Author Archive for
Jessica Dorsey

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 15, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Palestinian officials are to present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council seeking a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation, an official has said.
  • The UN Security Council has called for a “swift and transparent investigation” after a Palestinian minister died during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers.

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: December 14, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Platform of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University cordially invite you to attend the launch of the book: ‘Nuclear Weapons Under International Law’  taking place Wednesday, 17 December in The Hague. Please find more information here.

Calls for Papers

  • The McCoubrey Centre for International Law of the University of Hull Law School is hosting on 2 & 3 July 2015 its 2nd conference for research students and early career scholars. The conference’s title is “Making International Custom More Tangible”, and the keynote speech will be given by Sir Michael Wood, the Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission on the Formation and Evidence of Customary International Law. The principal aims of the McCoubrey Centre Conference are to promote wider debate on the issues being addressed by the ILC, to stimulate research on customary law by younger academics, and to contribute to a wider understanding of the foundations and function of customary international law in the 21st century. All panels will be chaired by leading academics, who will be invited to comment on the papers. Selected papers will appear in a volume edited by the McCoubrey Centre for International Law. Interested participants should provide an abstract of no more than 500 words by 15 February 2015. Abstracts shall be uploaded on the conference’s webpage. Speakers will be informed of acceptance of their papers by 6 March 2015.

Announcements

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched its Online Training Centre, a collection of e-learning modules on international humanitarian law and other areas of the ICRC’s work. These online training courses are available to anyone as self-paced courses, free of charge. For more information, please visit the website here.
  • As we have announced previously, the ICRC also has recently launched the online version of the casebook, How Does Law Protect in WarThis new online reference platform in IHL features:
    • Regular updates with new case studies on contemporary armed conflicts
    • An comprehensive IHL outline composed of 14 different themes
    • More than 350 case studies covering past and contemporary armed conflicts
    • More than 20 model IHL courses and pedagogical resources for IHL lecturers
    • More than 300 terms and notions referenced in the online index “A to Z”
    • Full online navigation between theory and practice through internal links and search engine

Last week’s events and announcements can be found here. If you would like to post an announcement on Opinio Juris, please contact us with a one-paragraph description of your announcement along with hyperlinks to more information. 

Weekend Roundup: December 6-12, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Looking back at the week that was, Opinio Juris bloggers covered a number of news-related issues. Several provided commentary on the release of the US Senate’s Torture Report. Prior to its release, Kevin expressed disbelief at a post by ACLU Director Anthony Romero urging blanket amnesty for those responsible for torture, and as soon as it became available, Jens announced the report’s availability and his first thoughts here, before discussing what we really fight about when we talk about torture here.

Deborah examined the question of prosecution in response to allegations in the report, and Roger posted on the report as a truth and reconciliation commission, akin to his research on the transitional justice process post-apartheid in South Africa. Finally, Julian weighed in analyzing a recent trend that the US public does not necessarily agree with international law’s absolute ban on torture.

In other news, after the ICC dropped the case against Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Julian posed the provocative question whether this might spell the end for the ICC. Additionally, Kevin flagged the OTP’s decision to suspend the investigation into alleged crimes in Darfur, troubled by the seemingly politically laden relationship between the Court and the UN Security Council.

Julian also called attention to China’s “position paper” released ahead of its December 15th filing deadline in the situation between China and the Philippines before the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal. He also pointed to his more in-depth analysis of why the Philippines arbitration is doomed to fail (spoiler alert: it’s due to a mistake by the Philippines in employing a “lawfare strategy” forcing China before the arbitral tribunal), notwithstanding Vietnam’s support of the Philippines’ position. Finally in sea-worthy news, Julian pointed to the newest (sci-fi) development for the US Navy in the Persian Gulf: the planned deployment of laser cannons.

Rounding out the contributions from our regular bloggers, Duncan paid homage to his mentor, the late Professor Alfred P. Rubin, referring to him as the best professor he has ever had.

We posted Eric Sigmund’s guest contribution, a response to Kevin’s previous questioning of why US courts don’t understand IHL, remarking that the courts’ misunderstanding of IHL is deeper than you’d think.

Finally, I wrapped up the week’s news and listed events and announcements.

