Friday, June 17, 2016
The World Trade Organization Secretariat, in collaboration with the Secretariats of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), will hold a five-day workshop on Trade and Public Health in Geneva from 17 to 21 October 2016. Applications for this year’s workshop can be made until 22 July 2016.
For more information click here.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has expressed deep concern at the deteriorating security situation in Ngaoundaye, Ouham Pende Prefecture, in the west of the country following attacks and retaliation between groups backed by Christian militias and herders supported by Muslim fighters, since 10 June.
Houses have been burnt and properties looted in the fighting. The violence has caused significant displacement of the civilian population to the parish of Ngaoundaye, as well as to neighbouring Cameroon.
Issuing a statement, the Mission called on the armed groups and affiliated movements to put the interests of civilians above any other consideration. It also reiterated its readiness to find a solution to the crisis, related to the issue of seasonal migration, in collaboration with the Central African Republic (CAR) Government and the actors involved.
The Mission has reaffirmed its determination to provide stability and security in the country and protect the freedom of movement of the communities. In the wake of the violence, the security apparatus has been strengthened in the region and peacekeepers have been placed between the belligerents.
The Mission also noted that it is ready to provide all necessary support to conduct investigations to identify the instigators of the unrest who must be held accountable for their acts and be brought to justice.
More than three years of civil war and sectarian violence have displaced thousands of people in the CAR amid continuing clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian. The UN recently reported an upsurge in violence, in particular last September and October, committed by armed elements.
(UN Press Release)
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Iran instituted proceedings yesterday against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) pursuant to a 1955 bilateral Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between the two States. Iran alleges that the United States has violated this treaty by wrongfully designating Iran as a State sponsor of terrorism, which has resulted in Iranian assets and entities being subjected to multiple enforcement actions in U.S. courts. Iran takes the position that the United States' actions fail to recognize the separate juridical status of certain Iranian entities, results in discriminatory treatment, and fails to accord Iran and Iranian entities the immunity to which they are entitled under the treaty and customary international law. Iran requests that the Court order the United States to (1) take no steps which are inconsistent with the treaty, (2) respect Iran's immunity; (3) respect the juridical status of Iranian companies; and (4) pay reparations to Iran.
For more information, see this ICJ press release.
Monday, June 13, 2016
ASIL-Midwest, an interest group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) is co-sponsoring its third scholarly works-in-progress conference with ASIL Academic Partner University of Wisconsin Law School, on September 23-24, 2016. The event will take place at the law school, located in Madison, Wisconsin. The goal is to create a friendly, open conversation about works in progress and to foster a Midwestern United States international law community. To that end, the workshop will include both full drafts and early works in progress.
Those interested in presenting at the conference should send a 500-word abstract to ASIL-Midwest Co-Chair Milena Sterio at Cleveland State University of Ohio by Friday, July 15, 2016. Please also include a sentence about the stage the paper is expected to be in by September (e.g., reasonably complete draft, early work in progress, etc.). Papers may address any topic in international law, and this Call for Submissions is open to everyone in the international legal community. However, preference will be given to ASIL members who are also members of the ASIL-Midwest Interest Group. Paper presenters will be asked to circulate their drafts (or a summary of the project if it's early stage) to workshop attendees no later than September 9, 2016.
Those interested in serving as a commentator for a paper should also send an email to Professor Milena Sterio by July 15. Commentators will be asked to prepare five to eight minutes of comments on one of the papers. Those interested in presenting should let it be known if they are willing to serve as commentators as well. All University of Wisconsin faculty, staff, and students may attend for free. Participants who are not ASIL members or University of Wisconsin affiliates will be required to pay a $40 registration fee (includes workshop and meals) for the conference. All meals will be provided, but participants are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.
For any questions, please contact ASIL-Midwest Interest Group Co-Chairs, Cindy Buys at Southern Illinois University School of Law or Milena Sterio at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law has pubilshed its annual symposium issue on the topic of Art Restitution, Preservation of Cultural Heritage, and the Human Right to Identity. Here are the articles (with links).
Hat tip to Prof. Maureen Collins and the Editorial Board of the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law
Thursday, June 9, 2016
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the terrorist attack in the centre of Istanbul, which claimed the lives of at least 11 people and injured dozens more. “The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this despicable terrorist attack will be swiftly identified and brought to justice,” said a statement attributable to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. The explosion was reportedly caused by a car bomb targeting a police bus, according to the statement.
