Weekend Roundup: March 31 – April 6, 2012

by An Hertogen

Roger Alford kicked off the new week with quotable quotes from the ASIL Annual Meeting. Also on ASIL, Julian Ku posted an excerpt from his report on the Chevron-Ecuador panel.

Ken Anderson reported on the first decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to recognize unlawful discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Julian Ku sensed a trend of US civil rights groups making increasing use of international organizations as alternative fora for their domestic claims, pointed out his pet peeve: a newspaper headline mixing up “international law” and “foreign law”, and discussed the legal differences between the Libyan intervention and a possible military intervention in Syria. He also questioned why the faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School rejected a $60 million donation for the study of international law.

Deborah Pearlstein challenged claims that the political and legal difficulties surrounding detention have caused an increase in the targeted killing operations.

Kevin Heller posted about the disarray at the ECCC, as catalogued in a note by the recently resigned International Co-Investigating Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet. Kevin argued that while Henry Ford may have paid his workers a good salary, as pointed out in Obama’s prepared remarks of his budget speech, he was not such a good role model when his anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi stance is taken into account. Kevin also posted a cartoon by Mat Bors and plugged an article about greenwashing and Chevron.

Kevin discussed the ICC’s pre-trial chamber’s decision to reject Libya’s request to postpone the surrender of Gadhafi’s son, so he can be tried domestically. As Kevin pointed out, the chamber avoided the question whether article 95 of the Rome Statute applies to surrender requests or only to requests for the collection of evidence.

Following the decision by the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to reject Palestine’s attempt to accept its jurisdiction under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, Kevin asked whether the authority to decide this issue lies with the OTP, potentially reviewable by the Appeals Chamber, or with the Assembly of States Parties (ASP). In a follow-up post, he wondered why the Palestinians never asked the ASP to determine that Palestine qualified as a state for ICC purposes. In a guest post, Michael Kearney, provided background on the three years since the Palestinians’ request and reflected on the Prosecutor’s decision. David Davenport responded in a guest post to Kearney and finally, Kevin Heller posed three questions for Davenport.

Still on Palestine, but involving a very different ICC, Roger Alford reported on the inauguration of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center, established under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce as a joint venture between ICC Israel and ICC Palestine.

Roger also covered John Bolton’s Federalist Society speech at Notre Dame Law School Thursday, in which Bolton claimed the US has a choice between supporting an Israeli preemptive strike and accepting a nuclear Iran. On the topic of anticipatory attacks, Marty Lederman guest posted about the 2007 strike in Syria and the broader questions raised regarding implications covert actions may have on the formation or evolution of customary international law, especially in the context of self-defense.

This week, we brought you a series of eight guest posts by Professor Jan H. Dalhuisen, whom Julian Ku introduced here. This series dealt with a topic that we do not often cover on Opinio Juris: the transnationalization of private law. In his first post, Professor Dalhuisen explained what this means and why it is important for the regulation of international commerce and finance. He discussed the sources of modern lex mercatoria, the hierarchy of norms in the operation of lex mercatoria, and the legitimacy of modern lex mercatoria. He explained why modern lex mercatoria is dynamic, moving away from static interpretations of contract and movable property law. In light of lex mercatoria’s dynamic nature he discussed the notions of certainty, predictability of finality of the law. He discussed how international arbitration clauses and international arbitrators derive their recognition and power from the transnational commercial and financial legal order. In his final post, he discussed the role of legal academia in the development of lex mercatoria.

Finally, we posted an announcement for an international criminal law conference on “Pluralism v Harmonization: National Adjudication of International Crimes”, to be held in Amsterdam on 14-15 June 2012.

Have a nice weekend!


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