Thursday, May 28, 2020

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Two_women_peackeepers
May 29 is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers and this year's theme is Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace. This year is the 20th anniversary of UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, which calls for the expansion of the role and contribution of women in UN peacekeeping operations. Since the first UN peacekeeping operation in 1948, over 1 million men and women have participated in 72 UN peacekeeping missions. For more information about the essential role of women peacekeepers, go here.

cgb

May 28, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Reminder: Webinar with New ECHR President Judge Róbert Ragnar Spanó: The Principle of Judicial Independence and the Democratic Virtues of Human Rights Law

ECHR Judge SpanoHere's a reminder that Judge Róbert Ragnar Spanó, the new President of the European Court of Human Rights, will speak on Friday, May 29, 2020, about "The Principle of Judicial Independence and the Democratic Virtues of Human Rights Law." He took office as President of the ECHR on May 18, 2020.

The talk will be followed by questions from the online audience, chaired by iCourts Director, Professor Mikael Rask Madsen.

Judge Spanó is an Icelandic-Italian jurist who was previously Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland and Dean of the University of Iceland Faculty of Law.

The live stream will be freely accessible (no registration required) on the iCourts website and will take place May 29th at 14:00 CET (which we calculate to be 7:00 a.m. Central Time for our blog readers in the United States).

iCourts is the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts. It is a research centre dedicated to the study of international courts, their role in a globalizing legal order and their impact on politics and society. Click here to learn more about iCourts.

Click here for more information about the European Court of Human Rights.

Hat tip to Sofie Meinicke at iCourts.

(mew)

May 27, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Guest Blog Post: The Short-term and Long-term Legal Impact of COVID-19 on Globalization

We are pleased to share the following guest blog post, authored by Amin R. Yacoub and Mohamed S. El-Zomor

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a turbulence in the international legal order. Most nations have paused their international legal obligations in order to preserve their national legal order. The pandemic has forced many developing countries to halt their bilateral Foreign Direct Investments to preserve their essential national utilities. While the short-term legal impact of the pandemic on globalization seems to be devastating on many levels, we argue that – on the long term – the pandemic might have a positive impact on the international legal order and globalization. Indeed, the observable short-term legal impact of the pandemic seems to give credit to Marti Koskenniemi’s skepticism on global governance, yet we argue that the sudden reversal of the globalization movement during the pandemic does not render humanity’s progression towards globalization undesirable. In other words, countries only adopted nationalistic measures during the pandemic to preserve their national orders not to adopt nationalization as an aim per se – an innate need for globalization still exists among nations.

Short-Term Political and Legal Impact of COVID-19

On the short term, the political and legal impact of COVID-19 seems devastating. Most national courts all over the world have been closed alongside key judicial mechanisms for the protection of human rights, such as the European Court of Human Rights and the immigration courts of the US .

            Many international treaties are currently put on hold – presumably under the international law’s state of necessity or force majeure – in order to pursue protective nationalist measures to preserve public health against the pandemic. For instance, despite Canada’s latest ratification of USMCA (NAFTA’s substitution), COVID-19 has disrupted the USMCA implementation in accordance with the agreed timeline.

First, most countries have closed their borders to maintain public health: a protective step that might be interpreted as a tendency towards nationalism. By the same token, some of these restrictions may constitute a breach to international law, leading to a fragmentation of the international community.

Second, the recently updated NAFTA (“USMCA”) – although currently valid on paper – is on pause as the US and Canada have closed their borders, except only for medical supplies. Further, the US intends to place military troops near the border as part of the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Third, the Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. As countries had taken major protective steps to avoid the privatization of essential governmental sectors, foreign investments have been faced with restrictive screening in the EU countries. Moreover, Italy and France have adopted a protective nationalistic approach against foreign capital to preserve public order.

Finally, most nations have unwillingly breached their Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) as part of their necessity measures against the spread of COVID-19. For instance, Italy had more than 70 bilateral investment treaties in force that might have been simultaneously breached. BITs damage claims might be brought by foreign investors against Italy once the pandemic crisis is over. The damage claims could be rooted on several breaches of BITs’ obligations such as Fair and Equitable Treatment (“FET”), Full Protection and Security (“FPS”), direct and indirect expropriation, and national treatment. However, such claims would likely be defended on a state of necessity ground of International Law, especially that the World Health Organization (“WHO”) has considered the current pandemic a state of necessity.

