Author Archive for
Jessica Dorsey

Weekly News Wrap: August 8, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

  • A member of an Australian anti-immigration group accused of planning an attack may face additional charges in what the government said was the first time federal terrorism laws had been used to target such right-wing groups.

UN/World

Events and Announcements: August 7, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Sponsored Announcement

  • EIUC – Master in Democratic Governance – Democracy and Human Rights in the Mena Region The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) and its partners International University of Rabat (Rabat, Morocco), Birzeit University (Birzeit, Palestine), St Joseph University (Beirut, Lebanon), Ca’ Foscari University(Venice, Italy), University of Carthage (Tunis, Tunisia) are proud to open the Call for Applications to the third edition of the Master in Democratic Governance – Democracy and Human Rights in the Mena Region (DE.MA), starting in September 2016.
    DE.MA is a multidisciplinary curriculum offering courses in law, political science, sociology and other fields relevant to the study of democratic governance and Human Rights. Open to professionals and graduates, it will combine a theoretical and practical approach and will deliver a professional Master’s degree (60 ECTS) from Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. The first semester from mid/late September 2016 until January 2017 is held at Ca’Foscari and EIUC premises in Venice. During the second semester students will be placed in one of the Universities of the Consortium on the basis of the compatibility of their research and internship interests with the supervision expertise of the partner universities. Students will write a Thesis of 15,000 words which could be based on field and Internship work. Thesis defense and graduation ceremony will be in July 2017.
    The Master is meant to play an active role in the ongoing debate about the principles underpinning the transition of political regimes to democracy. It aims to:
  • Create high-profile experts in the fields of democratic governance and the protection of human rights, allowing them to act as promoters of a process leading to the affirmation of the democratic principles;
  • Foster the creation of an élite group of people committed to the promotion of democratic institutions;
  • Build a network of experts to be active in political institutions, in national and international, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the Region.
    Interested? Here are the practicalities:
    Deadline: 30 June 2016
    Language: English, (knowledge of French and Arabic recommended)
    Teaching method: Face to face teaching
    Tuitions Fees: 4.000.00 euro.
    Tuition Waivers/Scholarships: EIUC offers financial support in the form of a partial contribution towards living expenses and/or a full or partial tuition waiver. This type of financial support is awarded to a limited number of students on the basis of academic achievement, need and geographical distribution.
    More information on DE.MA, criteria for admission and a detailed programme can be found here: http://eiuc.org/dema

Event

  • The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law is delighted to announce the first of three Law & Justice Fora for the academic year 2016-17. The first forum is on the topic ‘Human Rights and Development’, and will feature some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the world working at the interface of human rights and development. The aim of this forum is to address the place that human rights have in rigorous and effective thinking about development policy. There will be a special focus on the socio-economic rights, such as the rights to health, food and education etc. found in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). You will be able to RSVP in September via The Dickson Poon School of Law website.

Call for Papers

  • The Goettingen Journal of International Law (GoJIL) dedicates its 8th Student Essay Competition to the topic Transparency in International Law. The GoJIL invites you to actively take part in the illumination of the concept and/or reflect on its implementation on the international level. The deadline for your submission is 30th November 2016. The maximal word count is 5000 words (excluding footnotes). The winning submission will be published in one of the upcoming GoJIL issues. The Student Essay Competition gives young scholars the chance to gain practical experience and get their own professional scientific publication. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity and hand in your submissions. For further details, see www.gojil.eu/essay-competition or contact the Editors at essay [dot] competition [at] gojil [dot] eu.

Announcements

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, August 1, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

  • United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said it is continuing its aid work in northeastern Nigeria, a former stronghold of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, despite an attack on a humanitarian convoy earlier this week.
  • Several people have been killed in an assault on a police base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
  • An aircraft wing part found in Tanzania is “highly likely” to be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an Australian government minister said on Friday, in what would be the second confirmed piece of the jetliner.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

  • The head of an Australian inquiry into the abuse of children in detention resigned on Monday, four days after being appointed to investigate prison video of aboriginal boys being abused, citing his lack of support from the country’s indigenous leaders.
  • Australians have rallied against the alleged mistreatment of young people in detention, including the hooding and physical restraint of teens, amid calls for an inquiry into the abuse to be expanded and the United Nation High Commission on Human Rights called on Australia on Friday to compensate children abused in prison.

UN/World

Emerging Voices 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Our Fourth Annual Emerging Voices Symposium will kick off tomorrow. It features contributions from doctoral students and early-career academics or practicing attorneys posting about a research project or other international law topic of interest.

The Symposium will feature a few posts per week and will run for the next month. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, July 25, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Several people have been killed when a mortar bomb hit a restaurant in the government-controlled ancient quarter of the Syrian capital Damascus on Sunday, a monitor and a witness said.
  • As the war rages on, Syrian children are starving to death.

Asia

  • Southeast Asian nations failed to agree on maritime disputes in the South China Sea on Sunday after Cambodia blocked any mention to an international court ruling against Beijing in their statement, diplomats said.
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has criticized South Korea’s move to deploy an advanced U.S. anti-missile defense system to counter threats from North Korea, saying it harmed the foundation of their mutual trust, news reports said on Monday.