Extending his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishing those injured a speedy recovery, the Secretary-General stressed that the UN stands in solidarity with the people and Government of Turkey at this difficult time.
(Adapted from a UN press release)
ICC Prosecutor Tells Security Council that the Quest for Justice in Sudan is Far From Being Realized
More than a decade has passed since the situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to her Office, yet the victims' quest for justice is still far from being realized and they continue to be subjected to grave crimes and suffering, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the United Nations Security Council today.
“Sadly, my Office's countless appeals to you for action to address the persistent failure of Sudan to comply with its international obligations have not been heeded,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, adding that the Council has been “equally consistent in its conspicuous silence over Sudan's non-compliance with its resolutions.”
Presenting her twenty-third report to the Council on the situation in Darfur, the Prosecutor stressed that such inaction by the Council has emboldened the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, to continue traveling across international borders despite the fact that two arrest warrants have been issued against him by the Court.
Moreover, she said that the Council's failure to act in response to 11 findings of non-compliance issued by ICC judges has equally emboldened States, both parties as well as certain non-parties to the Rome Statute, not only to facilitate Mr. al-Bashir's travels to their territories, but to invite and host him.
“A reasonable observer cannot be faulted for asking: how many more such findings must be rendered by the Court to spur this Council into action?” the Prosecutor said.
She emphasized that such an evolving trend risked setting an “ominous precedent,” which, unless redirected, will not bode well for similar genuine efforts aimed at bringing those responsible for mass atrocities to justice.
“Above all, such nonfeasance has emboldened some States to publicly express pride in disregarding the Council's authority,” she said, which should be a matter of great concern to all.
Ms. Bensouda also said it is imperative for the Council to fully appreciate and embrace its inter-institutional relationship with the Court within the framework of the Rome Statute, adding that once a ruling of non-compliance has been referred to the Court, pursuant to article 87.7 of the Rome Statute, it was duty-bound to act.
“The Council cannot and must not remain silent and non-responsive on such judicial findings which are, after all, inherently linked to the resolution referring the situation of Darfur to my Office,” she stressed.
The Prosecutor also urged the Council to give due consideration to the proposal tabled by New Zealand calling for a structured approach in dealing with the Court's findings of State non-compliance. She noted that informal interactive dialogue between the Council and her Office would also enable the two to generate proposals on strengthening their existing relationship.
“This is the least we can do to re-assure the victims of Darfur that they have not been forgotten; that both this Council and my Office are fully engaged and committed to finding solutions that ultimately ensure accountability and by extension bring peace and stability to Darfur,” she said.
Ms. Bensouda also emphasized that Sudan's failure to cooperate with the Court amounts to non-compliance, and included of Security Council resolution 1593 (2005). In that vein, she said the failure of non-States parties to cooperate in the arrest and surrender of suspects was a “complete disregard” for the resolution.
Despite such challenges, her Office is continuing its investigations, with a view to deliver justice to the victims of grave crimes under the Rome Statute in Darfur.
That work, however, was complicated by obstacles including a lack of access to Sudan's territory, resource constraints and non-execution of the long-outstanding arrest warrants, which have all contributed to the slow progress in investigations, Mr. Bensouda said.
The Prosecutor went on to say that she shares the Council's deep concern at the increased violence and insecurity in Darfur, as well as the significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons since 2014, and the restriction of humanitarian access to conflict areas where vulnerable civilian populations reside.
A significant increase in aerial bombardments and ground attacks had resulted in more than 400 civilian deaths and destroyed up to 200 villages, Ms. Bensouda noted. In addition, she said that 107 incidents of sexual crimes against women had been reported, resulting in 225 victims.
The Prosecutor also underlined that the continuation of military attacks in Darfur by the Government of Sudan must be halted, adding that in her Office's assessment, the arrest and surrender of Mr. al-Bashir and others accused in the situation in Darfur may assist in stopping such crimes.
“In conclusion, this Council must no longer tolerate the continuing deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur; the continued non-cooperation of the Government of Sudan, and in particular, the refusal of Sudan to arrest and surrender suspects within its territory into the custody of the Court,” Ms. Bensouda said.
“It is within the powers of the Council to reverse these trends through concrete action and resolve,” she added.