Marti Koskenniemi has long been a skeptic of the effectiveness of global governance. In his article Global Governance and Public International Law, Koskenniemi stated that: “[n]ational governments govern at home, the commission governs in Europe, and the UN administers a world society – “the international community”… perhaps the thickness of government diminishes as we proceed from the domestic to the global.” The pandemic had revealed that global governance also diminishes as we proceed from the global (e.g., World Health Organization “WHO”) to the domestic (e.g., “US”) especially in times of uncertainty. Put simply, preserving and promoting national interests take priority over complying with global governance when faced with existential threats. The current nationalistic wave against globalization - as a reaction to the pandemic - gives some credit to Koskenniemi’s argument against the effectiveness of global governance, at least for the short term. Lastly, globalization is directly reliant on global governance: it needs global governance as a tool to grow and have an impact on the international playground. Since global governance seems to be seriously threatened by the pandemic, humanity’s progress towards globalization has been jeopardized temporarily.  

Long-Term Political and Legal Impact

The long-term political and legal impact of COVID-19 cannot be easily predicted. However, we can speculate what the international legal order would be like in the aftermath of the pandemic.

First, nations would re-open their borders right after the pandemic returning the international legal order to its pre-existing condition. The EU would re-validate the free movements of goods and workers among its member-states. The recently renewed NAFTA would kick-start trade between the US and Canada. The international legal order would be reinstated as soon as the pandemic is over.

Second, most countries would witness a rise in the foreign direct investment on the long run. This is an inevitable result of the currently wrecked economy that resulted from the pandemic. In order to compensate the huge economic losses, countries would have more tendency to encourage foreign direct investments – especially developing countries that do not have enough economic means to drag their own economies out of the pandemic wreckage.

Third, International Investment Tribunals would develop more understanding of other important international law obligations: human rights obligations, the margin of appreciation of States, the public policy argument of States, force majeure, full protection and security, and state of necessity. The reason behind this lies in the humanitarian lens the pandemic had forced into the Arbitral Tribunals’ table and the investor’s world. Adopting such humanitarian lens would likely influence Arbitral Tribunals to create the desired balance in the ISDS system, which is sometimes criticized as a business focused Alternative Dispute Resolution system.

Theoretically, we argue that the world will witness a long-term rise in globalization. As Immanuel Kant had contemplated in his Perpetual Peace: “[e]ven if it were found that the human race as a whole had been moving forward and progressing for an indefinitely long time, no-one could guarantee that its era of decline was not beginning at that very moment… For we are dealing with freely acting beings to whom one can dictate in advance what they ought to do, but of whom one cannot predict what they actually will do . . .” We agree with Robert Howse and Ruti Teitel’s interpretation of Kant’s work. What Kant suggests – according to Howse and Tietel – is that even the greatest reversals of progress do not render it impossible to restart progress towards globalization and cosmopolitanism as a crucial means to advance perpetual peace. By way of analogy, we argue that the reversal of the globalization progress during the pandemic does not render it impossible for nations to renew such progress on the long run. Perhaps, it would not be a luxury, but a necessity to renew the globalization progress in the aftermath of the pandemic’s economic, legal, and social wreckage.

The language of the UN Secretary General on COVID-19 reveals that the world would likely renew its globalization progress after the pandemic. He stipulated that: “[w]ith the right actions, the COVID-19 pandemic can mark the beginning of a new type of global and societal cooperation.” Indeed, we predict that the pandemic might influence the conclusion of new international treaties to deal with unexpected world catastrophes and pandemics in order to guard the international legal order in the future.

In conclusion, notwithstanding the short-term legal impact of the pandemic on nations that had forced them to adopt nationalistic measures against globalization, a new atmosphere of cooperation among nations would arise from the current pandemic. Consequently, countries would have more tendency towards globalization after the pandemic through concluding new international agreements and treaties on the long run as that might be the first step towards healing socially, legally, and economically.

Amin R. Yacoub and Mohamed S. El-Zomor

May 26, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS CFP: “Comparing Data Protection Structures in the European Union and the United States

The Association of American Law Schools' Sections on European Law and Defamation and Privacy Law are convening a jointly organized panel session for the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting entitled, “Comparing Data Protection Structures in the European Union and the United States,” which will be held in San Francisco in January 2021. One or two speakers will be selected for the program from the CFP submissions.

