Monday, May 16, 2016

Proposals for SALT Teaching Conference Due June 15

SALTThe Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) will hold its 2016 Teaching Conference in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. The conference, "From the Community to the Classroom: Teaching and Advancing Social Justice," will be held on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Proposals for the SALT Teaching Conference are due by June 15, 2016. Click here for more information.

Additionally, the 10th Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop organized by LatCrit, Inc. and SALT will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The Faculty Development Workshop is intended to familiarize junior faculty with Lat Crit and SALT and to support faculty in their scholarship, teaching, and service.


May 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The EU's Proposed Investment Court: Remarks by Former ICJ Judge Stephen Schwebel

Former President of the International Court of Justice Stephen Schwebel will deliver remarks regarding the recent proposal by the European Union to create a permanent investment court as a substitute for traditional investor-State arbitration under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Judge Schwebel will assess the pros and cons of the EU's proposal, which may significantly alter investor-State dispute settlement. This event is cosponsored by the American Society of International Law (ASIL), ASIL Leadership Circle Law Firm Member Sidley Austin LLP, and the American Bar Associaiton Section of International Law. 

The event is May 17, 2016 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street NW, Washington D.C. Contact one of the sponsoring entities for information on how to attend.


May 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nearly 400 Same-Sex Couples Have Married in Ireland; Italy Votes for Civil Unions

Switzerland was the first country to adopt same-sex civil unions by national vote. And about a year ago, Ireland became the first country to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote. Since adopting same-sex marriage, 397 same-sex couples have married in Ireland.

Click here to read more about same-sex marriages in Ireland.

Earlier this week the lower house of the Italian Parliament approved legislation that will lead to same-sex civil unions in Italy. The Senate approved the legislation earlier in the year and the Italian President is expected to sign the bill. Same-sex civil unions should be available in Italy by September. The Italian legislation falls short of marriage equality and does not give same-sex partners the right to adopt. It is, however, an important step forward for equality.


May 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy

Verona Bridge David Austin PhotoThe next Global Legal Skills Conference is being held in Verona, Italy from May 24-26, 2016 at the University of Verona Department of Law, in cooperation with The John Marshall Law School of Chicago. Registration is still open. More information about the conference, including the conference schedule and speakers, is available by clicking here.

The conference is supported by a number of organizations, including the American Society of International Law, the American Bar Association Section of International Law, the International Law Students' Association, and Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers.


May 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ASIL Women in International Law Mentoring Program Graduation Ceremony

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) and its Women in International Law Interest Group will hold a graduation ceremony for participants of the 2015-16 Women in International Law Mentoring Program on May 16, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. Since the mentoring program's beginnings in 2013, more than 364 women have enrolled as both mentors and mentees in 17 cities from Tucson to Singapore. Thanks to the enthusiasm of current participants, the mentoring program has built a strong, inter-connected and global network. The Women in International Law Interest Group is co-chaired by Tracy Roosevelt and Shana Tabak,


May 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Important News for Legal Researchers: Goodbye, Hello,!, the search engine for U.S. federal legislative research, retires as of July 5, 2016. Its replacement is, a website already up and running. Make the switch now. Read more about it by clicking here.


May 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

WTO News

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced today that Montenegro and Albania have become the latest WTO members to ratify the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), bringing the total number of ratifications to date to 79. The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. In addition, it contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area. The TFA broke new ground for developing and least-developed countries in the way it will be implemented. For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the Agreement is directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.  The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership, or 1o7  members, have formally accepted the Agreement. 

In other WTO news this week, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) established a “compliance panel” to consider the measures taken by the United States in its dispute with Mexico over tuna (DS381).  The United States believes its new rule on dolphin safe labels brings the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations, but Mexico disagrees. More information regarding this dispute may be found in this WTO News Item.

