Author Archive for
Jessica Dorsey

Emerging Voices 2015: Call for Abstracts

by Jessica Dorsey

This summer we will host our Third 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 200-word summary of your suggested post and your CV to opiniojurisblog [at] gmail [dot] com by May 31, 2015.

We’ll let you know by mid-June if you are invited to submit a full post. Submitted posts should be  between 1000-1500 words will then be reviewed by our editors. Final essays will be posted on Opinio Juris in July and August.

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

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 11, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

  • The United States on Friday described as horrifying accusations of sexual abuse of children by French and African troops in Central African Republic, and called for a separate inquiry into how the United Nations handled the allegations.
  • The European Union and the United States are close to completing negotiations on a deal protecting personal data shared for law enforcement purposes such as terrorism investigations, three people familiar with the matter said.
  • Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, was released on bail from an Alberta prison Thursday while he appeals a murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal.

Oceania

  • Australian police said on Saturday they had thwarted an imminent terror attack after discovering explosives at a Melbourne home and arresting a 17-year-old boy, in the latest example of the threat posed by radicalized teenagers in the country.

UN/World

Events and Announcements: May 10, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • On May 14, 2014, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law is hosting: Interpretation in International Law: The Object, the Players, the Rules, and the Strategies. Interpretation in international law is usually referred to as an art or a science. These perspectives imply that interpretation is a static exercise, tied to the rules in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). However, in today’s international legal reality, characterised by the proliferation of international judicial bodies and a variety of participants before them, such understandings have become too narrow. Although the VCLT remains the primary legal source, there is no doubt that interpretation in international law has become a complex and purposeful process, which involves numerous players (litigators, judges, academics, NGO counsels, legal advisers) who devise various strategies to bring a case to a persuasive conclusion. This event will explore the dynamic understanding of interpretation of international law before international and English courts. A drinks reception will follow. Please register here.
  • On May 17-18, 2015, the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law is hosting Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective. This conference, which marks the launch of the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo Law, will explore the Court’s jurisprudence on complex and challenging questions facing open and multi-cultural societies everywhere. Because these issues are salient in, but by no means peculiar to, Israel, a comparative perspective will enrich our understanding of how such issues are, and might be, dealt with in other democratic societies. Panels will address the general question of the value and challenges of comparative legal study, differing conceptions of the role of the judiciary and doctrines of justiciability, and substantive areas of current controversy, including the role of the courts in overseeing national security and intelligence gathering; immigration, asylum, and treatment and status of refugees; and religion in the modern nation-state. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please email ISCP [at] yu [dot] edu with your name, affiliation, and contact information. More information found here.

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.

Weekend Roundup: April 25-May 9, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

The blog saw quite some discussion over the last two weeks.

As Julian was avoiding grading exams, he posted about Helmerich & Payne v. Venezuela, where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that “domestic takings” can violate international law. He also covered the Sea Shepherd petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court and how Russia, in lecturing the EU in international law, threatened to veto the EU’s attempt for authorization of force against traffickers in Libya from the Security Council. Additionally, Julian posed the question of whether investor-State arbitration weakens the rule of law in reference to the ongoing discussion about the TPP and TTIP and urged us to listen to President Obama rather than candidate Obama when it comes to unilateral presidential war powers, in light of a panel on which he was recently a speaker.

Kevin pointed out Darryl Robinson’s must-read new article on the ICC–“Inescapable Dyads: Why the ICC Cannot Win,” which Cambridge University Press has made available to our readers for free until the end of October 2015. He also continued the discussion on Harold Koh’s appointment at NYU by highlighting Human Rights First’s Elisa Massimino’s position (with which he agrees) defending Koh and highlighted Breaking the Silence’s recent report on Operation Protective Edge.

We had three guest posts. The first, from Sondre Torp Helmersen and Niccolò Ridi, discussed whether there was a case for destroying the smugglers’ boats in the crisis in the Mediterranean and the second, from Elisa Freiburg, analyzed Stephen Preston’s recent speech on “The Legal Framework for the United States’ Use of Military Force since 9/11″ at the ASIL Annual Meeting, calling it old wine in new bottles. Finally, Stuart Ford made the case that the complexity of international trials is necessary.

To round it all off, I wrapped up the news here and here, and listed a few events and announcements here. Have a great weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 4, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

UN/World

  • Key infrastructure in war-torn Yemen, including water supplies, health services and telecommunications, are on the verge of breaking down due to a major fuel shortage, a United Nations humanitarian official has warned.

Weekly News Wrap: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Israel fired on seven United Nations schools during the 2014 Gaza war, killing 44 Palestinians who had sought shelter at some sites, while Palestinian militants hid weapons and launched attacks from several empty U.N. schools, a U.N. inquiry found.
  • The humanitarian situation in Yemen has become catastrophic, relief officials said on Monday, as Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units for a second day, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in.
  • Israel invited bids on Monday to construct 77 new homes in two settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem, drawing a swift Palestinian condemnation.

Asia

Europe

Americas

Oceania

  • Australian ties with Indonesia have become strained after nine drug traffickers met their families for what could be the final time at an Indonesian maximum security prison on Tuesday, as Jakarta rejected international pleas for clemency and ordered their executions to proceed, possibly within hours.

