Sunday, January 31, 2010
A reminder of a deadline . . .
The editorial board of The Hague Justice Journal / Journal Judicaire de La Haye (HJJ-JJH) is seeking contributions for 2010 from academics, practitioners, and post-graduate students working in the field of international law and international relations. The general theme is: "The Relationships between the International Courts and Tribunals: Conflict and Cooperation." HJJ-JJH is a bilingual, peer-reviewed journal. Articles may be up to 10,000 words. Shorter articles, legal commentaries, and case notes may be up to 3,500 words. Submissions may be written in English or French. The deadline is 31 January 2010.
The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference is Friday, February 19, 2010 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. The UNA-UNA Southern New York State Division invites interested persons to come to the United Nations headquarters in New York to attend the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference and the 2010 UNA-USA Members’ Day. This FREE of CHARGE event is open to the public, though prior registration is mandatory.
Amid urgent public concerns about the world economic crisis, the dangers of nuclear weapons, and the continuing war in Afghanistan, the 2010 conference will feature the following three panels:
Afghanistan: From Ramping Up to the Exit Ramp
Hitting the Reset Button on the Global Economy
Turning Back the Bomb: Hard Cases and Grand Designs
This event is a unique opportunity to learn about the crucial role the United Nations plays in addressing the most pressing challenges of times. Register online at www.unausa.org/MembersDay2010 by 12 February 2010.
Hat tip to UNA-USA
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The emergency relief operation in Haiti continues to make progress on a daily basis although considerable logistical restraints have meant large numbers of people suffering from the impact of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake have not yet received the aid they need, the United Nations humanitarian chief said today.
“We have a long way to go before we can feel satisfied about that,” the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
For the most part potable water is being shipped to the people who need it, but there are major concerns over the distribution of food, said Mr. Holmes, who is also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been working night and day to reach around 600,000 people to date with the equivalent of 16 million meals, an effort which will be considerably scaled up to reach 2 million people in the next two weeks through food distribution sites.
“This will involve the distribution of some 10 million kilos of rice to over 400,000 households, which is the equivalent of 2 million people. This is just in the Port-au-Prince area,” he said, referring to the capital.
Food deliveries are also slated to be trucked directly to around 400 orphanages and hospitals altogether over the 14 day period, he added.
Mr. Holmes noted that the initial phase for Haitians in need of emergency surgical operations is largely over, but concerns remain over those who have undergone surgery and who need intensive care. “They don’t have homes to go to in many cases and that’s something being addressed.”
Current estimates of 2,000 amputee cases in Haiti as a result of injuries sustained in the 12 January earthquake are likely to rise, Paul Garwood of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a press briefing in Geneva earlier in the day.
“Clearly there would be a longer-term problem about how to cope with the large number of amputees in terms of artificial limbs and rehabilitation, but that’s a slightly longer-term issue, but one [that] we’re very conscious of as well,” said Mr. Holmes.
He said that rather than create large camps for displaced persons, the focus is to help provide shelter to where people have fled in the capital and other large cities, stressing that there are some 500 informal settlements scattered around Port-au-Prince alone.
The UN is making sure people have either tents, or other materials, including plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and wood to help create temporary shelters. Some people are starting from scratch on open ground and many are living on the land by their destroyed houses.
“In this context, sanitation is a particular concern at the moment,” said Mr. Holmes. “There is a need to provide sanitation particularly to these informal camps around Port-au-Prince and elsewhere.”
In addition, Mr. Holmes underscored the need to boost child protection. “This is a huge concern at the moment with so many children involved, so many orphaned and separated or otherwise isolated and the risks to them from unauthorized attempts to get them out of the country.”
At the press briefing in Geneva, Veronique Taveau of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that security is being strengthened in hospitals, orphanages, at the border crossing with the Dominican Republic and at the airport, and the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is conducting investigations into alleged kidnappings of children.
Mr. Holmes noted that the $575 million UN flash appeal for Haiti launched three days after the quake is 82 per cent funded, Mr. Holmes announced, expressing some concern that certain areas – including early recovery, the cash-for-work scheme, agriculture and nutrition – remain under-funded.
Although only around $3 million of the $41 million of the cash-for-work programme has been funded to date, Mr. Holmes said the funding will increase shortly. “At the moment 12,500 are already employed under this UNDP [UN Development Programme] cash-for-work scheme. That should reach 20,000 by the end of the weekend and the aim is to eventually reach 200,000 people.”
