Author Archive for
Jessica Dorsey

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, April 13, 2015

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

  • In the first meeting of its kind in nearly 60 years, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro sat down together for over an hour on Saturday at a regional summit in Panama, moving a step closer to restoring diplomatic ties.
  • As the United States and Iran come closer to a historic nuclear deal, many U.S. states are likely to stick with their own sanctions on Iran that could complicate any warming of relations between the long-time foes.
  • U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with three air strikes from Saturday to Sunday morning, and also conducted 10 air strikes in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
  • A U.S. federal judge on Friday denied a last-minute request by four U.S. former Blackwater guards convicted in the massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqis in 2007 to have their sentencing postponed, and said it will go ahead as planned on Monday.

Oceania

UN/World

Weekend Roundup: April 4-10, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, we hosted a Book Symposium on Interpretation in International Law. The Symposium was introduced by Daniel Peat and Matthew Windsor who offered the framework and context of the book in describing their introductory chapter (available here), explaining that the idea of interpretation in their work centers around the metaphor of a game, with each of the authors contributing their thoughts on elements of that game.

In the next post, our own Duncan examined the object of the game of interpretation in terms of its existential function. Then, on Tuesday, Michael Waibel analyzed the players of the game by discussing the nature of interpretive and epistemic communities in international law. Wednesday, Julian Arato confronted the paradox that, despite the unity and universality of the VCLT rules, there is a practice of affording some treaties differential treatment in the process of interpretation. Thursday, Fuad Zarbiyev characterized the interpretive method of textualism in strategic terms, revealing the historical contingencies that led to it being regarded as sacrosanct in international law. And finally on Friday, Philip Allott’s contribution (emblematic of the aims of the book) reflected on ways to promote critical and open-minded reflection on interpretive practices and processes in international law.

We had two guest posts, one from John Louth who discussed how many international law books are published each year, and one from Gabor Rona, who addressed the recent holding Maldonado v. Holder as it pertains to the US’ obligations under the Convention Against Torture.

Kevin offered his thoughts on the advantage for Palestine of a slow preliminary examination with respect to Palestinian statehood and the recent petition to bar Harold Koh from teaching human rights at NYU and Roger highlighted a debate amongst scholars on the investment arbitration chapter in the TPP and TTIP.

I posted the news and events and announcements.

Thanks very much to the contributing authors of Interpretation in International Law as well as our guest contributors and to you for following us on Opinio Juris. Have a great weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, April 6, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

  • An Indonesian court will rule on Monday on an appeal against President Joko Widodo’s refusal of clemency for two Australian drug convicts who are facing execution by firing squad.
  • North Korea fired four short-range missiles off its west coast on Friday in what South Korea called a bid to stoke tension during its annual joint military drills with the United States and has declared a no-sail zone for its ships off its east coast, South Korean media reported on Monday, suggesting more missile launches are possible before the U.S. defense chief visits Seoul this week.
  • A Chinese naval frigate has evacuated 225 foreign citizens from strife-torn Yemen, its foreign ministry said, marking the first time that China’s military has helped other countries evacuate their people during an international crisis.

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: April 5, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Calls for Papers

  • Turgut Ozal University School of Law, in cooperation with Association for Canadian Studies and IDI, invites scholars and policy-makers to submit paper proposals to International Conference on International Law and Domestic Policies. The Conference will take place on 30-31 October 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. The aim of this International Conference is to evaluate the impact of international law and transnational law on the legal orders of nation states in different national contexts. The importance of international law in an increasingly globalized world is duly and frequently acknowledged. However, it is difficult to say that international law produces the desired impact across different national legal orders. In this context, the aim of the Conference is to provide opportunities to discuss the interplay between international law and domestic policies. Besides focusing on the impact of international treaty and customary law, theConference also welcomes submissions dealing with the effects on domestic policies of other sources of globalized norms, such as the emergence of global common law arising from pressures for regulatory commonality, different trade and investment regimes, international sanctions and others. Scholars, Policy-makers, lawyers, judges and professionals from all disciplines are invited to submit a proposal to the conference organizing committee. For more information, including information on deadline for proposals and accommodation opportunities, please refer to the website of the conference.
  • The American Branch of the International Law Association has extended the deadline until April 10, 2015 on their earlier-issued call for proposals. The unifying theme for ILW 2015 is Global Problems, Legal Solutions: Challenges for Contemporary International Lawyers. ILW 2015 will explore the many roles that international law plays in addressing global challenges. The aim is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about the ways in which international law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues. ILW 2015 will offer engaging panels on current problems and innovative solutions in both public and private international law. The ILW Organizing Committee invites proposals to be submitted via the ILW Panel Proposal Submission Form located here.

