Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The 13th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law will take place in Naples, Italy, on 7-9 September 2017. The conference will be hosted by the University of Naples Federico II, the oldest public university in the world.
The theme of the conference is ''Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values: The Responses of International Law."
The Call for Papers is now open. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 January 2017.
Further information is available on ESIL website.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Michael Flynn Reported to National Security AAG for Possible Violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act
President-Elect Donald Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been reported to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Mary McCord, yesterday for possibly breaking the law by failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to a press release issued by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump.
On September 15, 2016, Lt. Gen. Flynn and his company, The Flynn Intel Group, signed a contract with Dutch company Inovo BV, an apparent arm of Inovo Turkije which has contracts with the Turkish government, to lobby on appropriations bills, and to keep the company informed about the transition between President Obama and President-elect Trump. Inovo BV’s founder, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, is known for having a close relationship with President Erdogan of Turkey. On Election Day, Flynn published an op-ed in The Hill, advocating for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish exile who is blamed for inciting the military coup last summer. The op-ed is in line with the goals of Erdogan’s government.
While foreign agents who disclose lobbying activity for foreign principals under the Lobbying Disclosure Act are exempt from registering under FARA, lobbying for foreign governments or political parties is never exempted, and it is unclear whether or not Flynn's activities qualifies for this exemption. Neither Flynn nor his company ever registered under FARA.
“Lieutenant General Flynn, who now holds the top national security position in the White House, has years of questionable relationships working with foreign governments,” said Scott Dworkin, Senior Advisor to the Coalition. “If we can’t trust him to be transparent by filling out a simple form, how can we trust him to secure our country at the highest level,” Dworkin asked.
(Adapted from a DCAT Press Release)
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Equatorial Guinea and the Gabonese Republic Sign an Agreement on the Mbanié, Cocotiers, and Congas Islands
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hosted today a signing ceremony in Morocco with President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and President Bongo Ondimba of the Gabonese Republic. He congratulated the two presidents "for demonstrating true political leadership, courage and wisdom in reaching this mutually acceptable agreement, in accordance with the spirit and letter of the United Nations Charter,” Mr. Ban said in his opening remarks at the signing ceremony for an agreement that marked the successful conclusion of a UN mediation, which started in 2008, aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution of the border dispute between the two countries for submission to the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Ban also thanked the leaders for coming to a mutually acceptable solution as well as for trust in the UN.
Recalling the tireless efforts of the two countries, Secretary-General Ban expressed hope that the peaceful resolution of the dispute will be a source of inspiration for countries around the world facing similar challenges. “The UN and the international community stand proud of your accomplishment,” he said.
The agreement resolves a longstanding dispute between the two countries regarding the Mbanié, Cocotiers and Congas islands, and common boundaries and which dated back to the early 1970’s.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program invites applications for its Visiting Fellows Program in the 2017-2018 academic year. The Visiting Fellows Program gives individuals with a demonstrated commitment to human rights an opportunity to step back and conduct a serious inquiry in the human rights field. Visiting Fellows are usually scholars with a substantial background in human rights, experienced activists, or members of the judiciary or other branches of government.
Typically, fellows come from outside the U.S., and spend from one semester to a full academic year in residence at Harvard Law School, where they devote the majority of their time to research and writing on a human rights topic. The Program currently has a preference for fellows working on the United Nations Treaty Bodies in their research, though applications are not limited in this regard. The fellows form an essential part of the human rights community at Harvard Law School, and participate in the Human Rights Program’s bi-monthly Visiting Fellows Colloquium, as well as a number of other activities.
The Human Rights Program provides approximately four fellows annually with a shared office space, access to computers, and use of the Harvard library system. As a general matter, the Human Rights Program does not fund fellows. However, applicants who are nationals of low or middle income countries are eligible for the Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship, which offers a stipend to help defray the cost of living. In order to profit from the fellowship, fluent spoken English is essential. The deadline to submit applications is February 1, 2017. Click here for more information on how to apply.
Hat tip to the American Bar Association Section of International Law International Human Rights Committee.
