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31 May 2023 - 2 June 2023

9:00AM - 6:00PM

The Royal Geographical Society and The National Archives, London, UK

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IBRU Professional Training Workshop

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Participants exploring documents at The National Archives

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Workshop Details

International territorial disputes usually arise due to differing interpretations of a wide range of complex historical, geographical, political and legal information. The key to success in negotiations or third-party adjudication to settle such disputes is the effective use of evidence to support your claims and build a more convincing case than your neighbour. In addition, most countries’ archives contain a wealth of material relating to international boundaries, much of which can be crucial to the understanding of boundary and territorial disputes. However, the size and complexity of many archives means that finding relevant material and compiling an accurate picture of the key issues is rarely a straightforward task. 

Treaties, travaux preparatoires, diplomatic correspondence, administrative records, maps, survey reports, diaries and ethnographic studies are just some of the many sources of evidence that have had a critical bearing on the outcome of boundary, sovereignty and maritime jurisdictional disputes. Using case studies and practical exercises led by leading practitioners, this workshop will provide participants with advice and skills in assembling, assessing and presenting evidence to ensure a favourable outcome for your country.

This workshop, led by experienced archivists, researchers and case managers, is designed to help participants appreciate how evidence and archive material can be used to help build a case, and to provide practical guidance on how to make the best possible use of time available for gathering evidence and archive research. 

The workshop will be held at The Royal Geographical Society and will include a visit to The National Archives.

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Workshop Flyer

Cover of flyer for IBRU workshop

IBRU Workshop Flyer Evidence & Archive Research


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Workshop Tutors

Dr Juliette Desplat, Head of Modern Overseas Records, The National Archives

Dr Naomi Hart, Essex Chambers

Dr Ben Juratowitch KC, Essex Court Chambers 

Professor Martin Pratt, Director, Bordermap Consulting Ltd

Professor Richard Schofield, Senior Lecturer in Boundary Studies, Department of Geography, Kings College London

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Workshop Programme

Wednesday 31 May 

At the Royal Geographical Society


  • The ongoing significance of international boundaries
  • Boundary & territorial disputes and their resolution
  • The importance of archives for understanding international boundaries

Title to territory and the role of evidence in demonstrating title

  • Sources of title to territory
  • The signofocance of evidence in domonstrating title
  • Key types of evidence
  • Case studies

Managing research and building a case

  • Coordinating research
  • Evaluating and organising evidence
  • Presenting archive evidence in negotiations and third-party adjudications

Map research

  • The evidentiary value of maps
  • Map archives
  • Practicalities of map research
  • Evaluating and presenting map evidence

Boundary tales from the archives

  • State acts during the evolution of disputes
  • Over-reliance on the colonial record
  • Case studies from the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean

Thursday 1 June

Visit to The National Archives

Welcome and Introduction to TNA

Maps and other records for boundary research

Orientation tour and document display

Research exercise


Friday 2 June

At the Royal Geographical Society

Showcase of research resources at the RGS

Opportunity for personal research

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What is included in the workshop cost

In addition to tuition and all course materials, the fee covers the following: 

  • Lunch and refreshment breaks 
  • 1 evening dinner . 

The Venues

The Royal Geographical Society ( 31 May and 2 June)

The National Archives (1 June)


Please note, accommodation is not included in the workshop fee. 

Accommodation is readily available in London to suit all budgets.

For a list of hotels near to the Royal Geographical Society, the venue for the workshop, please contact IBRU


You are expected to organise your own travel arrangements to London. Please be aware that if you require a visa to visit the United Kingdom you will be required to apply for your own visa for entry in to the country. Please allow enough time for your visa to be processed before the start of the workshop. A letter on invitation can be provided to support your visa application. 


Teaching and workshop materials will be in English. 


Cancellations must be received in writing not later than the 12 May 2023 and will be subject to a £250 cancellation fee, unless a substitute participant is offered. After this date the full registration fee will be charged for all cancellations. 

Programme changes 

IBRU reserves the right to modify the programme as necessary, without notice to participants. 

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£2,340 per person (£1,950+VAT)


The cost of the workshop will be £2,340 per participant. Payment can only be accepted in £ sterling or by major credit and debit cards. Full payment must be received prior to the workshop.


Where and when


We will be visiting The Royal Geographical Society and The National Archives.