Saturday, August 2, 2008
Just as U.S. institutions of higher learning are eager to welcome students from other countries, foreign institutions are eager to welcome students from the United States. The Institute to International Education (IIE) published a new report about the foreign demand for U.S. undergraduate students. The report is available by clicking here. www.iie.org/sudyabroadcapacity
According a report in the July issue of University Business, the IIE found that the students most in demand are those from the United States, followed by students from China, India, Canada, and Russia. Is there any truth to such a ranking? I do not know what methodology IIE used to determine which foreign institutions to ask, which persons they asked at those institutions selected, and what criteria the officials or professors at those institutions used to rank students by their country of origin. I think that admissions officers and program directors are more likely to look at the credentials of students (including language ability) rather than looking only to which nation issued their passports.
The report also notes that American students generally tend to favor shorter programs (of eight weeks or less) rather than a full semester or a full year. We see this in law school where summer programs reign supreme over spring or fall semester abroad programs.
There are exceptions to everything in international legal education, and some institutions (and some individual law students) may be bucking the trend toward shorter programs. Here at the International Law Prof Blog we strongly encourage students to travel abroad as part of their legal education. We also encourage meaningful international travel opportunities for faculty, administrators, and gosh, even alumni.
Hat tip to University Business Magazine.
Free subscriptions to University Business are available at www.universitybusiness.com/subscribe.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Solicitors in Australia who are parties to litigation and don't hire other solicitors to represent them are the only people who are generally entitled to claim legal costs from the losing party even though they don't have to pay lawyers anything. Engaging in litigation involving themselves can be a profitable activity if they win. Read more about this at the Australian Professional Liability Blog. Click here.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
As we have some readers of our blog in Brunei Darussalam, it seems like a good idea to point out that Brunei will hold an International Arbitration Conference on the 16th and 17th August 2008 together with the Second Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum Conference. The Conference will be hosted by the Arbitration Association Brunei Darussalam ("AABD") and is supported by the Brunei Attorney General's Chambers and members of the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum, including the Australian Indonesian National Arbitration Board; Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators; Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia; Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators; and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators. A link to the conference is available at http://www.cityneon.com.bn/arbit-con2008/.
Hat tip to Mark Goldstein.
News from the WTO. Director-General Pascal Lamy reported to the General Council on today that the Trade Negotiations Committee had heard “multiple strong calls for preserving the package that had been so painfully negotiated in order to conclude this Round successfully.” Lamy said there was no doubt that “looking at what is on the table now, members believe that the Doha Round is still worth fighting for.”
We received the following news release from the Human Rights Campaign. There are several reports that President Bush lifted the HIV ban for the United States, but actually the ban simply reverted from a statutory ban to an administrative ban. It remains in place until the Secretary of Health and Human Services lifts it. The U.S. was one of the first countries to impose an HIV travel ban, despite public health evidence that such a ban would be counterproductive in many instances.
Hat tip to Rex Wockner.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2008
Brad Luna | Phone: 202/216.1514 | Cell: 202/812.8140
Trevor Thomas | Phone: 202/216.1547 | Cell: 202/250.9758
President Signs Bill Repealing Discriminatory HIV Travel and Immigration Law
HRC calls on Department of Health and Human Services to update regulations
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today called on the Department of Health and Human Services to update its regulations following the President's signing of legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Included in this measure was a provision to repeal our nation's discriminatory law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants. The PEPFAR bill passed the Senate on July 16 and the U.S. House passed the bill last week.
"We appreciate the President signing the repeal of this unjust and sweeping policy that deems HIV-positive individuals inadmissible to the United States," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The HIV travel and immigration ban performs no public health service, is unnecessary and ineffective. We thank our allies on the Hill who fought to end this injustice and now call on Secretary of Health and Human Services Leavitt to remove the remaining regulatory barriers to HIV-positive
visitors and immigrants."
HRC has been a lead organization lobbying on Capitol Hill for the repeal and will continue to work to ensure that Department of Health and Human Services' regulations are changed. The Human Rights Campaign has worked closely with the offices of Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR), as well as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the sponsor of an effort to repeal the ban in the House of Representatives. Both Sen. Kerry and Rep. Lee participated in a national media conference call held by HRC in March. In addition to action alerts urging members to contact their Senators, HRC and Immigration Equality drafted a coalition letter on behalf of more than 165 organizations in support of the Kerry-Smith provision in the PEPFAR bill, and directly lobbied numerous Senate offices on the repeal measure.
