Sunday, November 30, 2008
Events to mark 20th World AIDS Day are being held all over the world. Here in Vicenza, Italy I attended a dance performance and culutral program to benefit Hospicio San Jose, an NGO in Guatemala that is providing care for 64 children and 270 adults living with AIDS. There is also an art exhibit in a church here in Vicenza featuring works by Rosalba Pedrina, a critically acclaimed artist living and working in Vicenza. She created a stations of the cross for people living with AIDS and HIV. It was originally created to be displayed at an international conference and is being shown again here for the first time in many years.
The AIDS pandemic is one that many international law professors should discuss when teaching about international human rights law or international health law. Some schools (such as the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law in Switzerland) offer courses in health and human rights.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Radio New Zealand International reported that the the French defence minister, Herve Morin, said this week that the French military base in Tahiti will be sold to French Polynesia for one euro. He announced the sale after talks with the French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, and Philip Schyle, the mayor of Arue (where the base is located). Mr Morin reportedly said that the 27-hectar site will be turned into a “breeding ground for businesses.”
Hat tip to the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This blog has had visitors from more than 90 countries since we started it just about six months ago. (Our six-month anniversary was November 19, 2008). We wish all of our readers a "Happy Thanksgiving," even if it is not a holiday celebrated in your country. Thanksgiving is a time when we can reflect on the blessings we have in this world, in our countries, with our families and friends, and in ourselves. We are thankful for all of the blessings we have, even while we share in the sorrows such as those suffered last night in India.
I celebrated Thanksgiving in Italy with my Italian family here in Vicenza, and with friends from Italy, Germany, and Iran.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Here's a link to the Wall Street Journal blog posting about outsourcing legal work to India.
The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization has issued its report regarding the cases “European Communities — Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas — Second Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Ecuador”, and “European Communities — Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the United States.”
Click here for the findings and conclusions.
Click here for the full Appellate Body Report
And click here for a summary of the dispute
Singapore's High Court on Tuesday found Wall Street Journal Asia in contempt of court for publishing two editorials and a letter to the editor that were found to be derogatory to Singapore's judiciary because they contained insinuations that Singapore's judiciary is biased, lacks impartiality and independence, and is subservient to the People's Action Party. The High Court held that finding the newspaper in contempt is consistent with the public interest exception to free speech under Singapore's constitution because the editorials have a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice. The case raises interesting parallels to the Sunday Times case from the United Kingdom, where the European Court of Justice ultimately held that the U.K. had violated its duties under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by holding the Sunday Times in contempt for publishing articles relating to ongoing class action tort litigation. As in the Singapore case, the U.K. government had taken the position that the published articles interefered with the administration of justice. However, the European Court of Human Rights decided that the public's need to know the information outweighed those concerns. In the case of Singapore, however, there is no regional human rights court that has jurisdiction to review a decision of the High Court, nor is Singapore is a party to the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Therefore, the decision of the High Court of Singapore will likely stand.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The International Law Students Association (ILSA) invites law schools to include information about LL.M. degree programs in the ILSA Quarterly . . . at no cost! The free listing form can be found online by clicking here. Send the listing to ILSA by December 20. In addition to the free listing, law schools can advertise (probably a good idea) in the ILSA Quarterly. The ILSA Quarterly features articles written by students, scholars and practitioners concerning timely issues of international law and related topics, as well as information on ILSA projects, study abroad programs, LL.M. programs and international career opportunities. Each issue reaches thousands students at law schools around the globe. The ILSA Quarterly is published four times during the U.S. academic year. The upcoming February issue is dedicated to LL.M. programs. Sample copies of the Quarterly are available on the ILSA website by clicking here.
Hat tip to Jill Schmieder Hereau, Programs Coordinator at the International Law Students Association.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Mary was a great international scholar whose work included a focus on international ethics and the transnational practice of law. She was a great colleague, mentor, and friend. She inspired the faculty and students at St. John's, and also at Fordham University School of Law where she previously taught. I always learned much from her, and I respected her work tremendously.
Our thoughts are with her family, colleagues, and students. This is sad and unexpected news, and a great loss to us all. Click here to read more.
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has published another issue of the American Journal of International Law. This latest issue contains essays on Medellin v. Texas, which found that a Mexican national could not enforce rights won in the Avena decision before the International Court of Justice. (Mr. Medellin was executed on August 5.)
Essays include “Medellın’s New Paradigm for Treaty Interpretation” by David J. Bederman; “Intent, Presumptions, and Non-Self-Executing Treaties” by Curtis A. Bradley; “Revitalizing the U.S. Compliance Power” by Steve Charnovitz; and “Less than Zero?” by Carlos Manuel Vazquez.
