August 30, 2008
Teaching Materials from ASIL TILIG
The American Society of International Law Interest Group for Teaching International Law has teaching materials available on the ASIL website. Please also consider adding your own teaching materials to the website as well. To view or add materials, click here.
Legal Education in Mexico
Here's a link to a law review article that explains legal education in Mexico. The article is by Luis Perez Hurtado of Stanford Law School.
August 29, 2008
Defining Rights to Artic Seabed Minerals
Due to global warming and the melting of Artic ice, as well as the development of new technologies, experts predict that it will be possible to extract minerals from previously inaccessible areas of the Artic seabed by the middle of this century. Partly in anticipation of this possibility, the five countries bordering the Artic, Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark and the United States, met in May to discuss allocation of rights to harvest minerals from the Artic seabed. The United Kingdom has now submitted a request to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (the Commission) seeking expanded rights to certain Artic seabed minerals around Ascension Island.
The U.K.'s submission may be found at http://www.un.org/depts/los/clcs_new/submissions_files/gbr08/ascension_executive_summary.pdf.
At issue is Article 76 of the the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (UNCLOS) which entitles coastal states to a continental shelf, beyond the territorial sea, of at least 200 nautical miles from the shoreline. When the continental shelf extends further than 200 miles, a state may be able to extend its claim to a larger portion of the seabed as well; however, such claims must be submitted to the Commission for its recommendations. According to Article 77 of UNCLOS, States essentially excercise exclusive control over the exploration and exploitation of natural resources found in or on the continental shelf within their jurisdiction. The U.K. is asking the Commission to recommend the extension of its sovereignty over a greater area adjacent to the Ascension Island. According to BBC News, the U.K. is considering asking for expanded rights in other areas as well, including around the Falkland Islands. At least some of these claims are likely to be contested by other states who have competing claims to these areas, as well as by environmental groups that are concerned about the potential harm to the environment that may occur as a result of work to extract minerals from the seabed.
WTO: Arbitration Report Issued in EC Dispute With Brazil
The World Trade Organization has issued the arbitration report in the European Communities' complaint against Brazil on imports of retreaded tires. Click here to read more. There is a further link on that page to the arbitrator's decision.
Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement
Canada and Jordan have completed talks on a Free Trade Agreement, including agreements on labor cooperation and the environment. The talks began last year during a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
It is a bilateral agreement between the two countries. It is now undergoing a detailed legal review in French, English, and Arabic. Following that review, the agreement is expected to be signed and then presented to the Canadian parliament for its review.
ABA Renews its Support for the International Criminal Court
At its annual meeting in New York, the ABA House of Delegates voted to urge the United States to support the International Criminal Court. The House of Delegates (which is the primary policy-making body for the American Bar Association) voted to approve Resolution 108A. Click here to download the document. Download 108A.doc .
The text of the resolution reads as follows:
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States Government to expand and broaden United States interaction with the International Criminal Court, including cooperation with the Court’s investigations and proceedings;
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Association calls on the United States Government to participate in all future sessions of the International Criminal Court’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties, and preparations for the Review Conference to be held in 2010.
The report accompanying the resolution states in part: "The ICC has been castigated as a threat to U.S. interests. Those criticisms, however, were made before the ICC established a track record. After six years of operation, the ICC has proven itself to be a responsible judicial institution. The ICC has undertaken four investigations in Africa of particularly horrendous situations, and it has acted prudently and without political bias."
The resolution was originally sponsored by the ABA Section on International Law and the ABA Criminal Justice Section.
One problem with ABA resolutions is that the ABA always uses the same numbers. Instead of numbering it 2008-AM-108A they just call it 108A, which makes it impossible to distinguish from Resolution 108A from the Midyear Meeting, or from last year's annual meeting. It would be nice if the ABA got its act together on these things and started numbering them in ways that would be more useful for professors, students, legislators, and lawyers.