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Yesterday, the World Trade Organization announced that it has selected 14 universities in developing countries to receive financial resources to support teaching, research and outreach activities. The WTO Chairs Program is intended to provide students with a deeper understanding of trade policy issues. The program also is designed to faciliate fuller participation in the formulation and implementation of trade policy by the beneficiary countries. The WCP hopes to train the future leaders of those countries to allow them to better understand and participate in global trade. The universities were selected through a competitive proposal process and include Mexico, China, Chile, Jordan, Nairobi and Vietnam. A complete list of the programs and chair holders can be found here. Congratulations to those who were selected!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Cyndee Todgham Cherniak
Reuters is reporting that at the January 22, 2010 Meeting of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, the United States and Japan blocked requests by Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, India and China for a future review of trade measures, such as stimulus bailouts in the financial sector. An official at the meeting spoke about what had occurred behind closed doors.
This blocking is to be expected for a number of reasons:
1) If Cuba is asking for the review, the United States is going to respond negatively;
2) Both Japan and the United States have experienced financial meltdowns (so has Argentina - but they are on the requesting side - possibly they come from a place of understanding);
3) Unwinding the bailout funding is not an option - the possible negative recommendations that may be contained in a WTO Report sends the "What Ifs" into overdrive;
4) The transparent production of information in the course of the analysis is rife with difficulties;
5) Sovereignty - need I say more; and
6) If a WTO Report were to determine that the financial stimulus spending in 2009/2010 was WTO illegal, all hell would break loose and the existence of the WTO as an institution may be threatened.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Earthquake victims should not die when life-saving resources are available a few hours away. DHS should use the humanitarian parole framework and open the door to life-saving treatment for seriously wounded earthquake survivors.
The recovery effort in Haiti is far from over. Enormous humanitarian challenges lie ahead. Ensuring access to food, water, sanitation, and security in Haiti is a monumental undertaking. However, for the most seriously injured, this may not be enough. They will need medical assistance that only U.S. hospitals are ready and willing to provide.
President Obama should cut through the red tape and dispatch a Citizenship and Immigration Services team to Haiti to help extend humanitarian parole to Haitians so that they can get the medical care they desperately need.
The focus on relief efforts in Haiti has been on organizations that can provide immediate medical care and treatment to the thousand of persons injured by the earthquake. We have posted previously on some of those efforts and organizations to support, and that is where donations are needed most. Click here for a list of organizatoins and here for a post on one of them in particular (Partners in Health).
But we also look ahead to a time when we can help legal professionals in Haiti. The Haitian Lawyers Association (based in Miami, Florida) was a bar organization that up to this point was no different than many others who simply give a scholarship fundraising gala every year. But the Haitian Lawyers Association suddenly found itself as the organization many are turning to for guidance and coordination on everything from representing newly arrived orphans to drop-off and warehouse referrals.
Markenzy Lapointe, an associate attorney with Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Miami, Florida, asks (through the leadership listserve of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section) for donations to help the Haitian Lawyers Association. For more information, please contact him at the following address or by clicking here:
BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP
100 S.E. 2nd Street, Suite 2800
Miami, FL 33131
For more information on the Haitian Lawyers Association, click here.
We received the following press release from Scholars at Risk:
Scholars at Risk is deeply concerned about the apparent murder of Dr. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, a professor of physics at Tehran University in Iran. Although complete information is not available, according to reports Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was killed by an explosion outside his home on January 12, 2010. The motives for the apparent assassination are not clear at this time, although there is speculation centered on Dr. Ali-Mohammadi's role as a researcher in nuclear physics. Whatever the motives, it is clear that any attack on Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was a violation of internationally recognized human rights, including the “right to life, liberty and security of person” (UDHR Art. 3) and to due process under law (UDHR Arts. 6-12).
The violence and suddenness of the attack add to on-going grave concerns about the ability of scholars and intellectuals to work safely in Iran. The attack follows months of reports of arrest and detention of academics throughout Iran before and after the June 2009 elections. Together, these suggest a wider attempt to intimidate intellectuals and to limit academic freedom in Iran-a suggestion we find particularly distressing and unfortunate, given Iran's rich intellectual history and traditional support for the values of scholarship and free inquiry.
Scholars at Risk therefore joins in calling upon the authorities in Iran to launch an immediate investigation into the apparent assassination of Professor Ali-Mohammadi. Moreover, given the international nature of the academic community and viewing the open assassination of a member of that community as of grave concern to all members, Scholars at Risk urges that appropriate third-party international observers such as from the United Nations or one of the relevant international academic societies be included among the investigation team to ensure impartiality and to provide confidence to the international community in any findings that may result.