In another WTO dispute settlement matter, Argentina expressed its satisfaction with the findings in DS453- Measures Related to Trade in Goods and Services - Report of the Appellate Body.  Argentina described the findings as confirming that the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) gave broad margin to members to maintain anti-abusive defensive measures on the transparency and exchange of fiscal information as a way of protecting public revenue. Argentina noted that this was the first dispute in which the Appellate Body established a standard to determine “likeness” in the context of Articles II and XVII of the GATS. The Appellate Body had ruled that an evaluation of “likeness” of services cannot be made in isolation of issues related to service providers. 



May 10, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Law Day

In the United States, May 1st is celebrated as "Law Day," the American answer to May Day celebrations in other countries.

We wish you a Happy Law Day!
Please celebrate responsibly.


May 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Webtools We Like: The Schengen Calculator!

Do you visit Europe often?  Visa-free visitors to the European Union and other countries in the Schengen are allow you to stay for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period. This website has a "Schengen Calculator" that lets you add up your various trips to Europe and find out if you're within the rules. Have a look by clicking here! The website was made by the "exceedingly handsome web developer Adam Bard."


May 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

American Society of International Law Announces Five Helton Fellows

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has announced the five students and young professional winners of its 2016 Helton Fellowships for projects in international law, the twelfth class of Helton Fellows. Selected from a pool of applicants from around the world, the winners received grants of $2,000 to pursue fieldwork in or research on issues involving human rights, international criminal law, humanitarian affairs, and other international law areas.

Arthur HeltonASIL established the Helton Fellowship Program in 2004 in memory of its member Arthur C. Helton, an internationally renowned lawyer and advocate for the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons. Helton died in the August 19, 2003, bombing of the United Nations (U.N.) mission in Baghdad. Helton fellowships are funded by charitable contributions from Society members. Following are this year's recipients.

Alice Barrett is a J.D. candidate at ASIL Academic Partner Georgetown University Law Center, where she is also earning a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. Prior to law school, Barrett spent two years working in Guatemala, first as a Fulbright fellow researching return migration and then at Comunidad Esperanza, a non-profit organization where she founded a youth development program and supported rural health workshops. She has interned for the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), the German Office of Migration and Refugees, the American Bar Association's Human Rights Center, and the Legal Aid Justice Center of Virginia. She has also worked as a summer associate for ASIL Leadership Circle Law Firm Member Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP. As a Helton fellow, Barrett will be working with Georgetown Law's Human Rights Institute to conduct research and advocacy regarding refugee repatriation in Rwanda, with a focus on how the repatriation process has evolved in light of the Pinheiro Principles on housing and property restitution for refugees and displaced persons. In addition to assessing treatment of land and property rights of returning refugees and secondary occupants, she will create advocacy tools to raise awareness of these rights among both populations.

Orga Cadet is a J.D./M.P.P. student at Georgetown University Law Center and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. As a summer associate with the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), Cadet provided legal advice on peace negotiations and transitional security arrangements for the Syrian peace process. Prior to that experience, Cadet was a legal intern in Beirut, Lebanon, with the UNHCR. Cadet will return to work with PILPG as a law fellow. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, he will support PILPG's provision of legal and policy advice to the Syrian peace process. In particular, Cadet will conduct legal research and writing - as well as provide policy advice - on peace negotiations, transition planning, constitution drafting, transitional justice, and other matters related to international law and security.

Natasha Latiff is a human rights lawyer with an LL.B. from the University of Warwick and an LL.M. with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the founder of the non-governmental organization Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights, which works to defend human rights globally. In 2010, the attorney general of the United Kingdom recognized Latiff for the most outstanding individual contribution to pro bono work amongst all U.K. law faculties. With the aim of one day litigating violations of women's rights in Afghanistan, Latiff will travel to Afghanistan as a Helton fellow to interview lawyers and prosecutors in order to document how women's rights cases are being litigated and to research how human rights arguments under Afghan, Islamic, and international law can be deployed to safeguard the rights of women litigants.