August 28, 2008
American Samoa: Two Officials Move to Dismiss Fraud and Bribery Charges in D.C. federal district court
News from American Samoa, courtesy of the East-West Center and Radio New Zealand International. The Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa, Faoa Ipulasi Sunia, and a Senator from American Samoa, Tulifua Tini Lam Yuen, have asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss a federal fraud and bribery charges against them connected to the awarding of local Department of Education contracts. The defendants say that the alleged acts occurred before the statute of limitation expired, or when they were not agents of the government.
U.S. federal prosecutors reportedly argue that the charges were proper because the alleged crimes committed by the defendants were a continuing offense.
New Zealand - Evidence Law Update
Colin Miller at the Evidence Prof Blog has posted about a proposal in New Zealand to enact a rape shield law. Click here to read more.
August 27, 2008
ICTY: Update on Karadzic Trial (2)
The New York Times reports that Radovan Karadžić has called for the Internation Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to dimiss the charges against him because, he says, negative publicity has made a fair trial impossible. He is scheduled to appear before the court on Friday to enter pleas on 11 charges against him.
The ICTY Website has much more information about the case. Click here. Here, from that website, is the list of charges against the former Bosnian Serb leader.
Radovan Karadžić is charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the ICTY Statute) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:
- Genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, wilful killing (grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, violation of the laws or customs of war, genocide, crime against humanity, Articles 2-5), committed in the areas that include but are not limited to the municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina of Bijeljina, Bratunac, Bosanski Šamac, Brčko, Doboj, Foča, Ilijaš, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Novi Grad, Prijedor, Rogatica, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Višegrad, Vlasenica, Zavidovići and Zvornik, and the Srebrenica enclave.
- Persecutions, deportation, inhumane acts, unlawfully inflicting terror upon civilians, taking of hostages (violations of the laws or customs of war, crimes against humanity, Articles 3 and 5). committed in the areas that include but are not limited to the municipalities of Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Bileća, Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Novi, Bosanski Petrovac, Bosanski Šamac, Bratunac, Brčko, Čajniče, Čelinac, Doboj, Donji Vakuf, Foča, Gacko, Hadžići, Ilidža, Ilijaš, Jajce, Ključ, Kalinovik, Kotor Varoš, Nevesinje, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Pale, Prijedor, Prnjavor, Rogatica, Rudo, Sanski Most, Šekovići, Šipovo, Sokolac, Teslić, Trnovo, Višegrad, Vlasenica, Vogošća, Zavidovići, and Zvornik and the Srebrenica enclave.
ILSA Writing Competition
As part of the International Law Students' Association (ILSA) conference on genocide, Vermont Law School is sponsoring a law student writing competition. The topic is “Redefining Genocide: How Can the Genocide Convention be Modernized to Comport with Emerging Norms?” Each participant will be required to write a 15 page paper with endnotes. The authors of the best three papers will be asked to present their work as a panel at the conference on October 3, 2008. Winning papers are to be published in the ILSA Quarterly and perhaps also the Vermont Law Review.
Click on the link below for further information on the competition.
Readers from 70 Countries
As we have just passed 6,000 visits to our still-so-very-new blog, we take special pleasure in knowing that we have visits from readers from all over the world, including these 70 (wow!) jurisdictions:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Costa Rica
- Cote D'Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- People’s Republic of China
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
We welcome your guest posts to the blog, particularly when we can share important new developments in international law.
August 25, 2008
Global Legal Skills Conference IV - Georgetown University Law Center
As the guy who started the Global Legal Skills Conference, it is a special honor to pass along the call for papers for GLS-IV, to be held at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. We know that this is going to be a solid conference. Substantive. Focused. Well worth the time to attend. One you won't want to miss. One that wil deepen your understanding, interest, and level of skill. Craig Hoffman (who just published a new book on the subject) is the primary host for the event, assisted by Peter Cramer and many other helpers (probably something close to the number who helped in Beijing).
