January 10, 2009
U.N. International Law Research Library
- resources relating to treaties and treaty status information;
- materials concerning the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals;
- access to selected United Nations publications and to repositories of official documentation; and
- selected scholarly writings in international law, including publications, journal articles, and research guides.
Particular emphasis is on authoritative sites, typically including those providing unrestricted access to primary materials or to key secondary sources of information on international law and on the activities of international organizations. Click here to read more.
Hat tip to Victor Salas at The John Marshall Law School Law Library in Chicago.
January 9, 2009
Interpretation of Avena (Mexico v. U.S.) Judgment Expected Monday, Jan. 19
For those of you who have been following the Avena litigation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the ICJ has announced that it will issue its next judgment in the case on Monday, January 19. By way of background, this is the case in which Mexico sued the U.S. for its failure to provide consular notification to 54 Mexican nationals who were tried and convicted of capital crimes in the U.S. The ICJ found that the U.S. is in violation of its obligation to provide consular notification under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Notification, but the U.S. has not yet found a satisfactory way to implement that judgment. Unhappy with the United States' inability or unwillingness to provide a satisfactory remedy, Mexico went back to the ICJ to request an interpretation of the ICJ's previous Avena judgment with respect to the proper remedy.
January 8, 2009
AALS International Dance Card
Two more days left of the AALS Conference! Here's a reminder of international law events of interest
Friday, January 9, 2009
7:00 to 8:30 a.m. JOINT BREAKFAST of the Sections on Africa, Comparative Law, International Human Rights, International Law, International Legal Exchange, Graduate Programs for Foreign Lawyers, and North American Cooperation. Santa Rosa, South Tower/Level 1, San Diego Marriott. This is a ticketed event - buy a ticket when you check in at the registration center if you forgot to order in advance!
7:30 to 8:30 a.m. ASIL Teaching International Law Interest Group Breakfast. Torrey 2 Room (Lobby Level, North Tower), San Diego Marriott. This is a free event, so if you don't have a ticket to the Joint Int'l Law Breakfast above, please come join us.
8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Section on Environmental Law. "Environmental Justice on the U.S.-Mexico Border." Mariana Salon D, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott
10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Section on Law, Medicine, and Health Care. "Comparative Health Law: What Can the U.S. Learn from Other Countries?" Columbia 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel
10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Section on Torts and Compensation Systems. "Foreign Tort Law: Beyond Europe." Program to be published int eh Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. San Diego Salon A, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel
1:30 to 3:15 p.m. Section on Conflict of Laws. "Choice of Law Reforms in the EU." Columbia 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel
1:30 to 3:15 p.m. Section on Immigration Law. "Crossing Borders, Creating Borders: Nations, Migrants, and Constructions of Law." San Diego Salon A, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel.
3:30 to 5:15 p.m. Section on International Law. "Taking International Law Seriously: Will the United States Abide by International Law that is a Law of Rules?" Mariana Salon D, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott Hotel. Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. AALS Reception for Legal Educators from Law Schools Outside the United States. Carlsbad, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott Hotel.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Committee on International Cooperation Program. "The Role of Law Schools in the Promotion of Human Rights and Legal and Curricular Reform Abroad." San Diego Salon B, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel.
There are many other events of interest, of course. The AALS Annual Meeting is a rich and rewarding experience. See you all in San Diego!
Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago
ABA Midyear Meeting Attendees Needed to Judge Negotiation Competition February 13-14
The American Bar Association Law Student Division seeks judges for the 2008-09 Negotiation Competition National Finals, which will be held during the ABA Midyear Meeting February 13-14, 2009 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. In November, 223 teams from law schools all over the United States and Canada competed in the 10 regional competitions. The top 24 teams qualified to compete in the National Finals. The topic of this year's competition is Elder Law. Previous competition judging experience is NOT REQUIRED. The competiton is looking for practicing attorneys, law professors, and judges who are interested in objectively evaluating the negotiation skills of these top law students and giving them useful feedback. Judges may earn CLE credit if their state CLE Board provides for credit via judging competitions. Rounds will be held on Friday, February 13th and Saturday, February 14th. Judges are asked to serve for only one of the four rounds.
