March 8, 2012
International Women's Day
Today, March 8, 2012, is International Women's Day. Unfortunately, the international human rights of women too often continue to be violated around the world. Whether it is the horrific rape of a women in a conflict zone, or the less obvious, but still insidious, unequal pay for women in the workplace, women still have a long way to go to achieve full realization of their human rights. Today is a day to prioritize gender equality and empowerment for women.
To learn more about United Nations events commemorating this day, or to hear the speech of Michele Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director, in honor of the day, go to UN Women.
March 7, 2012
Global Legal Skills Conference in Costa Rica
Pura Vida! The seventh Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from Monday, March 12 to Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Lawyers and law professors from around the world will gather to discuss the latest ideas in legal skills education, Legal English, Legal Spanish, continuing legal education, skills for mediation and arbitration, contract drafting, publishing, and other topics. Confirmed participants include presenters from Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, Japan, Russia, Singapore, and other countries. Participants include the leading experts on international skills education.
In addition to the sessions on legal skills, other essions will include discussions of international legal research, international courts and tribunals, and sessions for Costa Rican law students about international moot court competitions and on how to pursue an LL.M. degree in the United States.
On Tuesday morning there will be an optional walking tour of San Jose.
On Tuesday afternoon the conference sessions will be held at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law. One track of programs at the University of Costa Rica will be held in Spanish. The plenary program speakers include the President of the Costa Rican Bar Association, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica, the Dean of the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law, and updates on global legal skills around the world. The first Global Legal Skills Awards will also be presented at the Plenary session.
Click here for the Global Legal Skills website. There is information there about the conference program, conference hotels, registration, and tips on travel to Costa Rica.
Even if you're not able to attend this upcoming GLS conference, you can still visit the website to join the international community interested in Legal English and other aspects of global legal skills education.
March 6, 2012
US Initiates WTO Dispute Against India
Earlier today, the United States formally initiated dispute settlement proceedings against India at the World Trade Organization (WTO) by requesting consultations regarding India's restrictions on imports of agricultural products from the United States. News reports indicate that India has been restricting the importation of certain poultry products from the U.S. since 2007 allegedly to prevent the spread of the avian influenza. The United States believes India's concerns are unjustified.
The WTO's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures ("SPS Agreement") explicitly recognises that WTO Members have the right to adopt regulations to protect human, animal, or plant life or health. However, the SPS Agreement also requires that if WTO members impose trade restrictions for safety reasons, they must have scientific evidence or a valid risk assessment to support their actions. The U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has stated that India has not provided such scientifc evidence.
If consultations fail to resolve the matter within 60 days, the United States may request that a dispute settlement panel be established.