Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Workplace Rights in Central America

The U.S. Department of Labor has renewed partnerships with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to strengthen collaboration with their U.S. embassies and consulates, and to provide information about laws governing workplace safety and health, wages and work hours, and other employment issues individuals from these countries face while working in the United States.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su joined El Salvadorean Ambassador Milena Mayorga, Guatemalan Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez and Honduran Chargé d’Affaires Javier Bú at a signing ceremony at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, the department’s headquarters. They signed letters of arrangement with the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division. They also signed partnerships with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

“Our joint commitments with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras ensure that people from these countries working here in the U.S. are aware of the protections our nation’s labor laws provide, including the right to a safe and healthy workplace, and the right to be paid for all their hard-earned wages,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary Labor Julie Su. “They should also know that they have the ability to exercise their labor rights freely and participate in our country’s strong economy.”

Partnerships like these help the department enforce U.S. labor laws more effectively, especially in high-risk and low-wage industries where violations are more likely to occur. They also help the department’s enforcement agencies identify problems workers face to improve and target their outreach efforts.

“Hispanic communities contribute to the economies of both America and their countries of origin,” said the El Salvadorean Ambassador Milena Mayorga. “That is why it is important to use a variety of resources to educate workers and employers about enforceable labor rights.”

“The government of Guatemala looks forward to its partnership with the Department of Labor on ensuring that Guatemalan migrants in the U.S. work in a safe and healthy environment, are aware of their rights and those are respected while in the U.S.,” said Guatemalan Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez. “We hope that through these partnerships we can work together to foster positive and meaningful relationships between workers and employers, and continue building bridges between our peoples to create more prosperity for our countries.”

“The partnership we are renewing [this week] is a clear example of goodwill, joint commitment, and efficiency in design of protection mechanisms in favor of the working sector of the migrant population in the United States,” said Honduran Chargé d’Affaires Javier Bú. “The agreements that we sign today make this association operational and have a clear focus on articulating efforts and aligning resources to promote respect for the rights of Honduran workers in this great country; it is the right and just thing to do, and it means a well-deserved recognition of the effort and sacrifice of our fellow migrants.”

Adapted from U.S. Department of Labor Press Release 22-812-NAT


May 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Germany Drops Requests for Preliminary Measures Against Italy in Response to New Italian Law

The public hearings on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Germany in the case concerning Questions of Jurisdictional Immunities of the State and Measures of Constraint against State-Owned Property (Germany v. Italy), which had been due to take place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 May 2022, have been cancelled.

The International Court of Justice took this decision after receiving in the Registry a letter from the Agent of Germany informing the Court that, following recent judicial developments in Italy and discussions between the representatives of the two Parties, “Germany withdraws its Request for the indication of provisional measures."

In his letter, the Agent refers, inter alia, to the adoption of Decree No. 36 of 30 April 2022, published in the Italian Gazette on the same day and which entered into force on 1 May 2022.Germany understands from the Decree that “Italian law requires Italian courts to lift measures of enforcement previously taken, and that no further measures of constraint will be taken by Italian courts against German property used for government non-commercial purposes located on Italian territory."

It is also stated in the letter that “Germany agrees with Italy that the Decree . . . addresses the central concern” expressed in the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by it.

Adaoted from a UN Press Release


May 7, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 10, 2022

University of Cebu (Philippines) Wins 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition; Rare Final Round Pairing of The Philippines Versus The Philippines

20220409_164110Two law schools from the Philippines faced each other in the Final Round of the 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition, held in person this past week at Stetson University College of Law  in Gulfport, Florida.

The Stetson International Environmental Competition was founded 26 years ago by Stetson Professor Royal Gardner, who is pictured here with the winning team.

This year's problem involved in part the adequacy of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of a hotel complex near a turtle nesting site. Pictured here with teams and final bench judges is also one of the sea turtles that would be affected by the construction of the hotel.

20220409_200318In the Final Round, the University of Cebu School of Law emerged victorious over the University of the Philippines College of Law.

Here is the final breakdown:


  • Philippines: University of Cebu School of Law


  • Philippines: University of the Philippines College of Law


  • Ireland: Law Society of Ireland
  • Singapore: Singapore Management University


  • Brazil: Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
  • Canada: St. Thomas University
  • Kenya: University of Nairobi
  • United States: University of Illinois Chicago School of Law


April 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 9, 2022

University of Nairobi Wins Best Memorial at the 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition

20220409_200657Students at the University of Nairobi, Kenya took the First-Place Prize for the Best Memorial (Best Brief) in the 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition.

