Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AALS Annual Meeting Previews - The Blogger Panel

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools is being held next week in San Francisco. Among the hundreds of presentations will be a program on Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools, a panel that will include . . . well, here, have a look!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

8:30 - 10:15 a.m.      AALS Arc of Career Program

Building and Sustaining Academic Communities Through Blogging and Other Tools

This panel focuses on the work that a number of scholars have done to build community in their respective fields. Such community building does not fit neatly into traditional scholarship, teaching, or service categories and therefore often is not explicitly rewarded as part of the tenure process. But for those willing to do the work, creating community can be both personally rewarding and a good fit for those seeking to be engaged scholars.

The participants all have different goals and methods when it comes to community building, but there are commonalities. Establishing a strong blog and web presence have been core parts of the community building work in a number of fields. Participants who have worked on building online communities will discuss everything from how they started and the choices they make as far as blogging coverage to what are the best and most challenging parts of blogging. In other fields, much of the community building work takes the form of conference organizing and participants will discuss their successes and failures when it comes to this form of public service. They will also discuss the amount of effort conferences require as well as ideas to lessen the planning burden.

  • Moderator: Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
  • Benjamin Barros, University of Toledo College of Law
  • Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Megan Boyd, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, St. Thomas University School of Law
  • James B. Levy, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law
  • Ezra E.S. Rosser, American University, Washington College of Law
  • Nancy J. Soonpaa, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School - Chicago

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level, Hilton San Francisco Union Square. That room holds 427 people so you should be able to fit in! We hope to see you there and at other AALS sessions.

(mew)

December 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 26, 2016

UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements in Occupied Territory

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of a Security Council resolution which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” under international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

“The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable,” the UN chief’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work with the international community to create a conducive environment for a return to meaningful negotiations,” the spokesperson added. “The United Nations stands ready to support all concerned parties in achieving this goal.”

The Security Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favor and with one abstention – the United States abstained from the vote. The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela.

In the resolution, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”

December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Job Openings at the University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)

The University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom) is seeking a Reader of Law and a Professor of Law. Click here for details.

(mew)

December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

List of World Heritage in Danger

In 2016, South Sudan ratified the United Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, bringing the number of state parties to 192. Under Article 11(4) of the World Heritage Convention, the World Heritage Committee keeps a "List of World Heritage in Danger," listing properties that form part of the cultural and natural heritage that are threatened by serious and specific dangers. These dangers include:

  • the threat of disappearance caused by accelerated deterioration, large-scale public or private projects or rapid urban or tourist development projects;
  • destruction caused by changes in the use or ownership of the land;
  • major alterations due to unknown causes;
  • abandonment for any reason whatsoever;
  • the outbreak or the threat of an armed conflict;
  • calamities and cataclysms;
  • serious fires, earthquakes, landslides; volcanic eruptions; or
  • changes in water level, floods and tidal waves. 

The World Heritage Committee currently lists 55 properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.  In 2016, the following properties were added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in the nations of Libya, Mali, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Uzbekistan:

Libya

December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Looking to Make a Last Minute Charitable Tax Donation?

The International Law Students' Association (ILSA), the organization that helps international law students around the world and that organizes the annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, would really appreciate your support. If you're looking to make a charitable donation before the end of the year, this group is worthy of your support. You can support specific Jessup teams, the Jessup competition in general, or the other good work that ILSA does throughout the year.

If you're a Jessup alumnus (in any capacity), you know what an important experience the Jessup competition was for you. Now it's time for you to help others enjoy that same experience and to help ensure the future of international law.

Here's some information from the ILSA Website:

Why Donate?

ILSA relies on monetary donations from sponsors to cover the costs of administering the Jessup Competition and other educational programs for law students around the world. Your contribution will help bring together students from all parts of the world to participate in educational and cultural exchanges that will prepare them for successful careers as leaders in the field of international law. These students are the future of international law and with your help, we can insure that financial barriers do not prevent particpation in ILSA programs.   

How will my money be used?

Donations to ILSA help provide critical assistance to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in ILSA activities. Both ILSA and the Jessup Competition have a growing presence in many developing nations where international legal education is still in its infancy. Funds will be used to directly support Jessup Teams, administer the Jessup competition worldwide, provide assistance to ILSA Chapters, and organize conferences and other educational programs. 

