Saturday, February 28, 2015
UNAIDS has kicked off the 2015 global edition of Zero Discrimination Day as part of the Organization's wider effort to spur solidarity towards ending discrimination. This year's theme Open Up, Reach Out encourages all members of the international community to unite under the banner of diversity and celebrate each other's difference in an authoritative rejection of discrimination in all its forms.
Zero Discrimination Day, observed annually on 1 March, draws attention to the millions who still suffer from social and economic exclusion due to prejudice and intolerance. Millions of women and girls in every region of the world, for instance, experience violence and abuse on a daily basis and struggle to access adequate health care and education.
Almost 80 countries still have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations while some 38 countries, territories, and areas impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. Furthermore, legal and social environments are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection.
UNAIDS estimated that 35 million people globally were living with HIV in 2013, while 2.1 million people became newly infected with the virus and 1.5 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses.
“Some of the world's most challenging problems can be solved simply by eliminating stigma and discrimination,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “As we collectively strive for a fairer world we can be encouraged by the enthusiasm for achieving zero discrimination.”
The UN day will be marked by a number of events held around the world, with photo exhibitions in China, dancing in Gabon, concerts in Madagascar, a storytelling event for children in Mongolia and special film screenings in Nepal.
(adapted from a UN press release)
The Executive Office of the President of the United States announced the continuation of the national emergency with respect to Cuba. FR11075
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Repesentatives Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on expanding trade opportunities under the Trans-Pacific Partnership on March 4, 2015 at 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on relations between the U.S. and Ukraine on March 4, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C.
Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
News from the University of Lausanne's Centre for Comparative, European, and International Law (CDCEI)
LL.M. in International and European Economic and Commercial Law (Master of Advanced Studies): Registration now open for programmes starting in the Fall 2015 and the Spring 2016
The programme is for those who are interested in trade, investment, Intellectual Property, Competition, or Arbitration. Graduates work in leading law firms, international organizations, Government, NGOs, and multinational enterprises around the world. The programme is entirely taught in English, can be either taken full-time of part-time, and benefits from its location close to the headquarters of many international organizations, international law firms, and global companies in the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland. More information can be found by clicking here.
The 77th Biennial Conference of the International Law Association will take place from August 7- 11, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The theme will be 'International Law and State Practice: Is there a North/South Divide?' The official conference website address is www.ila2016.com and you can already register your interest in the conference. Further information and programme details will be added as and when they become available.
Hat tip to the South African Branch of the International Law Association (SABILA)
In this latest development in the long-running saga between the United States (US) and European Union (EU) over subsidies provided to large commercial aircraft companies, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has established a dispute resolution panel to hear the EU's latest complaint regarding allegedly improper tax incentives provided by the U.S. State of Washington to a large commercial aircraft carrier (i.e., Boeing). The EU invoked the "fast track" procedures available under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement, alleging that the conditional tax incentives constitute a prohibited subsidy under that Agreement. The matter is referred to as US-Conditional Tax Incentives for Large Civil Aircraft (DS487).
In other WTO news, the WTO Dispute Resolution Body elected a new Chair - Ambassador Harald Neple of Norway.
For more information regarding other recent WTO activities relating to dispute resolution matters, visit the WTO website.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development [TL&D] is inviting original, unpublished manuscripts for publication in the Winter 2015 Issue of the Journal (Vol. 7, No. 2). The manuscripts may be in the form of Articles, Notes, Comments, and Book Reviews.
All manuscripts received by September 15, 2015, pertaining to any area within the purview of international economic law, will be reviewed by the editorial board for publication in the Winter 2015 issue.
TL&D aims to generate and sustain a democratic debate on emerging issues in international economic law, with a special focus on the developing world. Towards these ends, we have published works by noted scholars such as Prof. Petros Mavroidis, Prof. Mitsuo Matsuhita, Prof. Raj Bhala, Prof. Joel Trachtman, Gabrielle Marceau, Simon Lester, Prof. Bryan Mercurio, Prof. E.U. Petersmann and Prof. M. Sornarajah among others. TL&D also has the distinction of being ranked the best journal in India across all fields of law for three consecutive years and the 10th best trade journal worldwide by Washington and Lee University, School of Law [The Washington & Lee Rankings are considered to be the most comprehensive in this regard].
For more information, please go through the submission guidelines available at TL&D.
Your blog editors not only write about international law and international legal education the world, we also try to visit as many places as we reasonably can to check up on the state of global education for international law. This week I'm in Kaunas, Lithuania teaching an International Civil Litigation Class at the Vytautas Magnus University Faculty of Law, where 106 students have signed up to take the course.
Pictured here with me are some of the faculty members teaching at Vytautas Magnus.