Events

  • On April 8, 2015, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Georgetown University Law Center’s Military Law Society are sponsoring a panel at the Law Center in Washington, D.C. to consider the question of whether and how the United States might ratify the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This panel, addressing the topic: “Is it Time to Ratify AP I?” will consist of four distinguished European and North American legal experts, including: Major-General Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces; Nicolas Guillou, Justice Attaché of the French Embassy in the United States; Christopher Harland, Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada and William K. Lietzau, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy. The panel will be moderated by Richard “Dick” Jackson, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. The event will take place on April 8, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m, at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Bernard P. McDonough Hall, Room 201, 600 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001. This is a short two blocks from the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel, where the American Society of International Law is holding its Annual Meeting next week. The event is free and open to the public. A wine and cheese reception will follow the event.

Announcements

  • Transnational Dispute Management published a new special: TDM 2 (2015) Arbitration in the Middle East: Expectations and Challenges for the Future. Edited by Craig Shepherd and Mike McClure (Herbert Smith Freehills LLP) the papers in this special, which between them discuss the arbitral regimes in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), together with investment treaty arbitration and general trends in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, address the increasing use of arbitration in the Middle East, and the increasing use of Middle East seats.
  • University of Geneva Summer School in International Law will take place from June 15 – July 3, 2015 in Geneva. The University of Geneva is happy to invite applications for the Summer School in International Law. The Summer School in International Law, which is now in its third year, presents an excellent opportunity to learn from a wide range of expert international teaching staff in one of the world’s capitals of international law. The course is structured around three themes, one for each of the three weeks of the program: international economic law, international law and civil society, and international law and politics. Each theme is explored through a week-long “Foundations Course” and three to five “Snapshot Courses” on topics such as the creation of states, WTO law and neoliberalism, internet law, law without the state (transnational law), private international law, global governance, international commercial arbitration, controversial investment arbitration cases, the geopolitics of investment arbitration, the role of non-state actors in international institutions, the international law of intellectual property, and the resolution of international intellectual property disputes. Further information and application details are available online here.

Our previous events and announcements post 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, March 30, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

  • Kenya’s government said it was “shocked and concerned” over the latest travel warnings issued by the UK and others and said security conditions in the east African country were improving.
  • Islamist Boko Haram insurgents launched two deadly attacks on voters in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, police and a security source said, killing six people in an election in which insecurity is a major issue.
  • In Sudan, Reuters covers an unlikely path to jihad for students.
  • The number of people in northern Cameroon who have fled their homes fearing the violence in neighboring Nigeria and cross-border raids by Islamist sect Boko Haram doubled in March to 117,000, a United Nations survey showed.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

Weekend Roundup: March 15-26, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

In the last fortnight at Opinio Juris, we saw Julian critique M. Cherif Bassiouni on his take on the Amanda Knox case in Italy, arguing that she would indeed be extraditable to the US.

Peter analyzed whether the Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is in fact a natural-born citizen (spoiler alert: he is).

Kevin posted his thoughts on the two-year anniversary of the death of Chinua Achebe and a response to a Just Security post from Blank, Corn and Jensen on the assessment of proportionality and finally a response to Bartels (also posting on Just Security) on perfidy.

We received a guest post from Sonya Sceats on China as a shaper of international law, in conjunction with a series of meetings at Chatham House. And finally, An posted on events here, I did here, and I added two weekly news wraps (here and here).

