Author Archive for
An Hertogen

Events and Announcements: February 9, 2014

by An Hertogen

Calls for Papers

  • The ICTBEL Organising Committee has now issued a call for papers to be presented in June 2014 conference, which will be held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. International Confer­ence on Trade, Business and Economic Law (ICTBEL) provides an opportunity for academics, practitioners, consultants, scholars, researchers and policy makers with different backgrounds and experience to present their papers in the conference. Papers may address, but are not restricted to, the main theme from any of the following sub-themes. Unlisted but related sub-topics are also acceptable: International Trade Law, International Economic Law,  International Business Law, Corpo­rate/Commercial Law, Climate Change, Sustainable development and International Trade, Im­pact of Liberalisation and globalisation on trade, business and investment, Globalisation and Free Trade,  Trade Policy,  Economic and Finance,  International Trade Frauds,  Money Laun­dering regulations, Bribery and Corruption, Foreign investments,  Mergers and Acquisition,  Ju­risdiction and Enforcement of Judgments, International commercial arbitration and litigation, Im­port and Export, Letters of Credit,  WTO and related agreements. An abstract between 300-500 words written on a topic within the broad conference theme of in­ternational trade, business and economic law should be submitted by e-mail before April 14, 2014.

Events

Announcements

  • OUP have just published a new debate map on the disputes in the South and East China Seas and has made some relevant OUP content freely available here.
  • The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) is accepting applications for the 18th edition of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA).  E.MA provides students with the opportunity to share knowledge and skills with leading scholars from 41 prestigious European Universities and renowned Human Rights experts, in the classroom and during a week-long field trip. Applications for the academic year 2014/2015 are processed on an on-going basis. The Second Round Deadline is March 15, 2014Apply now.
  • The Antonio Cassese Initiative for Justice, Peace and Humanity and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights open their application process for the Summer School 2014 on Transnational Justice: Conflict and Human Rights from July 7-11, 2014.
  • The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is proud to announce the call for applications for the 15th annual Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law which runs from May 27th to June 13th 2014. The program offers 19 courses taught by more than 40 prominent scholars in the field of human rights, in both English and Spanish. The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides through this Program the unique opportunity to learn and interact with judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Special Rapporteurs of United Nations, members of the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights, recognized members of NGOs and professors from all over the world. The program welcomed more than 165 participants from over 25 countries with differing backgrounds and levels of experience for an intensive three weeks in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the Academy hosts special events, such as panels, a film series, and site visits to international organizations. The Diploma is offered to a select group of 35 law professionals who fulfill the admission requirements. Access more information here.
  • The Summer Academy on the Continental Shelf (SACS) will be held from June 21-28, 2014 under the auspices of the University of the Faroe Islands. You can download the information folder here.

Last week’s events and announcements can be found here. If you would like to post an announcement on Opinio Juris, please contact us.

Weekend Roundup: February 2-8, 2014

by An Hertogen

The year is now officially in full swing on Opinio Juris with our first symposium of 2014. Up for discussion were both lead articles of the latest AJIL issue. The first article, on the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, was introduced here by Karen Alter, Larry Helfer and Jacky McAllister and was followed by comments by Solomon Ebobrah, Kofi Kufuor, and Horace Adjolohoun. Karen, Larry and Jacky’s response can be found here. The second article, by Julian Davis Mortenson and introduced here, discussed the role of travaux préparatoires in treaty interpretation. Ulf Linderfalk offered vigorous two part (1, 2) rebuttal. Other comments came from Richard Gardiner and Bart Szewczyk.  Julian’s reply is here.

Kevin mourned Maximilian Schellcriticized President Obama’s certification concerning US participation in the UN’s Mali stabilisation mission and the ICC; and was even more critical of the ICTY’s OTP request to the Appeals Chamber to reconsider Perisic. On the last issue, Kevin also recommended a post by Bill Schabas.

Julian, who was elected to the ALI, posted on the US’ first public statement China’s South China Sea Nine Dash Line is inconsistent with international law. Deborah tried to keep up up-to-date on the difference between ISIS and al-Qaeda and Peter engaged in a thought experiment on Olympic free agency.