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: July 17, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Event

  • For its 10-year anniversary the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law (ICL Journal) will host a conference dedicated to its very scope: The one day event to be held on 23 September 2016 at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) will focus on the concept of International Constitutional Law. Keynote lectures will be presented by Frederick Schauer and Alexander Somek. To participate please register until Sept 16th 2016 with the conference office at maria [dot] fegerl [at] wu [dot] ac [dot] at Attendance is free of charge. For further information see www.icl-journal.com.

Calls for Papers

  • We are pleased to announce a forthcoming Transnational Dispute Management (TDM, ISSN 1875-4120) special issue on “Non-Legal Adjudicators in National and International Disputes”. This special issue will analyse the current scenario, as well as new trends, developments, and challenges that non-legal adjudicators face when resolving national and international disputes. It will consider litigation; national arbitration and diverse forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR); international commercial arbitration; investment arbitration; inter-State arbitration and the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO).This special issue will be edited by Katia Fach Gómez (University of Zaragoza-Spain) and Weiwei Zhang (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies – Switzerland). More information can be found here. Proposals for papers should be submitted to the editors – contact details here – on or before 31 October 2016. Accepted papers should be submitted to the editors on or before 10 January 2017. Publication is expected in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Call for Papers: Jus Post Bellum and the Justice of Peace: The Jus Post Bellum Project is seeking submissions of academic research papers for presentation at the final project conference on  ‘Jus Post Bellumand the Justice of Peace’ on 29-30 September 2016 in The Hague. Submissions should include an abstract of no more than 300 words and be accompanied by a CV. Submissions must be written in English and sent to j [dot] m [dot] iverson [at] law [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl no later than 5 August 2016. Draft papers should be submitted by 15 September 2016.

Announcements

  • TDM 2 (2016) Latin America Special (Vol. 1): Prepared by guest editors Dr. Ignacio Torterola and Quinn Smith, this special addresses the various challenges and changes at work in dispute resolution in Latin America. A second volume that continues many of the themes in this special from different angles and perspectives is also nearing completion. (Articles in English and Spanish).

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, July 11, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Here’s 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

  • The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) warned in a report that slow implementation of the U.N.’s global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), would stall advances against rising global inequality.
  • Candidates for the United Nation’s top job will for the first time in the organisation’s history hold a live debate, which will be broadcast live to audiences worldwide on television and digital platforms.

Multi-Blog Series: The Role of the ICRC Commentaries in Understanding International Humanitarian Law

by Jessica Dorsey

In the second installment of episode 1 in this multi-blog series on the updated Commentaries, Professor Sean Murphy responds to Jean-Marie Henckaerts first post on locating the commentaries in the international legal landscape.

Sean D. Murphy, Professor of International Law at George Washington University and Member of the U.N. International Law Commission, considers the role of the ICRC commentaries as a matter of treaty law, customary international law, and practical lawyering.

Taiz, Yemen - Two men drive through the area, where snipers have been present since the intense hostilities started there. ©Wael Al Absi/ICRC

Taiz, Yemen–Two men drive through the area where snipers have been present since the intense hostilities started there. ©Wael al Absi/ICRC

Read the full post on the Intercross Blog and stay tuned for the third installment, coming soon.

This series is brought to you by ICRC’s Humanitarian Law and Policy Blog, Intercross and Opinio Juris.

Reminder: Emerging Voices Submissions Deadline is July 6!

by Jessica Dorsey

Just a reminder: this summer we will host our Fourth Annual Emerging Voices symposium, where we invite doctoral students and early-career academics or practicing attorneys to tell Opinio Juris readers about a research project or other international law topic of interest.

If you are a doctoral student or in the early stages of your career (e.g., post-docs, junior academics or early career practitioners within the first five years of finishing your final degree) and would like to participate in the symposium, please send a draft blog post somewhere between 1000-1500 words and your CV to opiniojurisblog [at] gmail [dot] com by July 6, 2016.

Submitted posts will then be reviewed by our editors. We’ll let you know by mid-July if your post will be included. Final essays will be posted on Opinio Juris in mid July through late August.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments or send us an e-mail at the address above.

Events and Announcements: July 3, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Event

  • On 15-16 December 2016, the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) at Ghent University will be hosting an international two-day conference entitled ‘International Immunities: Law in a State of Flux?’ The aim of the conference – organized in partnership with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), and Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) – is to take stock of recent evolutions pertaining to international immunities and to offer a comprehensive tour d’horizon of outstanding challenges and controversies. The conference will bring together distinguished scholars as well as practitioners, civil servants and other experts (e.g. ICC, ILC, EU, Foreign Affairs), to broach the various issues at stake. Presentations will be grouped into four clusters: jurisdictional immunities, immunity from execution, immunities in the international legal order, and immunities of the armed forces / in armed conflict. The conference will also feature a roundtable on the immunities of foreign officials, during which the ILC Special Rapporteur Concepción Escobar Hernández will present her views and engage with expert respondents. The conference will conclude with a keynote lecture by Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert of the ICC. Detailed information can be found here.