- Round 1: Friday, February 13th (8:30 am to 12:30 pm)
- Round 2: Friday, February 13th (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)
- Semifinal Round: Saturday, February 14th (8:30 am to 12:30 pm)
- Championship Round: Saturday, February 14th (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)
January 6, 2009
Lamy Likely to Head WTO in Second Term
Pascal Lamy is the only candidate to be director-general of the World Trade Organization for the next four years. Mr. Lamy must be confirmed by members before the end of May. If he is approved, his second term would begin on September 1, 2009.
The Future of KORUS
South Korea's trade minister, Kim Jong-hoon, has urged the incoming U.S. administration to keep the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. He told the Financial Times newspaper that he was confident that the agreement would soon be ratified by the Korean parliament, depsite severe public protests in South Korea.
Separation of Powers and Treaty Making
In the New York Times this past Sunday, John Bolton and John Yoo wrote an editorial entitled, "Restore the Senate's Treaty Power," which can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/opinion/05bolton.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
In this op ed piece, Mr. Bolton and Mr. Yoo argue that incoming President Obama should follow the constitutional procedures for submitting treaties to the Senate for its advice and consent and should not try to use other procedures, such as executive agreements or Congressional-Executive agreements that were used to approve trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. It is interesting that two former Bush Administration officials known for advocating a strong executive branch with much unilateral power would now argue for limits on the executive's power to enter into international agreements. However, their stance appears consistent with their aversion to "entangling alliances" with foreign countries.
Mr. Bolton and Mr. Yoo are right to raise concerns about a too powerful executive branch that ignores constitutional checks and balances. On the other hand, presidents have committed the United States to certain international obligations by way of executive agreements for at least a century with the blessing of the U.S. Supreme Court, so it is likely that such agreements will continue to be used by future presidents. The U.S. State Department has developed a set of guidelines for what kinds of treaties should be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent based in part on Supreme Court case law. And while constitutional concerns have been raised by scholars regarding the use of Congressional-Executive agreements, it may be argued that such agreements have more democratic legitimacy because they must be approved by a majority of both Houses of Congress, involving many more elected representatives. Given that many international treaties will require implementing legislation to be made effective in the domestic legal system, it makes sense to obtain "buy in" from the House of Representatives early on. What the United States needs is a President who will respect constitutional requirements, but also remain flexible, practical, and open to using international law to promote U.S. interests at home and abroad.
January 4, 2009
Another "Dance Card" for the AALS Meeting
In addition to the International Law Dance Card for this week's AALS annual meeting in San Diego, you can click here to see the events of interest to those of you who teach legal research and writing.
If you need the International Law Dance Card, click here.
Symposium on Immigrant Workers
The Univeristy of San Francisco Law Review will hold a symposium on Friday, February 27, 2009 on how contemporary society views, treats, and defines immigrant workers. Morning plenary panels will consider approaches to address immigrant worker rights, parallels between chattel slavery and present immigration policy, and the treatment of female immigrant workers in the context of slavery, trafficking, and migrant farming. Panelists include Professor Gerald Neuman of Harvard Law School, Dean Kevin Johnson of UC Davis School of Law, and Professor Adrienne Davis of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. John Trasvina, General Counsel and President of MALDEF, will provide the keynote address. Afternoon breakout sessions will cover labor law, ICE raids, and the high-tech industry. Panelists include Professor Bill Hing of UC Davis School of Law, Professor Christopher Cameron of Southwestern School of Law, and Mr. Martin Lawler of Lawler & Lawler LLP. For more infomration on the symposium contact Jenica Mariani.
The United States has blocked approval of a U.N. Security Council statement that called for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said that because the United States saw no prospect of Hamas abiding by the council's call to end attacks on Israel, a new statement "would not be adhered to and would have no underpinning for success, would not do credit to the council." Click here to read more from the Los Angeles Times. IN THE PHOTO - Zalmay Khalilzad (centre), Permanent Representative of United States to the United Nations, is addressing the Security Council emergency meeting on December 31, 2008 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. There still appears to be no diplomatic solution to the situation in Gaza.