Here's the announcement:
Call for Papers
Global Legal Skills IV
June 3 to June 5, 2009
Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, DC USA
Building on the successes of the previous Global Legal Skills Conferences, Georgetown University Law Center is inviting submissions for Global Legal Skills IV.
The conference will be held over two days on the campus of Georgetown University Law Center – steps from the U.S. Capitol and all of the attractions of the National Mall. We invite submissions from both legal academics and lawyers from practice. We would like to encourage submitters to address the following three Core Questions; however, we will also entertain submissions on other topics related to Global Legal Skills.
I. What skills do lawyers need to effectively function in a global marketplace? Possible topics could include:
· Responding to cross-cultural factors in alternative dispute resolution
· Understanding diverse legal cultures
· Building awareness of other legal systems.
II. How can law schools adjust teaching methods and curricula to accommodate the needs of the global legal marketplace? Possible topics could include:
· Designing effective distance learning modules
· Defining the boundaries of “Legal English”
· Developing the components of a Global Core Curriculum.
III. What is the proper role of “global law firms” in the education and re-education of practicing lawyers? Possible topics could include:
· Managing CLE Programs
· Creating effective in-house training programs
· Contributing to the LL.M. Programs of the future.
Guidelines for Submissions
We encourage submissions in a variety of formats. Presenters may propose panels of their own, or we may group Individual Presenters in similarly-themed sessions.
Panel Presentations: One hour
- Names and affiliations of panel members
- Proposed title
- Abstract of between 200 and 1000 words
Individual Presentations: 30 minutes or 15 minutes
- Name and affiliation of speaker
- Proposed title
- Abstract of between 200 and 1000 words
We also intend to provide forums for Topic Discussions. Topic Discussions will be informal gatherings at one-hour intervals throughout the Conference. One Presenter will be appointed to be the Chair of the Topic Discussion; the Chair will moderate the discussion among the participants. Participants in Topic Discussions will submit proposals for their contributions to these Topic Discussions. We will be adding Topics as they are suggested by submitters. Currently, we have four Topics for which we would like to solicit submissions:
· What is Legal English?
· What Teaching Methods Are Most Effective for Teaching Legal Writing to Foreign LL.M.s?
· What is the Role of Foreign Exchange Programs in Legal Education?
· What are the Possible Directions for Scholarship in the Field of Legal English?
Topic Discussions: Various Lengths
- Name and affiliation of speaker
- Proposed title
- Abstract of between 200 and 1000 words
All submissions should be made no later than November 15, 2008. Send submissions by email to Craig Hoffman, Professor of United States Legal Discourse and Director, Center for Global Legal Skills, Georgetown University Law Center. Click here to send an email to Craig Hoffman.
ASIL Explains Colombia's Use of Force in Ecuador
The American Society of International Law has just published another Insight entitled Colombia’s Use of Force in Ecuador Against a Terrorist Organization: International Law and the Use of Force Against Non-State Actors. Click here to read it.
Hat tip to Sheila Ward and ASIL
New UNCITRAL Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly By Sea
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) approved a draft Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea. The draft Convention will be presented to the General Assembly for conclusion later this year.UNCITRAL's Working Group on Transport Law has been working with interested international inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations to prepare a legislative text on issues relating to the international carriage of goods. The draft Convention was prepared over thirteen sessions from April 2002 to January 2008, and was submitted for the approval of UNCITRAL in New York..The Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea aims to create a modern and uniform law concerning the international carriage of goods which include an international sea leg, but which is not limited to port-to-port carriage of goods. In addition to providing for modern door-to-door container transport, there are many innovative features contained in the draft Convention, including provisions allowing for electronic transport records, and other more technical features to fill the perceived gaps in existing transport regimes. Extensive negotiation by the Member States and observers of the Commission has resulted in overwhelming support for a significant increase to the limits on carrier liability for cargo loss or damage that apply in most countries. This is expected to be of substantial benefit for shippers, particularly those in developing and least-developed countries, which are consumers of transportation services. It is expected that harmonization and modernization of the legal regime in this area, which in many countries dates back to the 1920s or earlier, will lead to an overall reduction in transaction costs, increased predictability when problems are encountered, and greater commercial confidence when doing business internationally.
