Saturday, February 23, 2013
The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law invite submissions for their second issue of 2013, which will focus on the concepts of the state and sovereignty, with emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to international legal theory. Here's the idea:
In recent years, legal and political developments in the international arena — Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia; the operation of de facto governments by breakaway states such as Ossetia and Abkhazia within the sovereign territory of Georgia; the recognition of ‘rebel’ governments in Libya and Syria; and the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state — have posed new challenges to these foundational concepts of international law.
Simultaneously, scholars drawing on diverse theoretical traditions have established a sophisticated literature that reveals some of the many tensions implicit in the history and practice of international law. [Issue] 14(2) will develop this conversation by inviting scholarship — in the form of articles, commentaries, case notes and book reviews — analysing contemporary jurisprudential questions raised by ‘the state’ and ‘sovereignty’.
Articles should be in the vicinity of 8 000 to 20 000 words in length and be an original and detailed contribution to international law scholarship. Commentaries explore recent developments in a specific field of international law and their practical applications, and should be between 5 000 and 8 000 words in length.
The submissions deadline for 14(2) is 1 July 2013, and the Issue will be published in November.
All articles, case notes, commentaries, and review essays published in MJIL are subjected to a double-blind refereeing process, involving at least two specialists in the field. Once accepted for publication, submissions will then be edited for compliance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Authors will have an opportunity to review the final version of the piece prior to publication. More information on the submissions process can be found at their website by clicking here.
Hat tips to Chelsea Driessen, Timothy Gorton and Candice Parr, 2013 Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law.
We have received a report that Peter H. Kooijmans died on February 13, 2013, at the age of 79. He was the United Nations' first special rapporteur on torture. He also served as a judge of the International Court of Justice from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands appointed him as a Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau.
Thank you, Barbara Kwiatkowska, for sharing the news. We celebrate his life and his many contributions to the development of international law and the promotion of international human rights.
(mew) (Photo from the University of Leiden)
Friday, February 22, 2013
The United Nations "Special Committee on Decolonization" is known formally as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, was set up two years after the U.N. General Assembly adopted that Declaration. The Declaration affirmed the right of all people to self-determination and proclaimed that colonialism should be brought to a speedy and unconditional end. It states that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, contravenes the UN Charter and impedes the promotion of world peace and cooperation.
More than 80 former colonies, comprising some 750 million people, have gained independence since the creation of the United Nations. There are now only 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories. Those Territories are home to nearly two million people. The U.N. Special Committee on Decolonization is starting its annual meeting this week in New York.
The 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories are:
- New Caledonia,
- Western Sahara,
- American Samoa,
- British Virgin Islands,
- Cayman Islands,
- Saint Helena,
- Turks and Caicos Islands,
- United States Virgin Islands,
- Tokelau, and
- the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)
Yesterday, the United States announced its nomination of Professor James L. Cavallaro of Stanford Law School to serve as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The elections will be held during the June 2013 General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Antigua, Guatemala. The following information is taken from a U.S. State Department press release:
"Professor Cavallaro is currently Professor of Law and founding director of Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic as well as the Stanford Human Rights Center. Before his appointment at Stanford, Cavallaro was professor of law and executive director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. Highly respected in the areas of human rights and international law, Professor Cavallaro has extensive knowledge of the Inter-American human rights system and the operation of both national and international adjudicatory processes.
The independent and autonomous IACHR promotes and defends human rights in all member states of the OAS. It impacts thousands of lives in the hemisphere through the issuance of reports on petitions and cases, as well as recommendations, to OAS member states to improve the human rights’ conditions in their countries.
Over the last half century, the IACHR has played a critical role in monitoring and supporting OAS member state adherence to human rights commitments. Its seven Commission members are recognized experts in human rights elected in their own right as individuals, not as representatives of governments. Their members’ political autonomy and objectivity distinguish the IACHR as a leading human rights body.
The promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as embodied in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. The United States is pleased to be a strong supporter of the IACHR, and is committed to continuing support for the Commission’s work and its independence. Preserving the IACHR’s autonomy is a pillar of our human rights policy in the region."
Congratulations to Professor Cavallaro!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Former Haitian President Goes on Trial for Corruption but Not Human Rights Violations -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Reminds Judges that there is No Statute of Limitation for Serious Abuses of Human Rights
A senior United Nations official today urged Haiti to ensure there is no impunity for human rights violations committed during the presidency of Jean-Claude Duvalier, who is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. Serious human rights violations, including torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings have been extensively documented by Haitian and international human rights organizations to have occurred in the country during Mr. Duvalier’s 15-year rule, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “Such systematic violations of rights must not remain unaddressed,” said High Commissioner Navi Pillay. “All those Haitians who suffered such abuses have a right to see justice is done.”
Last month, a judge ruled that Mr. Duvalier would be prosecuted for corruption charges but not for human rights abuses. The decision was appealed, and the court will decide in the next few days whether the decision still holds.
“I encourage the judicial authorities to act on their responsibilities and ensure the victims are provided with the long overdue justice they deserve,” Ms. Pillay said, adding that there is no statute of limitation under international law for serious human rights violations.
Human rights groups have long called for Mr. Duvalier to be arrested in relation to rights abuses carried out during his rule. The former president made a surprise return to Haiti in January 2011, after 25 years of exile in France and amidst a political crisis in his country. Soon after Mr. Duvalier’s return, OHCHR offered Haitian authorities technical assistance for prosecuting crimes committed from 1971 to 1986 when he was in power.
(UN Press Release)
Dr. Tomer Broude, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law and Department of International Relations of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, met this morning in Chicago with professors from The John Marshall Law School to discuss Transitional Justice and its role in mitigating conflict. He presented a paper that critically examined the potential capacity of courts to serve as fora for historical reconciliation and transitional justice in the particular context of Israel and Palestine, with extended discussions of situations in Chile, South Africa, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia.
Pictured here are:
- Ralph Ruebner, Associate Dean of The John Marshall Law School (Chicago)
- Ronald Z. Domsky, Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School and a Director of the Chicago Chapter of the American Friends of Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Dr. Tomer Broude, Sylvan M. Cohen Chair in Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Judith S. Schenkman, Executive Director, American Friends of Hebrew University
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The American Society of International Law’s International Law and Technology Interest Group (ILTechIG) is holding its inaugural works-in-progress workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 2013, at ASIL's Tillar House Headquarters (2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW) in Washington, D.C. The workshop will follow ASIL’s 107th Annual Meeting, which will take place on April 3-6, 2013.
ILTechIG is seeking papers addressing an issue at the intersection of international law and technology. Possible topics might include, for example, the regulation of data and privacy in trade regimes; the use of new technologies in warfare; technological challenges affecting environmental regulation; the regulation of cyberspace; the role of technology in advancing human rights; or the effect of technology on the practice of international law. Preference will be given to ASIL members.
Those interested in presenting should submit an abstract of not more than one page by March 1, 2013. Proposals should indicate the author’s name, phone number, email address, and institutional affiliation and describe the anticipated state of the paper at the time of the conference (i.e., published or unpublished, complete or incomplete).
Proposals will be reviewed by the ILTechIG leadership: Co-Chairs Anupam Chander (UC Davis) and Molly Land (NYLS), Vice Chair and Co-Chair Elect Paul Schiff Berman (George Washington), and Secretary/Treasurer Greg McNeal (Pepperdine). Individuals whose papers have been selected for the workshop will be notified by March 8, 2013.
To defray the cost of meals during the workshop, participants will be asked to pay a conference fee: $50 for ASIL members and $65 for non-members. A discounted rate of $55 is available for public sector non-member attendees. The ILTechIG cannot fund the cost of travel for participants.
More information is available on the ILTechIG webpage.
Hat Tip to Molly Land (cgb)