Thursday, November 6, 2014

American Society of International Law Opens Midyear Meeting in Chicago

ASIL Career Networking JMLSThe American Society of International Law is discovering how great Chicago can be for a midyear meeting.  From today until Saturday, meetings at four different venues will raise the Society's profile in the midwest and across the country.   

The opening event took place at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where students and lawyers came for career networking and mentoring in new fields of international law.  The event was well attended and provided attendees with valuable information about careers in international law.


November 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Four Judges Elected to ICJ: Mohamed Bennouna of Morocco, James Crawford of Australia, Joan Donoghue of the United States, and Kirill Gevorgian of Russia; -- One More Judge to Be Elected Tomorrow

ICJ CourtroomThe United Nations General Assembly and Security Council today elected four judges to seats on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN. 

After simultaneous rounds of voting in the Assembly and the Council – which met concurrently with but independent of each other – Mr. Mohamed Bennouna of Morocco, Mr. James Richard Crawford of Australia, Ms. Joan E. Donoghue of the United States, and Mr. Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation were elected to nine-year terms on the ICJ, starting on 6 February next year. The Assembly and the Council will meet independently again tomorrow to elect a fifth judge to a seat on the ICJ.

The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected by an absolute majority in both the General Assembly (97 votes) and Security Council (8 votes). The timing of elections is staggered so that the General Assembly elects a third of the Court once every three years.

The terms of five judges will expire on 5 February 2015: Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor (Mexico); Kenneth Keith (New Zealand); Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco); Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation); and Joan E. Donoghue (United States). Judges are eligible for re-election.

According to the Statute of the Internnational Court  of Justice, its judges must be chosen by coordinated actions of both the Council and the General Assembly, with the date of elections determined by the Council. 

Judges are chosen on the basis of their qualifications, not their nationality, but no two judges can be from the same country. Effort is also taken to ensure that the principal legal systems of the world are reflected in the composition of the court. 

Established in 1945, and based at the Peace Palace in The Hague in the Netherlands, the ICJ – which is also known as the World Court – settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by the U.N. General Assembly or other specifically authorized UN organs.

(mew) (adapted from a UN press release)

November 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Singapore Upholds Its Sodomy Law

The United Nations human rights office has expressed regret over a recent Singapore Supreme Court ruling to uphold a law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adult men, calling the directive a “missed opportunity” to strike down the law.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said the ruling from 29 October to uphold section 377A of the Penal Code violated “a host of human rights guaranteed by international law,” including the right to privacy, the right to freedom from discrimination, and the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, including protection for sexual orientation and gender equality.

While the law is “rarely” invoked in Singapore, “it nonetheless codifies discrimination and contributes to societal stigma against individuals who are gay,” he said.

In its examination of the constitutionality of section 377A, the Supreme Court decided the section did not violate articles 9 and 12 of the Singapore Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and liberty, and right to equality before the law and equal protection of law, respectively.

While the Supreme Court expressed sympathy for the situation of the appellants, it stated it was up to the Singaporean Parliament to amend the law, Mr. Colville said.

Some political leaders in Singapore had publicly advocated for tolerance and inclusion, the spokesperson said, noting that OHCHR was thus hopeful that Singapore’s legislature would respond to the Court’s decision by repealing the section and enacting anti-discrimination legislation that includes discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

November 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"International Business With Russian Nexus: Why Not New York Law?"

On November 12, 2014 - from 6-8 PM -the International Centre for Dispute Resolution ("ICDR"), in cooperation with the Russian Arbitration Association ("RAA") and with support of the American Bar Association Section of International Law ("ABA SIL"), the US-Russia Business Council ("USRBC"), and the New York State Bar Association, International Section ("NYSBA IS") will host a discussion on the topic of "International Business With Russian Nexus: Why Not New York Law?" The event will take place on November 12, 2014 at the ICDR office located at 150 East 42nd Street, 17th Floor from 6 to 8 PM. Reception to follow.  

The focus is to explore whether New York law may be an attractive option to international businesses with Russian nexus. Registration is on a first come, first served basis as space is limited.  Please be sure to RSVP early. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsor, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, this event is free of charge. To get a registration form, email Mandy Sawier at [email protected] 


November 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Reminder About the Upcoming ASIL Research Forum in Chicago

We've posted a couple of times already about the upcoming American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting and Research Forum being held later this week (November 6-8, 2014) in Chicago, Illinois.  The ASIL event will include:

  • a keynote address on "The Individualization of International Law" by former U.S. State Department Director of Policy Planning and current New America Foundation President Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • a discussion of "International Law in U.S. Courts" with U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Diane Wood
  • a plenary panel with American Branch of International Law Association President Ruth Wedgwood on the Malaysia Airlines disaster over Ukraine
  • an international law career development "speed mentoring" event at The John Marshall Law School, and
  • the annual Research Forum for the presentation and discussion of 70 cutting-edge works-in-progress

Among the Research Forum's 24 sessions:

  • International Law and the Reshaping of the American Constitution
  • The Changing Practice of Investment Arbitration
  • Evolving Practices of Prosecuting Atrocities
  • African Legal Practices and International Courts: Tensions and Prospects
  • How We Teach and Discuss International Law
  • Legitimacy and Authority of World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement
  • Unilateral Acts Affecting Respect for International Law

We hope that the ASIL meeting in Chicago is a good one and we hope that it becomes a regular event.


November 3, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)