Sunday, November 22, 2020
The New York Times reports that President-Elect Joe Biden is expected to name Antony Blinken as the next Secretary of State. Mr. Blinken, 58, is a former deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama who began his career at the State Department during the Clinton administration. The New York Times reports that Mr. Binken's "extensive foreign policy credentials are expected to help calm American diplomats and global leaders alike after four years of the Trump administration’s ricocheting strategies and nationalist swaggering."
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The American Constitution Society, Barry University School of Law, and Texas A&M University of Law are teaming up to host the Sixth Annual Constitutional Law Scholars Forum at Barry University in Orlando, Florida on March 26, 2021. Scholarly proposals on any constitutional law topic at any stage of development are welcome. The deadline for the submission of proposals is December 1, 2020. Abstracts of 300 words maximum and a brief biography should be emailed to the conference organizers by that date: Professor Eang Ngov (email@example.com); Professor Helia Hull (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Professor Meg Penrose (email@example.com). (cgb)
Saturday, October 31, 2020
- Academic and professional reputation of the casebook author(s)?
- Comprehensive coverage of the precise topics you want to cover?
- Thoughtful organization of the material?
- Recently published or updated so it's current?
- Supplement with treaties and statutes?
- Teachers' manual?
- Availability in your jurisdiction?
- Reasonable cost for students?
- Online supplemental exercises or learning tools?
- Other factors?
At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the AALS Section on International Law will hold a special program for new international law professors on this very practical topic of how to pick a casebook. The speakers will not be themselves be authors of international law casebooks but professors who teach the course and have to select a casebook for their students.
The AALS Annual Meeting was to have been held in San Francisco in January 2021 but like many other national and international conferences it has gone virtual. A virtual makes it possible to invite presenters from across the United States and around the world.We welcome your thoughts in advance about what makes a casebook right for you. Please leave your comments in the comment box (and we'll publish those comments here unless you tell us not to in your comments).
Some speaking slots are still available for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) with the AALS Section on International Law's panel on New Voices in International Law. The AALS Annual Meeting was to have been held in San Francisco in January 2021 but like many other national and international conferences it has gone virtual. A virtual makes it possible to invite presenters from across the United States and around the world. If you're interested in submitting a proposal for the New Voices in International Law panel, please leave your name and contact information in the comment section. Don't worry--we won't publish it! It will just be used to contact you about your possible online participation in the AALS panel.
Monday, October 26, 2020
The American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), in cooperation with the International Law Students' Association (ILSA), held an online version of their annual International Law Weekend (ILW). ILW 2020 included 27 panels that covered a wide array of public and private international law topics and featurrf speakers from across the world. More than 1800 individuals registered from around the world, creating an interesting audience of academics, diplomats, government officials, NGO leaders, students, and business leaders.
Highlights included an Opening Plenary Panel featuring Professor Gian Luca Burci, Ambassador David Scheffer, and Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi discussing our theme of International Law in Challenging Times. Other highlights included a keynote address by Catherine Amirfar of Debevoise and Plimpton, LLP, who is the current President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). Judge Julia Sebutinde of the International Court of Justice also delivered a half-hour lecture on the work of the court.
Did you miss it? The sessions were recorded and will be available on the ABILA website.
ILW also included breakout networking sessions for women, minorities, young lawyers, and for its various committees, such as the ABILA Committee on Teaching Public International Law.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
CFP: Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education, the Practice of Law, and the Judiciary
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
The Harvard International Law Journal in partnership with the Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) recently launched Women in International Law: Distinguished Voices, an audiovisual library designed to highlight the voices and celebrate the contributions of a diverse group of distinguished women in international law. The library will consist of interviews with prominent women in international law.
If you would like to nominate a person who identifies as a woman for this new initiative, you may do so here. The project seeks nominees who have utilized international law to advance women’s rights, promoted women’s perspectives in the international legal field, demonstrated leadership in international law, or advocated for women’s rights and gender justice. Nominees who reflect the wide-ranging diversity which exists among women in the field of international law and in the world are encouraged.
The nominees will be jointly selected by the Board of ILJ and the WILIG. Please be advised that self-nominations are not accepted.