Can I donate to a specific Jessup Team?

Yes. After you click the donate button, you can make a note in the comments section of the form. Your donation will be used to cover expenses such as travel, accommodations, food, and competition materials so that the team can focus on competing to the best of their ability. If you would like information about directly supporting a team that needs financial assistance contact jessup@ilsa.org

Is my donation tax deductible?

ILSA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowable under U.S. Federal Law.

Click here for more information on how to donate to support Jessup and the International Law Students Association.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew), former Board Member, International Law Students Association

December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Record number of migrants drown in Mediterranean Sea

2016 is ending with a very sad milestone: a record number of migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.  According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 5000 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea this year, equating to an average of 14 deaths each day. This is the highest death toll ever recorded in the Mediterranean.  And, of course, this number does not include all the refugees streaming out of Syria and other hot spots around the world.

Thus far, the world has failed to find an adequate solution for the growing number of refugees. Earlier this month, the UNHCR called for far-reaching reforms to the European asylum system. But Europe cannot resolve this crisis alone.  The United States and other countries with refugee resettlement capacities must step up and honor their commitments to the humanitarian ideals embodied by the Refugee Convention.

The world can only hope that 2017 proves less deadly. 

(cgb)

 

 

December 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Be a Jessup Judge!

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with over 600 teams from more than 90 countries. The Jessup Competiton allows you to interact with brilliant students and talented lawyers. It is an opportunity to educate, network, and explore intriguing international legal issues. And if you competed in Jessup in the past, now it's your turn to be a judge.

Jessup judges are needed all around the world. And in the unlikely event that you're not near any of the upcoming competitions, you can nonetheless serve an important function of judging the written memorials. (I've always enjoyed grading the written memorials because I always seem to learn something while doing that!)

Click here for information on how to volunteer to be a Jessup judge.

Click here to see the Jessup schedule.

And if you would like to support the Jessup competiton, here's information about how to become an "FOJ." The Friends of the Jessup (FOJ) offers support by judging, coaching, administering, making financial contributions, offering legal expertise, and providing general administrative help for the Jessup competition. Click here to learn more about the Friends of Jessup.

(mew)

December 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Looking to Make a Last Minute Charitable Tax Donation?

The International Law Students' Association (ILSA), the organization that helps international law students around the world and that organizes the annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, would really appreciate your support. If you're looking to make a charitable donation before the end of the year, this group is worthy of your support. You can support specific Jessup teams, the Jessup competition in general, or the other good work that ILSA does throughout the year.

Here's some information from the ILSA Website:

Why Donate?

ILSA relies on monetary donations from sponsors to cover the costs of administering the Jessup Competition and other educational programs for law students around the world. Your contribution will help bring together students from all parts of the world to participate in educational and cultural exchanges that will prepare them for successful careers as leaders in the field of international law. These students are the future of international law and with your help, we can insure that financial barriers do not prevent particpation in ILSA programs.   

How will my money be used?

Donations to ILSA help provide critical assistance to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in ILSA activities. Both ILSA and the Jessup Competition have a growing presence in many developing nations where international legal education is still in its infancy. Funds will be used to directly support Jessup Teams, administer the Jessup competition worldwide, provide assistance to ILSA Chapters, and organize conferences and other educational programs. 

Can I donate to a specific Jessup Team?

Yes. After you click the donate button, you can make a note in the comments section of the form. Your donation will be used to cover expenses such as travel, accommodations, food, and competition materials so that the team can focus on competing to the best of their ability. If you would like information about directly supporting a team that needs financial assistance contact jessup@ilsa.org

Is my donation tax deductible?

ILSA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowable under U.S. Federal Law.

Click here for more information on how to donate to support Jessup and the International Law Students Association.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew), former Board Member, International Law Students Association

December 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Call for Papers: Trade, Law, and Development

The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development invites original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Summer 2017 Special Issue of the Journal on "Recent Regionalism." Manuscripts may be in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments, or Book Reviews.

TL&D aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. Towards these ends, we have published works by noted scholars such as Professors Petros Mavroidis, Mitsuo Matsuhita, Raj Bhala, Joel Trachtman, Gabrielle Marceau, Simon Lester, Bryan Mercurio, E.U. Petersmann, and M. Sornarajah among others.