Monday, November 14, 2016
The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning has issued a Call for Proposals for its Summer 2017 Conference entitled: “Teaching Cultural Competency and Other Professional Skills Suggested by ABA Standard 302.” The conference will take place July 7-8, 2017 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
The Institute invites proposals for workshop sessions addressing how law schools are responding to ABA Standard 302’s call to establish learning outcomes related to “other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession,” such as “interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact development and analysis, trial practice, document drafting, conflict resolution, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency and self-evaluation.” The conference will focus on how law schools are incorporating these skills, particularly the skills of cultural competency, conflict resolution, collaboration, self-evaluation, and other relational skills, into their institutional outcomes, designing courses to encompass these skills, and teaching and assessing these skills.
The deadline to submit a proposal is February 1, 2017. Proposals should be sent to Kelly Terry, Co-Director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning. More information can be found here.
The ILO Forced Labour Protocol Enters Into Force for Nine Countries; Additional Ratifications Sought for Treaty to End Modern Slavery
An international protocol on forced labour has entered into force, a major milestone in the fight to end the practice, which the United Nations labour agency estimates victimizes 21 million people worldwide.
The International Labour Organization Forced Labour Protocol “requires countries to take effective measures to prevent and eliminate forced labour, and to protect and provide access to justice for victims,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a joint statement with the heads of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
According to a news release from ILO, the Protocol, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2014, entered into force a year after it gained its second ratification.
It means that all countries that have ratified – Niger, Norway, United Kingdom, Mauritania, Mali, France, Czech Republic, Panama and Argentina – now have to meet the obligations outlined in the Protocol.
Argentina signified their commitment to ending modern slavery by becoming the ninth country to ratify the Protocol. Argentina will also host the upcoming IV Global Conference on child labour and forced labour in November 2017 in Buenos Aires.
An estimated 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour. They include farm workers, migrants, domestic workers, seafarers, women and girls forced into prostitution and others who are also abused, exploited and paid little or nothing.
The ILO estimates that forced labour generates $150 billion in illegal profits every year.
“We all have a role to play, and if we join forces, the end of forced labour is within reach,” said IOE Secretary-General, Linda Kromjong.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation stressed the legally binding nature of the Protocol. “That means the more governments that ratify and ensure it is implemented, the closer we’ll be to eliminating slavery once and for all,” she said.
The ILO, together with the ITUC and IOE, is leading the 50 for Freedom campaign with the aim of raising awareness about the issue and encouraging at least 50 countries to ratify the Protocol by 2018.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
Côte d'Ivoire announced that it had adopted a new Constitution following constitutional referendum held last month.
A statement issued by a spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary General noted with satisfaction that the new Constitution addresses of some long-standing causes or tension and divisions in Côte d’Ivoire. Further to the statement, all Ivorian parties, including political leaders and their supporters, were encouraged to reject violence and refrain from the use of inflammatory language.
The Secretary-General also assured, through his Special Representative and Head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), that the UN is highly committed to maintaining peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
Thursday, November 10, 2016
The 19th Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of International Trade will be held in New York on Monday, November 21, 2016. Registration for the conference has been extended to November 11, 2016. Click here for the registration form and more information.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The following is a guest post from Clint Rudd, a third-year law student at SIU School of Law:
This past Friday, October 28, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly elected, by secret ballot, 14 Member States to serve on the Human Rights Council. As a result of this election, Russia, and 13 other States lost their seat. Of the 14 Members leaving the Human Rights Council, only Maldives was ineligible for another term because it had already served two consecutive terms.
The Human Rights Council was created in March, 2006, by General Assembly Resolution 60/251, for the purpose of “strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and mak[ing] recommendations on them.” More specifically, the Council “serves as the main United Nations forum for intergovernmental cooperation and dialogue on human rights issues,” by helping States meet their human rights obligations; making recommendations to the General Assembly for international law development; and periodically reviewing compliance of Member States. The Council is comprised of 47 Member States elected by the General Assembly. Each Member serves a three-year term and is not eligible for re-election after serving two consecutive terms. Council seats are allocated based on geographical distribution as follows: 13 African States; 13 Asia-Pacific States; 6 Eastern European States; 8 Latin American and Caribbean States; and 7 Western European and Other States.
