Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Liberia became the 149th country to ratify the United Nations-backed Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Liberia's ratification brings the total number of nations to almost 150. It also means that the CTBT has 51 signatures and 37 ratifications of the 53 countries on the African continent, where the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba) went into effect last month.
To date, 181 nations have signed the CTBT, which the U.N. General Assembly adopted in September 1996.
The CTBT hopes to ban any nuclear-test explosions anywhere in the world. The CTBT will enter into force 180 days after all 44 of the States listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty have ratified it. Those 44 nations were those that had nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons technology when the CTBT was opened for signature in 1996. So far, 35 of these nations, including France, Russia and the United Kingdom, have ratified it the CTBT, but nations that have not yet ratified include the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, and Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to chair a meeting of the Security Council in September, focusing on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the CTBT.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Who's blogging now? My colleague Colin Miller at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has compiled a "Legal Educator Blog Census" that tells us "which legal educators are blogging and where the blogosphere is headed." He plans to update the list annually and hopes it will assist professors and other scholars in their work.
In case you're wondering, the two law schools associated with the largest number of law professor blogs are the American University Washington College of Law and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Hat tip to Colin Miller (and his wife Zoe, who helped him prepare the census).
An ad hoc international arbitral commission issued its final damages award on Monday in a border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea, splitting damages between the two countries for violations of international law committed by each of them during a 1998-2000 conflict between them. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission was established pursuant to Article 5 of the Agreement signed in Algiers on December 12, 2000 between the Governments of the State of Eritrea and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (the “December Agreement”) and operated under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. The 5-member Commission was established to “decide through binding arbitration all claims for loss, damage or injury by one Government against the other” related to the 1998-2000 conflict between them that “result from violations of international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, or other violations of international law,” The Commission held multiple hearings between 2001 and 2008 and issued several partial rulings dealing with issues of diplomatic immunity and treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. According to the Commission, the armed conflict between the two parties caused serious injury and damage to the people and infrastructure of these two countries. In addition to specific liability findings, the Commission awarded total monetary compensation in the amount of US$161,455,000 to Eritrea in respect of its own claims, as well as US$2,065,865 for individual claimants. The total monetary compensation awarded to Ethiopia in respect of its claims was US$174,036,520. The Commission recognized that the damages awards are probably less than what the Parties believe they are due because the Commission took into account the fact that the Parties are among the poorest on earth and the difficult economic conditions in the affected areas.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The People's Republic of China announced that it would appeal a World Trade Organization ruling which ordered China to ease restrictions on imports of movies, music, and books. China presently allows such imports but only if the foreign media distributes its products through companies owned by the Chinese government. The WTO ruling (which we reported on here) said that China should allow foreign media companies to distribute master copies of publications and movies directly under the same conditions as Chinese companies.
Under the WTO rules, China has two months to file its appeal. Yao Jian, a Chinese government spokesman who announced that China would file the appeal, did not indicate what substantive arguments China would make in its appeal. Click here for more information.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Fiji is a nation troubled by a military ruler who fired all of the judges in the country and suspended the Fijian constitution as an "emergency" measure after a court ruled that the military government there was illegal. Since then there have been severe crackdowns on lawyers, the press, and even on internet usage.
A new press report is stating that Fiji will now look to Sri Lanka to supply it with some judges, at least on a temporary basis. Click here to read more.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is the most important conference for law professors and others interested in international legal education, legal English, and skills education.
The call for papers, panels, and presentations (in English or Spanish) is open until September 25, 2009. Click here to watch a seven-minute video about why you should attend the conference. There is also a link on that page to the submission form for proposals.
See you in Monterrey!
The International Criminal Court granted the request of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for a conditional release until the start of his trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mr. Bemba, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, faces charges for alleged crimes committed in the Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003, including rape, murder and pillaging. He will be released once the conditions for his release have been set and the ICC dertemines which country will take him in until his trial. The trial will take place at the ICC Building in The Hague.
The ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated that he would appeal the decision to grant Mr. Bemba conditional release.