TL&D is ranked as the best journal in India across all fields of law and the 10th best trade journal worldwide by Washington and Lee University, School of Law for five consecutive years (2011-15) [The Washington & Lee Rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive in this regard].

For more information, see the submission guidelines at www.tradelawdevelopment.com or send them a message at editors@tradelawdevelopment.com.

The last date for submissions is February 15, 2017.

Hat tip to Rhea Jha, Editor-in-Chief

(mew)

December 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Looking to Make a Last Minute Charitable Tax Donation?

The International Law Students' Association (ILSA), the organization that helps international law students around the world and that organizes the annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, would really appreciate your support. If you're looking to make a charitable donation before the end of the year, this group is worthy of your support. You can support specific Jessup teams, the Jessup competition in general, or the other good work that ILSA does throughout the year.

Here's some information from the ILSA Website:

Why Donate?

ILSA relies on monetary donations from sponsors to cover the costs of administering the Jessup Competition and other educational programs for law students around the world. Your contribution will help bring together students from all parts of the world to participate in educational and cultural exchanges that will prepare them for successful careers as leaders in the field of international law. These students are the future of international law and with your help, we can insure that financial barriers do not prevent particpation in ILSA programs.   

How will my money be used?

Donations to ILSA help provide critical assistance to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in ILSA activities. Both ILSA and the Jessup Competition have a growing presence in many developing nations where international legal education is still in its infancy. Funds will be used to directly support Jessup Teams, administer the Jessup competition worldwide, provide assistance to ILSA Chapters, and organize conferences and other educational programs. 

Can I donate to a specific Jessup Team?

Yes. After you click the donate button, you can make a note in the comments section of the form. Your donation will be used to cover expenses such as travel, accommodations, food, and competition materials so that the team can focus on competing to the best of their ability. If you would like information about directly supporting a team that needs financial assistance contact jessup@ilsa.org

Is my donation tax deductible?

ILSA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible in the United States to the full extent allowable under U.S. Federal Law.

Click here for more information on how to donate to support Jessup and the International Law Students Association.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew), former Board Member, International Law Students Association

December 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe ("CCBE") Denounces Arrests and Detentions of Approximately 300 Lawyers and 3,000 Judges in Turkey

In light of World Human Rights Day on 10 December, the CCBE denounces the ongoing crackdown on the rule of law in Turkey page1image7968 page1image8128

In July 2016, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) issued a statement highlighting its concerns over the situation in Turkey following the attempted coup of 15 July. It was particularly concerned about the reports of the dismissal and arrests of thousands of judges. Since then, the CCBE has been monitoring very closely the developments in Turkey, in particular, regarding lawyers.

According to the CCBE's latest figures, there are approximately 300 lawyers and 3000 judges who have been arrested and/or detained in Turkey.

After the failed coup, human rights and rule of law have been severely undermined by way of 11 decree laws enacted under the state of emergency legislation. Hundreds of civil society organisations have been shut down, with many being detained incommunicado, a wide censorship on media has been put in place, thousands of public servants (including judges and prosecutors) have been removed from office and arrested. Against this background, lawyers are facing overwhelming obstacles in defending their clients.

In anti-terrorism law related cases, lawyer-client confidentiality is barely present: clients’ interviews in prisons are recorded and often take place with the presence of a police officer in the room; documents are confiscated and checked; clients have no access to a lawyer for the first five days of police custody, and this right can be suspended for up to six months.

Speaking at the CCBE Plenary Session on 2 December 2016 in Brussels, Turkish human rights lawyer Ayşe Bingöl Demir – one of the winners of the CCBE Human Rights Award 2016 – stressed that there has been no effective response from the international community to the grave violations of human rights during this long period. Ms Bingöl Demir highlighted the importance of the support of human rights lawyers by the international community as it shows that the work of Turkish lawyers in seen and that there is still hope.

Last month, Union of Turkish Bar Associations and the Local Bar Associations issued a statement (in Annex, included in this post) warning of the crackdown that has happened since the attempted coup and stating that lawyers will continue to stand firm and defend the rule of law in Turkey.

Annex: Statement of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and the Local Bar Associations

THIS IS A WARNING ENOUGH!

