Thursday, January 15, 2009

EU Terror List and the Rule of Law

In what could be an unprecedented event, several European judgments were recently subject to a full page ad in The New York Times (December 30, 2008, A9). In this ad, the “European Committee in search of Justice” and “The National Association of Iranian Academics inBritain” urge the US authorities to revoke the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran's terrorist designation following several European judgments concluding that the EU decision to maintain this organization (known as the PMOI) on the EU "terror list" was illegal.

Among the judgments mentioned, the most recent one is a judgment issued by the EU Court of First Instance (strangely enough, the ad refers instead and inaccurately to the EU Court of Justice) in Case T-284/08 People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. Council.

Those of us who think that the so-called “war on terror” had led to outrageous violations of the rule of law would certainly be pleased to learn that in the case, the EU Court annuls (for an embarrassing third time!) a decision of the Council of the EU freezing the funds of the PMOI on the grounds that the Council violated has violated the group’s rights of defence and its right to effective judicial protection

This judgment follows a long series of EU judgments where EU “anti-terror” measures, aimed at natural and legal persons suspected of terrorism activities, were found to infringe their fundamental rights as protected under EU law (see in particular the widely discussed Kadi case).

LP

January 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Contributing Editor for the International Law Prof Blog

Pech_laurent The International Law Prof Blog is pleased to welcome a new contributing editor, Dr. Laurent Pech of the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr. Pech (or "LP" as he'll come to be known here) is the Jean Monnet Lecturer in EU Law.  He was also appointed as an Emile Noël Fellow at NYU School of Law for the academic year 2008-09.

We welcome him to the blog, and hope you enjoy his posts!

(mew)

January 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ASIL Annual Meeting

Asil_80_percentThe American Society of International Law will hold its 103rd annual meeting in March 2009.  Registration information is available by clicking here.  The theme of the meeting will be "International Law as Law." 

Early bird registration goes until January 30, 2009, after which rates go up by 15%.  Highlights of the always-well-attended meeting included remarks by Dame Rosalyn Higgins, current President of the International Court of Justice, and one of her predecessors, Judge Stephen Schwebel, who will both speak on the special 50th anniversary of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

(mew)

January 15, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WTO Establishes New Database on Regional Trade Agreements

Wto_80_percent The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced a new database of information on regional trade agreements (RTAs).  Under Article XXIV of GATT, RTAs are permitted under certain conditions, one of which is that duties and other restrictions on commerce must not be higher or more restrictive after the creation of the RTA than before its creation.  Any such RTA must be notified to the WTO.  As of December 2008, some 421 RTAs have been notified to the GATT/WTO.  The new database is intended to provide information about the timetable agreed in the RTA with respect to the reduction of tariffs under the RTA, as well as data on trade in goods and services at the time the RTA was formed.  Presumably, this information will help the WTO members determine whether the RTAs do in fact meet the requirements of GATT Article XXIV.   This information should help inform the debate as to whether RTAs do more harm than good in the liberalization of trade.

For more information about the new database, click here

January 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Blog on Interrnational Law and US-UN Relations

A new blog on International Law and U.S.-U.N. Relations has been started by James Bair, a law school graduate who is going to be a law clerk in September for Judge Barbara Lenk of the Massachusetts Court of Appeals.  Click here to see his blog.  Some of his posts are quite interesting, particularly his thought on the Cambodia tribunal.

(mew)

January 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ICC Trial of Congolese Military Leader Lubanga to begin Jan. 26

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced yesterday that it will begin its first ever trial on January 26, 2009.  The accused is Thomas Lubanga, the founder and leader of the Union des patriotes congolais (the Union of Congolese Patriots),in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He is charged with war crimes relating to the conscription and enlistment of children under the age of 15 as soldiers into the FPLC, the military arm of the Union des patriotes congolais, and actively using them in hostilities during 2002-2003.  He was arrested and surrendered to the ICC on March 17, 2006.  The hearings are open to the public.  More information may be found on the ICC's website by clicking here.

