Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Appellate Chamber of International Criminal Court (ICC) affirmed the suspension of the first trial to come before the court Some people saw that as a failure of the court, but it actually is not. It shows that the court will consider the legal rights of defendants. The court is not a rubber stamp for any one, but a serious, independent institution that demands respect.
Is it unfortunate that the first case brought before the ICC has been dismissed? Yes, of course. This is a tragedy for the victims and for everyone who was waiting to see this case go to trial. In the long term, this setback may mean that future cases are prepared differently (if they can be, given the difficult circumstances under which investigators work). The problem arose because the investigators obtained documents on condition of confidentiality, and the court found it unfair not to share everything with the defendant. Read more here in a press release:
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT CONFIRMS DECISION TO HALT TRIAL OF CONGOLESE REBEL
The International Criminal Court (ICC) today confirmed its earlier decision to suspend the trial of a Congolese rebel leader accused of recruiting child soldiers to serve in his militia, but ordered that he remain in detention pending another hearing.
In a ruling issued in The Hague, the ICC’s five-member appeals chamber unanimously dismissed an appeal by prosecutors against the trial chamber’s decision in June to stay the proceedings against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
But a majority of the appeals chamber reversed an earlier ruling regarding Mr. Lubanga’s release and ordered that the trial chamber hold a new hearing to determine whether he stay in custody or be released with or without conditions.
Mr. Lubanga, the founder and leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots in the Ituri region of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was charged with a series of war crimes, including conscripting and enlisting child soldiers into the military wing of his group and then using them to participate in hostilities between September 2002 and August 2003.
The trial of Mr. Lubanga was due to have been the first to be held by the ICC, and it had been scheduled to begin on 23 June this year.
Announcing its rulings today, the appeal judges backed the view of the trial chamber that there was no prospect that a fair trial of Mr. Lubanga could be held because prosecutors had failed to disclose more than 200 documents to the defence containing evidence that could potentially have exonerated the rebel leader.
“The prosecutor had obtained the documents in question from several information providers, in particular from the United Nations, on the confidentiality, and these information providers had refused to consent to their disclosure to the defence and, in most instances, to the trial chamber,” according to a press release issued by the ICC.
In its decision on whether Mr. Lubanga should remain in detention, the appeals chamber said the trial chamber had been wrong to find that an accused person’s unconditional release was the inevitable consequence of a stay on proceedings or the only correct course to be taken.
The Association of American Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods is soliciting articles related to teaching for the next issue of the section's electronic newsletter. Also invited are recommendations regarding new books, articles, videos, or websites related to law teaching. Articles should be approximately 500 words. The deadline is Friday, October 31, 2008. Please send your submission (electronically) to Melissa H. Weresh, Professor of Law and Director of Legal Writing at Drake University Law School. Click here to send her an email.
The American Society of International Law and the Public International Law and Policy Group will hold an evening discussion with Michael Newton and Michael Scharf, authors of the new book, Enemy of the State -- The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein. The program will be moderated by the Elizabeth Anderson, Executive Director of the American Society of Interational Law (ASIL). The event will be held on Wednesday, October 29, 2008, starting at 5:30 p.m., at The American Society of International Law, 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008.
This event is free, but space is limited, and registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. To register, click here.
Hat tip to Craig Berry
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin is reporting that the U.S. government has given $5.1 million in grants to the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law to improve human rights organizations and legal education in Iraq.
Seton Hall University School of Law's Center for Health and Pharmaceutical Law, the Gibbons Institute of Law, and the Seton Hall Law Review will host a symposium on October 23-24, 2008, to examine the legal, ethical, and public policy issues related to developing a pharmaceutical response to an influenza pandemic. Panels will explore the development and approval of vaccines and antiviral drugs, both before and during a pandemic; the allocation of vaccines and antiviral drugs in situations of scarcity; and issues related to international equity. For more information, contact Michael J. Ricciardelli by clicking here.
We're quickly approaching 10,000 visits to the International Law Prof Blog. When we started this blog, we knew it would be of interest to law professors in the United States. But we are especially pleased to have readers from around the world, including countries where direct communication is sometimes otherwise difficult. We thank you for your visits and contributions. Pease continue to send us news of conferences, legal scholarship, moot court competitions, international exchange opportunities, and important developments in international law.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The World Trade Organization is reporting that the number of antidumping investigations increased by 39 percent over the corresponding period for the previous year. Some 16 WTO members initiated 85 new investigations in the first six months of 2008, compared to 61 investigations in the corresponding period last year.
