The idea to convene in Rome on a yearly basis to discuss key issues of contemporary international law is naturally connected with the glorious Institute of International Law of “La Sapienza”. The story of this institution has accompanied the development of international law in the XX Century, which the members of the Institute have considerably contributed to. Naming the Lectures after Gaetano Morelli is thus more than an individual tribute; it is a collective acknowledgement to a legal tradition, which we intend to renew and to innovate every year, brick after brick.


The Lectures are mainly addressed to young scholars from all over the world. They aim at offering conceptual tools for appraising controversial knots of international law in its continuing development. There is a lot of sense, in our view, for doing this. International law is one of the branches of legal science where the pressing need for change goes hand in hand with the persistence of its basic legal paradigms. It is this unique blend of theory and practice, of tradition and innovation, which makes international law so challenging and ultimately explains its on-going intellectual fascination.


It is our hope that this series of lectures will promote a model of learning international law: offering diverse, if not even antithetical, perspectives among which everyone can find its way; a dialectical approach to legal studies which will hopefully become the distinctive feature of this initiative.


The first edition (2014) of the Gaetano Morelli Lectures was devoted to jus cogens, a “classic unaccomplished” in contemporary international law.
The second edition (2015) of the Gaetano Morelli Lectures focused on “Decisions of the ICJ as Sources of International Law?” a controversial issue at the crossroad between the difficulties surrounding the precise definition of international sources and the debated role that the World Court should play in the development of international law.
The third edition (2016) of the Gaetano Morelli Lectures discussed and analysed the existence and contents of a general body of international procedural law. The guiding thread was the search of common or general principles, applicable in different dispute settlement mechanisms, which coexist in the landscape of contemporary international law.
The fourth edition (2017) of the Gaetano Morelli Lectures focused on the process of formation and identification of customary international law. It aimed at inviting the participants to embark on a journey touching upon diverse conceptions, doctrines and practices, in search of the foundational bases of the international legal experience.
The fifth edition (2018) of the Gaetano Morelli Lectures will focus on methodologies of international law. Through the discussion of diverse methodological approaches, everybody can explore the epistemological essence of international law and its capacity to explain the reality of our complex world.
In 2018, the Gaetano Morelli Lectures will be held by: Olivier Corten (Professor of International Law, Université Libre de Bruxelles); Alessandra Gianelli (Professor of International Law, University of Teramo); Joseph H.H. Weiler (Professor of Law, New York University).

Prof. Enzo Cannizzaro

Contatti e riferimenti
Gaetano Morelli Lectures - 5th Edition (Rome, 11, 12 and 13 October 2018)

Methodologies of International Law

Gaetano Morelli Lectures - 4th Edition (Rome, 26 and 27 May 2017)

Rethinking the Doctrine of Customary International Law

Gaetano Morelli Lectures - 3rd Edition (Rome, 26 and 27 May 2016)

International Procedural Law: Common Principles or General Principles?

Gaetano Morelli Lectures - 2nd Edition (Rome, 21, 22 and 23 May 2015)

Decisions of the ICJ as Sources of International Law?

Gaetano Morelli Lectures – 1st Edition (Rome, 29, 30 and 31 May 2014)

The Present and Future of Jus Cogens

Gaetano Morelli Lectures Series