Panel Description

Data privacy, consumers rights, and the integrity of various political, financial and health systems are pressing contemporary issues. With the explosion of social media, data breaches, surveillance, and unauthorized sharing of information between devices occur on a daily basis and raise troubling questions about the security of consumer information and legal protections. This session explores data protection structures in different jurisdictions. The panelists will offer comparative perspectives on approaches adopted in Europe and the United States concerning data collection and privacy. It has been two years since the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation. Now, is the perfect time to reflect on the GDPR, its goals, accomplishments, and limitations. In contrast to the EU, the U.S. follows a sectoral approach, deploying a variety of laws and regulatory bodies, at the federal and state levels, to address consumer privacy and data security. The Federal Privacy Act of 1974, The Federal Trade Commission, and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) are examples of U.S. institutions and laws designed to deal with these issues.

The panel will explore questions, including, but not limited to: Do these regulatory regimes function effectively to protect the personal data and privacy of individuals? Has the absence of a general consumer data privacy law at the federal level in the U.S. hindered its ability to adequately protect consumers? How is consent treated under both the EU and U.S. regimes? What constitutional or other legal issues are present in data privacy debates? Are human rights addressed adequately?

Submission Details and Due Date

One or two papers will be selected from the submissions for presentation at the joint program in January. Abstracts of no more than one page in length should be emailed by July 15, 2020 to: Kristen Barnes at gkbarnes@syr.edu. In the subject line please write: Submission for AALS Main Panel 2021. Authors selected will be notified no later than September 25, 2020. As is usual with the AALS meeting, authors of selected papers will be responsible for paying their registration, hotel, and travel expenses associated with participation in the AALS meeting.

Hat tip to Randolph Robinson II

(mew)

May 26, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Does the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement Deny Asylum in Violation of International Law?

HRWHuman Rights Watch and Refugees International have raised serious concerns that the United States-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement (ACA) denies asylum seekers the opportunity to apply for asylum in violation of international law. In a joint report, “Deportation with a Layover: Failure of Protection under the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement,” they allege that the ACA allows the United States to send non-Guatemalan asylum seekers, such as those from Honduras and El Salvador, to Guatemala without the opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States. The report further alleges that Guatemala does not qualify as a safe third country because it is unable to provide a full and fair procedure for these persons to apply for asylum or similar protection.  According to the report, the United States transferred 939 persons to Guatemala between November 2019 and March 2020, when the agreement was suspended due to COVID-19.

Under Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which both the United States and Guatemala belong, parties are prohibited from returning a person to a territory where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (non-refoulement).  To comply with this obligation, states must have a process to determine whether a person is a refugee before expelling that person or returning the person to another country.

(cgb)

May 20, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Webinar with ECHR President Judge Róbert Ragnar Spanó: The Principle of Judicial Independence and the Democratic Virtues of Human Rights Law

ECHR Judge SpanoJudge Róbert Ragnar Spanó, the new President of the European Court of Human Rights, will speak on Friday, May 29, 2020, about "The Principle of Judicial Independence and the Democratic Virtues of Human Rights Law." He took office as President of the ECHR on May 18, 2020.

The talk will be followed by questions from the online audience, chaired by iCourts Director, Professor Mikael Rask Madsen.

Judge Spanó is an Icelandic-Italian jurist who was previously Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland and Dean of the University of Iceland Faculty of Law.

The live stream will be freely accessible (no registration required) on the iCourts website and will take place May 29th at 14:00 CET (which we calculate to be 7:00 a.m. Central Time for our blog readers in the United States).

iCourts is the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts. It is a research centre dedicated to the study of international courts, their role in a globalizing legal order and their impact on politics and society. Click here to learn more about iCourts.

Click here for more information about the European Court of Human Rights.

Hat tip to Sofie Meinicke at iCourts.

(mew)

May 19, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 18, 2020

Call for Papers: ASIL Midyear Meeting and Research Forum

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) will host its Midyear Meeting and Research Forum at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH on October 30-31, 2020. ASIL is calling for submissions of scholarly paper proposals for the 2020 ASIL Research Forum. The Research Forum, a Society initiative introduced in 2011, aims to provide a setting for the presentation and focused discussion of scholarly papers related to international law. All ASIL members are invited to attend the Forum, whether presenting a paper or not. 

