Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Conference on International Sanctions: Legal, Policy and Business Challenges

The London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) is sponsoring a one-day conference on International Sanctions: Legal, Policy and Business Challenges at Arundel House in Central London on 19 March 2015.  The conference will bring together experts from  academia, international organizations and legal practice to consider issues relating to the proliferation of UN sanctions programs.  More information about the conference can be found here.


March 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IACHR Takes Case Against Peru to Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or Commission) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court) against Peru with respect to Luis Williams Pollo Rivera.

The case concerns a series of human rights violations committed against Luis Pollo during the time he was in State custody for the crime of terrorism. Specifically, the Commission concluded that Mr. Pollo's detention was illegal and arbitrary, that it had been imposed without judicial oversight, that Mr. Pollo was subjected to  torture, and that the conditions under which he was detained were cruel and inhumane. The IACHR also found that Peru had arbitrarily interfered with Mr. Pollo's home during a raid. In addition, the Commission deemed that, under the applicable legal framework, Mr. Pollo was kept from filing a habeas corpus petition. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the prosecution of Mr. Pollo for the crimes of treason and terrorism violated numerous due process guarantees. 

In its Merits Report on the case, the Commission concluded that the State of Peru is responsible for violating Luis Pollo’s rights to humane treatment and personal liberty; to a fair trial; to freedom from ex post facto laws; to protection of honor, dignity, and private and family life; and to judicial protection. Moreover, the Commission indicated that the State is responsible for violating its obligations to prevent and punish torture. Finally, the Commission considered the State responsible for violating the right to humane treatment of the victim’s next of kin.

The Commission submitted Mr. Pollo's case to the Court because it deemed that Peru had not complied with the recommendations contained in the Commission’s Merits Report. In that report, the Commission recommended that Peru make adequate reparations for the human rights violations found by the Commission, in the form of both pecuniary and moral damages, including just compensation for the victim’s next of kin and implementation of psychological support for them. In addition, the Commission recommended that the State conduct an impartial and effective investigation, within a reasonable period of time, to fully clarify the acts constituting violations of the American Convention. It also recommended that the State identify the perpetrators and masterminds and impose the appropriate punishments, and that it order the necessary administrative, disciplinary, or criminal measures for the actions or omissions of State officials who were instrumental in denying the victims justice and in allowing the violations involved in this case to go unpunished. The Commission also asked the State to adopt the necessary measures to avoid a recurrence of similar acts in the future. Specifically, it asked the State to implement permanent programs in human rights and international humanitarian law in the training academies of the Peruvian National Police Force and the Armed Forces. In addition, the IACHR asked the State to adopt the necessary measures so that health professionals are able to freely exercise their professional duties in Peru, in keeping with applicable international standards, and to publish the Commission’s report in the Official Newspaper or another newspaper with national circulation.


March 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Federal Legislation Introduced

 The Following Bills Have Been Introduced in the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives

S Res 87 (Menendez, D-NJ), to express the sense of the Senate regarding the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and to encourage greater cooperation with the European governments, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in preventing and responding to anti-Semitism; to Foreign Relations. CR 2/25/15, S1118.

HR 1150 (Smith, R-NJ), to amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to improve the ability of the United States to advance religious freedom globally through enhanced diplomacy, training, counterterrorism, and foreign assistance efforts, and through stronger and more flexible political responses to religious freedom violations and violent extremism worldwide; to Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Oversight and Government Reform. CR 2/27/15, H1498.

HR 1159 (Smith, R-NJ), to reinstate reporting requirements related to United States-Hong Kong relations; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/27/15, H1498.

H Res 130 (Hastings, D-FL), to express the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and to encourage greater cooperation with the European governments, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in preventing and responding to anti-Semitism; to Foreign Affairs. CR 2/27/15, H1500. CR 2/27/15, H1499.

S 615 (Corker, R-TN), to provide for congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to Iran's nuclear program; to Foreign Relations. CR 2/27/15, H1201.

