Author Archive for
An Hertogen

Weekend Roundup: March 15-21, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we continued last week‘s YLS Sale Symposium with a post by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen describing Sale’s legacy as a game of cat and mouse between law and politics, a post by David Martin on the realms of policy and law in refugee protection. In a two part post (1, 2), Guy Goodwin-Gill looked at state practice preceding Sale and argued that the case was not the watershed moment it is seen to be. T. Alexander Aleinikoff discussed a way forward to ensure that the rights of refugees are adequately protected. Harold Koh closed off the symposium with his reflections on Sale’s legacy.

Also continuing from last week was our Ukraine Insta-Symposium. Boris Mamlyuk argued for a better empirical understanding of the facts on the ground to assess the legality of intervention in Ukraine. As the events in Crimea unfolded, questions of recognition and annexation came into the spotlight with a post by Anna Dolidze on the non-recognition of Crimea, one by Chris analyzing the legality of recognition of a secessionist entity, and one by Greg Fox on the Russian-Crimea treaty.

In other posts, Duncan tried to read the tea leaves in the US Senate confirmation hearings for the new head of US Cyber Command. Julian reported from a hearing of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on the legality of overseas electronic surveillance and predicted that international law will receive short shrift in the Board’s final report. Andrés Guzmán Escobari rebutted an earlier post by Julian and argued that Bolivia’s ICJ case against Chile to obtain access to the Pacific Ocean is reasonably strong. Roger closed off the week with a post on the use of trade remedies to enforce arbitration awards.

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

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

Weekend Roundup: March 9-15, 2014

by An Hertogen

We had a busy week on the blog, so if you haven’t been able to keep track of it all, here is a summary of what happened.

We continued the Ukraine Insta-symposium with posts by Remy Jorritsma on the application of IHL to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and by Sina Etezazian on Russia’s right to protect its citizens in the Crimea and Ukraine’s right to use of force in self-defence. A post by Greg Fox and one by Tali Kolesov Har-Oz and Ori Pomson discussed the limits of government consent to intervention, while Robert McCorquodale discussed Crimean self-determination and the international legal effect of a declaration of independence. Ilya Nuzov provided a transitional justice perspective; and Rhodri Khadri examined if any useful lessons for the Crimean crisis can be drawn from the solution to the Åland Islands. Julian responded to Boris Mamlyuk’s critique on US international law scholars by exploring Russia’s position.

A second symposium this week, introduced here by Tendayi Achiume, Jeffrey Kahn and Itamar Mann, summarized the presentations of last weekend’s symposium at Yale Law School on the rise of maritime migrant interdictions twenty years after the US Supreme Court’s Sale judgment. Ira Kurzban described the events leading up to the Sale judgment and Jocelyn Mccalla discussed the impact of Sale on Haitian immigration and advocacy. In a two part post, Bill Frelick discussed the international and US domestic initiatives to counter Sale‘s implication that the non-refoulement principle does not apply extra-territorially. Azadeh Dastyari put the spotlight on the lesser known use of Guantanamo Bay for the detention of refugees. Maritime migrant interdictions are not a uniquely US phenomenon, as demonstrated by Paul Power’s discussion of Australia’s “Stopping the Boats” policy and Meron Estefanos’ post about the impact of the EU’s refugee policy on Eritrean refugees. Bradley Samuels used the example of non-assistance at sea in the Mediterranean to discuss the increasing reliance on architectural representations of space as evidence in litigation.The symposium will continue next week, so stay tuned!

In other posts, Kristen Boon updated us on the latest developments in the Haiti cholera case, and John Knox, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, guest posted about the mapping report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this week. Despite their win, Kevin declared the Katanga conviction a difficult day in the office for the OTP. Kevin also asked us to identify a historical figure in a picture of the ’70s, and was disgusted by a phishing e-mail preying the situation in Syria.

Finally, Jessica compiled the weekly news and I listed events and announcements.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and to all our readers for the lively discussions this week!

Events and Announcements: March 9, 2014

by An Hertogen

  • Law and Boundaries is an interdisciplinary yearly conference that aims to discuss and propose new perspectives on the challenges the legal discipline is facing regarding its object, its function, its theoretical foundations and its practical outcomes. The organizers are calling scholars from all disciplines to submit their abstracts (250-300 words) before March 14th, 2014. Abstracts are accepted in English and in French. Please note however that presentations should be done in English, and that working papers should preferably be written in English. More information is here.
  • The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is callling 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, in Washington DC. 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 Diploma is offered to a select group of 35 law professionals who fulfill the admission requirements. Access more information 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: March 1-8, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we continued to follow the situation in Ukraine as it unfolded with an insta-symposium. Alexander Cooley gave an overview of the power politics at play, while Chris posted about Russia’s use of legal rhetoric as a politico-military strategy, and about how language affects the evolution of international law. This last post built on a discussion between Julian and Peter in which Julian argued that the crisis shows the limits of international law, while Peter took aim at the Perfect Compliance Fallacy.

Further issues of compliance with international law were raised by Aurel Sauri, who analysed when the breach of a Status of Forces Agreement amounts to an act of aggression, by Mary Ellen O’Connell’s post on Ukraine under international law, and by Julian who asked whether a Crimean referendum on secession would be contrary to international law. In a follow-up post on the referendum, Chris surveyed the current state of international law on the right to secede and self-determination. In response to a reader’s comment, Chris also delved into the issue of recognition to figure out who speaks for Ukraine.

