Monday, April 1, 2019
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The ABILA International Criminal Court Committee Issues a Statement on the Announcement of a Travel Ban Against ICC Officials Working on the Afghanistan Situation
March 25, 2019
STATEMENT BY THE AMERICAN BRANCH OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT COMMITTEE:
THE UNITED STATES AND THE ICC
The Committee expresses concern about U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s recent announcement regarding an intended travel ban against International Criminal Court (“ICC”) officials working on the Afghanistan situation. The ban is crafted to revoke visas from ICC personnel and staff who are “directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” including those who “take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.” Secretary Pompeo suggested that the ban could also extend to ICC staff working on the Israel/Palestine situation, and that the administration is “prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course.” Secretary Pompeo’s statement follows on the heels of an address by National Security Adviser John Bolton, in a speech to the Federalist Society last year, which made even broader threats.
The International Criminal Court is an independent and impartial judicial institution designed to prosecute only the gravest crimes of concern to the international community—including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It has numerous open investigations and prosecutions regarding mass atrocity crimes in many countries, and has 123 States Parties that support it.
While the United States is not a party to the ICC Statute, Afghanistan is a State Party, so the conduct of U.S. nationals in Afghanistan is within the Court’s jurisdiction.
The Afghanistan preliminary examination, which alleges crimes were committed by U.S. armed forces and members of the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”), is mostly focused on horrific atrocity crimes believed to have been committed by the Taliban and affiliated groups (including crimes against humanity and war crimes through “intimidation, targeted killings and abductions of civilians”), as well as allegations involving Afghan Armed Forces. The inquiry regarding U.S. nationals is most predominantly related to torture, including acts by CIA officials well-documented by the United States Senate Committee on Intelligence. The Afghanistan preliminary examination also makes reference to crimes on the territory of other ICC States Parties, which presumably refers to Poland, Romania, and/or Lithuania, also known to have housed secret CIA “black site” prisons.
The United States has every interest in ensuring that violations of the federal torture statute or similar violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are prosecuted. Moreover, under the “complementarity” regime in Article 17 of the ICC’s Statute, a country can avoid Court action by conducting its own investigations and prosecutions. Rather than trying to obstruct the work of the ICC, the United States should commit to thoroughly investigating and, where justified, prosecuting these cases, thereby precluding them from ever appearing on the ICC’s docket. This is the path chosen by the U.K., which has to date conducted extensive investigations (although no prosecutions yet) in the wake of similar allegations against U.K. forces in Iraq.
The tactics first announced by John Bolton, and now furthered through this recent move, are reminiscent of strategies that have backfired on the U.S. in the past. When the U.S. pursued under the Bush Administration a campaign to obtain so-called “Article 98” or “Bilateral Immunity Agreements,” countries that lost U.S. military assistance by refusing to enter such agreements turned to China instead.
A show-down between the ICC and the United States benefits neither. The optics for the United States—insisting on a policy of “exceptionalism” by which its nationals are above the law—are extremely poor. Secretary Pompeo’s statement, which highlights past U.S. support for international prosecutions such as those for crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, only illustrates the hypocrisy of the U.S. providing support for international justice only when non-U.S. nationals are prosecuted. If anything, the U.S.’s policy of exceptionalism sets broader and exceedingly troubling precedent for leaders worldwide, some of whom will be all too willing to follow suit in order to insulate their nationals from accountability.
Pompeo pledged America’s “enduring commitment to the rule of law, accountability, and justice.” The U.S. should follow that pledge and, rather than attacking a judicial institution, commit itself to pursuing the rule of law domestically, by conducting its own investigations, and, as warranted, prosecutions.
--ABILA ICC COMMITTEE
Professor Jennifer Trahan, Chair
The American Society of International Law holds its annual meeting this week in Washington, D.C., featuring a breath-taking array of programs and speakers.
The Public International Law and Policy Group will give out free copies of its new book, “The Legacy of Ad Hoc Tribunals in International Criminal Law” (Cambridge University Press, 2019). And just like last year, they'll also be handing out free Girl Scout cookies. What's not to love about the ASIL annual meeting?
Hat tips to Mark Agrast, Michael Scharf, Milena Sterio, and Paul Williams
Suffolk University Law School in Boston will be hiring a Visiting Assistant Professor of Academic Support for the coming year. They hope to have someone in place by July 2019. The school plans to start a search in September for a permanent ASP hire, and the visitor will be eligible to apply for that position. The visitor will be working predominantly in the area of bar prep support.