Finally, Jessica listed events and announcements and wrapped up the news.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!

AJIL Symposium this week

by An Hertogen

This week we’re hosting a symposium on both lead articles in the October 2013 edition of the American Journal of International Law.

Today and tomorrow, Kofi Kufuor, Solomon Ebobrah and Horace Adjolohoun discuss “A New International Human Rights Court for West Africa: The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice” by Karen Alter, Larry Helfer and Jacqueline McAllister:

The Court of Justice for the Economic Community of West African States has
been transformed from an interstate tribunal for resolving disputes over
ECOWAS economic rules into a court with far-reaching human rights jurisdiction.
This article identifies political mobilization, rather than judicial lawmaking,
as the catalyst of this transformation, and explains the surprising reality that,
whereas private actors in recent years have been able to pursue legal actions alleging human rights violations, they remain unable to challenge state noncompliance with ECOWAS economic rules.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Ulf Linderfalk, Bart Szewczyk and Richard Gardiner discuss “The Travaux of Travaux: Is the Vienna Convention Hostile to Drafting History?” by Julian Davis Mortenson:

It is often said that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties relegated drafting history to a subsidiary role in treaty interpretation. This article relies on a
close reading of the Convention’s own drafting history to challenge that view.
Under the settlement actually negotiated by the drafters, reference to travaux
préparatoires was meant to be a regular, central, and indeed indispensable component of the interpretive process.

As always, we welcome your comments too.

Weekend Roundup: January 4-17, 2014

by An Hertogen

In the past fortnight on Opinio Juris, Kevin wasn’t convinced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s argument that can accept the ICC’s jurisdiction on an ad hoc basis because it is still Egypt’s legitimate government. He also discussed the OTP’s motion to challenge Rule 134quater and the Trial Chamber’s decision to conditionally excuse Ruto from continuously attending his trial in The Hague.

Julian gave the US State Department an “F” over its handling of the visa fraud allegations against India’s Deputy Consul-General in New York. Julian was also doubtful about a recommendation for the US to accede to UNCLOS as a way to assert leadership and push back China’s claims in the East and South China Seas.

In two guest posts, Lorenzo Kamel compared the EU’s approach to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories with its approach to Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara. Further on Israel and Palestine, Eliav Lieblich discussed a recent court hearing in which Israel is trying to revive maritime prize law against a Finnish ship intercepted when it tried to breach the Gaza blockade.

We engaged in cross-blog dialogues with Kevin’s thoughts on Manuel Ventura’s critique of specific direction over at Spreading the Jam, and a discussion with EJIL:Talk! of the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Jones v. UKdiscussed on our end by Bill Dodge and Chimène Keitner.

In other posts, Duncan asked whether the interim agreement over Iran’s nuclear program was a secret treaty, Kristen shared reflections on UN law making, Deborah discussed the inaccuracy of attaching the “al-Qaeda” label too liberally and the political consequences of attaching such a label, and Peter pointed out a key provision on Obama’s NSA reforms (policy directive) allowing foreigners as well as Americans data protection with regard to bulk surveillance data.

If you want more to read, you can check out the AJIL Agora on Kiobel, mentioned by Julian, or read the new blog Global Military Justice Reform to which Deborah drew our attention.

Finally, I wrapped up the news (1, 2) and listed events and announcements (1, 2).

Have a nice weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: January 13, 2014

by An Hertogen

Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

  • Negotiators are still trying to reach a peace deal in South Sudan.

Asia

Americas

  • Jihad Jane” has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for her involvement in a failed plot to kill a Swedish artist over an offensive depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.