(cgb)

January 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ASIL Resource for Teaching International Law Materials

Asil_80_percent As the new semester gets underway for many of us, please remember that the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Teaching International Law Interest Group (TILIG) has put together a web site of materials related to teaching international law.  Please make use of this resource and, if you have materials you are willing to share with others, please post them on the site.  The web site can be found by clicking here: http://www.asil.org/search.cfm?displayPage=1149.

(cgb)

January 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eleventh Circuit scheduled to hear oral arguments in Noriega v. U.S.

Tomorrow, January 14, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of General Manuel A. Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, who is fighting his extradition to France under a 1909 extradition treaty between the U.S. and France.  In 1992, Gen. Noriega was convicted of various drug-related crimes in U.S. District Court in Miami.  He completed his sentence in September 2007.  However, he has remained in prison in the United States while fighting an extradition request by France, which wants to try Noriega on charges of money laundering.  Noriega would prefer to return to Panama, where he would also face trial on various charges, apparently because his age (73) would allow him to serve any sentence at home rather than in prison.  Noriega is arguing that his status as a Prisoner of War (POW) under the Geneva Conventions (GC), which status the U.S. District Court granted him in 1992, requires the U.S. to repatriate him to Panama upon the completion of his sentence rather than extradicting him to France.  Noriega lost that argument at the District Court level and has appealled to the Eleventh Circuit.

GC III relating to POWs does not appear to directly address this legal issue.  Article 118 of GC III relating to POWs does set forth a general rule that POWs be repatriated after the cessation of hostilities.  However, Article 119 states that POWs may be detained longer pending criminal proceedings and completion of punishment.  Article 119 may be read to permit further criminal prosecution by France because it states: "Prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings for an indictable offense are pending may be detained until the end of such proceedings."  Noriega has been indicted in France and criminal proceedings are pending there.

GC IV relating to protections for civilians during armed conflict contains provisions allowing the transfer of detained persons to other states that are also parties to the GCs and that pledge to respect the GCs.  France is a party to the GCs and has given assurances to the United States that it will respect the GCs in the case of Noriega.  Accordingly, these provisions from GC IV may be used to inform the analysis under GC III and allow the transfer of Noreiga to France.

It may be some months before the Eleventh Circuit issues its decision in this interesting case involving the interplay between the 1949 GCs and a prior extradition treaty.

(cgb) 

January 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Legal Information and Law Library Conference in Beijing

ChinaThe Law Librarian Blog has information on how to register for the China-U.S. Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries, to be held in Beijing at the end of May 2009.  I heard about the conference during the AALS Annual Meeting, and it sounds like an interesting program for those able to attend.  Click here for more information.

(mew)

January 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rumsfeld and Others Sued Over Guantanamo Suicides

The Legal Times reports that the parents of two detainees who committed suicide while being held at Guantanamo have sued former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others for failing to respect basic rights and for causing the conditions that lead to these suicides.  Click here to see the 79-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

(mew)

January 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Closing Guantanamo

The New York Times reports that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama wants to issue an executive order on his first day to shut down the U.S. military prisions and military commissions in Guantanamo.  Among those quoted in the article are Catherine Powell, an associate professor of law at Fordham, who said that the Obama transition officials appeared most interested at a meeting last month in being able to show the world that the United States was returning to traditional American legal values.  Also quoted in the article is Mark P. Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall and a lawyer for Guantánamo detainees, who told the New York Times that senior officials seemed to have decided to suspend the military commissions immediately, because those commissions are "a complete and utter failure.”  Click here to read more.   Another news story on the reported decision to close Guantanamo can be found by clicking here.

The New York Times also created an "interactive Guantanamo database" that pieces together who was being held at Guantanamo, where detainees were transferred to, and who died while in U.S. custody.  Click here to see that interactive database.  It includes names, countries of origins, and countries to which detainees were transferred.  It is not a complete list, but it is the most comprehensive list I've seen.