(UN Press Release)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
The first Global Legal Skills Awards were presented in 2012 in San Jose, Costa Rica, at the Seventh Global Legal Skills Conference. The most recent awards were presented in May 2016 at the Eleventh Global Legal Skills Conference, held at the University of Verona Department of Law. Here is a cumulative list of GLS Award Winners from 2012 to 2016. Winners are from Costa Rica, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
GLS Award Winners
This category recognizes individuals around the world who have made significant contributions to the promotion and improvement of global legal skills.
- Dr. Amrtia Bahri, Head of Global Legal Skills and Common Law Program, ITAM University, Mexico, in recognition of her demonstrated commitment to the promotion of global legal skills. [2016 Winner]
- Prof. Heidi Brown, New York Law School (New York, USA), was recognized for her work with students to reduce extreme fear of public speaking and increase performance in classrooms, oral arguments, and client-centered legal skills activities. [2014 Winner]
- Prof. Juli Campagna, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University (New York, USA) and Adjunct Professor of Law, Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey (Mexico), was recognized for developing English Immersion Training Programs and for exceptional devotion to meeting the needs of international students around the world. [2014 Winner]
- Dean Marion Dent, ANO Pericles, Moscow, Russian Federation, was recognized for her work in higher education in Russia and for her work to bring the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition to Russia. [2014 Winner]
- Prof. Laurel Currie Oates, Seattle University School of Law, in recognition of her demonstrated commitment to excellence in global legal skills education, including work in Afghanistan and Africa. [2016 Winner]
- Prof. Robin Palmer, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to excellence in global legal skills education in South Africa and New Zealand [2016 Winner].
- Dr. Shelley Saltzman, Associate Director for Curriculum and Assessment and Senior Lecturer for the American Language Program (ALP) at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies (New York, USA), received the Global Legal Skills (GLS) Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Legal Skills Education for 25 years of innovation. [2015 Winner]
- Prof. Mimi Samuel, Seattle University School of Law, in recognition of her demonstrated commitment to excellence in global legal skills education, including work in Afghanistan and Africa. [2016 Winner]
- Elena Trosclair, Associate Professor, Ural State Law University, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation, was recognized for her dedication to teaching English to law students in the Russian Federation and for promoting scholarship in global legal skills. [2015 Winner]
Scholarship and Book Awards
This category recognizes exceptional books and articles that advance the teaching of global legal skills, including new casebooks and texts for lawyers and law students.
- Cynthia M. Adams, The International Lawyer's Guide to Legal Analysis and Communication in the United States (Wolters Kluwer 2008). [2014 Winner, with Deborah B. McGregor]
- Mary Ann E. Archer, International Law Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2013), a book designed to enrich international law courses by showing students how to research sources of international law, and to help law schools create stand-alone courses in international law legal research. [2014 Winner, with Anthony Winer and Lyonette Louis-Jacques]
- Lyonette Louis-Jacques, International Law Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2013), a book designed to enrich international law courses by showing students how to research sources of international law, and to help law schools create stand-alone courses in international law legal research. [2014 Winner, with Mary Ann E. Archer and Anthony Winer]
- Deborah B. McGregor, The International Lawyer's Guide to Legal Analysis and Communication in the United States (Wolters Kluwer 2008). [2014 Winner, with Cynthia M. Adams]
- Alison Riley (United Kingdom/Italy) in recognition of her contributions to global legal skills education through years of dedicated teaching and through the publication of her co-authored books, Legal English and the Common Law and Common Law Legal English and Grammar: A Contextual Approach. [2016 Winner, with Patricia Sours]
- Patricia Sours (United States/Italy) in recognition of her contributions to global legal skills education through years of dedicated teaching and through the publication of her co-authored books, Legal English and the Common Law and Common Law Legal English and Grammar: A Contextual Approach. [2016 Winner, with Alison Riley]
- John B. Thornton, U.S. Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Practice for International Lawyers (LexisNexis 2014). [2015 Winner]
- Anthony S. Winer, International Law Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2013), a book designed to enrich international law courses by showing students how to research sources of international law, and to help law schools create stand-alone courses in international law legal research. [2014 Winner, with Mary Ann E. Archer and Lyonette Louis-Jacques]
Law Firms and Other Institutional Winners
This category recognizes companies, professional associations, law firms, and other organizations around the world that give special support for global legal skills. The names of persons accepting these law firm and institutional awards are in parentheses.