Dumping occurs when a manufacturer in one country exports a product to another country at a price either below the price it charges in the home country market or below its cost of production. There are many reasons why this might happen, but those reasons are largely unimportant. What matters for purposes of the antidumping law is simply the "dumping margin."
The most investigations were into alleged dumping of products in the base metal sector (21 initiations), followed by textiles (20 initiations), and chemicals (10 initiations).
Turkey recorded the highest number of initiations, with 13, followed by the United States, India, Argentina, the European Communities, Brazil, Australia and Colombia.
China was the most frequent subject of new investigations, with 37 – or nearly half the entire total – directed at its exports. Thailand was the subject of 7 investigations, and the European Communities and Indonesia were each the subject of 5 investigations.
The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HIL) has issued two calls for research proposals on the topics of (1) Private Actors and Self-Regulation and (2) New Transnational Constitutionality. The subject of the first topic concerns corporate regulation with a transnational dimension, with norms created by private or public actors (including intergovernmental organizations). The core research question regarding the second project on New Transnational Constitutionality is how to make informal international public policy-making be made more democratic and accountable.
The total amounts HIL reserves for research grants to be awarded pursuant to these Calls are Euro 400,000 and Euro 200,000, respectively. For more information, click here.
A great resource for country-specific information is the U.S. State Department series of Background Notes. It won't have all the information you need about a country, but each issue does have a lot of very useful information. They are updated regularly and you can subscribe to email updates for particular countries of interest or the whole series. Click here for the recent update for Japan. Or click here to see the recently updated report for South Korea.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has given prosecutors one month to submit additional materials related to their request for an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes, including genocide, in the strife-torn Darfur region. The ICC pre-trial chamber issued a decision requesting prosecutors submit the additional supporting material relating to the arrest warrant by 17 November. Click here to read more.
The U.N. General Assembly has elected Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting on 1 January next year. They will replace Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa when their terms on the 15-member body expire at the end of this year. Election to the Security Council is by secret ballot in the U.N. General Assembly. To be a winning candidate, a country must receive two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Formal balloting takes place even where there is only one declared candidate per available seat for a region.
In the African category, Uganda received 181 votes from the 192 members of the General Assembly. Madagascar, which was not a declared candidate, received two votes. Mexico was the only declared candidate in the Latin American and Caribbean grouping, and it picked up 185 votes. Brazil received one vote and there were six abstentions.
In the African category, Uganda received 181 votes from the 192 members of the General Assembly. Madagascar, which was not a declared candidate, received two votes. Mexico was the only declared candidate in the Latin American and Caribbean grouping, and it picked up 185 votes. Brazil received one vote and there were six abstentions.(mew)
Friday, October 17, 2008
The American Society of International Law's International Legal Theory Interest Group will hold a program on "Distributive Justice and International Economic Law." The program is supported by the University of Baltimore School of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law, Boston College Law School, and University of La Verne College of Law. The speakers include Daniel Butt (Oxford), Jeff Dunoff (Temple/Harvard), Carol Gould (Temple), Robert Hockett (Cornell), Aaron James (UC Irvine), Jan Klabbers (Helsinki), Chin Leng Lim (Hong Kong), Sanjay Reddy (Columbia), Kamal Saggi (Southern Methodist), Barbara Stark (West Virginia) Fernando Tesón (Florida State), Chantal Thomas (Cornell/Am. U. Cairo), and Joel Trachtman (Tufts). The all-day event will be Friday, November 7, 2008 at the ASIL, 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008.
Here's a link to a popular article on Practical Career Advice for Young International Attorneys: How to Build a Killer Resume, Network Effectively, Create Your Own Opportunities, and Live Happily Ever After. Click on the link, and then on "Download."
And here are links to other articles that law students have found helpful. Click on the link, and then on "Download." You might have to register your email address, but it is not a big deal to do so and you'll then have access to the great research resources on SSRN.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Venue: Seattle, WADate: December 2-3, 2008Learn more/register:http://www.buyusa.gov/seattle/bis.html
Designed to help companies create or enhance their export compliance programs, the seminar will focus on industry best practices of effective export management and compliance programs. The objective is to help companies efficiently manage their export compliance requirements by implementing strategies and safeguards that can minimize the risk of an export violation. Officials from the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Census Bureau and the State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls will conduct the seminar.
