the Yale Journal of International Law and in Civil Litigation in a Globalizing World (Asser Press 2012) and International Law in Domestic Legal Systems (Oxford, 2011).  Professor Dubinsky has served as a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the U.S. delegation to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, and as Associate Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. From 2011 to 2015, he was Director of Graduate Studies at Wayne State University.