Saturday, August 2, 2014

ILSA and IBA Conference in London

Save the date! The International Law Students Association (ILSA) and the International Bar Association (IBA) will hold a conference in London (United Kingdom) on September 5-6, 2014.

The conference will offer student participants:

  • A chance to meet fellow law students from around the world 
  • A range of educational and vocational panels
  • A Jessup Compromis Panel Discussion with experts considering the issues raised by the newly released 2015 Jessup Compromis 
  • A complementary drinks and canapé reception, as well as catered lunches and breaks for all delegates.
  • A chance to explore one of the world’s most iconic cities

Registration for the conference is available by clicking here.

(mew)

August 2, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Uganda Anti-Gay Law Declared Unconstitutional

FInding that there was not a sufficient parliamentary quorum when the law was enacted, the Constitutional Court of Uganda has annuledl the country’s controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The law, which drew condemnation from the United Nations and many individual nations when it was promulgated in February 2014, called for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction, and imprisonment for life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’. Challenged by 10 petitioners, including civil society, parliamentarians and academics, the law was annulled by the Uganda Constitutional Court over a lack of quorum when the bill was passed. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to all those who contributed to this “step forward,” particularly the human rights defenders in Uganda who spoke out, at times incurring great personal risk. “The Secretary-General calls for further efforts to decriminalize same-sex relationships and address the stigma and discrimination that persist in Uganda against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson. 

Also welcoming the decision to annul the law was the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which had warned that the legislation may obstruct effective responses to the virus.  “This is a great day for social justice,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé declared in a statement. “The rule of law has prevailed.” UNAIDS noted that while homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, annulling the law could have positive public health implications. Studies show that when gay men and other men who have sex with men face discrimination, including abuse, incarceration and prosecution, they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services. 

“[Ugandan] President Yoweri Museveni had personally indicated to me that he wants Uganda to accelerate its AIDS response to ensure all people have access to life-saving services,” said Mr. Sidibé.UNAIDS urged all Governments around the world, to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people through repealing criminal laws against adult consensual same sex sexual conduct; implementing laws to protect people from violence and discrimination; promoting campaigns that address homophobia and transphobia; and ensuring access to health services, including HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. 

(mew) (adapted from a UN press release)

August 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Papers: The Influence of International Law on US Government Decision-Making

The Section on International Law of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its program at the AALS 2015Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on Sunday, January 4 at 10:30 am.

The topic of the program and call for papers is “The Influence of International Law on U.S. Government Decision-Making.” This panel will explore the role that international law plays in informing the policy outcomes arrived at by U.S. government decision-makers.  To what extent is international law determinative or even influential, and to what extent does the policy area, the branch of government, or the ideological orientation of the decision-maker matter? As a more practical matter, at what stage in the decision-making process is international law taken into account and who are the most influential actors?  How can academics be most influential in that process?  The presenter chosen through this call for papers will join several prominent current or former U.S. government officials in a panel discussion. 

Eligible faculty members are invited to submit manuscripts or detailed abstracts that address any of numerous issues related to the way in which international law infuses decision-making within the United States government.

Eligibility

Per AALS policy, only full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit a paper to a call for papers. The following are ineligible: faculty at fee-paid law schools, international, visiting (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school) and adjunct faculty members, graduate students, and non-law school faculty.  Untenured faculty members are particularly encouraged to submit papers. 

Registration fee and expenses

The selected Call for Paper participant is responsible for paying his or her AALS annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

Form and length of submission

Eligible faculty members are invited to submit manuscripts or detailed abstracts dealing with any aspect of the foregoing topic.  Detailed abstracts should be comprehensive enough to allow the committee to meaningfully evaluate the aims and likely content of papers proposed.  Papers may be accepted for publication but must not be published prior to the Annual Meeting.

Deadline and submission method

Papers must be submitted electronically to: Ms. Carol Manis, Assistant to Professor Cindy Buys at Southern Illinois University School of Law. The subject of the email should read: “Submission for AALS Section on International Law.”

