Friday, March 19, 2010

The Hague Convention and International Child Custody and Jurisdiction

Professor Cindy Buys and I are among the speakers appearing in a March 26, 2010 program in Chicago on the subject of "Divorce, Deportation, and Disciplinary Complaints: Avoiding Immigration Pitfalls in Family Law."  The program is sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association Section on International and Immigration Law. 

Click here for more information about the program.


March 19, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Falun Gong Resolution by Vote of 412-1

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H. Res. 605, a resolution that recognizes the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in the People's Republic of China.  The resolution, which passed by a vote of 412-1, marks the 10th anniversary of suppression of the Falun Gong movement.  The resolution also calls for an end to the campaign to persecute, imprison, and torture practitioners of Falun Gong.

Hat tip to the ABA Government Afffairs Office


March 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Results of the 2010 Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition

The 14th Annual Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition finished this past weekend.  More than 75 teams competed in regionals in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.  The top 18 teams from nine countries were invited to Stetson for the International Finals.  Professor Royal Gardner reports that the moot was fantastic moot, thanks in part to the support of the ABA Section of International Law and the International Environmental Law Committee.  Below are the results of this year’s competition. 


· International Finals Champion: University of Maryland School of Law

· Runner-up:  Law Society of Ireland, Cork

· Semifinalists

o   China University of Political Science and Law

o   Law Society of Ireland, Dublin

· Quarterfinalists   

o   National Law University, Jodphur, India

o   University of Ghana, Legon

o   Wake Forest University School of Law

o   University of California, Hastings College of Law 


· Memorials

o   Best memorial: Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

o   Runner-up memorial:  University of Maryland School of Law

o   Third place memorial: Wake Forest University School of Law 

o   Fourth place memorial: University of California, Hastings College of Law 


· Top oralists in the Preliminary Rounds

o    (1) Lyndsey Clarke, Law Society of Ireland, Cork

o    (2) Christie Joy Bacal, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

o    (3) Laila Machado de Almedia, Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

o    (4) Adimazoya Theodore Nse, University of Ghana

o    (5) Kartikey Mahajan, National Law University, Jodhpur

o    (6) Rashi Ahooja, National Law University, Jodhpur

o    (7)  Katya Busol, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

o    (8)  Bo Li, China University of Political Science and Law

o    (9) Leeja Patel, University of California, Hastings College of Law

o    (10) Amanda Moore, Law Society of Ireland, Cork


· Spirit of Stetson Award: Faculty of International Law, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam


Hat tip to Professor Royal C. Gardner, Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.



March 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Irish flag In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here is some information about the long standing ties between the United States and Ireland.  The United States' close relationship with Ireland is based on ancestral ties and shared values. Trade between the United States and Ireland is an important part of that relationship.  The following economic data is taken from the U.S. State Department website:

"In 2008, U.S. exports to Ireland were valued at $8.65 billion, while Irish exports to the U.S. totaled $31.35 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics. The range of U.S. exports includes electrical components and equipment, computers and peripherals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and livestock feed. Irish exports to the United States represent approximately 20% of all Irish exports, and have roughly the same value as Irish exports to the U.K. (inclusive of Northern Ireland). Exports to the United States include alcoholic beverages, chemicals and related products, electronic data processing equipment, electrical machinery, textiles and clothing, and glassware. Irish investment in the United States steadily increased during the economic boom times. Ireland is one of the top twenty sources of foreign direct investment in the U.S., with Irish food processing firms, in particular, expanding their presence."

"As of year-end 2008, the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Ireland stood at $146 billion, more than US Flag the U.S. total for China, India, Russia, and Brazil--the so-called BRIC countries--combined. Currently, there are approximately 600 U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland, employing roughly 100,000 people and spanning activities from manufacturing of high-tech electronics, computer products, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking, finance, and other services. In more recent years, Ireland has also become an important research and development (R&D) center for U.S. firms in Europe."


March 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

International Law Weekend - New York

Click here for a reminder about the upcoming deadline on the call for panels to be presented at the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) International Law Weekend in New York this fall.


March 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 15, 2010

7th Annual International Conference on Law in Athens, Greece

The Law Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) has announced its 7th annual international conference on law to be held in Athens, Greece 19-22 July 2010.  The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars and students of law and other related disciplines.  The registration fee is 250 euro, which includes access to all sessions, lunches, coffee breaks, and conference materials.  Special arrangements will be made with local hotels for a group of rooms.  In addition, a number of special events will be arranged including a one-day cruise of the Greek islands, an evening of Greek entertainment, and a half-day archeological tour. 