(mew)

January 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Confirmation Questions for Hillary Clinton

The New York Times asked ten international relations experts what questions they would ask Hillary Clinton when she goes before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her confirmation hearings as the next U.S. Secretary of State.  Click here to see their questions for her.

(mew)

January 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Report from the ASIL TILIG Meeting in San Diego

Asil_80_percent On January 9, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Teaching International Law Interest Group (TILIG) held a breakfast meeting in San Diego to discuss international law curricular issues.  According to Frank Gevurtz of Pacific McGeorge, only 20% of law students take international law electives during law school.  Given the increasing globalization of our society, how do we increase the exposure of students to international law?  Different schools are taking different approaches.  Eight law schools now require that students take some form of international or transnational law course during law school.  Julian Ku spoke about Hofstra's two-year old experiment with a required second semester first year international law course.  Frank Gevurtz spoke about how Pacific McGeorge has worked to incorporate international law issues across the curriculum.  Manuel Gomez stated that Florida International University takes both these approaches.  Most of these experiments are only a few years old, so there is not a lot of consensus on which approach is best or what is being accomplished.  The meeting participants agreed that there is a lot more information that could be shared and suggested a follow-up day-long conference or workshop on the issue.  Watch this blog more more information on these issues in the future.

Also, be sure to sign up for the ASIL Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 25-28, 2009.  The TILIG tentatively is planning to sponsor a program during that meeting on using simulations to teach international law.

(cgb)

January 12, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Comments on Italy v. Germany

Guillermo Otálora Lozano has posted on Jurist some interesting comments on Italy's recently-filed lawsuit against Germany before the International Court of Justice.  Click here to read his comments.

(mew)

January 12, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AALS International Law Section Elects Diane Marie Amann as New Section Chair

Aalslogo_4Amann_diane_marieCongratulations to the newly-elected Chair of the AALS Section on International Law, Diane Marie Amann, Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law and Director of the California International Law Center at King Hall.  She's a founding contributor to IntLawGrrls Blog (which is one of the best international law blogs around, after this one of course!  It is one of the only "other blogs" that we link to right now in the left hand column).  Professor Amann is a well-recognized international law scholar, particularly in the field of international law and terrorism.  The section will have a great year under her leadership.

[I'm also proud to have also been elected as an officer of the section, and I'm happy as well that Professor Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University School of Law (another of our blog editors) was also elected to the AALS International Law Section's executive committee.]

Professor Amann follows Professor James R. Maxeiner of the University of Baltimore School of Law, who chaired the section this past year and served as moderator of the section's panel in San Diego.

(mew) 

January 12, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego

Aalslogo_2 The annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools just finished yesterday in San Diego, California.  It was the first time that the conference was held there, and from all accounts it was a great success.  People loved the location, the weather was perfect, the conference was relaxed and productive, and I saw perhaps the largest international law gathering ever at the reception for law professors from outside the United States.  This is a great conference to attend, and you should make plans now to attend the January 2010 conference in New Orleans.

(mew)

January 11, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

U.N. International Law Research Library

United_nations_flag Here is a great international law resource that you might not know.  The U.N. online research library contains:

  • resources relating to treaties and treaty status information;
  • materials concerning the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals;
  • access to selected United Nations publications and to repositories of official documentation; and
  • selected scholarly writings in international law, including publications, journal articles, and research guides.

Particular emphasis is on authoritative sites, typically including those providing unrestricted access to primary materials or to key secondary sources of information on international law and on the activities of international organizations.  Click here to read more.

Hat tip to Victor Salas at The John Marshall Law School Law Library in Chicago.