During the murderous coup attempt on July 15th, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and our entire local bar associations stood firmly against the coup attempters and alongside democracy and the Republic of Turkey.

And today, we have the responsibility to make the following historical warnings:

Our rightful warnings which we have been making over the years through the period that led to the events of July 15th and our firm stand against the coup attempt have made it obligatory for the authorities to take our thoughts into consideration. Turkey has no more tolerance for vital errors and weaknesses expressed by statements such as “I was deceived, mistaken, wrong”.

Whole state organization has been reshaped behind closed doors through the governmental decrees issued based upon the state of emergency which has been declared in order to fight against the coup plotter crime organization.

Even though the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has succeeded in common reasoning and working under the harshest conditions during the National War which we conducted with the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk; today we have come to a point where it is being ignored through governmental decrees.

The state of emergency has been distorted of its aim to fight the coup and has been transformed into a governing regime. The independence and impartiality of the judiciary, which were already problematic, have been completely demolished. This situation clearly reveals what is being aimed with the new order introduced as local presidential system.

Even the Lausanne Peace Treaty has been brought into discussion during the presidency propaganda run by the President. Thus, the boundaries of the Republic of Turkey determined as a result of our National War and recognized with international treaties have been rendered disputable.

The foundational principles of a Republic which are defined as unchanged and cannot be proposed to be changed in our Constitution are insistently being tried to be frayed and rendered dysfunctional.

The reinstatement of the death penalty will lead to Turkey being extracted from the Council of Europe. In spite of being aware of this, the political power has started the campaign for death penalty and has been escalating it with the aim to get a result. The extraction of Turkey from the Council of Europe means a radical shift in our path that we have been following since the Tanzimat reforms of the Ottoman period. This implies that we will no longer be a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. And to quit the European Convention on Human Rights means that the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey will become completely unsecured and that we will be robbed of our right to apply individually to the European Court of Human Rights.

The freedom of press has been restricted to an extent that cannot be accepted in a democratic society under any circumstances. Media that are not siding with the political power are being forced to self-censor, which is the most dangerous type of censorship. The arbitrary interruptions on the Internet and the social media are carrying this unlawfulness to the highest dimension. State power is being used in order to prevent the people from reaching news that the political power does not want them to. All the resources of the state are being mobilized for political propaganda.

The governmental decrees of the state of emergency are directly targeting the right to defence and the legal profession. The actual targets are the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens which are being defended by lawyers.

Almost every right within the scope of the right to a fair trial are being neglected.

Judicial proceedings have been distorted of their aim to distinguish between guilty and innocent and have been transformed into a means of labelling people with prejudice and of elimination. The society and our innocent citizens are harmed the most and the terrorist organizations ruining, demolishing and ensanguining our country have benefitted the most from this situation. Our citizens no longer trust the judiciary. The judiciary is no longer the guarantee of the country.

Each investigation and prosecution concerning the public has become a reason for the society to be more polarized and for our people to turn against each other.

The perception of acting partially and dependently has stuck on the judiciary. The opinion that the judicial proceedings have become a means of paving the way for politics has become dominant among the society.

The arrest of parliamentarians, mayors, judicial actors, journalists, academics and lawyers by courts open to the intervention of the political power are causing the terrorist organizations to gain grounds and widen their area of propaganda.

However; the only common denominator to make our 79 million citizens embrace is justice and the only way to be confident about the future and to ensure pluralist-participatory democracy is the rule of law.

As the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, we warn all our citizens about the clear and open danger created by the conditions we are being dragged into. We urge the President and the political power to abide by the universal rules of law and to end the tension within the society.

As Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said:

THERE ARE NO HOPELESS SITUATIONS. THERE ARE HOPELESS PEOPLE” LAWYERS WILL CONTINUE TO STAND FIRM AND KEEP THE HOPES ALIVE IN TURKEY.

Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu, Esq. President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations 

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Open Letter to Donald Trump from the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has released an open letter that it sent to the President-Elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump, calling on him to reassert the United States as a leading model for championing individual liberty and human rights.

