September 10, 2011
Ten Years Ago Today . . .
September 8, 2011
Iran Executes Three Men for Sodomy
The Islamic Republic of Iran has just executed three men for sodomy in a case that exposes further the official persecution of gay men and women in that country. Unlike previous cases where gay men were executed, there was this time no claim of rape or force in the cases.
h/t Rex Wockner.
Registration Open for International Law Weekend in New York
On October 20-22, 2011, 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 City.
ILW 2011 will bring together hundreds of practitioners, professors, representatives of government and NGO organizations, and law students. It is a gem of a conference that you don't want to miss if you live near New York (and many people fly in from across the United States and Canada to attend it as well). The ABILA Committee on Teaching International Law (which I chair) will present a program on "Libel Tourism." Click here for the conference program for International Law Weekend in New York City.
The ILW is one week after the Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law meeting in Dublin.
To register, go visit the ILSA website and click on the links for International Law Weekend.
Mark E. Wojcik
September 7, 2011
Global Business Entreprenuer Network
Comments Sought on U.S. Trade and Investment in the Middle East and North Africa
The Office of the United States Trade Representative is soliciting comments on the trade and investment partnership with the Middle East and North Africa. Comments are due October 15, 2011. Click here to read the Federal Register Notice.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
September 6, 2011
Turkey threatens suit against Israel at ICJ
Following the release of a United Nations report last week finding that Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal, Turkey is threatening to file suit at the International Court of Justice challenging that conclusion. The special UN Panel of Inquiry found that the blockade is a legitimate security measure to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza. However, the report also concluded that Israel used excessive force against persons on the ships attempting to run the blockade in May 2010, resulting in the deaths of nine Turkish citizens. Israel has refused to apologize or to compensate the families of the victims.
In addition to threatening a lawsuit at the ICJ, on Friday, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel and severed military ties.
The UN report may be found at http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/udc.htm.
ABA Section of International Law Meeting in Dublin
The American Bar Association Section of International Law is poised to have what could be its largest meeting ever. It seems everyone wants to go to Dublin. If you haven't yet registered for this important international law event, click here for more details or visit the website of the ABA Section of International Law. The Fall Meeting will be held from October 10-15, with a special pre-conference program in Belfast.
The Future of the Multilateral Trading System
World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his speech to CUTS in Delhi on 6 September 2011, said the multilateral trading system of the future will have to address a number of global challenges, including “the blurring of the edges between trade policy and others such as exchange rate policies, climate change policies, food security policies or energy policies.” But he said the more pressing challenge is to advance the Doha Round: “to find the political courage and the pragmatic steps which will lead our Members to have an honest negotiation.” Click here for more information about the speech.
(WTO Press Release)
ICTY Convicts former Yugoslav Army Chief of Staff for Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia today convicted Momcilo Perišic for crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentenced the former chief of staff of the Yugoslav Army to 27 years in prison. The court found him guilty of aiding and abetting murders, inhumane acts, persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, and attacks on civilians in Sarajevo and Srebrenica. But the court acquitted him of charges of aiding and abetting extermination as a crime against humanity in Srebrenica, where more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were summarily executed in July 1995, and of command responsibility in relation to crimes in Sarajevo and Srebrenica.
In the judgment – the first handed down by the tribunal in a case against an official of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – Mr. Perišic was also found guilty of failing to punish his subordinates for their crimes of murder, attacks on civilians and injuring and wounding civilians during the rocket attacks on Zagreb in May 1995.
The tribunal’s trial chamber found that Mr. Perišic, among other actions, oversaw the Yugoslav Army’s provision of extensive assistance to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of Serbian Krajina (SVK) in Croatia, including infantry and artillery ammunition, fuel, spare parts, training and technical assistance. Such assistance “became more centralized, structured and coordinated during General Perišic’s tenure,” the presiding judge, Bakone Justice Moloto, said as he read the judgment.
The tribunal, which is based in The Hague, heard from more than 100 witnesses during Mr. Perišic’s trial, which began in October 2008 and concluded in March this year.
Since its establishment, the ICTY has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings have been concluded against 126 accused and are currently ongoing for 35 others.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release) (mew)
September 5, 2011
Revising the EU Treaties to save the Euro
Andrew Duff, a well known MEP and veteran of the EU’s two earlier constitutional Conventions, has just published a worth reading and concise pamphlet.
His main argument is that the EU must take a decisive step towards a federal economic government, with common fiscal policies and a larger budget, if it is to save the euro. He further interestingly points out the steps needed to transform the Lisbon treaty into a more durable constitutional settlement for the EU.
The pamphlet is available for download here.
September 4, 2011
Moratorium on Testing Nuclear Weapons is not a Substitute for Ratifying Treaty
The current international moratorium on testing nuclear weapons, while respected by almost all States, should not delay the full implementation of the treaty calling for a comprehensive ban on such tests, two senior United Nations officials stressed Friday.
“I urge the international community to undertake all necessary efforts to achieve the universal adoption of the [Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban] Treaty and pursue all necessary ratifications for it,” said Joseph Deiss, the President of the General Assembly. “Nuclear tests imply the acceptance of huge possible costs for populations and contradict some fundamental principles of the United Nations,” Mr. Deiss said during the Assembly’s informal plenary meeting to mark the International Day against Nuclear Tests and the 20th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear tests complex in Kazakhstan.
The Assembly in 2009 proclaimed 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests and it was first observed last year.
Noting that the voluntary moratoriums on tests by nuclear-weapon States are welcome, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said they should not be seen as the alternative for the legal prohibition of such tests.
So far 182 States have signed the treaty and 154 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force ratification is required from the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States have yet to ratify it.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release) (mew)
International Law in Crisis?
Here is a reminder that the American Branch of the International Law Association (AmBranch or ABILA) will hold a one-day symposium called "International Law in Crisis." It's being held on September 9, 2011 at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. Registration is free unless you want CLE credit. The impressive line-up of speakers includes:
- The Honorable Richard Goldstone
- Prof. Michael Scharf
- Prof. Michael Kelly
- Prof. Ruth Wedgwood (President of ABILA)
- Prof. Raj Bhala
- Prof. Joel Trachtman
- Judge Rosemelle Mutoka (Kenya Piracy Court)
- Prof. Elizabeth Burleson
- William Burns
- Prof. Hari Osofsky
- Steven Schneebaum
- Prof. Ved Nanda
- Prof. John Murphy
and other academic and government speakers. Register online at law.case.edu/lectures or call 216-368-1798 for more information.