Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cherif Bassiouni, a Giant in the Field of International Criminal Law, has Died at Age 79

Cherif BassiouniWe are still stunned by the sad news of the passing of Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.

Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1937, M. Cherif Bassiouni immigrated to the United States in 1962. He was an Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law where he had taught from 1964-2009. He was a founding member of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University, which was established in 1990. He served as President from 1990-2008 and then President Emeritus. In 1972, he was one of the founders of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) located in Siracusa (Sicily), Italy, where he served as General-Secretary from 1972-74, Dean from 1974-88, and then as President. He also served as the Secretary General of the International Association of Penal Law from 1974-89 and as President for three five-year terms from 1989-2004 when he was elected Honorary President. Professor Bassiouni is often referred to by the media as “the Godfather of International Criminal Law” and a “war crimes expert.”

Professor Bassiouni was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. in 1972; Visiting Professor of Law, New York University Law School in 1971; Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law, University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970; non-resident Professor of Criminal Law at University of Cairo from 1997-2007. He also lectured at various universities in the United States and around the world. He was an engaging speaker and teacher who captivated his audiences with the deep importance of his words.

Since 1975, Professor Bassiouni has been appointed to 22 United Nations positions, including these:

  • Chair of the Commission of Inquiry for Libya (2011-12);
  • Independent Expert on Human Rights for Afghanistan (2004-06);
  • Independent Expert on the Rights to Restitution, Compensation, and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1998-2000);
  • Chair, Drafting Committee of the Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1998);
  • Vice-Chair of the General Assembly’s Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1996-98);
  • Vice-Chair of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995);
  • Chair of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council 780 to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia (1993-94) and the Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Gathering and Analysis of the Facts (1992-93);
  • Consultant to the Sixth and Seventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1983 and 1985);
  • Consultant to the Committee on Southern African of the Commission on Human Rights (1980-81);
  • Co-chair of the Independent Committee of Experts Drafting the Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture (1978);
  • Honorary Vice-President at the Fifth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1975).

Bassiouni at JMLSHe also served as Chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was established in 2011.

Between 1973-2003, Professor Bassiouni served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice on many projects, including projects relating to:

  • international traffic of drugs (1973),
  • international control of terrorism (1975 and 1978-79),
  • the defense of the U.S. hostages in Iran (1979-1980),
  • governance and democracy projects in the Middle East and North Africa (1991-92), and
  • the future of the Iraqi justice system (2002-03).

Among the many distinctions and awards he has received are:

  • Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize (1999);
  • Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award of Columbia University (2012);
  • Cook County Bar Association Lincoln Award (2012);
  • Dominican University’s Bradford O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice (2011);
  • George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award, Washington DC (2010-2011);
  • Washington University School of Law, World Peace Through Law Award (2010);
  • DePaul University Via Sapientiae Award (2009);
  • Hague Prize for International Law (2007);
  • Cesare Beccaria Justice Medal of the International Society for Social Defense (2007);
  • The Medal of the Commission de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Mexico (2006); DePaul University St. Vincent DePaul Society’s Humanitarian Award (2000); 
  • International Association of Penal Law- V.V. Pella, Champion of International Criminal Justice Award (1999);
  • The John Marshall Law School-Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award (1999);
  • Defender of Democracy Award from Parliamentarians for Global Action (1998); U
  • nited Nations Association’s Adlai E. Stevenson Award (1993);
  • The Special Award of the Council of Europe (1990); and
  • The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe’s Award (1984).

He was awarded the following medals:

  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Cavaliere di Gran Croce), Italy (2006);
  • Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Commander), France (2006);
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Germany (2003);
  • Legion d’Honneur (Officier), France (2003);
  • Order of Lincoln, Illinois, United States (2001);
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Austrian Republic (1990); Order of Scientific Merit (First Class), Egypt (1984);
  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Grand’Ufficiale), Italy (1977);
  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Commendatore), Italy (1976); and
  • Order of Military Valor, Egypt (1956).

He received several honorary degrees, including:

  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Salzburg (2013);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Tirana, Albania (2013);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Ghent, Belgium (2011);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, Case Western Reserve University, United States (2010);
  • Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa, Catholic Theological Union, United States (2009);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, National University of Ireland, Galway (2001);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, Niagara University, United States (1997);
  • Docteur d’Etat en Droit Honoris Causa, University de Pau, France (1986); and
  • Dottore in Giurisprudenza Honoris Causa, Università di Torino, Italy (1981).