Blog Co-Editor Cindy Buys meanwhile is in the United Kingdom. Look for her reports in the coming months on legal education in Wales and beyond.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Scholarships for the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice
The International Peace and Security Institute is offering a prestigious and specialized scholarship for exceptional law students to attend the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions and International Justice. In this summer’s symposium, participants will engage in an intense and academically-rigorous three weeks of interactive lecture, discussion, and experiential education led by political leaders, scholars, practitioners, and international law advocates.
Through a generous contribution from the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) is offering two Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Scholarships for the 2015 The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice. Each scholarship is worth $2500 each.
Students who match the criteria (click here to Download Dorsey Whitney Scholarship 2015) and who demonstrate passion for the field of international law and post-conflict strategies are encouraged to apply. But hurry, because the deadline for the scholarship application is February 27.
If you have any questions about IPSI, our leadership, or the 2015 Hague Symposium, please contact Taylor Rockoff at trockoff [at] ipsinstitute.org.
Hat tip to Kate Elci, Program Director, International Peace & Security Institute
Here's a link to an article of mine from the ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law that may include some useful career advice. It's on the Social Science Research Network (an often-overlooked and highly useful source for legal research if you don't know it). Create a free account and download the article to read it.
Practical Career Advice for Young International Lawyers: How to Build a Killer Resume, Network Effectively, Create Your Own Opportunities, and Live Happily Ever After
The two discussed the UN's humanitarian and human rights work in affected areas and they agreed on the need for urgent and full implementation of the 12 February 'Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreement,' including a lasting and durable cease-fire and immediate withdrawal of heavy weaponry.
Last week, the Council endorsed the so-called 'Package of Measures' with the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2202 (2015) and called on all parties to the conflict to fully implement the cessation of hostilities, as the UN human rights office expressed concern over reported shelling and trapped civilians in the country's east.
Measures outlined in the text also included the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under the monitoring of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as the disarmament of all illegal groups.
On the subject of a peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine, the Secretary-General noted that the UN would be guided by the Security Council on the matter and reiterated his full support toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
UN Press Release / UN Photo of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine /Eskinder Debebe
Texas or England? The Contact's Choice of Forum Clause Can Bind Non-Parties to a Contract, Even When the Chosen Law Will Not Allow the Cause of Action
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reminds us in a new decision that a choice of forum clause in a contract can bind entities that are not parties to that contract. You may have to sue in England instead of Texas after all, even if English law won't allow the cause of action you're trying to bring. Click here to read the majority and dissenting opinions in the new case of In re Lloyd's Register North America, No. 14-20554 (5th Cir. Feb. 18, 2015).
New Rules for Enforcing European Judgments Within Europe (and a Small Reminder About the Hague Choice of Courts Convention)
European Union Regulation 44/2001 has been updated by European Union Regulation 1215/2012, a regulation adopted on December 12, 2012 (hey, that was 12/12/12) and that became effective last month on January 10, 2015. It has some substantial improvements over the earlier procedures to enforce judgments within Europe and contains some important protections for both plaintiffs and defendants. Do a quick google search for the new regulation and you'll find plenty of commentary on the new rules.
The EU regulation has been described as the equivalent of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which allows enforcement of one U.S. state’s judgment within another U.S. state. For judgments outside the United States, the judicial doctrine of comity applies as there is yet no treaty in force requiring U.S. courts to recognize foreign judgments (or requiring foreign courts to recognize U.S. judgments).
There is such a treaty drafted, however: The Hague Choice of Courts Convention adopted in June 2005. It has not yet entered into force even though it requires only two states to become parties. Mexico lead the way by its accession in September 2007, so only one other party is necessary.
Who might be that next party? The United States signed the Choice of Courts Convention in January 2009 and the European Union signed in April 2009. (The treaty allows signatures by individual countries or by regional units like the European Union -- that itself is an important development in treaty law.)
Monday, February 23, 2015
There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the possibility of a new international criminal court for the Central African Republic (CAR) to address war crimes committed during internal armed conflict there beginning in 2012. Last month, the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic called for the establishment of a new international criminal tribunal which would be charged with the investigation and prosecution of war crimes in the CAR since January 2, 2012. Human Rights Watch and other organizations are joining their voices in calling for the establishment of a special tribunal as well.
The UN International Commission of Inquiry emphasized that the judges should come from other countries so that they are objective and independent. However, a draft law negotiated between the UN and the CAR now under consideration by the transitional parliament in the CAR would establish a Special Criminal Court with mixed membership, with approximately half the judges coming from other countries and the other half of the judges coming from the CAR.
The work of the Special Criminal Court, if created, would complement the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which already has been investigating allegations of war crimes in the CAR since 2012. The ICC would handle the most serious international crimes, leaving the remaining prosecutions to the Special Criminal Court.