Application materials should be submitted using the following link: http://jobs.jobvite.com/suffolkuniversity/job/ontI9fwr. Contact Professor Herbert Ramy at Suffolk if you have questions about the position.
Hat tip to Kathleen Vinson.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Bocconi University in Milan Hosts Conference on "The American Presidency After the First Two Years of President Trump
Bocconi University in Milan held a conference today on "The American Presidency After the First Two Years of the President Trump." Speakers include:
- Giuseppe Franco Ferrari (Bocconi University)
- Donato Masciandaro (Bocconi University)
- Nausica Palazzo (University of Trento)
- Paolo Passaglia (University of Pisa)
- Roberto Toniatti (Univeristy of Trento)
- Attilio Geroni (Foreign Affairs Editor, Il Sole 24 Ore)
- Davide Zecca (University of Pavia)
- Donald H. Regan (University of Michigan Law School)
- Giancarlo Rando (Universita Giustina Fortunato)
- Gennaro Sangiuliano (Director, TG2, RAI)
- Guerino D'Ignazio (University of Calabria)
- Anna Ciammariconi (University of Teramo)
- Roberto Louvin (University of Calabria)
- Andrea Colli (Bocconi University)
- Roberto Scarciglia (University of Trieste)
- Davide Bacis (University of Pavia)
- Arianna Vedaschi (Bocconi University)
- Mark E. Wojcik (The John Marshall Law School--Chicago and Fulbright Professor, Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro” Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Bari
- Mario del Pero (SciencesPro)
The conference was organized by the Angelo Sraffa Department of Legal Studies, Baffi Carefin Centre for Applied Research on International Markets, Banking, Finance, and Regulation, School of Law. The conference was supported by the U.S.-Italian Fulbright Commission and the Consulate General of the United States in Milan.
Monday, March 18, 2019
- Mongolia shall adhere to the universally recognized norms and principles of international law, and shall pursue a peaceful foreign policy.
- Mongolia shall enforce and fulfil in good faith its obligations under the international treaties to which it is a Party.
- The international treaties to which Mongolia is a Party, shall become effective as domestic legislation, upon the entry into force of the laws on their ratification or accession.
- Mongolia shall not comply with or abide by any international treaty or other such instruments that are incompatible with this Constitution.
So here's our question. Does article 10(3) state that treaties are effective as domestic legislation when the treaty enters into effect or when implementing domestic legislation enters into effect? Please leave your answers for us in the comment section, thanks!
English text of the Mongolian Constitution courtesy of the constituteproject.org, a database of enacted and draft constitutions from around the world.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The sixth edition of Transnational Business Problems, a casebook by the late Detlev F. Vagts, William S. Dodge (California-Davis), Hannah L. Buxbaum (Indiana-Bloomington) and Harold Hongju Koh (Yale), will be published in May 2019 and available for Fall 2019 courses. Click here for more information about Transnational Business Problems, Sixth Edition. If you're a professor teaching an international business transactions course, contact the publisher to request a review copy.
Here's what the publisher would like you to know: At fewer than 600 pages, this compact book is ideal for a one-semester course. It's a single volume book with four introductory chapters discussing the role of the international lawyer, the resolution of international disputes, the relationship between international and domestic law, the extraterritorial reach of domestic law, and corporate social responsibility. The introductory chapters are followed by eight problems, each focused on a different kind of transaction: transnational sales, agency and distributorship agreements, licensing, foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, concession agreements, and international debt instruments. Each problem covers both contractual and regulatory issues. Nearly all begin with a sample contract.
Other points from the publisher:
- Sophistication. The book uses primary source materials—draft contracts, statutes, regulations, treaties, cases, and arbitral awards—that allow students, with help from the text, to work through issues in a realistic way. The book goes beyond the nuts and bolts of transactions to encourage consideration of broader policy issues: from the liability of corporations for human rights violations to restrictions on foreign investment; from the compulsory licensing of HIV drugs to the restructuring of sovereign debt.
- Geographical Diversity. Transnational Business Problems reflects the geographical diversity of business today. The problems focus on China, the European Union, the Andean Community, Mexico, and Brazil. Materials from other parts of the world are included in the introductory chapters.
- Intellectual Heritage. Transnational Business Problems grows out of a rich intellectual heritage that began with Milton Katz and Kingman Brewster’s International Transactions and evolved into Henry Steiner and Detlev Vagts’s Transnational Legal Problems. The book views transnational business problems as a particular species of transnational legal problem that both generates and is influenced by transnational legal process.