- Arias and Muñoz, Costa Rica (José Antonio Muñoz F.), was recognized for innovative skills training for its lawyers and in thanks for its active support of holding the Global Legal Skills Conference in Central America. [2012 Winner]
- BarWrite and BarWrite Press, New York, USA (Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher), for the company's early and thoughtful recognition of the special bar exam preparation needs needs of lawyers and law students from other countries. [2014 Winner]
- Fondazione Floresta Longo, Catania (Sicily), Italy (Prof. Antonino Longo), in recognition of its dedicated commitment to improving the quality of legal services by teaching global legal skills to lawyers and law students. [2015 Winner]
- Lawbility Professional Language Program, Zurich, Switzerland (Jean-Luc Delli), in recognition of its innovative programming, publications, and demonstrated commitment to excellence in global legal skills education. [2016 Winner]
- The Legal Writing Institute Global Legal Writing Skills Committee (Professors Cara Cunningham of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and Sammy Mansour of the Michigan State University College of Law), was recognized for its support and active encouragement of global legal skills. [2014 Winner]
Law School Winners
This category recognizes law schools around the world that give special attention to and support for global legal skills.
- Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, Mexico, was recognized for its innovative educational leadership in requiring its graduates to have taken classes in three languages, for successfully bringing the Global Legal Skills Conference to its first international destination, for hosting the GLS Conference two times in Mexico, and for other efforts to promote the study of Legal English and comparative law. [2012 Winner]
- Pacific McGeorge School of Law was recognized for innovations in its legal research and writing program that introduce students to cross-cultural awareness, comparative law, and international law. [2015 Winner]
- University of Verona Department of Law, Italy, in recognition of its demonstrated commitment to excellence in global legal skills education and in appreciation of hosting the 2014 and 2016 Global Legal Skills Conferences. [2016 Winner]
Nominations for the 2017 GLS Awards, which will be presented during the 2017 Global Legal Skills Conference, can be submitted to Professor Mark Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) will hold its 2016 Teaching Conference in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. The conference, "From the Community to the Classroom: Teaching and Advancing Social Justice," will be held on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2016.
Proposals for the SALT Teaching Conference are due by June 15, 2016. Click here for more information.
Additionally, the 10th Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop organized by LatCrit, Inc. and SALT will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The Faculty Development Workshop is intended to familiarize junior faculty with Lat Crit and SALT and to support faculty in their scholarship, teaching, and service.
Monday, June 6, 2016
The eleventh Global Legal Skills Conference was held in Italy on May 24-26, 2016 at the University of Verona Department of Law (Universitá di Verona Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche). GLS-11 had more than 130 presenters and attendees from 16 countries.
The GLS-11 Conference opened with welcomes from the Conference Co-Chairs, Professor Stefano Troiano (University of Verona Department of Law) and Professor Mark E. Wojcik (The John Marshall Law School, and founder of the GLS Conference Series). Welcomes were also made by the GLS-11 Conference Program Co-Chairs, Professor David Austin (California Western School of Law in San Diego) and Professor Lurene Contento (The John Marshall Law School). Professor Lidia Angeleri (University of Verona Delegate for Internationalization), Professor Maria Caterina Baruffi (University of Verona Department of Law), and Professor Stefano Fuselli (University of Verona College of Law) also extended greetings to attendees at the opening session.
The GLS-11 Conference was supported by the cooperation of many other organizations and entities. Professor Bob Brain, Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, gave welcoming remarks on behalf of various AALS Sections with leaders attending the GLS Conference. Professor William B.T. Mock gave welcoming remarks on behalf of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. Other supporting organizations included the American Society of International Law, the International Law Students Association (which organizes the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition), Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.
Professor Kim Holst, Immediate Past Chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, introduced the opening plenary speaker, Professor Charles Calleros, who had arranged for Ivan Caburlon, a flamenco guitarist from Verona, to help give instructions on classical flamenco dance rhythms. The unsuspecting audience joined in the exercise, which reminded participants how disorienting first semester legal writing courses can be to new students.
The next days of the conference offered thirty different panels and roundtables with speakers from around the world. Speakers and participants came from Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Other speakers who had been expected from Russia and Singapore were unfortunately unable to attend the conference. The full schedule of speakers and topics can be viewed by clicking here. Persons interested in any particular topic can contact speakers directly for more information about their presentations.
The opening conference reception was held in Piazza Bra in Verona, directly across from the Arena, the Roman amphitheater built in the first century and still in use. (Adele gave a concert in that theatre during the week of the GLS Conference.) The law school reception featured singer Daniela Austin and an exceptional jazz quartet. American singer Mark Campbell also made a surprise guest appearance to entertain the audience. Reception attendees also received a special conference gift of hand-painted candle-holders.