Signed by IBAHRI Co-Chairs Baroness Helena Kennedy and Ambassador (ret) Hans Corell, the letter highlights a U.S. retreat from the rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and 1791 United States Bill of Rights; it raises concerns over the decline of human rights in the United States; and it outlines a number of pertinent human rights issues where the United States now lags behind many other nations, including these issues:

  • Not being a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC)– The United States has not ratified the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court. The open letter states: "Nearly two-thirds of the nations of the world are parties to this statute, including almost all of the United States’ NATO allies. The International Criminal Court is the future of international criminal justice, a field which the United States pioneered with the post-World War II Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. The ICC tries the three core atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, issues which are particularly important to many Americans… We urge you to promote U.S. accession to the Rome Statute."
  • Torture and Rendition– The letter cites: ‘The lack of transparency by the U.S. government, such as expressly opposing the right of the public to view footage of atrocities in Guantanamo Bay, and denying the occurrence of instances of rendition, runs counter to the international obligations the United States has publicly undertaken to uphold."
  • The death penalty– The United States has the fifth highest rate of executions in the world. The IBAHRI Co-Chairs advocate: "Reducing the imposition of this penalty to only the most serious crimes, allowing judicial discretion in sentencing, and expressly eliminating execution for acts done by children, would be a positive step leading to a complete prohibition. This would place the United States in the forefront of human rights defenders."

The letter also focuses on the failure of the United States to join the most widely-ratified treaties in history: the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The open letter results from the deliberations of a panel of experts in the arena of human rights and international lawyers brought together to consider the situation of human rights in the United States. The discussion took place at a session convened by the IBAHRI at the IBA Annual Conference in Washington DC, on 19 September 2016, before the national elections in the United States in November.

Click here to read the full text of the open letter.

Hat tip to Ambassador Hans Corell.

(mew)

 

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

UN General Assembly Pays Tribute to Outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The General Assembly today paid a tribute to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his “never-tiring service to humanity” over the past decade, while also swearing in his successor António Guterres, who will assume his duties on 1 January 2017.

“Over the last ten years, Secretary-General Ban has led the United Nations with unwavering principles for the good, with dedicated professionalism, and with never-tiring service to humanity,” said General Assembly President Peter Thomson, following the adoption of a resolution by which the 193-member body acknowledged Mr. Ban’s exceptional contribution to the work of the UN, and noteworthy achievements.

“Whether it was shifting international dynamics, a rebalancing of economic influence, rapid technological advances, or the rising interconnectivity and mobility of people, Secretary-General Ban was always in the vanguard,” Mr. Thomson added.

Among the long list of his accomplishments, Mr. Thomson cited three in particular: the Secretary-General’s unceasing efforts on the issue of climate change, which ultimately led to the adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement; his vision and determination to realize a more just, prosperous and secure world through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and his support for gender equality, including the establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN Women.

In response, Mr. Ban said “serving as Secretary-General of this great Organization, has been a great privilege for me of a lifetime.”

Recalling his childhood, he said: “After the Korean War, UN aid fed us. UN textbooks taught us. UN global solidarity showed us we were not alone. For me, the power of the United Nations was never abstract or academic.”

He said he has seen the power of international cooperation in taking on most pressing challenges and has seen the UN open its doors wider than ever to civil society and many partners to help transform the world.

He said his 10-year tenure was filled with challenges, including the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, eruptions of conflict and uprisings for freedom and record numbers of people fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

But “day by day, brick by brick, we built stronger foundations for peace and progress,” he stressed, but added that still, so many problems have proven intractable - none more than the bloodshed in Syria and the upheaval it spawned.

“I have maintained a focus on people’s dignity and rights – the pillars of our common humanity. I have sought to stand up for the vulnerable and those left behind today. And I have tried to be sure that we are doing all we can so that future generations can live in peace,” Mr. Ban said. “Even as I prepare to leave, my heart will stay as it has since I was a child – right here with the United Nations.”

The Assembly rose in prolonged applause at the end of Mr. Ban’s speech.

Also paying tributes to Mr. Ban were the representatives of Burkina Faso (on behalf of the African States), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (on behalf of the Asia-Pacific States), Latvia (on behalf of the Eastern European States), Costa Rica (on behalf of Latin American and Caribbean States), Sweden (on behalf of the Western European and other States) and the United States (as the host country).

