Saturday, May 10, 2014
Thomas Neuwirth, a 25-year-old drag queen who performs as Conchita Wurst, has just won the Eurovision Song Contest with her song "Rise Like a Phoenix." She was a favorite in many countries not only for having an amzing voice, but because the Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast in Russia which recently enacted an anti-gay law. Here's a video of the winning song.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep concern at the fate of the recently kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria during a phone call with the country’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, who has accepted the United Nations chief’s offer to send a high-level envoy to discuss how the world body can support the Government tackle internal challenges. During the call, Mr. Ban expressed his solidarity with the people of Nigeria, and especially the girls’ families, according to information provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.
The President briefed the Secretary-General on the current state of the search for the 230 girls, who were violently abducted from their school in Borno state in mid-April by Boko Haram militants.
“The President accepted the Secretary-General’s offer to send a high-level representative to Nigeria to discuss how the United Nations can better support the Government’s efforts to tackle the internal challenges.”
In a separate statement, the Secretary-General said he shared the anguish of the families of the girls and the people of Nigeria at this “traumatic” time. “The Secretary-General reiterates that the targeting of children and schools is against international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances,” said the statement.
Boko Haram, whose name stands for “Western education is a sin,” has been carrying out targeted attacks in recent years against schools, police, religious leaders, politicians, public and international institutions, indiscriminately killing civilians, including dozens of children.
(Adapted from a UN press release)
The ninth Global Legal Skills Conference being held a short time from now will include an international law roundtable with the editors of this blog. Click here for more information about the conference, which is being held on May 21-23, 2014 at the University of Verona Faculty of Law.
OK perhaps this isn't really international law, but who doesn't love the Eurovision Song Contest. Here are the 10 nations from the second semifinals that will be among the 28 competing in the finals on Saturday.
Watch the announcment here, with clips from the qualifiying countries:
Increasing violence in eastern and southern Ukraine is resulting in more and more death and destruction, the top United Nations human rights official said today, calling on all sides in the conflict to make a greater effort to find a peaceful resolution, particularly ahead of the 25 May presidential election. As she urged all sides to do more to resolve the crisis, especially in eastern and southern towns which have seen a recent surge in violent protests, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, appealed to armed opposition groups to “stop all illegal actions, including detaining people and seizing public buildings in violation of Ukraine’s laws and Constitution.” She added that these “organized and well-armed groups” should lay down their weapons, free arbitrarily detained persons, and vacate occupied public and administrative buildings.
Ms. Pillay also called on the Government to ensure that military and police operations are undertaken in line with international standards. “It is extremely important that the authorities themselves demonstrate full respect for the rule of law and scrupulously protect the human rights of all, including the Russian-speaking population,” the High Commissioner said. She also called on authorities to carry out “prompt, transparent and comprehensive” investigations into events in Odessa and Donetsk eastern regions, where dozens of people have been killed in recent days.
Briefing reporters in Geneva, Ms. Pillay’s spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) is calling for authorities to undertake “inclusive and participatory dialogue” and to take “serious steps to halt the rhetoric of hatred and confrontation, before the situation spirals totally out of control”.
Ukrainian officials have announced that the presidential election will be held later this month. It was originally scheduled for May of next year, but was brought forward following the political crisis in the country. The upcoming polls “represent the best opportunity for Ukraine to begin the process of reconciliation and stabilization,” Ms. Pillay said. She urged authorities to permit genuine peaceful demonstrations, both as a matter of international law and “as a release valve for people’s legitimate fears and frustrations”.
The High Commissioner also emphasised the need to create an environment where freedom of expression and opinion are fully respected, allowing journalists the space to work.
OHCHR teams are currently monitoring the human rights situation from five locations in the country and are due to publish their next report on 15 May.
(UN press release)
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Tomorrow, May 8, 2014, from 12:00 - 1:00pm EDT, there will be a global virtual conference on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and emerging technologies. The conference is sponsored by the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict and American University Washington College of Law Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law.
The expert discussion will focus on the themes evoked in this year’s winning paper from the Fourth Annual IHL Student Writing Competition, which was written by Michele Krech on, “Technological Asymmetry and the Law of Armed Conflict: The Intersection of Law and Politics in the Creation of Differentiated State Obligations,” and relevant emerging issues which go beyond the paper.
- Prof. Laurie Blank, Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Emory Law School
- Prof. Chris Jenks, SMU Dedman School of Law
- Michele Krech, Winner of the 2014 IHL Student Writing Competition
- Prof. Sean Watts, Ceighton University School of Law
- Moderated by Prof. Eric Jensen, Chairperson, Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, American Society of International Law
To register, click here.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Save the date! The International Law Students Association (ILSA) and the International Bar Association (IBA) will hold a conference in London (United Kingdom) on September 5-6, 2014.
The conference will offer student participants:
- A chance to meet fellow law students from around the world
- A range of educational and vocational panels
- A Jessup Compromis Panel Discussion with experts considering the issues raised by the newly released 2015 Jessup Compromis
- A complementary drinks and canapé reception, as well as catered lunches and breaks for all delegates.
- A chance to explore one of the world’s most iconic cities
China's new trademark law entered into effect on May 1, 2014. A new book about it was published by Carolina Academic Press: Paul Kossof, Chinese Trademark Law: The New Chinese Trademark Law of 2014, a volume that includes the first English translation of the new law.
Mr. Kossof, the author of that book, has also published a short primer on the New Chinese Trademark Law on the Asia Law Portal. Click here to have a look.
And click here for more information about the new book on Chinese Trademark Law.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) is seeking "an accomplished leader with vision, proficiency in international law, and proven management abilities to serve as its next Executive Director, starting in the second half of 2014."
The Executive Director works closely with an active Executive Council and President. "The successful candidate for the Executive Director post will be proficient in international law, and demonstrate strong administrative ability and experience, effective fundraising capacity, and an ability to relate to and represent the diverse and multinational membership of academics, private practitioners, jurists, government officials, and students in their various endeavors relating to all facets of international law. In addition to coordinating with Society leaders, the Executive Director manages an annual budget in excess of $3 million; supervises a staff of 17 (14 of whom are full-time employees) in planning and executing day-to-day operations; facilitates the dissemination of scholarly and informational output in print, electronic, and conference settings; raises funds for the Society by seeking grants and other contributions from foundations, corporations, law firms, individuals, and other sources; implements outreach programs to a variety of external constituencies including the U.S. Congress, the judiciary, the media, law-making bodies, think tanks, international organizations, academia and others; and administers programs outside as well as within the United States."
The intial term for the position is three years and the applicant must maintain full-time residence in Washington, D.C. Letters expressing interest and resumes should be submitted by June 15. The full job description and details of the application process may be found here.