Papers may be on any topic related to international and transnational law and must be unpublished. Interdisciplinary projects, empirical studies, and jointly authored papers are welcome. To be selected for the Research Forum, interested presenters should submit an Abstract of no more than 500 words in length summarizing the scholarly paper by May 18, 2020. Abstracts should be submitted on the ASIL website here. The Abstracts will be considered via a blind review process. Notifications of acceptance will go out in June. 

Abstracts of papers accepted for presentation will be assembled into thematic panels. The organizers welcome volunteers to serve as discussants who will comment on the papers. All authors of accepted papers will be required to submit their completed paper four weeks before the Research Forum, Thursday, October 1. Accepted authors must commit to participating on both Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31, 2020. Papers will be posted in advance of the Forum on the Midyear Meeting App, accessible only by participants in the Meeting. 

Presenters will have the option (subject to editorial approval) of being published in the spring 2021 double volume, ASIL Research Forum issue of the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. To qualify for publication in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, papers must be between 15-30 single spaced pages, include citations in Bluebook format, and be submitted by September 7, 2020.

The Society plans to hold the Research Forum in person if it is possible to do so consistent with the safety and well-being of attendees in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. ASIL will explore alternative arrangements should it be impossible or inadvisable for an in-person gathering to take place in October, and if the public health situation prevents individual presenters from attending, ASIL will work with them to arrange alternative options for remote participation.

(cgb)

 

May 18, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Vance Legal Writing Competition on Customs and International Trade Law

Miami Law is now hosting the Andrew Vance Memorial Essay Competition in cooperation with the Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA).  The competition awards cash prizes to two students, and there's  a publication opportunity in the Miami International and Comparative Law Review. Students can be in a J.D. or LL.M. program.

This year's deadline is May 22, 2020, which is probably too soon for most students. But you never know who might have a paper ready to submit. Click here for the details.

Hat tip to Kathleen Claussen at the University of Miami School of Law

(mew)

May 16, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Attend the 2020 ASIL Virtual Annual Meeting

Like many organizations, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) has moved its annual meeting online. The virtual event features 40 substantive sessions on a wide range of international law topics and 150 speakers over the course of two days, June  25-26, 2020. Registration fees have been reduced by 25% and students can attend free. More information may be found here.

cgb

May 14, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Louisiana State is Hiring

The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center seeks to hire an Advocacy Fellow to assist in the administration and coaching of its Advocacy Programs. The Advocacy Programs include the Law Center’s moot court, trial advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution external competition teams, as well as the Law Center’s internal advocacy competitions and voluntary skills development workshops. Reporting to the Director of Advocacy Programs, this position is responsible for the continued development and administration of a robust set of student skills development opportunities.

The Advocacy Fellow provides case preparation assistance to participants, assists in the recruitment and training of coaches and judges, plans and implements voluntary skills training opportunities and events, creates at least one full trial, appellate, or dispute resolution case file, and organizes competition registration and team travel arrangements. The Advocacy Fellow also acts as a secondary coach where needed. 

Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school. Prior experience as a competitor and/or coach in the LSU Law Center’s Advocacy Programs or a similar law school skills training and competition program is strongly preferred.  This is a full-time position. The term of appointment for the Advocacy Fellow is one year and will begin in Summer 2020.  For exceptional performance, a Fellow may receive reappointment for a second year. 

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, résumé, and the names and contact information of at least three references to LSU Human Resources by visiting https://lsu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/LSU/job/W0155-Hebert-Law-Center/Advocacy-Fellow--Coordinator-of-Academic-Area-3-_R00045677. Questions should be directed to Prof. Jeff Brooks at jeffbrooks@lsu.edu.

(mew)

May 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mexico and the European Union Negotiate a New Free Trade Agreement

The Mexican law firm Ernesto Velarde Danache, Inc. advises us that Mexico and the European Union have successfully concluded negotiations concerning a new, updated Free-Trade Agreement. The Trade Agreement must now be approved and signed by the representatives of both parties and then submitted for legislative approval. (mew)

May 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Annual Meeting to be Held Only Online

In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the ABA Board of Governors has decided that the 2020 annual meeting will be entirely virtual.

The 2020 ABA Annual Meeting is scheduled for July 29 to Aug. 4.  More information on the virtual 2020 ABA Annual Meeting will be available at ambar.org/annual.

May 1, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)