Thanks to our guest contributors and to you for following us on Opinio Juris. Have a great weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: March 22, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Calls for Papers

  • The Columbia Human Rights Law Review (HRLR), in collaboration with the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (HRI), is publishing a symposium edition about the relationship between the U.S. ‘War on Terror’, sometimes referred to as the ‘Forever War,’ and human rights law. We invite proposals on topics of your own framing consistent with the symposium’s general purpose of advancing scholarship and critical analysis regarding human rights law and its relationship with international humanitarian law and jus ad bellum during and after the ‘Forever War.’ The review is seeking articles that examine both the short-term and long-term challenges that arise from the relationship between the ‘Forever War’ and human rights law, and is particularly interested in papers that seek to strengthen the role of human rights law in institutions and policy decisions worldwide. Papers are invited from both scholars and practitioners, and submissions are encouraged from outside the United States. Individuals interested in publishing should submit a prospectus summary of no more than 1000 words describing the paper’s proposed topic, themes, and research methodologies by no later than April 20, 2015.  HRLR and HRI will select 4–6 papers for presumption of publication. Please submit abstracts to HRLRsubmissions@law.columbia.edu under the subject line “HRLR Symposium Abstract.”  Visit the website for more information and suggestions for possible themes and issues.
  • Call for Submissions Volume 4, Issue 2 (October 2015) for a Special Issue on Theoretical Approaches to International Law. The UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (UCLJLJ) is a law journal run by postgraduate students of the UCL Faculty of Laws. All submissions are assessed through double blind peer-review. Starting in 2015, the Journal will appear twice a year and will be available open access. The Editorial Board is pleased to call for submissions for the second issue of 2015. The Board welcomes submissions engaging with the issue’s general theme “Theoretical Approaches to International Law”. The topic is broadly conceived and leaves room in particular for any area of international law to be considered and for a wide range of theoretical traditions and approaches. We accept articles of between 8,000-12,000 words, case notes of 6’000-8’000 words and book reviews of 1’000-2’000 words in length. All submissions must comply with the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). Contributions that have already been published or that are under consideration for publication in other journals will not be considered. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2015. Manuscripts must be uploaded via the submissions section on our website. For further information and guidelines for authors please visit our website.

Events

  • The Academy of European Law summer courses in Human Rights Law and European Union law, given by leading authorities from the worlds of practice and academia, provide programmes for researchers and legal practitioners.This year’s Human Rights Law Course will be held on 15 – 26 June. It comprises a General Course on ‘The Future of Human Rights Fact-finding’ by Philip Alston (New York University Law School) and a series of specialized courses on the topic of ‘The Futures of Human Rights’ by leading scholars. The Law of the European Union Course will be held on 29 June – 10 July. It features a General Course on ‘What’s Left of the Law of Integration?’ by Julio Baquero Cruz (Member of the Legal Service of the European Commission) and a series of specialized courses on the topic of  ‘Harmonization in a Changing Legal Context’ by leading scholars and practitioners in the Law of the European Union. The two-week courses are held at the European University Institute in Florence. Applications close on 8 April. For further information see the Academy’s website at www.ael.eu/AEL .

Our previous events and announcements post 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, March 16, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

  • The conviction of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo’s allies for their role in the violence that followed the 2011 election in Ivory Coast has deepened a rift in his party that risks radicalizing hardliners ahead of polls this year in the world’s top cocoa grower, analysts say.
  • Somali Islamist militants killed at least one man and wounded three others in the northern Kenyan town of Mandera on Sunday, the second deadly attack in the area in three days, an official and the Islamist group said.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

  • Japan’s ‘comfort women’ battle has spilled over into the United States.
  • Myanmar expressed “deep sorrow” on Monday for the deaths of five people across the border in China’s Yunnan province that it has been blamed for, and said it was jointly investigating the incident with Beijing.
  • China’s relations with Japan face a “test” this year linked to whether Japan can properly atone for its wartime past, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday.
  • About $1 million provided by the CIA to a secret Afghan government fund ended up in the hands of al Qaeda in 2010 when it was used to pay a ransom for an Afghan diplomat, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

  • The United Nations has postponed until next week a new round of talks with Libyan politicians to try to end a crisis that has left the country with two rival governments and armed factions battling for power and oil wealth.
  • One of the Pacific Ocean’s most powerful ever storms devastated the island nation of Vanuatu on Saturday, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees and killing at least eight people with the toll set to rise, aid officials said and the United Nations was preparing a major relief operation and Australia said it was ready to offer its neighbor whatever help it could.

