The Public International Law Perspective on Evaluating Existential Risks (CCCR2018)

Video by Silja Vöneky
Published on 17 April 2019

Silja Vöneky is Professor of Public International Law, Comparative Law, and Ethics of Law at the University of Freiburg (Germany) and member of the Legal Advisory Board of the German Federal Foreign Office. 

Prof Vöneky presented an overview of different approaches to evaluating catastrophic risks that exist in the area of public international law. She showed that we can find different norm-based “tools” for assessing risks within different areas of international law, for example: environmental law, law of the sea, laws of war/humanitarian law, human rights law, and general international law. She argued that international law has many gaps but nevertheless it is – and should be – a basis for the governance of existential and global catastrophic risks:

This talk was given at 2018’s Cambridge Conference on Catastrophic Risk (CCCR2018), the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk’s major international conference, supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. It focused on four challenges faced by research communities focused on existential and global catastrophic risk research: Challenges of Evaluation and Impact; Challenges of Evidence; Challenges of Scope and Focus; and Challenges in Communication.

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