Event: PACK EXPO International 2008/U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program (IBP)Venue: Chicago, ILDates: November 9-13, 2008Learn more: http://www.packexpo.comPACK EXPO International 2008 will focus on the latest developments in packaging technology and will showcase exhibitors’ state-of-the-art advance in packaging machinery, converting machinery, materials, packages and containers and components. PACK EXPO 2008 will feature over 1700 companies and will host over 30,000 decision-makers from over 125 countries. PROCESS EXPO will be co-located with PACK EXPO and will feature over 550 exhibiting companies. PROCESS EXPO will focus on the newest developments in processing technology to meet the challenges faced by the industry's food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers. If you are exhibiting at the shows, please visit the International Business Center to take advantage of the services provided to exhibitors by the IBP, including export counseling, matchmaking services, and access to industry and country specific market analysis..
Date: November 4, 2008Learn more/register: http://www.buyusa.gov/northeastohio/aesseminar.htmlOn September 30, 2008, the Census Bureau’s new Foreign Trade Regulations requiring mandatory filing of export information through the Automated Export System (AES) went into effect. This seminar will help you understand the export regulations, your responsibilities under the laws, the filing of required export information through AES, and Schedule B classification requirements..Venue: Your computerDate: November 6, 2008Time: 11:00 am ETLearn more/register: http://www.buyusa.gov/europe/team_ev! ents.htmlREACH is a major reform of EU chemicals policy, affecting all global supply chains that produce and use chemicals, including sectors like electronic and electrical equipment, automotive, aerospace, cosmetics, textiles, and paints. December 1, 2008 is the deadline for REACH pre-registration. Failure to pre-register means that these chemicals will be banned for export to Europe. This event will address important questions surrounding REACH, including deadlines and timelines, pre-registration, the Candidate List, new developments in REACH, and appointing Only Representatives..Venue: Your computerDate: November 12, 2008Time: 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT! Cost: $45 Learn more/register: http://www.buyusa.gov/pacificsouth/mexicowebinar.html
The U.S. Commercial Service is collaborating with Comerica Bank and FedEx to bring you an informational webinar on exporting to Mexico. You will learn how to find buyers, get paid, and ship your goods. For new-to-export companies, learn to mitigate risks and challenges in structuring your financial interactions in Mexico. Topics will include an overview of the Mexican market and business opportunities; an introduction to export finance and insurance payments; and transportation and logistics according to NAFTA regulations.
,Thinking About Expanding Your International Sales? Think Thailand Thailand is the United States' 24th largest trading partner. Two-way trade in 2007 was approximately $31 billion. From 2006-2007, U.S. exports to Thailand grew by 4 percent. Thailand’s economic growth has created opportunities for U.S. compan! ies in a number of infrastructure sectors, including electrical power, telecommunications and renewable energy. Thai consumers are creating opportunities for new sales of U.S. medical products, cosmetics, security equipment, food supplements and educational services. Thailand also continues to look for U.S. suppliers of automotive accessories, defense equipment, broadcast equipment, food processing and packaging equipment, and laboratory and scientific instruments. Learn more about this market: http://www.export.gov/articles/marketofmonth/mom_thai.asp.Looking for a comprehensive overview of how to export? For more than 70 years, A Basic Guide to Exporting has been the resource that businesses have turned to for answers to their questions about how to establish and grow overseas markets for their products and services. Whether your firm is new to exporting or in need of a refresher on the latest ideas and techniques, this comprehensive guide, now completely revised and updated, provides the nuts-and-bolts information you will need to meet the challenges of the world economy. Due out in late October, advance orders are being accepted at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/actions/GetPublication.do?stocknumber=003-009-00733-0.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In an 8-7 vote today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an Order for provisional measures in the Case Concerning the Application of the Convention Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) brought by Georgia against the Russia Federation. In its August 2008 Application to the Court, Georgia alleged that the Russian Federation, acting through its own organs and through South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist forces under Russia's direction and control, "has practised, sponsored and supported racial discrimination through attacks against, and mass-expulsion of, ethnic Georgians, as well as other ethnic groups, in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of the Republic of Georgia." Georgia further alleged that the Russian Federation seeks to consolidate changes in the ethnic composition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia resulting from its actions "by preventing the return to South Ossetia and Abkhazia of forcibly displaced ethnic Georgian citizens and by undermining Georgia’s capacity to exercise jurisdiction in this part of its territory." Georgia contends that "[t]he changed demographic situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is intended to provide the foundation for the unlawful assertion of independence from Georgia by the de facto South Ossetian and Abkhaz separatist authorities."
In reponse, Russia contends that Georgia has failed to respect the peoples' right of self-determination in those territories. Russia also claims that it has acted as a mediator and a guarantor of peace and security in the region and has not engaged in discrimination within the meaning of CERD. Moreover, Russia alleges that CERD is limited in its territorial application as well as its scope and does not apply to this dispute.