Because of the role the Human Rights Council is purported to play, most individuals believe that States represented at the Council should conduct themselves in accordance with human rights. Human rights organizations believe that countries sitting on the Human Rights Council, like Russia, China, Rwanda, and Saudi Arabia, undermine the Council’s credibility and prevent the Council from acting effectively. Russia and Saudi Arabia are among two States that have been accused of war crimes due to actions in Syria. Because of this, groups such as Human Rights Watch and others (including more than 80 human rights and international aid organizations) attempted to block Russia’s election to the Council. For Eastern European States, two seats were open. Russia lost to Hungary and Croatia. For the Asia-Pacific States, however, four seats were open. China, Japan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia were elected over Malaysia, Fiji, and Iran.
According to the United Nations Director at Human Rights Watch, Louis Charbonneau, “The UN Human Rights Council’s ability to successfully expose and hold violators to account is under threat because a number of countries use it to thwart attempts to expose their own crimes and abuses . . . Saudi Arabia and Russia don’t honor the ideals that underpin the UN Human Rights Council.” For the past year, Russia has carried out airstrikes in support of the Syrian government. These airstrikes are not confined to military installations, and wound and kill civilians. Furthermore, Russia uses internationally banned cluster munitions and incendiary weapons in populated areas of Syria. Russia also sought a veto to a cease-fire after the siege in Aleppo, Syria.
Paragraph 9 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 Human Rights Council states “that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, [and] shall fully cooperate with the Council.” The initial premise of most that Council Members should conduct themselves accordingly is valid. As long as Russia continues targeting indiscriminately and opting for military action in lieu of negotiation, it is very difficult for Russia to claim, as a Human Rights Council Member, that they “uphold the highest standards in the promotion of human rights.”
Charbonneau is asking UN Member States to “raise the bar” on Council membership. He states, “If the council is to be a credible instrument for exposing and ending human rights abuses worldwide, regional groups need to ensure healthy competition and qualified candidates for every seat, instead of cutting backroom deals. Otherwise, the council risks becoming a rogues’ gallery for the worst rights violators.” Maybe the General Assembly is starting to listen.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Three African nations announced their intentions to leave the International Criminal Court.
Burundi announced its withdrawal from the court after the ICC Prosecutor announced an investigation into murders of anti-government protestors.
The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, and known for crushing political dissent, reportedly denounced the court on state television as the "International Caucasian Court." Gambia is the birth country of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. Most of the judges on the court are not caucasian, but nine of the current ten cases being prosecuted are in Africa. (The tenth case is in the Republic of Georgia.) There are also investigations in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, and Ukraine.
South Africa announced its intention to withdraw following criticism that it failed to execute an ICC arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. South Africa has been urged to reconsider its announcement.
The International Criminal Court prosecutes war crimes, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It has jurisdiction only when the national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute those crimes. It is deeply unfortunate that Burundi and the Gambia are withdrawing from the International Criminal Court to avoid prosecutions. And it's tragic that South Africa wants to withdraw when it was one of the early advocates for the courtt.
The United States is in a weak position to criticize countries withdrawing from the court given that the United States is not itself a party to the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.
Milo Djukanovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro, stepped down from office this week in a move that will improve Montenegro "s chances of entering the European Union. He had led the country for most of the last 25 years, including the period of its separation from Serbia. He had been accused of facilitating corruption and organized crime, so his resignation may improve Montenegro's application to join the European Union.
The United States and Israel both abstained from the United Nations General Assembly vote condemning the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Previously both countries were the only ones to vote no on the annual resolution. The move is an important shift at the United Nations for the United States.
Despite recent improvements in relations between the United States ans Cuba, the U.S. embargo against Cuba remains in place and can only be lifted by the U.S. Congress.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
International Law Weekend in New York City starts a week from today. The conference is sponsored byt the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association. You can still register by clicking here.
Hat tip to Houston Putnam Lowry, Esq. of Polivy, Taschner, Lowry & Clayton, LLC of Hartford, Connecticut and the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA).
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
iCourts – Centre of Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen, is currently looking for a new professor or associate professor of international law.