Monday, October 5, 2020
On October 1, Timor-Leste formally began the process to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Timor-Leste stated its commitment to the principles, objectives, and rules of the WTO. It is also seeking to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. In response, WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff stated: “It is an important day for Timor-Leste as well as for the WTO. The WTO gain[s] strength from the accessions of new countries coming in with their commitments to the world trading system." There are currently 164 members of the WTO and there are 22 countries in addition to Timor-Leste that are seeking accession. For more information regarding Timor-Leste's bid for accession, see this WTO news release.
In other WTO news last week, the United States notified the Dispute Settlement Body of its intention to appeal the panel report in a long-running dispute between the United States and Canada: United States - Countervailing Measures on Softwood Lumber from Canada (DS533). However, due to unfilled vacancies on the WTO Appellate Body, there is no Appellate Body available to hear the dispute at the present time so what will happen with this appeal remains unclear. More information about these issues can be found here.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Law Professors Sue Trump for Authorizing Penalties for Those Who Support the International Criminal Court
The Open Society Justice Initiative and four law professors, Diane Marie Amann, Gabor Rona, Milena Sterio, and Margaret deGuzman, have filed a complaint against the U.S. government over a Trump administration executive order authorizing draconian economic sanctions and severe civil and criminal penalties for those who support the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The lawsuit is the first to challenge Executive Order 13928, and comes one month after the U.S. imposed sanctions on senior officials at the ICC, including Fatou Bensouda, the court’s chief prosecutor.
The lawsuit—filed today in a federal court in the Southern District of New York against President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea Gacki, Attorney General William Barr, and their respective U.S. Departments—argues that the executive order violates constitutional rights, including the plaintiffs’ freedom of speech, and prevents them from carrying out work in support of international justice.
The plaintiffs, all who speak, write, and advocate about international justice issues around the world, contend that it irreparably harms their professional work. The lawsuit also seeks to stop the U.S. government from enforcing the executive order while the court considers its constitutionality.
James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, said, “By issuing this outrageous order, the Trump administration has betrayed Washington’s long-standing support for international justice, snubbed its allies, and violated the U.S. constitution. We are going to court to end this reckless assault on a judicial institution and the victims it serves.”
The ICC was created in 2002 by the Rome Statute, a treaty, and is authorized to investigate and prosecute serious crimes including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, that are committed on the territories, or by the nationals, of the 123states that are party to the treaty. The U.S., while instrumental in setting up the ICC, has never ratified the treaty. The ICC only acts when countries are unwilling or unable, upon request of the UN Security Council or a state party to the treaty, or on initiative of the prosecutor if authorized by the ICC judges.
The executive order is the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S. government on the ICC. On March 15, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. would impose visa restrictions on “individuals directly responsible for any [ICC] investigation of U.S. personnel.” On June 11, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13928, targeting persons associated with or supporting the International Criminal Court.
On September 2, Secretary Pompeo announced that the U.S. was imposing asset freezes and other financial sanctions on two senior officials at the ICC, Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko the head of the ICC’s jurisdiction division. Officials from the United Nations, the European Union, other U.S. allies like Canada, and Bensouda’s home country, The Gambia, swiftly condemned the U.S.’ actions.
The plaintiffs are represented by a team of lawyers at Foley Hoag LLP, led by Andrew Loewenstein.
Adapted from a Press Release from the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
A panel of five experienced international law professors will address the very important topic of teaching International Law during challenging times on Friday, October 2 at 1:30 pm EST. International Law has occupied a less central role within American law schools' curricula. At many law schools, International Law is taught as an upper-level elective course; thus, numerous American law school students graduate without ever having had exposure to International Law. It is this panel's starting premise that International Law is a crucial course of study for every law school student; that International Law occupies a very important place in every lawyer's practice; that International Law should be taught more frequently at all law schools in the U.S.; and that during the Covid-19 pandemic - a challenging time for all - the role of International Law should be re-emphasized and the course taught to all students. This panel will thus focus on exchanging insights in teaching International Law, with a particular emphasis on best practices, resources, and challenges regarding remote, online or hybrid teaching of International Law. The panel is sponsored by the American Society of International Law, Teaching International Law Interest Group.
