Monday, March 2, 2015

Second Conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights

Obviously the first conference was not a disaster because they're doing it again. 

Second Conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR)

“Bridging the Collaborative Gap”
September 25-27, 2015
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Call for Presentations

Earthquakes and tsunamis. Development-induced displacement. Armed conflict, terrorism, and human trafficking. Fifty-one million recognized refugees worldwide. Securitization, deportation, and criminalization regimes. Climate change and environmental chaos. Humanitarianism, human rights, and international criminal prosecutions. The quest for peace and justice. The age of the anthropocene. The world has no shortage of problems and possibilities associated with disasters, displacement and human rights. And they are not just academic.

The University of Tennessee issues a call for presentations for its second conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR). The 2015 conference theme is “Bridging the Collaborative Gap.” Collaborations within anthropology and across disciplines are increasingly vital for understanding the complexity of disasters, displacement, and human rights issues today. In both local settings and across the globe, from the distant past to anticipations of the future, communities of diverse experiences and aspirations directly confront the problems that preoccupy academic researchers. The 2015 DDHR conference aims to problematize and foster the practice of collaboration among academic disciplines and with DDHR-affected communities.

The organizers encourage the participation of researchers, practitioners, and students who address the broad themes of disasters, displacement and human rights from a range of perspectives, time periods, and contexts. We especially seek contributions from international researchers and practitioners who exemplify collaboration and/or cross-training within and/or outside of anthropology. Finally, they solicit the participation of members of affected communities, especially those who have worked closely with anthropologists and other researchers and professionals.

Abstract submissions of no more than 250 words are invited for individual paper and poster presentations. We also invite abstracts for panel submissions and roundtables, which should include a 250-word abstract for the panel or roundtable theme and the names of participants with titles and brief (100 word) descriptions of presentations. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • -  Development and development forced displacement and resettlement (DFDR)
  • -  Migration, detention, and deportation
  • -  Refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people
  • -  Climate change and the anthropocene
  • -  Natural and anthropogenic disasters
  • -  Torture, human trafficking, and other human rights violations
  • -  Transitional Justice and other alternative justice models
  • -  International human rights law and practice
  • -  Critical humanitarianism
  • -  Policy, politics, and international relations
  • -  Peace and conflict
While submissions that directly engage with the main conference theme are appreciated, the committee will consider other topics and approaches related to the study of disasters, displacement, and human rights. Panel and roundtable proposals will be prioritized based on their demonstration of interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, or inter-sub-disciplinary approaches. Please send abstracts by e-mail attachment no later than March 16th, 2015 to the Conference Steering Committee at: ddhr [at] Submissions should include the following information in the body of the e-mail: name, department and university (if applicable), title of paper, and audio-visual requirements. If your paper is being submitted as part of a proposed panel or for consideration under a specific theme, please include the proposed panel title or theme under the title of the paper on the abstract. If possible, panel submissions should be made by a single panel organizer.

Hat tip to Jonathan Todres


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UCC Wins Ireland National Round of Jessup

Irish Jessup 15Congratulations to the team from University College Cork (UCC), who won the Irish national rounds of the Jessup moot court competition this weekend!  As the "President" of the International Court of Justice in the final round, I had the honor of presenting the trophy to the winning team.  All of the competitors were outstanding and deserve high praise for their poise and persuasive legal arguments. 


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IACHR Initiates Case Against Ecuador at Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Recently, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or Commission) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) alleging that Ecuador had failed to fulfill its obligations in investigating the death of Luis Jorge Valencia Hinojosa (Luis Valencia), a police officer who was killed in the context of a law enforcement operation. Specifically, the IACHR concluded that the criminal investigation was not carried out in a reasonable period of time, and the use of the police criminal justice system constituted a failure to recognize the right to an independent and impartial judge. In addition, the investigation was not carried out with due diligence, despite evidence indicating that those responsible for the death had been the police officers conducting the operation. In particular, the IACHR determined that the State did not take sufficient steps to clarify whether Luis Valencia's death was a suicide or an extrajudicial execution.

