Tuesday, February 16, 2021

History Made at WTO with Election of New Director-General

Ngozi-WTOWhen she takes office on 1 March, Dr Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General. Her term, renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025.

"This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO's next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting," said General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand who, together with co-facilitators Amb. Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Amb. Harald Aspelund (Iceland) led the nine-month DG selection process.

"Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience. We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization," he added.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala said a key priority for her would be to work with members to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read more from the WTO website.


February 16, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 15, 2021

International Perspectives on the Future of Incarceration

The University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law will hold an online symposium this Thursday, February 18, 2021, on the subject of "International Perspectives on the Future of Incarceration." The symposium will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST.

Speakers include:

  • Alexander McLean, Founder and Director-General of Justice Defenders. (Founded in 2007 as the African Prisons Project, Justice Defenders is a registered U.K. charity and U.S. nonprofit with nearly 350 people working in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and The Gambia.)
  • Prof. em. Dr. jur. Frieder Dünkel, Universität Greifswald (Germany) (Chair of Criminology, 1992-2015) 
  • Prof. Claudia Mazzucato, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Dipartimento di Scienze giuridiche, Milan (Italy)
  • Prof. Mark E. Wojcik, UIC John Marshall Law School, The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Prof. Regina Austin, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
  • Prof. Bennett Capers, Fordham University School of Law
  • Prof. Alexis Hoag, Columbia Law School

Mr. McLean will present the Keynote Address for the Symposium. Professors Dünkel, Mazzucato, and Wojcik will discuss the topic of “COVID-19 and Criminal Justice: Prison and Pandemic Management,” in a panel moderated by Professor Austin. Professors Capers and Hoag will round out the day with a discussion of “Race and Criminal Justice: Where Do We Go From Here?” 

Click here to register for the symposium. It's free.

Hat tips to Hayden McGovern and Francesca Broggini.


February 15, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The International Criminal Court Has a New Prosecutor

On February 12, the International Criminal Court’s member countries elected Karim Khan as prosecutor after a contentious process that initially tried to reach a decision through consensus.

Mr. Khan in a national of the United Kingdom who has extensive experience with international criminal law and procedure. He was a legal adviser in the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He also served as defense counsel on various cases at the ICC, the Yugoslav tribunal, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He currently leads the United Nations Security Council's investigation of crimes committed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq.

The difficulties in the selection process for the prosecutor have led to calls for reforms. Some observers have suggested a need for a professional vetting process that allows for the collection and review of information to assess candidates’ “high moral character,” one of the requirements for the office set out in the Rome Statute, the court’s founding document. 

We wish Mr. Khan much success as he takes on this challenging role.


February 14, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The VCLT for IOs is still Five State Ratifications Short

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations regulates treaties excluded from the scope of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). The VCLT applies only applies to agreements between States. The VCLT for IOs (International Organizations) recognizes the capacity of international organizations to conclude treaties necessary for the exercise of their functions and fulfillment of their purposes.

The VCLT for IOs considers treaties between States and international organizations or between organizations as a useful means of developing international relations and ensuring conditions for peaceful cooperation. The VCLT of IOs regulates the conclusion and entry into force of treaties, observance, application and interpretation of treaties, amendment and modification of treaties, and finally the invalidity, termination, and suspension of treaties. In its miscellaneous provisions the Convention deals with its relationship between the VCLT and the VCLT for IOs, as well as questions arising from succession of States, the outbreak of hostilities between States, or the termination of an international organization.

Click here for the status table for the VCLT for IOs. In addition to the list of states that have ratified the VCLT for IOs, it's fascinating to see the list of international organizations that have ratified (or signed and not yet ratified) the VCLT for IOs.

And click here for a certified true copy of the text of the VCLT for IOs.


February 13, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 12, 2021

Prof. John F. Murphy (1937-2021)

John MurphyWe are sorry to report the death of Professor John F. Murphy of Villanova University School of Law.

As a younger man, John initially planned to follow his father into medicine. He instead became intrigued with international law.

John earned both his B.A. and his LL.B. degrees from Cornell University. Following law school, John was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship to work in India. Upon his return, John worked at Wall Street firms, and later in the legal advisor’s office for U.N. affairs at the U.S. Department of State, before turning to a career in academia. He began as a law professor in 1969 at the University of Kansas Law School, and ended at Villanova University School of Law, where he had joined the law faculty in 1983, and remained until his retirement in 2014. John also traveled the world to participate in conferences, teaching in Aix-en-Provence, London, Mexico City, Paris, and Haifa, and at Cornell and Georgetown Law Schools, and The Naval War College.

