Friday, November 14, 2008
Chen Shui-Bian, president of Taiwan from 2000 until 2008, was arrested this week by the Taipei District Court on charges of money laundering, bribery, forgery, and illegal possession of state assets. Chen has reportedly denied the charges, which he says are politically motivated.
Antitrust enforcement in the European Union was in the spotlight this week after the European Commission fined companies controlling the European automobile glass market 1.4 billion Euros for price-fixing over the past five years. Two of the companies fined had been previously charged with price-fixing of flat glass for buildings and homes. At least one of the companies planned to appeal the fine to EU courts in Luxembourg. Some antitrust experts believe that chronic price-fixing raises questions about the effectiveness of antitrust enforcement in the EU, which does not have the threat of imprisonment (as in the United States for similar violations). The fine against the auto glass cartel exceeded the previous record fine against a cartel, which was set last year with a 992 million euro fine against elevator makers.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
November 16 is designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Tolerance. Let's hope that tolerance lasts for more than just a day! Click here to read more (from UNA-USA) about the background of the Day of Tolerance and other activities related to it.
The treaty promotes testing of athletes without advance notice, both in competitions and between competitions.
The treaty was adopted unanimously by UNESCO’s General Conference in October 2005 and came into force on 1 February 2007 after its 30th ratification.
According to the website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) will travel into space on 14 November to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the most significant human rights document on earth. The UDHR will remain in permanent orbit around the Earth in the International Space Station for years to come. “In recognition of the fact that human beings are at times downtrodden, the Declaration can symbolically find its place 'above' all the peoples of the world," said European Space Agency astronaut Léopold Eyharts, who stayed at the International Space Station for two months earlier this year. Two plaques with the special UDHR 60th anniversary logo and the inscription of the 30 articles of the UDHR, in both English and French, will be on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour when it is launched on 14 November from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to the ESA. The Declaration will then be stored on a permanent basis inside ESA's Columbus multidisciplinary space laboratory in the European module of the International Space Station. In 2007, the United Nations launched a year-long commemoration that leads on 10 December 2008 to the 60th anniversary of the UDHR. The anniversary theme is: Dignity and Justice for All of Us.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Johnson Toribiong appears to have been elected as the new President of the Republic of Palau. He reportedly received a concession phone call from his closest rival, Elias Camsek Chin, who is the current Vice President. Toribiong succeeds President Tommy Remengesau, who was president between 2001 and 2008.
Mark E. Wojcik (who served as Court Counsel to the Palau Supreme Court in 1994, the year that Palau became an independent country. At that time, the population of Palau was 15,122 persons.)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
In addition to the other international breakfasts listed in previous posts, there will be a joint breakfast of the Sections on Africa, Comparative Law, International Human Rights, International Law, International Legal Exchange, Graduate Programs for Foreign Lawyers, and North American Cooperation. It is on the same Friday as the ASIL TILIG group, which is unfortunate but such things happen at an AALS meeting. It's a ticketed event, so buy a ticket in advance if you plan to go (they won't be available at the door).
Saturday, November 8, 2008
There are actually two opportunities for international law professors to breakfast together and share their expertise at the annual American Association of Law Schools (AALS) conference in San Diego in January. The University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law is hosting its Annual International Law Breakfast on Thursday, January 8, 2009 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in the Cardiff Room, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. Pacific's breakfast will continue their recent tradition of engaging, in cooperation with the American Society of International Law (ASIL), in an exchange on how law schools should prepare their graduates to function in an era of increased globalization. This year, the discussion will focus on how these efforts impact the students. The breakfast discussion will particularly focus on assessing whether and to what extent the stated goals of these international courses and programs are being met. To join the discussion of how law schools have assessed, or might assess, the impact of international programs on students, please call 916-739-7316 . Remember, the Pacific breakfast is separate from the ASIL Teaching International Law Interest Group breakfast on Developing an Inernational Law Curriculum which will be held the following morning, January 9, from 7:30-8:30 am in Torrey 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Mariott Hotel & Marina. More information on the ASIL TILIG breakfast can be found in an earlier post below and on the ASIL TILIG web page at www.asil.org.
Friday, November 7, 2008
The U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council elected five Members of the International Court of Justice for a term of office of nine years, beginning on 6 February 2009.
Judges Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan) and Ronny Abraham (France) were re-elected as Members of the Court.
Messrs. Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil), Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), and Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) were elected as new Members of the Court.
In February 2009 the Court as newly constituted will proceed to elect from among its Members a President and a Vice-President, who will hold office for three years.
From a UN press release . . .
