Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Chinese Law Prof Blog has posted a job announcement form the Danish Institute for Human Rights, which seeks to hire a guest lecturer on a consultancy basis to teach human rights courses to students at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China. Click here to read more.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Professors Anthony D'Amato of Northwestern University School of Law and Jordan Paust of the University of Houston have written a piece calling on President-elect Barack Obama to prosecute persons accused of having authorized, committed, and abetted war crimes or crimes against humanity during the Bush administration's "program" of "coercive interrogation" and secret detention, which denied protections to detainees under the Geneva Conventions. Click here to read more.
The D.C. Bar Association will hold a seminar on "CFIUS and FINSA: Comparisons With Other Countries' Investment Review Mechanisms" on December 16, 2008, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level (Metro Center), Washington, D.C. 20005. "CFIUS" is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States," and FINSA is the "Foreign Investment and National Security Act." This 90-minute seminar should have a lot of great information.
The American Bar Association has made available for free some useful resources for attorneys representing victims of human trafficking. One is a publication called Meeting the Legal Needs of Human Trafficking Victims: An Introduction for Domestic Violence Attorneys and Advocates. A second publication is Meeting the Legal Needs of Child Trafficking Victims: An Introduction for Children's Attorneys and Advocates. And a third publication is Human Trafficking Cases: How and Why to Use an Expert Witness. How much do these publications cost? They're all free. You can download them for free by clicking here or order hard copies for free by clicking here. Well done, ABA.
From the United Nations . . .
INTERNATIONAL COURT SEEKS MORE INFORMATION ON ARREST WARRANTS FOR DARFUR REBELS
The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked prosecutors to submit additional information regarding their request for arrest warrants for three rebel commanders for their role in last year’s deadly attack against peacekeepers in Darfur.
Some 1,000 rebels attacked the Haskanita camp in South Darfur state on 29 September 2007, killing 12 peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) – a predecessor to the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID– and wounding eight others.
Last month, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented evidence against the unnamed three commanders, who “planned, led their troops and directed the attack… and completely destroyed AMIS facilities and property, directly affecting aid and security for millions of people of Darfur who are in need of protection.”
The Prosecution said that there are reasonable grounds to believe the three commanders bear criminal responsibility for three counts of war crimes for murder, intentionally directing attacks against personnel and objects involved in a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.
Some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed across Darfur, an impoverished and arid region of western Sudan, as a result of direct combat, disease or malnutrition since 2003. Another 2.7 million people have been displaced because of fighting among rebels, Government forces and the allied Janjaweed militia.
This is the third case arising from the situation in Darfur, which was referred to The Hague-based Court by the Security Council in 2005.
The pre-trial chamber issued arrest warrants in May 2007 for Ahmad Harun, former Sudanese Minister of State for the Interior and now the Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, and Ali Kushayb, a Janjaweed leader.
The ICC is also examining the Prosecutor’s application filed in July for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes, including genocide, in Darfur.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My co-blogger Cindy Buys and I will be presenting a CLE seminar this Thursday at the mid-year meeting of the Illinois State Bar Association in Chicago. Our topic is the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and other bilateral treaties that require consular notice when a foreign national is arrested or detained. The Illinois Supreme Court will consider a proposed rule in January designed to promote enforcement of the right to consular notice. The proposed rule on judicial consular notification may be found by clicking here.
Click here to download an introductory note to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Medellin v. Texas. Click on the link, and then on "download" on any one of the five links to get the document.
There are many ways to celebrate today's 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the most important is to promote the future of human rights in all areas, from preventing the most serious violations of human rights to promoting greater knowledge and appreciation of international human rights law, ways to enforce international human rights norms, and promoting values such as human rights and corporate responsibility.
On that last point, the U.N. press office tells us that 183 educational institutions from around the world have signed a United Nations-backed initiative to promote more ethical and inclusive business practices, including human rights education. The Principles for Responsible Management Education, established by the UN Global Compact last year, commits the business schools to include in their curricula values of corporate responsibility in such fields as human rights, fighting corruption, and the environment.
We wish all of our readers a happy International Human Rights Day today, and hope that you find some way today of promoting international human rights.