In December of 2007, Senators Kerry and Smith introduced legislation, the HIV Non-Discrimination in Travel and Immigration Act (S. 2486), to repeal the ban. In the House, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced similar the legislation, H.R. 3337, in August 2007. The travel and immigration ban prohibits HIV-positive foreign nationals from entering the U.S. unless they obtain a special waiver, which is difficult to obtain and can only allow for short-term travel. Current policy also prevents the vast
majority of foreign nationals with HIV from obtaining legal permanent residency in the United States.
The ban originated in 1987, and explicitly codified by Congress in 1993, despite efforts in the public health community to remove the ban when Congress reformed U.S. immigration law in the early 1990s. While immigration law currently excludes foreigners with any "communicable disease of public health significance" from entering the U.S., only HIV is explicitly named in the statute. For all other illnesses, the Secretary of Health and Human Services retains the ability, with the medical expertise of his department, to determine which illnesses truly pose a risk to public health.
We received the following press release from the American Civil Liberites Union.
Hat tip to Rex Wockner
Peace Corps Agrees To Stop Discriminating Against Volunteers With HIV
ACLU Will Keep Close Eye On Agency To Make Sure It Complies With Policy Change
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2008
Paul Cates (212) 549-2568;
Cell (917) 566-1294
NEW YORK - After pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Peace Corps has agreed that it will no longer terminate volunteers just because they have HIV. The ACLU demanded the policy change on behalf of a volunteer who was sent home from his post in the Ukraine and terminated after he tested positive for the disease.
"We are very pleased that the Peace Corps has acknowledged that it cannot legally terminate volunteers automatically merely because they test positive for HIV," said Rebecca Shore, a staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. "But actions speak louder than words, so we're going to be keeping a close eye on the agency to make sure it lives up to its promises."
The ACLU sent a letter to the Peace Corps today acknowledging the new Peace Corps policy barring HIV discrimination, but making it clear that simply adopting a nondiscrimination policy is not enough. The letter notes that the agency is bound by the Rehabilitation Act, which bars the agency from discriminating against people with HIV and requires the agency to make accommodations for the special needs of those with the disease when necessary.
The ACLU demanded the change on behalf of Jeremiah Johnson, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rozdilna, Ukraine, where he taught English to middle and high school students. During a routine mid-service medical examination, he opted to take an HIV test which came back positive. After receiving the diagnosis, he was immediately sent back to Washington, D.C., given just two days to pack his bags and say goodbye to his students and other people he met while volunteering. Although further medical testing showed that Johnson had no health problems, he was told he could not finish his service in the Ukraine or elsewhere.
After Johnson made his story public, the ACLU heard from other volunteers who suffered similar discrimination. In 2001, Rebecca Coulborn was volunteering in Burkina Faso in West Africa. Just days after she tested positive for the disease, she too was shipped back to D.C. and kicked out of the Peace Corps.
"While I'm still disappointed that I didn't get to finish the projects I started in the Ukraine, getting the Peace Corps to acknowledge that volunteers with HIV shouldn't be discriminated against has helped to remind me why I chose to volunteer in the first place," said Johnson. "Things certainly didn't turn out the way I thought they would when I signed up, but at least I was able to do some good for future volunteers with HIV."
The new policy guarantees that the Peace Corps will not automatically terminate volunteers who test positive for the HIV. Rather, the agency will conduct an individual assessment of each volunteer who tests positive to determine what steps to take to protect the health of the volunteer while also allowing the volunteer to continue his or her service as required by the Rehabilitation Act when feasible. The Peace Corps has also given the ACLU assurances that it will communicate its new policy barring HIV discrimination in a prudent and appropriate manner.
Volunteers who feel they have been discriminated against by the Peace Corps because of their HIV status, are encouraged to contact the ACLU at www.aclu.org/hiv .
A copy of the letter from the Peace Corps acknowledging the change in policy as well as the response by the ACLU is available at http://www.aclu.org/hiv/discrim/34948res20080421.html
Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois will celebrate 50 years of international studies this fall with an alumni reunion and an alumni-student-faculty-staff banquet on the evening of October 4. As part of the open house, the school intends to have a photo display. Although they have a number of images already, they are making a call to alumni (and those who know alumni of the Institute of International Studies at Bradley University) to send in additional images, either in print form or electronically.
For more information about the upcoming reunion or international activities at Bradley University, contact Professor Charles Bukowski, Director of the Institute of International Studies at Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625. Click here to send him an email.
Congratulations to the Bradley University Institute of International Studies on its 50th Anniversary.
