December 2015

This from friend of OJ Harlan Cohen. The chair is in honor of Gabe Wilner, a longtime professor of international law at UGA. The University of Georgia School of Law invites applications for a fully endowed professorship in international law beginning August of 2016. Applicants should be able to join the faculty at the rank of full professor. They should have...

Karen De Young and Missy Ryan have a long article today in the Washington Post about internal USG debates over the rules of engagement in Syria. It's a very interesting and generally excellent article, but it contain one major error: International law allows for civilian casualties, even intentional ones, providing an action is within the bounds of distinction and proportionality, a...

Scientific American has published an article by John Wendle on how climate change has spurred the conflict in Syria. Wendle writes: Climatologists say Syria is a grim preview of what could be in store for the larger Middle East, the Mediterranean and other parts of the world. The drought, they maintain, was exacerbated by climate change. The Fertile Crescent—the birthplace of...

Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world: Africa Four Nigerian farmers will have the chance to sue Shell, the multinational oil and gas company, in the Netherlands for pollution they blame on leaking pipelines, a Dutch appeals court has ruled. The AU is giving Burundi until Tuesday to agree to accept a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force - or it will send the...

From CNN: For the first time in its 70-year history, the United Nations has officially recognized a Jewish holiday. U.N. employees who observe the Jewish faith will have the day off and no official meetings will take place on this date from now on, according to the Israeli mission to the organization. Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, considered the most important...

Underwater archaeologist Peter B. Campbell has a very interesting opinion piece in the New York Times about how archaeological claims are being used as political weapons in sovereignty disputes. He explains: For decades, global powers have been engaged in a race to exploit lucrative marine resources, from oil to fisheries to control of strategic waterways. But they have faced a challenge:...

Although anything I post about Israel invariably elicits angry comments, nothing makes Israel's supposed "defenders" more angry than my posts -- see here and here -- about Breaking the Silence, the Israeli organisation that collects testimonies by IDF soldiers about their experiences in combat. I'm obviously not the only one who has noticed the anger toward the organisation; Haggai Mattar recently...

With the end of Ban Ki-Moon’s term on the horizon, discussions about the next UN Secretary General, and more importantly how that person should be chosen, have moved front and center. A joint letter by the Presidents of the GA and Security Council was released on December 15, which sets forth a slightly new process.  It states:  “[The Presidents] will...

As already noted by others (including Kevin Heller, Marko Milanovic, and Dov Jacobs), the ICTY Appeals Chamber has overturned the acquittals of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic and remanded their case back to the Trial Chamber for the holding of a second trial. I want to discuss two issues pertaining to this decision. The first pertains to the Specific Direction requirement...

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[Dr Nadia Bernaz is Senior Lecturer in Law and Dr Elvira Dominguez Redondo is Associate Professor of International Law, both at Middlesex University, London UK.] The 10th of December 2015, International Human Rights Day, was marked by the European Union General Court (EGC) quashing a free trade agreement between the European Union and Morocco, to the extent that it was to...

Last week, the ICTY Appeals Chamber reversed the acquittals of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, the former head and deputy head of the Serbian secret police under Milosevic, and ordered them retried. One of the two grounds for reversal was the Trial Chamber's adoption of the specific-direction requirement; in the majority's view (the vote was 3-2), specific direction is not an element...