Thanks go out to our guest contributor and have a nice weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 8, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

  • The International Criminal Court has withdrawn charges of crimes against humanity against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, a decision met with mixed reaction.
  • Suspected rebels stabbed and hacked to death at least a dozen people in a village in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, a local government official said, in the latest in a series of attacks on civilians.
  • Kenya’s police squads have admitted for the first time to carrying out extrajudicial killings. Speaking to Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the officers discussed their involvement in the Kenyan government’s assassination program targeting suspected Muslim radicals.
  • Nigeria detained a Russian cargo plane and its French-speaking crew on Saturday after it made an unauthorised landing in the northern city of Kano with military hardware bound for neighbouring Chad, a security source said.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

  • China’s foreign ministry rebuked the U.S. Congress on Monday after legislators passed a bill allowing the sale of second-hand warships to Taiwan, the self-ruled island which Beijing claims as a renegade province.
  • The United States will keep up to 1,000 more soldiers than previously planned in Afghanistan into next year, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, in a recognition of the still formidable challenge from Taliban insurgents.

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: December 7, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order is hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international law and with a special interest in interdisciplinary studies of international law and its social and political context. We particularly welcome students and scholars who are writing up a PhD thesis that involves an interdisciplinary study of one or more international courts. More information can be found here.

Calls for Papers

  • Are you interested in attending an all-expense paid 3 week summer program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law taught by over 39 world-renowned practitioners and academics at American University Washington College of Law? Well, now is your chance! Submit an essay to the Human Rights Essay Award Competition and you could be the lucky winner to receive a scholarship to attend the 2015 Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. This year’s topic is “Transitional Justice, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” and the deadline to submit is February 1, 2015. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review. This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of: a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies, travel expenses to Washington D.C., housing at the university dorms and a per diem for living expenses. For detailed guidelines about the award please visit the website here or contact the organizers at: hracademy [at] wcl [dot] american [dot] edu
  • TDM has announced a special issue on “Dealing with Diversity in International Arbitration.” This Special Issue will analyse discrimination and diversity in international arbitration. It will examine new trends, developments, and challenges in the use of practitioners from different geographical, ethnic/racial, religious backgrounds as well as of different genders in international arbitration, whether as counsel or tribunal members. This special issue will be edited by Professor Rashda Rana SC (Barrister, Arbitrator at 39 Essex Street Chambers, President ArbitralWomen) and Louise Barrington (Independent Arbitrator and Director Aculex Transnational Inc) with the assistance of the Edition Committee including Karen Mills (Partner Karim Syah Indonesia) and Gabrielle Nater Bass (Partner Homburger Switzerland) (for more information, click here). Publication is expected in July 2015. Proposals for papers should be submitted to the editors by 30 January 2015.

Announcements

  • The International Commission of Jurists has released the 88th edition of the E-Bulletin on counter-terrorism and human rights. It covers highlights from Africa & Middle East, Americas, Asia and Pacific, Europe & Commonwealth of Independent States as well as from international and regional organizations (UN & EU).
  • The deadline for the Fourth Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law—of December 15, 2014—is fast approaching. Further information can be found here about the fourth Forum, which will be convened at the European University Institute in Florence in June 2015 by Dino Kritsiotis (Nottingham), Anne Orford (Melbourne) and JHH Weiler (EUI).
  • The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is pleased to announce that the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is now accepting applicationsThe program will take place from May 26 to June 12, 2015. This Program offers 18 courses in English and Spanish lectured by over 39 scholars of relevance in the field of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and gathers more than 150 participants from more than 25 different countries and with different levels of professional experience. 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 on Human Rights and professors from all over the world. The Program is offered in three categories which include the modality of Certificate of Attendance for lawyers, law students and HR professionals of any country, ABA Credits for U.S. students and finally, the Diploma Course that is offered to a select group of 35 law professionals who fulfill the admission requirements. The application form for this program will be available here. For more information please contact the organizers at: hracademy [at] wcl [dot] american [dot] edu.
  • The GlobalTrust research project at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law studies the extent to which states that exercise regulatory functions should take into account the interests and preferences of foreign individuals and communities located outside their boundaries. Participants in this project explore the possible moral and legal grounds for requiring states to take other-regarding considerations into account and the institutional mechanisms that could legitimize the external review of states’ compliance with such obligations.Funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant, the project offers three types of fellowships: post-doctoral, doctoral and short-term visiting fellowships. Application deadline (for the academic year of 2015-2016): 1 February, 2015. More information can be found 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 with a one-paragraph description of your announcement along with hyperlinks to more information. 

