Monday, January 31, 2011
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held its annual press conference on January 27, at which time it issued is annual report for 2010. The report presents a summary of the Court's activities during the last year. The President of the ECtHR and the President of the European Court of Justice also issued the first ever joint statement by these presidents concerning the upcoming accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Some of the more interesting statistics from 2010 include the fact that approximately 61,000 new applications were filed and the Court had almost 140,000 petitions pending on January 1, 2011. More than half of the new applications were filed against one of four countries: Russia, Turkey, Romania or Ukraine, and more than one-third of the Court's judgments were filed against one of those same four states in 2010. The Court delivered almost 1,500 judgments in total during 2010. The most common violations found by the Court were violations of Article 6 (right to fair trial), article 5 (right to liberty and security, article 2 (right to life) and article 3 (prohibition on torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).
More information may be found on the ECtHR website.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The International Law Students Association (ILSA) is seeking proposals for the 2012 Compromis from prospective compromis authors. The ILSA Board of Directors will consider all proposals and decide the winning submission at the end of March. Proposals should contain four principal legal issues based on realistic, cutting-edge questions of international law, as well as a one-page outline of the sub-issues raised. Proposals are due to Will Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2011. For more information about submitting a 2012 Compromis proposal and authorial responsibilities, please click here.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all Egyptians today to ensure that political protests do not lead to further violence, and called on the Government to see this “as an opportunity to engage in addressing the legitimate concerns of the people,” his spokesman said.
According to media reports, police fought with thousands of Egyptians who defied a government ban to protest against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-old rule, firing rubber bullets and tear gas and dragging away demonstrators.
“The United Nations is closely following the evolving protests and tensions in Egypt and the broader region,” spokesman Martin Nesirky said. “The UN will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt and in other parts of the region and stands ready to help."
(UN Press Release)
The Vermont Law School will host the Second Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship on September 23, 2011. The Colloquium offers the opportunity for environmental law scholars to present their works-in-progress and recent scholarship, to get feedback from their colleagues, and to meet and interact with those who are also teaching and researching in the environmental and natural resources law area. Although not specificially focused on international enviornmental law, scholars in that area are certainly welcome.
If you are interested in presenting a paper at the Colloquium, you must submit a working title and short abstract no later than April 15, 2011. For an abstract to be eligible for submission, the author must anticipate that the paper will still be at a revisable stage (neither published nor so close to publication that significant changes are not feasible) by the date of the Colloquium. Authors will be notified of acceptances no later than May 2011. All selected participants will be required to submit a paper draft no later than September 1, 2011, and all participants will be asked to provide commentary on another participant’s paper draft at the Colloquium. Final papers will also be eligible for publication in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. For more information regarding the colloquium generally or to how to submit an abstract, click here.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing titled “Crackdown in Belarus: Responding to the Lukashenko Regime.” The hearing will be January 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm, 419 Dirksen Building, Washington, DC.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office
Some new leaders were appointed to head the section on International
Law of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) earlier this month. Professor Daniel Derby of Touro Law School became the new Chair of the section. Professor Derby has been a member of the Touro Law faculty for 18 years. His scholarship focuses on international criminal law and conflicts of law.
Other officers of the section include Professor Christiana Ochoa of Indiana University School of Law as Chair-Elect; Professor Stephanie Farrior of Vermont Law School as Secretary; and the undersigned, Professor Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University Law School as Treasurer. Rounding out the Executive Committee are immediate past-chair Professor Mark Wojcik of John Marshall Law School; Professor Hari Osofsky of the University of Minnesota School of Law; Professor Matthew Charity of Western New England Law School; Professor William Mock of John Marshall Law School; and Professor Anthony Winer of William Mitchell School of Law. The new Newsletter Editor is Professor John Knechtle from the Florida Coastal School of Law.
