1st Edition

Queer Engagements with International Law Times, Spaces, Imaginings

Edited By Claerwen O'Hara, Tamsin Phillipa Paige Copyright 2025
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores times, spaces, and imaginings relating to international law through the lens of queer theory.

    For some time now, queer theorists and legal scholars who think with queer theory have asked, what happens when queer theory moves out of its home base of gender and sexuality? The chapters in this book begin to answer this question by applying insights from queer theory to a diverse array of international law topics, from travaux préparatoires and international judging to the environment, oceans and outer space. While some contributions maintain a focus on gender and sexual diversity, all are characterised by a shift away from questions about LGBTIQA+ people towards wider discussions about power, normality, difference and liberation in international law. Through these engagements, the book demonstrates how queer theory can provide insights into a range of international law issues by allowing us to ‘make strange’ the taken-for-granted and contributing to a broader practice of reading for difference rather than dominance. The book engages with contemporary challenges in international law, from the climate crisis to new military technologies, such as automated naval vessels. It also showcases the diversity of approaches to queering international law that are emerging, with some authors drawing attention to the violence of (neo-)colonial international law and others engaging in more utopian and reparative thinking.

    This collection of queer theoretical engagements with international law will be invaluable to scholars of international law and international relations with an interest in critical approaches to these areas; as well as to researchers, activists and practitioners working in cultural, gender, queer, and/or postcolonial studies.

    1.     Reaching Out Towards the Horizon: Queer Engagements with International Law Beyond Queer Theory’s Site of Origin

    Claerwen O’Hara and Tamsin Phillipa Paige

    PART 1:

    Queering New Spaces in International Law: The Environment, Oceans and Outer Space

    2.     Challenging International Environmental Law’s Heteronormativity and Anthropocentrism: Towards Queer Kinship

    Emily Jones

    3.     Oceans versus Ghost Fleets

    Gina Heathcote

    4.     On Straightening and Subversion: A Queer Feminist Exploration of International Space Law and Politics

    Claerwen O’Hara and Cris van Eijk

    PART 2:

    Queer Encounters with Temporality and Coloniality in International Law

    5.     International Law, Coloniality and the Temporal Otherwise

    Vanja Hamzić

    6.     Rewriting Queer Markers of Identity: International Cultural Heritage Law, Criminalisation, and the Other

    Lucas Lixinski

    7.     The Filipina in the Shadows of International Law: A Case Study of Philippine Court Decisions

    Ruby Rosselle L. Tugade

    PART 3:

    Queering International Law’s Imaginaries: Reflections on Legal Myths and Methods

    8.     Queering (Un)Certainty in International Criminal Law: Reflections on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

    Caitlin Biddolph

    9.     Uncloseting Travaux

    Cris van Eijk

    10.  Queer Judging, Straight Up: The Queer Judge and Judicial Systems

    Joanne Stagg

    PART 4:

    Queering Ourselves: Experimenting with Genre in Legal Academia

    11.  Repairing (The) International Law (Conference): The Affordances of Theatre

    Danish Sheikh


    Claerwen O’Hara is Lecturer at La Trobe Law School, La Trobe University, Australia.

    Tamsin Phillipa Paige is Senior Lecturer at Deakin Law School, Deakin University, Australia.