In its Order, the ICJ first determined that it has jurisdiction pursuant to the dispute resolution clause (Article 22) of CERD because there is a disagreement between States parties to the CERD as to the scope and application of the treaty. The Court further states that its "power to indicate provisional measures under Article 41 of the Statute of the Court has as its object the preservation of the respective rights of the parties pending the decision of the Court, in order to ensure that irreparable prejudice shall not be caused to rights which are the subject of dispute in judicial proceedings." The Court further states that the Court is not called upon to establish the existence of breaches of CERD, but to determine whether the circumstances require the indication of provisional measures for the protection of rights under CERD. At this stage, the Court is not making definitive findings of fact or finding of attribution. Nevertheless, the Court states that "the rights in question in these proceedings, in particular those stipulated in Article 5, paragraphs (b) and (d) (i) of CERD, are of such a nature that prejudice to them could be irreparable; . . .the Court considers that violations of the right to security of persons and of the right to protection by the State against violence or bodily harm (Article 5, paragraph (b)) could involve potential loss of life or bodily injury and could therefore cause irreparable prejudice; . . . the Court further considers that violations of the right to freedom of movement and residence within a State’s borders (Article 5, paragraph (d) (i)) could also cause irreparable prejudice in situations where the persons concerned are exposed to privation, hardship, anguish and even danger to life and health; and . . . the Court finds that individuals forced to leave their own place of residence and deprived of their right of return could, depending on the circumstances, be subject to a serious risk of irreparable prejudice." Therefore, the Court finds that the indication of provisional measures is required for the protection of rights under CERD. The ICJ calls on both parties to refrain from any acts of racial discrimination and to ensure, without distinction as to national or ethnic origin, the security of all persons, the right of freedom or movement and residence, and the protection of property of displaced persons and refugees.
Clarity is an international organization promoting plain legal language. There are 1,019 members in 52 countries and jurisdictions (depending on how you count the Isle of Man, but there is only one member there).
Professor Joseph Kimble is the USA representative for Clarity. Click here to send him a message. Other country representatives are found in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. If you live or work in one of those countries, send a note to Joe and he'll pass it along to your country representative. You can also visit their website by clicking here. The website has a number of great resoruces.
You get a great magazine when you join -- I have been enjoying it for many years now. Each issue expands my understanding of how we as teachers in the U.S. are connected to a global community of educators, practitioners, and jurists who are interested in the same goal of clear communication. I'm just looking at issue number 58, which has articles such as "What Makes a Document Readable?" I believe that the magazine started 1n 1983, so it should be celbrating its 25th anniversary right about now.
I urge you to join. Really, I do. It's US $35 a year if you're living in the United States, and similar fees for other countries. But join for more than a magazine. There are 205 members of Clarity in the United States (more members than in Australia or South Africa, but fewer than England). That number should increase, and Clarity should hold more functions and meetings in the United States. We'll all benefit.
As for upcoming events, Clarity will hold its third international conference in Mexico City from November 20-23, 2008. It will be co-hosted by Clarity and the Mexican Government Underministry of Public Administration, which is responsible for Mexico's plain-language project. More information on this is at the website listed above.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
At the request of the parties in the dispute “United States — Measures Relating to Zeroing and Sunset Reviews” — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) by Japan (DS322), the Panel has agreed to start its meeting with the parties on 4 November 2008 with a session open to public viewing at the WTO Headquarters in Geneva. Click here for more information.
Monday, October 13, 2008
For professors who are teaching the Dames & Moore v. Reagan case or the Diplomatic and Consular Staff Case, both of which arise from the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis, there are some great photos from the crisis available on the BBC website. The photos can be accessed here:
Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Intervenes in Case Before the European Court of Human Rights
The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic was granted intervener status in a case pending before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The case, M. v. United Kingdom, seeks a ruling on the obligations that nations have to protect victims of sex trafficking. The case was brought by a young woman who was sex trafficked to the United Kingdom and subsequently denied asylum there.
The intervention, similar to an amicus brief, argues that state parties to the European Convention on Human Rights must, under the Convention’s anti-slavery provision, consider providing residency to sex trafficking victims who are trafficked into their territory. The submission shows that sex trafficking and slavery are fundamentally linked human rights violations, an argument widely accepted internationally.
Congratulations to Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg, Director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, and to her students working on the case: Bradley Mullins, Jennifer Ryan and Abram Seaman. Click on their names to send them an email if you want more information about the case.