Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Podcasts from the 2009 annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in San Diego are now available on the AALS website. Click here, look for the link to podcasts, and look for the sections of interest to you (including, of course, the AALS Section on International Law and all of the other sections that held international programs this year). I have not been able to listen to all of the programs yet, but what the recordings I have heard so far are of exceptional quality.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury published regulations implementing the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), which amended Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950. The new regulations were effective as of December 22, 2008.
FINSA codifies aspects of the structure, role, process, and responsibilities of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is the committee that reviews mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers by or with any foreign person which could result in foreign control of any person engaged in interstate commerce in the United States, to determine the effects of such transactions on the national security of the United States. (You might remember the Dubai Ports Controversy).
The new regulations provide important guidance regarding key terms such as “control” and internal U.S. government procedures for the review and investigation of covered mergers, acquisitions and takeovers. The Department of the Treasury has said that it will publish guidance on the types of transactions that CFIUS has reviewed and that have presented national security considerations.
Hat tip to John Masterson.
Tadas Klimas, former Dean of the Vytatus Magnus University School of Law in Kaunus, Lithuania, is well known to many readers of this blog because of his active participation in panels and meetings of the Association of American Law Schools and at various international conferences, including the Prague Legal Writing Conference. Tadas is also the author of a very fine book on Comparative Contract Law published by Carolina Academic Press. Last semester he was a visiting professor at Stetson University College of Law in Florida. He has now returned to Lithuania.
We have just learned that on February 16 he was named a Cavalier of the Knight's Cross of the Lithuanian Order of Merit. This exceptional honor was presented to him by the President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus during a special award ceremony took place at the presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania.
This link leads to photos of the medals and this link leads to an article about the award ceremony; it is in Lithuanian, but you can find his name there in the last paragraph: .
We share in extending our congratulations to Tadas Klimas on receiving this prestigious award and in remembering previous awards given to him.
A comparative law seminar is being held in April in Ukraine for lawyers, professors, researchers, and students. Past participants have included attendees from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States, Turkey, Georgia, Belarus, and Uzbekistan. Here is the schedule:
April 8-9, 2009: Fourth International Scientific Seminar «Comparative Law: Current State and Prospects for Development» Round tables will be held on (1) The Experience of Transforming Post-Soviet Legal Systems; (2) Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Comparative Law; and (3) Comparative Law in Legal Education.
April 9-10, 2009: Open lectures (master-classes) by well-known scholars within the scope of the Ukrainian School of Comparative Law project
April 10-11, 2009: Scientific conference on “Comparative Law Discussions.” Sessions will be held on (1) Supranational Tendencies in the Development of Law Branches and Institutes (subsections: constitutional and municipal law, administrative and financial law, civil law, and criminal law); (2) Comparative Investigation in International and European Law; (3) Theory of Law and Comparative Law; (4) Comparative Studies of Legal History; and (5) Legal Ethics: Foreign Experiences for Ukraine
April 8-11, 2009: Presentations of Projects, Books, and Journals
Working Languages of the Seminar are Ukrainian, Russian, and English. Participants will receive certificates and the texts of open lectures, reports, and discussion speeches will be published. Materials of the Comparative Law Days will be available on a special website (click here). . The application deadline to participate is March 25, 2009. Have a look at this document for further information. Download comparative_law_days_in_ukraine.doc
You can also contact Oleksiy Kresin at the Volodymyr Koretskyi Institute of State and Law in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine.
Hat tip to Oleksiy Kresin, General Secretary of the Ukrainian Association of Comparative Law and Senior Research Fellow at the Volodymyr Koretskyi Institute of State and Law, National Academy of Science, Ukraine.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
In more news from the international criminal law front - the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will officially begin work this week. The Tribunal was created pursuant to an agreement between the United Nations and the Lebanese Republic in 2006, which was endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 1757 in May 2007. The mandate of the Tribunal is to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in an attack in Beirut in 2005. The Tribunal is considered a "hybrid" tribunal because it is composed of both Lebanese and international judges.
The John Marshall Law School of Chicago was the only foreign team to advance to the quarterfinals of the D.M. Harish International Moot Court Competition at Government Law College in Mumbai, India. They were ranked #1 after the preliminary rounds and were the only non-Indian team that advanced to the quarterfinal round. The team (Aman Ansari, Christopher Dore, and Mark Segrist) was coached by Professor William B.T. Mock (pictured at right).
We strongly support the participation of law schools from the United States in moot court competitions held in other countries. It is a great opportunity for both the law schools and the students.
Aaron Zelinsky, a second year student at Yale Law School (and a regular reader of International Law Prof Blog), has shared with us a great piece he wrote for the Huffington Post about the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 and closing the legal loophole for Blackwater. Here is an excerpt from his article:
There are currently more civilian contractors in Iraq than members of the United States Army. The most infamous is the private security force, Xe (The-Firm-Formerly-Known-as-Blackwater). Xe has approximately 1000 military contractors in Iraq who guard U.S. government installations and personnel.
Because of a legislative loophole, Xe and many of its fellow contractors currently operate outside of both U.S. and Iraqi law. While contractors employed by the Department of Defense are answerable to the domestic laws of the United States, contractors employed by civilian departments are not necessarily accountable under U.S. law. Congress and President Obama should act immediately to rectify this problem.