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Conferences and Events

Events and Announcements: June 21, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Announcements

  • On 22 June 2015,  University Paris 8 Research Centre “Forces du droit” organizes a one-day conference entitled  “Forms of International Law – Insight into the Outcomes of the Work of the International Law Commission”. The conference, which will take place at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Centre (27, rue de la Convention – 75015 Paris), intends to address the evolution of formal outcomes given to ILC legal products, from treaties to soft law instruments. Academics, experts of the Commission’s work but also practitioners – such as legal advisers from diplomatic services and members of international courts and tribunals – will gather to address this phenomenon, discuss its causes and potential consequences as to the current development of international law. The Conference will include, among its speakers and chairs, the President of the ICJ, Judge Ronny Abraham, ICJ Judge Giogio Gaja, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. De Serpa Soares, the Legal Counsel of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr. François Alabrune, and several prominent figures in the field of international law. More information and details for registration can be found here.
  • 7 PhD Fellowships within legal research are available at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo. The deadline for application is 1 September 2015. You can find more information here.

Call for Papers

  • The Asian Society of International Law was established in 2007. Following four successful biennial conferences, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law will be held in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday and Friday, 26 and 27 November 2015. Theme of the Conference: Nowadays governments, scholars and civil society in Asia are engaged enthusiastically in the development of international law in the region. Asian countries today witness more regional cooperation and economic integration, for instance, through the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), etc. The conference will confront the changes that will ensue from these developments in the region, and provide a forum to share perspectives on legal issues from around Asia and from beyond. To this end, proposals for papers are now being invited. Please click here for more information.

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.

 

Events and Announcements: June 14, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Announcements

  • Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law to be held at the University of Oslo on 10 – 12 September 2015. The conference theme is: The Judicialization of International Law – A Mixed BlessingConference highlights include:
    • A Keynote Panel on A Turn to the Rule of Law in International Politics: The Role of the International Judiciary with James Crawford and Martti Koskenniemi
    • Agorae focusing on current events: International Law and the Fight against ISIS; The Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights; The Situation in Ukraine
    • A closing lecture on Developments in Geopolitics – The End(s) of Judicialization? by Philippe Sands
    • A reception at Astrup Fearnley, museum of contemporary art, and a conference dinner at the Hotel Continental in the city center of Oslo

    The draft programme of the conference and details of how to register for the event are available on the conference website. There are still various possibilities for sponsoring the event. For information about sponsorship possibilities please contact the organizing committee at esil-2015 [at] jus [dot] uio [dot] no.

  • On Thursday 17 September 2015, the Otto-Riese Memorial Lecture by UNCTAD Secretary-General will take place in Lausanne Switzerland – Dorigny. Mukhisa Kituyi, of Kenya, who became UNCTAD’s seventh Secretary-General on 1 September 2013, will deliver the Otto-Riese-Memorial Lecture on Thursday 17 September 2015 at 17:15 at the Opening Ceremony of the LLM Programme in International and European Economic and Commercial Law (MAS) of the University of Lausanne. He has an extensive background as an elected official, an academic, and a holder of high government office. He also has wide-ranging experience in trade negotiations, and in African and broader international economics and diplomacy. Prof. Andreas R. Ziegler, Director of the LLM Programme is proud and happy that the Secretary General has accepted his invitation. The programme organizes a lecture series in honour of Otto Riese. Otto Riese (1894-1977) was a professor and Dean at the University of Lausanne Law School who became the first German judge at the European Court of Justice.
  • On Friday 18 September 2015 (9:00 – 17:00) a workshop entitled Preferential Trade and Investment Agreements: Curse or Blessing? will take place, hosted by the Study Group on Preferential Trade and Investment Agreements (PTIAs) of the International Law Association (ILA) with presentations by its members at the University of Lausanne. It is a one-day event though an opening reception is held on Thursday evening 17 September 17:30 with a guest lecture by the UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi followed by a reception. Sign up from  09.06.15  to  28.08.15 The event is open to the public and pre-registration is open now (E: llm [at] unil [dot] ch). The event is co-organized by the LLM Programme in International and European Economic and Commercial Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Lausanne together with the Swiss Branch of the ILA and the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS). The event is free for students and ILA Members (of any branch). All others pay 150 CHF or can alternatively join any ILA branch. In order to join the Swiss branch of the ILA now (including free membership for the rest of 2015, 100 CHF per year from 2016) contact E: llm [at] unil [dot] ch.

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.