The initial review of the papers and abstracts will be blind, and will be conducted by members of the section’s executive committee.  In order to facilitate blind review, please identify yourself and your institutional affiliation only in the cover letter accompanying your manuscript, and not in the manuscript itself.  The submitting author is responsible for taking any steps necessary to redact self-identifying text or footnotes.   

The deadline for submission is September 2, 2014.

The author of the selected paper/abstract will be notified by September 28, 2014.

(cgb)

August 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conference in Ukraine on "International Legal Protection of Ukrainian Interests"

We received the following announcement concerning an upcoming conference in Ukraine.

(mew0

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine

Ukrainian Association of International Law

Institute of International Relations

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

are jointly organizing the International Scientific-Practical Conference

«International Legal Protection of Ukrainian Interests»

August 28-29, 2014

Kyiv, Melnykova Street 36/1, Hall of the Academic Council

1. Means of international adjudication as instruments for the protection of the interests of Ukraine on the international arena. 

  • 1)   Increase in the variety of means of international adjudication as a feature of modern international law.
  • 2) The importance for Ukraine to resort to means of international adjudication: legal and political aspects.     

2.  Institution of proceedings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).     

  • 1)  Russia and the ICJ: issue of jurisdiction. The case Georgia v. Russia and its implications for Ukraine.  
  • 2) The ICJ jurisdiction and the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.   Possibility of Ukraine’s recourse to the ICJ instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation. Recognition of the ICJ jurisdiction by Russia. Subject-matter of the possible case in the ICJ.
  • 3)  The prospects of seeking the ICJ advisory opinion. Subject-matter of the ICJ advisory opinion.  
  • 4)   Importance of the ICJ advisory opinions. Possible positive implications of the potential ICJ advisory opinion with respect to the Ukrainian issue.

3. European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): the Ukrainian perspective.     

  • 1) The analysis of current pending applications of Ukraine to the ECHR. The contribution of the ECHR to the solution of the Ukrainian crisis.    
  • 2)   Importance of the ECHR decisions and their influence on the international relations in the light of the ECHR decisions in cases Georgia v. Russia and Cyprus v. Turkey.  
  • 3) The rationale to establish the coordination body or department for assisting citizens eager to file individual complaints against Russia.    

4. Protection of economic interests of Ukraine.    

  • 1) Stockholm arbitration as a stage of «gas war».
  • 2) Possible recovery of damages from Russia.    
  • 3) Issue of lost investments in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.    
  • 4) Perspective of Ukraine’s application to the WTO for protection of domestic producers’ interests in the trade war with Russia. Recent complexity of trade relations with the Republic of Belarus.
  • 5)  International Criminal Court: prospects for Ukraine. The ratification of the Rome Statute.
  • 6) Other means of international adjudication to be used by Ukraine (namely, possible recourse to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea).
  • 7) Filing lawsuits by the representatives of Yanukovych’s regime before the international courts for the protection of their own interests with a view to call off sanctions: the need for a consistent position of Ukraine.
  • 8) The potential recourse to countermeasures by Ukraine against the Russian Federation. Countermeasures application mechanism. Potential political, economic and legal consequences of countermeasures application against the Russian Federation.     

Organizing committee:

  • Pavlo Klimkin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
  • Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine
  • Leonid Hubersky, Rector of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Executive Secretary:

Alexander Zadorozhny, Head of the Presidential Council of the Ukrainian Association of International Law, Head of the IIR International Law Department of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv 

The organizing committee is planning to publish a collection of papers (Ukrainian and English versions) before the commencement of the conference. Please send your papers for publication in Ukrainian or English up to 1 author’s sheet (approximately 18 pages) and applications for participation to the following e-mail: alexander.zadorozhny2012@gmail.com.

The requirements for publications are available on the Ukrainian Journal of International Law website – jusintergentes.com.ua 

The deadline for applications and submissions of papers is August 21, 2014 (included).The participation in the conference in absentia requires the paid publication of a paper subject to the requirements for the publication in the Ukrainian Journal of International Law (jusintergentes.com.ua).

The conference participation is at the participants’ expense. The organizing committee may at its own discretion provide a partial reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses for some participants and provide assistance with tickets and accommodation booking at participants’ requests filed in advance.  