(UN Press Release)

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, is Sworn in as the New Secretary-General-Designate of the United Nations; His Five-Year Term Begins January 1st

GuterresSworn in today as the ninth and next United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres pledged to reposition development at the centre of the Organization’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community.

“The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy,” said Mr. Guterres after taking the oath of office at a ceremony before the 193-member UN General Assembly.

Mr. Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal (1995 to 2002) and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015) replaces Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of the month after leading the global Organization for the past 10 years.

“The United Nations was born from war. Today we must be here for peace,” he added, noting that addressing root causes, cutting across all three pillars of the UN: peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, must be a priority for the Organization.

He was formally appointed by the General Assembly on 13 October in what was the culmination of an historic process Member States set in motion late last year: the selection of a new UN Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, for the first time in history, involved public discussions with each candidate vying for the leadership position.

Today’s ceremony opened with the Assembly paying tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his contribution to the work of the UN since 1 January 2006.

(UN Press Release)

Photo Caption: António Guterres, Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, takes the oath of office for his five-year term, which begins on 1 January 2017. The oath was administered by Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, December 9, 2016

South Korea's President Impeached Following Corruption Scandal

The National Assembly of South Korea voted 234 to 56 to impeach President Park Geun-hye, the nation’s first female president, following a damaging corruption scandal with allegations of influence-peddling. President Park's powers are now suspended and the South Korean Constitutional Court will decide whether she should be removed from office. Interim leadership of the country now passes to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. Click here to read more.

(mew)

December 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Call for Papers: Trade, Law, and Development

The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development invites original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Summer 2017 Special Issue of the Journal on "Recent Regionalism." Manuscripts may be in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments, or Book Reviews.

TL&D aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. Towards these ends, we have published works by noted scholars such as Professors Petros Mavroidis, Mitsuo Matsuhita, Raj Bhala, Joel Trachtman, Gabrielle Marceau, Simon Lester, Bryan Mercurio, E.U. Petersmann, and M. Sornarajah among others.

TL&D is ranked as the best journal in India across all fields of law and the 10th best trade journal worldwide by Washington and Lee University, School of Law for five consecutive years (2011-15) [The Washington & Lee Rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive in this regard].

For more information, see the submission guidelines at www.tradelawdevelopment.com or send them a message at editors@tradelawdevelopment.com.

The last date for submissions is February 15, 2017.

Hat tip to Rhea Jha, Editor-in-Chief

(mew)

 

December 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Volunteers Needed to Judge the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with over 600 teams from more than 90 countries. The Jessup Competiton allows you to interact with brilliant students and talented lawyers. It is an opportunity to educate, network, and explore intriguing international legal issues. And if you competed in Jessup in the past, now it's your turn to be a judge.

Jessup judges are needed all around the world. And in the unlikely event that you're not near any of the upcoming competitions, you can nonetheless serve an important function of judging the written memorials. (I've always enjoyed grading the written memorials because I always seem to learn something while doing that!)

Click here for information on how to volunteer to be a Jessup judge.

Click here to see the Jessup schedule.

And if you would like to support the Jessup competiton, here's information about how to become an "FOJ." The Friends of the Jessup (FOJ) offers support by judging, coaching, administering, making financial contributions, offering legal expertise, and providing general administrative help for the Jessup competition. Click here to learn more about the Friends of Jessup.

(mew)

December 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

ECCC Supreme Court Upholds Life Sentences in Two Cases

The Supreme Court of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) set up to bring to trial those most responsible for crimes committed during Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime has upheld life sentences for two top former Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity.

The Supreme Court of the ECCC upheld its judgment on appeals against the trial judgement regarding Nuon Chea, former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan, former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea. The two, who are the most senior surviving members of the regime, were were sentenced in August 2014.

In a lengthy decision, the Court also reversed the convictions entered by the Trial Chamber for the crime against humanity of extermination in relation to the evacuation of Phnom Penh and the second phase of population transfers. It found that the evidence before the Trial Chamber in relation to the population movements did not establish beyond reasonable doubt the requisite killings on a large scale “committed with direct intent.”

In April 1975, during the first phase of the movement of the population, at least two million people were forcibly transferred from Phnom Penh by Khmer Rouge soldiers often at gunpoint, and in terrifying and violent circumstances. The population was forced to march to rural areas during the hottest time of the year and without adequate food, water or medical care.