Middle East

Europe

Oceania

Events and Announcements: January 12, 2014

by An Hertogen

  • Oliver Windridge has started ACtHPR Monitor, a forum for news, comment and debate on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Its first article is an in-depth interview with the court’s Registrar, Dr. Robert Eno. The website also contains an introduction to the court and our Country Tracker, designed to give prospective applicants and other interested parties a quick reference on the court’s jurisdiction. You can also find them on Twitter via @acthpr_monitor.
  • The Institute for Migrant Rights and the Centre for Local Law Development Studies Faculty of Law, Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) are launching the Indonesian Society for International & Comparative Law and the Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law (IJICL) of the Institute for Migrant Rights on January 21 at UII in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The speakers for the event will include: Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, Chairman of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, Professor Ana Vrdoljak, Associate Dean of University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Law, Dean Philip McConaughay, School of Transnational Law Peking University, Shenzen. In addition, Dr. Adam Wallwork of the University of Chicago Law School will be presented the 2014 Ridwan Mukti Prize for his outstanding contribution to IJICL. For more information, please contact Mr. Aditya Rakhman or Ms. Erna Wati.
  • The European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) is holding an international conference on asylum law in Europe on January 17-18, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. More information, and registration, is available here.
  • The Yale Institute of International Arbitration is pleased to announce its next breakfast roundtable on The Future of Investment Arbitration in Latin America. It will be held the morning of April 2, 2014, from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., at the New York offices of Debevoise & Plimpton located at 919 Third Avenue. Panelists are Meg Kinnear, Donald Donovan and Hugo Perezcano Díaz. Andrés Jana will moderate. The proceedings will be simulcast via video teleconferencing to various locations in the Americas and Europe. Registration is required, although there is no fee. CLE credit for the New York Bar is available. To register or obtain more information, simply contact Bradley Hayes.

Last week’s announcements can be found hereIf you would like to post an announcement on Opinio Juris, please contact us. 

Weekly News Wrap: January 6, 2014

by An Hertogen

Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

  • South Sudan peace talks were scheduled to start on Sunday in Addis Ababa, but were delayed once again.
  • Congolese troops staved off armed attacks in Kinshasa by armed followers of a religious leader who is critical of President Kabila over his decision to make peace with Tutsi rebels in Eastern Congo.
  • Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for car bombings outside a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Asia

Americas

  • In editorials, the NYTimes and the Guardian have called for recognition of Edward Snowden as a whistleblower.

Middle East

Europe

Events and announcements: January 5, 2014

by An Hertogen

  • The Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law (CJICL) will hold its Third Annual Conference on May 10-11, 2014 at the St John’s College Divinity School, University of Cambridge. This conference will explore approaches that question the traditional state-centric view of international and comparative law. The idea of universality suggests that international law applies equally and indiscriminately across domestic legal systems, and within sub-systems of international law itself. Cosmopolitanism conceives of the world as a single entity, with resonances between people irrespective of their location, nationality and culture, and asks how legal actors can access legal regimes beyond their state’s domestic framework.  Abstract submissions, no longer than 300 words and accompanied by a brief biography or CV, should be submitted online by January 26, 2014. More information is here.
  • The European Law Journal, HEC Paris and the Center for Research on Transnational Law
    (CTL), Peking University School of Transnational Law (PKUSTL), Peking University
    Shenzhen Graduate School, are welcoming proposals for presentation at the 10th
    International Workshop for Young Scholars (WISH)/10ème Rencontre Internationale des Jeunes Chercheurs (RIJC), scheduled to take place in Paris in December 2014. Proposals must be written by doctoral candidates (or equivalent) who have not yet submitted their thesis or have been awarded their doctorate in the 12 months prior to March 15, 2014. More information is here.

Our previous events and announcements can be found here. If you would like to post an announcement on Opinio Juris, please contact us. 

Holiday Roundup: December 21, 2013 – January 3, 2014

by An Hertogen

If you’ve been away for the holidays, here is a summary of what we got up to at Opinio Juris over the break.

Kevin posted Banksy’s Christmas postcard, linked to his new essay on the legal recharacterization of facts at the ICC, and held another round in the Amnesty-Goodman-Heller debate on universal jurisdiction, and hoped the Muslim Brotherhood’s legal team would explain the basis for the ICC’s jurisdiction in their complaint. His post on NYU’s selective defense of academic freedom in response to the ASA’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions triggered a long debate in the comments.