 

July 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ELSA Needs a Host for Its North American Moot Court Rounds

The European Law Students' Association (ELSA) is seeking a host of the ELSA Moot Court Competition All American Regional Round taking place in March 2015!

The ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO law is a simulated hearing of the WTO dispute settlement system. After making written submissions as both complainant and respondent, each team will travel to a Regional Round. ELSA has 5 regional rounds in various parts of the world (Europe, Americas, Africa, and Asia-Pacific). The ELSA moot court on WTO law is one of the most prestigious in the world. The 12th edition had over 80 schools participating from 6 continents!

The 13th edition will be launched on the 15th of September 2014 with the release of the Case. ELSA is currently searching for a host for the All Americas Round which will include teams from North, Central and South America. ELSA is looking for hosts among universities, student associations, or NGOs with an interest in international trade law and the right infrastructure to provide a successful round.

Things that will be considered in evaluating bids are:

  • The location should be easily reachable for the participants and panelists;
  • Teams from well-known universities from all over the Americas, WTO academics as well as representatives from the WTO itself will participate in the Round; and
  • The host will be expected to cover costs of accommodation, meals, opening and award ceremony, sponsors reception and pleading rooms from participant fees and independent fundraising.

ELSA International may be able to provide financial assistance based on success of fundraising efforts and will be able to provide some financing in case of a loss.

Host candidates must provide the following documents:

  • A motivation letter
  • A draft budget
  • A draft agenda including any social or academic programming (see document attached as help)

For more information please see also the draft host agreement to be concluded with ELSA International as well as the Regional Round Organizer's Manual, or you can contact the Vice President for Moot Court Competitions of ELSA International at mootcourts [at] elsa.org.

Send applications to mootcourts [at] elsa.org before August 17, 2014. 

Hat tip to Jonathan Lewis.

(mew)

 

 

July 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Iran Arrests and Holds Americans Incommunicado

Iran confirmed on Friday that it has arrested and detained a reporter for the Washington Post, Jason Rezaian, his wife, and two other American photographers in Iran.  News reports indicate that Iran has said it will release information about the detainees  after it had completed an investigation. 

There has been no commuication from the detained Americans with their families or employers since last Tuesday.  Iran and the United States are both parties to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations which requires Iran to faciliate communication between detained foreigners and their appropriate consulate without delay (see article 36).   Because the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, Switzerland acts as a protecting power to provide consular services.  

One interesting legal question raised by this case is whether Iran's duty to faciliate consular access is in any way affected by the fact that Mr. Rezaian holds dual American-Iranian citizenship.  Some States take the position that a dual citizen is not entitled to consular services when arrested by authorities in one of his States of nationality.  Professor Mark Wojcik recently published an article on Consular Notification for Dual Nationals, in vol. 38 of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal, in which he argued that dual nationals are entitled to consular notification.  Of course, there is no question that Iran must provide consular notification to the other Americans who do not hold dual citizenship.   

Accordingly, Iran must allow the Swiss consulate immediate access to the detained Americans to establish their well being and to provide consular services.

(cgb)

July 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thailand Adopts a Temporary Constitution -- Described as First Step Toward Return to Electoral Democracy Following Two Months of Military Rule

The New York Times reported this week that the Kingdom of Thailand adopted a temporary, 48-aritcle constitution following two months of military rule. According to the New York Times, the new constitution allows the junta leader to hold substantial power even after an interim cabinet and legislature are installed in September. Thailand: Temporary Charter Adopted, N.Y. Times, July 23, 2014, at A12. The military overthrew Thailand's elected government in May 2014. Click here to read more about the events leading up to the coup and developments following the coup. The interim constitution did not provide for a referendum on a permanent constitution. Thailand: Temporary Charter Adopted, N.Y. Times, July 23, 2014, at A12. 

(mew)

July 27, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Excerpt from the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons

The Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons is a new human rights document intended to stimulate debate on how to improve protections for older persons.  

