Author Archive for
Jessica Dorsey

Weekend Roundup: January 17, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week, we celebrated Opinio Juris’ 10th anniversary, with our permabloggers weighing in with their thoughts on the last decade of blogging. Julian kicked the discussion off with how the legal blogosphere has changed over the last ten years. Roger reflected on blogging and the marketplace of ideas. In Peter’s musings, he explored the evolution of international law as well as the role blogging has played and will play in the future. Duncan shared nine realizations that he has made over the last decade through blogging and teaching. Making international law no longer the invisible college but visible and accessible was at the heart of Peggy’s contribution.

Chris asked about the must-reads and key scholarly texts in international law over the last decade. Through tracing her own journey into international law, Deborah thanked Opinio Juris and the readers for the conversation. Kevin reflected on how blogging enhanced his career, and helped him to develop into the nicer, kinder blog version of himself he is today. Jens touched on the real-world impact blogging can and does have, while hoping for a continued discourse. Kristin capped the joviality off by wishing the blog a happy birthday and looking forward to the continued discussion.

Other contributions of note this week were two guest posts. The first from Rebecca Hamilton posed the question: When should the ICC call it quits? The second, by Oliver Windridge, was a great overview of the activities of the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights from 2014.

Duncan congratulated Dean Andrew Guzman on his new appointment at USC’s Gould School of Law and Kevin pondered the case of Roger Ver and whether renouncing US citizenship for “selfish economic reasons” makes you a bad person. And as usual, I wrapped up the week’s headlines and posted Events and Announcements.

Thanks for following us this week, and over the last decade. We’re very grateful to you readers for being part of the development of Opinio Juris and hope that the conversation continues far into the future.

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, January 12, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

Africa

  • A girl perhaps no more than 10 years old detonated powerful explosives concealed under her veil at a crowded northern Nigeria market on Saturday, killing as many as 20 people and wounding many more. On Sunday, at least six people were killed after two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market in northeast Nigeria, witnesses say, in the second attack involving young girls strapped with explosives.
  • The United Nations Security Council backed plans by Democratic Republic of the Congo and U.N. peacekeepers to begin a military campaign to “neutralize” a Rwandan rebel group in the country’s rugged eastern provinces.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court may be close to opening an initial investigation into last summer’s Gaza war.
  • Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Venezuela’s president on Saturday he backed coordinated action between Tehran and Caracas to reverse a rapid fall in global oil prices which he described as a “political ploy hatched by common enemies”.
  • American-led forces launched 12 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria since Friday, all but one of them near the contested city of Kobani, the U.S. military said.
  • Reports have surfaced that a U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed at least 50 Syrian civilians late last month when it targeted a headquarters of Islamic State extremists in northern Syria, according to an eyewitness and a Syrian opposition human rights organization.

Asia

Europe

  • Two gunmen forced their way into and opened fire in the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing twelve, including staff and two police officers, and wounding eleven, four of them seriously. The gunmen escaped but a day later they were shot dead as they fled a warehouse where they had hostages north of Paris, firing at police. World leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms to lead more than a million French citizens through Paris in an unprecedented march to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks.
  • These attacks may fuel rising anti-immigration movements around Europe and inflame a “culture war” about the place of religion and ethnic identity in society. Over the weekend, a German newspaper in the northern port city of Hamburg that reprinted caricatures of Prophet Muhammad from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was the target of an arson attack, according to police and the offices of Le Soir, a Belgian newspaper that republished cartoons from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, were evacuated on Sunday after receiving an anonymous bomb threat, its staff said. Hackers claiming to be with the group Anonymous say they have hacked a jihadist website in retaliation for the terror attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
  • Transsexuals, transvestites and others thought to have what Russia considers to be “sexual disorders” have been barred from driving in the country for “medical reasons” under new road safety regulations.

Americas

  • More than a decade after a series of shootings and bombings in the Jerusalem area, a trial is slated this week in New York to determine whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority should pay up to $1 billion to victims.
  • Egyptian-born imam Abu Hamza al-Masri has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of terrorism charges last year.

