16th-18th December 2024

Colombo, Sri Lanka


International Economic Law (IEL) can be defined as the law governing international economic relations among States. IEL is generally understood as a branch of public international law that governs a vast array of specialised topics including trade, investment, development, finance, and taxation. However, with the advent of globalisation, international economic relations have evolved dramatically to impact all spheres of human activities. These developments have made IEL more multifaceted and complex, increasing its interactions with other domains of international law such as human rights, public health, environmental protection, and cultural concerns. Consequently, IEL’s influence and interactions with the “local”, which includes civil society, marginalised groups, and other grassroots level actors, have greatly expanded. However, despite this expansion, these new relationships are not always reflected in IEL’s formulation, practice, and dispute settlement process.

States’ institutional engagement with IEL should ideally reflect coordinated democratic voices within each State, subsequently echoed in relevant international forums. But IEL is often characterised by executive driven State actions and influential private lobbies, thereby sidelining the lived experiences of individuals and communities that comprise the “local”.

Against this backdrop, the South Asia International Economic Law Network (SAIELN)’s 4th Biennial Conference aims to provide a platform for experts, policymakers, lawyers, academics, economists, and grassroots level actors to exchange views on the multifaceted challenges and innovative legal and policy solutions to further “local” approaches to IEL.


SAIELN’s 4th Biennial Conference will take place on 16th - 18th December 2024 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Open University of Sri Lanka.


An abstract of 500 words should be submitted no later than 30th July 2024. Authors of selected abstracts will then be required to submit a working draft of their contribution of at least 3,000 words by 1st October 2024.


Non-exhaustive list of themes and topics of the conference:

  • Civil society perspectives on IEL
  • Local communities and IEL
  • Impact of IPR on public health
  • Interaction of ISDS with indigenous people
  • Impact of IEL on climate justice
  • Localising the International - IEL experiences
  • Re-evaluating trade and investment policy for grassroots-level actors
  • Democratic participation and inclusivity in IEL
  • Impact of international-standard setting on local actors
  • Inclusive participation of consumers in international standard-setting
  • The interplay between international human rights law and IEL
  • Role of trade agreements in enhancing inclusivity and sustainable development
  • Leveraging IEL for benefiting local actors
  • Interdisciplinary analysis of IEL



We welcome critical and interdisciplinary perspectives, South Asian and global case studies and approaches.

Please make submissions and enquiries to