Interested persons may organize a panel, present a paper, or chair or observe a session.  Papers (in English) from all areas of law are welcome.  Selected papers will be published in a special volume of conference proceedings or edited books as part of ATINER's book series.  Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted by email no later than 22 March 2010 to Professor David Frenkel, Head, Law Research Unit, ATINER, Valaoritou Street, Kolonaki 10671, Athens, Greece.  Abstracts should include name, association, title of paper, email address, and at least three words that descrbe the subject of the submission.  Announcements of the decisions will be made within four weeks.

There are also opportunities to participate without presenting a paper, such as chairing a session, reviewing proposals, and editing published works.  Persons interested in these opportunities should contact Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, Director, ATINER.  More information about the conference can be found on the conference website.


March 15, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

75,000 Visits to the International Law Prof Blog

This week we will celebrate having more than 75,000 visits from readers in more than 100 countries.  We are proud of our global readership and thank you for your continued support.  Please continue to send us news of important international law developments in your countries.

1. Albania

2. Algeria

3. Argentina

4. Australia

5. Austria

6. Azerbaijan

7. Bahamas

8. Barbados

9. Belarus

10.  Belgium

11.  Belize

12.  Botswana

13.  Brazil

14.  Brunei Darussalam

15.  Bulgaria

16.  Cambodia

17.  Cameroon

18.  Canada

19.  Chile

20.  Colombia

21.  Costa Rica

22.  Cote D'Ivoire

23.  Croatia

24.  Cuba

25.  Cyprus

26.  Czech Republic

27.  Denmark

28.  Egypt

29.  Estonia

30.  Ethiopia

31.  Finland

32.  France

33.  The Gambia

34.  Georgia

35.  Germany

36.  Ghana

37.  Greece

38.  Grenada 

39.  Haiti 

40.  Hungary

41.  Iceland

42.  India

43.  Indonesia

44.  Ireland

45.  Islamic Republic of Iran

46.  Israel

47.  Italy

48.  Jamaica

49.  Japan

50.  Jordan

51.  Kenya

52.  Kuwait

53.  Latvia

54.  Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

55.  Lithuania

56.  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

57.  Malaysia

58.  Malta

59.  Mexico

60.  Morocco

61.  Nepal

62.  Netherlands

63.  New Zealand

64.  Nigeria

65.  Niue

66.  Norway

67.  Palau

68.  Panama

69.  People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong and Macau)

70.  Peru

71.  Philippines

72.  Poland

73.  Portugal

74.  Qatar

75.  Romania

76.  Russia

77.  Samoa

78.  Saudi Arabia

79.  Senegal

80.  Serbian and Montenegro

81.  Singapore

82.  Slovakia

83.  South Africa

84.  Spain

85.  Sri Lanka

86.  Sudan

87.  Sweden

88.  Switzerland

89.  United Republic of Tanzania

90.  Taiwan

91.  Thailand

92.  Togo

93.  Trinidad and Tobago

94.  Tunisia

95.  Turkey

96.  United Arab Emirates

97.  United Kingdom

98.  United States of America

99.  Uruguay

100.   Vanuatu

101.   Venezuela

102.   Vietnam

Thank you all for visiting the International Law Prof Blog.

Mark, Cindy, Cyndee, Laurent, and Mike

March 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Presentations: Central States Law Schools Association

The Central States Law Schools Association (CSLSA) has announced the date for its 2010 Annual Meeting and has issued a call for paper presentations.  The annual meeting will be held at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND on September 24-25, 2010.  CSLSA invites law faculty of all disciplines to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.  And, although CSLSA is a regional association, it welcomes participation from law faculty from outside the region. In the past few years, CSLSA has had some excellent presentations by international law scholars, as well as many others.

The purpose of CSLSA is to foster scholarly exchanges among law faculty across legal disciplines.  The annual CSLSA conference is a forum for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment.  More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work.  Mentoring by more senior scholars is also available to junior scholars.