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 1, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

  • The UN Committee on Torture has released its concluding observations on Sweden, Ukraine, Venezuela, Australia, Burundi, USA, Croatia and Kazakhstan.
  • Argentina has charged HSBC with aiding more than 4,000 clients to evade taxes by stashing their money in secret Swiss bank accounts, the country’s AFIP tax authority said on Thursday.
  • Colombia’s main rebel group has freed army General Ruben Dario Alzate, who was captured two weeks ago. President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted the general and his two companions had been released by the FARC to the ICRC and representatives of Cuba and Norway and they were in good condition.

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: November 30, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The International Bar Association has announced the IBA Annual Conference on International Criminal Law:International Legal Challenges for 2015 taking place 31 January-1 February 2015 at the Peace Palace in The Hague. More information, including registration and the program, can be found here.
  • ALMA and the Radzyner School of Law of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya would like to invite you to next session of the Joint International Humanitarian Law Forum. The session will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 18:30, room C110 (Arazi-Ofer Building, 2nd floor) at the IDC. In this session ALMA Chairman Ido Rosenzweig will discuss his recent publiaction: Combatants Dressed as Civilians?
    The Case of the Israeli Mista’arvim under International Law (Policy Paper of the Israeli Democracy Institute, download here). This event will be conducted in Hebrew, but could be conducted in English with sufficient preliminary request.
  • The Harry Weinrebe Annual Memorial Lecture is the first in an annual series to honour the memory of Harry Weinrebe, a philanthropist and the founder of the Dorset Foundation. The series is focused on the protection of international peace and justice, values that were at heart of Mr Weinrebe’s humanitarian activities. In his keynote lecture, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights and renowned barrister will focus on pressing issues at the intersection of peace and justice including: mass digital surveillance in the global age, the use of drones in the fight against international terrorism, the rights of victims of terrorism and areas of good practice in the fight against terrorism. Opening Remarks will be given by Professor Robert McCorquodale (Director, BIICL) and the lecture will be chaired by Dr Andraž Zidar (Dorset Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, BIICL). The lecture, taking place in London on 4 December 2014, will be followed by a drinks reception. Full details and online booking available here.

Announcements

  • If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for the international law geek in your life, the International Game of Justice developed by Valentin Jeutner, a PhD student at Gonville and Caius College, at the University of Cambridge, may be just what you are looking for. We announced its debut last year, but the updated 5th edition has just been released. More information is 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 with a one-paragraph description of your announcement along with hyperlinks to more information. 

Weekend Roundup: November 23-29, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

This Thanksgiving week saw several posts of note on Opinio Juris. We hosted a Mini-Symposium on the latest article by James G. Stewart, The Turn to Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes: Transcending the Alien Tort Statute. First, Samuel Moyn discussed the ambitious past of corporate regulation, to which Stewart responded in hopes that the ideas set forth by both would be taken up for further critical research.

Next up was Steven Ratner, who reminded us to mind the gap between the ATS and corporate criminality under international criminal law. In Stewart’s rejoinder, he responded to several issues Ratner raised and agreed much more needed to be done with respect to question Ratner raised reminiscent of transitional justice and compliance in human rights.

Finally, Beth Stevens weighed in on the article and gave Stewart two cheers out of three–awarding two for his approach to developing a mechanism to hold corporations accountable (domestic criminal prosecutions), but withholding her last because of the perceived shortcomings of Stewart’s comparative ATS analysis. Stewart clarified his position in his response and offered a few more thoughts with respect to the comparative analysis. In conclusion, Stewart hoped that through academic discussions, cooperation among civil society organizations and domestic efforts that corporate accountability for human rights violations would continue to become a reality.

Another guest post came in from Gabor Rona, who shared his thoughts on Obama’s executive action on immigration, criticizing the position taken by Jack Goldsmith over at Lawfare and pointing out the ineffective role of Congress in passing immigration legislation.

As for our regular bloggers, Julian urged us to get real about the possibilities of an anti-corruption court–he is convinced it would never work. Julian is also convinced that it’s pointless for the US to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Kevin announced an event on the ICC and Palestine being held at Doughty Street Chambers on Tuesday, December 2nd in London.

As always, I wrapped up the news and also posted events and announcements.