Second-Place Best Memorial went to Singapore Management University.

And the Third-Place Best Memorial went to the Law Society of Ireland.


April 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quarterfinalists Announced in the 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition

The following teams advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2022 Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition being held in Gulfport, Florida:

  • Brazil: Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
  • Canada: St. Thomas University
  • Ireland: Law Society of Ireland
  • Kenya: University of Nairobi
  • Philippines: University of Cebu School of Law
  • Philippines: University of the Philippines College of Law
  • Singapore: Singapore Management University
  • United States: University of Illinois Chicago School of Law


April 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 8, 2022

Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition

20220408_103225The International Final Rounds of the 26th annual International Environmental Moot Court Competition are underway in person at the Gulfport, Florida campus of Stetson University College of Law.

Twelve teams from eleven countries are competing in these International Final Rounds:

  • Brazil: Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
  • Canada: St. Thomas University
  • Colombia: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
  • Ireland: Law Society of Ireland
  • Kenya: University of Nairobi
  • Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Philippines: University of Cebu School of Law
  • Philippines: University of the Philippines College of Law
  • Republic of Korea: Soongsil University College of Law
  • Singapore: Singapore Management University
  • United Kingdom: Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
  • United States: University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

20220408_122721Pictured above after one of the Preliminary Rounds are the teams from Colombia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana) and the United States (University of Illinois Chicago School of Law). Also pictured in the team lounge are the teams from the United States and Kenya (University of Nairobi).

Congratulations to Professor Royal Gardner who started the competition 26 years ago and to Stetson University School of Law for its support of the competition.



April 8, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Legal Developments in Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

On March 16, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) granted Ukraine's request for provisional measures and ordered Russia to immediately suspend military operations in Russia. Despite Ukraine's emphasis regarding the urgency of the situation, the ICJ set the schedule for pleadings over the next year with Ukraine's Memorial due in September 2022 and Russia's Counter-Memorial due in March 2023. 

Will the Court's order make any practical difference? It can help to further mobilize the international community against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and bolster international criminal proceedings against President Putin and others who may be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a criminal investigation and has called on the international community to assist in the collection of evidence of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Several states have offered financial and legal assistance. The ICC Prosecutor has pledged that President Putin will not act with impunity. 


March 27, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Happy International Women's Day 2022

BreakTheBias-heroThe theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. Women have made so much progress in international law. There are women leaders in virtually every area of our society including in international law. We are inspired by the female judges on the International Court of Justice, led by President Joan Donoghue, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and human rights activists such as Amal Clooney, among many others. Yet so much more remains to be done. 

"Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias."


March 8, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 7, 2022

Ukraine v. Russia at the International Court of Justice

ICJThe International Court of Justice held an emergency hearing today on Ukraine's complaint against Russia under the Genocide Convention. Russia was a no-show. Ukraine is asking the Court to order Russia to halt its invasion and argued that Russia has already committed war crimes by targeting civilians, among other actions. Unfortunately, even if the Court does act quickly to order a suspension of armed hostilities, Russia is unlikely to comply. However, the Court ruling could give the U.N. Security Council additional justification for action despite any Russian objections.


March 7, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

International Law Updates on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

There is so much happening in the Russian-Ukraine conflict right now, it is hard to keep up. But here are a few recent developments that may be of particular interest to international lawyers and international law scholars:

First, on February 26, Ukraine filed an application instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for alleged violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Genocide Convention. The ICJ press release may be found here. Ukraine alleges that Russia has falsely claimed that Ukraine has committed acts of genocide in certain regions of Ukraine, using that to justify Russia's military intervention. Ukraine "emphatically denies" Russia's claims of genocide. Ukraine also alleges that Russia is planning acts of genocide in Ukraine and has requested provisional measures be ordered by the Court, specifically that the Court order Russia to immediately halt all military actions in Ukraine.

Second, Ukraine has filed an application to become a member of the European Union based on its commitment to European values. Pictures of Ukrainian President Zelensky have been circulated on social media showing him signing the declaration requesting membership.

Third, Ukraine has called on the United Nations to investigate war crimes by Russia. The U.N. Human Rights Council agreed yesterday to hold an emergency debate on the situation in Ukraine.

Fourth, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced yesterday that he is opening an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Neither Ukraine nor Russia belong to the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (ICC). However, Ukraine signed the ICC Statute and has submitted declarations accepting the ICC's jurisdiction over alleged crimes under the Rome Statute committed on its territory with respect to Russia activities there over the last decade.


