July 19, 2008
Thank You, Law Librarian Blog!
We also join them in congratulating the new blog on Careers and Professional Development. Click here to pay them a quick visit.
Climate Change and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Law Librarian Blog has posted information on how to obtain the Council on Foreign Relations report on climate change. Here are some recommendations from the report:
Ambitious Emissions Cuts:
- "U.S. strategy for confronting climate change must begin at home," says the report. It recommends that U.S. policymakers support a "cap-and-trade" system that begins reducing U.S. emissions now and that sets a course for cuts of between 60 percent and 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, targets that should be revisited and revised periodically. "It can and should be designed in a way that avoids shocks to the economy and that does not impose undue burden on any particular part of society."
- A cap-and-trade system should be buttressed by steps to reduce dependence on foreign oil, to improve energy efficiency through targeted traditional regulation, to support research, development, and demonstration projects, and to improve energy infrastructure.
Negotiating a Post-Kyoto Deal:
- "Investment in [the UN] process is essential ... because a good UN deal would provide a strong foundation for global efforts."
- As part of a deal, the United States should "be willing to commit credibly, along with the other advanced industrial countries, to its own near-term numerical targets for cutting emissions," but it "should not seek emissions caps" from developing countries, instead seeking specific "commitments from major developing countries to actions that would significantly reduce emissions from their expected path."
Creating a Back-up Plan:
- Should UN efforts toward a strong deal in Copenhagen in December 2009 fail, the United States, along with the European Union, Japan, and others, "should be prepared to create a smaller agreement among countries that are able to implement robust and reliable domestic emissions caps and want to use emissions trading. This would ensure that the foundation for linking national systems into an international trading arrangement is not erased by the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol."
Launching a Partnership for Climate Cooperation:
- "The United States, in concert with other major advanced industrial and emerging economies, [should] create a standing process that would bring together the world's largest emitters to implement aggressive emissions reductions." A Partnership for Climate Cooperation "would be a core element of a new strategy that would complement and strengthen ongoing UN efforts."
- This "would be different from the valuable Major Economies Meetings that the Bush administration and several other governments have advanced, as it would be rooted in an aggressive effort to cut U.S. emissions and would focus on practical actions and implementation of specific strategies."
Building a Reformed and Robust Carbon Offset Scheme:
- "The Clean Development Mechanism has ... been largely unsuccessful in encouraging real and significant changes in developing countries." "The United States should [build] a carefully designed 'offset' scheme into U.S. cap-and-trade law" that creates a "gold standard" for offsets and includes "not only energy and industrial activities, but also land use, including avoided deforestation." The Task Force cautions that "international offsets, while important, will play a limited role."
Caution on Trade Sanctions:
- If necessary, trade measures could be introduced to pressure developing countries to limit their emissions. The Task Force, however, cautions that "trade sanctions should not be brandished aggressively," and should only be used "within a multilateral context."
Reducing Biofuel Tariffs:
- "The United States [should] seek to reduce biofuels tariffs," but "only in a context where changes to tariffs do not ultimately encourage increased emissions."
- It should also begin "phasing out domestic subsidies for mature biofuels such as conventional corn-based ethanol."
Support for Nuclear Power—Under the Right Conditions:
- "So long as it is economically competitive, the Task Force strongly supports its growth in countries that already have nuclear power."
- "Efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the further spread of nuclear power [to other countries] should only be made in the context of a nonproliferation regime that strongly reduces the associated risks of nuclear proliferation."
Helping Vulnerable Countries Adapt to Climate Change:
- "The developed world ... has a responsibility to help the societies that are most affected and least adaptive to [climate] harm that has been caused mainly by the industrialized world, including the United States."
- "A large shift of development aid toward a narrow focus on climate change adaptation would be unwise." Instead, "incorporating climate considerations into traditional development aid is the most effective way to assist with climate change adaptation."
A copy of the full report Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy is available for download or purchase. The website for the Council on Foreign Relations has many additional resources for educators.
July 18, 2008
Canada in Afghanistan
The Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development has published a comprehensive parliamentary report on Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan. The report includes interrelated elements of security, peacebuilding, development, and governance. It also acknowledges the difficulties and challenges confronting a long-term commitment to Afghanistan and its people, and its recommendations recognize that both realism and resolve will be required to deliver the benefits promised to Afghans. Click here for the report.
Hat tip to the Canadian Emabassy in Washington D.C.
Call for Presentation Proposals - CSLSA
It is not too late to submit a presentation proposal for the annual conference of the Central States Law Schools Association (CSLSA). The conference will be held October 24-25, 2008 at Southern Illinois University School of Law. Presentation proposals may cover any area of law; however, it would be great to have a core group of international law professors make presentations. Traditionally, the annual CSLSA conference has been a forum for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Although CSLSA is a regional association of law schools, scholars from outside the central states region are also welcome to participate. Persons wishing to present at the conference must submit an abstract of their topic of no more than 500 words by August 15, 2008 to Professor Cindy Buys at email@example.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please see the CSLSA website at www.cslsa.us.
International Law Teaching Materials Available
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a notice about the ability of international law professors to contribute teaching materials to a new online database being created by the Teaching International Law Interest Group (TILIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).
The materials in the new database may now be accessed online at http://www.asil.org/teachingmaterial/review.html.
If you teach any of the courses listed on the website, please consider contributing materials to the database. Right now, the subjects covered are public international law, trade/international economic law, international human rights and international environmental law. If you teach international law courses that are not yet covered by the website, please keep checking in periodically because we hope to expand coverage to other subject areas.