To register for the program, click here. We hope you will join the conversation.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced her selection of Shira Perlmutter as the 14th Register of Copyrights. Click here for more information on the appointment.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
U.S. President Trump announced sanctions today against the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda. She earned the United States' disapproval because she is investigating allegations of possible war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The Prosecutor has been placed on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list and, as a result, is subject to having any assets in the U.S. frozen among other restrictions.
Human rights groups have condemned US sanctions on ICC personnel saying it undermines respect for the international rule of law. The United Nations also has expressed concern and said it is monitoring the situation.
The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC and maintains that the Court does not have jurisdiction over the US troops. It is important to remember, however, that the matter is only at an investigative stage. If the United States believes its soldiers have not committed war crimes, it would show much more respect for the rule of law and serve as a positive example by cooperating with the ICC and providing evidence proving their innocence rather than unilaterally imposing sanctions.
Participants are invited to author an essay in English between 2000-3000 words (excluding footnotes and references) examining the impact and usefulness of UNIDROIT instruments either during the COVID-19 pandemic, or in the post COVID-19 economy.
The focus of this essay should be any relevant UNIDROIT instrument such as the UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts, the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and its Protocols, the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, the UNIDROIT-FAO-IFAD Legal Guides on Contract Farming, and/or Agricultural Land Investment Contracts, among others.
The top five essay received will be rewarded in the following manner:
- 1st Position: 2,500 € + Publication opportunities
- 2nd Position: 1,500 € + Publication opportunities
- 3rd Position: 500 € + Publication opportunities
- 4th and 5th Position: Publication opportunities
The deadline for submission is 7 September 2020 (CET).
Friday, August 14, 2020
The Law Library of Congress -- the world's largest law library -- will hold a Foreign and Comparative Law Webinar on August 27 on legal developments regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence in the European Union and its Member States, with an emphasis on the role of A.I. in the interactions between citizens and governments. Topics discussed will include predictive policing, facial recognition, and the use of A.I. in administering welfare benefits.
Click here for more information about this free webinar on "Hot Topics in Global AI Regulation." The webinar will be held at 2pm EDT on Thursday, August 27, 2020.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
Special Tribunal for Lebanon -- Postponement of Verdict in HARIRI ASSASSINATION CASE to 18 August 2020
In February 2005, the then-former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in Beirut in a suicide truck bombing that also claimed the lives of 21 others and injured approximately 220 more.
For the past six-plus years, four alleged members of Hezbollah have been on trial in absentia before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ("STL"), being prosecuted for their alleged roles in the 2005 bombing.
Originally scheduled for issuance in May 2020, the verdict was deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was to be handed down last Friday. But because of the devastation wreaked by the massive explosions at the Port of Beirut last Tuesday, the STL postponed issuance of its verdict until Tuesday, 18 August 2020.
The Special Tribunal, which sits in The Hague, was established in 2009 based on a U.N. Security Council resolution. The STL has been described as the world's "first tribunal of international character to prosecute terrorist crimes." The court has also faced criticism of its work and its cost.
Hat tip to Lisa Ridgway
Thursday, August 6, 2020
More good news in the fight against child labor: all 187 member countries of the International Labor Organization (ILO) have ratified Convention No. 182 which bans the worst forms of child labor, such as slavery, sexual exploitation, and use of children in armed conflict. The Convention achieved this milestone in less than two decades, making it the most rapidly ratified treaty in United Nations history. The UN estimates that a shameful 152 million children are involved in child labor worldwide.
For more information, visit this UN news story.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) today announced its intent to award up to $8 million in grant funding for up to two technical assistance projects to improve downstream tracing of goods made by child labor or forced labor. The grant will support the recipient’s development of tested supply-chain methodologies, piloted tools for supply-chain tracing, and disseminating supply-chain tracing tools and methodologies to stakeholders.
ILAB’s mission is to promote a fair global playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards, and combating international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.
Adapted from DOL Release Number: 20-1458-NAT