Bassiouni TextProfessor Bassiouni authored 24 books and co-authored four more, edited 46 books, testified before the U.S. Congress 18 times, and authored at least 256 articles on International Criminal Law, Comparative Criminal Law, Human Rights, and U.S. Criminal Law that have been published in various law journals and books. He has written 14 Monographs on such subjects as history, politics, and religion. His publications have been cited by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the European Court of Human Rights, and the highest courts of: Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa (Supreme Court and Constitutional Court) and United Kingdom (House of Lords, Court of Appeals, High Court and Divisional Court of England & Wales, and Scottish High Court of the Judiciary), and New Zealand. In the United States, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit and District courts, as well as various State Supreme Courts have repeatedly cited his works. Of course, many academic authors reading this blog post will also remember citing his groundbreaking work in their own scholarship.

Several of his books and articles have been written in and translated into: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Bassiouni Judging JessupProfessor Bassiouni began his education in Egypt where he obtained an LLB from the University of Cairo. He also pursued his legal education in France, Switzerland, and the United States where he earned a J.D. from Indiana University; an LL.M. from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago; and an S.J.D. George Washington University.

He was such a kind, magnificent person. He worked at the highest levels of international law but always also took time to help law students around the world. Many students had the honor of having him judge their rounds in regional and international finals of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. He was a great mentor and friend. And his passing is a tragic loss for the world of international law.

We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and the thousands upon thousands of people who were touched directly by his important work.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

Photos from The John Marshall Law School-Chicago:

  • First photo (left to right): Professors Gerald Berendt and Mark E. Wojcik, Former Nuremberg War Crimes Prosecutor Ben Ferencz, Professor Shahram Dana, Dean John Corkery, and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.
  • Second photo: Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni on the final bench of a regional Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

September 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawyers Can Help Puerto Rico and Other Places Hit by Hurricanes

The American Bar Association Section of International Law was scheduled to meet next month in San Juan in a pre-meeting module just prior to its Fall Meeting in Miami. That meeting in San Juan has been postponed because of the recent hurricanes. 
There are several initiatives regarding the different disaster relief efforts related to areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Here are two links for pages that show how lawyers can help out specifically. The first page is for the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness, which is committed to educating lawyers, bar associations, and the justice system to prepare for and respond to disasters. The second link is for the Young Lawyers' Division page on Disaster Legal Services.
Hat tips to Steve Richman and Max Trujillo.

September 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia Decides (Finally!) to Let Women Drive

The New York Times is reporting that Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive, reversing a  longstanding policy that symbolized the repression of women in Saudi Arabia. The new policy will take effect in June 2018. 


September 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 22, 2017

South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business

S.C. J. Int'l L. & Bus.The South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business wants you to know that they are still accepting articles for publication for the 2017-2018 academic year. If you are considering publishing an article in international law or business, they request that you consider their Journal. And if you are not currently looking to publish, please consider telling a colleague about them.

They recently implemented Author Spotlights on their website where they feature the authors who publish with them. Articles can be submitted by e-mail to the Editor in Chief or to the Senior Articles Editor, or through Scholastica or Expresso.

Hat tip to Alasen Schell, Senior Articles Editor of the South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business.


September 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

International Law Weekend 2017

Fordham Law SchoolFor readers of this blog, EVERY weekend should be an International Law Weekend, but the official "International Law Weekend" will be October 19-21, 2017 in New York City.  Registration is open and the program is available at the home page of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA or AmBranch) and the International Law Students' Association (ILSA). 

It's a great program, there's CLE for practitioners, and it's absolutely free for current students. There's also some good book displays and excellent networking opportunities. There's also a terrific opening panel Thursday evening at the New York City Bar Association. The sessions on Friday and Saturday are being held at Fordham University School of Law, which has done a great job hosting this conference for the past few years.  This is worth your time.

Hat tip to David P. Stewart President of the American Branch of the International Law Association and a Professor from Practice at the Georgetown University Law Center.