Professor Wojcik set a high bar with his outstanding programming for the section. The new leaders are already deep in planning for an interesting and informative program for next year's annual AALS meeting in Washington, D.C.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Spain Becomes First State to Ratify UN Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea
The UNCITRAL Secretariat announced today that Spain has become the first State to ratify the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, otherwise known as the Rotterdam Rules. The Convention is intended to establish a uniform and modern global legal regime to govern the rights and obligations of parties to door-to-door contracts for international shipments. It will likely replace some of the older sets of rules, such as the Hague or Hague-Visby Rules. The Rotterdam Rules were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2008 and the Convention was opened for signature in September 2009. There are currently 23 signatories. Twenty States must ratify the Convention before it will take effect. Further information about the Rotterdam Rules is available on the UNCITRAL website.
Using the World Wide Web to craft and deliver effective counter-narratives to fight the appeal of extremist violence is the focus of a three-day, United Nations-organized counter-terrorism workshop which opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, today.
"There is no single counter-narrative just as there is no single audience – we will aim to look at many different approaches,” the chairman of the UN’s Working Group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes, Richard Barrett, said at the workshop’s opening. “But we will focus on the best ways to use the internet to undermine the appeal of terrorism to expose its lack of legitimacy and its negative impact and to undermine the credibility of its messengers.
Hosted by the Naif Arab University for Security Studies, the workshop brings together senior officials and experts from governments, international and regional organizations, think tanks, academia and the private sector to look at the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and possible ways to counter it, particularly through the design of counter-narratives that succeed in challenging the legitimacy, relevance and credibility of extremist groups and reach the audience that is susceptible to the message of those advocating violence.
The workshop is the third in a series of undertaken by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) – through its Working Group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes – with the ultimate purpose of helping UN member states by giving them a snapshot of the current nature of the challenge and offer possible policy guidelines and projects.
In his remarks to the workshop, Mr. Barrett stressed the key elements that need to be incorporated into counter-narratives.
“First, we need a message that resonates with the individual at the same time as it addresses a larger audience; second, we need to criticize and undermine a particular mindset but at the same time offer an alternative,” Mr. Barrett said. “Third we need to keep the message simple and straightforward; it should allow for no possibility for contradiction or dispute. Fourth, possibly most important of all, we need to find the right people to deliver the message; people who command respect and have credibility in the vulnerable communities that the terrorists seek influence."
Building on the outcomes of the previous workshops, the Riyadh conference is expected to launch a global effort aimed at understanding and leveraging the power of the Internet to expose the distortions of the narratives used by terrorists and explain the real consequences of their actions. Moreover, the meeting will provide a platform for developing specific projects focused on countering the appeal of terrorism, including tailoring counter-narratives for particular regions and audiences.
Previous workshops were held last year in Berlin, Germany, and in Seattle, United States, and explored the legal and the technical aspects of the issue.
The Working Group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes is one of the seven working groups and initiatives of the CTITF. The CTITF itself was set up by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2005 and brings together nearly 30 United Nations system entities and Interpol. It assists Member States with the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2006.
(UN Press Release)
In honor of the 80th Anniversary of "L", the Office of the Legal Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, the International Law Section of the American Bar Associaton, the American Society of International Law, and George Washington University are teaming up to offer a live webcast with U.S. State Department Legal Advisor, Harold H. Koh (formerly Professor and Dean at Yale Law School). The webcast is titled "International Law in Focus at the Office of the Legal Advisor" and is scheduled for Thursday, February 24 from noon to 2 pm (EST). The cost is quite reasonable - just $15 for attorneys and free for students. To register, go here.
The sixth Global Legal Skills Conference will take place on May 5-7, 2011 at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Persons interested in making a presentation or organizing a panel for the conference should submit proposals to the Planning Committee by January 31, 2011, by sending it to 7wojcik[at]jmls.edu.