John had been recognized in 2011 with the Louis B. Sohn Award for Public International Law. He authored many law journal articles and books, including The Regulation of International Business and Economic Relations (published in 1991 with the late Alan C. Swan), a legal casebook that was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law.

His family asks that in lieu of flowers, you should consider a prayer for the betterment of the world, and, when the spirit moves you, to donate to a charity of your choice.


February 12, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law

Cindy BuysProfessor Cindy Buys of the Southern Illinois University School of Law has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law. The award is presented by the American Bar Association's Section of International Law.

The Mayre Rasmussen Award is a non-monetary honor conferred on distinguished lawyers who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in international law.

A pioneer in the field, Mayre Rasmussen was one of the first women to break into the practice of international business law at a major international law firm (Coudert Brothers). After making her mark in private practice, she went on to successes in corporate law at two different companies in the San Francisco Bay area. One of the first women to hold a senior leadership position in the ABA Section of International Law (as it is now known), Mayre also mentored many current and former Section leaders, particularly women rising in the Section and, more generally, in the ABA. In addition, Mayre was one of the founders of the Women’s Interest Network (“WIN”), one of the Section’s most successful committees, which is devoted both to promoting and protecting the rights and interests of women around the globe and to advancing the engagement of women in the practice of international law.

Professor Buys joined the SIU School of Law faculty in 2001. She teaches International Law, International Business Transactions, Constitutional Law, Immigration Law, and a variety of other international law and study abroad courses. In 2008, Buys was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Vilnius, Lithuania, and in 2015, she was a Visiting Professor at Bangor University in Wales. She has been named both the Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2013) and the Outstanding Scholar of the Year (2016). She also was awarded the Illinois State Bar Association Elmer Gertz Award in 2016 for her work advancing human rights.

Professor Buys holds leadership positions in the American Society of International Law, the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the United Nations Association–Southern Illinois Chapter. She is a member of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and serves on the Boards of The Immigration Project and the Southern Illinois Immigrant Rights Project. She also has served as a panelist for NAFTA Chapter 19 disputes.

Prior to coming to the SIU School of Law, Professor Buys spent ten years in public and private practice in Washington, D.C.  Buys was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Commerce where she advised the Import Administration in connection with its implementation and enforcement of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws. In that capacity, Professor Buys defended the agency’s decisions before the Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and World Trade Organization panels. Prior to that, Professor Buys was in private practice with a Washington, D.C., law firm that specialized in international transportation law.

Professor Buys has an LL.M., with distinction, from Georgetown University School of Law in International and Comparative Law, where she earned the Chetwood Prize for the Most Outstanding Academic Performance. She also holds a J.D. degree and an M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University. Professor Buys obtained her B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany where she majored in Political Science and minored in French and Fine Arts.

Professor Buys joins this distinguished list of Rasmussen Award Recipients:

  • 2021 Cindy Buys
  • 2020 Hon. Delissa Ridgway and Rose Rameau
  • 2019 Linda Strite Murnane
  • 2018 Carolyn B. Lamm and Lisa J. Grosh
  • 2017 Priti Suri
  • 2016 Amy L. Sommers
  • 2015 Lisa J. Savitt
  • 2014 “Courageous Counsel” (Kara Baysinger, Michele Coleman Mayes, Louise Firestone, GailA. Lione, and Louise Pentland)
  • 2013 Maria Vicien-Milburn
  • 2012 Hope Lewis
  • 2011 Carol M. Mates
  • 2010 Diane Marie Amann
  • 2009 Mary J. Harnett
  • 2008 Deborah Enix-Ross
  • 2007 Marsha A. Echols
  • 2006 Aaron Schildhaus
  • 2004 Rona R. Mears
  • 2001 Dianna P. Kempe
  • 2000 Lucinda A. Low
  • 1999 Mayre Rasmussen (posthumous)

Congratulations to Professor Buys on the recognition of her contributions

February 12, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education

This may be the longest legal education conference in history.  The "Transnational Conference on the Future of Legal Education, the Practice of Law, and the Judiciary" is organized and hosted by Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi in Istanbul, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, and the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. It's being held from February 9-12 and February 15-18, 2022 on zoom. And it's free.

Click here for more information about the conference schedule and how to access the presentations each day. 

Hat tips to Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, Professor Kathleen Burch, and to the many presenters over these two weeks.


February 11, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

US Reengagement with the International Community

Among the many changes being made by the Biden Administration is the United States' decision to reengage with the United Nations Human Rights Council. In a statement  issued yesterday, the new U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the United States will rejoin the UN Human Rights Council as an observer for now, giving it a voice in the Council's activities. While acknowledging certain flaws of the Council, Secretary Blinken stated that the United States' absence had created a void in leadership without bringing about meaningful change. He further stated that the United States can be more effective in bringing about positive change if it is engaged with the work of the Council.