Events and Announcements: June 7, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Call for Papers

  • PluriCourts, Centre of Excellence at the University of Oslo, is organizing an international symposium entitled ‘The Present and Future Role of Investment Treaty Arbitration in Adjudicating Environmental Disputes’. The symposium will be hosted at the faculty of law of the University of Oslo on November 5 and 6, 2015. The symposium will focus on investment treaty arbitration from a forward-looking perspective on how future practice might be shaped or reformed in a way that can both promote environmental sustainability and protect responsible and legitimate foreign investments. Organizers invite scholars, practitioners and doctoral students to submit paper proposals for presentations on topics related to the symposium’s theme. The deadline for submission is July 15, 2015. For more information, please visit the website of the symposium.

Announcements

  • Di Tella University, Argentina, is delighted to announce that the second issue of the Latin American Journal of International Law (Revista Latinoamericana de Derecho Internacional -LADI-) is now available online. The Journal, published in Spanish, is the first Latin American publication devoted to promoting the discussion of general topics of Public International Law from different perspectives in the region. In its first two numbers, the Journal has published works by authors such as Martti Koskenniemi, Christine Gray, David Luban and Susan Marks, as well as interviews to prominent international lawyers such as former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo. The latest issue 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.

 

 

Events and Announcements: May 31, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

Announcements

  • The University of Lancaster has announced a conference on Hybrid Warfare and Minorities, taking place 26 June 2015. This conference looks at recent trends in unconventional warfare involving cyberattacks, the media and the use of irregular forces, and their relationship with human and minority rights. Three panels will address 1. Cyberwarfare, Freedom of Expression and Minorities; 2. Hybrid Warfare and Attribution; 3. Hybrid Warfare and the Concept of “Attack”. Keynote speakers are Dr. Thomas D. Grant (University of Cambridge) and Professor Bill Bowring (Birkbeck, University of London). Further details 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.

Events and Announcements: May 24, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • The University of Essex is hosting the Spring Conference of the International Law Association (British Branch) on 29th – 30th May 2015, on the theme of ‘International Law as a Mechanism for Justice’. The keynote speakers will be Howard Morrison CBE QC, Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Professor Francesco Francioni, European University Institute. The programme and information on registration and accommodation are available here. Should you have any queries about the conference, please feel free to get in touch at the following address: ilaconference2015 [at] essex [dot] ac [dot] uk.
  • On 28 May 2015, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) will host a seminar entitled ‘Ethics in the “International Bar”: Rules, Gaps and Improvements in the Regulation of the Professional Ethics before International Courts and Tribunals’. This event is part of the Temple Garden Chambers Seminar Series in International Adjudication. While there is no universally accepted code on ethical requirements in proceedings before international courts and tribunals, ethical conduct in the “International Bar” is one of the most important issues in contemporary international adjudication. Many international courts (such as the ECHR, the ICC, the ICTY and ICTR) have adopted rules that regulate the behaviour of prosecutors, counsels and judges. Similarly, several professional associations (such as the IBA, the ILA and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe) have adopted non-binding codes of conduct for litigants and judges. This seminar will focus on the need to uphold the highest ethical standards in international adjudication. In addition, it will identify gaps in the existing documents and mechanisms for the maintenance of professional integrity in the “International Bar” and suggest improvements. This event will be chaired by Karim Khan QC with keynote speaker, Judge Jean-Pierre Cot (ITLOS). Discussants include Dr Arman Sarvarian (University of Surrey) and José María Alonso (Baker & McKenzie – Madrid). Download the Event Flyer here.

Calls for Papers

  • Call for Papers – International Organisations and the Rule of Law: Perils and Promise, Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law, New Zealand, 7-8 December 2015. This workshop will take a fresh look at the resources that international law possesses to ensure that international organisations (IOs) are held accountable for their errors and excesses, while remaining relevant and effective in the face of ever growing global challenges. How can international law develop in a way that preserves and enhances the dynamic possibilities of IOs while making sure that they comply with the rule of law? Can international law offer solutions, or is it part of the problem? The workshop organisers welcome papers that present original legal or empirical research; theoretical reflections; case studies from practice; and critical and historical perspectives. For more details see the call for papers.
  • Call for Papers: Development and the Rule of Law: from Research to Practice. The Global Rule of Law Exchange, a new project at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, seeks to address key challenges posed by global development and its relationship to the rule of law. It will consider the challenges in respect of developing the rule of law in emerging economies, with regard to issues such as access to justice, corruption, legal certainty, government decision-making and the measurement of success in rule of law interventions. Other issues include – but are not limited to – growth, investment and the effects on national economies and local communities; the relationship between formal and informal legal systems; and the extent to which access to justice is or could be an instrument of empowerment and of more equal distribution of resources. Among its work, the Exchange is keen to foster empirical and comparative knowledge on what works and what does not in rule of law interventions, encourage discussions on their impact, as well as to identify good practice, research gaps, and ways forward. To this end, the Exchange will compile a list of short papers (such as think pieces, practice notes, policy documents, etc.) of around 1,500 – 3,000 words presenting research, case-studies and evidence from the field. Multidisciplinary analyses are encouraged, as are quantitative and qualitative studies. Conferences will be organised in London and in the United States in late 2015 and early 2016 to discuss the papers (date TBA). Shortlisted papers will feature in an edited publication, but the Exchange is also exploring opportunities of publishing a collection of these articles in a peer-reviewed journal. A 150-300 word abstract of the paper should be submitted by 30 June 2015, with final papers by 30 September 2015. (more information here.)