(mew)

January 10, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Interpretation of Avena (Mexico v. U.S.) Judgment Expected Monday, Jan. 19

MexicoUnited_states  For those of you who have been following the Avena litigation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the ICJ has announced that it will issue its next judgment in the case on Monday, January 19.  By way of background, this is the case in which Mexico sued the U.S. for its failure to provide consular notification to 54 Mexican nationals who were tried and convicted of capital crimes in the U.S.  The ICJ found that the U.S. is in violation of its obligation to provide consular notification under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Notification, but the U.S. has not yet found a satisfactory way to implement that judgment.  Unhappy with the United States' inability or unwillingness to provide a satisfactory remedy, Mexico went back to the ICJ to request an interpretation of the ICJ's previous Avena judgment with respect to the proper remedy.

(cgb)

January 9, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

AALS International Dance Card

Aalslogo

Two more days left of the AALS Conference!  Here's a reminder of international law events of interest

Friday, January 9, 2009

7:00 to 8:30 a.m.  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.  Santa Rosa, South Tower/Level 1, San Diego Marriott.  This is a ticketed event - buy a ticket when you check in at the registration center if you forgot to order in advance!

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.  ASIL Teaching International Law Interest Group Breakfast.  Torrey 2 Room (Lobby Level, North Tower), San Diego Marriott.  This is a free event, so if you don't have a ticket to the Joint Int'l Law Breakfast above, please come join us.

8:30 to 10:15 a.m.  Section on Environmental Law.  "Environmental Justice on the U.S.-Mexico Border."  Mariana Salon D, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott

10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Section on Law, Medicine, and Health Care.  "Comparative Health Law: What Can the U.S. Learn from Other Countries?"  Columbia 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel

10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Section on Torts and Compensation Systems.  "Foreign Tort Law: Beyond Europe."  Program to be published int eh Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.  San Diego Salon A, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel

1:30 to 3:15 p.m.  Section on Conflict of Laws.  "Choice of Law Reforms in the EU."  Columbia 2, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel

1:30 to 3:15 p.m.  Section on Immigration Law.  "Crossing Borders, Creating Borders: Nations, Migrants, and Constructions of Law."  San Diego Salon A, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel.

3:30 to 5:15 p.m.  Section on International Law.  "Taking International Law Seriously: Will the United States Abide by International Law that is a Law of Rules?"  Mariana Salon D, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott Hotel.   Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  AALS Reception for Legal Educators from Law Schools Outside the United States.  Carlsbad, South Tower/Level 3, San Diego Marriott Hotel.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  Committee on International Cooperation Program.  "The Role of Law Schools in the Promotion of Human Rights and Legal and Curricular Reform Abroad."  San Diego Salon B, North Tower/Lobby Level, San Diego Marriott Hotel.

There are many other events of interest, of course.  The AALS Annual Meeting is a rich and rewarding experience.  See you all in San Diego!

Mark E. Wojcik, The John Marshall Law School-Chicago

January 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ABA Midyear Meeting Attendees Needed to Judge Negotiation Competition February 13-14

AbaThe American Bar Association Law Student Division seeks judges for the 2008-09 Negotiation Competition National Finals, which will be held during the ABA Midyear Meeting February 13-14, 2009 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.  In November, 223 teams from law schools all over the United States and Canada competed in the 10 regional competitions. The top 24 teams qualified to compete in the National Finals. The topic of this year's competition is Elder Law.  Previous competition judging experience is NOT REQUIRED. The competiton is looking for practicing attorneys, law professors, and judges who are interested in objectively evaluating the negotiation skills of these top law students and giving them useful feedback. Judges may earn CLE credit if their state CLE Board provides for credit via judging competitions. Rounds will be held on Friday, February 13th and Saturday, February 14th. Judges are asked to serve for only one of the four rounds. 

  • Round 1: Friday, February 13th (8:30 am to 12:30 pm)
  • Round 2: Friday, February 13th (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)
  • Semifinal Round: Saturday, February 14th (8:30 am to 12:30 pm)
  • Championship Round: Saturday, February 14th (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)

If you are willing to serve as a judge, please click hereIf you have questions about the competition, contact Peggy Pissarreck at 312.988.5621 or click here to send an email.

(mew)

January 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)