February 10, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS Section on Comparative Law

The Association of American Law Schools' Section on Comparative Law provides a forum for discussion of problems in the comparison of laws which are of concern to the comparatists as a profession, and brings to the attention of members of the Association of American Law Schools the experience of other countries with matters of current concern to American professors of law

The AALS Section on Comparative Law announced its officers and executive committee for 2021-22. They are:


  • Section Chair:    Margaret Y. Woo (Northeastern University School of Law)
  • Chair-Elect:    Mark E. Wojcik (UIC John Marshall Law School)
  • Secretary:    Elizabeth M. Iglesias (University of Miami School of Law)
  • Treasurer:    Irene Calboli (Texas A&M University School of Law

Executive Committee Members:

  • Afra Afsharipour (University of California, Davis, School of Law)
  • Richard Albert (The University of Texas School of Law)
  • Jorge Contesse (Rutgers Law School)
  • Erin F. Delaney (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law)
  • Virginia Harper Ho (University of Kansas School of Law)
  • Mark S. Kende (Drake University Law School)
  • Sudha N. Setty (Western New England University School of Law)
  • Timothy Webster (Western New England University School of Law)


February 10, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit

The United Nations Association of the United States of America will hold its Global Engagement Summit online on February 19-20, 2021. The speaker lineup looks great, including the U.N. Secretary-General. 

2021 Global Engagement Summit – UNA-USA


February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy Symposium

One benefit of this pandemic is the increased ability to attend interesting symposia and lectures that we would otherwise miss. This week we're looking forward to a symposium organized by the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.

"International Legal Challenges Facing the New U.S. Administration: Critical Analyses from the American Heartland" will be held online this Friday, February 12, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CST. 

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Reiley Pankratz, Symposium Editor | [email protected]


February 6, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 5, 2021

AALS Section on Law and Anthropology

We're happy to congratulate the new leadership of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and Anthropology.

Chair: Deepa Das Acevedo (Alabama)

Chair-Elect: Alyse Bertenthal (Wake Forest)

Secretary: Anna Offit (SMU Dedman)

Executive Committee: John Conley (UNC) and John Linarelli (Touro)


February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education

We're happy to congratulate the new officers and executive committee members of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education.


  • Chair: Colleen Ference Burke, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Chair-elect: John B. Thornton, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Treasurer: Celeste Hammond, The University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School
  • Secretary: Ashley Sim, USC Gould School of Law

    Executive Committee Members 

  • William H. Byrnes, Texas A&M University School of Law
  • Cecilia Caldeira Frain, Pace University, Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  • Deborah Call, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law 
  • Robert Coulthard, New England Law, Boston
  • George E. Edwards, Indiana University McKinney School of Law
  • Jon Garon, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law
  • Gabrielle Goodwin, Indiana University, Mauer School of Law
  • Karen L. Jones, University of Houston Law Center 
  • Sarah Kelly, St. John's University School of Law
  • Spencer Kimura, University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law
  • Polly Lawson, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Eric Menkhus, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
  • Rebecca Purdom, Emory University School of Law
  • John N. Riccardi, Boston University School of Law
  • Karen Alicia Shaw, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Carole Silver, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • John Smagula, Temple University School of Law
  • Audrey Woods, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law

February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Northern Illinois University is Hiring

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW invites applications for an anticipated opening for an entry-level tenure-track faculty position beginning August 2021. Duties include engaging in high quality research and teaching, as well as being an active participant in law school and university service. Applicants must hold a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school, or a foreign law school equivalent, and must provide evidence of the potential for engaging in high quality research and teaching.  


Preferred qualifications include record of scholarly publication, teaching experience (particularly in a law school), legal practice experience, strong law school record, law journal membership, and clerkship experience. 


The school will consider candidates with a broad range of teaching and research interests, but the successful candidate will be expected to teach at least one first-year course (which may include Constitutional Law I: The Federal System). Our upper-level needs include, but are not limited to, Business Law, Commercial Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Tax, Trusts and Estates, and skills courses. Applications are encouraged from women, members of minority groups, and others whose background and experience would contribute to the diversity of the law school community.  


If you wish to apply, please go to the position posting at the NIU applicant tracking system at https://employment.niu.edu/postings/55269 where you will find a full description of the position (including preferred qualifications) along with a list of documents you will need to submit for the search committee’s consideration.  


Please direct questions to the search committee chair, Professor Marc Falkoff, at [email protected], or to Tita Kaus, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, at 815-753-1068 or [email protected]. For full consideration, applications should be received by March 1, 2021. 