Announcements

  • The American Society of International Law (ASIL) and its Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) are now launching the third year of the Women in International Law Mentoring Program. Since 2013, over 240 women have participated in ASIL’s mentoring program as both mentors and mentees in 17 cities from Tucson to Singapore. The feedback has been extremely positive, and with the enthusiasm of our current participants, we have built a strong, inter-connected, and global network. We hope to reach more women for the 2015-16 program! The Women in International Law Mentoring Program is the first of its kind in international law and is designed to foster the next generation of female international lawyers. The program connects experienced female international law professionals with female law students and new attorneys interested in professional development in the field of international law. Mentoring takes place locally, in a group setting, with a maximum of four mentees for every mentor. Mentors and mentees meet in person every other month during the course of an academic year to discuss topics and engage in activities designed to help junior women enter and be successful in the field of international law. Mentors will be provided with optional pre-planned meeting topics to structure meetings for their groups. Upon finishing the requirements of the one-year program, all participants receive a certificate of completion.

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.

Events and Announcements: May 17, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

Events

  • Today and tomorrow, at the Cardozo School of Law, New York, New York, the conference, Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective will be held. 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. For more information, see here.
  • Delegates are now able to reserve places for The Chagos Litigation: A Socio-Legal conference, which takes place on 29th June 2015 at the University of Greenwich. The keynote speaker is Professor Philippe Sands QC (University College London), who recently represented Mauritius in its proceedings against the United Kingdom at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The conference is free to attend and is open to academics, legal practitioners and postgraduate students. Delegates can reserve their place by emailing: lawevents [at] gre [dot] ac [dot] uk. Further information can be found here.

Calls for Papers

  • The TAU Buchmann Faculty of Law is pleased to invite submissions to its third annual  workshop for junior scholars in law, which will take place in October 26-27, 2015. Through law, theory comes into our daily lives in many ways. The workshop will explore the connection between theory and life: how different theories are applied through legal doctrines, how theory comes to life through its application and how theory influences society and our lives. Relevant papers could, for example, discuss more specific questions like: How does theory come into life in different fields of law, such as criminal law, public law, corporate law, civil law, international law, cyber law, environmental law and others? What is the connection between human rights theories and their acceptance or rejection by different actors? How does legal theory deal with rapid changes in science and technology? What are the potential theoretical justifications to recognize obligations of states towards foreign individuals or communities? How can different actors, such as governments, philanthropists, public litigators and human rights organizations use theory to further their cause? How do lessons learned from historical events affect the formation of theory and practice? For details regarding submission and funding possibilities please see the call for papers

Announcements

  • The South China Sea Institute of Xiamen University, and Center for Polar and Deep Ocean Development of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, announce their annual summer program – Marco Polo- ZHENG He Academy of International Oceans Law and Policy, to be held from July 5 – July 31, 2015. These centers are leading interdisciplinary research institutes in China in the area of Oceans Law and Policy. This is the 10th anniversary of the summer academy which has been attended in past by the scholars, practitioners, diplomats and students from -: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, DPR Korea, Rep. of Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, U.S., and others. The four week intensive summer program is divided into two sessions to be held in Chinese cities of Xiamen and Shanghai. The participants have an option to attend either or both the sessions. The program offers a unique chance to learn about the Chinese perspectives on Law of the Sea and its policies. The structure of the program is such that the class lectures are held in morning sessions and in the afternoon sessions trips to Chinese courts, law firms, and governmental agencies related to oceanic administration, museums, etc., are planned. Participants also have the option of taking tests and getting credits transferred to their own schools. Limited number of scholarships is offered to outstanding candidates upon application and subsequent review. Please find more information about Xiamen Session here and Shanghai Session 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.

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.

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.

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.