- Fully Updated. The Sixth Edition of Transnational Business Problems is fully updated to account for developments through the start of 2019. The introductory chapters and many of the problems have been substantially revised. Every year between editions the authors provide an update in memo form that teachers can distribute as a supplement to their classes.
- Useful Teacher’s Manual. Transnational Business Problems has a complete teacher’s manual that provides suggestions on how to approach the material and answers to all of the questions posed in the text. The manual also contains sample syllabi.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Proposals Invited for the 14th Global Legal Skills Conference in Phoenix, Arizona: First CFP Deadline is March 15
Here's a reminder that proposals are invited for the next Global Legal Skills Conference, which will take place on December 12-14, 2019 in Phoenix at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. In addition to the conference, there will be a Scholars’ Forum on December 11 and an optional day trip on December 15, 2019.
Proposals for presentations are now being accepted at http://forms.law.asu.edu/gls14. The first call for proposals will close on March 15 and presenters will be notified by April 30. Late submissions will be reviewed until May 31 on a space-available basis.
Please contact Professor Kim Holst at Arizona State University or Professor Mark E. Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago if you have questions about the conference.
Friday, March 1, 2019
Proposals are invited for the next Global Legal Skills Conference, which will take place on December 12-14, 2019 in Phoenix at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. In addition to the conference, there will be a Scholars’ Forum on December 11 and an optional day trip on December 15, 2019.
Proposals for presentations are now being at http://forms.law.asu.edu/gls14. The first call for proposals will close on March 15 and presenters will be notified by April 30. Late submissions will be reviewed until May 31 on a space-available basis.
Please contact Professor Kim Holst at Arizona State University or Professor Mark E. Wojcik at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago if you have questions about the conference.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Monday, February 25, 2019
The International Court of Justice issued an Advisory Opinion today in respect of the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. Click here for the Advisory Opinion.
Vice President Xue Hanqin of China and Judges Peter Tomka of Slovakia and Ronny Abraham of France added declarations to the Advisory Opinion, as did Judges Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation, Nawaf Salam of Lebanon, and Yuji Iwasawa of Japan. Judges Giorgio Gaja of Italy, Julia Sebutinde of Uganda, and Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica appended separate opinions. Judge Augusto Cançado Trindade of Brzail also added a separate opinion and additionally joined a joint declaration with Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica. Judge Joan E. Donoghue of the United States appended a dissenting opinion.
The International Court of Justice delivered its judgment on the U.S. preliminary objections in Certain Iranian Assets (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America) on February 13, 2019. The ICJ found that it has jurisdiction to entertain part of the Application of the Islamic Republic of Iran and that its Application is admissible.
Iran had brought the action against the United States in 2016, alleging various violations of the Iran-U.S. Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights. In 2017, the United States raised preliminary objections to the admissibility of Iran's Application and to the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICJ.
Iran argued that Iran and Iranian State-owned companies are entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and in respect of enforcement proceedings in the United States. Iran argued that the failure of the United States to recognize the separate juridical status and separate legal personality of Iranian companies violated its obligations under the Treaty of Amity and international law.
The United States asked the ICJ to dismiss all of Iran's claims as inadmissible.
Among its findings, the ICJ held that the Treaty of Amity was still in force and that none of its provisions excluded certain matters from the jurisdiction of the ICJ. However the ICJ found that Iran's claims based on the alleged violation of sovereign immunities guaranteed by customary international law did not relate to the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Amity.
More information about the case can be found by clicking here. Judges Peter Tomka of Slovakia and Jame Richard Crawford of Australia issued a joint separate opinion. Judges Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica and Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation issued individual separate opinions, as did ad hoc judges Charles Brower (United States) and Djamchid Montaz (Islamic Repbulic of Iran). (The United States appointed an ad hoc judge because Judge Joan Donoghue recused herself from the case.) Judge Giorgio Gaja of Italy issued a declaration. The judgment and the separate opinions and declaration can be found at www.icj-cij.org/en/case/164/judgments. The pdf of the Court's February 13 judgment can be found at www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/164/....
Saturday, February 23, 2019
ABA President Expresses Concern Over the Suspension of Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2019 – The American Bar Association expresses its hope that Nigeria’s 2019 elections on Saturday will be credible, fair, free and transparent. The ABA is concerned about recent events that could undermine the country’s rule of law and calls for calm as Nigerians prepare to go to the polls.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension during this election period of Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen, the official responsible for overseeing the election, is troubling. The independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers are essential to ensuring Nigeria’s adherence to the rule of law. The basic precept of checks and balances requires that an action with such monumental consequences be accomplished strictly and unambiguously in accordance with the processes and procedures of the governing law. Failure to observe the basic precepts of checks and balances could raise questions about the legitimacy of the outcome of the forthcoming election.