Scholars at Risk is an international network of universities and colleges dedicated to promoting academic freedom and to defending the human rights of scholars worldwide. In especially serious cases, Scholars at Risk calls for action on behalf of scholars who are killed as a result of their work or for those who are suffering serious threats to the exercise of their fundamental human rights.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
As I watch the international community's efforts to provide relief to Haitians after the recent earthquakes, I have been struck by all the ways in which international law is facilitating that work.
Multilateral treaties governing airspace allow coordination of flights bringing aid into
The international law of diplomacy allows United Nations and other foreign officials to enter
International law is increasingly recognizing the concept of humanitarian intervention by States into another State where a national government is unable to fully function and protect and care for its own people. While such intervention can be controversial in some cases, it is probably essential in
The international community has developed guidelines to make the provision of international aid more effective in the form of the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness. These principles aim to ensure that the provision of aid is coordinated and harmonized, is transparent and therefore less susceptible to corruption, that stakeholders at every level of society have opportunities to participate, and that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are prioritized.
International refugee law helps to provide a framework for the evacuation and resettlement of refugees. The United Nations also has developed Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to protect the rights of internally displaced persons, which include a right to assistance from the government on a nondiscriminatory basis, a right to be informed of the facts and the whereabouts of missing relatives, and a right to return to
With every natural disaster, it seems the international community learns a little more about how best to respond to these tragedies. While the events in Haiti are heartbreaking, international lawyers can play a positive role by developing international law to improve the coordination of the relief efforts.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the secretary of Homeland Security had designated Haiti for temporary protected status (TPS) for a period of 18 months.
Under this designation, qualified Haitian nationals (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) may apply for TPS within the 180-day registration period that begins on January 21, 2010.
These nationals also may apply for employment authorization documents and for permission to depart from and return to the United States. This designation is effective from January 21, 2010 to July 22, 2011. The 180-day registration period is open until July 20, 2010. Click here to view the Federal Register notice.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The International Law Students Association (ILSA) is now accepting orders for ad placements, exhibition tables, and other promotional opportunities at the 2010 White & Case International Rounds of the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Over 600 students from around the globe gather in Washington, D.C. to attend this week-long event (March 21-27, 2010), along with hundreds more students and practitioners who serve as Competition judges and attend the ILSA spring conference held that same week. To learn about sponsorship and advertising opportunities, contact Ashley Walker, the Jessup Competition Coordinator at ILSA, by calling her at +1 (312) 362-5021.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Co-Blog Editor Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School was elected last week in New Orleans as the Chair of the International Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He will chair the International Law Section during 2010. His term will finish in January 2011, when the AALS will hold its annual meeting in San Francisco. The International Law Section is planning a full day program there to review the year's most important developments in international law.
Professor Wojcik teaches international law, other international courses (such as international organizations) and legal writing at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He is also an adjunct professor at law schools in Switzerland (University of Lucerne Faculty of Law) and Mexico (Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey). He is active in the leadership of the ABA Section of International Law and served as co-editor (with Professor William Mock) of the section's 2009 international law year in review. He has taught in many countries around the world and is leaving this week to teach a special seminar in Jordan (with Professor Steven Schwinn).
The chair of the AALS Section of International Law for 2009 was Professor Diane Marie Amann of the Univesity of California at Davis. During her year she worked quite hard to open up the section and broaden participation in section programs and leadership. She organized two programs for the section at the AALS annual meeting in New Orleans. She joins the Section's Executive Committee for 2011 as the immediate past section chair.
Daniel H. Derby, Professor of Law and Director of International Programs at Touro Law Center was chosen as the Chair-Elect. He will become Chair of the Section in January 2011.
Christiana Ochoa, who was the section treasurer, was elected as Section Secretary. She is an Associate Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University at Bloomington.
Professor Stephanie Farrior of Vermont Law School was elected as the new section Treasurer. She is the Director of International and Comparative Law Programs at Vermont and the former director and general counsel of Amnesty International.
Hari Osofsky of Washington & Lee University School of Law was elected to the Section's Executive Committee.
Because it is such a large section with the Association of American Law Schools, more people applied to be on the Executive Committee than could be accommodated. The section will be setting up a number of committees instead over the coming year to provide opportunities for professors to contribute to the work of the section. Some of these committees will likely include programming, newsletter, and by-laws. If you are a member of the section and would like to serve on a committee, please contact Professor Wojcik.
Continuing for another year as co-editors of the Section Newsletter are Professors Linda M. Keller of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and Annecoos Wiersema of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Monday, January 18, 2010
The American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association will present the annual International Law Weekend (“ILW”) in New York on October 21-23, 2010, in conjunction with the 89th annual meeting of the American Branch. ILW 2010 will bring together hundreds of practitioners, professors, members of the governmental and non-governmental sectors, and law students. The conference will feature numerous panels, distinguished speakers, receptions, and the Branch’s annual meeting.
