Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tiananmen Square, 20 Years Ago This June


May 31, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Trade Liberalization and the Right to Food -- A WTO Video Debate

WTO 80 percent Does liberalizing trade help or hinder the right to food?  Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, discuss this question in a video debate.  Click here to watch.  It is one hour and 36 minutes long, in French.


May 31, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Call for Papers: A Conference in Toronto in October 2009 on Labor Migration, Trafficking, and Business

The Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto will hold a conference this October 9-10, 2009 on "The Commodification of Illicit Flows: Labor Migration, Trafficking and Business." They are calling for papers that analyze human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation within the contexts of migration and the global economy.  Scholars and practitioners from all academic disciplines, including economics, law, social sciences, business, women and gender studies, public policy, health are invited to submit their work.  People working with relevant governmental agencies and NGOs are also invited to apply.

Themes to be focused upon include:

* Illicit Migration and Human Trafficking

* The Current Economic Crisis: Implications on Migration and Labor Trafficking

* Socio-Economic Dimensions of Labor Trafficking

* Forms of Labor Trafficking

* Historical and Contemporary Aspects of Bondage

* Child Trafficking for Labor Exploitation

* Businesses and Child labor: Financial Analysis of Trafficked Labor

* Corporate Liability and Code of Conduct

* Government Responses to Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Human Beings

* International Labor and Human Rights Standards

A one page abstract should be sent to Antonela Arhin at cdts [at] by June 15, 2009.  Acceptance notifications will be made by June 30.  Submissions of final papers will be accepted until September 1, 2009.  For more information click here.


Hat tip to Antonela Arhin, Executive Officer (and Doctoral Candidate) at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto



May 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Palau Senate Approves Open Ship Registry

Palau The Senate of Palau's national legislature approved on third and final reading the 107-page proposal to create an open ship registry. Under the Bill, any sea-going vessel not operating exclusively in Palau’s waters may be registered on Palau’s registry, provided that a “qualified person” owns it. A “qualified person” is defined as a Palauan citizen, a corporation wholly owned by Palauan citizens, the Palauan National Government, or any person or corporation that the Minister of Industries, Infrastructure and Commerce determines is a qualified person.  Click here to read more.

Hat tip to the East-West Center.


May 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Investing in Africa

Africa-map USA Africa has published a new report that details the reasons why Africa has  not attracted more interest from the U.S. business community, such as problems in the perception fo the rule of law.  The results of their quite interesting and informative study are collected in a report that is available by clicking here


Hat tip to Fabiane Dal-Ri



May 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Judge Sotomayor and International Law

We're pleased to see this post on Intlawgrrls that analyzes Judge Sonia Sotomayor's rulings in cases involving international law issues.  Click here to read more.  U.S. President Barak Obama nominated Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Associate Justice David Souter.  


May 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Former President Clinton Appointed as U.N. Envoy to Haiti

Haiti United Nations Flag Click here to read more on the Intlawgrrls Blog about former U.S. President Bill Clinton's appointment as the United Nations Envoy to Haiti.


May 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 29, 2009

U.S. State Department Releases Its Treaty Priority List: CEDAW, UNCLOS among Obama's Priorities

US Senate The U.S. State Department has released its list of treaties that are currently pending before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Click here to see the list.

The Obama administration is seeking Senate action on these (and some other) treaties:

  • Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
  • Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • U.S.-Rwanda Investment Tax Treaty
  • ILO Convention on Employment Discrimination
  • U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support


May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thomas M. Franck

Franck, Thomas Professor Thomas M. Franck, honorary President of the American Society of International Law and a well-respected scholar of international law, passed away this week after a resurgence of cancer.  Professor Franck was the President of the American Society of International Law as President from 1998 to 2000 and Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law from 1984 to 1993.  He authored more than 30 books and countless articles, he received the ASIL lifetime achievement award, the Hudson Medal, in 2003, and he was awarded the ASIL Certificate of Merit for four of his books.  He was a professor at New York University School of Law where he taught foreign relations law, international law, and the law of international organizations.  He was a good friend and mentor to so many international lawyers and law students.  He will be missed.

