An initiative of this kind is badly needed. It is trite that 21st century globalisation is characterised by an interpenetration of domestic public law and international law. It is also characterised by shifting boundaries between public and private spheres of activity at both the international and national levels. The concept of 'global constitutionalism' is used by some in an attempt to capture the implications of these developments for one or both spheres but does not do them justice. Terms of this kind draw attention to the reality of some significant change but mask disagreement over its extent, nature and consequences. Generalisation has inhibited a deeper understanding of what really is going on in this complex and diverse terrain. Focussed dialogue between public lawyers and international lawyers is needed to pool knowledge and share perspectives and to examine how, in present conditions, the two bodies of law and practice can and should co-exist. This event is designed to provide the impetus for a more informed debate which connects theory and doctrine with practice, drawing on the insights that case studies provide.