The IACHR also determined that Luis Valencia’s death was attributable to the State of Ecuador because the official investigation carried out was incompatible with the American Convention and there was no State response to explain what had happened. Specifically, the Commission considered that a lack of regulation, planning, and oversight led to an environment ripe for the improper and excessive use of force. Moreover, the Commission concluded that the police officers exercised deadly force in a way that was unnecessary and disproportionate, because they did not have a legal framework regarding the use of force in police operations. The Commission stated that the available evidence indicated that the death could have been caused by a shot fired by one of the police officers during the operation. The IACHR also found that, even under a theory of suicide, the deliberate use of deadly force to “intimidate” Luis Valencia could have caused him to be fearful and frightened, which could have been determining factors in his eventual decision to end his life. As a result, the Commission determined that, in either of the two scenarios, the actions of the State agents were incompatible with the obligations derived from the right to life.

In its Admissibility and Merits Report on the case, the IACHR concluded that the right to life of Luis Valencia had been violated, as had the rights of his widow, Patricia Alexandra Trujillo Esparza, to a fair trial, to judicial protection, and to humane treatment. The Commission submitted the case to the Inter-American Court because the Commission deemed that Ecuador had not complied with the recommendations contained in the Commission’s Merits Report. In that report, the IACHR recommended that the State of Ecuador conduct a complete and effective investigation into the human rights violations found by the Commission; provide adequate reparation for these violations, both in the material and moral sense; and adopt legislative, administrative, and other measures to ensure that the use of force by agents of the State is compatible with the standards described in the report.

According to an IACHR press release, "this case will enable the Inter-American Court to expand its case law on the use of force by security agents of the State, specifically as it relates to preventive actions and those taken when force is used. In addition, the Court will be able to express its opinion on the minimum standards of diligence that an investigation must meet. Finally, the Court will be able to delve into the evidential implications, in international human rights law, in cases in which there are indications of arbitrary use of force and in which the State fails to conduct a proper investigation."


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting in DC

The early bird deadline for the ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting expires March 16, 2015.


The 2015 Spring Meeting will be held in the beautiful and historic city of Washington, DC from April 28 - May 2, 2015. Join over 1,200 leading attorneys, corporate counsel, government officials, academics and NGO lawyers for four days of networking and programming on the latest international legal and ethics issues. On Tuesday, you can also attend a special workshop at the Law Library of Congress.


The 2015 Spring Meeting will offer you:

  • Cutting edge programming and an entire year's worth of CLE including nearly 70 substantive concurrent panel sessions that will cover themes including: Business, Disputes, Energy/Environment, Intellectual Property, Law Practice and Human Rights.
  • Opportunities to learn from top legal experts and hear from world class speakers including:  Bill Browder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Hermitage Capital Management; International Court of Justice Judge Joan Donoghue; and United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
  • Networking opportunities with thought leaders and experts, policy makers, key international enforcers, decision makers and international leaders in the law.

Save on your registration by taking advantage of early bird rates before March 16th! Registration rates are further discounted for young lawyers (35 years and under), full time government and NGO employees, academics, law students, corporate counsel, solo / small practice and retired attorneys, and members of the ABA Section of International Law and cooperating entities (like the American Branch of the International Law Association, for example).

Hat tip to Houston Putnam Lowry of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA)


March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reminder of Call for Proposals for International Law Weekend 2015

Deadline: March 20, 2015

The sponsors of International Law Weekend 2015 (ILW 2015) invite proposals for panels, roundtables, and lectures. ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held on November 5-7, 2015, in New York City.

ILW is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) – which welcomes new members from academia, the practicing bar, and the diplomatic world – and the International Law Students Association (ILSA). This annual conference attracts an audience of more than eight hundred academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and foreign policy and law students.