UN’S FINANCES ‘FRAGILE’ WITH ONLY 31 STATES HAVING PAID THEIR 2008 DUES IN FULL – BAN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Member States to meet their financial obligations to the United Nations for 2008 in full and on time, warning of possible cash shortfalls if assessed contributions are not paid up in the remaining two months of this year. “The financial position of the UN remains fragile,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the General Assembly, which reviews the world body’s financial situation as at 24 October. Funding for the UN budget, which is approved on a biennium basis, is derived from contributions from Member States. Their assessments are assessed based on a number of factors, including per capita incomes. The UN’s regular budget for the biennium 2008-2009 is nearly $4.2 billion.
In addition to the regular budget, Member States are assessed for the costs of the UN international tribunals, peacekeeping, and the five-year, $1.9 billion renovation of the Organization’s New York Headquarters, known as the Capital Master Plan (CMP). “The financial indicators for 2008 are mixed,” says the Secretary-General, referring to the four main factors that determine the UN’s financial strength – assessments issued; unpaid assessed contributions; available cash resources; and the UN’s outstanding debt to Member States. “The position of the regular budget is uncertain given the current and projected cash situation, and the final outcome for 2008 will depend on action to be taken in the next few months by a few Member States.”
As of 24 October, 133 Member States had paid their assessments to the UN regular budget in full, seven more than on 31 October last year. . . .
The report adds that amounts owed to troop and equipment providers at 31 December are expected to be significantly lower than earlier projections, and some $134 million below the amount owed at 31 December last year. “While payments of troop and equipment obligations were broadly current for a number of missions, cash shortfalls mean that reimbursements have fallen behind the normal quarterly reimbursement process for four missions,” Mr. Ban notes. These are the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Mr. Ban pays tribute to the 31 Member States that had paid in full all assessments for the regular budget, the international tribunals, the peacekeeping operations and the CMP that were due and payable as at 24 October. They are Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, the Philippines, Moldova, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has compiled the policy statements of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden that reflect their views on international law-related matters. Their statements, which include Obama’s response to ASIL’s IL08 survey, can be found at International Law 2008 (IL08)..
Hat tip to ASIL
The Santa Clara Journal of International Law invites submissions for its spring issue. There is no particular theme, so papers are welcome on any area of international law. For details on deadlines, length, and all of that other fun stuff, contact the Senior Articles Editor, Anthony Stanitsas by clicking here.
Hat tip to Ann Marie Ursini, Editor in Chief of the Santa Clara Journal of International Law
The University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review is accepting submissions for its next issue, scheduled for publication in May 2009. The East Asia Law Review aims to provide a forum for the study of the law of East Asian nations. Submissions should pertain to the law and its practice, implementation or implications in East Asian nations. The journal also welcomes submissions of a comparative nature that examine legal issues faced by East Asian nations and other nations.
Volume 3 of the Review is available by visiting the website at http://www.pennealr.com. The Review will accept submissions for Volume 4 through January 15, 2009, with the potential for extensions with prior approval of the Editorial Board.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon congratulated former law professor Barack Obama on his election as President of the United States, and stated that Obama's election presented "an historic opportunity" for multilateralism and enhanced partnership with the United Nations. Mr. Ban said that this is a "good opportunity not only for, not only the United States, but the United Nations as a whole to resolve all issues through dialogue." According to a UN press release, Mr. Ban told journalists that he met Mr. Obama for the first and only time last year, shortly after taking office as Secretary-General. They were seated next to each other on a flight between Washington and New York. During the half-hour flight, Obama asked the Secretary-General many questions on the UN goals and on issues such as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Iranian nuclear issue, and UN reform. Mr. Ban said that Obama "was very engaging and he knew a lot about the United Nations." Mr. Ban also congratulated his "good friend," Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) Teaching International Law Interest Group (TILIG) is hosting a breakfast program at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. The topic of the breakfast program is “Developing an International Law Curriculum.” This program will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss how to develop an optimal curriculum for the teaching of international law in different law school settings, including what basic courses should be offered, what topics a basic introductory course on international law would cover, whether international law courses should be a mandatory part of the curriculum, and whether international law ought to be added to the bar exam. The program will be held on Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Torrey 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Professor Cindy Buys by clicking here.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Association for Canadian Studies in the United States has posted a call for papers for its 2009 conference. The conference will be November 18-22, 2009 (more than a year from now, so OF COURSE you can clear off your schedule) at the Westin Gaslamp, in San Diego, California. But the DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is November 20, 2008. I tell you, this group is organized!
Hat tip to James McHugh