Saturday, October 31, 2020

What Do You Look For in an International Law Casebook?

AALS LogoWhich of the following factors is important to you (as an international law professor) when you're selecting a casebook or other materials for your course in international law?

  • Academic and professional reputation of the casebook author(s)?
  • Comprehensive coverage of the precise topics you want to cover?
  • Thoughtful organization of the material?
  • Recently published or updated so it's current?
  • Supplement with treaties and statutes?
  • Teachers' manual?
  • Availability in your jurisdiction?
  • Reasonable cost for students?
  • Online supplemental exercises or learning tools?
  • Other factors?

At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the AALS Section on International Law will hold a special program for new international law professors on this very practical topic of how to pick a casebook. The speakers will not be themselves be authors of international law casebooks but professors who teach the course and have to select a casebook for their students.

The AALS Annual Meeting was to have been held in San Francisco in January 2021 but like many other national and international conferences it has gone virtual. A virtual makes it possible to invite presenters from across the United States and around the world.We welcome your thoughts in advance about what makes a casebook right for you. Please leave your comments in the comment box (and we'll publish those comments here unless you tell us not to in your comments).


October 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

New Voices in International Law

AALS LogoSome speaking slots are still available for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) with the AALS Section on International Law's panel on New Voices in International Law. The AALS Annual Meeting was to have been held in San Francisco in January 2021 but like many other national and international conferences it has gone virtual. A virtual makes it possible to invite presenters from across the United States and around the world. If you're interested in submitting a proposal for the New Voices in International Law panel, please leave your name and contact information in the comment section. Don't worry--we won't publish it! It will just be used to contact you about your possible online participation in the AALS panel.


October 31, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Online International Law Weekend a Great Success

The American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), in cooperation with the International Law Students' Association (ILSA), held an online version of their annual International Law Weekend (ILW). ILW 2020 included 27 panels that covered a wide array of public and private international law topics and featurrf speakers from across the world. More than 1800 individuals registered from around the world, creating an interesting audience of academics, diplomats, government officials, NGO leaders, students, and business leaders.

Highlights included an Opening Plenary Panel featuring Professor Gian Luca Burci, Ambassador David Scheffer, and Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi discussing our theme of International Law in Challenging Times. Other highlights included a keynote address by Catherine Amirfar of Debevoise and Plimpton, LLP, who is the current President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). Judge Julia Sebutinde of the International Court of Justice also delivered a half-hour lecture on the work of the court.

Did you miss it? The sessions were recorded and will be available on the ABILA website.

ILW also included breakout networking sessions for women, minorities, young lawyers, and for its various committees, such as the ABILA Committee on Teaching Public International Law.

Click here for more information on the American Branch of the International Law Association.


October 26, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Be a Jessup Judge!

Judge registration is open for the 2021 Global Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Log in to update your profile or register as a judge!

October 24, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

CFP: Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education, the Practice of Law, and the Judiciary

October 15 is the deadline to submit proposals for presentation at the Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education, the Practice of Law, and the Judiciary with a focus on Disruption in the Legal Sector: How Technology Can Enable Educators, Students, Lawyers, and Judges Around the Globe to Stabilize the Sector and Provide Access to Justice. The conference will be held on Zoom in February. (mew)

October 14, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Women in International Law: Distinguished Voices Initiative

Lady JusticeThe Harvard International Law Journal in partnership with the Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) recently launched Women in International Law: Distinguished Voices, an audiovisual library designed to highlight the voices and celebrate the contributions of a diverse group of distinguished women in international law. The library will consist of interviews with prominent women in international law.

If you would like to nominate a person who identifies as a woman for this new initiative, you may do so here.  The project seeks nominees who have utilized international law to advance women’s rights, promoted women’s perspectives in the international legal field, demonstrated leadership in international law, or advocated for women’s rights and gender justice. Nominees who reflect the wide-ranging diversity which exists among women in the field of international law and in the world are encouraged.

The nominees will be jointly selected by the Board of ILJ and the WILIG.  Please be advised that self-nominations are not accepted.


October 6, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 5, 2020

Timor-Leste Begins WTO Accession Process

WTO symbolOn October 1, Timor-Leste formally began the process to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Timor-Leste stated its commitment to the principles, objectives, and rules of the WTO. It is also seeking to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. In response, WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff stated: “It is an important day for Timor-Leste as well as for the WTO. The WTO gain[s] strength from the accessions of new countries coming in with their commitments to the world trading system." There are currently 164 members of the WTO and there are 22 countries in addition to Timor-Leste that are seeking accession. For more information regarding Timor-Leste's bid for accession, see this WTO news release

In other WTO news last week, the United States notified the Dispute Settlement Body of its intention to appeal the panel report in a long-running dispute between the United States and Canada: United States - Countervailing Measures on Softwood Lumber from Canada (DS533). However, due to unfilled vacancies on the WTO Appellate Body, there is no Appellate Body available to hear the dispute at the present time so what will happen with this appeal remains unclear. More information about these issues can be found here.


October 5, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Law Professors Sue Trump for Authorizing Penalties for Those Who Support the International Criminal Court

The Open Society Justice Initiative and four law professors, Diane Marie Amann, Gabor Rona, Milena Sterio, and Margaret deGuzman, have filed a complaint against the U.S. government over a Trump administration executive order authorizing draconian economic sanctions and severe civil and criminal penalties for those who support the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The lawsuit is the first to challenge Executive Order 13928, and comes one month after the U.S. imposed sanctions on senior officials at the ICC, including Fatou Bensouda, the court’s chief prosecutor.

The lawsuit—filed today in a federal court in the Southern District of New York against President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea Gacki, Attorney General William Barr, and their respective U.S. Departments—argues that the executive order violates constitutional rights, including the plaintiffs’ freedom of speech, and prevents them from carrying out work in support of international justice.

The plaintiffs, all who speak, write, and advocate about international justice issues around the world, contend that it irreparably harms their professional work. The lawsuit also seeks to stop the U.S. government from enforcing the executive order while the court considers its constitutionality.

James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, said, “By issuing this outrageous order, the Trump administration has betrayed Washington’s long-standing support for international justice, snubbed its allies, and violated the U.S. constitution. We are going to court to end this reckless assault on a judicial institution and the victims it serves.”

The ICC was created in 2002 by the Rome Statute, a treaty, and is authorized to investigate and prosecute serious crimes including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, that are committed on the territories, or by the nationals, of the 123states that are party to the treaty. The U.S., while instrumental in setting up the ICC, has never ratified the treaty. The ICC only acts when countries are unwilling or unable, upon request of the UN Security Council or a state party to the treaty, or on initiative of the prosecutor if authorized by the ICC judges. 

The executive order is the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S. government on the ICC. On March 15, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. would impose visa restrictions on “individuals directly responsible for any [ICC] investigation of U.S. personnel.” On June 11, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13928, targeting persons associated with or supporting the International Criminal Court.

On September 2, Secretary Pompeo announced that the U.S. was imposing asset freezes and other financial sanctions on two senior officials at the ICC, Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko the head of the ICC’s jurisdiction division. Officials from the United Nations, the European Union, other U.S. allies like Canada, and Bensouda’s home country, The Gambia, swiftly condemned the U.S.’ actions.

The plaintiffs are represented by a team of lawyers at Foley Hoag LLP, led by Andrew Loewenstein.

Click here to see the complaint.

Adapted from a Press Release from the Open Society Justice Initiative.


October 4, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)