Alexandra Tate is a human rights advocate who specializes in human trafficking and women's issues in India. She currently works at the Human Rights Law Network, a non-profit lawyers' collective based in New Delhi. Her work involves public interest litigation in the High Courts and Supreme Court of India, as well as human rights documentation based on fieldwork. Tate served as a visiting lecturer in the International Law Department of the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. She is a recent graduate of ASIL Academic Partner University of Chicago Law School and worked at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and at the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC, and São Paulo, Brazil. As a Helton fellow, Tate will work with the Human Rights Law Network to document human trafficking cases in the rural state of Jharkhand, India, a major source area of human trafficking victims. She will submit a report on the cases she encounters as evidence for two public interest litigation cases in the High Court of Jharkhand and the Supreme Court of India. Her petitions will aim to expose the lack of enforcement of international, national, and local trafficking laws; propose solutions to plug gaps in the current legal framework; and advocate for the implementation of international standards on trafficking.

Andrew White is an Australian lawyer, admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria. He has worked as a refugee and immigration detention advocate at Refugee Legal and as a resettlement consultant with UNHCR in Ethiopia. White holds an LL.M. with distinction in human rights and public law from the University College London, where he also founded its parliamentary law reform pro bono project. As a Helton fellow, White will work with HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, in Uganda, providing support to its legal protection team's work advocating for the resettlement of the most vulnerable refugees in urban Kampala to the United States and Canada. He will be assigned a caseload of refugees, identified by HIAS for their serious and urgent protection needs. Over the course of a two-month placement, White will interview the refugees, assess their cases against international refugee law and resettlement standards, and draft submissions in support of their resettlement applications, with a view to finding a durable solution to each refugee's displacement predicament.

"The Society is honored to be the host institution for this living tribute to Arthur Helton, whose work so embodied our mission of promoting a just world under law," said ASIL Executive Director Mark Agrast. "I know that Arthur would have been delighted with this latest class of Helton Fellows, who will be carrying on the work to which he devoted his life."

The Helton Fellowship Program is administered by ASIL through its Career Development Program. It is funded by grants from the Planethood Foundation and contributions from individuals. For more information, visit

  • To contribute to the Helton Fellowship fund, visit

ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational membership organization. It was founded in 1906, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1950, and has held Category II Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the UN since 1993. ASIL's 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

Hat tips to Sheila Ward and Mark Agrast.


April 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Congratulations to Professor Cindy Buys

Cindy Buys AwardProfessor Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University School of Law, a co-editor on the International Law Prof Blog, has just been awarded the 2016 SIU Law Excellence Award for Outstanding Scholar. Congratulations, Cindy!


April 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Visiting Legal Writing Professor

Not an international law job, but hey, a job's a job!

THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for one or more Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing positions in its J.D. program, beginning in the fall of 2016. The visiting professor will teach two sections (totaling approximately 36-45 students) of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing I & II. (This is a 3-credit course in the fall semester, and a 2-credit course in the spring semester.) A candidate hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing will be given a one-year contract. We plan on conducting searches for one or two long-term Legal Writing faculty positions later this year with a start date of fall 2017.

Candidates should have strong academic records (including a J.D. or its equivalent) and experience in law practice. They should be able to show a strong interest and competency in teaching legal research and writing. Teaching experience is preferred.

The University of Akron School of Law is a public, mid-size law school of approximately 450 students located in the Akron/Cleveland metropolitan area. Akron Law prides itself on outcomes including our high bar passage rate (first in Ohio for the Feb. 2015 exam), award-winning clinical programs, national championship trial team program and various areas of excellence.

Akron Law is committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff by including individuals from varied backgrounds and characteristics, including age, gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background. We are also committed to offering competitive salary and benefits packages to qualified candidates.

Applicants must complete an on-line application and submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a writing sample, the names of three references, and teaching evaluations (if available) through the University website (see below) Job # 9540. For additional information, please feel free to direct any inquiries to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Bill Jordan, at Review of applications will begin immediately. Go to "My Activities" link and upload the required documents under the “my Cover Letters and Attachments” section. Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with reference to the minimum and preferred qualifications. This is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based. For assistance with your application or attachments please call 330-972-8431.