Peter examined the legality of Russia’s extension of citizenship to non-resident native Russian speakers and pointed to the legal basis for President Obama’s decision to impose entry restrictions in response to the Ukrainian crisis.

In other news, Julian asked why the US did not call the knife attack in the Kunming railway station a terrorist attack, Charles Blanchard provided a guest post on autonomous weapons, and Duncan updated us on the US Supreme Court’s latest treaty interpretation case.

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

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

Weekend Roundup: February 22-28, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris,  we closely followed the situation in Ukraine. Julian argued that international law principles are unlikely to provide a solution for the crisis since it would require the US and Russia respectively to defend or reject principles they have rejected or defended in other crises. He also reassured Daily Mail readers that the Budapest Memorandum does not oblige the US or the UK to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion. Kevin in turn suggested to Ukraine’s Parliament to sort out the ICC’s jurisdiction over Ukraine before sending former President Yanukovych to The Hague for trial.

More on the ICC and its jurisdiction followed in Kevin’s analysis of jurisdictional issues in Reprieve‘s Drone strike communication to the ICC and his post recommending Susanne Mueller’s essay on Kenya and the ICC.

Julian’s other posts focused on Asia. He described how Japan’s historic wars with its neighbours continue to be fought in the court room with the Chinese government’s decision to back a lawsuit against Japanese companies that used Chinese citizens as forced laborers during World War II and a California lawsuit that brings Japan and Korea’s history wars to the US state and local level. He also looked into calls for a joint China-Taiwan policy over claims in the South and East China Seas.

In other posts, Kristen assessed the UN’s news “Rights Up Front” Action Plan; Peter pointed to an interesting experiment showing that information on treaty obligations can shift public opinion on solitary confinement; and Kevin thought the European Parliament’s resolution on drone strikes adopted a broad definition of jus ad bellum.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and I listed events and announcements. Our London-based readers can see Kevin in action this coming Wednesday  when he’ll give a lecture at UCL on “What is an International Crime?”.

Have a nice weekend!

Events and Announcements: February 23, 2014

by An Hertogen

Calls for Papers

  • TDM is calling for papers for a special issue on “The Pacific Rim and International Economic Law: Opportunities and Risks of the Pacific Century“. The formidable scale and pace of economic and legal development in the Pacific Rim region offers considerable opportunities, but also carries certain risks. The forthcoming Pacific Rim TDM Special Issue will collect views of experienced practitioners, academics, and policymakers on key economic and legal opportunities and risks in the Pacific Rim region today. Topics to be addressed could include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. TPP and RCEP: Competition, Coordination, or 2. A U.S.-China BIT as a 21st Century Model BIT?, 3. Pacific Rim Investment Treaty Practice: Regional Considerations, 4. Pacific Rim Approaches to Key Legal Issues. The editors of the Pacific Rim TDM Special Issue are Wenhua Shan (Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Law) and Mark Feldman (Peking University School of Transnational Law). See here for more details and contact information.
  • The Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) is calling for papers for its 22nd annual conference in Canberra on July 3-5, 2014. This year’s theme is Towards International Peace through International Law. A postgraduate research students workshop will be held the day before the conference. Deadline for the submission of abstracts is March 7, 2014 for both the conference and the workshop.  More information is available here.
  • The Surrey International Law Centre of the School of Law of the University of Surrey with the support of the Institute of Advanced Studies, the McCoubrey Centre of the University of Hull and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (‘BIICL’) will host a two-day workshop on the identification of core standards of Procedural Fairness before International Courts and Tribunals. The deadline for the submission of abstracts of max. 500 words is April 1, 2014. More information is here (pdf).

Events

  • The final program for the February 25-26, 2014 Doha conference on the Syrian Crisis and International Law, organised by the Qatar University, College of Law and the Qatari Branch of the International Law Association, is now available online.
  • Applications for the EIUC training seminar for International Electoral Observers close on March 14, 2014. More information about the seminar is available 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 15-21, 2014

by An Hertogen

Weekend again, time for a roundup of the blog! This week, Rogier Bartels provided a guest post in two parts on the temporal scope of application of IHL, asking when a non-international armed conflict ends.

Chris followed the situation in Ukraine closely with a post on the background of the conflict and the country’s long road to stability. He also wrote a legal primer on the Cossacks and their resurgence in Russia, after video emerged of the militia breaking up a Pussy Riot protest in Sochi.

Kevin is excited about Mark Lewis’ book The Birth of New Justice, and promised to let us know once he has read it whether it lived up to his expectations.

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

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 9-14, 2014

by An Hertogen

The heavy dumping of snow on the US East Coast made for a light dusting of posts this week.

Kevin found the ICTR’s recent acquittal of Augustin Ndindiliyimana after 11 years of pre-trial detention a stain on the tribunal’s reputation. He also was not convinced by Eugene Kontorovich’s use of Belgium’s extension of the right to die to terminally ill minors as an argument to attack on Roper v Simmons, and later replied to Eugene’s response.

For those hungry for more reading: Kevin recommended a post by Sergey Vasiliev on the relationship between Perisic and Sainovic while Julian recommended Stephan Talmon’s book chapter on the question of UNCLOS jurisdiction in Philippines arbitration against China, and Duncan announced the winners of the 2013 ASIL Certificates of Merit.

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

Have a nice weekend!

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!