Committee Action

On 2/27/15, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved HR 757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015.

Hat tip to the ABA Governmental Affairs Office



March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Second Conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights

Obviously the first conference was not a disaster because they're doing it again. 

Second Conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR)

“Bridging the Collaborative Gap”
September 25-27, 2015
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Call for Presentations

Earthquakes and tsunamis. Development-induced displacement. Armed conflict, terrorism, and human trafficking. Fifty-one million recognized refugees worldwide. Securitization, deportation, and criminalization regimes. Climate change and environmental chaos. Humanitarianism, human rights, and international criminal prosecutions. The quest for peace and justice. The age of the anthropocene. The world has no shortage of problems and possibilities associated with disasters, displacement and human rights. And they are not just academic.

The University of Tennessee issues a call for presentations for its second conference in Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR). The 2015 conference theme is “Bridging the Collaborative Gap.” Collaborations within anthropology and across disciplines are increasingly vital for understanding the complexity of disasters, displacement, and human rights issues today. In both local settings and across the globe, from the distant past to anticipations of the future, communities of diverse experiences and aspirations directly confront the problems that preoccupy academic researchers. The 2015 DDHR conference aims to problematize and foster the practice of collaboration among academic disciplines and with DDHR-affected communities.

The organizers encourage the participation of researchers, practitioners, and students who address the broad themes of disasters, displacement and human rights from a range of perspectives, time periods, and contexts. We especially seek contributions from international researchers and practitioners who exemplify collaboration and/or cross-training within and/or outside of anthropology. Finally, they solicit the participation of members of affected communities, especially those who have worked closely with anthropologists and other researchers and professionals.

Abstract submissions of no more than 250 words are invited for individual paper and poster presentations. We also invite abstracts for panel submissions and roundtables, which should include a 250-word abstract for the panel or roundtable theme and the names of participants with titles and brief (100 word) descriptions of presentations. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • -  Development and development forced displacement and resettlement (DFDR)
  • -  Migration, detention, and deportation
  • -  Refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people
  • -  Climate change and the anthropocene
  • -  Natural and anthropogenic disasters
  • -  Torture, human trafficking, and other human rights violations
  • -  Transitional Justice and other alternative justice models
  • -  International human rights law and practice
  • -  Critical humanitarianism
  • -  Policy, politics, and international relations
  • -  Peace and conflict
While submissions that directly engage with the main conference theme are appreciated, the committee will consider other topics and approaches related to the study of disasters, displacement, and human rights. Panel and roundtable proposals will be prioritized based on their demonstration of interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, or inter-sub-disciplinary approaches. Please send abstracts by e-mail attachment no later than March 16th, 2015 to the Conference Steering Committee at: ddhr [at] Submissions should include the following information in the body of the e-mail: name, department and university (if applicable), title of paper, and audio-visual requirements. If your paper is being submitted as part of a proposed panel or for consideration under a specific theme, please include the proposed panel title or theme under the title of the paper on the abstract. If possible, panel submissions should be made by a single panel organizer.

Hat tip to Jonathan Todres


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UCC Wins Ireland National Round of Jessup

Irish Jessup 15Congratulations to the team from University College Cork (UCC), who won the Irish national rounds of the Jessup moot court competition this weekend!  As the "President" of the International Court of Justice in the final round, I had the honor of presenting the trophy to the winning team.  All of the competitors were outstanding and deserve high praise for their poise and persuasive legal arguments. Thanks also go to the Irish Law Society for being such great hosts for the competition.


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IACHR Initiates Case Against Ecuador at Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Recently, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or Commission) filed an application with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) alleging that Ecuador had failed to fulfill its obligations in investigating the death of Luis Jorge Valencia Hinojosa (Luis Valencia), a police officer who was killed in the context of a law enforcement operation. Specifically, the IACHR concluded that the criminal investigation was not carried out in a reasonable period of time, and the use of the police criminal justice system constituted a failure to recognize the right to an independent and impartial judge. In addition, the investigation was not carried out with due diligence, despite evidence indicating that those responsible for the death had been the police officers conducting the operation. In particular, the IACHR determined that the State did not take sufficient steps to clarify whether Luis Valencia's death was a suicide or an extrajudicial execution.