The U.N. Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary assign all governments the duty to ensure the independence of the judiciary and to guard against inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process. The ambiguous circumstances of Chief Justice Onnoghen’s suspension appear to be in breach of the provisions of the U.N. Basic Principles governing the grounds and process for the removal of a judge.
On the eve of the largest election in Africa’s history, the ABA calls upon President Buhari, the Nigerian government, and all stakeholders to respect the rule of law, commit to violence-free, fair elections, and exercise restraint throughout the entire process.
(ABA Press Release)
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Since 1961, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--has presented an annual award for the best work of legal scholarship published during the previous year. The Scribes Book-Award Committee receives between 30 and 40 nominees each year. The Scribes Book Award is presented at a CLE program held in conjunction with the Scribes' annual meeting, which this year will be held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 12, 2019.
International law experts may remember that the 2018 winner of the Scribes Book Award was The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro. Honorable mentions went to The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein, and to Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice by Roberta Walburn.
Nominations for the 2019 Scribes Book Award will be accepted until February 15, 2019. To nominate a book for this year's book award, all a publisher needs to do is send a copy to each of our book award committee members. For more information, please contact the Executive Director of Scribes, Philip Johnson, at email@example.com.
The John Marshall Law School in Chicago seeks two or more experienced faculty members to serve as full-time visiting professors for the 2019-2020 academic year (one or both semesters). We need coverage in the areas of Civil Procedure, Corporations, Employee Benefits, Estates & Trusts, Income Taxation, Legal Research and Writing, and Property. Candidates must have law school teaching experience. It is contemplated that the successful candidates will be current full-time faculty members at ABA-approved law schools, although others with extraordinary credentials may be considered.
To apply, submit a current CV, cover letter, and three professional references to Associate Dean David Sorkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Committee will begin reviewing applications as they are received and will continue on a rolling basis until the positions are filled. We may conduct an interview via Skype or a similar platform or in person, and may request submission of teaching evaluations or other materials.
The John Marshall Law School is committed to diversity, access, and opportunity. Subject to the approval of our accreditors, John Marshall is in the process of being acquired by the University of Illinois at Chicago, with an anticipated closing date in August 2019. For more information, visit www.jmls.edu and jmls.uic.edu.
The John Marshall Law School, finding any invidious discrimination inconsistent with the mission of free academic inquiry, does not discriminate in admission, services, or employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic characteristics, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Santa Clara University School of Law is hiring both full-time and adjunct faculty for its Office of Academic and Bar Success, and for the Legal Writing Department. The position advertised may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
The professor hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings, although the issue of voting for renewable term faculty is under discussion and set for a vote this spring semester.
The law school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary of $90,000 to $119,999. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.) Renewable term faculty members are entitled to a $3,000 faculty support budget. Other teaching and coaching opportunities are available for additional stipends.
The number of students enrolled in each semester will be 30 or fewer for the legal writing course. The number of students taught overall will depend on teaching assignments other than the first-year legal writing course.
Hat tip to Associate Dean Michael W. Flynn at Santa Clara University School of Law
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
National rounds of the 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition are underway around the world. We wish the best of luck to all of the competitors and extend special thanks to the oral round judges, memorial judges, law student bailiffs, and other volunteers who make this global competition possible. And we don't mind asking Jessup alumni to visit www.ilsa.org and donate a couple of (hundred?) dollars to the International Law Students Association, which organizes the competition. They need and deserve our support.
(mew, judging the national rounds in Italy)
Saturday, January 26, 2019
In an emotional and highly-divisive vote, the Greek Parliament voted 153-146 to approve its neighbor's name change from FYROM (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) to North Macedonia. The measure will now allow North Macedonia to join NATO and the European Union.
The Republic of Macedonia had declared independence in 1991 during the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Greece blocked the Republic of Macedonia from joining NATO and the European Union because it objected to the name. Greece feared that the name chosen would eventually lead that country to claim the Greek province of Macedonia as its own.
Many Greeks will still reject the name North Macedonia, as seen by the closeness of the parliamentary vote. But the Greek Parliament's approval of the new name will now clear the way for North Macedonia to join both NATO and the European Union.