You will be notified as to whether your proposal has been accepted by the middle of February. There is no particular format for proposals. Some proposals may be quite detailed, while others might have just the title of the proposal, a brief description (unless it is clear from the title), and contact information for presenters. You might propose an entire panel, or just an individual presentation that we might combine with others. Submissions are welcome on all aspects of international legal skills education, with a special (but not exclusive) focus on teaching students who speak English as a second language. Previous conferences also included presentations on Legal Spanish, on teaching Trial Advocacy in Ireland, on legal translations, and on other aspects of international legal education and teaching international law. Most presentations will focus on the special educational aspects of teaching students trained in other languages and other, frequently non-common law, legal traditions.
In your proposal, please let us know how much time you will need. Please choose 20 or 50 minutes. Please also let us know where your proposal fits within the following categories:
1. How to teach: Tips for those who teach international students either here or abroad.
2. How to do: Tips by and for U.S. and foreign practitioners who have global practices.
3. Curricular development: Presentations on what schools offer, or should be offering, their foreign students.
4. What it's all about: Lessons on law/culture/practice in other countries.
5. Developing Materials: Ideas on developing materials for class.
6. Other: Anything that does not fit within the other categories.
Please send any questions to Mark Wojcik by email at mwojcik[at]jmls.edu or intlawprof[at]gmail.com.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The Santa Clara Journal of International Law and the Center for Global Law and Policy are hosting a symposium on Religion and International Law on February 18-19, 2011 at Santa Clara University. The keynote speaker is Robert A. Seiple, a leading expert on religion and international law and the first Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State. For more information or to register, click here.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will host a symposum on March 11-12, 2011 in Sacramento, CA on "The Global Impact and Implementation of Human Rights Norms." The symposium is intended to bring together scholars from diverse areas of substantive law to discuss the impact of human rights norms in their fields. Panel topics will include:
- The Relationship between Human Rights Norms and Corporate Governance
- Human Rights and Labor Law
- The Environment and Human Rights
- The Impact of Human Rights Norms on the Law of Intellectual Property
- The Role of Tort Law in Implementing Human Rights Norms
- Human Rights Norms in the Context of Armed Conflict and Security Issues
- The Impact of Wider Dissemination of Human Rights Norms: Fragmentation or Unity?
Distinguished speakers include Richard Goldstone, Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Fausto Pocar, Judge in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and Dinah Shelton, Member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. For more information or to register, click here.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The OECD now has 34 members. Estonia became the OECD’s 34th member on December 9 2010, when it deposited its instrument of accession to the OECD Convention. Estonia had been invited by OECD countries to open negotiations for membership in May 2007.
Monday, January 17, 2011
The United Nations-backed tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 murders of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others received its first indictment today, but its contents remain confidential at this stage.
The Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Daniel Bellemare, submitted the indictment and supporting materials to Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen, who will now review them, court Registrar Herman von Hebel said in a statement in Leidschendam, Netherlands, where the tribunal sits.
The situation in Lebanon has been marked by rising tensions in recent months and last Wednesday, the government of national unity collapsed when 11 cabinet ministers from Hizbollah and allied groups resigned after months of negotiations brokered by Saudi Arabia and Syria failed to produce a compromise over the Tribunal.
In a statement from his spokesman today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his support for the court, an independent body set up following a probe by the International Independent Investigation Commission after an earlier UN mission found that Lebanon’s own inquiry into the massive car bombing that killed Mr. Hariri and the others was seriously flawed, and that Syria was primarily responsible for the political tensions that preceded the attack.
“The independent judicial process should not be linked with any political debate,” the statement said, stressing that the STL indictment “is in pursuit of its mandate to end impunity for the terrible crimes” that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others, as well as for related attacks. It underscored that the Tribunal is an independent court of law established at the request of the Government of Lebanon, with a clear mandate from the UN Security Council.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on all parties to refrain from any interference or influence in its work, but to allow it to proceed in accordance with the highest legal principles and standards applied by all United Nations-assisted international tribunals,” the statement said.