GLS Awards were presented during the conference to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the promotion and development of global legal skills education. Award recipients this year were Dr. Amrita Bahri (Mexico), Professors Laurel Oates and Mimi Samuel (United States), Professor Robin Palmer (New Zealand), Legal English book authors Alison Riley and Patricia Sours (Italy), the Lawbility Professional Language Program (Switzerland), and the University of Verona Department of Law (Italy). Prior winners of GLS awards presented the 2016 GLS Awards, which have become global award to recognize innovation and excellence in legal skills education. A cumulative list of the GLS Award Recipients can be found by clicking here.
The speaker in the closing session was Professor David Austin (California Western School of Law), whose popular and entertaining presentation introduced the intersections of law, literature, and art in medieval Padua and served as a prelude to the post-conference day trip to explore the city that Shakespeare described in The Taming of the Shrew as a “nursery of arts.”
Participants visited the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, the world’s first botanic garden, the second oldest law school in Europe, the classroom where Galileo taught for more than a decade, the historic surgical operating theatre in the medical school of Padua, the medieval law courts of Padua, and one of the most important masterpieces of Western Art -- the magnificent frescos of the Scrovegni Chapel painted by Giotto between 1303 and 1305. A farewell dinner in Rovolon in the romantic Euganean hills completed the day.
This was the second time that the GLS conference had been held in Verona, Italy. Other GLS conferences have been held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Mexico, and Costa Rica. The next GLS conference will be held in 2017, with a location and dates still to be announced.
Members of the GLS-11 Program Committee (Comitato Scientifico) included Professors Paolo Butturini (University of Verona), Juli Campagna (Hofstra University), Kimberly Holst (Arizona State University), William B.T. Mock (The John Marshall Law School), and John Thornton (Northwestern University). The GLS-11 Communications Officer was Tommaso Lecca of the University of Cagliari in Sardinia. Student volunteers from the University of Verona Department of Law assisted with registration and ensured that all of the conference participants could fully enjoy the conference.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Swiss firm Lawbility, based in Zurich, was named among the winners of a 2016 Global Legal Skills Award, presented on May 26, 2016 at the University of Verona Department of Law as part of the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference.
Lawbility is a firm that offers specialized courses in Legal English, courses on practical legal skills, and preparation for bar examinations. In 2013 it also published The Legal English Manual which, as many of the award nominators noted, is "an indispensible tool for teaching legal English in Switzerland."
The Legal English Manual published by Lawbility was co-authored by four lawyers and Legal English teachers: Alison Wiebalck, Clemens von Zedwitz, Richard Norman, and Kathrin Weston Walsh. The book covers 14 specific areas of law and has been well received by reviewers, course participants, and students who speak English as a second language.
The GLS Award was signed by the Co-Chairs of the GLS Conference, Professor Stefano Troiano of the University of Verona Department of Law (pictured at left), and Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School, who was the founder of the GLS Conference Series. The award was accepted by Lawbility's founder, Jean-Luc Delli of Switzerland. The award was presented to him by a previous GLS Award Recipient, Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher of New York, who is the President and Founder of BarWrite and BarWrite Press.
Other winners of GLS awards presented at the University of Verona Department of Law in May 2016 were:
- Dr. Amrita Bahri (Mexico)
- Professor Laurel Oates (United States)
- Professor Robin Palmer (New Zealand)
- Professor Alison Riley (United Kingdom/Italy)
- Professor Mimi Samuel (United States)
- Professor Patricia Sours (United States/Italy)
- University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
The next GLS Awards will be presented in 2017.
Professors Laurel Oates and Mimi Samuel of Seattle University School of Law are winners of 2016 Global Legal Skills Awards that were presented on May 26, 2016 at the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy. They have promoted global legal skills around the world by conducting training programs in Afghanistan, India, Uganda, South Africa, and elsewhere.
Professor Laurel Oates was the Director of Seattle University’s Legal Writing Program until 2012. She was a co-founder of the Legal Writing Institute, helped establish the LWI newsletter known as The Second Draft, and helped organize and host seven national LWI conferences, including the 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 conferences. She is the co-author of five books, including The Legal Writing Handbook, which is now in its sixth edition, and Just Research, Just Memos, Just Briefs, Just Writing, and a Practice Book.
