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Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: April 5-18, 2014

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Julian examined whether the US could legally deny Iran’s new U.N. Ambassador a visa to New York and provided his take on the three main arguments in favor of the visa denial. In a rare instance, Kevin agreed with Julian and elaborated with a post on the security exception in the UN Headquarters’ Agreement.

David Rivkin and Lee Casey surprised Julian with their calls to deploy “lawfare” against Russia. More surprises for Julian arose out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s decision to revive the In re South Africa Apartheid Litigation under the ATS.

In other posts, Kristen wondered how the current gap in international law on the protection of disaster refugees could be filled; Roger discussed the emerging trend of relying on investment arbitration to enforce international trade rights; Craig Allen contributed a guest post on the principle of reasonableness applied by ITLOS in the M/V Virginia G case; and Kevin shared his thoughts on Ukraine’s ad hoc self-referral to the ICC.

Duncan announced the Oxford Guide to Treaties he edited is now available in paperback, and welcomed the publication of a papers presented at a Temple workshop on the writings of Martti Koskenniemi.

As always, we listed events and announcements (1, 2) and Jessica wrapped up the news (1, 2).

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 29-April 4, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Julian wondered if the ICJ’s judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic would ring in the end of the Whale Wars. He also curiously awaits the release of the Philippines memorial filed with the PCA in the UNCLOS arbitration against China and assessed China’s reaction to the submission.

Meanwhile, Kevin handed out advice on how to get yourself convicted of terrorism and Chris compared Russia’s rhetoric regarding Crimea to its rhetoric regarding intervention and recognition in Kosovo and South Ossetia.

We also hosted a symposium on the two latest issues of the Harvard International Law Journal. Martins Paparinskis discussed Anthea Roberts’ article on state-to-state investment arbitration, followed by Anthea’s reply. Next, Tim Meyer and Monika Hakimi discussed her article justifying unfriendly unilateralism, followed by a discussion between Christopher Whytock and Greg Shill on judgment arbitrage. Michael Waterstone discussed an article on equal voting participation for Europeans with disabilities. Karen Alter and Suzanne Katzenstein rounded up the symposium with a discussion on the creation of international courts in the 20th century.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and listed events and announcements. If you’re a PhD student, post-doc or have recently started your career and would like to write something for Opinio Juris in July or August, don’t miss the call for abstracts for the second edition of our Emerging Voices symposium.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 22-28, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin accused the ICC of fiddling while Libya burns, and relayed news in the Libyan press that Al-Senussi’s and Gaddafi’s trial will start mid-April. He also analysed whether Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s possible representation of LRA victims at the ICC would amount to a conflict of interest.

Roger followed up on his earlier post about using trade remedies to enforce arbitration awards to argue that these remedies are WTO compliant.

Kristen discussed sanctions against Russia and Julian asked whether the US’ spying on Huawei violates international law.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news, I listed the events and announcements, and Chris closed of the week with some laughs courtesy of the Internationally Wrongful Memes tumblr.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 15-21, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we continued last week‘s YLS Sale Symposium with a post by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen describing Sale’s legacy as a game of cat and mouse between law and politics, a post by David Martin on the realms of policy and law in refugee protection. In a two part post (1, 2), Guy Goodwin-Gill looked at state practice preceding Sale and argued that the case was not the watershed moment it is seen to be. T. Alexander Aleinikoff discussed a way forward to ensure that the rights of refugees are adequately protected. Harold Koh closed off the symposium with his reflections on Sale’s legacy.

Also continuing from last week was our Ukraine Insta-Symposium. Boris Mamlyuk argued for a better empirical understanding of the facts on the ground to assess the legality of intervention in Ukraine. As the events in Crimea unfolded, questions of recognition and annexation came into the spotlight with a post by Anna Dolidze on the non-recognition of Crimea, one by Chris analyzing the legality of recognition of a secessionist entity, and one by Greg Fox on the Russian-Crimea treaty.

In other posts, Duncan tried to read the tea leaves in the US Senate confirmation hearings for the new head of US Cyber Command. Julian reported from a hearing of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on the legality of overseas electronic surveillance and predicted that international law will receive short shrift in the Board’s final report. Andrés Guzmán Escobari rebutted an earlier post by Julian and argued that Bolivia’s ICJ case against Chile to obtain access to the Pacific Ocean is reasonably strong. Roger closed off the week with a post on the use of trade remedies to enforce arbitration awards.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and listed events and announcements.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 9-15, 2014

by An Hertogen

We had a busy week on the blog, so if you haven’t been able to keep track of it all, here is a summary of what happened.

