February 9, 2013
Careers in Admiralty and International Law
The American Bar Association Tort, Trial, and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) is meeting this weekend in Dallas during the ABA Midyear Meeting. Leaders from two of that section's committees held a program yesterday at the SMU Dedman School of Law to tell students about careers in international law and in the practice of admiralty and maritime law. The students who attended learned a lot about those areas and about how (and why) they can become active in the organized bar.
Pictured here are the speakers on the SMU Career Panel in Admiralty and International Law:
- Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School (Chicago), Chair of the ABA TIPS International Committee
- Laurie J. Sands (New Jersey), Chair of the TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Committee
- Kathryn Blythe Daly (New York), Membership Vice Chair of the TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Committee
- Raymond Timothy Ward (New Orleans), Vice Chair of the TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Committee
- Christopher Nolan (New York), Immediate Past Chair of the TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Committee and Vice Chair of the TIPS International Committee
- Christopher Hamilton (Florida), Newsletter Vice Chair of the TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Committee
The ABA Midyear Meeting continues through Tuesday at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
February 7, 2013
Extraordinary African Chambers to Start Trial Against the Former Dictator of Chad
On February 8, 2013, the Extraordinary African Chambers will start a process to try the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré.
The Extraordinary African Chambers was created by agreement with the African Union (AU). The pretrial investigation, by four Senegalese magistrates, is expected to last 15 months. The investigation will potentially be followed by a trial in 2014, at which a non-Senegalese judge appointed by the AU will preside. Habré’s trial would mark the first time that the courts of one country tried the leader of another country for alleged human rights crimes. Habré is accused of thousands of political killings and systematic torture during his presidency, from 1982 to 1990. He has been living in exile in Senegal for more than 22 years.
(mew) Hat tip to Human Rights Watch
ILW West 2013
The American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) will hold an "International Law Weekend West" on March 2, 2013 at the University of Denver. Get more information by clicking here.
New U.S. Federal Legislation Introduced
The following bills relating to international issues have been introduced in the U.S. Congress.
- HR 479 (Grijalva, D-AZ), to prohibit the transfer of defense articles and defense services to the governments of foreign countries that are engaging in gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/4/13, H342.
- HR 491 (Smith, R-NJ), to prevent United States businesses from cooperating with repressive governments in transforming the Internet into a tool of censorship and surveillance, to fulfill the responsibility of the United States Government to promote freedom of expression on the Internet, and to restore public confidence in the integrity of United States businesses; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/4/13, H342.
- HR 528 (Bucshon, R-IN), to prohibit foreign assistance to countries with a gross domestic product of $1,500,000,000,000 or more; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/6/13, H410.
- HR 571 (Ryan, D-OH), to suspend United States assistance to Brazil until such time as Brazil amends its laws to remove the prohibition on extradition of nationals of Brazil to other countries; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/6/13, H412.
- HR 572 (Ryan, D-OH), to suspend the issuance of visas to nationals of Brazil until such time as Brazil amends its laws to remove the prohibition on extradition of nationals of Brazil to other countries; to Judiciary. CR 2/6/13, H412.
- HR 575 (Stockman, R-TX), to express the sense of the Congress that the United States should not adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or abridges any rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and to withhold funding from the United Nations unless the president certifies that the United Nations has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict, or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to keep and bear arms, or abridge any of the other constitutionally protected rights of citizens of the United States; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/6/13, H412.
- H Res 61 (Wilson, D-FL), expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should work with the government of Haiti to address gender-based violence against women and children; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/6/13, H413.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
The Arab Spring: Doing Business and the Rule of Law
The American Bar Association Section of International Law held a one-day program on "The Arab Spring: Doing Business and the Rule of Law" on February 7, 2013 at the SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.
The morning keynote speaker was the Honorable Adel Omar Sherif, Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, who is pictured here with me and with Conference Co-Chair John B. Attansio, Dean of the SMU Dedman School of Law. The luncheon speaker was former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, whose comments focused on the importance of educating women and young girls as a critical factor in building democratic society.
Panels today include:
- Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law
- Energy and the Middle East/North Africa
- The Political System and Constitutional Reform
- Doing Business in MENA and the Rule of Law
- Dispute Resolution and the Rule of Law
The program is at capacity and the presentations highly interesting. Attendees are from all around the world, including Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and even New Jersey. And of course there's a lot of Texans here too.