February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Trade and Technology: Rebooting Global Trade for the Digital Millennium

Founded in 2009, the philosophy of Trade, Law and Development has been to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in international economic law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and distribution of ideas. In keeping with these ideals, the Board of Editors is pleased to announce “Trade and Technology: Rebooting Global Trade for the Digital Millennium” as the theme for its next Special Issue (Vol. XIII, No. 1).

The WTO framework emerged out of the requirement to promote comparative advantages of countries in the post-Industrial Revolution era. However, the developments that followed via Ministerial Conferences, Council discussions and Appellate Body Reports have not moved away from the traditional methods of trading involving brick-and-mortar factories, recognized fiat currency, etc. With the unstoppable growth in digital innovation and dense proliferation of the Internet and ICTs, International Economic Law and its framers must go back to the negotiating table to chalk out a novel framework relevant for the new digital millennium.

E-Commerce emerged as the virtual marketplace connecting consumers to sellers across borders. Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds enormous potential to solve efficiency deficits in manufacturing, public health and education. 3D Printing is expected to meet demand shortages of essentials like hearing aids. Blockchain and Digital Currencies could change payments and banking services as we know it along with possible implications for trade finance opportunities. This Issue aims to foster stimulating discussions on what these developments mean for trade as we know it.

In addition to these developments, the COVID-19 outbreak provides strong impetus for countries to relook their digital trade and investment policies as reliance on digital resources increase. While some steps have been taken to include digital technologies in regional trade agreements, a more comprehensive and cohesive framework is yet to emerge in this regard.

Moreover, given the significance of these issues, governments across the world have begun implementing rules and regulations for data privacy, cyber security, etc. The differences across regulatory regimes could cause problems as to their interoperability across countries. The impact of these regulations on the international trade level is yet to be seen.

An illustrative list of areas under the theme that authors could write upon are:

  • E-commerce
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Implications for Trade Facilitation
  • Blockchain
  • Data Protection and Security
  • Competitiveness and Digital Taxation
  • Digital Divide between Advanced Economies and Developing World
  • Impact on Investment
  • Trade Policy
  • Implications for Gender Equality

These sub-issues are not exhaustive, and the Journal is open to receiving submissions on all aspects related to Trade and Technology and its impact on the global trading system. This special issue, currently scheduled for publication in Summer 2021, will provide an ideal platform to deliberate on such issues related to trade and technology. Accordingly, the Board of Editors of Trade, Law and Development is pleased to invite original, unpublished manuscripts for the Special Issue on Trade and Technology: Rebooting Global Trade for the Digital Millennium for publication as ‘Articles’, ‘Notes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Book Reviews’.

Manuscripts may be submitted via e-mail or ExpressO. For further information about the Journal, please click here. For submission guidelines, please click here.



February 5, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Call for Papers for the Symposium on Salient Issues in International Arbitration

On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the Center on International Commercial Arbitration at American University College of Law will hold the fifth Symposium on Salient Issues in International Arbitration. The topic of this Symposium will be:  Does a Transnational Legal Order Exist in International Arbitration? 

The Symposium is organized by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration under the direction of Professor Horacio A. Grigera Naón, and the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé, represented by Professors Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer and Rodrigo Polanco Lazo. The Symposium is co-sponsored by the following institutions: UNIDROIT (Rome), Hague Conference on Private International Law (The Hague), Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), Escuela Libre de México (México), and Tsinghua University School of Law (Beijing). The Symposium is also supported by Transnational Dispute Management (TDM) as media partner.

This call for papers is open to scholars and practitioners with an interest in international arbitration, including the field of commercial or investment arbitration. Submissions may address either theoretical or practical issues related to the Symposium theme.  For example, the papers may inquire if it is possible to speak today of a genuine “transnational legal order” or if the substantive rules of international arbitration are too fragmented and unstructured to receive such a label. Submissions may also consider the efficiency and desirability of other alternative sources of law governing international arbitration. One of the central areas that may be explored is the assessment, general outreach and application of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts or the 2015 Hague Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts. 

To submit a paper, the authors should email an attachment in Microsoft Word or PDF containing the advanced draft of their articles together with an abstract of between 300 and 600 words to [email protected]The deadline for submission of articles is June 15, 2021. Submissions received thereafter will not be considered. More information may be found here.


February 4, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Biden to Drop Immigration Cases that Trump Brought to the U.S. Supreme Court

Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to remove two cases scheduled for argument during the February session from the argument calendar, citing policy changes that President Joe Biden announced shortly after his inauguration. The cases are Biden v. Sierra Club, Bid, the dispute over funding for former President’s border wall, and Pekoske v. Innovatoin Law Lab, a challenge to the  “remain in Mexico” policy that requires non-Mexican immigrants seeking asylum at the southern border to stay in Mexico while they awaited U.S. hearings.

Click here to read more at Howe on the Court.


February 2, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)