We continued the Ukraine Insta-symposium with posts by Remy Jorritsma on the application of IHL to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and by Sina Etezazian on Russia’s right to protect its citizens in the Crimea and Ukraine’s right to use of force in self-defence. A post by Greg Fox and one by Tali Kolesov Har-Oz and Ori Pomson discussed the limits of government consent to intervention, while Robert McCorquodale discussed Crimean self-determination and the international legal effect of a declaration of independence. Ilya Nuzov provided a transitional justice perspective; and Rhodri Khadri examined if any useful lessons for the Crimean crisis can be drawn from the solution to the Åland Islands. Julian responded to Boris Mamlyuk’s critique on US international law scholars by exploring Russia’s position.

A second symposium this week, introduced here by Tendayi Achiume, Jeffrey Kahn and Itamar Mann, summarized the presentations of last weekend’s symposium at Yale Law School on the rise of maritime migrant interdictions twenty years after the US Supreme Court’s Sale judgment. Ira Kurzban described the events leading up to the Sale judgment and Jocelyn Mccalla discussed the impact of Sale on Haitian immigration and advocacy. In a two part post, Bill Frelick discussed the international and US domestic initiatives to counter Sale‘s implication that the non-refoulement principle does not apply extra-territorially. Azadeh Dastyari put the spotlight on the lesser known use of Guantanamo Bay for the detention of refugees. Maritime migrant interdictions are not a uniquely US phenomenon, as demonstrated by Paul Power’s discussion of Australia’s “Stopping the Boats” policy and Meron Estefanos’ post about the impact of the EU’s refugee policy on Eritrean refugees. Bradley Samuels used the example of non-assistance at sea in the Mediterranean to discuss the increasing reliance on architectural representations of space as evidence in litigation.The symposium will continue next week, so stay tuned!

In other posts, Kristen Boon updated us on the latest developments in the Haiti cholera case, and John Knox, the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, guest posted about the mapping report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this week. Despite their win, Kevin declared the Katanga conviction a difficult day in the office for the OTP. Kevin also asked us to identify a historical figure in a picture of the ’70s, and was disgusted by a phishing e-mail preying the situation in Syria.

Finally, Jessica compiled the weekly news and I listed events and announcements.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and to all our readers for the lively discussions this week!

Weekend Roundup: March 1-8, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we continued to follow the situation in Ukraine as it unfolded with an insta-symposium. Alexander Cooley gave an overview of the power politics at play, while Chris posted about Russia’s use of legal rhetoric as a politico-military strategy, and about how language affects the evolution of international law. This last post built on a discussion between Julian and Peter in which Julian argued that the crisis shows the limits of international law, while Peter took aim at the Perfect Compliance Fallacy.

Further issues of compliance with international law were raised by Aurel Sauri, who analysed when the breach of a Status of Forces Agreement amounts to an act of aggression, by Mary Ellen O’Connell’s post on Ukraine under international law, and by Julian who asked whether a Crimean referendum on secession would be contrary to international law. In a follow-up post on the referendum, Chris surveyed the current state of international law on the right to secede and self-determination. In response to a reader’s comment, Chris also delved into the issue of recognition to figure out who speaks for Ukraine.

Peter examined the legality of Russia’s extension of citizenship to non-resident native Russian speakers and pointed to the legal basis for President Obama’s decision to impose entry restrictions in response to the Ukrainian crisis.

In other news, Julian asked why the US did not call the knife attack in the Kunming railway station a terrorist attack, Charles Blanchard provided a guest post on autonomous weapons, and Duncan updated us on the US Supreme Court’s latest treaty interpretation case.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and listed events and announcements.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 22-28, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris,  we closely followed the situation in Ukraine. Julian argued that international law principles are unlikely to provide a solution for the crisis since it would require the US and Russia respectively to defend or reject principles they have rejected or defended in other crises. He also reassured Daily Mail readers that the Budapest Memorandum does not oblige the US or the UK to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion. Kevin in turn suggested to Ukraine’s Parliament to sort out the ICC’s jurisdiction over Ukraine before sending former President Yanukovych to The Hague for trial.

More on the ICC and its jurisdiction followed in Kevin’s analysis of jurisdictional issues in Reprieve‘s Drone strike communication to the ICC and his post recommending Susanne Mueller’s essay on Kenya and the ICC.

Julian’s other posts focused on Asia. He described how Japan’s historic wars with its neighbours continue to be fought in the court room with the Chinese government’s decision to back a lawsuit against Japanese companies that used Chinese citizens as forced laborers during World War II and a California lawsuit that brings Japan and Korea’s history wars to the US state and local level. He also looked into calls for a joint China-Taiwan policy over claims in the South and East China Seas.