There is no registration fee for participants from CSLSA member schools.  In addition, CSLSA subsidizes the cost of travel for presenters for member schools.  For more information on how to join CSLSA, contact the Treasurer, Carolyn Dessin, through the CSLSA website.  To submit a paper proposal, send an abstract or précis of no more than 500 words to the CSLSA Secretary, Wes Oliver, at Widener University School of Law by August 31, 2009. 


March 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How to Submit an Article to the ABA International Law News -- Upcoming Issues on Climate Change, Cross-Border Real Estate, and Outsourcing Legal Services

Intl Law News Intl Law News IP The flagship newsletter of the American Bar Association Section of International Law is the International Law News.  It is distributed in print and electronically to more than 23,000 members of the ABA Section of International Law, so your work gets a wide readership of lawyers and law students from around the world.

The Managing Editor of the International Law News is Angela Gwizdala, who can be contacted by email at this address: iln [at]  (substitute an @ for the [at]) 

The theme of the next issue of the ILN is Climate Change.  Articles on this subject (and other articles on international law not related to that theme) are due by March 23, 2010.  Articles should not have footnotes or endnotes and should be less than 4,000 words.  Much less actually.  Go for 1,500 to 2,000 words and you have a better shot at being published.

Intl Law News China If Climate Change is not your area, you might be interested in one of these instead: 

Cross-Border Real Estate Transactions (for the Fall 2010 issue, article deadline June 21, 2010)

Outsourcing Legal Services (for the Winter 2011 issue, article deadline September 20, 2010).

Membership in the ABA Section of Intenational Law is not limited to U.S. lawyers and law students -- you can join from anywhere in the world.  The section's Spring Meeting (in New York) and Fall Meeting (in Paris) are especially good reasons to join as well.


March 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Responsibility to Protect Conference in Sweden

The University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Center for International Law is hosting a conference on "The Responsibility to Protect: From Principle to Practice" which will be held in Scandic Linkoping Vast, Sweden from 8-12 June 2010.  Speakers include Francis Deng, Edward Luck, Ambassador Heraldo Munoz, Nicolas Michel, Larry May, Daphna Shraga and Paola Gaeta.  The full conference program is available at The deadline for registration and the submission of papers is 22 March 2010, so you need to act quickly if you are interested in participating.


March 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trends Identified in the 2009 US State Department Country Report on Human Rights

In addition to highlighting the growing abuse of the LGBT community worldwide, the U.S. State Department identified at least three trends in its 2009 Country Report on Human Rights Practices.

First, the State Department pointed out that several foreign governments are becoming less tolerant of nongovernmental human rights organizations. These governments are trying to constrain the ability of these NGOs to register and to operate, as well as their ability to receive foreign funding. According to the U.S. State Department, at least 25 governments have enacted new laws or regulations that contain such restrictions. 

Second, increasingly, human rights violations are carried out both by governments and by armed groups opposing them.  Some governments misuse or overuse concepts of national security to impose draconian restrictions on people.  But the U.S. State Department concedes that, at the same time, those national security emergencies are real in many places.

A third trend is the growing use by both activists and governments of the new communications media, such as the Internet and telephone text messaging, as a form of advocacy.  Activists are using it to get their message out, but governments are also very aware of the power of these new media and are trying to control it and control those using it in ways that are troubling and invasive of personal privacy.


March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. State Department Report Includes Human Rights Abuses Against LGBT People

The Council for Global Equality issued a press release today in which it applauded the 2010 State Department human rights report to Congress for underscoring the clear and growing crisis in human rights abuse directed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide, and urges the use of diplomacy to counter this trend.  Here is an excerpt from their press release:


Hat tip to Rex Wockner



Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, singled out the case of Uganda, where introduction of a draconian anti-gay bill has resulted in serious abuse directed against Uganda's LGBT community.


The report further documents LGBT-related incidents in almost every country in the world, including a range of cases involving arbitrary arrest and detention, police abuse, rape, and murder.


For instance, the report notes serious assaults against LGBT individuals in Jamaica, “including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of such persons.” In Iraq, the report notes that “numerous press reports indicate that some victims were assaulted and murdered by having their anuses glued shut or their genitals cut off and stuffed down their throats until they suffocated.” The report highlights numerous instances in which police and other authorities have failed to investigate or prosecute such incidents.