This Journal also includes an essay by Petros C. Mavroidis entitled “No Outsourcing of Law? WTO Law as Practiced by WTO Courts.” The article explores the use of non-WTO sources in trade disputes. Another essay, “Regulatory Takings in Institutional Context: Beyond the Fear of Fragmented International Law,” is by Steven R. Ratner, who argues that "many worries about fragmentation of international law [regarding claims of regulatory expropriation in international investment dispute cases] are misplaced.”
There's also a special Editorial Comment on “Military Commissions: Constitutional Limits on Their Role in the War on Terror” by Detlev F. Vagts. The issue also includes four case reports, a section on the latest developments in contemporary U.S. practice relating to international law, and six book reviews.
As usual, it's another high-quality issue that makes membership in the ASIL essential for anyone teaching international law. But you all knew that already.
Hat tip to Sheila Ward
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Friends of the Jessup Newsletter is now available in electronic format (and free of charge) to all Friends of the Jessup. The new Editor-in-Chief, Mara Smith, has more than doubled the size of the Newsletter and included content from all parts of the globe. She and her team of Regional Editors have collected Jessup interest pieces authored by competitors, coaches, judges, and national administrators that exemplify the extraordinary scope and influence of the Jessup Competition. The long-awaited Volume 5, Issue 1 of the Friends of the Jessup Newsletter is now available on the ILSA website by clicking here.
The 2009 Jessup Competition season is well underway, with over 450 teams already registered and beginning to research The Case Concerning “Operation Provide Shelter.” To access the 2009 Compromis, please click here. ILSA has received many inquiries regarding judging opportunities at the National and International Rounds of the Competition, and they have posted information about the national rounds. Click here to see National Rounds information for the following countries:
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Mexico – North
Mexico – South
The U.S. Super Regional Rounds will take place over the last three weekends in February, 2009, in six major U.S. cities. Exact dates and locations of the U.S. Super Regionals will be posted on the ILSA website by the end of November (or so).
The Shearman & Sterling International Rounds of the Competition will be held in Washington, D.C., 22-28 March, 2009. Click here to read more. An announcement will be sent to the Friends of the Jessup community once the 2009 Judge application and registration process has opened. For those interested in participating in the Remote Coaching Program, either as a remote coach for a Russian team or a new team from another country, please see pages 31-32 of the Friends of the Jessup Newsletter.
Finally, ILSA announced that Volume 17, Issue 1 of the ILSA Quarterly is hot off the press and on its way to subscribers. The ILSA Quarterly is an academic magazine that features articles written by students and includes information on ILSA projects, study abroad programs, LL.M. programs and career opportunities. The ILSA Quarterly is published four times during the academic year, and is available to Friends of the Jessup for an annual subscription fee of $17.50. All subscription revenues are used to sustain this unique student publication. Each issue showcases the scholarly work of students alongside articles written by leading academics and practitioners in the field of international law. You should consider subscribing to the journal for the very modest price.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Members of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law have launched a new blog on developments in international human rights law. Click here for a quick visit. Congratulations to the new bloggers as well as the new blog.
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) International Economic Law Interest Group (IELIG) calls our attention to a call for papers for an upcoming ASIL-IELIG conference that will be held on February 13, 2009, at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.
The goal of this conference (other than to have a meeting as far away from Washington DC as they could without continuing on to Hawaii) is to promote discussion of works in progress relating to international economic law. Paper proposals may address or be related to any international economic law topic. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged, but is not required. The call for papers is open to both new and established scholars, and practitioners in the field. Each session will have an appointed discussant and the colloquium format will allow sufficient time for constructive discussion and debate of the papers, which will be distributed in advance.
The deadline for paper proposals is December 8, 2008. Papers will be selected by the conference committee on a double blind basis. The conference committee is chaired by Prof. Richard Steinberg of UCLA, and includes Professors Ken Abbott, Andrea Bjorklund, Tomer Broude, William Dodge, Andrew Guzman, Amy Porges, and Alan Sykes.
For additional details, please refer to the Call for Papers here.
