May 2, 2009
30,000+ Visits to the International Law Prof Blog
We're celebrating more than 30,000 visits to the International Law Prof Blog. We are pleased to have a wide readership from all around the world, including with colleagues who live in countries where direct communication can sometimes otherwise be difficult (such as in Iran or Sudan). We're also happy to have contributing editors from Canada and Ireland, who add much to our content.
We thank our readers for your visits, comments, and contributions. Please continue to send us news of conferences, books and other legal scholarship, moot court competitions, international exchange opportunities, and important substantive developments in international law.
Here's an updated list of places from which we have visitors to our blog, Our latest additions to the list include Belarus, Malta, Iceland, and Samoa.
Islamic Republic of Iran
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - FYROM)
People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong)
United Republic of Tanzania
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States of America
Thank you all for visiting the International Law Prof Blog.
April 30, 2009
Arctic Council Postpones EU's Application for Observer Status
On Wednesday of this week, the Arctic Council postponed consideration of the application of the European Union (EU) for permanent observer status due to a tiff over an EU ban on seal products. Canada advocated for the postponement because it believes hunting seals can be done in a sustainable and humane way and that the ban is unnecessary. Observer status was also denied to China, Italy and South Korea.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum created in 1996 to promote cooperation and coordination between the states in the Arctic. It currently has eight member states: Canada, Demark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden. and the United States Six indigenous groups sit as permanent observers.
The next full ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council is not until 2011. However, because of increased interest and activity in the Arctic, the parties have agreed to start meeting at a political level once a year. Therefore, it is not clear when the EU may renew its application.
Separately, the Council agreed to begin negotiations on an international agreement on Arctic searches and rescues, in recognition that increased activity in the area will likely lead to a need for more search and rescue operations. The Council also urged the International Maritime Organization to adopt updated guidelines for ships operating in Arctic waters, and to support the development of binding rules on safety and the environment for the Arctic.
Lamy Reappointed as WTO Director-General
The Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) unanimously agreed today to reappoint Pascal Lamy to a second four-year term as Director-General of the WTO beginning September 1, 2009.
April 28, 2009
International Health Law and the Swine Flu Outbreak
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has published a short analysis by David Fidler of Indiana University, one of the top international health law professors in the United States. Click here to read what the Adjunct Law Prof Blog has to say about it and click here to read the ASIL Insight with Professor Fidler's analysis and explanation of the World Health Organizations' International Health Regulations.
Hat tip to Mitchell Rubenstein at the Adjunct Law Prof Blog.
Armenia to Become 73rd State Party to the CISG
Armenia has acceeded to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and will become the 73rd State Party to the Convention. (The 72nd State Party, by the way, was Lebanon). The CISG will enter into force for Armenia on January 1, 2010.
The CISG enters into effect for Japan on August 1, 2009.
What is the Role of the U.S. State Department Legal Adviser?
On the eve of confirmation hearings Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) has made available a report on the role of the U.S. State Department Legal Adviser, the top counsel to the Secretary of State. Although the article was first published in 1991, it summarizes the Legal Adviser’s duties and powers in a way that remains valid and useful today. The document can be accessed at www.asil.org/legaladvisersrole
Hat tip to Sheila Ward at ASIL.
April 27, 2009
Two more countries intend to apply for EU membership
In elections today, Icelanders have elected a majority of deputies to the Icelandic Parliament, or Althingi, who favor an immediate application to join the EU. The center-left Social Democrats and the far Left Green Movement won a clear majority. Ms. Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of the Social Democratic Party, has stated that she favors beginning the application process within weeks of the election. The Social Democrats believe EU membership will help buffer the Icelandic economy from future economic downturns. The Left Green Party is not convinced, but probably does not have enough power to block the application. Iceland already applies 75% of EU legislation through its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), so its membership in the EU should not require significant legal changes. The most difficult negotiations are predicted to concern Iceland's fisheries. 2011 is expected to be the earliest possible date of admission.
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha also announced that his country will officially apply for EU membership tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28. The former Communist state is located in the western Balkans, has a population of approximately 3 million people, and is one of the poorest in Europe. Albania signed a pre-accession deal, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), with the EU in June 2006. Ratification of its SAA was completed in January 2009, when Greece became the last EU state to approve the document. Organized crime, money laundering, drug trafficking, and corruption continue to be significant problems in Albania and further improvements in those areas will likey need to be made before Albania will be allowed to join the EU. The accession process will likely take several years.
Journal of Transnational and Contemporary Problems Call for Papers
The Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems (TLCP) at the University of Iowa College of Law is hosting a Symposium in Spring 2010 entitled: “A Critical Juncture: U.S. Standing in the World and Foreign Policy Under the Obama Administration.” TLCP has issued a Call for Papers for the Symposium. Scholars whose articles are accepted will receive stipends to cover their lodging and travel to the University of Iowa College of Law in March of 2010 to present their work, as well as publication in TLCP’s upcoming Volume 19. More information can be found here.
April 26, 2009
WTO issues ruling in US-Japan Zeroing Dispute
The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a ruling on Friday in the ongoing dispute between the U.S. and other countries relating to the United States' practice of "zeroing" when calculating antidumping margins in investigations and reviews. This latest decision relates to the United States' compliance with a 2007 decision of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in a dispute brought by Japan. In United States-Measures relating to Zeroing and Sunset Reviews, the WTO compliance panel issued a mixed decision under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding, finding that the United States had complied with the DSB's original decision in certain reviews, but had failed to comply in others, resulting in a finding of continued noncompliance by the U.S. with articles 2.4 and 9.3 of the Antidumping Agreement and article VI:2 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994. The WTO panel recommended that the DSB request that the United States bring itself into compliance once again. More information, including the latest decision on compliance, can be found here.