During the last seven years, Professor Oates has taught workshops on legal writing in Afghanistan, Botswana, China, India, South Africa, and Uganda and has hosted programs for both students and lawyers in South Africa. In June 2007, Professor Oates received the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.; in October 2009 she received the Marjorie Rombauer Award for Contributions to the Teaching of Legal Writing. In October 2012 she received the Tom Holdych Award for Meritorious and Transformational Service. And now in 2016, she is also a recipient of a Global Legal Skills Award.
Mimi Samuel is an Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills and Associate Director of the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law. She embraces opportunities to work with law students, lawyers, and judges around the world. In 2003, she taught the foundations of the American legal system to Russian law students at Far Eastern National University in Vladivostok. In 2007, Professor Samuel and Laurel Oates conducted a series of workshops in India, Uganda, and South Africa. She also co-organized the Conference on the Pedagogy of Legal Writing for Academics in Nairobi, Kenya, which brought academics from the U.S. together with academics from East Africa. At the end of the conference, the participants decided to form a new organization ("APPEAL") dedicated to promoting the teaching of legal writing and the exchange of information among academics in the U.S. and Africa. Professor Samuel was the first U.S. co-president of that organization. Professor Samuel has also taught in Seattle University’s Global Justice Advocacy Program in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The GLS Awards were signed by the GLS-11 Conference Co-Chairs, Professor Stefano Troiano of the University of Verona Department of Law (where the conference was held) and Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago (the founder of the GLS Conference Series). The awards were presented to Professors Oates and Samuel by two prior GLS award winners, Professor Hether Macfarlane of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in California (in the photo, she is the one holding the award for Mimi Samuel) and Professor John Thornton of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago.
Other winners of GLS awards presented at the University of Verona Department of Law in May 2016 were:
- Dr. Amrita Bahri (Mexico)
- Professor Robin Palmer (New Zealand)
- Professor Alison Riley (United Kingdom/Italy)
- Professor Patricia Sours (United States/Italy)
- Lawbility Professional Language Program (Switzerland)
- University of Verona Department of Law (Italy)
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Professor Robin Palmer, Director of Clinical Legal Studies at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received a 2016 Global Legal Skills Award at the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy. He had been nominated for the award by Professor Chris Gallavin, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Humanities and Social Science at Massey University in New Zealand.
Before becoming a Professor of Law at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Professor Palmer was the Director of the Institute for Professional Legal Training (IPLT), affiliated to the University of KwaZulu-NataI, Durban, South Africa. He is also a practicing barrister (advocate).
Professor Palmer has been involved in numerous high-profile cases, including as defense counsel in the 'Trust Feed' trial, in which the existence of apartheid hit squads was conclusively proved. From 2006 to 2012, he was the lead specialist prosecutor of the 'Life' case, where international brokers, local hospital groups and surgeons were prosecuted for illegal organ trafficking. He has also run various training courses and consultancies for the UNDP, UNODC, OSI, OSISA, the Commonwealth, USAID, GIZ, DFID, EU, the IBA, and other organizations in diverse fields from 1995 to the present, including justice reform, legal aid, constitutional development and good governance projects in various African, Asian and East-European countries. He was a member of the International Bar Associaiton Human Rights Institute's Task Team into money laundering, tax havens, and poverty from 2012 to 2013. He was the lead consultant in the UNODC expert group meeting on private/public security cooperation Vienna. He initiated, and run a postgraduate diploma course in forensic investigation at the University of KwazuIu-Natal in South Africa since 2000, and is currently specializing in transnational and international criminal law, corruption issues, and legal sector reform. He has a special interest in developing and implementing generic general and specific legal skills, ranging from reasoning, oral, writing and negotiation skills, to applied court skills and the utilization of new technology in the law.
His nomination letter noted that Professor Palmer has developed simple, straightforward methods to train specialized legal skills, such as trial advocacy and clinical law skills such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, statement-taking, letter , report and brief writing, and file management. His trial advocacy system is contained in his short book, Basic Trial Advocacy Skills (with co-author Professor David McQuoid-Mason, who wrote the ethics chapter), which has been used by law and other faculties in Africa since 2000. It's only one of seven books that he wrote or edited. After this particular book was circulated at the conference of African Chief Justices in Zambia in 2009, the publisher printed a special edition for judges and the book was distributed to the courts of most of the countries in Africa.