Fair trial issues came up in Kevin’s post recommending Daphne Evitar’s discussion of the infringements with attorney-client privilege at Guantanamo and in Megan Fairlie’s guest post on the ICTY’s management of Judge Harhoff’s disqualification in the Šešelj case.

Duncan participated in a podcast explaining the importance of US treaty power with John Bellinger, Joseph Ellis and Nick Rosenkranz, and Julian took a break from teaching in Curacao to argue that the ICJ could have a role to play in resolving the diplomatic incident between India and the US over the latter’s arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.

The end of the year made us reflect on the year that was: Peter listed nine trends from 2013 on citizenship and Chris rounded up the main themes and highlights for Opinio Juris in 2013.

Finally, Jessica listed events and announcements, and we wrapped up the news (1, 2)

Best wishes to all our readers for 2014!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 30, 2013

by An Hertogen

Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

Americas

  • Edward Snowden has declared “mission accomplished” and also issued an alternative Christmas message for the UK’s Channel 4.
  • Legal or not? A federal District Court judge in New York has ruled that the NSA data collection is legal, a week after a District Court judge in DC ruled it illegal.

Asia

Europe

Middle East

Weekend Roundup: December 14-20, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week Kevin briefly turned the blog into The Onion Juris with his satirical ICTY press release, after the Court, in Kevin’s opinion, nailed the final nail in the coffin of its legitimacy. In a guest post, Eugene Kontorovich framed the question as a design choice in terms of who should bear the risk when a judge becomes unavailable before a trial has ended.

Not satire was Kevin’s post about glitter territorism. Kevin also posted a surreply to Ryan Goodman on whether Amnesty International inflated universal jurisdiction numbers.

We ran a symposium on Kristina Daugirdas’ Congress Underestimated from the latest AJIL issue, with comments by Paul Stephan, Daniel Abebe, and David Gartner. Kristina’s reply is here.

Jessica rounded up the news, and I listed events and announcements.

Have a nice weekend!

AJIL Symposium on “Congress Underestimated” by Kristina Daugirdas

by An Hertogen

Today and tomorrow, we are joining forces again with the American Journal of International Law to bring you a discussion of Kristina Daugirdas‘ article, “Congress Underestimated”:

Using the World Bank as a case study, this article casts doubt on the empirical foundation for the claim that international organizations undermine democracy by undermining legislatures, at least in the United States. The article also argues that the conventional wisdom about the executive branch’s dominance in foreign affairs may be overstated—especially outside the context of wars and crises. Over the past forty years, Congress has undertaken persistent and often successful efforts to shape day-to-day U.S. participation in the World Bank, a key international organization.

Congress has relied on a combination of tools to accomplish this.  It has adopted legislation instructing the U.S. representative at the World Bank to oppose specified categories of loans and pursue specified policies.  It has credibly threatened to cut appropriations.  And it has stepped up its monitoring of both the World Bank and the executive branch’s interactions with it.  The President has objected that Congress’s legislated instructions contravene constitutional limits on its authority.  But these protestations have not held Congress back.  The Treasury Department—the executive branch agency that implements U.S. policy with respect to the Bank—has diligently followed Congress’s instructions to ensure that Congress continues to provide necessary appropriations.

By focusing on Congress’s ongoing role in influencing the World Bank’s operations, this article addresses a perplexing oversight in the literature concerning the democratic accountability of international organizations in the United States. To the extent that this literature considers Congress at all, it has focused narrowly on two discrete points: Congress’s role in the initial decision to authorize U.S. participation in international organizations and its role in implementing new international legal obligations that these organizations generate. But limiting the inquiry to these discrete points misses much of what is important. First, international organizations are durable institutions with long lives; the World Bank, for example, has been around since 1945. Concerns about democratic accountability do not wane over time. To the contrary, they are likely to grow more acute. Second, many international organizations, including the World Bank, conduct their mandated activities without generating new international norms that bind their member states, with the consequence that their activities do not raise the question of whether implementing legislation is necessary.

Commentators are Paul Stephan (Virginia), Daniel Abebe (Chicago) and David Gartner (Arizona State). As always we welcome readers’ comments!