Call for Proposals

The unifying theme for ILW 2015 is Global Problems, Legal Solutions: Challenges for Contemporary International Lawyers.

ILW 2015 will explore the many roles that international law plays in addressing global challenges. The aim is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about the ways in which international law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues. ILW 2015 will offer engaging panels on current problems and innovative solutions in both public and private international law.

The ILW Organizing Committee invites proposals to be submitted online on or before Friday, March 20, 2015 by clicking here to use the ILW Panel Proposal Submission Form.

Panel proposals may concern any aspect of contemporary international law and practice, including:

  • international arbitration,
  • international environmental law,
  • national security,
  • cyber law,
  • use of force,
  • human rights and humanitarian law,
  • international organizations,
  • international criminal law,
  • international intellectual property,
  • the law of the sea,
  • space law,and
  • transnational commercial and trade law.

When submitting your proposal, please identify the primary areas of international law that your proposed panel will address. We also ask that you provide a brief description of the topic, and the names, titles, and affiliations of the chair and likely speakers. One of the objectives of ILW 2015 is to promote new dialogues among scholars and practicing lawyers, so all panels should include presenters with diverse experiences and perspectives.

On the submission form, you will be asked to describe what you think would be the most engaging and exciting format for your proposed program. The organizers encourage suggestions of varied formats, such as debates, roundtables, lectures, and break-out groups, as well as the usual practice of panel presentations. Additionally, they encourage you to consider taking the necessary steps to qualify your panel for CLE credit. They hope to offer at least seven panels qualifying for CLE.

ILW 2015

ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held at 42 West 44th Street on Thursday evening, November 5, and at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center on November 6-7, 2015. The ABILA Annual meeting will also be held during ILW 2015 at the same location.

The audience will include practitioners, academics, UN diplomats, business leaders, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, writers, journalists, and interested citizens. We plan to have a broad array of both public international law and private international law topics in each program timeslot. For questions regarding ILW 2015, please contact

2015 ILW Program Committee Members

  • Chiara Giorgetti, Assistant Professor of Law Faculty Director, LLM Program Richmond School of Law
  • David P. Stewart, President, ABILA, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Santiago Villalpando, Acting Chief, Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs United Nations
  • Jeremy Sharpe, Chief of Investment Arbitration Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State
  • Tessa Walker, Programs Director, ILSA

Hat tip to David Stewart


March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Russian Opposition Politician Murdered in Moscow

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov (Бори́с Ефи́мович Немцо́в) was assassinated on February 27 in central Moscow by unknown assailants.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon stated and that Mr. Ban expected the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The Secretary-General also expressed his deepest condolences to Mr. Nemtsov's family, friends and supporters.

March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 1st is "Zero Discrimination Day"

ZeroDiscriminationUNAIDS has kicked off the 2015 global edition of Zero Discrimination Day as part of the Organization's wider effort to spur solidarity towards ending discrimination.  This year's theme Open Up, Reach Out encourages all members of the international community to unite under the banner of diversity and celebrate each other's difference in an authoritative rejection of discrimination in all its forms.

Zero Discrimination Day, observed annually on 1 March, draws attention to the millions who still suffer from social and economic exclusion due to prejudice and intolerance. Millions of women and girls in every region of the world, for instance, experience violence and abuse on a daily basis and struggle to access adequate health care and education.

Almost 80 countries still have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations while some 38 countries, territories, and areas impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. Furthermore, legal and social environments are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection.

UNAIDS estimated that 35 million people globally were living with HIV in 2013, while 2.1 million people became newly infected with the virus and 1.5 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

“Some of the world's most challenging problems can be solved simply by eliminating stigma and discrimination,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “As we collectively strive for a fairer world we can be encouraged by the enthusiasm for achieving zero discrimination.”

The UN day will be marked by a number of events held around the world, with photo exhibitions in China, dancing in Gabon, concerts in Madagascar, a storytelling event for children in Mongolia and special film screenings in Nepal.