Last week Mr. Ban met with Mr. Hariri’s son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in New York to highlight his support for the Tribunal, stressing its independence and voicing the hope that its work would help end impunity in the country.
For readers of this blog who are international law professors about to start a new semester, you may be interested to know that a new version of the International Law Video Course, directed by Professor Elizabeth Defeis at Seton Hall University in cooperation with the American Society of International Law, is now available. The 10-part DVD video course was updated in 2010 and features experts in international law on the subjects of the law of treaties, international human rights, international organizations, use of force, international criminal law and several other topics. Each program is approximately 30 minutes in length and includes an introduction to the subject and its historical perspective, a presentation by scholars and experts, historical and contemporary film footage, photos and graphics, and a Learner's Guide and Reading List. For more information or to order programs, contact William Whitlock of WTL Productions at 212-355-1893.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The Southwestern Journal of International Law and the International Law Association (American Branch) Explore the Future of International Law
2021: International Law Ten Years From Now, presented by the Southwestern Journal of International Law in conjunction with International Law Weekend-West of the International Law Association (American Branch), will examine a broad range of legal areas that are coping with and adjusting to the challenges of conflict, technology and globalization in the modern era. The one-day symposium will take place on Saturday, February 26, 2011, on the Southwestern Law School campus in Los Angeles, and is co-sponsored by the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel, as well as the American Bar Association Section of International Law, Los Angeles County Bar Association International Law Section and State Bar of California International Law Section.
Panels will identify significant developments or issues related to a specific area of international law and analyze their potential impacts in shaping the future of international law. Topics will include international arbitration and litigation, international finance, international transactions, international trade, international human rights, climate change and international environmental law, international criminal law and legal developments of note in Latin America or Asia. Members of co-sponsoring organizations not seeking 7.5 hours of CLE credit receive complimentary admission to the symposium. For more information, including a complete schedule, registration details and hotel information, click here.
Friday, January 14, 2011
At the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) last week in San Francisco, the Section on International Law hosted a day-long program entitled, "International Law 2010 Year in Review." The program was modeled on the American Bar Association's publication by the same name, which is forthcoming in the spring 2011 edition of the International Lawyer, published by SMU Dedman School of Law. Pictured to the left is one panel on "People and Places" in international law. Professor WIlliam Mock of John Marshall Law School was the moderator. Professor Stephanie Farrier of Vermont Law School updated the audience on international legal developments with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity. Lauren Redman of the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law in Switzerland provided an update on developments in Africa. Professor Shalanda Baker, a Hasties Fellow at Wisconsin Law School, discussed the implications of Faculty Senate of Florida International University v. Winn, 616 F.3d 1206 (11th Cir. 2010), which upheld Florida's restrictions on faculty travel to Cuba. Finally, Professor David Austin of California Western School of Law provided an immigration law update. There were several other substantive panels, including one on recent activity at the International Court of Justice; one on international criminal law; one on developments in the areas of international environmental law and international trade; and finally one on human rights issues. In addition, there was a very moving Memorial Tribute to remember international law professors who died during 2010.(Professor Mark Wojcik of John Marshall Law School and Professor Nadia Nedzel of Southern University Law Center are pictured here reading the tributes to our colleagues.) Kudos to Mark Wojcik for organizing such an informative and successful program!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
While I was in the exhibit hall during the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, I learned that HeinOnline has a new publication on "World Constitutions Illustrated: Contemporary & Historical Documents & Resources." And now I've also learned from our friends at the Law Librarian Blog that the pubilcation was selected as one of the year's Outstanding Academic Titles by the editorial staff of Choice. Out of 7,292 titles reviewed during the past year only 668 publications made Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles list this year.
HeinOnline is also conducting a World Constitutions Illustrated webinar on January 27, 2011. The webinar will show what the product is and explain how to use it. In the past months they have added thousands of additional pages, hundreds of books, more links, and expanded the constitutional hierarchies for several countries.