Events and Announcements: April 12, 2015

by An Hertogen

Events

  • On April 13-14, 2015, the University of Alabama School of Law will host a workshop and symposium event on the topic of the Rights of States in International Law.  The event will be organized by Professor Dan Joyner. The participants will workshop their papers, which are to comprise a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of International & Comparative Law, which is being organized by Professor Joyner and Dr. Marco Roscini. This project is devoted to the question of whether fundamental rights of states, which appear to be recognized in the provisions of a number of conventional and customary sources of international law, actually exist. These purported rights include the right to self-defense, the right to existence, the right to private life/noninterference, the right to permanent sovereignty over natural resources; the right to be free from economic coercion, and the right to peaceful nuclear energy. If in fact they do exist, what is their source and legal character? What are their juridical implications – e.g. when they come into conflict with the legal obligations of the right holder, or with the actions of other states and international organisations? The papers in this special issue seek to examine these questions both theoretically and doctrinally, and to provide a framework for understanding the fundamental rights of states, and their role in the international legal system. For questions concerning the workshop/seminar, please contact Professor Dan Joyner at djoyner [at] law [dot] ua [dot] edu
  • Registration is now open for the International Institute of Humanitarian Law’s specialized course on the Conduct of Peace Support Operations (PSO) from June 15 – July 19, 2015 in Sanremo, Italy. The aim of this course is to prepare potential civilian and military staff and augmentees for PSOs by providing an understanding of the legal issues affecting their deployment and mission accomplishment. Participants will examine and discuss the wide ranging legal issues underpinning PSO mandates affecting mission design, and those legal aspects which will shape and govern the deployed force and mission. Seminar topics include the legal bases for PSO, the applicability of human rights and LOAC, criminal responsibility and the legal implications of detention, cyber activities, and emerging technologies on PSO.  For more information 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. 

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. 

Israel’s “Defenders” Show Their True Colors Regarding Academic Freedom

by Kevin Jon Heller

From April 17-19, the University of Southampton is scheduled to host a conference entitled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism.” As the title indicates, the conference was always going to be controversial. (Full disclosure: I was originally scheduled to present at the conference, but pulled out a couple of weeks ago because I simply didn’t have time to prepare anything.) Indeed, the conference webpage contains the following statement by the organisers:

The conference “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility, and Exceptionalism” at the University of Southampton on April 17-19th will engage controversial questions concerning the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature, including ongoing forced displacements of Palestinians and associated injustices. The conference will examine how international law could be deployed, expanded, even re-imagined, in order to achieve regional peace and reconciliation based on justice.  The conference is intended to broaden debates and legal arguments concerning historic Palestine and the nature, role, and potentialities of international law itself.

Participants will be a part of a multidisciplinary debate reflecting diverse perspectives, and thus genuine disagreements, on the central themes of the conference. Diligent efforts, including face-to-face meetings with leading intellectuals in Israel, were made to ensure the widest range of opinions possible. Those who chose to abstain, however, cannot derail the legitimate, if challenging, academic discussion the conference will inspire.

The conference organizers are grateful to the University of Southampton for ensuring academic freedom within the law and for taking steps to secure freedom of speech within the law. The conference organizers accept that the granting of permission for this event does not imply support or endorsement by the University of any of the opinions to be expressed at the conference.

The final paragraph is more than a little ironic — because earlier today the University of Southampton caved to pressure from self-appointed right-wing “defenders” of Israel and withdrew its permission for the conference. To be sure, the University did not have the integrity to admit the real reason why it was withdrawing permission. Instead, it fell back on that time-worn excuse, “security.” (Read: Israel’s right-wing “defenders” promised to disrupt the conference if the University didn’t cancel it.) The organizers’ statement in response makes clear just how pathetic that excuse really is:

A number of risks have been identified by the police but it is very clear from the Police’s report that they are more than capable of policing the conference and ensuring the safety of university staff, speakers, delegates, students and property. However, instead of accepting this at face value the University decided to focus on the risks identified by the Police and ignore their statement about their ability to police the event – we were told the Police will never say in writing they are not able to police an event, in other words the University had doubts about the Police’s ability to do their job of upholding the law! The university claims that the Police are not able or unwilling to become too involved because the University is ‘private property’, which we find astonishing. The University is a public space, it was established by a Royal Charter and it has public roles and duties including upholding freedom of speech and to that extent it should be able to resort to police assistance in order to curb security risks to enable it to fulfil its legal obligation to uphold freedom of speech. If this is not done, if commitment to safety is not undertaken by the police, freedom of speech becomes an idle worthless notion. At no point were we given an indication that the University has indeed allowed itself the time to seek viable police assistance to supplement its own resources. Additionally, and unconvincingly, the University claims that it is now too late to put proper security arrangements in place. We do not accept that in any way as there are still 18 days left before the conference.

It will be a great shame if the conference does not go ahead as planned, whether at Southampton or at another venue. But the University’s decision does have a silver lining: it makes clear the contempt that Israel’s right-wing “defenders” have for academic freedom. They love to invoke academic freedom in the context of academic BDS, where the freedom in question is that of Israeli academics. (Regular readers know that I oppose academic BDS, and I voted against it recently at SOAS.) But when academic freedom means permitting criticism of Israel — well, then censorship is just fine. Consider the following…