July 27, 2012
ILSA Conference Next Monday and Tuesday in Chicago
The International Law Students Association (ILSA) will hold a two-day international conference next Monday (July 30) and Tuesday (July 31) at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. It's being organized by John Marshall's sister school in Mexico, the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey (FLDM). The 2012 ILSA International Conference is the first one to be held in the United States, although the programming was coordinated through the FLDM in Mexico. FLDM appears to have one of the largest (if not the largest) ILSA chapters in the world.
Registration for the ILSA Conference opens at 9:30 a.m. and the program begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday with a panel on "The Top Five Legal Issues New International Lawyers Face." The Keynote Address at 1:30 p.m. will be given by Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni of DePaul University School of Law, who will speak on "How to Be a Realistic Idealist and Enhance International Criminal Justice and Human Right in Light of State Interests and Realpolitik." From 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. there will be a session on how ILSA chapters can network and build programs. The session will focus on the benefits and programming ideas for ILSA chapters." The Monday programming concludes with an opening reception.
On Tuesday, July 31, the conference will have a session from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. on "How to Succeed at the Jessup Moot Court Competition." (ILSA is the group that organizes each year the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.)
From 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. there will be a panel on "The International Court of Justice: Can its Founders' 20th Century Ambitions be Realized in the 21st Century?" Speakers for this panel will be:
- Djurdja Lazic, American Society of International Law
- Professor James Gathii, Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law, Loyola University Chicago
- Professor Nienke Grossman, University of Baltimore School of Law
- Professor Ved Nanda, Thompson Marsh Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
- Associate Dean Andrew L. Strauss, Widener University School of Law
The Tuesday afternoon programming will include a panel on "Pathways to Employment in International Law," sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of International Law. That will be followed by a closing address by Ambassador David Scheffer, who is now a professor at Northwestern University School of Law.
There are still a few spots open if you want to attend. The programs will be interesting and the focus of the conference will help international law societies get off to a good start for the coming year. Get more information about the 2012 ILSA International conference at the ILSA website.
July 26, 2012
Chavez Announces Venezuela's Withdrawal from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In an unfortunate move, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced yesterday that Venezuela will withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. President Chavez allegedly believes that the Inter-American Court is too heavily influenced by the United States; is improperly intervening in domestic matters; and is undermining leftist governments in South America.
His announcement comes following a May decision of the Inter-American Court determining that Venezuela violated its international human rights obligations for holding a prisoner in inhumane jail conditions. Earlier this month, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Court's sister agency, referred another case involving extrajudicial killings of two teenage brothers in Venezuela to the Inter-American Court.
The Inter-American Commission has criticized Venezuela's human rights record in the past. For example, in 2010, the IACHR issued a report entitled Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela in which it concluded that Venezuelans suffer restrictions on the enjoyment of their human rights.
Venezuela will not be the first state to attempt to withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Both Peru and Trinidad and Tobago have announced their withdrawals in the past (despite a ruling by the Inter-American Court held that its statute does not contain a method for withdrawal).
Doing Business in Latin America
The Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs Subcommittee, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will hold a hearing on July 31, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. The hearing is titled “Doing Business in Latin America: Positive Trends but Serious Challenges.” It's open to the Public and will be held in Room 419 Dirksen in Washington DC.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office
U.N. Compensation Commission Pays Out $1.3 Billion to Six Claimants for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait in 1990
The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which settles the damage claims of those who suffered losses due to Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, today made $1.3 billion available to six successful claimants.
The latest round of payments brings the total amount of compensation disbursed by the Commission to $37.7 billion for more than 1.5 million successful claims of individuals, corporations, Governments and international organizations, states a news release. Successful claims are paid with funds drawn from the UN Compensation Fund, which is funded by a percentage of the proceeds generated by the export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products.
The Geneva-based UNCC’s Governing Council has identified six categories of claims: four are for individuals’ claims, one for corporations and one for governments and international organizations, which also includes claims for environmental damage.
The Commission was established in 1991 as a subsidiary organ of the UN Security Council. It has received nearly three million claims, including from nearly 100 governments for themselves, their nationals or their corporations.
(UN Press Release)
July 25, 2012
Vanuatu to Become 157th Member of WTO
Today, at the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council, Vanuatu gave official notice that it has ratified its accession package which spells out its WTO membership terms. Vanuatu will join the WTO on 24 August 2012, becoming the 157th member of the WTO.
July 23, 2012
Dispute Resolution Updates from the WTO
Earlier this month, we reported that China had blocked the formation of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution panel requested by the United States to consider claims by the United States, the European Union and Japan that China is violating its WTO obligations with respect to its treatment of exports of rare earths. At its meeting earlier today, the WTO approved the establishment of the panel, so resolution of this dispute will now move forward from the failed consulation stage.
Also today, India requested for the first time the establishment of a panel to consider countervailing measures applied by the United States on certain hot-rolled carbon steel products from India, which India considers to be inconsistent with US obligations under several provisions of the Subsidies Agreement and the GATT 1994 (WT/DS436). The United States rejected the claim and said that it was not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel, so this matter will have to await the next Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting scheduled for August 31.
The DSB also adopted the panel report in the case concerning anti-dumping measures on certain shrimp and diamond sawblades from China (WT/DS422/R). The United States said that it intends to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. Both members informed the DSB that they have agreed that the “reasonable period of time” for compliance will be eight months.
The DSB also adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports in the case concerning country of origin labelling (COOL) requirements that involved Mexico and Canada against the United States (WT/DS384 and 386).
More information on these matters may be found on the WTO website.
July 22, 2012
Russian President Putin Signs WTO Accession Protocol
After 18 years, Russia is poised to become the 156th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). President Putin of Russia signed the accession agreement to join the WTO yesterday after receiving approval from Russia's legislative bodies earlier this month. Russia's membership will take effect in 30 days. Russia's economy is the 9th largest economy in the world and the largest currently outside the WTO.