A major stumbling block is that no country has offered to fund the creation of such a tribunal, and the CAR does not have the resources to do so itself. Advocacy organizations are calling on the international community and especially the Central African Republic to fund the tribunal.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Global Legal Skills conference, in its 10th year, will be held in Chicago, the city of its origin. The Conference began in Chicago at The John Marshall Law School, where it was held three times. It has also traveled to Mexico (twice), to Costa Rica (twice), to Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and most recently to the University of Verona Faculty of Law in Verona, Italy.
This year’s conference (GLS 10) will be held at The John Marshall Law School for the first two days and will be hosted at Northwestern University School of Law for its final day. The two schools are within walking distance and are also served by subway line
The first call for proposals for presentations has already closed and acceptance messages are going out to those who submitted. This is the second call for presenters. Proposals should be for a 25-minute presentation (for one or two people) or an interactive group panel presentation (no more than four panelists) of 75-minutes (including audience participation).
The conference audience will include legal writing professionals, international and comparative law professors, clinical professors and others involved in skills education, law school administrators, law librarians, and ESL/EFL professors and scholars. Also attending will be faculty members teaching general law subjects with a transnational or international component. Attendees have also included judges, lawyers, court translators, and others involved in international and transnational law. Attendees come from around the world, and as many as 35 countries have been represented in past conferences.
Please submit a proposal on any aspect of Global Legal Skills, including experiential learning, distance education, comparative law, international law, course design and materials, teaching methods, and opportunities for teaching abroad and in the United States. However, because the conference focuses on legal skills for a global audience, please tailor your proposal accordingly.
The schedule for GLS 10 will allow for professional networking opportunities and development and also a chance to take in the many sites (and excellent restaurants!) Chicago has to offer. Chicago is served by two airports, O’Hare and Midway, making travel to the city easy. The timing of the conference (the week before Memorial Day weekend) is intended to allow you to spend extra time exploring Chicago and its environs at a time when the temperatures are moderate and the skies are clear.
This is a self-funded academic conference, and as in past years, presenters will be asked to pay the registration fee of $225.00. A small number of need-based scholarships will also be available, especially for participants from outside the United States. Additional tickets for family members and friends will also be available for the walking tour, law school reception, and Union League Club Gala Dinner. Chicago in the springtime is a great travel destination for families where they can enjoy Millennium Park, two world class zoos, and the amazing Museum Campus.
You may submit more than one proposal but because of high demand for speaking slots you will only be allowed to speak on one panel.
Please send program proposals to GLS10Chicago@gmail.com. You can also send a copy to Lurene Contento (Program Chair of GLS 10). Her email is 9Content@jmls.edu.
Please include “GLS 10 Proposal” in the subject line. Then, list the names and institutional affiliations of presenters, the title of your presentation, a brief summary of your presentation, the format you would prefer (25 minutes or 75 minutes), and the target audience.
You will find travel information and more conference information on the GLS website, glsc.jmls.edu/2015. Additional proposals will be accepted through April 15 if additional speaking slots are available.
Spanish Language CLE Proposals
You may also submit proposals for CLE presentations in Spanish. A Spanish-language CLE track will include sessions for attorneys, law students, and court translators. Persons submitting proposals for presentations in Spanish may also submit a proposal in English as an exception to the single presentation rule. Proposals are sought on topics such as “Introduction to Mexican Law,” “Understanding the Amparo,” and “Latin American Corporation Law.”
Scholars’ Forum (Tues. May 19, 2015)
A one-day scholars’ forum is also planned for May 19th, the day before the GLS conference begins. Participation in this forum will be limited to 16 persons and will include special sessions on international legal research as well as the presentation of papers and works-in-progress. For more information about the Scholars’ Forum, send an email to Prof. Mark E. Wojcik at email@example.com with the title of your proposed work. Registration for the scholars’ forum is at this link: http://events.jmls.edu/registration/node/677
We hope to see you in Chicago this May for the 10th anniversary of the Global Legal Skills Conference!
Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, Chair, Global Legal Skills Conference
Prof. Lurene Contento, Chair GLS 10 Program Committee, The John Marshall Law School
Saturday, February 21, 2015
The winners of the 2015 Indian National Rounds in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition are:
- First Place - Jindal Global Law SchoolS
- Second Place - NALSAR University of Law
- Third Place - National Law School of India University
- Fourth Place - National Law University Jodhpur.
2015 is the 56th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world's largest moot court competition. Participants compete from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case. For more information about the Jessup Competition, visit the website of the International Law Students Association.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Russian National Rounds in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
- First place was St. Petersburg State University
- Second Place was the Russian Foreign Trade Academy
- Third Place was Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and
- Fourth Place was the Urals State Law Academy.
2015 is the 56th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world's largest moot court competition. Participants compete from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition simulates a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.
