Tuesday, August 19, 2014

UN Secretary-General Urges Missouri to Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

As protests intensify over the killing of an American teenager in Missouri, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all parties to exercise restraint and for authorities to respect the right to peaceful assembly. 

According to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the UN chief is aware that United States federal authorities have announced an investigation into the killing by police of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The Secretary-General hopes local and federal investigations will “shed full light on the killing and that justice will be done.” According to media reports, the unarmed black teen was shot by a white police officer on 9 August. The incident has sparked mass demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, reportedly drawing criticism of the way local authorities have handled the situation.

Mr. Ban called on authorities to ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected. He also called on all to exercise restraint and for law enforcement officials to abide by “U.S. and international standards in dealing with demonstrations.”

(adapted from a UN press release)

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

ECHR Rules that UK Violated Prisoners' Human Rights by Denying Vote

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a judgment last week in the case of Firth and others v. United Kingdom in which it held that the United Kingdom violated the human rights of prisoners by denying them the right to vote in the 2009 elections for the European Parliament.

The prisoners based their claim on Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which states: "The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature."

In a 2005 case, Hirst v. UK, the ECHR held that the UK's law prohibiting convicted criminals from voting in parliamentary or local elections violated Article 3 to Protocol No. 1. The Court found that the rights guaranteed by this article are crucial to establishing and maintaining an effective democracy governed by the rule of law.  However, the right to vote is not absolute.  Any limitations on the right must be in pursuit of a legitimate aim, proportionate to that aim, and must not thwart the free expression of the will of the people in their choice of the legislature.  The Court held that the UK law failed to meet this standard because prisoner disenfranchisement was automatic, regardless of the length of sentence or nature or severity of the crime.

Last year, a UK Parliamentary Committee reccomended legislation that would modify UK law to allow prisoners serving less than 12 month sentences to vote in all elections.  However, the bill has not yet been adopted.  Even if adopted, is not certain this change would satisfy the Court's test as described above.  Accordingly, prisoners like Firth continue to sue to enforce their right to vote in various elections.

According to the ECHR, several European states reject the right of prisoners to vote under various circumstances.  The  Court noted that there is no Eurpean-wide agreement on the scope of the right of prisoners to vote or appropriate limitations on that right.  Hence, the Court will likely to continue its jurisprudence in this area on a case-by-case basis.


August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 15, 2014

New Board of Editors Chosen for American Journal of International Law

AJILCongratulations to the new members of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Board of Editors!  AJIL has been published on a quarterly basis by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) since 1907.  AJIL features articles, editorials, and comments by preeminent scholars on developments in international law and international relations.  It also includes analyses of decisions by courts and tribunals and reviews of recent books on international law.  

The AJIL Board is composed of roughly 30 individuals who serve staggered four-year terms and are charged with editing the Journal and determining its content.  New members are elected by the members of the existing Board.

Those people who were newly elected to the AJIL Board are as follows.

-           Antony Anghie, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

-           James Gathii, ASIL Academic Partner Loyola University Chicago School of Law

-           Alexandra Huneeus, ASIL Academic Partner University of Wisconsin Law School

-           Karen Knop, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

-           Natalie Reid, ASIL Leadership Circle Law Firm Debevoise & Plimpton

-           Henry Richardson, ASIL Academic Partner Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law

-           Gregory Shaffer, ASIL Academic Partner University of Minnesota Law School

    The following people were re-elected to the AJIL Board.

-           Eyal Benvenisti, ASIL Academic Partner Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law

-           Kal Raustiala, ASIL Academic Partner University of California-Los Angeles School of Law

The Nominating Committee of the AJIL Board of Editors is also inviting nominations for members of the Board of Editors to be elected in the spring of 2015.  Nominations are based primarily on scholarship and creativity, as demonstrated in books, articles, and other written work appearing over a period of years.  Suggestions, along with supporting statements and information, such as a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and, if possible, copies of significant publications, should be sent to AJIL Co-Editors in Chief José Alvarez and Benedict Kingsbury by December 1, 2014.

ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational membership organization.  Its mission is to foster the study of international law and to promote the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice.  The Society's nearly 4,000 members from more than 100 countries comprise attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and nongovernmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law.  For more information, visit the ASIL website.


August 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Argentina Files Suit Against US at ICJ

Earlier today, Argentina filed an Application Instituting Proceedings against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding a dispute concerning judicial decisions of the United States relating to the restructuring of Argentine sovereign debt.  Unfortunately for Argentina, there is no treaty or other agreement giving the ICJ jurisdiction over the dispute.  Hence, Argentina must rely on Article 38(5) of the ICJ's statute which states that Argentina's application must be transmitted to the United States and the United States will be requested to give its consent to jurisdiciton. The ICJ is not to place the Application on its General List or take any other actions with respect to the dispute unless and until the United States gives its consent to jurisdiction.