Coronation activities are underway for King George Tupou V of Tonga. In a surprising but welcome announcement, press reports indicate that the new King will move the monarchy to a more of a figurehead role, similar to a British-style constitutional monarchy. Tonga will see its first democratic election of MPs in 2010. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The International Law Students Association has announced that its 2008 Fall Conference will be hosted by Vermont Law School in Royalton, Vermont, on October 2-4, 2008.
The conference is titled "Understanding Genocide: Prevention, Prosecution, and Progress," and will feature a keynote lecture by Juan Mendez, President of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
The conference website is available at http://sba.vermontlaw.edu/groups/ils/genocide/index.html.
On July 29, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved Navanethem Pillay as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Pillay had a distinguished career as a lawyer for international human rights. Educated at Harvard, Ms. Pillay began her legal career in 1967 in South Africa defending anti-apartheid activists. In 1995, she was the first woman of Southeast Asian descent to be appointed to the South African Supreme Court. She also has served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as an appeals chamber judge for the International Criminal Court. Ms. Pillay will begin her new post on September 1. The international human rights community hopes that Ms. Pillay will be an outspoken advocate for international human rights.
Lamy told a press conference that out of a "to-do list" of 20 topics, 18 had seen positions converge but the gaps could not narrow on the 19th — the special safeguard mechanism for developing countries. Click here to read more.
In the coming days we will see if Doha is completely dead or if the agreed-upon parts can still survive.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This was originally posted on www.tradelawyersblog by Cyndee Todgham Cherniak
The “Doha Round” of multilateral trade talks at the World Trade Organization lapsed back into limbo on July 29, 2008 as an informal meeting of Ministers did not end in the acceptance of the compromise "package of elements".
If the United States, India, and China fail to reach a compromise, and the "Doha Round" fails, it might represent the beginning of the end for the World Trade Organization. Failure means one thing: that Membership in the WTO does not include the responsibility to compromise so that the system itself can evolve. Evolution does not require big steps at each Round. Evolution does require progress on important issues, including agricultural subsidies, NAMA tariff reductions, services liberalization, improvements to the Anti-dumping Agreement and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement, improvements to the dispute settlement mechanism, improvements to rules of origin, etc.
Negotiations of a middle ground to improve the multilateral trading system should not appear to be a matter of brinkmanship - and it does appear that the United States and the European Union on one side are locked in a battle with China and India (and other developing countries) on the other side. Something is not right with this picture.
It is difficult to believe that a compromise cannot be reached with respect to the special agricultural safeguard mechanism. It seems reasonable for developing countries to ask for an agricultural safeguard mechanism. The developing countries are being asked to reduce agricultural tariffs so that other countries can export agricultural commodities to the developing countries. It is reasonable for the developing countries to be concerned that the reductions are too steep and it is legitimate to want to protect the developing country farmers. If the developing country farmers cannot sell their goods in the domestic market of the developing country, does the developed countries really expect that they will find alternative export markets? Do the developed countries really expect that the developing country farmers will take up manufacturing or services jobs if they cannot be farmers? It is one thing to desire access to the developing country markets - it is quite another to be insensitive to the concerns of the developing countries.
Why is it that a special agricultural safeguard mechanism is unacceptable? The compromise special agricultural safeguard mechanism contained in the July 26th "package of elements" provides restrictions of the safeguard mechanism, which are transparent and involve a degree of certainty. The exporting countries will know what level of increase in imports into the developing country will be considered to constitute a surge (40%).
The sticking point must be that the developing countries may impose surtaxes that exceed the existing bound rates by 15%. Developed countries today can impose agricultural safeguard surtaxes at any level - even more than 15%. If challenged at the WTO, the level of safeguard surtaxes may be found to be WTO inconsistent. However, based on the WTO case law, the WTO may not require the improperly collected surtaxes to be refunded after the years it takes to resolve the dispute.
So, the agricultural safeguard rules become more clear and limitations are placed on the levels of surtaxes. This is better than what the multilateral trading system has currently.
It would have made more sense for the developed countries to accept the special agricultural safeguard for now and work towards greater improvements so that the Doha Round, when all is put on the table, results in positive evolution.
We should be disappointed.
Monday, July 28, 2008
A few days ago we posted a thank you to our first 4,000 readers and listed countries where our readers are located. Since then we've had a few visits from readers in other jurisdictions, so we've updated the previous list and are sharing the new list of countries with you here. Thank you, everyone, for visiting the International Law Prof Blog. Your contributions are always welcome. Welcome to our latest "new countries" -- Cambodia, Finland, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Israel, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia, and Morocco!
- Brunei Darussalam
- Costa Rica
- Cote D'Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- People’s Republic of China
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Sunday, July 27, 2008