May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Jessup Results, Photos, and News

ILSA We've just received this message from the International Law Students' Association . . .

Dear Friends of the Jessup,

The ILSA Executive Office extends its sincerest thanks to the FOJ community for its support of the Jessup’s 50th Anniversary Year. More than 104 teams competed in the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds, with eight Observation Teams and nine Exhibition Teams bringing the total number of participating teams to 121 – the largest ever in the Competition’s history.

We could not have managed this extraordinary turnout without the unending assistance of the FOJ community. Thank you to those who judged oral rounds in Washington and at national and regional tournaments around the world; to those who spent hours reading and grading memorials, and pouring over the Compromis and Bench Memorandum; to those who served as coaches, competition administrators, judge and bailiff coordinators, scoring calculators, and organizers of much-deserved social activities.  Your combined efforts made for a spectacular anniversary celebration.

Standout highlights of the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds include the long-awaited Reverse Moot, the Friends of the Jessup Trivia Night, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, which featured former ICJ Presidents Stephen M. Schwebel and Dame Rosalyn Higgins as the evening’s distinguished guest speakers.

Pictures from the Jessup 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner are now available by clicking here.

The complete results of the 2009 Shearman & Sterling International Rounds are now available by clicking here.  Congratulations to the 2009 Shearman & Sterling Jessup Cup World Champion Team, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia).

The Spring Issue of the Friends of the Jessup Newsletter is available by clicking here.

Finally, some terrific news for those of you who are still pondering over the fate of Piccardo Donati and the Dasu Refugees:  Jessup 2009 isn’t over yet! We are currently seeking judges to grade this year’s top memorials for the Hardy C. Dillard and Richard R. Baxter competitions. The best memorials of the national and regional rounds will compete for the Dillard award. The Dillard finalists and Alona E. Evans Award finalists (the best memorials of the International Rounds) will then be considered for the Baxter Award, which is given to the best Applicant Memorial and best Respondent Memorial of this elite group. If you would like to evaluate memorials for either of these competitions, please contact Ashley Walker at ILSA.

Thank you once again for your continuing support of the Jessup Competition, and making the Jessup’s 50th Anniversary a truly remarkable year.

With our warmest regards,

The ILSA Executive Office

Amity R. Boye, ILSA Executive Director
Jill Schmieder Hereau, ILSA Programs Coordinator
Caroline C. Cowen, Jessup Outreach Coordinator
Ashley E. Walker, Jessup Competition Coordinator

May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawyer Nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Roos, John - Japan Ambassador Japan The White House has nominated John Roos to be the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.  Roos is the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a leading technology law firm in Palo Alto California.  



May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ITLOS: We Have No Jurisdiction to Try Pirates

ITLOS Logo The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued a press release to correct erroneous press reports that it was prepared to try pirates.  It is not.  ITLOS deals mainly with disputes between States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  ITLOS is not a criminal court and has no competence to try pirates.


May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Resolving Business Disputes in Russia

Russia The American Bar Association Section of International Law is sponsoring a program in Moscow, Russia on "RESOLUTION OF RUSSIA-RELATED BUSINESS DISPUTES: THE NEXT WAVE."  ABA Intlaw The program will be held on September 21, 2009 at the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel. Speakers include the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation and the Presdient of the American Bar Association. Topics will include arbitration in Russia, investment treaty arbitration, and related civil and criminal proceedings. To REGISTER visit or call 202-662-1660.


May 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WTO Announces Next Ministerial Meeting

The General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced that the WTO will hold its seventh Ministerial Conference from November 30-December 2, 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.  The theme of the meeting is "The WTO, The Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment."  It has been four years since the last Ministerial Conference, despite the fact that the Agreement Establishing the WTO states that such meetings should be held at least once every two years.  Chairman Matus stressed in his statement announcing the meeting that this Conference is not to negotiate the Doha Development Agenda - those negotiations are proceeding on a separate track.  Chairman Matus also stated that this meeting will be guided by "FIT" principles of full participation, inclusiveness and transparency. 