Although unlikely, it is not unheard of for states to consent to jurisdiction on this special basis, also known as prorogated jurisdiction.  For example, France consented to jurisdiction in a suit brought by the Republic of Congo in 2003 relating to France's alleged breach of Congo's sovereignty through the French investigation of Congolese officials and issuance of warrants.


August 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WTO Appellate Body Rejects China's Appeal in Rare Earths Dispute

WTOThe World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body (AB) issued its decision today in China-Measures Related to the Exportation of Rare Earths, Tungsten and Molybenum, DS431.  The United States initiated this matter against China in 2012 alleging that China maintains export restrictions on these products that violate the rules of the WTO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  

In March 2014, the WTO dispute resolution panel issued its findings that China had violated its obligations under the WTO through its export duties and quotas, which were not justified under Article XX of GATT.  Both China and the United States appealled certain aspects of that ruling to the WTO AB.  The AB consolidated the dispute with similar disputes filed by Japan and the European Union.

China did not appeal the final conclusions of the panel, but instead disagreed with the panel's interpretation and application of the exceptions contained in GATT Article XX.  The United States filed a limited appeal challenging the panel's rejection of certain exhibits.

Earlier today, the WTO AB issued its decision upholding the interpretation and application by the panel of GATT Article XX.  It found it unnecessary to rule on the United States' appeal.  The WTO AB's ruling should provide guidance for future claims of exemption under Article XX.

China now must bring its export restrictions on rare earths into compliance with its WTO obligations. For more information, visit the WTO website here.


August 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trade, Law, and Development (Call for Papers)

The 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.






E-mail: editors[at]tradelawdevelopment.com

Website: www.tradelawdevelopment.com


August 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Growing Circuit Split Over ATS Suits Against Corporations Following Kiobel

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision in Cardona v. Chiquita Brands Int'l, Inc., holding that the U.S. corporation, Chiquita, cannot be sued in U.S. federal courts over allegations that it supported Colombian paramilitary forces who tortured and killed banana-plantation workers, union members and social activists.  The Court found that it did not have jurisdiction over the claims of the 4,000 plaintiffs under either the Torture Victim Protection Act (TPVA) or the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), both found at 28 U.S.C. sec. 1350.

This decision deepens a circuit court split over the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., where the Supreme Court held that U.S. federal courts may not entertain claims under the ATS for alleged violations of the law of nations where the underlying activity occurred on foreign territory and there is not a sufficient connection to the United States. 
Plaintiffs in Cardona attempted to distinguish Kiobel by arguing that there is a sufficient connection to the United States because Chiquita is a U.S. corporation, unlike Royal Dutch Petroleum.  The majority of the Eleventh Circuit found that distinction unconvincing because the Supreme Court stated in Kiobel that "corporate presence" was not enough (although it did not directly address corporate citizenship).  The Second Circuit reached a similar conclusion in Balintulo v. Daimler AG, but the Fourth Circuit reached an opposite conclusion in Shimari v. CACI Int'l, Inc.  The dissenting judge in Cardona lamented the fact that the decision "disarm[s] innocents against American corporations that enage in human rights violations abroad."
The Eleventh Circuit also dismissed Plaintiffs' claim under the TPVA because the TPVA only authorizes liability against natural persons, relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority.
The growing circuit split suggests the issue is likely to return to the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future.

August 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . . in Tahitian!

Things we're happy to see . . . .

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is now available in Tahitian! It's published in Volume 13, number 2 of the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law (2012). Tahitian, a Polynesian language, is spoken by more than 125,000 persons.


August 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Participate in the CSLSA 2014 Scholarship Conference

Registration is now open for the Central States Law Schools Association (CSLSA) 2014 Scholarship Conference, which will be held on Friday,October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Faculty from across the United States are invited to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress on any law-related topic.

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. 

Lodging information is available on the CSLSA website. The deadline for registration is September 1, 2014.  


August 4, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Are You Going to AALS in Washington DC?

Join the Association of American Law Schools Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers at its business meeting on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. That's the first night of the conference when the Registration Area opens. 

Professor George Edwards of Indiana University is the current chair. Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago is the Chair-Elect and will become Section Chair at the end of that AALS Annual meeting. 

When you book your flight or train to DC, please plan to arrive in time to attend the 6:30 p.m. business meeting and to share your ideas on graduate legal education for international lawyers.


August 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.




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.


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. 


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.


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.


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)