Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's International Law Weekend in New York City!

ABCNY RoomInternational Law Weekend 2012 began on Thursday evening in New York. International Law Weekend ("ILW") is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (“ABILA” or "AmBranch") and the International Law Students Association (“ILSA”).  And for those of you who really like acronyms, the opening session is being held at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York ("ABCNY"). 

The theme for this year’s meeting is  "Ideas, Institutions, and Interests: Dynamics of Change in International Law." Panels may focus on key regions undergoing particularly dramatic change, for instance in the Middle East or China, and subject matter areas undergoing rapid change, such as tariffs and trade, human rights and humanitarian intervention, immigration, labor, public health, sustainable development and the environment.

The progams and speakers are again outstanding.  On Friday, for example, Judge Theodor Meron, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, will give a keynote address on ad hoc criminal tribunals.  And right after that, Meg Kinnear, the Secretary-General of ICSID, will be on two panels on international investment law and dispute settlement.

Here's a random list of some of the speakers during International Law Weekend:

  • Ruth Wedgwood, President of the American Branch of the International Law Association
  • Jerome Cohen, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • John G. Crowley, Partner, Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Elizabeth Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Winston Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China; former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian
  • Ruth, Stephanie, CristinaDarren Rosenblum, Professor of Law, Pace Law School
  • Arnold Pronto, Senior Legal Officer in the Codification Division of the Office of LegalAffairs of the United Nations; Member, Secretariat of the International Law Commission
  • Elizabeth Burleson, Associate Professor of Law, Pace Law School; Member, Legal Principles relating to Climate Change Committee, International Law Association
  • Bruce W. Bean, Lecturer of Global Corporate Law, Michigan State University Law School; Member, ABILA
  • Michael Koehler, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois School of Law
  • Mark R. Shulman, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and International Affairs, Pace Law School
  • Deepa Badrinarayana, Associate Professor, Chapman Law School
  • Anna Dolidze, Visiting Professor, Western University
  • Karen Bravo, Professor of Law, John S. Grimes Fellow, Dean’s Fellow, Associate Dean for International Affairs, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Mathias W. Reimann, Hessel E. Yntema Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Richard Alderman, Former Director, United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office
  • Michael J. Madigan, Senior Counsel, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Kathleen Harris, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Daniel C. K. Chow, Joseph S. Platt-Porter Wright Morris & Arthur Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
  • Mark Weston Janis, William F. Starr Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
  • Aaron Fellmeth, Professor of Law, Arizona State University College of Law; Member,Intellectual Property and Private International Law Committee, International Law Association
  • Elizabeth and WinstonJoel Trachtman, Professor of International Law, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy,Tufts University; Member, International Trade Law Committee, International Law Association
  • Jacob Katz Cogan, Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Christiana Ochoa, Professor of Law, Indiana University (Bloomington) Maurer School of Law; Co-Chair, Feminism and International Law Committee, ABILA
  • Tai-Heng Cheng, Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
  • Thomas H. Lee, Leitner Family Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
  • Martin Gelter, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
  • James Fanto, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
  • Mary R. “Nina” Henderson, Director, CNO Financial Group
  • John F. Murphy, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law; Honorary Vice-President, ABILA
  • Katherine M. Gorove, Attorney, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State
  • Edward J. Flynn, Senior Human Rights Officer, United Nations Counter-Terrorism-Committee
  • Milena Sterio, Associate Professor of Law, Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law
  • The Honorable Duncan Gaswaga, Judge, Seychelles Supreme Court
  • Stephen Rapp, U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues; former Chief Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone
  • Sandy L. Hodgkinson, former Assistant Secretary of Defense< Michael Scharf, Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Global Legal Studies, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Member, ABILA Executive Committee
  • Paul Williams, President, Public International Law and Policy Group
  • Brian Wilson, Legal and Sanctions Expert, United Nations Security Council
  • John Carey, former Chair, International League for Human Rights; former Alternate U.S.Member, UN Human Rights Sub-Commission; former Justice; New York State Supreme Court; Member, ABILA Executive Committee; Chair, United Nations Law Committee, ABILA
  • Andrew Strauss, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development & Professor of Law, Widener University School of Law
  • Wil Burns, Associate Director & Professor, Energy Policy & Climate program, Johns Hopkins University; Member, Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change Committee, International Law Association
  • Scott Barrett, Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Dale Jamieson, Director of Environmental Studies, New York University
  • Norman Gregory Young, Professor of Law for International Business, California State Polytechnic University College of Business
  • Roberto Aguirre Luzi, Partner, King & Spalding; Co-Chair, Bilateral Investment Treaty and Development Committee, ABILA
  • Lawrence Newman, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie LLP; Chair, International Judicial
    Integrity Committee, ABILA
  • Mark E. Wojcik, Professor, The John Marshall Law School; Chair, Teaching of International Law Committee, ABILA
  • Liyan Yang, Professor of International Economic Law, GuangXi Normal University School of Law (Guilin, China); Adjunct Professor of Law, South West University of Politics and Law
    (Chongqing, China)
  • Meg Kinnear, ICSID Secretary-General, World Bank
  • Andrea Bjorklund, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law; Visiting
    Professor of Law, McGill University School of Law; Director of Studies, ABILA; Member,
    ABILA Executive Committee
  • Christina Cerna, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law; Member, ABILA Executive Committee; Chair, International Human Rights Law Committee, International Law
  • Jamie Fellner, Senior Advisor, U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch
  • Juan Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Taylor Pendergrass, Senior Staff Attorney, New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Alexis Agathocleous, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
  • William S. Dodge, Associate Academic Dean for Research and Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law; former Counselor on International Law, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser
  • Malvina Halberstam, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; former
    Counselor on International Law, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser;
    Member, ABILA Executive Committee
  • Nathan Lewin, Partner, Lewin & Lewin, LLP, Washington, D.C.; attorney for Menachem
  • Paul B. Stephan, John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law; David H. Ibbeken ’71 Research Professor; Director, Graduate Studies Program, University of Virginia School of Law; former Counselor on International Law, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal
  • George Walker, Dean's Research Professor of Admiralty and International Law, Wake Forest University School of Law; Member, ABILA Executive Committee; Chair, Law of the Sea Committee, ABILA; Member, Baselines Under the International Law of the Sea Committee, International Law Association
  • John E. Noyes, Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, California Western School of Law;
    Chair, ABILA Executive Committee; Member, Baselines Under the International Law of
    the Sea Committee, International Law Association
  • Matthew Schaefer, Law Alumni Professor of Law and Director of Space, Cyber, and
    Telecom Law Program, University of Nebraska College of Law
  • Frans von der Dunk, Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni and Othmer Professor of Space Law, University of Nebraska College of Law. Benjamin L. Liebman, Robert L. Lieff Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia University School of Law, . . . .