September 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Loyola-Chicago is Hiring

Loyola University Chicago School of Law is hiring for a newly created position: Director of Bar Success and Academic Support.  The job posting, which includes a detailed position description, qualifications for the position, and information about the application process, can be found at:

The Director of Bar Success and Academic Support will be responsible for developing and executing comprehensive programming to support student success throughout law school and the bar exam.  This position includes teaching classes and workshops, meeting individually with students, administering academic support programming, and tracking student performance and bar exam data to continually reassess the program and student needs. 

Loyola University Chicago School of Law is a student-focused law center inspired by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, intellectual openness, and service to others.  The Director of Bar Success and Academic Support will be a vital part of the School of Law's curriculum and mission.

Loyola University Chicago is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer with a strong commitment to hiring for our mission and diversifying our faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion (except where religion is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job), national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status or any other factor protected by law.

The position is not tenure-track and may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.  Additionally the person hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Becker.


September 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Legal Writing Institute will be another of the Cooperating Entities Supporting the 13th Global Legal Skills Conference in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Law School LogoThe Legal Writing Institute will be another of the cooperating entities supporting the 13th Global Legal Skills Conference, to be held in Melbourne, Australia from December 9-12, 2018 at Melbourne Law School. The Melbourne Conference is being jointly organized with The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where the GLS Conference Series was founded.

Other cooperating entities include the International Law Students Association (organizers of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition), the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers, and the American Bar Association Section of International Law.


September 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

US Appeals WTO Ruling on Boeing Subsidies

The Trump Administration has appealed a World Trade Organization ruling that found the U.S. government gave illegal subsidies to the Boeing Corporation to produce its 737MAX aircraft.


September 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Call for Papers – 2018 ASIL Annual Meeting New Voices

From April 4-7, 2018, the American Society of International Law will convene its 112th Annual Meeting. The theme of the 2018 Meeting is “International Law in Practice.” As in the past, the Annual Meeting will include at least one "New Voices" session that will provide a platform for junior scholars and practitioners to present their work. 

ASIL invites submissions from non-tenured scholars and junior practitioners on any topic of international law in connection with the Meeting’s theme.  Those who submitted an abstract as part of the call for session proposals do not need to re-submit; those abstracts remain under consideration. Abstracts should be well-developed and reflect advanced progress on a paper that will be presented at the Meeting.  Final papers will be due by March 26, 2018. Send your abstract to [email protected] no later than Monday, October 9, 2017, with the subject line “New Voices Proposal.” Please send the abstract as a Microsoft Word attachment, including your name and contact information (email address & affiliation). Abstracts should be no longer than 1000 words. Notifications will be made by the end of October.

Hat tip to Dr. Marija Đorđeska, Co-Chair of the ASIL New Professionals Interest Group,



September 18, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

International Law in Cleveland

20170915_100108There are two great international law conferences happening in Cleveland, OH this weekend. Yesterday, several well-known international law scholars participated in a conference at Case Western Reserve University School of Law entitled "Corporations on Trial".  Judge Thomas Buergenthal opened the conference with a keynote address and the luncheon address was given by David Sheffer. Pictured here is the first panel, consisting of Milena Sterio of Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Carsten Stahn of Leiden University, Michael Kelly of Creighton University, Saran Sun Beale of Duke University, and James Johnson of Case Western Reserve University. 

 In the afternoon, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Midwest Interest Group opened its annual conference on works in progress at Cleveland Marshall College of Law.  That conference continues today with several more thought provoking discussions on the development of international law.

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September 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 2018 Jessup Compromis Has Been Released: The Case Concerning the Egart and the Ibra

The compromis for the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition has been released and is now available on the website of the International Law Students Association (ILSA). The 2018 problem presents a hypothetical dispute before the International Court of Justice between Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Anduchenca (“Anduchenca,” the Applicant) instituted proceedings against the Federal Republic of Rukaruku (“Rukaruku,” the Respondent).

The 2017-2018 season marks the 59th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 645 law schools in 95 countries. The Competition is a simulation of 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.

The Jessup season officially begins in September and ends in April after the completion of the White & Case International Rounds. The Qualifying Rounds, internationally and in the US, take place between January and March. The 2018 International Rounds take place on 1-7 April 2018 in Washington, D.C. and will conclude with the Jessup Cup World Championship Round.