Weekend Roundup: March 8-14, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, we saw some analysis on the recent letter sent by US Republicans to Iran. Julian kicked off the discussion by pointing out the (unnecessary?) letter explaining the US Constitution and foreign relations law and Peter questioned whether the letter might be unconstitutional and even criminal. Julian offered further thoughts about why the Congress should be involved in the process, after Iran responded to the letter. Duncan spelled out the President’s options for dealing with Iran, with a focus on international commitments and domestic authority to commit the US internationally and Julian found a workaround toward a legally binding solution via a Security Council resolution on the matter.

Kevin added a few of his thoughts on the recent domestic conviction by the Ivory Coast of Simone Gbagbo and complementarity at the ICC, and offered a mea culpa on the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah in 2006. Finally, Tom Ruys offered a response to a recent discussion with his guest post on self-defense and non-state actors in the Cold War Era. We saw a lot of discussion on all the posts this week in the comments.

I wrapped up the news here and listed the events and announcements here.

Thanks for following us and have a great weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, March 9, 2015

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

Oceania

  • Australia is systematically violating the international Convention Against Torture by detaining children in immigration detention, and holding asylum seekers in dangerous and violent conditions on Manus Island, a United Nations report has found.

UN/World

Events and Announcements: March 8, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The Conference of the African Association of International Law will take place in Libreville, Gabon from 29 – 31 August 2015. Deadline for submissions of abstracts: 15 March 2015. The African Association of International Law (AAIL) is pleased to announce its 2015 conference entitled: International Economic Law and Development in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. The working languages of the Conference are English and French. Submissions are welcome in either language. Only one submission per author will be considered. Submissions from women are strongly encouraged. Kindly send an abstract (300 – 500 words) of your paper including your curriculum vitae as well as contact details and institutional affiliation. These materials should be sent to: conference2015 [at] aail-aadi [dot] org before 15 March 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 31 March 2015. The deadline for submission of final papers is 30 June 2015. Conference fees will be waived for all selected panelists. An award will be given to the author(s) of the best paper of the conference. Selected papers will be published in the African Yearbook of International Law. Should you have any questions about the conference or the call for papers, kindly contact Adejoké Babington-Ashaye, AAIL Director of Programmes at conference2015 [at] aail-aadi [dot] org.
  • The University of Iceland Human Rights Institute and iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation´s Centre of Excellence for International Courts at Copenhagen University, invite all PhD students to attend a high-level seminar entitled Methods of Human Rights Law Research 26-27 May 2015

Announcements

  • The 4th Munich Advanced Course in International Law (MACIL), organised by the Chair of Public International Law of University of Munich (Germany), will take place in August 2015. The 2015 session is entitled ‘International Law Beyond the State: Towards a New Role for Individuals and other Non-State Actors’. Classes are going to discuss the role of individuals and other non-state actors in international law both from a general international law perspective and with reference to specific case studies. Students of international law, young academics and practitioners of international law or related fields are warmly invited to apply. Deadline for application is 30 April 2015. Further information regarding the programme and the 2015 faculty can be found here.
  • PluriCourts, a Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order in the fields of human rights, trade, investment, international criminal courts and the environment, are offering up to five 3-year postdoctoral fellowships. For more information, click here.

Calls for Papers

  • AJIL Unbound has called for submissions for a Special Issue on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). Third World Approaches to International Law constitute a distinctive voice in international law. These approaches have emphasized the centrality of colonialism and imperialism to the field. TWAIL has challenged the manner in which first world scholarship monopolized the production of knowledge about international law and, in so doing, has brought to the fore questions of race, culture, power relations, and class. While some TWAIL approaches have critically evaluated the continuities of colonialism and imperialism in post-cold war neo-liberal policies through a variety of lenses including Marxism, others have emphasized international law’s philosophic and theoretical features including its contingency, particularism, and indeterminacy. TWAIL scholars acknowledge that they are engaged in simultaneously critiquing and exposing the limits and the biases, blind spots and unanticipated bad consequences of international law, on the one hand, and embracing possibilities embodied in the guarantees of individual rights and self-determination, on the other. For these and other reasons TWAIL has been criticized for relying on the same underlying assumptions as the system it sought to transcend, for under-emphasizing the continuing marginalization of many women and of indigenous peoples, and for offering no positive agenda for the reform or transformation of international law. AJIL Unbound invites essays of no more than 3000 words reflecting on Third World Approaches to International Law along the foregoing non-exhaustive list of themes. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2015. Submissions should be sent to ajiltwail7 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Our previous events and announcements post 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.