According to the Tribunal, there were numerous instances of Khmer Rouge soldiers shooting and killing civilians during the course of the evacuation, while many others died of exhaustion, malnutrition or disease. There was another phase of the movement of the population between September 1975 and December 1977, where scores more were displaced.

The ECCC, which is currently handing four cases, was created by Cambodia and the United Nations, but is independent of them, and is a Cambodian court with international participation that will apply international standards.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

(mew)

December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Five Key Steps to End Violence and Discrimination Against the LGBT Community Worldwide

Global partnership is needed to end discrimination and violence against the worldwide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, a United Nations human rights expert has told an international conference in Bangkok, Thailand, outlining five key steps that should be taken.

“Resolute action is required to stop the violence and discrimination affecting not only LGBT communities but also the human rights defenders working with them,” said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first-ever UN independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The five key steps are:

  1. lifting criminal laws that affect LGBT people;
  2. not seeing the community as suffering from a disorder;
  3. giving all people the right to have their gender identity recognized on official documents;
  4. working with different cultures and religions to ensure inclusive practices; and
  5. ensuring children grow up with the ability to empathize with people of different sexual orientation and gender identity.

Addressing the World Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Mr. Muntarbhorn stressed that these five key goals – decriminalization, ‘depathologization,’ recognition of gender identity, cultural inclusion and ‘empathization’ – could only be delivered with a broad global partnership.

All people, he said, were invited to “open their hearts and minds to the beauty of diversity,” including in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity.

He said it had been a “quantum leap” for the world community to create the new mandate, which he took up on 1 November 2016. He said the mandate would advance the commitment to “leave no one behind” in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr. Muntarbhorn said that human rights advocates working with LGBT people were also coming under attack, adding that despite progress made on advancing the rights of LGBT people, much remains to be done.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

(mew)

December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICJ rules that France Must Protect the Premises Presented as Housing the Diplomatic Mission of Equatorial Guinea in France

The International Court of Justice has ruled that France must guarantee the protection of the premises presented as housing the diplomatic mission of Equatorial Guinea in France.

In an order granting the request for an indication of provisional measures, the ICJ noted that Equatorial Guinea had filed suit against France in June 2016 with regard to a dispute concerning immunity from criminal prosecution of the Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, and the legal status of the building that houses the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea at 42 avenue Foch in Paris. At the end of September, Equatorial Guinea asked the ICJ for the indication of provisional measures, asking specifically that France suspend all criminal proceedings against the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, and that France treat the building at 42 avenue Foch in Paris as the diplomatic mission of Equatorial Guinea in France.

In the order issued today by the International Court of Justice, the court ruled unanimously that pending a final decision in the case, France should take all measures at its disposal to protect the premises at 42 avenue Foch equal to the protection under article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The ICJ also denied France's request to remove the case from the list of active cases.

(mew)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Here is the U.N. Press Release about the order issued against France:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has delivered its Order on the case concerning Immunities and Criminal Proceedings (Equatorial Guinea v. France) and the request by Equatorial Guinea to indicate provisional measures.

The Order indicates that France shall take “all measures at its disposal” to make sure that the premises presented as housing the diplomatic mission of Equatorial Guinea at 42 avenue Foch in Paris satisfy the required treatment outlined in Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Court also unanimously rejected the request of France to remove the case from the General List.

The Court recalled that, on 13 June 2016, Equatorial Guinea instituted proceedings against France with regard to a dispute concerning the immunity from criminal jurisdiction of the Vice-President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, and the legal status of the building which “houses the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea,” located at 42 avenue Foch in Paris.

In September 2016, Equatorial Guinea submitted a Request for the indication of provisional measures, asking the Court, inter alia, to order that France suspend all the criminal proceedings brought against the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea; that France ensure that the building located at 42 avenue Foch in Paris is treated as premises of Equatorial Guinea's diplomatic mission in France and, in particular, assure its inviolability; and that France refrain from taking any other measure that might aggravate or extend the dispute submitted to the Court.

Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the ICJ – widely referred to as the 'World Court' – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies. ICJ Judgments are final and binding on the Parties involved in the legal disputes submitted to the Court.

December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)