The University of Akron is an equal education and employment institution. It is the policy of this institution that there shall be no unlawful discrimination against any individual in employment or in its programs or activities at The University of Akron because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information or status as a veteran. The University is also committed to the principles of affirmative action and acts in accordance with state and federal laws.

April 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Policy Toward Lebanon

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa will hold a hearing on U.S. policy toward Lebanon. on April 28, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office


April 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tragic Murders of LGBT Human Rights Activists in Bangladesh

Two human rights activists, Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mahbub, were hacked to death in Bangladesh on the evening of April 25, 2016. Both men were advocates for non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. Their attack followed other attacks on writers, educators, and bloggers, who promote liberal and secular ideas that radical groups believe are against Islam.

According to Human Rights Watch, the killings of Mannan and Mahbub brings to nine the number of liberals hacked to death in Bangladesh in 2016.

“The slaughter of two men advocating the basic rights of Bangladesh’s beleaguered LGBT community should prompt a thorough investigation, aimed at prosecuting those responsible,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to protect activists and to call a halt to the impunity that links this chain of vicious murders.”

On April 23, machete-wielding assailants killed Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, an English professor at Rajshahi University, in an assault that copied previous attacks by Islamist militants on secular and atheist activists. On April 7, Nazim Uddin, who was openly critical of religion and Islamic fundamentalism, was hacked to death on the streets of Dhaka.

Mannan was an editor of Roopban, Bangladesh’s first LGBT-themed magazine, which began publishing in 2014. He was a visible and openly gay human rights activist who supported and protected LGBT people even in the face of threats against the community. Mahbub was also an openly gay activist.

Several bloggers and their publishers were similarly hacked to death by Islamist militants in 2015 for promoting secularism. Religious extremist groups have claimed responsibility for murders and even published a hit list of activists and bloggers. The government offered police protection for those on the hit list, but the protection has clearly been inadequate as several on the list have been killed since. Prime Minister Sheik Hasina advised bloggers to use restraint in their exercise of free speech or leave the country for their safety.

Although the prime minister has promised to take action against the attacks, authorities appointed by her have instead prosecuted bloggers for “hurting people’s religious sentiments.”

Mannan had participated in planning a diversity celebration slated to take place in Dhaka on April 14. The evening before the event, police asked organizers to cancel it due to threats against LGBT activists, and organizers agreed to the request. However, on the morning of April 14, police arrested four people and accused them of attempting to stage the event regardless. Mannan spent the day working for their release.

In 2013, the country’s National Human Rights Commission called on the government to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination. In a 2015 manual on sexual and gender minorities, the commission acknowledged that police physically and sexually assault LGBT people, and also arbitrarily arrest them based on their appearance.

In a 2015 report, Bangladeshi LGBT rights groups said that, “Visibility…can be life-threatening and isolating due to social stigma, religious beliefs and family values that create a hostile environment for LGBT individuals.” Following a 2015 visit, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religious belief said, “Sexual minorities do not find much acceptance in the society and often experience verbal or other abuse.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed LGBT people in Bangladesh in recent months and found that they faced threats of violence, particularly after homophobic public comments by Islamic leaders. Activists working on gender and sexuality said that to ensure their personal safety, they conceal their identities and constrain their work. Those who were exposed in the media and public spaces felt particularly vulnerable.

Same-sex sexual behavior, dubbed “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” is criminalized in Bangladesh under section 377 of the country’s colonial-era penal code.

In recent years, LGBT people in Bangladesh have also been targeted with extremist rhetoric. For example, in November 2015, when activists began publishing a cartoon series featuring a lesbian character, religious groups issued hateful anti-LGBT statements, calling on the government to prosecute LGBT people under section 377 and Sharia (Islamic Law).

The government should use laws and law enforcement to protect, not harass and prosecute LGBT people, Human Rights Watch said.