ASIL Explains the Charges Against the President of Sudan
The American Society of International Law produced an "Insight" to explain the charges filed in the International Criminal Court against the esident of Sudan with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The document is available by clicking here.
Congratulations to Tadas Klimas, and to Stetson University School of Law
(Tadas is the man here in center of the photo. On the left is Dean John Corkery of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and I'm the other guy in the photo.)
Tadas has just posted a new article on SSRN, on the "Law of Recitals in European Community Legislation." Click here to download the article. His co-author is Jurate Vaiciukaie of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. Here is an excerpt from the abstract of the article, stating their surprising conclusions about the use of "whereas" clauses in European Union Legislation:
We were . . . surprised when our research and analysis found that the imperative nature of the requirement to state reasons in recitals in EC law was due to the need for political reassurance.
We then realized that it is only in supranational legislation where the justification assumes such importance, inasmuch as EU legislation which requires unanimity in order to be adopted does not require recitals at all.
Thus de-mystified, the law of recitals in EC legislation falls within the realm of normality. Recitals in EC law are not considered to have independent legal value, but they can expand an ambiguous provision's scope. They cannot, however, restrict an unambiguous provision's scope, but they can be used to determine the nature of a provision, and this can have a restrictive effect. And the voidness of an EC legal act is traceable and due to political considerations, not legal ones. Alles ist klar.
Congratulations to Tadas Klimas, and to Stetson.
August 24, 2008
A Practical Guide to International Arbitration in London
Hilary Heilbron, QC, has written A Practical Guide to International Arbitration in London. The book was published earlier this year by Informa. It's an expensive book (the lowest price I found was US$257), but it seems to be one of the few books that explains the practical aspects of how to arbitrate in the best city in the world for international arbitration.
Ms Heilbron is an English barrister (Queen's Counsel) who practices international arbitration and commercial litigation. She has been active in the American Bar Association Section on International Law and served in various capacities in the International Litigation Committee and the International Dispute Resolution Committee.
Congratulations to Hilary Heilbron on the publication of this new book.
ASIL Lieber Society
The Lieber Society of the American Society of International Law has just issued its latest newsletter. Click here to Download Lieber_Notes_Summer_08.pdf The Lieber Society is an interest group within ASIL that focuses on the law of armed conflict.
Hat tip to Commander C.J. Griggs of the New Zealand Defence Force
Legal Writing Conference in South Africa
Mimi Samuel, Co-President of APPEAL (Academics Promoting the Pedagogy of Effective Advocacy in Law), has just shared the news that APPEAL and the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law in South Africa will hold a Conference on Promoting the Teaching of Legal Writing in Southern Africa from July 1 to July 4, 2009, in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference will focus on the development of curricula in legal writing for law faculties in Southern Africa, with particular emphasis on handling large, undergraduate class loads and teaching to students with a variety of language and educational backgrounds.
- June 29, 30, and July 1: Optional "field trips" for out-of-town participants, possibly including the Apartheid Museum, Constitutional Hill, High Court and/or Magistrate Court in Pretoria, Pilanesburg Game Park
- July 1 (evening): Welcome reception
- July 2-3: Full day conference
- July 4: Half-day conference
The conference fee for U.S. participants is a very modest $125. African participants will not be charged a conference fee. A limited amount of scholarship money will be available to assist participants with transportation and accommodation costs. Participants will pay their own way for the optional field trips.
Hat tip to Mimi Samuel
Linked In for Members of the ABA Section of International Law
If you answered "yes" to both, you now can join the American Bar Association Section of International Law Group on Linked In.