Council Chair Mark Bromley, while recognizing that the State Department report examines a broad range of human rights concerns impacting various minority communities, nonetheless emphasized that “the level of reporting on LGBT abuses this year is remarkably detailed and truly commendable, and unfortunately this new level of detail shows just how dangerous it is for LGBT individuals to go about their daily lives as ordinary citizens in so many parts of the world.” For the irst time ever, most of the reports have a dedicated section examining “societal abuses, discrimination, and acts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Bromley insisted that “the report makes clear that LGBT rights are firmly rooted in basic human rights protections and that those protections are under severe attack in the world today.”


Senior Council adviser and former U.S. Ambassador Michael Guest applauded “President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's principled belief that the human rights of LGBT people cannot be separated from those of all of society.” Emphasizing that “many of the most egregious abuses have been committed in countries considered to be friends and allies of the United States,” he urged that the State Department develop strategies to counter intolerance and homophobia in every region, drawing on all the tools of American diplomacy.


Julie Dorf, another senior adviser to the Council, noted that “the Council has been working closely with the State Department over the past year to help move the Department's human rights bureau from a traditional human rights reporting agenda to an active, human rights protection agenda.” Dorf explained that “in an ironic and unfortunate way, the intensity of the homophobia surrounding the 'kill the gays' bill in Uganda has helped raise awareness within the State Department, within Congress and within the international community more generally on the global impact of LGBT discrimination and abuse.”


Excerpts of the report's findings on LGBT issues in every country can be found on the Council's website at

March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Law Developments Today From Washington DC

ABA The American Bar Association's Government Affairs Office keeps track of developments at the federal level in a number of areas, including international law.  Today seems to have been a particularly busy day.  Here's the update we just received from the ABA GAO on new federal legislation, hearings, floor action, and presidential action, and other federal government notices:

International Law

Bills Introduced

S Con Res 54 (Nelson, D-NE), recognizing the life of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died 2/23/10 in the custody of the government of Cuba, and calling for a continued focus on the promotion of internationally recognized human rights, as listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Cuba; to Foreign Relations. S1359, CR 3/10/10.

HR 4801 (Berman, D-CA), to establish the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy; to Foreign Affairs. H1322, CR 3/10/10.

HR 4807 (Kirk, R-IL), to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to require that the president investigate possible violations of that act within a specified period; to Foreign Affairs. H1323, CR 3/10/10.

H Res 1160 (Meeks, D-NY), calling for the establishment of a Haiti Marshall Plan Committee to coordinate aid and development initiatives from multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, U.S. bilateral aid programs, and major international charities and non-governmental organizations in response to the earthquake that struck Haiti 1/12/10, and encouraging them to work in a coordinated manner; to Financial Services. H1323, CR 3/10/10.


The National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will hold a hearing titled “U.S. Aid to Pakistan: Planning and Accountability.” 3/16/10, 10 am, 2154 Rayburn.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “Trans-Atlantic Security in the 21 st Century: Do New Threats Require New Approaches?” 3/17/10, 9:30 am, 2172 Rayburn.

The Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment Subcommittee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing titled “U.S.-Japan Relations: Enduring Ties, Recent Developments.” 3/17/10, 2:30 pm, 2172 Rayburn.

Floor Action

On 3/10/10, the Senate passed S 1067, to support stabilization and lasting peace in northern Uganda and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army through development of a regional strategy to support multilateral efforts to successfully protect civilians and eliminate the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and to authorize funds for humanitarian relief and reconstruction, reconciliation, and transitional justice.

On 3/10/10, the House passed, by a 418-1 vote, H Res 1088, to recognize the plight of people with albinism in East Africa and to condemn their murder and mutilation.

On 3/10/10, the House failed to agree, by a 65-356 vote, to H Con Res 248, to direct the president, pursuant to Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan.

Presidential Action

On 3/10/10, the president transmitted to the Senate a report on the continuation of the national emergency declared 3/15/95 with respect to Iran.


On 3/11/10, the Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, announced a 3/29/10 public meeting in Washington, DC, of the Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural Products to solicit input from the public regarding the group’s statutory mandate to develop recommendations for independent, third-party monitoring and verification to reduce the likelihood that agricultural products or commodities imported into the United States are produced with the use of forced labor or child labor. Comments are due 5/30/10. FR 11512 .

On 3/11/10, the State Department announced the waiver of the assistance requirements of Section 7086(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2010 with respect to the government of Cambodia. FR 11620 .