Here is an excerpt from the Declaration. Article 1 sets forth the "Purpose and Core Principles" of the Declaration:

Article 1 – Purpose and Core Principles

(a) The purpose of this Declaration is to provide, advance, and promote a basis for the development of a convention on the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

(b) The principles recognized by this Declaration are:

  1. Respect for inherent dignity;
  2. Respect for individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices;
  3. Respect for the independence and capabilities of older persons;
  4. Respect for interdependence and caring relationships;
  5. Respect for non-discrimination and equality under law;
  6. Respect for family relationships and intergenerational solidarity;
  7. Respect for full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
  8. Respect for and recognition of older persons as part of human and cultural diversity; and
  9. Respect for aging as an integral and continuous part of life.

The full text of the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons can be accessed by clicking here.

Click here to read more about the development of the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons.

(mew)

July 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons to be Presented at United Nations on Friday

Chicago Declaration (Group) 1The Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons is a new human rights document meant to stimulation discussion and action on protecting the rights of older persons. Following more than six months of drafting, the final text was reviewed at a two-day conference held on July 10-11, 2014 at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The conference was attended by elder law and human rights experts from 16 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Paraguay, and the United States. The conference was jointly sponsored by The John Marshall Law School, Roosevelt University in Chicago, and the East China University of Political Science and Law. Many notable experts and public figures, such as Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, attended the conference and shared their knowledge and experiences.

Here's a photo from the closing ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Annie Krug)

Last Friday, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois congratulated the drafters and introduced excerpts from the document into the Congressional Record. Janice D. Schakowsky, The Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons, 160 Cong. Rec. E1234 (July 25, 2014). Click here to see the excerpts in the Congressional Record (Articles 1 and 2 of the Declaration).  Download Chicago Declaration Cong Rec

The Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons will be presented at the United Nations this Friday, August 1, 2014, at an event in connection with the Fifth Session of the United Nations' Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.

Click here to see the full text of the Chicago Declaraton on the Rights of Older Persons.

Mark E. Wocjik

July 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Courts and Tribunals

ICJ PhotoIf you were keeping track of important developments in international courts and tribunals, which institutions would you pick? We have a list here -- tell us in the comments which courts you would add to this list and which ones you would remove from it.  (For more information about these courts, click on the name of the court that interests you.)

  1. International Court of Justice
  2. Permanent Court of Arbitration
  3. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  4. International Criminal Court
  5. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
  6. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  7. Special Court for Sierra Leone
  8. Special Tribunal for Lebanon
  9. Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia
  10. Court of Justice of the European Union
  11. European Court of Human Rights
  12. Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  13. African Court on Human and People's Rights
  14. Caribbean Court of Justice
  15. Iran-US Claims Tribunal

If you're interested in the completion strategy of various courts (such as the ICTY or ICTR), click here for information about a special program being held in Argentina during the Fall Meeting of the American Bar Associaiton Section of International Law.

(mew)

UPDATE: We've started receiving some comments from readers. Professor Ken Gallant, for example, wrote: "To the ICTY and ICTR add the MICT (the [Completion] Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals). All of the Tribunals that you have listed are worth reporting on. I would add the WTO Dispute Resolution Mechanism and the NAFTA Dispute Resolution Mechanism."

July 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hearing on Uganda's Anti-Gay Law

Uganda Anti-Gay LawWe have confirmed that the applications for a temporary injunction and an interim order against Uganda's Anti Homosexuality Act will be heard on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by the Uganda Court of Appeal, sitting as the Constitutional Court of Uganda.

Here is a link to a newspaper report about the case.

Here is a link to the complaint.  

Under Article 137 of Uganda's Constitution, the Court of Appeal will sit as a Constitutional Court when there is any question as to the interpreration of the Ugandan Constitution. When sitting as a Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal must have a bench of five members of that court. (There appear to be 15 judges on the Uganda Court of Appeal, only five of which will form the Constitutional Court in a particular case.)

Under Ugandan law as we understand it, a decision of the Court of Appeal, sitting as a Constitutional Court, should be respected by the Uganda Supreme Court.  We thank the lawyers in Uganda who are working on this appeal and keeping us informed about developments in the case.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

July 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gay Man in Saudi Arabia Sentenced to Three Years and 450 Lashes for Meeting Men on Twitter

ECHR Rules Poland Complicit in CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program

Yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held that Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by cooperating with the United States in operating secret detention facilities where persons arrested in the war on terror could be held for interrogation.  In the combined cases of al-Nashiri v Poland and Abu Zubaydah v Poland, the plaintiffs alleged they were tortured and mistreated while being held in secret detention at a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) "black site" located at the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence training base near the town of Szcytno in northern Poland. Poland denied the existence of the secret detention facility.  