The Associate Professor’s or Professor’s primary duties include research and teaching, supervision of graduate - and PhD students, participation in examinations, and administrative tasks in relation to bachelor -, graduate - and PhD studies. The Associate Professor or Professor is expected to publish results of their in/with internationally highly recognised journals/publishers, exchange knowledge with relevant parts of the surrounding society, and contribute to the academic development of the research area and related study programmes for the benefit of society and the legal profession.
iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts, is a research centre dedicated to the study of international courts, their role in a globalising legal order and their impact on politics and society.
If you are interested in the position, please feel free to read more and apply via the following link:
A passionate advocate for interdisciplinary scholarship in law, literature, and language, Penelope J. Pether (1957-2013) was Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law and former Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric at the American University Washington College of Law. Her own scholarship focused not only on law, literature, and language, but also on constitutional and comparative constitutional law; legal theory, including constitutional theory; common law legal institutions, judging practices, and professional subject formation.
Beginning in November 2013, the Penny Pether Award for Law & Language Scholarship has been given annually to an article or essay published during the preceding year (September 1 to September 1) that exemplifies Penny’s commitment to law and language scholarship and pedagogy.
The Committee selecting award recipients from among the articles and essays nominated will look for scholarship that not only embodies Penny’s passion and spirit but also has some or all of the following characteristics:
- 1. “[S]cholarship concerning itself with the unique or distinctive insights that might emerge from interdisciplinary inquiries into ‘law’ grounded in the work of influential theorists of language and discourse.”
- 2. Scholarship that “attempts to think through the relations among subject formation, language, and law."
- 3. Scholarship that provides “accounts of—and linguistic interventions in—acute and yet abiding crises in law, its institutions and discourses.”
- 4. Scholarship and pedagogy, including work addressing injustices in legal-academic institutions and practices, that is “[c]arefully theorized and situated, insisting on engaging politics and law, [and that] charts ways for law and its subjects to use power, do justice.”
More explanations and descriptions of these characteristics can be found in Penny’s chapter from which these quotations are drawn: Language, in Law and the Humanities: An Introduction (Austin Sarat et al. eds., Cambridge U. Press 2010).
Nominations should be sent by November 30, 2016 to J. Amy Dillard at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are free to nominate more than one work and to nominate work you’ve written. Please provide a citation for each work you nominate.
The Selection Committee includes Linda Berger, David Caudill, Amy Dillard, Bruce Hay, Ian Gallacher, Melissa Marlow, Jeremy Mullem, Nancy Modesitt, and Terry Pollman. Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible for the award.
Hat tip to Jeremy Mullem.
Immunities and Criminal Proceedings (Equatorial Guinea v. France) - ICJ to Consider Request for Indicaiton of Preliminary Measures
Public hearings concluded today at the International Court of Justice on the request by Equatorial Guinea for the indication of preliminary measures in the case it has brought against France, Immunities and Criminal Proceedings (Equatorial Guinea v. France).
The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has asked that France suspend all criminal proceedings against the Vice-President and refrain from launching any new criminal proceedings against him. It also asked that France ensure that the building located at 42 Avenue Foch in Paris be treated as the diplomatic mission in France and that those premises and its contents be protected from intrusion, search, or attachment. It further asked that France refrain from taking any other measures that might aggravate or extend the dispute submitted to the International Court of Justice.
For its part, France asked the International Court of Justice to remove the case from its docket or, failing that, to reject all requests from Equatorial Guinea for preliminary measures.
The case is now under consideration by the International Court of Justice.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Dean Darby Dickerson of the Texas Tech University School of Law will be the new dean of The John Marshall Law School, effective January 1, 2017.
Dickerson has been Dean at the Texas Tech University School of Law since 2011, where she also holds the W. Frank Newton Endowed Professorship. From 2003 until 2011, Dickerson served as the Interim Dean and Dean of Stetson University College of Law in Florida.
“We greatly look forward to working with Dean Dickerson to produce practice-ready lawyers, as she takes the reins of our historic, mission-driven institution,” said Leonard F. Amari, President of the law school’s Board of Trustees.
“We are delighted that Dean Darby Dickerson will be leading The John Marshall Law School at this pivotal point in our history. Her dynamic style and deep knowledge of skills-based learning stood out to all who met her during the process,” said Paula Hudson Holderman, a member of the law school’s Board of Trustees and chair of the decanal search committee.
