March 9, 2013
Women's Political Rights Around the World
In honor of the International Women's Day, check out this interactive map of the world which depicts women's poltical rights in various countries, such as when women received the right to vote, when women gained the right to stand for an election and when the first woman was elected to public office.
The map can be found here.
March 8, 2013
Program for Global Legal Skills Conference in Costa Rica
The 8th Global Legal Skills Conference is being held next week at the Holiday Inn Aurola in Downtown San José, Costa Rica (Central America). Participants are expected from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and from across the United States. The conference is organized through The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where it first originated.
This year's Global Legal Skills conference (the second to be held in Costa Rica) includes a "legal field trip" with visits to:
- the Supreme Court of Costa Rica (Corte Suprema de Justicia de Costa Rica),
- the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and
- the U.S. Embassy in Costa RIca.
Other special features of this year's conference include a plenary session to introduce law and legal education in Costa Rica and Central America and two contract negotiations workshops (one in Spanish for English speakers and one in English for Spanish speakers). The conference is being held during the week of the Central American Games, so it will be an especially exciting time to be in Costa Rica.
Click here to Download the latest version of the Conference Program. Download GLS-8 Program Version 2.2
The 2014 Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Verona, Italy.
Mark E. Wojcik
March 7, 2013
Happy International Women's DayWe wish all of our blog readers a happy International Women's Day!
Guantanamo Bay Symposium Examines Future for Detainees
On February 22, the Southern Illinois University School of Law was privileged to host a distinguished panel of scholars and attorneys who considered the continuing legal issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay. Professor Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University School of Law began the symposium with a discussion of the case of Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian who has been held at Guantanamo for over 11 years without formal charges or a trial. She considered the potential impact of his petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on U.S. detention policies. Professor Michael Strauss of the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies in Paris, France spoke next. He provided a history of the lease agreement between the United States and Cuba for Guantanamo Bay and raised questions regarding Cuba's responsibility under international law for U.S. activities at Guantanamo in light of Cuba's ultimate sovereignty over the land. Professor Eric Jenson of Brigham Young University rounded out the first panel with a discussion of the impact of President Obama's State of the Union speech in which he declared that the conflict in Aghanistan would be over in 2014. Given that internaiotnal law allows detainees to be held for the duration of hostilities, Professor Jenson questioned what the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan would mean for detainees who were captured as part of that conflict.
Professor Benjamin Davis of the University of Toledo College of Law led off the second panel with a discussion of his impressions as an offical Department of Defense Observer of the military commission trials at Guantanamo Bay. He raised questions regarding the legitimacy of those processes. He was followed by Professor David Frakt, Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburg School of Law. Professor Frakt highlighted separation of powers issues connected to Congressional attempts to tie the President's hands with respect to what he may do to close down Guantanamo Bay.
William Lietzau, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense was the keynote speaker. Assistant Secretary Lietzau (pictured here) described the view of the U.S. government regarding the dichotomy between international humanitarian law, which applies to armed conflict, and international human rights law, which applies in time of peace.
The third and final panel began with Capt. Edward White, U.S. Navy JAGC, who is head of the Motions and Appeals Section of the Chief Prosecutor, Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. Capt. White provided a brief historical perspective on military commission trials and reviewed some of evidentiary and procedural rules governing the current trials at Guantanamo Bay. Professor Christopher Behan of Southern Illinois University spoke next and also addressed some of the evidentiary rules and their impact on the conduct of the military commission trials. Finally, Professor David Glazier of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, concluded the symposium with critiques regarding the failings of the military commission trials.
For those interested in learning more, the speakers' papers will be published in an upcoming issue of the Southern Illinios University Law Journal. Many thanks to the speakers, moderators, students and staff who made this important and timely event possible.
Grants for Law Librarians
The Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries is now accepting applications for the 2013 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians. The application deadline for the 2013 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians has been extended to March 15, 2013.