(adapted from a UN press release)


February 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The U.S. Continues its National Emergency With Respect to Cuba

The Executive Office of the President of the United States announced the continuation of the national emergency with respect to Cuba. FR11075

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.


February 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Trans-Pacfic Partnership

The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Repesentatives Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on expanding trade opportunities under the Trans-Pacific Partnership on March 4, 2015 at 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.


February 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S.-Ukraine Relations

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on relations between the U.S. and Ukraine on March 4, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.


February 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

News from the University of Lausanne's Centre for Comparative, European, and International Law (CDCEI)

LL.M. in International and European Economic and Commercial Law (Master of Advanced Studies): Registration now open for programmes starting in the Fall 2015 and the Spring 2016

The programme is for those who are interested in trade, investment, Intellectual Property, Competition, or Arbitration. Graduates work in leading law firms, international organizations, Government, NGOs, and multinational enterprises around the world. The programme is entirely taught in English, can be either taken full-time of part-time, and benefits from its location close to the headquarters of many international organizations, international law firms, and global companies in the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland. More information can be found by clicking here.


February 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Save the Date: International Law Association 2016 Meeting Will Be in South Africa

The 77th Biennial Conference of the International Law Association will take place from August 7- 11, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The theme will be 'International Law and State Practice: Is there a North/South Divide?' The official conference website address is and you can already register your interest in the conference. Further information and programme details will be added as and when they become available.

Hat tip to the South African Branch of the International Law Association (SABILA)


February 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WTO Dispute Resolution Panel Established in Latest EU-US Aircraft Dispute

In this latest development in the long-running saga between the United States (US) and European Union (EU) over subsidies provided to large commercial aircraft companies, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a dispute resolution panel to hear the EU's latest complaint regarding allegedly improper tax incentives provided by the U.S. State of Washington to a large commercial aircraft carrier (i.e., Boeing).  The EU invoked the "fast track" procedures available under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement, alleging that the conditional tax incentives constitute a prohibited subsidy under that Agreement.  The matter is referred to as US-Conditional Tax Incentives for Large Civil Aircraft (DS487).

In other WTO news, the WTO Dispute Resolution Body elected a new Chair - Ambassador Harald Neple of Norway.

For more information regarding other recent WTO activities relating to dispute resolution matters, visit the WTO website.


February 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Call for Submissions: Trade Law and Development

The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development [TL&D] is inviting original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Winter 2015 Issue of the Journal (Vol. 7, No. 2). The manuscripts may be in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments, and Book Reviews.

All manuscripts received by September 15, 2015, pertaining to any area within the purview of international economic law, will be reviewed by the editorial board for publication in the Winter 2015 issue.

TL&D aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. Towards these ends, we have published works by noted scholars such as Prof. Petros Mavroidis, Prof. Mitsuo Matsuhita, Prof. Raj Bhala, Prof. Joel Trachtman, Gabrielle Marceau, Simon Lester, Prof. Bryan Mercurio, Prof. E.U. Petersmann and Prof. M. Sornarajah among others. TL&D also has the distinction of being ranked the best journal in India across all fields of law for three consecutive years and the 10th best trade journal worldwide by Washington and Lee University, School of Law [The Washington & Lee Rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive in this regard].

For more information, please go through the submission guidelines available at TL&D.


February 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Labas from Lithuania!

Kaunas 1Your blog editors not only write about international law and international legal education the world, we also try to visit as many places as we reasonably can to check up on the state of global education for international law.  This week I'm in Kaunas, Lithuania teaching an International Civil Litigation Class at the Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law, where 106 students have signed up to take the course. 

Pictured here with me are some of the faculty members teaching at Vytautas Magnus.

Blog Co-Editor Cindy Buys meanwhile is in the United Kingdom.  Look for her reports in the coming months on legal education in Wales and beyond.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

February 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Scholarships for the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice

The International Peace and Security Institute is offering a prestigious and specialized scholarship for exceptional law students to attend the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions and International Justice. In this summer’s symposium, participants will engage in an intense and academically-rigorous three weeks of interactive lecture, discussion, and experiential education led by political leaders, scholars, practitioners, and international law advocates.