A nationally known leader in legal education, Dickerson serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and is also a Past Chair of several AALS sections, including the Section for the Law School Dean and the Section on Institutional Advancement. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and an inaugural member of The Texas Tech University School of Law American Inn of Court. She also serves on the Council of the Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas and is the Immediate Past President of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers.
Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced commercial litigation with Locke Lord in Dallas. In 1995 she was named both Outstanding Young Lawyer in Dallas and Outstanding Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In January 2013 she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors to honor her contributions to legal writing.
“I am incredibly honored to lead John Marshall, which has such an inclusive and engaged community. I am committed to continuing the school’s legacy of innovation, opportunity and excellence. I am also looking forward to working with the school’s students, faculty, staff and alumni and to working with members of the Chicago and Illinois bars to help advance legal education and the legal profession,” said Dickerson.
Dickerson succeeds John E. Corkery, who is retiring after serving as Dean of John Marshall for nearly a decade.
“On behalf of The John Marshall Law School, I want to express our deep gratitude to Dean Corkery for his years of service to the law school,” said Amari. “He steered the law school through a difficult time in higher education and positioned it to meet the challenges of educating the next generation of lawyers.”
The 12th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held March 15-17, 2017 in Monterrey, Mexico, hosted by the Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, in cooperation with The John Marshall Law School-Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico ITAM Law Department.
The first round of presentation proposals will be accepted through November 17, 2016. If you submit by that date, you will be notified by December 7, 2016 if your proposal has been accepted. Proposals submitted after November 17 may also be accepted on a space-available basis. You will find the Conference Proposal Form at https://forms.law.asu.edu/view.php?id=250112
Please submit a proposal on any aspect of Global Legal Skills, including experiential learning, distance education, comparative law, international law, course design and materials, teaching methods, and opportunities for teaching abroad and in the United States. However, because the conference focuses on legal skills for a global audience, please tailor your proposal accordingly.
Proposals should be for a 25-minute presentation (for one or two people) or an interactive group panel presentation (no more than four panelists) of 75-minutes (including audience participation).
You may submit more than one proposal but because of high demand for speaking you will only be allowed to speak on one panel. If more than one proposal is selected, the program committee will contact you on how to proceed.
Most panel presentations will be in English. Spanish language presentations are welcome, encouraged and actively solicited. Where one of the panels is in Spanish, there will be at least one concurrent panel in English. A wide variety of proposals are invited.
As a special feature of the March 2017 conference, we're also planning a workshop on contract negotiation and drafting for law students. In this workshop, English and Spanish speaking law students will act in teams to negotiate and draft a simple business contract – for example, a franchise agreement for a hotel or restaurant. Negotiations will take place in English and Spanish, and the resulting document will be drafted in both languages.
The Global Legal Skills Conference focuses on international legal education and essential skills, including legal writing, legal research, legal reasoning, legal English, translations and advocacy skills. Additional topics include creating appropriate materials and assignments, cross-cultural and intercultural issues, classroom teaching, clinical legal education, academic support, international legal exchanges and related fields.
The conference audience will include legal writing professionals, international and comparative law professors, clinical professors and others involved in skills education, law school administrators, law librarians, and ESL/EFL professors. Also attending will be faculty members teaching general law subjects with a transnational or international component. Attendees have also included judges, lawyers, court translators, and others involved in international and transnational law. Attendees come from around the world, and as many as 35 countries have been represented in past conferences.
This is a self-funded academic conference, and as in past years, presenters will be asked to pay the Conference registration fee:
- October 10, 2016-January 27, 2017: US$250
- January 28-March 10, 2017: US$295
- March 15, 2017 (subject to availability): US$350
The fee includes lunch on March 15, 16 and 17, as well as Mexican Fiesta on the evening of March 16. Additional tickets for the Mexican Fiesta are US$50.
As in past years, a limited number of scholarships covering the registration fee only will be available.
The Conference began in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School and has traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, and Washington, D.C.
We invite participation from academics and practitioners from all disciplines and all continents to explore ways that law schools around the world can adjust their curricula to prepare students to engage in the global legal marketplace.