Hat tips to Tomer Broude and Amy Porges, the ASIL IELIG Co-Chairs
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The International Court of Justice has today ruled on Serbia's preliminary objections to Croatia's case alleging a violation of the Genocide Convention. The ICJ rejected Serbia's claims and found that Serbia was the sole respondent in the case and that the ICJ has jurisdiction, on the basis of Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to entertain the case on the merits. Click here to read more. (mew)
APPEAL (Academics Promoting the Pedagogy of Effective Advocacy in Law) has been in existence now for just a year and a half. But within that short time, it has achieved remarkable things. They raised close to $20,000 to bring seven African APPEAL members to the Legal Writing Institute Conference in Indianapolis in July 2008. They collected over two tons of law books to send to colleagues in East Africa. They arranged for those books to be transported to Africa by the Boeing Company and Kenya Airways. And they are now planning the next conference for 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa. Hat tip to Mimi Samuel at Seattle University. (mew)
Who Has the Best Tertiary Education Systems? New Study Finds the Winners are Australia, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. The losers? Germany, Austria, and Spain
The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal was founded in 2003 and incorporated in Belgium as an independent, non-partisan think tank. Their latest work will likely be of interest to international academics. It is called the University Systems Ranking: Citizens and Society in the Age of Knowledge, a study which was released in Brussels this week. The report found that Australia, United Kingdom, and Denmark have the best tertiary education systems among the 17 OECD countries surveyed. By contrast, the report found that Germany, Austria, and Spain had the least effective tertiary education systems of the 17 countries surveyed. Click here to see the report. And click here to read more about the Lisbon Council and the survey.
Former President Remengesau of the Republic of Palau has made history in that country by becoming the first former President to be elected to the Palauan Senate. He was also the first former president to even run for a position in the national legislature after serving as the country’s president.
Another surprise and historical first in Palau’s most recent election is that the top vote-getter for the Palauan Senate was a write-in candidate, Surangel Whipps Jr. He had more votes than the former President (who was also elected to the Senate), even without absentee and off-island votes.
Hat tips to Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa and the East-West Center in Honolulu
Mark E. Wojcik (former Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of Palau)
Mark E. Wojcik (former Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of Palau)
Monday, November 17, 2008
Congratulations to Professor Darren Rosenblum at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. Professor Rosenblum was recently given tenure and promoted to full professor. His publications focus on sexual minority rights and international arbitration, and his current scholarship focuses on comparative law issues related to women’s political representation and anti-discrimination law.
Hat tip to David Cruz
New ICJ Case Filed Today: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Sues Greece for Blocking Its Application to Join NATO
The International Court of Justice has the busiest docket in its history. It just got a little busier today when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (“FYROM”) brought an action against Greece, alleging “a flagrant violation of its obligations under Article 11” of the Interim Accord signed on 13 September 1995.
From what I can tell, it comes down to this (although it is undoubtedly more complicated): FYROM had sought to join NATO. In April 2008, Greece objected. FYROM now sues Greece.
FYROM seeks “to protect its rights under the Interim Accord and to ensure that it is allowed to exercise its rights as an independent State acting in accordance with international law, including the right to pursue membership of relevant international organizations.” FYROM contends that Greece vetoed its application to join NATO because Greece desires “to resolve the difference between the Parties concerning the constitutional name of the Applicant as an essential precondition” for FYROM’s membership of NATO. FYROM argues that it has “met its obligations under the Interim Accord not to be designated as a member of NATO with any designation other than ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’” and it affirms that “the subject of this dispute does not concern ⎯ either directly or indirectly ⎯ the difference [that has arisen between Greece and itself over its name]”.
FYROM requests the International Court of Justice to order Greece “to cease and desist from objecting in any way, whether directly or indirectly, to the Applicant’s membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and/or of any other ‘international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions’ of which [Greece] is a member . . . .”
Documents relating to the case will be posted on the ICJ’s website.
Friday, November 14, 2008
EU regulators have agreed to remove more than 100 pages of legislation relating to the size, shape, appearance, and texture of food. The International Herald Tribune reported this week that European Union authorities hope that abandoning these regulations (against curved cucumbers, for example) will soften criticism of the EU. Stores will no longer have to discard food simply because it looks strange. The new measure (which is to take effect in 2009) will eliminate much-criticized rules such as maximum requirements for the curves of bananas and cucumbers (Under Commission Regulation 2257/94, bananas must be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature,” while under Commission Regulation 1677/88, Class I cucumbers were allowed to bend only 10 millimeters per 10 centimeters of length, and Class II cucumbers could bend twice as much.)
Not all foods are covered. In a compromise measure, standards will remain on 10 types of fruits and vegetables (including apples, citrus, peaches, pears, strawberries, and tomatoes). But even foods in these categories will be allowed to be sold, provided that they are marked as being substandard or intended for cooking or processing. It was hard to defend the food regulations when food had become so expensive, and stores were being forced to throw away food simply because it curved too much. Stephen Castle, “In EU, It’s a ‘New Dawn for the Curvy Cucumber,” International Herald Trib., Nov. 13, 2008, at 7.