And many, many more.  Click here to see the program. 

ILW opens tonigh at ABCNY at 42 West 44th Street.  On Friday and Saturday, events will be held at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center.  More than a thousand practitioners, academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and foreign policy and law students are expected to attend.

Congratulations to the members of the 2012 Organizing Committee:

  • Steven A. Hammond, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Nikolai B. Krylov, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Mark R. Shulman, Pace Law School
  • Michael Shewchuk, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs
  • Vivian Shen, International Law Students Association
  • Ruth Wedgwood, President of the American Branch of the International Law Association

Mark E. Wojcik (mew), Chair, ABILA Committee on the Teaching of International Law

October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WTO News

Earlier this week,the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures approved the final extension of the transition period until the end 2013 for export subsidy programmes of 19 developing countries. These programmes consist mainly of free trade zones and tax incentives. The beneficiary countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Granada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Jordan, Mauritius, Panama, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Uruguay. These states are urged to adopt legislation to phase out these subsidy programs.

At the same meeting, the Committee Chair expressed concern that 73 states have not submitted their 2011 subsidy notifications.

In other WTO news, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), established two panels this week. One panel is to examine a complaint by the United States against China'santi-dumping and countervailing duties on US automobiles. The second is established at the request of the European Union to examine whether the US had complied with DSB recommendations in the Boeing dispute. It will consider the EU's request to take countermeasures for $12 billion against the US.


October 25, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy United Nations Day!

The International Law Prof Blog wishes each of you a Happy United Nations Day!

Mark, Cindy, Cyndee, Laurent, and Michael

October 24, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Books We Really, Really, Really Like: Return of an Old Friend -- Comfort Food for International Lawyers -- A New Edition of Brierly's Law of Nations

BrierlyIt's small enough to fit in your coat pocket.  

You can carry it with you in the winter months.  

You can pull it out when you need the international lawyers' equivalent of comfort food.  