On 3/11/10, the State Department announced a request for grant proposal applications for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ United States/Pakistan Professional Partnership Program, which will bring young professionals from the two countries together to develop cross-cultural relationships and professional skills that will positively impact people’s lives and will result in stronger ties between the two nations. Applications are due 4/9/10. FR 11612 .


March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Books We Like: Human Rights in Europe

Mock, William Demuro, Gianmario 1Professor William B.T. Mock, Jr. of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago (pictured at left) and his Italian colleague, Professor Gianmario Demurro of the University of Cagliari Faculty of Law (pictured at right) have just published an important new book called Human Rights in Europe: Commentary on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.  The book is published by Carolina Academic Press.

The book tracks the Charter of Fundamental Rights in its parts and divisions.  The book is divided into chapters on Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens' Rights, Justice, and General Provisions.  Each of those chapters has commentary on individual articles of the Charter.

Human Rights in Europe The book is extremely well written and provides researchers with a wealth of information and commentary.  It originated as a scholarly volume in Italian, called L'Europa dei Diritti: Commento all Carta dei diritta fondamentali del l'Unione Europea.  This new, English-language version makes available to more researchers and policymakers the scholars' important observations on human rights in Europe.  The book has an added benefit of introducing significant civil and constitutional law issues to comparative law scholars around the world.

This book is an important resource for any human rights researcher.  I also especially like its price -- the publisher has priced it at a very affordable $45.00 (and the publisher's website will even give you 10% off of that).  The book is 398 pages long.  Click here for more information. 

If you happen to be in Chicago, there will be a book signing at The John Marshall Law School on Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

Click here to read our other post about proposed solutions to relieve a backlog of more than 120,000 cases at the European Court of Human Rights


P.S. Happy Birthday to Keith Sipe at Carolina Academic Press!

March 11, 2010 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting

ABA Intlaw There's now a Facebook Group for the 2010 Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.  Click here.


March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

United States to Release 2009 Country Report on Human Rights Practices

120px-Department_of_state.svg[1]The United States State Department is scheduled to release its 2009 Country Report on Human Rights Practices later today.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. to announce the release.  The full text of the report will be available for downloading from the State Department web site at: as soon as possible after the briefing on March 11. The press briefing itself will be available via live video streaming on the web site as well.  The U.S. State Department is required by law to prepare and submit the Country Report on Human Rights Practices to the U.S. Congress on an annual basis.  The Country Report is to provide a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights including individual civil, political, and workers' rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  The reports are often used by Congress in making decisions about foreign aid and as evidence of persecution in asylum cases in the United States.


March 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Criminal Court Delays Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

International Criminal Court Flag The International Criminal Court announced this week that it will delay the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, a former senior official of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who has been charged with war crimes. Bemba's trial was supposed to start on April 27, 2010 but it has been pushed back to July 5, 2010.  Gombo faces charges for alleged crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) between October 2002 and March 2003, including rape, murder, and pillaging.
The trial is being delayed because Mr. Bemba’s lawyers had challenged the admissibility of the case against him on the grounds of respecting the complementarity between the ICC’s work and that of authorities in the Central African Republic.  They argued that he should not be tried before the Court because the ICC can only proceed where there are no national proceedings against those responsible for the alleged crimes.  His defense team is also questioning “the lack of the requisite level of gravity” and “an abuse of process in the case against Mr. Bemba."

The Trial Chamber for the International Criminal Court said that is “in the interests of justice” to rule on the defence’s application before the start of the proceedings.  The Office of the Prosecutor and the victims’ legal representatives have until March 29 to submit their observations.  Authorities in both the CAR and the DRC must respond by April 19, 2010.

The trial chamber said that it will issue its decision after considering observations as well as oral submissions made at a status conference scheduled to be held on April 27, 2010.

The ICC’s pre-trial chamber confirmed last summer that Mr. Bemba had the “necessary criminal intent” when in 2002 he ordered his armed group, the Mouvement de libération du Congo (MLC), into the CAR to back up embattled leader Ange-Félix Patassé. It said that MLC fighters committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during that mission, with Mr. Bemba “effectively acting as military commander.”

He was transferred to the ICC in July 2008 after being arrested by Belgian police. Last September, the Court decided that Mr. Bemba will remain in custody until the start of his trial, reversing an earlier decision to grant him temporary conditional release.