The FCIL Schaffer Grant for the AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington (July 13-16, 2013) provides a waiver of the AALL Annual Meeting full registration fee and a grant of a minimum $2,000 to assist with accommodations and travel costs. Applicants must be law librarians or other professionals working in the legal information field, currently employed in countries other than the United States, and with significant responsibility for the organization, preservation, or provision of legal information. The new application deadline is March 15, 2013. The Grant Committee will not consider late or incomplete applications.
Details regarding the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians as well as the application form can be found by clicking here.
Hat tip to Gabriela Femenia.
March 6, 2013
Latvia Submits Request to Join Euro in 2014
The Latvian government has formally requested the European Union (EU) Commission to assess its readiness to join the euro as of January 1, 2014. Latvia's economy suffered badly during the recent recession, but it has now recovered to the point where it has the highest GDP growth rate (5.5% in 2012) and the second highest export rate in the EU. Its budget deficit was 1.5 percent of its gross domestic product in 2012 and is predicted to fall further. If Latvia is accepted into the eurozone, it will become the 18th member state.
The economic picture is not entirely rosy, however. Latvia's GDP shrank by approximately 20% between 2008 and 2010 and still has not recovered to pre-recession levels. While the unemployment rate has fallen from a high of 20% during the recession, it remains high at 14%. There is significant internal opposition to joining the Euro as well. According to news reports, as much as two-thirds of the population is opposed to adopting the euro due to concerns about higher prices and less local control over the economy. While Latvia is not required to hold a public referendum on the issue, the level of public support is a factor taken into consideration in assessing the bid.
The EU Commission and the European Central Bank are expected to publish a report on Latvia's readiness to join the euro in June. A decision could come as early as July.
March 5, 2013
Amann Speaks on International Criminal Law
Diane Marie Amann, the Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia, spoke today at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on the topic of international criminal law. She compared judgements from various criminal trials focusing on the different verdicts, opinions, and evidentiary standards. The program was well attended, particularly considering that Chicago is being hit right now by a major snow storm.
Diane Marie Amann teaches Public International Law, International Criminal Law and the Laws of War at the University of Georgia. She also serves as the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in Armed Conflict. The author of more than four dozen publications in English, French and Italian, Amann focuses her scholarship on the ways that national, regional and international legal regimes interact as they endeavor to combat atrocity and cross-border crime. She joined the Georgia Law faculty in 2011 from the University of California-Davis, where she was a professor of law, the founding director of the California International Law Center and a Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, and from which she received the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Homer Angelo Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Law. She has also served as a visiting professor at the University of California-Berkeley, at the University of California-Los Angeles and at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland-Galway, and as a professeur invitée at the Université de Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne).
In 2010, Professor Amann received the prestigious Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law, an award presented by the American Bar Association Section of International Law. She also previously chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on International Law.
Professor Amann is pictured here with me (Mark Wojcik), Professor Shahram Dana, and Associate Dean Ralph Ruebner of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Mark E Wojcik (mew)
St. Petersburg (Russia) International Legal Forum
The third St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (being held from May 15-18, 2013) will explore the role of law in ensuring the development of society, the state and the economy. More than 40 discussion sessions, politicians, lawyers, and economists from around the world will debate key questions in the domains of law, business, politics and culture. And they'll probably have a pretty good time doing all of that. Click here for more details.
March 4, 2013
ASIL Reports on International OrganizationsThe International Organizations Interest Group (IOIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) announced the release of the ASIL Reports on International Organizations (RIO) for 2012. These 11 new reports provide insights into significant recent developments in international organizations. Click here to have a look.
Hat tips to Tania Voon, Richard Burchill, Djurdja Lazic, Devon Whittle, Konstaninos Magliveras, Diego German Mejía-Lemos, Claudia Nannini, Martin Aquilina, Bridie McAsey, Sharifah Sekalala, Jillian Blake, Kathleen Clausen, and John Carey.
March 3, 2013
Free Legal Research on the Internet
The Blog for the Law Library of Congress ("In Custodia Legis") has a useful post on "How to Locate Free Caselaw on the Internet." Click here.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)