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

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, November 24, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

  • Britain is facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history and has foiled around 40 major plots since suicide bombers attacked London in 2005, Home Secretary Theresa May said on Monday.
  • Lower oil prices and Western financial sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis will cost Russia around $130-140 billion a year – equivalent to around 7 percent of its economy – Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday.
  • The United States will keep troops in Poland and the Baltic states for at least the next year as tensions with Russia remain, the commander of U.S. land forces in Europe said on Sunday.
  • A week-long operation to clear the wreckage from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine has been completed, according to the Dutch government.
  • The number of Germans fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq has increased sharply to 550 and around 180 have returned, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

Americas

UN/World

Mini-Symposium: James Stewart’s The Turn to Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes–Transcending the Alien Tort Statute

by Jessica Dorsey

This week we will host a mini-symposium on James G. Stewart’s latest article, The Turn to Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes: Transcending the Alien Tort Statute. James has been an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law at Allard Hall, University of British Columbia, where he as been since 2009. Previously he was an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School in New York. He has also been an Appeals Counsel with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and has also worked for the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. James primarily works on the relationship between atrocity, commerce, and international criminal justice and has published extensively on these subjects.

Between today and Wednesday, Samuel Moyn (Harvard University), Steven Ratner (University of Michigan) and Beth Stephens (Rutgers) will comment on the article article and the author will respond.

It is our pleasure to welcome these scholars to Opinio Juris this week and we look forward to thoughtful comments and questions from our readership as well.

Events and Announcements: November 23, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • italyspractice.info is a website aimed at collecting, categorising and translating into English the practice of the Italian government on issues of international law. Only five months after its appearance, it has registered approximately 7,000 views from all over the world and gathered more than 560 followers. The authors of italyspractice.info firmly believe in this project and their purpose is to develop it further. Thus, they are now organising a conference that will take place in Trento on 27 November 2014, to make their work known, discuss some of its preliminary outcomes and announce its planned expansion. The main goal is twofold: on the one side, to give an account of recent Italian practice on international law by illustrating and commenting upon a number of cases related to Italy’s foreign policy; on the other – and most importantly – to place this practice in the wider context of the role and nature of custom, situating the website in the framework of the ongoing theoretical debate with the help of three well-known experts of customary law and other international guest speakers. The flyer with the full programme of the conference may be downloaded here (.pdf).

Calls for papers

  • Despite the deep infiltrations of international law in the material world around us,
    the relationship between international law and physical objects has not preoccupied international lawyers or international law scholars. By considering international law through a new lens – that of its objects, symbols and images – this project will provide a new way of thinking about international law in terms of its material and visual culture, interrogating the relationship between material objects and objects as purposes.  We invite you to select one image or object, which in your view best represents your area of expertise in international law, or international law as a whole, and to write about its significance in international law.  For more information, please see the call for papers.
  • The 4th annual conference of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law (CJICL) will be held at the University of Cambridge on 8 and 9 May 2015. The conference theme is Developing Democracy: Conversations on Democratic Governance in International, European and Comparative Law. Conference highlights include a keynote address by Dame Rosalyn Higgins, DBE, QC, former President of the International Court of Justice. More information can be found 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 with a one-paragraph description of your announcement along with hyperlinks to more information. 

Weekend Roundup: November 16-22, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

Over the past week on Opinio Juris, we again enjoyed a lot of different perspectives from our guest bloggers, beginning with Rob Howse, whom Kristen introduced as this week’s featured guest blogger. He highlighted the return of neo-conservativism in Washington, reminded us of Alexandre Kojève’s being a neglected figure in the history of international law and also discussed the breakthrough at recent WTO talks and the trade facilitation agreement this week. He also posted on Liam Murphy’s book What Makes International Law Law?

Additionally, we heard from S. I. Strong announcing that the preliminary results from a recent empirical study on international commercial mediation and conciliation are now available.

Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli talked about the most recent events in Colombia with the negotiations between the government and FARC rebels being suspended due to the and the kidnapping under IHL, including discussion around the illegality of deprivations of liberty, which sparked quite an intellectual debate in the comments.

A post also came in from Andrea Pin on the Italian Constitutional Court, the International Court of Justice and German war crimes. Duncan French and Jean d’Aspremont co-blogged on the ILC project on the identification of customary international law in summary of the two-day expert level seminar hosted by Lincoln Law School and the Manchester International Law Center.

Roger wrote up his analysis on the Ninth Circuit’s muddled comity analysis in Mujica v. Airscan while Kevin worked out some of his thoughts on the baffling Comoros decision and introduced a new videogame challenging the player to survive as long as possible as a civilian in a war-torn fictional city. Additionally, he introduced and congratulated the newly minted Dr. Mark Kersten.

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

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