UN/World

  • The United Nations is immune from a lawsuit seeking compensation for victims of a deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti, a US judge said in dismissing a case that government lawyers said could open international body to an onslaught of litigation.
  • Hundreds of civilians were massacred in two separate incidents in South Sudan last year in which victims were targeted for their ethnicity, nationality or political views, possibly amounting to war crimes, the United Nations said in a report on Friday.

Events and Announcements: January 11, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • On Wednesday, 28 January 2015, the International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Platform of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and PAX are hosting the launch of the report: ‘Unacceptable Risk: Use of explosive weapons in populated areas through the lens of three cases before the ICTY’ at 7:00 in the evening at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague. More information can be found here. To register, please send an e-mail with your name, organisation and affiliation to conferencemanager [at] asser [dot] nl
  • The Wilson Center will host a panel on Wednesday, 26 February 2015 to examine practical suggestions for reform of the current system of resolving international investment treaty disputes. The increase in cases against States and their challenge to public policy measures has generated a strong debate, usually framed by complaints about a perceived lack of legitimacy, consistency and predictability. While some ideas have been proposed for improvement, there has never before been a book systematically focusing on constructive paths forward. The new volume launched with this panel discussion features 38 chapters by almost 50 leading contributors, all offering concrete proposals to improve the ISDS system for the 21st century. Registration begins at 8:30 am. More information can be found here.

Calls for Papers

  • The programme chairs of the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations invite paper, panel, and roundtable proposals for submission to any of the 64 sections on the 2015 programme. All sections welcome individual paper proposals, and most welcome panel/roundtable proposals as well – please contact section chairs to inquire about this. Each 105-minute panel/roundtable should comprise five papers/presenters plus a discussant who will also act as panel/roundtable chair. Proposals (with abstracts of 200 words maximum) must be submitted no later than 15th January 2015, via the online submission system: www.conftool.pro/paneuropean2015 . More information about the conference can be found here.
  • Professor Ole Kristian Fauchald and Postdoctoral Fellow Daniel Behn of PluriCourts invite scholars to submit paper proposals papers for a roundtable discussion on measuring judicial responses to legitimacy crises that a number of international courts and tribunals have experienced in recent years, during the ESIL Conference, 10-12 September. The deadline is 25 January. More information about the call can be found here, and the conference, here.
  • The Palestine Yearbook of International Law is now inviting submissions of scholarly articles for publication for its next volume, XVIII (2015). Unlike recent years, this upcoming volume will not be based on a specific theme. Therefore, the editors encourage the submission of scholarly pieces of relevance to public international law and Palestine. The Yearbook is edited at Birzeit University’s Institute of Law (Birzeit, Palestine), and published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (The Hague, The Netherlands). The Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook is Mr. Ardi Imseis. At this stage, the Institute of Law will be accepting abstracts for review. Abstracts should include a working title, with a preliminary outline of the author’s legal arguments, along with a CV. Prospective authors should express interest by e-mailing the Assistant Editor of the Yearbook, Ms. Reem Al-Botmeh and sending an abstract of the suggested paper as indicated above, along with the prospective author’s CV. The abstract of under 750 words should be submitted by 15 February 2015. Notification of decisions will be provided 1 March 2015.For more information, please contact Ms. Reem Al-Botmeh, the Assistant Editor of the Yearbook, at rbotmeh [at] gmail [dot] com or alternatively, you may communicate directly with Mr. Ardi Imseis at AImseis [at] hotmail [dot] com. More information can be found here.
  • The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law is issuing a Call for Papers on ‘General Issues’ within International and European law. The Board of Editors invites submissions addressing any aspect of International and/or European law. All types of manuscripts, from socio-legal to legal technical to comparative, will be considered for publication. The Board of Editors will select articles based on quality of research and writing, diversity and relevance of topic. The novelty of the academic contribution is also an essential requirement. Prospective articles should be submitted online via our website and should conform to the journal style guide (See here for full details). Utrecht Journal has a word limit of 15,000 words including footnotes. For further information please consult our website or email us at utrechtjournal [at] urios [dot] org. Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2015.

Announcements

  • Vol 6, No 1 (2014) of Trade, Law and Development (Special Issue: Trade & Climate Change) has been published. This issue is a Special issue on Trade and Climate Change. It is the eleventh in series, and also commemorates the sixth anniversary year of Trade, Law and Development. More information can be found 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, January 5, 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

UN/World

Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 22, 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

UN/World

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.