In 2012, Professor Palmer (with Professor David McQuoid-Mason) published for Open Society, Institute (Budapest) a well-received comprehensive African Law Clinician's Manual, with detailed, step-by-step guidelines, which has been distributed in hard copy and e-book format to over 60 countries. Professor Palmer has also edited, and was the main author, of a practical guide to the Law of Evidence in South Africa for Oxford University Press, and is currently completing the companion volume on Criminal Procedure. He was also co-author on two other books for Oxford University Press: A Practical Guide to Civil Procedure (2003; 2 ed: 2009; 3 ed 2016), and Criminal Law (2012; 2 ed 2015).
He was also the moderator and editor of a detailed practical International Criminal Justice syllabus, published by the Institute of Security Studies, which has been distributed free of charge to most African law schools. He also recruited a team of authors in New Zealand, and as editor and main contributing author, is currently preparing a detailed, skills-based book, The New Zealand Clinical Legal Studies and Internships Handbook (publication in August 2016- Thomson-Reuters).
OK, so he's basically amazing in the scope and impact that his publications have had in Africa and New Zealand. But he's also involved heavily in reforming legal skills education.
He has long advocated a more robust approach to the use of new technology in legal proceedings (especially where it can assist to avoid miscarriages of justice). For example, following up on the inclusion of a chapter written by him on the topic in the Evidence book, he and a research team were awarded a grant by the New Zealand to investigate the scientific validity and possible legal application of Brain-scan (EEG) technology (so-called 'brain-fingerprinting). Part of the project is the development on new skills protocols to ensure acceptable investigative and legal standards.
The GLS award was signed by the GLS Conference Co-Chairs, Professor Stefano Troiano of the University of Verona Department of Law (pictured at left) and Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School (pictured at right). The award was presented by Professor Anthony Winer of Minnesota, a prior recipient of a Global Legal Skills Award for his book on International Law Legal Research. Professor Palmer is pictured (above right) holding the award.
More information about the Global Legal Skills Awards is available at http://glsc.jmls.edu/2016/gls-awards.
Friday, June 3, 2016
This Sunday, June 5, is World Environment Day. The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has chosen to highlight the illegal trade in wildlife this year and is launching its "Wild for Life" campaign to raise awareness and stop trafficking in wildlife.
Earlier this week, 70 dead tiger cubs were discovered in a Buddhist temple in Thailand, along with tiger skins, talismans and other wildlife parts. Representatives from UNEP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) have said those circumstances represent only a “tiny proportion” of the extent of an illegal trade in wildlife that is pushing species to the brink of extinction. In a joint press release, the agencies stated: “Indeed, only around 4,000 tigers are left in the wild. . . Until the illegal trade in wildlife is stopped, we are only likely to see more of these types of situations.”
The press release continued, “The illegal trade in wildlife, estimated to profit criminals to the tune of billions of dollars annually worldwide, comprises everything from the lucrative trade in tiger parts in East Asia to ivory from poached African elephants. . . .It undermines our environment, economies, communities and security.”
UNEP and UNODC also noted that action against the illegal wildlife trade has become a high global priority, with the UN General Assembly adopting a resolution in July 2015 urging all countries to make this a serious criminal offense.
Moreover, they said, the second UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) held in Nairobi, Kenya, last month reaffirmed the urgency of stepped-up efforts to combat wildlife crime through concrete actions at national and international levels.
Southeast Asian nations are also taking notice, with the last Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime adding wildlife trafficking to the list of priority transnational crimes.
“The commendable action by Thailand’s authorities, coordinated by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, highlights the need for constant vigilance by wildlife law enforcement authorities to the threat posed by traffickers,” said UNEP and UNODC.
The agencies also recalled that in April 2015, Thai customs confiscated more than three tons of African elephant ivory, the second-largest seizure in the country’s history. Also in 2015, Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office was among Asia-Pacific organizations honoured by UNEP for its role in combating wildlife crime.
To learn more, visit the World Environment Day website.
Dr. Amrita Bahri, an Assistant Professor of Law at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, was a winner of a 2016 Global Legal Skills Award, presented at the University of Verona Department of Law during the 11th Global Legal Skills Conference. The award was signed by the GLS Conference Co-Chairs, Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Professor Stefano Troiano of the University of Verona Department of Law, and was presented by a previous GLS Award Winner, Prof. Antonino Longo of Catania, Sicily.
The award was given to encourage and support the Global Legal Skills Program at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Professors Alison Riley and Patricia Sours received special Certificates of Achievement in Global Legal Skills Education at the 2016 Global Legal Skills Conference held last week in Verona, Italy. The two authors received the Global Legal Skills Awards in recognition of their contributions to global legal skills education through years of dedicated teaching and through the publication of two co-authored books, Legal English and the Common Law and Common Law Legal English and Grammar: A Contextual Approach.