March 1, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Russia's Illegal Invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine flag-400Russia's invasion of Ukraine today has been appropriately condemned by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as a "grave breach of international law." The attack was "unprovoked" thus violating Article 51 of the United Nations' Charter which provides that armed force should only be used in individual or collective self-defense in response to an armed attack. Russia's "aggressive actions" also violate one of the core purposes of the U.N. Charter as set forth in Article 1: "To maintain international peace and security" against acts of aggression. Collective action to stop Russia's illegal activity is needed.


February 24, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 11, 2022

Online Panel Discussion and Book Launch: The Past, Present, and Future of the International Criminal Court

NAS5_Cover    The International Nuremberg Principles Academy is organizing an online panel discussion on the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 22 February 2022 from 16:00 CET to 17:45 CET. At the same time, the event will mark the online book launch of the fifth volume of the Nuremberg Academy Series, entitled The Past, Present and Future of the International Criminal Court, edited by Dr. Alexander Heinze and Dr. Viviane E. Dittrich.

Confirmed speakers include:

·         Judge Piotr Hofmański, President of the ICC

·         Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University in St. Louis and Special Adviser on                Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor

·         Dr. Christophe Eick, Director General and Legal Adviser of the German Ministry of                      Foreign Affairs

·         Professor Charles Jalloh, Florida International University and Member of the UN                          International Law Commission

·         Melinda Reed, Acting Convener of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court

·         Dr. Alexander Heinze, Assistant Professor at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

·         Dr. Viviane Dittrich, Deputy Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy

In light of the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute in 2022, it is timely and topical to critically examine the achievements, challenges and critiques of the ICC. The discussion will focus on select topical issues, including the Court’s effectiveness, international cooperation, completion strategies and impact of the Court, as well as the centrality of the ICC in the fight against impunity alongside other accountability mechanisms and national prosecutions.

You can find more information on the event and register on the Nuremberg Academy website.



February 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

U.S. Charges Belarusian Officials with Aircraft Piracy

The United States recently charged four Belarusian officials with conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy in connection with a fake bomb threat to Ryanair Flight 4978, which led to the grounding of the plane in Minsk on May 23 and the arrest of the journalist and government critic Roman Protasevich. U.S. prosecutors filed the charges  in federal court in New York.

Under U.S. law, 49 U.S.C. 46502, aircraft piracy is defined as "seizing or exercising control of an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States by force, violence, threat of force or violence, or any form of intimidation, and with wrongful intent." The Ryanair Flight is not within the "special aircraft jurisdiction" of the U.S. because it was not a U.S. aircraft and was not scheduled to land in the U.S. It was traveling between Greece and Lithuania when it was diverted. However, the United States claims jurisdiction over aircraft not within its special aircraft jurisdiction if U.S. nationals are on board the aircraft or if the offender is a U.S. national. In this case, news reports indicate there were four U.S. nationals on board Ryanair Flight 4978 along with approximately 130 other passengers. Whether the actions of the Belarusian officials amount to force, violence, or intimidation, rather than trickery, is open to debate.

49 U.S.C. 46502 is part of the U.S. implementation of the 1970 Convention for the Suppression of the Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, to which both the U.S. and Belarus are parties. States party to that Convention have a duty to prosecute or extradite defendants. However, that Convention defines the offense as being committed by a person on board the aircraft. This limitation may present problems for the prosecution under the facts of this case were the U.S. to rely on that Convention.  There are other international conventions that also may apply, such as the Chicago and Montreal Conventions, if the U.S. chooses to look to international law. But it appears that the U.S. prosecutors have decided to keep it a bit simpler by bringing only a one-count indictment under U.S. law.

The four defendants currently remain in Belarus. If convicted, they could face 20 years in prison.


January 25, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Who Owns this Pissarro?

Camille-Pissarro-824x1024The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today regarding the ownership of the painting, Rue Saint Honoré in the Afternoon:  Effect of Rain by Camille Pissarro (left, courtesy of the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum). The Cassirer family purchased the painting from Pissarro's art dealer and displayed it at their homes in Germany. However, the Jewish family was forced to turn it over to the Nazi government in exchange for exit visas from Germany during World War II.  After the war, the Cassirers were unable to locate the painting and accepted $13,000 in reparations from the German government in 1958, but did not relinquish their right to seek the return of the painting. The painting's current value is estimated at $30 million.