May 28, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Law Institute - Summer Courses

The International Law Institute in Washington D.C. has announced two courses for its 2009 Summer Orientation program.  This year’s program has been revised to include more subjects and has also been redesigned to provide a more interactive training.  The program now consists of two segments:

Intro to Legal English Introduction to Legal English and Writing (July 6-17, 2009). The seminar is both: an intensive course on Legal English, describing the basic institutions of American Common Law; and a Workshop on Legal Research and Writing.  This seminar is a highly participatory course in which students engage in a process of active learning that will improve their skill sets required in the legal practice. The seminar is designed to improve the law practitioners and student’s command of legal English, research and legal drafting abilities. Participants will develop a writing project along the seminar.

Orientation in the US Legal System (July 20 - August 7, 2009). The seminar concentrates on both the legal methods and the major areas of substantive law that foreign lawyers are most likely to encounter when conducting business in the United States or with American clients abroad.  Furthermore, the program will cover the role of Common Law in international and supranational organizations such as the WTO, the EU, and other similar institutions. Focusing on the US legal system, we will illustrate how understanding Common Law legal methods is important for all lawyers working with any of these organizations. The seminar now also integrates subjects such as corporate governance, Law of the Cyberspace, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

For more information on the program visit the ILI’s Summer Orientation webpage by clicking here. 

May 28, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ICJ Says No Preliminary Measures in the Case on the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v. Senegal)

ICJ The International Court of Justice ruled today on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Belgium in the case concerning Questions relating to the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v. Senegal).  In its Order, the ICJ found by 13 votes to one that "the circumstances, as they now present themselves to [it], are not such as to require the exercise of its power under Article 41 of the Statute to indicate provisional measures."  Click here to read more in the ICJ's press release..  Belgium is seeking the prosecution or extradition of Hissene Habre, the former President of Chad.

Although it rejected Belgium’s request for the indication of provisional measures, the Court emphasizes that its decision in no way prejudges the question of the jurisdiction of the Court to deal with the merits of the case or any questions relating to the admissibility of the Application, or relating to the merits themselves. It added that the decision also leaves unaffected Belgium’s right to submit in future a fresh request for the indication of provisional measures if new facts arise.

Click here for the ICJ order.



The United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) today issued an order leaving former Chadian president Hissène Habré in the custody of Senegal, where he is under house arrest for alleged war crimes.


Belgium lodged a request to the ICJ in February to bar Mr. Habré, who has been accused in a Senegalese court of massive human rights abuses committed by his regime during the 1990s, from leaving Senegal while his trial is pending.


It had also sought to have him extradited to face charges in Belgium, citing among other things procedural delays in Senegal’s handling of the case. For its part, Senegal had asked the Court to dismiss the Belgian filing, saying its judiciary is competent to carry out the prosecution.


In its order, the ICJ found that “there does not exist, in the circumstances of the present case, any urgency to justify” Belgium’s bid.


However, the Court also stressed that today’s order leaves unaffected Belgium’s right to pursue the case should new facts emerge.


In addition, Senegal has given assurances it would not allow Mr. Habré, who has been living in house arrest for nearly 20 years, to leave the country pending a final ICJ ruling on the matter, noted the Court, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands.


Mr. Habré ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990, when he was overthrown and went into exile in Senegal, and it is alleged that during his rule thousands of Chadians were tortured and unlawful killings and other serious human rights violations took place.


Although he was charged in February 2000 by a lower court in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, an appeals court later ruled that Senegalese courts did not have the legal competence to try such cases if they were perpetrated in another country.


But then in April 2008, Senegal’s National Assembly adopted an amendment to the constitution that together with previous changes allowed the country’s legal system to deal with such cases.


May 28, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

U.S. Court of International Trade

Are you admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of International Trade?  A new court rule [USCIT Rule 74(3)(1)] requires all attorneys admitted to practice before the CIT to file an attorney renewal registration (and pay a $50 fee to do so, unless you qualify for a waiver as a government attorney or unless you apply for a hardship waiver).  Visit the court's website for more information and to download the form you'll need to file by June 1, 2009.  You can also call the court's attorney admissions office at 212-264-2812.