The Global Legal Skills Awards were presented to Professors Riley and Sours in Verona, Italy at the University of Verona Department of Law during the Eleventh Global Legal Skills Conference. The awards were signed by the GLS Conference Co-Chairs, Professor Mark Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Professor Stefano Troiano of the University of Verona Department of Law. The award presenters were two prior GLS Award Winners, Professor Juli Campagna of the Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law in New York and Professor John Thornton of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has two opportunities for international law scholars to present their works in progress on any topic in international law at research forums this fall.
First, the ASIL Midwest Interest Group is co-sponsoring its third scholarly works-in-progress conference with ASIL Academic Partner University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, WI on September 23-24, 2016. The goal of this conference is to create a friendly, open conversation about works in progress and to foster a midwestern United States international law community.
Those interested in presenting a work in progress at the conference should send a 500-word abstract to ASIL-Midwest Co-Chair Milena Sterio at Cleveland State University Ohio. Submissions should also include a sentence about the stage the paper is expected to be in by September (e.g., reasonably complete draft, early work in progress, etc.). The ASIL Midwest conference is open to everyone in the international legal community, but preference will be given to ASIL members who are also members of the ASIL-Midwest Interest Group. Paper presenters will be asked to circulate their drafts to workshop attendees no later than September 9, 2016.
Those interested in serving as a commentator for a paper should also send an email to the Co-Chair by July 15. Commentators will be asked to prepare five to eight minutes of comments on one of the papers. Those interested in presenting should let it be known if they are willing to serve as commentators as well. Participants who are not ASIL members or University of Wisconsin affiliates will be required to pay a $40 registration fee (includes workshop and meals) for the conference. All meals will be provided, but participants are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses. Submissions are due by Friday, July 15, 2016.
Second, ASIL is seeking submissions of scholarly paper proposals for the ASIL Research Forum to be held at ASIL Academic Partner University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington on November 11-12, 2016.
This Research Forum is a Society initiative introduced in 2011, which aims to provide a setting for the presentation and focused discussion of works-in-progress from across the spectrum of international law. Please note that - in addition to academics - private practitioners, government attorneys, international organization representatives, and non-government lawyers are frequently selected to present papers based on the abstracts they submit.
Papers may be on any topic related to international, comparative, or transnational law and should be unpublished at the time of their submission (for purposes of the call, publication to an electronic database such as SSRN is not considered publication). Interdisciplinary projects, empirical studies, and jointly authored papers are welcome. Multiple submissions are welcome, but authors will only be selected to present on a single abstract, including co-authored papers.For full instructions and to submit a proposal, visit the ASIL website. Submissions are due by 12 noon ET on Monday, July 11, 2016.
Monday, May 30, 2016
The Extraordinary African Chambers issued its decision today finding the former dictator of Chad, Hissene Habre, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Chambers sentenced Habre to life in prison.
Habre ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990. He fled to Senegal, where he has resided since that time. He was first arrested in Senegal in 2000. After much legal wrangling, the Extraordinary African Chambers was created in Senegal in 2013 to try him. His trial began in 2015. 93 witnesses traveled to Senegal to testify against Habre. They told stories of torture, rape, sexual slavery, mass executions, and destruction of entire villages. Ultimately, the Chambers found Habre guilty of torture, rape and sexual slavery of women to serve his army. Habre did not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Chambers and remained silent throughout the proceedings.
More information may be found (in French) on the website of the Extraordinary African Chambers.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
The Central States Law Schools Association Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, North Dakota. CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend.
Monday, May 23, 2016
In a press release today, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced that a severe financial crisis is threatening its ability to carry out its mission. Because of the dire nature of this situation, the press release is reproduced in full below. (cgb)
Press Release 69/16
Severe Financial Crisis of the IACHR Leads to Suspension of Hearings and Imminent Layoff of Nearly Half its Staff
May 23, 2016
Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is going through a severe financial crisis that will have serious consequences on its ability to fulfill its mandate and carry out its basic functions. The Commission deeply regrets having to report that on July 31, 2016, the contracts of 40 percent of its personnel will expire, and at this time the Commission does not have the funds—or the expectation of receiving the funds—to be able to renew them. The Commission is also very sorry to report that it has been forced to suspend the visits it had planned for this year, as well as its 159th and 160th sessions, which had been scheduled for July and October.