Dear Members of ICON·S,
As you know, our Annual Conference this year on “Public Law, (Dis)trust and Dissent” was scheduled to be held in Wrocław, Poland, from July 9-11, 2020. The Call for Panels and Papers was an extraordinary success, with hundreds of submissions and an overall number of over 1200 projected participants.
The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic emergency, however, has led the Executive Committee of the Society, together with the Polish organizers, to acknowledge that it is unfortunately no longer feasible to hold our usual large and expansive Conference this July. Our assessment and decision-making process, consistent with that made by other academic societies in the world for their own planned gatherings, appeared to be the only logical course at this stage.
The Executive Committee therefore has decided to postpone our 2020 Conference by one year. In other words, to hold our planned Annual Conference on Public Law, (Dis)trust and Dissent in 2021, and not to hold an Annual Conference this year. In this way we will preserve the program we had approved in Santiago de Chile. Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 8-10, 2021, in Wrocław, Poland. And we will hold the subsequent Conference in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2022.
We are sure that you understand the reasons for our choice, which will of course imply a change of plans for all of us. Our goal, however, is to preserve all the work we have done together for what was supposed to be, and still will be, a terrific event. In the coming weeks, therefore, we will communicate the procedural details regarding the organization of the 2021 Conference (proposals, membership, cancellation certificates to facilitate travel refunds for 2020, etc.).
We are aware that the whole world is now facing a tremendous challenge. The role of ICON·S is of continued importance at such a moment. We also plan to organize, therefore, later this year, an online global initiative to discuss the enormous legal, political, and social challenges that the COVID-19 emergency is triggering for populations, states, international organizations, in other terms, for public law as a whole.
Our special thanks go to Richard Albert and the entire ICON·S team, including Sergio Verdugo, Fred Felix Zaumseil, Felicia Caponigri, and Claudia Golden for their hard work over the past few months. We also thank the Polish organizers for sharing all their effort with us in putting together a line-up of impressive speakers (whom we aim to keep for 2021). We also thank our New Zealand friends for their understanding and flexibility.
We will write to you again by the end of April with further details. In the meantime, we send you our warmest wishes with appreciation for your enthusiastic response to the Call. We broke every record—a sign of “trust” in such a difficult moment and an invitation to strengthen our activities even more.
Lorenzo Casini and Rosalind Dixon
Co-Presidents of ICON·S