Students competing in the Jessup should visit the research resources page of the International Law Students Association website, which includes links to tips on international legal research, competition strategies, and even videos of  past competitions.

Many readers of this blog are past participants in the Jessup Competition. We urge you to make a financial contribution to ILSA to enable students from around the world to continue to participate in the Jessup Competition.


September 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Texas A&M is Hiring

Texas A&M in Fort Worth, Texas, is looking for an Assistant Director of Academic Support to assist in developing and managing the first-year, peer mentoring and upper-level academic support program. The person hired will work in conjunction with the Associate Dean of Academic Support and the other Assistant Director of Academic Support, DeShun Harris. The incoming Assistant Director will also contribute to developing and managing the “Preparing for Bar” Course, our Bar Mentoring Program, and other Bar Exam preparation materials and services.

Candidates must have a J.D. and preferably some experience in legal education. Texas A&M University welcomes applications from a broad spectrum of qualified individuals who will enhance the rich diversity of the law school’s academic community. Applicants can apply directly online at: Please also send your résumé or cv directly to Professor James McGrath, Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Support - [email protected].  Alternatively, résumés can be mailed to Professor McGrath at Texas A&M University School of Law, 1515 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6509.  Please respond by October 15, 2017.

Hat tip to Neil Sobol.


September 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Contributing Authors Sought for a New ABA Book on Competition Law in Europe

The Europe Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law is seeking chapter/essay authors for an upcoming volume on competition law in Europe. 

Although the editors anticipate that many of the essays will address issues in EU competition law, they also welcome and encourage proposals about jurisdictions about non-EU states within Europe, including prospective members and presumptively soon-to-be-former members (i.e., the United Kingdom).

Essays should be written in English and provide a practitioner audience with useful information for engaging a particular topic or issue relevant to this area of law. 

Kindly submit topic ideas and a brief abstract to Dr. Jody Prestia ([email protected]) and Jennifer Mozwecz ([email protected]) by the close of business (EDT) Wednesday, 11 October 2017.

Hat tips to Jody Prestia and Jennifer Mozwecz.

September 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Save the Dates! Upcoming ABA International Conferences

The American Bar Association Section of International Law, with more than 20,000 members around the world, has some of the most interesting and productive conferences you'll find. Here's a list of upcoming events. Visit the ABA Section of International Law website for more information on any particular conference or forum.

Oct 20-22, 2017: Pre-Fall Conference Module (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Oct 24-28, 2017: Section of International Law Fall Conference (Miami, Florida)
Jan 31-Feb 6, 2018: ABA/Section Midyear Meeting (Vancouver, Canada)
April 17-21, 2018: Section of International Law Annual Conference (New York City)
June 10-12, 2018: Europe Forum (Copenhagen, Denmark)


September 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Lawyers You Should Know: Holger Bielesz (Vienna, Austria)

We are launching a new feature of the International Law Prof Blog, "Lawyers You Should Know." We'll profile various lawyers from around the world who have an international practice or who practice international law.

Holger Bielesz ViennaOur first lawyer to profile in this series is Holger Bielesz, a partner in the Vienna (Austria) offices of Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG since 2010. Mr. Bielesz specializes in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration, succession law disputes, and high-profile white-collar crime cases. He advises clients in relation to financial services disputes, internal investigations, bribery and corruption cases, and general commercial disputes.

Mr. Bielesz is a graduate of the College of Europe Brügge, (LL.M.), a highly reputed EU law academic institution, and the University of Vienna, (Mag. iur. and Dr. iur.). Along with his long-standing practice before the national courts of Austria, he has also pleaded before the European Court of Justice.

His clients include financial service providers, telecommunication and industrial enterprises, and private individuals. He speaks German, English, and French.

Mr. Bielesz has also been involved in professional organizations such as the American Bar Association Section of International Law, where he has served as Deputy to the Section Vice Chair and as Co-Chair of the International Criminal Law Committee.


September 3, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 1, 2017

CSLSA Deadline for Submissions Extended

The registration deadline for the Central States Law Schools Association 2017 Scholarship Conference has been extended to September 15, 2017.  This conference will be held on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7 at Southern Illinois University School of Law in beautiful Carbondale, Illinois. We invite law faculty from across the country to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.  You can go here to register. 

CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity 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. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

More information is available on the CSLSA website.


September 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)