The seven  judges on the ECHR unanimously found sufficient evidence that Poland cooperated in the preparation and execution of the CIA rendition, secret detention and interrogation operations on its territory and that Poland should have known that by allowing the CIA to detain plaintiffs on Polish territory, it created a serious risk that the men would be treated in ways contrary to the Convention. 

The Court determined that Poland failed to comply with  Article 38 of the Convention, which creates an obligation to funish all necessary facilities for the conduct of an effective investigation. The Court also held that Poland violated the following articles of the Convention with respect to both men:   

Article 3 (prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment)

Article 6 (right to fair trial)

Article 8 (right to respect for privacy and family life)

Article 13 (right to an effective remedy)

By way of remedy, the Court ordered the payment of reparations to the men, both of whom are currently being held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The case is likely to have an effect on similar cases pending at the Court against Lithuania and Romania. 

(cgb)

July 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New U.S. Legislation, Hearings, and Committee Action

It's a busy time in Washington D.C. for international law developments:

Bills Introduced

HR 5190 (Gerlach, R-PA), to authorize assistance for Ukraine; to Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Intelligence (Permanent Select). CR 7/24/14, H6813.

H Con Res 110 (Fortenberry, R-NE), calling for urgent international intervention on behalf of Iraqi civilians facing a dire humanitarian crisis and severe persecution in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq; to Foreign Affairs. CR 7/24/14, H6814. 

H Res 683 (Vargas, D-CA), expressing the sense of the House on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution from the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq; to Foreign Affairs. CR 7/24/14, H6814.

S 2667 (Kirk, R-IL), to prohibit the exercise of any waiver of the imposition of certain sanctions with respect to Iran unless the president certifies to Congress that the waiver will not result in the provision of funds to the government of Iran for activities in support of international terrorism, to develop nuclear weapons, or to violate the human rights of the people of Iran; to Foreign Relations. CR 7/24/14, S4903.

S Res 517 (Graham, R-SC), expressing support for Israel’s right to defend itself and calling on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; to Foreign Relations. CR 7/24/14, S4903.

S Res 522 (Coons, D-DE), expressing the sense of the Senate supporting the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to be held in Washington, DC; to Foreign Relations. CR 7/24/14, S4904.

S Res 523 (Warner, D-VA), expressing the sense of the Senate on the importance of the United States-India strategic partnership and the continued deepening of bilateral ties with India; to Foreign Relations. CR 7/24/14, S4904.

S Con Res 41 (Cruz, R-TX), denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in violation of international humanitarian law; to Foreign Relations. CR 7/24/14, S4904. 

Hearings

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on nuclear negotiations with Iran. 7/29/14, 10 am, 419 Dirksen.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on nuclear negotiations with Iran. 7/29/14, 2 pm, 2172 Rayburn.

The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on assessing security in Afghanistan. 7/30/14, 10 am, 2118 Rayburn.

Committee Action 

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will mark up the following bills:

  • H Res 281, expressing concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, in the People's Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups; and
  • HR 3398, to authorize the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to provide assistance to support the rights of women and girls in developing countries.

7/30/14, 10 am, 2172 Rayburn.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office

(mew)

July 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes the Disabilities Treaty

The United States has signed but not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a text adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 13, 2006 and signed by the United States on June 30, 2006. 

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the "Disabilities Treaty" this week by a vote of 12 to 6. The treaty can now go to the full Senate for its consent, which requires a special 2/3 vote. (The Disabilities Treaty failed in an earlier Senate vote in 2012.)

