General conference of the Law and Development Research Network

UPDATE: LDRN 6th General Conference at National Law University Delhi, India, 19 – 21 August 2023

We are thrilled to announce that the next LDRn General Conference will be hosted by LDRN partner National Law University Delhi, India, on 19 – 21 August 2023. We are grateful to our hosts and look forward to the first LDRN conference in Asia.

Ijon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The conference will be preceded by a research school for doctoral students at the same location. Further details will follow on our  website and on the LDRN Twitter account – in the meantime, save the date!


The 5th annual LDRN conference – “Beyond the Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities for Law and Development” – was hosted online by the Nelson Mandela University Faculty of Law, South Africa, on 24 – 26 November 2021.

Over 200 law and development researchers – from about 40 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania – joined discussions on new research relating to governance, human rights, and the rule of law; global health and access to health care services; environment, sustainable development and climate change; the law of the sea and development; land; international economic law and development finance; human mobility and social protection, and more!

Highlights included keynote addresses on “Human Rights and the Pandemic in the Age of Hyperglobalization” by Prof. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (The New School), and  “The Potential for Environmental Jus Cogens” by Prof. Dire Tladi (University of Pretoria), as well as an opening keynote panel on “Conceptual challenges in law and development scholarship: Northern and Southern perspectives“. 

Watch some of the highlights!

Keynote address: Prof. Dire Tladi (University of Pretoria) – The Potential for Environmental Jus Cogens (full video)

Highlights of the opening ceremony and keynote panel on “Conceptual challenges in law and development scholarship: Northern and Southern perspectives” (with Profs Kevin Davis (NYU), Mariana Pargendler (Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School), Matthew Erie (Oxford Uni.), Daniel Bonilla (Uni. de los Andes) and Ada Ordor (Uni. of Cape Town), chaired by Prof. Celine Tan (Uni. of Warwick))

  • Read more about some of the contributions relating to the law of the sea and development on the One Ocean Hub blog
  • See the full programme


LDRN 2020 & COVID-19: LDRN 5th annual conference postponed to September 2021

In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Law and Development Research Network (LDRN) has had to take the difficult decision to postpone its 5th annual conference to September 2021. The conference was to be held on 21 – 23 September 2020 at Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This plan is no longer deemed viable given our collective responsibility to participate in ensuring public health and safety, as well as the need to acknowledge the uncertainties brought about by this situation.
The network fully supports the host university in this difficult moment, and is grateful for the considerable work that has already been put into organizing the conference, as well as Nelson Mandela University’s continued commitment to hosting in September 2021.
We are also grateful for the interest and engagement of all the researchers who already submitted abstracts and panel proposals, and will be reaching out to all of you individually.
While we await our next in-person events, we aim to create opportunities this year to bring the LDRN community together online to engage with each other’s work, including around the original timing of the 2020 conference.

We will be delighted to share these plans with you via the LDRN website and newsletter – please do subscribe to stay in touch.



The 4th annual conference of the Law & Development Research Network,“The Plurality of Law and Development” was hosted by Humboldt University Law Faculty (Chair for Public Law and Comparative Law) in Berlin, Germany, on 25 – 27 September 2019. The conference brought together over 200 researchers and practitioners interested in law and development from 39 countries in the global North and South.

The conference aimed to investigate the plural nature of law and development as a field of study and practice. 55 panels explored historical and theoretical aspects of law and development, public law and socio-economic development, development finance,  human rights, gender, legal pluralism, and more. The panels included discussions on research, teaching and publication, practitioner conversations and book launches.

Read the conference report

Keynote addresses were delivered by Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School), Justice Madan Lokur (Supreme Court of India) and David Trubek (University of Wisconsin – Madison).

Full keynote videos are available on LDRN’s Youtube channel

(Image: Humboldt University, via Youtube: LDRN Channel)

The Völkerrechtsblog online law and development symposium also includes some contributions by LDRN conference participants.

See the final programme and call for papers (closed).

Visit the conference website

In 2018, over 120 researchers and practitioners from almost 30 countries participated in the 3rd annual LDRN conference, titled ‘Interfaces’, hosted by the Van Vollenhoven Institute of Leiden Law School in Leiden, The Netherlands.  Read more about the 2018 conference