For more information about the Jessup Competition, visit the website of the International Law Students Association.
The sponsors of International Law Weekend 2015 (ILW 2015) invite proposals for panels, roundtables, and lectures. ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held on November 5-7, 2015, in New York City.
ILW is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) – which welcomes new members from academia, the practicing bar, and the diplomatic world – and the International Law Students Association (ILSA). This annual conference attracts an audience of more than eight hundred academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and foreign policy and law students.
Call for Proposals
The unifying theme for ILW 2015 is Global Problems, Legal Solutions: Challenges for Contemporary International Lawyers.
ILW 2015 will explore the many roles that international law plays in addressing global challenges. The aim is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about the ways in which international law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues. ILW 2015 will offer engaging panels on current problems and innovative solutions in both public and private international law.
The ILW Organizing Committee invites proposals to be submitted online on or before Friday, March 20, 2015 by clicking here to use the ILW Panel Proposal Submission Form.
Panel proposals may concern any aspect of contemporary international law and practice, including:
- international arbitration,
- international environmental law,
- national security,
- cyber law,
- use of force,
- human rights and humanitarian law,
- international organizations,
- international criminal law,
- international intellectual property,
- the law of the sea,
- space law,and
- transnational commercial and trade law.
When submitting your proposal, please identify the primary areas of international law that your proposed panel will address. We also ask that you provide a brief description of the topic, and the names, titles, and affiliations of the chair and likely speakers. One of the objectives of ILW 2015 is to promote new dialogues among scholars and practicing lawyers, so all panels should include presenters with diverse experiences and perspectives.
On the submission form, you will be asked to describe what you think would be the most engaging and exciting format for your proposed program. The organizers encourage suggestions of varied formats, such as debates, roundtables, lectures, and break-out groups, as well as the usual practice of panel presentations. Additionally, they encourage you to consider taking the necessary steps to qualify your panel for CLE credit. They hope to offer at least seven panels qualifying for CLE.
ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held at 42 West 44th Street on Thursday evening, November 5, and at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center on November 6-7, 2015. The ABILA Annual meeting will also be held during ILW 2015 at the same location.
The audience will include practitioners, academics, UN diplomats, business leaders, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, writers, journalists, and interested citizens. We plan to have a broad array of both public international law and private international law topics in each program timeslot. For questions regarding ILW 2015, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 ILW Program Committee Members
- Chiara Giorgetti, Assistant Professor of Law Faculty Director, LLM Program Richmond School of Law
- David P. Stewart, President, ABILA, Georgetown University Law Center
- Santiago Villalpando, Acting Chief, Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs United Nations
- Jeremy Sharpe, Chief of Investment Arbitration Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State
- Tessa Walker, Programs Director, ILSA
Hat tip to David Stewart
Friday, February 20, 2015
“One billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – are persons with disabilities, and their rights cannot be ignored,” a group of United Nations human rights experts said today, as they urged negotiators and UN Member States to include rights of such persons in the new development framework.
The call came as the second session of negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda closes this week in New York.
The 17 new post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs), crafted by an Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly on the issues and expected to be adopted in September 2015, will succeed replace and expand the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and will frame agendas and policies for the next 15 years.
“No one should be left behind if we want to ensure a fully inclusive society for all,” the group of three UN human rights experts said in a statement, urging international negotiators and all UN Member States to firmly include the human rights of persons with disabilities in the new development framework.
“The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs is fundamental if we are to achieve sustainable development that is genuinely rights-based,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar. “Whereas people with disabilities were invisible within the MDGs, we have seen promising advances in ensuring that the new development framework is sustainable, inclusive and accessible.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, drew attention to the issue of food security.
“We know that nutrition and disability are closely linked. Both children and adults are often discriminated against, due to social stigma and negative cultural norms,” Ms. Elver said.
Worldwide, an estimated 805 million people are chronically undernourished. Since many persons with disabilities live in absolute poverty, these two large populations overlap to a considerable extent, making food security of utmost importance.
States are particularly responsible for making sure that vulnerable and marginalised people, including those with disabilities, are able to access adequate and nutritious food, she said.
“Food must be physically and economically accessible,” Ms. Elver added. “To achieve this, States must ensure that a disability perspective is taken fully into account in nutrition policy and programming, maternal and child health policy, and broader health initiatives.”
The UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, called on Member States to give particular attention to the situation of older persons with disabilities in the current negotiations.
“Although disability should not be associated with ageing, it is frequent in old age and thus requires resources to ensure access to different services, including education, healthcare and social protection and poverty reduction programmes,” she pointed out.
“An age-sensitive approach should be incorporated in the new development framework to enable all persons with disabilities, including older persons, to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Ms. Kornfeld-Matte emphasized.
The independent experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work.
(UN press release)