May 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Henry King

Professor Henry T. King, Jr. died on Saturday, May 9, 2009 (just a few weeks before his 90th birthday). His passing is a great loss for legal academia, the legal profession, and for all who knew him. He was a Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Chair of its Canada-United States Law Institute for more than 30 years.  

Here is some more information about Professor King from his school.

At the age of 25, fresh out of Yale Law School (B.A. 1941, LL.B. 1943), Henry was hired as the youngest Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.  At Nuremberg, Henry worked on the Justice and Ministries cases, led the prosecution of former Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhard Milch, deputy head of the Luftwaffe under Hermann Goering, in the High Command trial. Henry interrogated many of the major Nuremberg defendants, including Albert Speer, who Henry later chronicled in a critically acclaimed book, The Two Worlds of Albert Speer: Reflections of a Nuremberg Prosecutor.

Upon returning to the United States, Henry served as director of the Agency for International Development during the Eisenhower Administration, and worked as a chief corporate international counsel for more than twenty years with TRW Inc., and later was of counsel at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP.  He then joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve, where he taught International Business and International Arbitration.

Through the conferences he organized in the late 1980s as Chairman of the Canada-United States Law Institute, Henry played an integral role in facilitating the drafting and negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In 1998, Henry and two other 80-something-year-old former Nuremberg prosecutors, Whitney Harris and Ben Ferencz, participated in the Rome diplomatic conference to create a permanent international criminal court and used their unique moral authority, dogged persistence, and skills of persuasion to convince the delegates to include the crime of aggression in the Court’s statute (pending agreement on a definition and trigger mechanism).  

Last fall, in cooperation with the President of the ICC Assembly of States Parties, Henry co-chaired a conference and experts meeting on “The ICC and the Crime of Aggression” at Case Western Reserve, which developed proposals that significantly advanced the effort to define the crime and the conditions under which the Court could exercise its jurisdiction over it.      

Henry was an influential leader of the American Bar Association, serving as a member of the ABA’s special task force on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and as a former Chair of the ABA Section of International Law. In addition he was the U.S. chairman of a joint working group, organized by the American, Canadian, and Mexican bar associations, on the settlement of international disputes.  Henry also founded the 200-member Greater Cleveland International Lawyers Group

We will all remember Professor Henry King quite fondly and cherish the legacy of his contributions.


May 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Important Updates on the Situation of Lawyers in Fiji and the Fiji Law Society

Fiji We have promoted on this blog some stories about the deteriorating situation in Fiji following the military coup and the emergency declaration that followed a Fijian court decision that found that the current military government is unlawful. 

The government responded to that court ruling by abbrogating the Fijian Constitution on April 10, 2009 and since then taking many repressive measures against lawyers and others who support the rule of law.

The Solomon Times Online is reporting that that people in Fiji are afraid of being caught using the internet because they fear being accused of reading anti-government websites.

Last week, three lawyers in Fiji were detained (and their computers reportedly seized) because they were suspected of contributing to anti-government websites.

The Solomon Times Online also reports that plainclothes policemen raided the offices of the Fiji Law Society this past weekend. 

The Fiji Law Society was also told of a new decree by the Interim Military Government that removed the Society's standing to regulate lawyers.  Click here to read the government press release establishing an "Independent Legal Commission."

Finally, the interim government also issued an order stating that ALL lawyers in Fiji will need the approval of the new Chief Registrar to continue practicing beyond the end of June 2009, a role that was taken by the Fiji Law Society until the new decree.  Under the decree, the 16th following the abrogation of Fiji's Constitution on April 10, anyone who continues to practice after June 2009 without a proper legal practitioners certificate will face fine of up to "$10,000" or imprisonment of up to "2 years, or both". Lawyers will need to apply by June 15 to be able to practice until February 2010.

Click here to read the government press release on the Legal Practitioners Decree.


May 26, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our First Anniversary

The International Law Prof Blog has just celebrated its one year anniversary.  We thank all of our blog readers from around the world.

Mark, Cindy, Cyndee, and Laurent

May 24, 2009 in About This Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)