Some of your students may be interested in knowing that the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) is soliciting resumes for spring internships (paid) in Washington D.C., working on Chinese human rights and rule of law issues. Interns must be U.S. citizens. Click here for more information.
Hat tip to the Chinese Law Prof Blog.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Tomorrow, December 10, 2008, marks the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written in the aftermath of World War II to demonstrate the world's commitment to and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The then 58 members of the United Nations represented many different political ideologies, cultures and religions, yet were able to come together and agree on basic human rights that belong to every person everywhere. While the Universal Declaration is not a binding legal document, it has inspired many national constitutions, other domestic laws, and international treaties, and has contributed to the development of customary international law. The United States was a leader in the preparation and adoption of the Universal Declaration. In fact, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of the former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the committee that prepared the draft of the Universal Declaration. On this 60th Anniversary, it is time for the United States to reclaim its role as a leader in the field of human rights and demonstrate its commitment to the ideals set forth in the Universal Declaration. The United States can do so by increasing its participation in international human rights bodies, by providing more funding for international human rights initiatives, and by ratifying international human rights treaties such as the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Asian Society of International Law will hold its second biennial general conference on August 1-2, 2009 in Tokyo. The outline for the preliminary program is quite impressive -- click here to take a look.
The conference organizers invite proposals for panels and papers. Here are the deadlines:
- Panel proposals – December 31, 2008
- Regular panels – January 31, 2009
- Discussant papers in the Plenary Session and Agorae papers – February 28, 2009
The conference will take up the important issue of Asia’s relationship with the international legal order under the main theme of “International Law in a Multi-polar and Multi-civilizational World – Asian Perspectives, Challenges and Contributions.” Confirmed speakers include Professors R.P. ANAND (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Edith BROWN WEISS (Georgetown University), B.S. CHIMNI (JNU), Tommy KOH (National Singapore University) and Martti KOSKENNIEMI (University of Helsinki).
For more information, click here to visit the website which has details about the conference, venue, schedule, and information on how to submit paper proposals. You can also click here to send an email inquiry.
The Co-Chairs of the Organizing Committee are HAMADA Kunio (Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto), KOZAI Shigeru (Kyoto University, emeritus), and Justice OWADA Hisashi (International Court of Justice). The Vice Chair is ONUMA Yasuaki (University of Tokyo).
Members of the organizing committee include AGO Shinichi (Kyushu University), AOKI Setsuko (Keio University), ARAKI Ichiro (Yokohama National University), EJIRI Takashi (Nishimura & Asahi), FUJITA Hisakazu (Kansai University, emeritus), FURUYA Shuichi (Waseda University), HARA Hisashi (Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu), MOGAMI Toshiki (International Christian University), NISHIUMI Maki (Chuo University), OTANI Mikiko (Otani Law Offices), SAKAMOTO Shigeki (Kobe University), SUZUKI Isomi (Koga & Partners), TAKAMURA Yukari (Ryukoku University), and TSURUOKA Koji (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Advisors include: HIRAYAMA Seigo (former Chairman, Japan Federation of Bar Associations), NAGASHIMA Yasuharu (Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu), NODA Aiko (former President, Sapporo High Court), SAKURADA Yoshiaki (Kyoto University, emeritus), TORII Junko (Seijo University, emeritus), YANAI Shunji (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea), YOKOTA Yozo (Chuo University).
This promises to be an excellent conference.
Hat tip to Professor ARAKI Ichiro, Professor of Law at Yokohama National University and Secretary-General of the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law
December 9th marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention to Prevent and Punish the Crime of Genocide. The convention defined the crime of genocide (Völkermord) for the first time in an international treaty. The word "genocide" had been coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jew whose work laid the foundation for the Genocide Convention. He first used the word in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation - Analysis of Government - Proposals for Redress. Click here to read more (in German) from Swiss Radio DRS. The crime of genocide is the most serious crime in international law.
The United States signed the Genocide Convention in 1948 but did not become a party to it until 40 years later, in 1988.
Hat tip to Professor Ann Lousin of The John Marshall Law School.