Many thanks to the ASIL staff and my TILIG Co-Chair, Tom McDonnell, of Pace Law School for their hard work in putting this valuable resource together.
WTO Panel Reports on China Auto Parts Disputes
The WTO has issued the reports of the panel that examined complaints by the European Communities, the United States and Canada regarding “China — Measures Affecting Imports Of Automobile Parts” (DS339, DS340 and DS342).
Supreme Court's 2008 International Law Opinions
The American Society of International Law (one of our favorite organizations on this blog, and for good reason) has just made available for free (see why we love them?) an audio recording of the July 1 event “Boumediene and Medellin: The Supreme Court’s 2008 International Law Opinions.” ASIL had co-sponsored this presentation with the DC Bar. Click here.
Hat tip to Sheila Ward, Director of Communications and Member Relations at the American Society of International Law (ASIL)
WTO Public Forum 2008
The WTO Public Forum will take place 24-25 September 2008. Registration to attend the forum is now open and you can see the programme of the proposed sessions with summaries of the sessions where available on the public forum website
July 17, 2008
WTO - Concluding Doha?
The July 2008 package is a stepping stone on the way to concluding the Doha Round by the end of 2008. The main task before WTO members is to settle a range of questions that will shape the final agreement of the Doha Development Agenda. Political breakthrough requires consultations among a group of ministers representing all interests in the negotiations. They are meeting in Geneva in the week of 21 July. The outcome will be put to the full membership in the Trade Negotiations Committee. Find out more by clicking here
WTO - Draft "Modalities" Text in Agriculture
An unofficial guide to the revised draft “modalities” text in agriculture is now available. Click here.
July 16, 2008
ICJ: Decision in Mexico's Request for an Interpretation of Avena and Provisional Measures
By a vote of 7-5, the International Court of Justice dismissed the submission of the United States to dismiss Mexico's application for an interpretation of the Avena judgment. The ICJ also ordered the following provisional measures:
The United States of America shall take all measures necessary to ensure that Messrs. José Ernesto Medellín Rojas, César Roberto Fierro Reyna, Rubén Ramírez Cárdenas, Humberto Leal García, and Roberto Moreno Ramos are not executed pending judgment on the Request for interpretation submitted by the United Mexican States, unless and until these five Mexican nationals receive review and reconsideration consistent with paragraphs 138 to 141 of the Court’s Judgment delivered on 31 March 2004 in the case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America).
July 14, 2008
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Goes Against President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan
The Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Darfur. Click here to see a video with him speaking to the BBC about genocide charges against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.
Hat tip to Ann Lousin for this BBC Link
University of Westminster School of Law Joins SSRN
SSRN announced that the University of Westminster School of Law in London, England has started a Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) Legal Studies Research Paper Series.
To view papers, click here:http://www.ssrn.com/link/U-Westminster-LEG.htmlTo subscribe, click here:http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=U-Westminster-LEG The University of Westminster Legal Studies Journal contains abstracts and papers from the School of Law. These cover a number of fields of scholarly research, reflecting research interests of members of the school. It includes work from
- the Centre for Research into the Delivery of Legal Services,
- the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies,
- the Centre of Law, Society and Popular Culture, and
- the Westminster International Law and Theory Centre.
I am happy to report that I have been appointed to a one-year term as an Alternate American Bar Association Observer to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The term begins at the conclusion of the 2008 ABA Annual Meeting in New York.
50 Years of Jessup
The 2009 Jessup Season will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Jessup Competition. The law firm of Shearman & Sterling will again be the official sponsor of the International Rounds of the Jessup Competition during this very special year.
Many anniversary celebrations will be held throughout the 2009 Jessup competition season, including an Anniversary Gala on March 28, 2009 in Washington, D.C., during the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds (March 22-28).
Contact the International Law Students Association (ILSA) for more information about how to support its 50th anniversary activities.
Asian Society of International Law - Young Scholars Workshop
The National University of Singapore and the Asian Society of International Law will host the first Asian Society of International Law Young Scholars Workshop at the National University of Singapore, from September 10-12, 2008.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report for its activites during 2007. Click here for more information.
Hat tip to the Law Libarian Blog.
43 Nations Form a New Organization: The Mediterranean Union
Heads of state from 43 countries launched the Mediterranean Union in Paris on Sunday, July 13, 2008. The new body is called the "Barcelona Process: Union of the Mediterranean" to assuage concerns that the new group would eclipse the EU's existing Barcelona Process.
The Med Union's members include all 27 EU nations, the 12 Mediterranean countries which are members of the EU's Barcelona Process and the four Balkan countries bordering the Mediterranean.
Hat tip to Joe Hodnicki at the Law Librarian Blog
July 13, 2008
Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President
Prof. Gabriel Chin of the University of Arizona has a new paper that argues that McCain was not a "natural born Citizen" and is thus not eligible for the office of the President of the United States.
Senator John McCain was born in the Canal Zone in 1936 to U.S. citizen parents. The Canal Zone was U.S. territory but was not incorporated into the United States. In the Insular Cases, the U.S. Supreme Court held that "unincorporated territories" were not part of the United States for constitutional purposes. Congress passed a citizenship law for the Canal Zone in 1937. That made McCain a citizen, but he was not a citizen at birth in 1936.
Professor Chin's paper is posted on SSRN -- It is called "Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months and Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship." Click here for the Law Librarian Blog, which will bring you to the SSRN page.
The SSRN abstract for that paper has been viewed more than 10,000 times already.
Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.