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate Committee passed the Disabilities Treaty:

“One hundred forty six nations and the European Union have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but it will require American leadership to ensure the treaty’s protections become a reality. The treaty embodies the highest of American standards. From the U.S. Constitution, it borrows principles of equality and the protection of minorities. From the Declaration of Independence, it reflects the unalienable right to pursue happiness. From the Americans with Disabilities Act and other landmark accessibility laws, the treaty enshrines the concept of reasonable accommodation. When we lead, the world follows, and only the United States can show the way in raising worldwide accessibility to the American standard. The Disabilities Treaty is essential to improving the lives of over 1 billion people around the globe with disabilities, as well as the 58 million Americans with disabilities right here at home, including 5.5 million disabled American veterans. This treaty should be ratified and I will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to achieve this worthwhile and meaningful goal.”

Click here for a copy of the treaty text.

Click here for the package of documents transmitted by the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Senate.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

July 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Papers: Trade, Law, and Development

India FlagThe Editors of Trade, Law and Development invite original, unpublished manuscripts in the form of articles, notes, comments, and book reviews. Manuscripts received by September 17, 2014 pertaining to any area of international economic law will be reviewed for possible publication in the Winter 2014 issue (volume 6, number 2).

Trade, Law and Development aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. For more information, see the submission guidelines at www.tradelawdevelopment.com or contact the editors by email at: editors[at]tradelawdevelopment.com.

LAST DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS: SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

TRADE, LAW AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, JODHPUR

NH-65, JODHPUR, RAJASTHAN

INDIA

E-mail: editors[at]tradelawdevelopment.com

Website: www.tradelawdevelopment.com

 (mew)

July 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Iraq

 The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on U.S. policy in Iraq on July 24, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office

(mew)

July 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mexico Withdraws Reservations to Several Human Rights Treaties

During the month of July, the State of Mexico has withdrawn its reservations to several human rights treaties, including three treaties adopted through the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS).  Earlier this month, Mexico deposited instruments with the OAS withdrawing the reservations Mexico had made to the Convention on the Status of Aliens, the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, and the Declaration Recognizing the Contentious Jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  The withdrawal of the reservation to the Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons is in compliance with the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Radilla Pacheco case.

In its press release, the IACHR stated that "this action broadens the potential for protecting the rights that have been internationally recognized by Mexico, and therefore constitutes an important step in Mexico’s commitment to the promotion and protection of such rights."  The IACHR also took this opportunity to reiterate its call to all the OAS Member States to ratify the instruments of the Inter-American human rights protection system, particularly the American Convention on Human Rights, and to accept the contentious jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights.

Additionally, Mexico deposited instruments with the United Nations Secretary General withdrawing reservations to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families.  The withdrawal of these reservations widens protections for the expulsion of foreign persons and military justice. 

The withdrawal of these reservations is part of a package of human rights initiatives presented in October 2013 by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and of the commitments made by Mexico related to its second-cycle review under the UN Universal Periodic Review Mechanism.

(cgb)

July 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Downing of Flight MH17

From a statement by U.S. Ambassador Samantha Powers, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on the Downing of Flight MH17:

"To the families and friends of the victims, it is impossible to find words to express our condolences. We can only commit to you that we will not rest until we find out what happened. A full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation must begin immediately. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. They must not be sheltered by any member state of the United Nations."

.

-Ambassador Samantha Power 

(mew)

July 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Professor Dan Markel of Florida State University Dies After Being Shot

Dan Markel FSUProfessor Dan Markel, the D'Alemberte Professor at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, focused his scholarship on topics such as the proper scope of mercy, the death penalty, punitive damages, shaming punishments, and transitional justice in states recovering from mass atrocities.

He was raised in Toronto and studied politics and philosophy as an undergraduate at Harvard. He did graduate work in political philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Cambridge, before returning to Harvard for his law degree, where he was an Olin Fellow and on law review. Upon graduation from law school, Professor Markel was a research fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, a clerk for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, D.C., where he practiced white-collar criminal defense and civil litigation in trial and appellate courts. At Florida State University, he primarily taught in the area of criminal law.

He was shot at his home on Friday morning, around 11:00 a.m. and died of his wounds early this morning. Here is a link to a news report about the shooting.

A memorial service is planned for noon Sunday at Congregation Shomrei Torah, located at 4858 Kerry Forest Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida. His funeral will be held in Toronto.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, students, and colleagues.

(mew)

July 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)