Through a generous contribution from the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) is offering two Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Scholarships for the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice. Each scholarship is worth $2500 each.

Students who match the criteria (click here to Download Dorsey Whitney Scholarship 2015) and who demonstrate passion for the field of international law and post-conflict strategies are encouraged to apply. But hurry, because the deadline for the scholarship application is February 27.

If you have any questions about IPSI, our leadership, or the 2015 Hague Symposium, please contact Taylor Rockoff at trockoff [at]

Hat tip to Kate Elci, Program Director, International Peace & Security Institute



February 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Career Advice for Intenational Lawyers and Law Students

Here's a link to an article of mine from the ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law that may include some useful career advice.  It's on the Social Science Research Network (an often-overlooked and highly useful source for legal research if you don't know it).  Create a free account and download the article to read it.

Practical Career Advice for Young International Lawyers: How to Build a Killer Resume, Network Effectively, Create Your Own Opportunities, and Live Happily Ever After


February 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UN Secretary-General Meets With Ukraine's Foreign Minister

Ki-moon-ukraineThe United Nations Secretary-General met yesterday in New York with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, to discuss the conflict in the east of that country.

The two discussed the UN's humanitarian and human rights work in affected areas and they agreed on the need for urgent and full implementation of the 12 February 'Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreement,' including a lasting and durable cease-fire and immediate withdrawal of heavy weaponry.

Last week, the Council endorsed the so-called 'Package of Measures' with the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2202 (2015) and called on all parties to the conflict to fully implement the cessation of hostilities, as the UN human rights office expressed concern over reported shelling and trapped civilians in the country's east.

Measures outlined in the text also included the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under the monitoring of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the disarmament of all illegal groups.

On the subject of a peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine, the Secretary-General noted that the UN would be guided by the Security Council on the matter and reiterated his full support toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

UN Press Release / UN Photo of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine /Eskinder Debebe

February 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Texas or England? The Contact's Choice of Forum Clause Can Bind Non-Parties to a Contract, Even When the Chosen Law Will Not Allow the Cause of Action

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reminds us in a new decision that a choice of forum clause in a contract can bind entities that are not parties to that contract.  You may have to sue in England instead of Texas after all, even if English law won't allow the cause of action you're trying to bring.  Click here to read the majority and dissenting opinions in the new case of In re Lloyd's Register North America, No. 14-20554 (5th Cir. Feb. 18, 2015).


February 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Rules for Enforcing European Judgments Within Europe (and a Small Reminder About the Hague Choice of Courts Convention)

European Union Regulation 44/2001 has been updated by European Union Regulation 1215/2012, a regulation adopted on December 12, 2012 (hey, that was 12/12/12) and that became effective last month on January 10, 2015.  It has some substantial improvements over the earlier procedures to enforce judgments within Europe and contains some important protections for both plaintiffs and defendants.  Do a quick google search for the new regulation and you'll find plenty of commentary on the new rules.

The EU regulation has been described as the equivalent of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which allows enforcement of one U.S. state’s judgment within another U.S. state.  For judgments outside the United States, the judicial doctrine of comity applies as there is yet no treaty in force requiring U.S. courts to recognize foreign judgments (or requiring foreign courts to recognize U.S. judgments).

There is such a treaty drafted, however:  The Hague Choice of Courts Convention adopted in June  2005.  It has not yet entered into force even though it requires only two states to become parties.  Mexico lead the way by its accession in September 2007, so only one other party is necessary.  

Who might be that next party?  The United States signed the Choice of Courts Convention in January 2009 and the European Union signed in April 2009.  (The treaty allows signatures by individual countries or by regional units like the European Union -- that itself is an important development in treaty law.)  



February 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)