Michel Erpelding has been awarded the dissertation prize of the Sorbonne Doctoral Law School

3 July 2018

On June 27th 2018, the Department of International and European Law of the École doctorale de droit de la Sorbonne (EDDS) awarded its annual dissertation prize to Michel Erpelding, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law.

With around 40 faculty members and more than 250 PhD candidates, the EDDS's Department of International and European Law constitutes one of France's biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of private international law, public international law, as well as European and EU law.

Michel Erpelding's thesis, entitled "The International Anti-Slavery Law of 'Civilized Nations' (1815-1945)", focuses on the origins of the prohibition of slavery in international law, situated prior to the emergence of international human rights. The study is based on a systematic survey of relevant State practice, including more than 450 slavery-related treaties. It addresses the ultimately unsuccessful attempts of Western nations to establish a strict distinction between 'actual slavery' and forced labour in international law.

Prepared at Sorbonne Law School (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) under the supervision of Professor Emmanuelle Tourme Jouannet and defended on March 22nd 2017, Michel Erpelding's thesis was published in December 2017, after winning Varenne University Institute's Dissertation prize in the field of human rights. In May 2018, it was awarded Jacques Mourgeon Prize of the Société française pour le droit international (SFDI).