Forty years later, family members living in California discovered the painting was hanging in Madrid's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, which is state-owned. They requested the return of the painting, but the Spanish museum refused, so the family sued in California court. The main issue is whether California law or Spanish law should be used to determine the painting's ownership. In bringing suit, the Cassirer family is relying on an exception to the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which permits suits against foreign state entities for property that was taken in violation of international law. The California court determined that Spanish law applies, awarding the ownership of the painting to Spain and the Cassirers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision is expected later this spring.

More details can be found here and here.


January 19, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

ABA Midyear Meeting Goes Virtual

The American Bar Association's Board of Governors voted this week to move the ABA Midyear Meeting entirely online. The Midyear Meeting will be held February 9-14, 2022. Registration is free.



January 16, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scribes Law-Review Award -- Submit Articles by January 29

Each year, Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers—sponsors a competition to recognize an outstanding note or comment written by a law student who is associated with a student-edited law review or journal. This award has the distinction of being the only national award for student authors that places no limitation on subject matter.

Scribes hopes that your journals will enter this year’s competition by submitting an outstanding student note or comment that has been, or will be, published between June 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022. The competition will be judged by the Scribes Law Review Committee. The winning journal and the author of the winning note or comment will each receive a plaque.

The deadline to submit a nomination for this year’s award is January 29, 2022. For more information and an entry form, please contact

January 16, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Syrian Colonel Found Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

For the first time, a high-ranking official of the Assad regime in Syria has been found guilty of crimes against humanity,  in particular, for overseeing the torture of thousands of anti-government protestors who were detained at the Al-Khatib jail near Damascus known as "Hell on Earth." Anwar Raslan was a high-ranking security officer under Syrian President Assad. He fled to Germany and claimed asylum, but was arrested in 2019 and charged with murder, torture, sexual assault, and rape.  The German court tried him pursuant to the principle of universal jurisdiction which permits a State to exercise criminal jurisdiction over a defendant for crimes against humanity regardless of where the crimes were committed or the nationality of the defendant. Raslan was sentenced to life in prison.


January 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 10, 2022

AALS Section of International Law

The Section of International Law of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) elected new officers and members of its executive committee last week during the AALS Annual Meeting. Leila Sadat of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis is the new Section Chair, taking the baton from outgoing Section Chair Hari Michele Osofsky, the Dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

AALS Section on International Law

Section Officers 2022

  • Chair: Leila Nadya Sadat (Washington University St. Louis)
  • Chair-Elect: Jason S. Palmer (Stetson University Law)
  • Secretary: Sahar Aziz (Rutgers University Law)
  • Treasurer: Victoria Sahani (Arizona State University)

Executive Committee Members 2022

  • Lisa Benjamin (Lewis & Clark University Law)
  • Cindy Buys (Southern Illinois University School of Law)
  • George E. Edwards (Indiana McKinney Law)
  • Darin Johnson (Howard University Law)
  • Charlotte Ku (Texas A&M University Law)
  • John Linarelli (Touro University Law)
  • Rachel Lopez (Drexel University Law)
  • Craig Martin (Washburn University Law)
  • Thomas M. McDonnell (Pace University Law)
  • Hari Michele Osofsky (Northwestern University Law)
  • David Sloss (Santa Clara University Law)
  • Milena Sterio (Cleveland Marshall University Law)
  • Mark E. Wojcik (University of Illinois Chicago School of Law)


January 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Marking 20 Infamous Years of Detention at Guantanamo Bay

This week marks the 20th anniversary of detention of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. At its peak, the United States held some 800 detainees in the "Global War on Terror" at Guantanamo. Today, 39 still remain and 27 of those have never been charged.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the procedures created by the U.S. government to try the alleged terrorists fail constitutional muster in cases including Hamdan v Rumsfeld and Boumediene v Bush. Controversy continues about the so-called "forever trials" at Guantanamo Bay.

Several organizations that have been highlighting the problems with the ongoing detention operations are marking this infamous anniversary, including Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights. The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University has published a new report called, Costs of War which details the "costs of unlawful U.S. detentions and interrogations post-9/11." On this somber anniversary, it is worth taking a moment to consider the cost to the United States, not only economically but more importantly with respect to its reputation as a world leader.


January 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Georgetown is Hiring

Georgetown Law is seeking a new Director of Academic Success. The Director is primarily responsible for supporting the academic skills development of first-year students, oversees the Barristers' Council competition program, and participates in developing Georgetown's wellness programming.

The listing is available by clicking here.

 Hat tip to Kristen K. Tiscione.


January 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)