Announcements

  • The Goettingen Journal of International Law (GoJIL) has recently released the first issue of its seventh volume. The 7.1 edition is a special issue on the exercise of International Public Authority. It emerges from a fruitful collaboration with scholars who participated in workshops on this topic at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. The new edition features an article by Matthias Goldmann and Mona Sonnen. Further contributions are from Tim Staal, Pedro A. Villarreal, Biel Company and Clemens A. Feinäugle. The journal’s latest issue can be accessed at www.gojil.eu.
  • The International Law Programme at Chatham House will be hosting a meeting on ‘Challenges to Freedom of Expression’ on 20 July 2016 at Chatham House. For further details and to enquire about registering see 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: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

by Jessica Dorsey

Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:

Africa

  • The United States and France supported Hissène Habré, the former Chadian dictator who was convicted of atrocity crimes on May 30, 2016, throughout his rule, Human Rights Watch said in two reports released today.
  • The Eighth Africa Carbon Forum will focus on ensuring that countries put in place polices that are conscious of environmental sustainability and climate change resilience.
  • Hundreds of gun-toting Al Shabaab fighters in pick-ups have taken back a town in Goof-Gadud area, located some 30Km north of Baidoa in Somolia on Sunday after SNA and AMISOM troops withdrew the town.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

  • During the 32nd session of the Council Plenary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai, zeroed in on Papua.

UN/World

Introducing the First Multi-Blog Series on the Updated Geneva Conventions Commentaries

by Jessica Dorsey

[This post is brought to you by ICRC’s Humanitarian Law and Policy Blog, Intercross and Opinio Juris.]

The updated Commentaries are an interpretive compass emerging from more than 60 years of application and interpretation of the Geneva Conventions. Over the rest of 2016, several academic blogs are hosting a joint series that brings to light the significance of the updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention.

In March, the ICRC released an updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention of 1949 (GCI). This is the first instalment of six new Commentaries aimed at bringing the interpretation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977, to the 21st century.

This blog series is co-hosted by Intercross, the blog of the ICRC in Washington D.C., the ICRC’s new Humanitarian Law & Policy blog and us here at Opinio Juris.

This multi-blog venture is divided into three episodes, each of which focusing on a GCI provision – or a theme within a set of provisions – whose application and/or interpretation have evolved and give rise to debate among States and commentators. For each phase, the three blogs will invite one author to either initiate the conversation or act as respondent. The three episodes are respectively scheduled for this summer, fall and winter 2016.

The blogs will be regularly updated with past and upcoming posts, along with an evolving publication calendar. To kick off the series, Humanitarian Law & Policy will invite Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Head of the Update Project at ICRC, by locating the GCI Updated Commentary into the legal landscape and applying the rules on treaty interpretation to the Geneva Conventions. Expect the post by the end of this month on this website, or get it directly in your mailbox.

Bringing the Pictet’s Commentary’s Legacy Into the 21st Century

In 2011 the ICRC embarked on a major project intended at updating its original Commentaries, drafted under the general editorship of Jean Pictet in the 1950s (for the Conventions), and of Yves Sandoz and other ICRC lawyers in the 1980s (for the Protocols).

Since their publication, these commentaries have become an authoritative interpretative guide for States, armed forces, national and international courts, academics and civil society. However, in order to remain relevant, they needed to be updated to reflect more than 60 years of subsequent developments in applying and interpreting the Geneva Conventions. With the release of the Commentary on GCI, an important milestone has been reached, with key findings related to GCI-specific articles but also common articles governing the scope of application of the Conventions and their enforcement.

The initial edition of the Commentaries mostly provided historical context for the adoption of the Conventions and their Additional Protocols, drawing on the negotiation process of the treaties, as well as practice prior to their adoption. In this respect, they retain their historic value. The updated Commentary builds on and preserves those elements that are still relevant, while incorporating more than six decades of application and interpretation of the Conventions – 40 years in the case of the 1977 Additional Protocols. Capturing the evolution of warfare and humanitarian challenges, as well as technological and legal developments, led to many additions but also updates.

The multi-faceted nature and complexities of today’s armed conflicts have also resulted in more elaborated interpretations on the scope of application of the law in armed conflict. The new Commentary aims to capture key elements of the ongoing debate about where, when, and to whom IHL applies, setting out the view of the ICRC while also indicating other interpretations.

The Commentary provides important clarifications on key aspects of the legal regime governing the protection of the wounded and sick in armed conflict. On the obligation to respect and protect the wounded and sick, it addresses issues ranging from taking their presence into account in a proportionality assessment when planning attacks, to the general obligation to have medical services in the first place. On the protection owed to medical personnel, it gives details on the conditions under which such protection may be lost. The new GCI Commentary also captures changes in the regulation of offers of services by impartial humanitarian organizations, on the dissemination of IHL, and on criminal repression. It also adds a number of subject matters, such as the prohibition of sexual violence and non-refoulement.

For more on the updated Commentaries project, see the Humanitarian Law and Policy’s post here.