ILW 2010 will take place at the Association of the Bar of the City of
The Co-Chairs of ILW 20010 are Professor Elizabeth Burleson of the University of South Dakota Law School [Elizabeth.Burleson @ usd.edu], Hanna Dreifeldt Lainé of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs [dreifeldt @ un.org], Vincent J. Vitkowsky, Partner, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, [vvitkowsky @ eapdlaw.com], and Jill Schmieder Hereau, Program Coordinator at the International Law Students Association, [jshereau @ ilsa.org].
The Co-Chairs invite proposals for panels for ILW 2010. Please submit proposals by email to each of the Co-Chairs no later than Friday, April 9, 2010. The proposals should be structured for 90-minute panels, and should include a formal title, a brief description of the subjects to be covered (no more than 75 words), and the names, titles, and affiliations of the panel chair and three or four likely speakers. The proposals should also describe the format envisaged (point-counterpoint, roundtable, or other). One of the objectives of ILW 2010 is to promote a dialogue among scholars and practitioners from across the legal spectrum, so whenever possible, panels should include presentations of divergent views.
Hat tip to Jill Schmieder Hereau
Mark E. Wojcik, Board member of the International Law Students Association and Chair of the Teaching International Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association
Aaron Zelinsky, a third year law student at Yale who sends us postings from time to time, has written a blog post on the Huffington Post about effective relief organizations in Haiti. He co-wrote the post with fellow classmate, Jeff Kahn, who is also writing his Ph.D. about Haiti and who worked with the organization Partners in Health. In their article, they encourage donations to Partners in Health because it focuses on capacity building and infrastructure development, two keys for long term effective aid. Click here to read more.
Partners in Health is one of the donor organizations we highlighted in an earlier post on Helping Haiti.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
On January 18 - 22, 2010, Canada's negotiators will travel to Brussels, Belgium to take part in the second Round of Canada - European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations.
The first Round of talks took place in Ottawa, Ontario on October 19 - 23, 2009. Many, but not all, of the Canadian provinces were in attendance at those meetings. Based on my discussions with some who were in attendance, many committees were struck for the purposes of the negotiations and some of the provincial representatives participated in the meetings. That being said, the Canadian federal negotiator is the lead negotiator and Canada is planning to present a federal-provincial agreed position on various matters to the Europeans.
There has been little written about the upcoming Round of negotiations. Here is the link to the Canadian Government page - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/eu-ue/can-eu-report-intro-can-ue-rapport-intro.aspx
Here is a link to the European Commission Trade page for Canada - http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/bilateral-relations/countries/canada/
It is important to note that Canadian and the EU Unions are voicing concerns about the CETA - http://www.nupge.ca/node/2869. This should be expected given the vocal nature of unions to many recent FTAs. However, they have written "A Critical Assessment of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Between the European Union and Canada", which is an interesting read.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Professor John E. Noyes of California Western School of Law is the current president of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA). That school named him as the inaugural Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, a new professorship named in honor of the late justice of the California Supreme Court.
Professor Noyes has just completed a new edition of his book on the Law of the Sea in a Nutshell. I told him that the publisher (West) should call it Law of the Sea in a Seashell instead. (They could start a new series of books and through in some stuff on admiralty as well!)
Congratulations to Professor Noyes on the new honor and new publication.
The American Bar Association Section of International Law holds an AMAZING Spring Meeting each year. This year it will be in New York City, starting on Tuesday April 13 through Saturday April 17, 2010. Click here for a link to the full program. This simply is one of those international law events that you do not want to miss. Law students are also encouraged to attend and meet the more than 1,000 international law practitioners expected to participate. Click here for more information about the ABA International Section's Spring Meeting.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The European Parliament and Council recently adopted a regulation that prohibits the marketing and importation of all seal products from commercial hunting. This regulation triggered open opposition by Canada, Norway, and other seal-hunting countries. Canada and Norway requested dispute settlement consultations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement concerning this legislation. This is the 400th trade dispute brought before the WTO. The American Society of International Law has prepared a background paper to explain the dispute. Click here to read more.
The background paper was prepared by Simon Lester, a former Legal Affairs Officer at the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat. He is co-founder of WorldTradeLaw.net. He blogs at the International Eonomic Law and Policy Blog,
Hat tips to Simon Lester and Sheila Ward. And greetings to the International Economic Law and Policy Blog!