It's a new edition of Brierly's Law of Nations, prepared by Andrew Clapham and published by Oxford University Press.  

And it's wonderful.

The book first appeared in 1928 and it attracted a wide readership of lawyers and non-lawyers alike.  Over the years, new editions became a standard reference work and introduction to international law.  

The last edition was published in 1963.  This new, seventh edition is the first revision of the book in almost 50 years.  It was revised by Andrew Clapham, a Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Law and Development Studies in Geneva and Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.  He's updated the book in innovative ways, sometimes taking passages from Brierly's other work.  He also focused more on Brierly's fifth edition, rather than the 1963 edition revised by Sir Humphrey Waldock.  Professor Clapham has updated the work with references to recent treaties, tribunal decisions, and international law scholarship.  He has made revisions with a view of keeping the easy readability of this treasure.

The revised edition is available in hardback and paperback.  It's just over 500 pages of text, easy to read in both the style of prose and in the typesetting of the book.  You do want a copy of this.  You know you do.  This would make a great holiday gift for your favorite international lawyer too, and we just can't say that about most law books.  Grab a hot cup of tea, build a warm fire, and enjoy some time with a classic text on international law.

The ISBN number for the hardback edition is 978-0-19-965793-3.  The ISBN number for the paperback edition is 978-0-19-965794-0.  The publisher is Oxford University Press.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

October 23, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Obama-Romney Foreign Policy Debate

US Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney debated foreign policy issues last night in the third of three presidential debates.  Next Media Animation has recreated that debate in a most interesting way . . .


Hat tip to Next Media Animation


October 23, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Egyptian-American Rule of Law Association

The Egyptian-American Rule of Law Association (EARLA) seems to be a relatively new nonprofit organization whose members are Egyptian-American lawyers and policy specialists experienced in legal practice, academia, government, nonprofit management, grassroots leadership, consulting, and public policy.  They are holding upcoming events in Dallas, Detroit, and New York City.  Click here for more information about the events, the organization, and its recent publication on the freedom of information in Egypt.  In addition to the organization's main website, they also have a Facebook page that you can look at.


October 23, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Argentina to Join UN Security Council; Argentina's Foreign Minister Also Discusses Situation of its Seized Vessel in Ghana

United Nations Security Council LogoUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met yesterday with Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and congratulated Argentina on its accession to the Security Council for the 2013 – 2014 session. In the meeting with Mr. Timerman, the Secretary-General thanked Argentina for its “steadfast support” of UN priorities and welcomed the South American nation’s new Permanent Representative-designate to the UN, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval. 

On January 2013, Argentina will join Australia, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea and Luxembourg as a non-permanent member on the Security Council for a two-year term. 

The two men also discussed the ongoing diplomatic incident between Argentina and Ghana over the Fragata Libertad – an Argentine sailing ship used for naval training exercises which has been detained in Ghana’s port of Temma for almost three weeks, following an official request by local authorities.  According to media reports, a Ghanaian judge ordered the seizure of the ship at the behest of NML Capital Ltd, a hedge fund group demanding full compensation from the Argentine Government following the country’s financial default over a decade ago. 

Mr. Ban acknowledged the Government of Argentina’s concern for the well-being of its crew members and voiced hope that both Buenos Aires and Accra would find a way to address the issue of a bilateral basis, in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which both nations are parties.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release) 

October 23, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Books We Like: Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law

Dr. Jane McAdam is a professor on the Faculty of Law at the the University of New South Wales.  She is recognized as an international expert in the field of refugee law.  Much of her recent work focuses on issues of refugees and international climate change.  For example, you can see one of her lectures by clicking here.  She has written a new book called "Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law," published by Oxford University Press.

The book examines whether States have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international law, including international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness.  She examines the nature of displacement, the "importance of context," and the "invisibility" of climate-change related migration.  She considers closely contemporary applications of treaties such as the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the relevance of regional refugee instruments.  Using field work from Asia and some Pacific islands, she considers a number of issues relating to climate change in relation to other factors traditionally associated with migration.  She examines specific international human rights including the right to life, the right to be free of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and other human rights that "may give rise to complementary protection." She considers problems of "disappearing states" and relocation.  She also examines the "Climate Refugee Treaty Debate" and political obstacles to a new treaty on that subject.