Congratulations to SMU Dean John Attanasio and Steve Richman (Duane Morris LLP) who are the co-chairs of today's conference.
February 6, 2013
Public International Law Quiz
Just for fun: Oxford University Press has created a public international law quiz for students and scholars of the subject. Be warned, it may stump you!
February 4, 2013
Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest compeition for international law. Actually it's probably one of the world's largest competitions for anything, right after the Olympics!
The U.S. midwest regionals were held this weekend in Chicago. The rounds were great and the competition was extremely well run.
Congratulations to the staff at the International Law Students Association (ILSA), which organizes the Jessup Competition. Working this weekend at the Chicago-Kent College of Law were ILSA Executive Director Lesley A. Benn, Jessup Competition Coordinator Joe Terrenzio, and External Relations Coordinator Matt Szuminski. The teams competiting had high praise for the smooth quality of the round and the high quality of the judges. In fact the only complaint I heard was that one of the bailiffs was unfamiliar with how to fill out the scoring form. That's a problem easily fixed, and it was, and if that's the worst complaint you can have in a Jessup Round you know it was good.
Twenty-one teams competed in the Midwest Regional Rounds of the Jessup Competition. Pictured here is the Jessup Team from The John Marshall Law School: Jolene Kaminski, Bonnie Swanson, Ray Chung, Robert Erickson, and Blythe Milby.
Here's a link to the 2013 Jessup Compromis and other competition materials if you would like to have a look at this year's problem. ILSA provides not only the problem but some international law materials to help law students around the world.
ILSA is soliciting proposals for the 2014 Jessup Problem (the Jessup Compromis). Proposals must be submitted to ILSA’s Executive Director, Lesley Benn, by March 9, 2013.
The 2013 White & Case International Rounds of the Jessup Competition will take place from March 31 to April 6, 2013 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Volunteer opportunities are available. Visit the ILSA website for more information.
Jessup Results from Afghanistan, Chile, India, Indonesia, and Iraq
Herat University won the 2013 Afghan Round.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile won the 2013 Chilean Round.
India (North India Rounds)
National Law University in Delhi won the 2013 Indian North Round. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University in Lucknow was the runner-up.
Universitas Indonesia won the 2013 Indonesian Round.
Baghdad University and Anbar University were the first and second place winners of the 2013 Iraqi Round.
Get more Jessup Results on an ongoing basis from the Jessup Facebook Page.
Human Rights Watch Releases World Report 2013
Human Rights Watch has released its World Report 2013 detailing human rights concerns and success stories in 90 countries around the world during 2012. The report highlights the ongoing challenges posed by the developments connected with the Arab Spring such as respect for the rule of law and women's rights. It also contains country-by-country summaries of human rights issues.
Special Court to Try Hissene Habre to Commence Later this WeekOn February 8, 2013, Senegal will inaugurate a special court to try the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, marking a significant step forward in the long campaign to bring Habré to justice. The court is known as the Extraordinary African Chambers and was created within the Senegalese judicial system pursuant to an agreement with the African Union (AU) following many years of litigation and negotiation. The pretrial investigation will be conducted by four Senegalese magistrates and is expected to last 15 months. It is anticipated that the investigation will be followed by a trial in 2014, at which a non-Senegalese judge appointed by the AU will preside.
Habré’s trial will be the first time that the courts of one country tried the leader of another country for alleged human rights crimes. Habré is accused of thousands of political killings and systematic torture during his presidency, from 1982 to 1990. At the end of his regime, he fled to Senegal where he has been living for the past 22 years.
February 3, 2013
French National Assembly Takes a Step Toward Approving Same-Sex Marriage
Agence France-Presse reports that the French National Assembly on Saturday overwhelmingly approved the first and most important article of a law to allow same-sex couples to adopt children and to marry. The French Deputies voted 249-97 to approve article one of the draft legislation, which redefines marriage as being an agreement between two people (instead of between a man and a woman). The proposed law still has another week of parliamentary scrutiny before a final vote scheduled for February 12, but the large margin approving the first part of the law indicates that the bill will be passed. Click here to read more.
Hat tip (and thanks for the photo) to Rex Wockner.