The situation in the CAR is one of four – along with the Darfur region of Sudan, the DRC and Uganda – currently under investigation by the Prosecutor of the ICC, an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)


March 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Prosecutor Named for Special Court for Sierra Leone

A United States attorney, who leads the prosecution against former Liberian president Charles Taylor, has been named by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the new Prosecutor of the United Nations-backed tribunal trying the worst acts committed during the decade-long brutal civil war in Sierra Leone.

Since 2007, Brenda Joyce Hollis has served as a principal trial attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where she heads up the legal team prosecuting Mr. Taylor, who is under indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prior to that, she was an expert legal consultant on international law and criminal procedure, training judges, prosecutors and investigators at courts and international tribunals in Indonesia, Iraq and Cambodia.

Ms. Hollis has helped victims of international crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Colombia prepare submissions requesting investigations by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

She was also senior trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia from 1994-2001, serving as lead counsel in preparing the case against former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic as well as cases in which rape was charged as torture.

The newly-appointed prosecutor paid tribute to Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Kamara, who has served as Acting Prosecutor since Stephen Rapp left the post last September.

Also today, Mr. Ban named Binta Mansaray, a Sierra Leonean national, as the Special Court’s Registrar.

Appointed as Deputy Registrar in 2007, she has served as Acting Registrar since last June.

Ms. Mansaray first joined the SCSL as an Outreach Coordinator, where she designed its acclaimed grassroots programme to inform the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia about the Special Court and its trials.

Prior to joining the SCSL, she worked as a human rights advocate for victims and ex-combatants.

The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by Sierra Leone’s Government and the UN in 2002. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996.

Last September, the eight prisoners convicted and held by the SCSL were transferred to Rwanda to serve their sentences since no prison in Sierra Leone meets the required international standards. The remaining trial, involving Mr. Taylor, is continuing at The Hague, where it was moved for security reasons.

March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ICTR Sentences Former Soldier to 15 years for Incitement to Commit Genocide

ICTR Logo The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced a former soldier for 15 years after convicting him of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.  The decision issued on February 11, 2010 follows Tharcisse Muvunyi’s retrial after he was found guilty of several acts of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and other inhumane acts and sentenced to 25 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2006.

In 2008, the tribunal’s appeals chamber set aside the convictions and sentence, but ordered a retrial that began last June of one allegation of direct and public incitement to commit genocide related to a speech Mr. Muvunyi gave in Butare prefecture in May 1994, in which he called for the killing of Tutsis, whom he referred to as snakes.

Mr. Muvunyi, 57, was formerly a lieutenant colonel in the Rwandan army. He was arrested in the United Kingdom in 2000 and transferred to the UN detention facility and transferred to Arusha, Tanzania.

The U.N. Security Council authorized the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994 in response to the genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed within just 100 days that year.

(adapted from a UN Press Release)


March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Does the World Still Need U.S. Tort Law? Or Did it Ever?

The Pepperdine Law Review is hosting a symposium on April 16, 2010 entitled Does the World Still Need United States Tort Law? Or Did it Ever?  The symposium will examine the present and future influence of United States tort law on other nations in light of globalization’s rise and United States tort law’s concurrent retrenchment on many fronts.

Some of the symposium speakers include Roger Alford (Pepperdine), Michael Bidart (Shernoff,  Bidart  & Echeverria), Ellen Bublick (University of Arizona), Richard L. Cupp (Pepperdine), John C.P. Goldberg (Harvard), Michael D. Green (Wake Forest), Ellen S. Pryor (SMU), Robert L. Rabin (Stanford), Michael L. Rustad (Suffolk), Victor E. Schwartz (Shook, Hardy & Bacon), Marshall S. Shapo (Northwestern), and Stephen D. Sugarman (Boalt Hall). International scholars speaking at the symposium include Peter Cane (Australian National University), Bruce Feldthusen (University of Ottawa), Lewis N. Klar (University of Alberta), the Honorable Allen M. Linden (Pepperdine; former judge of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada), and Jane Stapleton (University of Texas). The Honorable Allen M. Linden will be honored at the symposium for his enormous contributions as a tort law scholar and teacher both in Canada and in the United States.

And as if you needed another reason to go to Malibu California, here's some unexpected news -- there are even a limited number of stipends available for law professors who wish to attend the symposium. Please contact Professor Richard Cupp at richard.cupp [at] regarding stipend applications.  Click here for more information about the symposium.

Hat tip to Richard Cupp



March 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)