UN/World

Events and Announcements: April 26, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (IHEID), International Law Department will hold a conference entitled “International Law and Time” in Geneva, Switzerland, from 12-13 June 2015. Registration for the conference is now open. For more information please visit the conference website or email lawconference@graduateinstitute.ch.
  • A one-day conference entitled The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law is being organized jointly by the European Court of Human Rights and the European Society for International Law. The programme includes presentations by ten judges from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as presentations by judges from the International Court of Justice, and other judges and international law scholars. More information here.
  • BIICL is organising, together with Professor Andrea Bianchi, an evening seminar on Thursday, 14 May (from 5.30 to 7.00pm) entitled: ‘Interpretation in International Law: The Object, the Players, the Rules, and the Strategies’ . The seminar is linked to the recently published book on ‘Interpretation in International Law’ (OUP). The event will be part of our ‘Temple Garden Chamber Series on International Adjudication’ and you can find more info here.
  • The ALMA Forum is coming up and the next session will focus on the international law aspects of the situation in Yemen. The speakers will be Yoni Eshpar (UNSCO) – “UN Mediation in Yemen” and Larry Maybee (ICRC) – The Evolving Conflict in Yemen – IHL Implications”. The session will be held on April 29th, 2015, 18:30 (local time) in the IDC, Herzliya.
  • SOAS Academic Summer School is offering a new range of law courses for 2015. Courses include: International Law: Contemporary IssuesLaw and Multiculturalism 1Law and Multiculturalism 2Gender, Conflict and Law. The courses are taught by experts in the field including Dr Gina Heathcote, Professor Werner Menski, Dr Muin Boase to name but a few. The courses will allow you to acquire solid foundations in the topic of your choice, through a mixture of academically rigorous lectures, readings, discussions and activities, totalling 46 contact hours. Activities will include film screenings and debates, guest lectures and visits which allow you to get a fresh perspective, in a dynamic learning environment.

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.

Weekend Roundup: April 11-25, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

The last two weeks of posts at Opinio Juris have seen several items from Julian, including on his favorite treaty reservation ever in the Hague Child Support Treaty and more on the HCST and the role of US states here. He also asked the burning question of whether the new “Bipartisan Trade Priorities and Accountability Act”  violate the U.S. Constitution’s bicameralism and presentment requirements as stated by the U.S. Supreme Court in INS v. Chadha?

Kristen highlighted the new report entitled “Nuclear Weapons: the State of Play 2015” ahead of the upcoming NPT review conference, while Kevin weighed with his thoughts on the current petition at NYU to keep Harold Koh from teaching human rights (here and here).

We featured two guest posts, the first from William S. Dodge discussing whether the Alien Tort Statute is headed back to the US Supreme Court and the second from Natia Kalandarishvili-Mueller on Russia’s treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia.

I wrapped up the news (here and here), offered the Events and Announcements here, and An did so here.

Thanks for following us on Opinio Juris and have a fantastic weekend!

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, April 20, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Africa

Middle East and Northern Africa

Asia

Europe

Americas

  • Poland has summoned the United States’ ambassador in Warsaw over an article written by a top U.S. intelligence official on Poland’s alleged responsibility for the Holocaust during World War Two, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
  • After months of positive progress, the two and a half-year-old peace process in Colombia between the government and rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is in crisis once again.

Oceania

UN/World

Events and Announcements: April 19, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Calls for Papers

  • Call for papers for ‘The Latin American Challenge to the Current System of Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ will analyze current developments and the proposed design of UNASUR’s investment dispute settlement centre, as an example of the Latin American ‘challenge’ to investment arbitration and place it within the wider context of reform of investor-state dispute settlement as evidenced elsewhere in the  world. It will prioritise critical and theoretical (rather than descriptive) approaches that will guarantee a scientific interest in the volume long after its publication date. Scholars, IIA negotiators and experienced practitioners are invited to submit cutting-edge proposals that go beyond the state of the law to this call for papers for the Journal of World Investment & Trade. The guest editors of this  Journal of World Investment & Trade Special Issue areDr-  Katia Fach (University of Zaragoza, Spain) and Dr. Catharine Titi (University Panthéon-Assas, France).

Events

  • The final workshop of the Annual Seminar Series of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC)Constructive Links or Dangerous Liaisons? The Case of Public International Law and European Union Law will take place at Queen Mary Innovation Centre, Clark-Kennedy Lecture Theatre, on 25-26 June 2015.The workshop concludes the ‘Beyond Pluralism’ project, building on the introductory round-table discussion held in October 2014 on general aspects of the EU-PIL interface and the ‘thematic dialogues’ on specific issue-areas that followed until March 2015. The event will gather top-rank contributors, coming from all over Europe, to consider findings and put them into perspective. The objective is to assess how best to articulate the link between the two regimes and possibly re-define their relationship offering a comprehensive account of their interaction, overcoming current limitations of monist, dualist and pluralist approaches. To register and for full programme details, please, visit the website here.

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, 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!