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Guidance for Contributors

Call for Papers - Please note that the deadline for paper submissions has now passed.

Papers are invited which examine one or more of the following research questions to be explored during the symposium, which should be framed around key principles and objectives of the Sendai Framework on DRR (see further guidance notes) together with the benchmark indicators recently agreed by the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Indicators and Terminology Relating to Disaster Risk Reduction (November 2016):

(1) What ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ law DRR related norms currently exist within international law, whether more generally or within specific legal regimes?

(2) How will/should DRR related law and policy develop within specific fields of law?

(3) What are the current and potential law, policy and/or practice implications of findings in (1) and/or (2) above, especially in relation to improving the coherence of DRR law at national/regional/ global levels, and associated implementation and enforcement mechanisms?

Adopted approaches should include: (a) regional or country-specific case studies; (b) theoretical/ conceptual frameworks; and/or (c) examples of state/non-state actor practice. 

Anyone wishing to present a paper should submit a 500 word abstract outlining their proposed topic(s) together with a personal biography of no more than 200 words to  no later than Friday 17 February 2017. Decisions regarding whether or not proposed papers have been accepted will be communicated by mid/late March 2017.

Other key deadlines

(1) 26 May 2017 – submission of invited draft papers to symposium organisers for compilation. Please note that: no hard copies of these papers will be made available during the symposium. All participants will be given a USB memory stick during registration containing digital copies of all symposium materials submitted prior to the inclusion deadline.

(2) 15 July 2017 – notification to symposium organisers by participants wishing to contribute to the planned publication. Confirmation will be given shortly thereafter as to whether or not individual nominated papers have been accepted for inclusion within the planned book (subject to the final submitted version being of satisfactory quality and submitted on time).

(2) 30 November 2017 – submission of fully worked up book chapters to editors.

All notifications, submissions (abstracts, bios, papers, and book chapters) should be sent to

Additional information for participants wishing to give papers

Framework for Symposium: Sendai Framework on Disater Risk Reduction (DRR)  The symposium’s discussions and approach will be framed principally around the Sendai Framework on DRR in a number of ways:

(1) It will adopt the Framework’s broad approach to disaster risk management engaging with the spectrum of ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ hazards together with related environmental, technological and biological hazards and risks.

(2) The adoption of such an all-encompassing approach necessitates the examination of many diverse legal regimes, notably their self-standing relationship with DRR, the increasingly interconnected and interstitial relationship between them in relation to DRR law and policy making, implementation, and enforcement. The symposium expects contributions from across many legal regimes of potential DRR relevance, which will enable examination of the Framework’s seven global targets for which law has a positive role to play in respect of their achievement.

(3) As with the Framework, the symposium will engage with the spectrum of available hard and soft law instruments necessary to achieve its objectives, ranging from national regulations, legislation, bilateral/(sub)regional/international treaties to non-formally binding arrangements and other measures (eg frameworks, guidelines, and codes of practice). It will consider existing, emerging as well as the requirement for new DRR law. Furthermore, the symposium will make recommendations regarding how the current coherence of DRR might be improved at all levels, and associated implementation and enforcement mechanism be strengthened.

(4) The complete disaster risk management cycle will be examined, namely prevention, mitigation, adaptation, preparedness, response, recovery/reconstruction including legal obligations relating to the overall objective to ‘Build Back Better’. Such examination will be informed by the Framework’s guiding principles, eg regarding the appropriate apportionment of state/non-state, public/private, actor responsibilities; accountability; protection of persons and their property, health, livelihoods, etc under but not limited to human rights and development law; improved protection of more vulnerable groups (eg women, children, the elderly and disabled).

Approach   The symposium will reflect the Sendai Framework’s broad definitional approach to the concept of ‘disaster’. Consequently, expert substantive contributions are invited across a wide range of legal regimes relevant to DRR, including but not limited to: international human rights law, international refugee law, international environmental law, climate change law, law of the sea, (sustainable) development law, law of armed conflict, international trade law, international investment law, insurance law, planning and construction law, aviation law, space law, together with issues of food/water/energy security, global health, governance, and corruption. Additionally, the contribution of other disciplinary perspectives are being invited which contribute to the development and/or better understanding of the reach of DRR within legal regimes. As such, the adopted approach will be both intra- and inter-disciplinary, reflecting increasing global recognition (but not yet accompanying levels of practice) of the interrelated nature of diverse legal and non-legal disciplines to develop and implement real solutions to these global challenges.

Output and Impact   The overarching sought impact is to inform and make recommendations regarding the development of national, regional and international law and policy governing DRR. A significant handbook (250K-300K words) is planned for publication. An initial book proposal has been agreed in principle with Cambridge University Press subject to completion of its peer review process once details of participants’ papers are known. The symposium will strengthen existing networks examining DRR and international law network.