In addition to its well-written analysis and commentary, the book includes great resources such as the list of applicable treaties and other international instruments and the list of applicable national legilsation from such countries as widespread as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, FInaland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Niue, Ireland, and South Africa.  An interesting appendix lists countries around the world that make reference to migration and relocation as an adaptation strategy in national programs of action.  The 47 countries included there include range from Afghanistan to Zaire.  And the bibliography is a treasure trove for anyone doing research on issues of international law, climate change, and forced migration.

This book is a welcome addition to the legal literature on the future of our planet.  The book is published by Oxford University Press.  The ISBN Number is 978-0-19-958708-7.





October 22, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.N. Independent Experts Urge Colombia to Reconsider Proposed Criminal Law for Military

A group of United Nations independent human rights experts today called on Colombian authorities to revisit the military criminal law provisions of proposed constitutional reforms, warning they could have serious implications for the rule of law, violate international law, and reverse the Latin American nation’s achievements in advancing respect for human rights.

“Should this reform be approved, it could seriously undermine the administration of justice for cases of alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including serious crimes, by military or police forces (Fuerza Pública),” the 11 independent experts said in an open letter to the Government and Congress of Colombia, focussing on their concerns over plans to reform the country’s Constitution. “We believe that such a reform would represent a historic setback in terms of progress achieved by the State of Colombia in the fight against impunity and the respect and guarantee of human rights,” the experts stated, noting that it would send the wrong signal to members of the Fuerza Pública of the consequences of committing human rights and international humanitarian law violations. “We have noted with serious concern that the constitutional reform project would expand the jurisdiction of military or police tribunals, giving them the power to investigate, process and decide on cases of human rights violations which should be under the authority of the ordinary criminal justice system,” the experts added.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. The 11 experts who signed the letter included those mandated to monitor international human rights law in respect to executions, arbitrary detention, use of mercenaries, freedom of expression and assembly, judicial independence, torture, discrimination and violence against women, enforced disappearances and the situation of human rights defenders.  The proposed provisions, the experts continued, would establish a Penal Guarantees Court to deal exclusively with accusations against members of the military or police forces of the Fuerza Pública – a measure, they said, which could generate a climate of impunity by giving the impression that those charged were receiving preferential treatment.

“We believe that there is a real risk that Colombia’s obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law could be infringed if this reform is adopted, and would imply a significant retrogression in the efforts carried out by the Colombian State to overcome and prevent repetition of the notorious human rights violations committed in the past, particularly between 2003 and 2008, by members of the Fuerza Pública,” the experts wrote.  “Precisely as a result of these efforts, since 2009 Colombia has achieved a notable reduction in the reported occurrence of these types of violations, which raises the question of whether such a constitutional reform is needed,” they added.

While noting that crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and the crime of enforced disappearances would be excluded from the jurisdiction of military and police tribunals, the experts noted that the proposed reforms would also expand their jurisdiction, allowing them to investigate and decide on cases of other serious human rights violations – the 11 experts noted that these violations should be under the authority of the ordinary criminal justice system and courts.

The areas in which the military and police tribunals would have expanded jurisdiction include violations such as war crimes, sexual violence, extrajudicial executions, child recruitment or use, arbitrary detention, and torture. They also included violations touching on how individuals are treated, including outrages upon personal dignity, and taking of hostages. 

The experts offered to help the Colombian authorities to develop the “necessary measures” to ensure a constitutional and legislative framework that “strengthens the fight against impunity and the achievement of peace in Colombia.”

(UN Press Release)

October 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ABA Webinar on Investor Visa Issues

ABA-SIL LogoA 90-minute webinar and teleconference on the subject of investor visa issues will be held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012.  It is sponsored by the ABA Section of International Law and three other ABA entities.  Here's a description of the program:

As the world economy becomes more global, individuals and international businesses are increasingly interested in doing business in the largest economy in the world, the United States and opportunities abound for attorneys.  While there are many opportunities in this area of law, there are also challenges that require an understanding of how the visa process works, so entity formation and structure meet visa application processes requirements, and result in immigration approval. 

Join our expert panel to learn about the visa requirements and options for individuals and international companies interested in doing business in the United States, including discussion of investor (EB-5/E-1/2) visas, company transfer (L-1) and green cards. 

This program will provide a “how-to” overview of corporate and business U.S. immigration law that will strengthen your immigration, tax, corporate, or international law practice. 

If you cannot attend the progam when it is held live, you can purchase a recording of it (you can do that even before the program is held).  Visit the American Bar Association website for more information.


October 22, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)