The IACHR also determined that Luis Valencia’s death was attributable to the State of Ecuador because the official investigation carried out was incompatible with the American Convention and there was no State response to explain what had happened. Specifically, the Commission considered that a lack of regulation, planning, and oversight led to an environment ripe for the improper and excessive use of force. Moreover, the Commission concluded that the police officers exercised deadly force in a way that was unnecessary and disproportionate, because they did not have a legal framework regarding the use of force in police operations. The Commission stated that the available evidence indicated that the death could have been caused by a shot fired by one of the police officers during the operation. The IACHR also found that, even under a theory of suicide, the deliberate use of deadly force to “intimidate” Luis Valencia could have caused him to be fearful and frightened, which could have been determining factors in his eventual decision to end his life. As a result, the Commission determined that, in either of the two scenarios, the actions of the State agents were incompatible with the obligations derived from the right to life.

In its Admissibility and Merits Report on the case, the IACHR concluded that the right to life of Luis Valencia had been violated, as had the rights of his widow, Patricia Alexandra Trujillo Esparza, to a fair trial, to judicial protection, and to humane treatment. The Commission submitted the case to the Inter-American Court because the Commission deemed that Ecuador had not complied with the recommendations contained in the Commission’s Merits Report. In that report, the IACHR recommended that the State of Ecuador conduct a complete and effective investigation into the human rights violations found by the Commission; provide adequate reparation for these violations, both in the material and moral sense; and adopt legislative, administrative, and other measures to ensure that the use of force by agents of the State is compatible with the standards described in the report.

According to an IACHR press release, "this case will enable the Inter-American Court to expand its case law on the use of force by security agents of the State, specifically as it relates to preventive actions and those taken when force is used. In addition, the Court will be able to express its opinion on the minimum standards of diligence that an investigation must meet. Finally, the Court will be able to delve into the evidential implications, in international human rights law, in cases in which there are indications of arbitrary use of force and in which the State fails to conduct a proper investigation."


March 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting in DC

The early bird deadline for the ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting expires March 16, 2015.


The 2015 Spring Meeting will be held in the beautiful and historic city of Washington, DC from April 28 - May 2, 2015. Join over 1,200 leading attorneys, corporate counsel, government officials, academics and NGO lawyers for four days of networking and programming on the latest international legal and ethics issues. On Tuesday, you can also attend a special workshop at the Law Library of Congress.


The 2015 Spring Meeting will offer you:

  • Cutting edge programming and an entire year's worth of CLE including nearly 70 substantive concurrent panel sessions that will cover themes including: Business, Disputes, Energy/Environment, Intellectual Property, Law Practice and Human Rights.
  • Opportunities to learn from top legal experts and hear from world class speakers including:  Bill Browder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Hermitage Capital Management; International Court of Justice Judge Joan Donoghue; and United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
  • Networking opportunities with thought leaders and experts, policy makers, key international enforcers, decision makers and international leaders in the law.

Save on your registration by taking advantage of early bird rates before March 16th! Registration rates are further discounted for young lawyers (35 years and under), full time government and NGO employees, academics, law students, corporate counsel, solo / small practice and retired attorneys, and members of the ABA Section of International Law and cooperating entities (like the American Branch of the International Law Association, for example).

Hat tip to Houston Putnam Lowry of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA)


March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reminder of Call for Proposals for International Law Weekend 2015

Deadline: March 20, 2015

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

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 [email protected].

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


March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Russian Opposition Politician Murdered in Moscow

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov (Бори́с Ефи́мович Немцо́в) was assassinated on February 27 in central Moscow by unknown assailants.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon stated and that Mr. Ban expected the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The Secretary-General also expressed his deepest condolences to Mr. Nemtsov's family, friends and supporters.

March 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)