In a 2009 UN human rights review, the government of Bangladesh received a recommendation to train law enforcement and judicial offers to protect women, children, and LGBT people “and adopt further measures to ensure protection of these persons against violence and abuse.” The government accepted the recommendation with regard to women and children, but said: “The specific recommendation on sexual orientation cannot be accepted.… Indeed, sexual orientation is not an issue in Bangladesh.”

“The massacre of two gay men in a private home demonstrates the need for the government to combat extremists preying on minorities,” Ganguly said. “Dismissing sexual orientation as a non-issue effectively sanctions abuse of an already-marginalized community.” 

(Adapted from a press release from Human Rights Watch).


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

World Intellectual Property Day

April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, a time when the world celebrates the role intellectual property plays in innovation and creativity.  This year's theme is "Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined."

"The way in which creative works are produced, distributed and enjoyed around the world has been reimagined as a consequence of digital technology, the head of the United Nations World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) said today.  In a message marking World Intellectual Property Day, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry stated: “On this day, as we celebrate digital creativity across the world, we should also think about how to find the right balance – one which recognizes the importance of creators and innovators to all the progress that we see ... as a consequence of digital technology.” He noted that the internet provides an enormous opportunity for creators to interact directly with their audiences – an interaction that was previously more confined. “Now, with the Internet, the audience has become potentially the whole world. That is an enormous creative opportunity. It's an enormous cultural opportunity. And it's an enormous economic opportunity,” he said.

WIPO, a specialized agency of the UN, is a global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. World Intellectual Property Day, which has been observed since 2000, marks the day in 1970 when the convention establishing WIPO entered into force.


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Northwestern Law Profs Read Mean Course Evaluations

Anonymous course evaluations can be cruel. Some professors at Northwestern, following a model established by the Jimmy Kimmel show, read some of the "mean" course evaluations. Enjoy!


Hat tip to Sue Liemer.


April 26, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Registration Open for the Venice Academy of Human Rights

The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 4-13 July 2016 on the topic "Backlash against Human Rights?" The faculty includes a distinguished opening lecture by Judge András Sajó (Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights), a general course by Robert McCorquodale (BIICL) as well as lectures and discussion sessions with Joseph A. Cannataci (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy), Helen Fenkwick (Durham University), Mark Goodale (University of Lausanne) and Geir Ulfstein (University of Oslo).

The Venice Academy of Human Rights 2016, in co-operation with PluriCourts – Centre of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, discusses the expansion and restriction of human rights regimes, questions of inequality and social change, counter-terrorist laws, same sex unions, privacy and data protection issues as well as the reform of the European Court of Human Rights and UN human rights treaty bodies. The course aims at academics, practitioners, PhD/JSD and master students.

Applications are accepted until 29 May 2016.

Hat tip to Knut Traisbach.


April 25, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SALT Teaching Conference at The John Marshall Law School

SALTThe Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) will hold its 2016 Teaching Conference in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School. The conference, "From the Community to the Classroom: Teaching and Advancing Social Justice," will be held on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Proposals for the SALT Teaching Conference are due by June 15, 2016. Click here for more information.

Additionally, the 10th Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop organized by LatCrit, Inc. and SALT will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The Faculty Development Workshop is intended to familiarize junior faculty with Lat Crit and SALT and to support faculty in their scholarship, teaching, and service.


April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Global Legal Skills Conference in Verona, Italy

Verona Bridge David Austin PhotoThe 11th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held in Verona, Italy from May 24 to May 26, with an optional day trip to Padua (Padova) on May 2th. The conference schedule (including panels, speakers, and additional information) is available by clicking here. 

Attendees are participating from around the world, including presenters from Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, and many other countries.

Registration is still open and available for the GLS-11 conference. More information about the conference is available by clicking here.


Photo by David Austin

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Save the Date: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference in September

The Central States Law Schools Association Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, North Dakota. CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

Registration will open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on the conference website at
Hat tip to Christopher Odinet.

April 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)