In other posts, Kristen assessed the UN’s news “Rights Up Front” Action Plan; Peter pointed to an interesting experiment showing that information on treaty obligations can shift public opinion on solitary confinement; and Kevin thought the European Parliament’s resolution on drone strikes adopted a broad definition of jus ad bellum.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and I listed events and announcements. Our London-based readers can see Kevin in action this coming Wednesday  when he’ll give a lecture at UCL on “What is an International Crime?”.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 15-21, 2014

by An Hertogen

Weekend again, time for a roundup of the blog! This week, Rogier Bartels provided a guest post in two parts on the temporal scope of application of IHL, asking when a non-international armed conflict ends.

Chris followed the situation in Ukraine closely with a post on the background of the conflict and the country’s long road to stability. He also wrote a legal primer on the Cossacks and their resurgence in Russia, after video emerged of the militia breaking up a Pussy Riot protest in Sochi.

Kevin is excited about Mark Lewis’ book The Birth of New Justice, and promised to let us know once he has read it whether it lived up to his expectations.

Finally, Jessica listed events and announcements and wrapped up the news.

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 9-14, 2014

by An Hertogen

The heavy dumping of snow on the US East Coast made for a light dusting of posts this week.

Kevin found the ICTR’s recent acquittal of Augustin Ndindiliyimana after 11 years of pre-trial detention a stain on the tribunal’s reputation. He also was not convinced by Eugene Kontorovich’s use of Belgium’s extension of the right to die to terminally ill minors as an argument to attack on Roper v Simmons, and later replied to Eugene’s response.

For those hungry for more reading: Kevin recommended a post by Sergey Vasiliev on the relationship between Perisic and Sainovic while Julian recommended Stephan Talmon’s book chapter on the question of UNCLOS jurisdiction in Philippines arbitration against China, and Duncan announced the winners of the 2013 ASIL Certificates of Merit.

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news and I listed events and announcements.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 2-8, 2014

by An Hertogen

The year is now officially in full swing on Opinio Juris with our first symposium of 2014. Up for discussion were both lead articles of the latest AJIL issue. The first article, on the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, was introduced here by Karen Alter, Larry Helfer and Jacky McAllister and was followed by comments by Solomon Ebobrah, Kofi Kufuor, and Horace Adjolohoun. Karen, Larry and Jacky’s response can be found here. The second article, by Julian Davis Mortenson and introduced here, discussed the role of travaux préparatoires in treaty interpretation. Ulf Linderfalk offered vigorous two part (1, 2) rebuttal. Other comments came from Richard Gardiner and Bart Szewczyk.  Julian’s reply is here.

Kevin mourned Maximilian Schellcriticized President Obama’s certification concerning US participation in the UN’s Mali stabilisation mission and the ICC; and was even more critical of the ICTY’s OTP request to the Appeals Chamber to reconsider Perisic. On the last issue, Kevin also recommended a post by Bill Schabas.

Julian, who was elected to the ALI, posted on the US’ first public statement China’s South China Sea Nine Dash Line is inconsistent with international law. Deborah tried to keep up up-to-date on the difference between ISIS and al-Qaeda and Peter engaged in a thought experiment on Olympic free agency.

Finally, Jessica listed events and announcements and wrapped up the news.

Many thanks to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: January 26-February 1, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

It is hard for many of us to believe it is already February, but as things go, the world keeps turning we keep blogging! Here’s a look at what happened this week on Opinio Juris:

We had posts from Julian on the media’s coverage of the Amanda Knox trial (and his prolific media presence!) and a reminder for the extended deadline to register for the ASIL/ILA Conference in April.

Chris shared some thoughts about the ongoing protests in Ukraine where two crises are at play: the future of the country and President Yanukovich’s crackdown on protesters; a recent TED Talk by Benjamin Bratton that got him thinking that we international lawyers can learn a lot from technologists (and vice versa); and China’s crackdown of Uighurs, by highlighting the case of Ilham Tohti. Duncan brought our attention to the unveiling of AJIL’s new blog: AJIL Unbound (a heartfelt welcome to the blogosphere!).

We had four guest posts this week, two covering some of Roger’s posted thoughts on extraterritoriality in Kiobel  and two on the effectivity of international criminal courts. In the former category, Anthony Colangelo talked about Kiobel and conflicts of law and William Dodge posited that the presumption against extraterritoriality does not apply to jurisdictional statutes. In the latter category, Stuart Ford showcased the topic of his recent article on complexity and effectivity of international criminal trials and Jonathan Hafetz offered some commentary on Stuart’s post and article.

I recapped the news here and offered events and announcements here. Thanks, as usual, to our guest contributors and have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: January 18-25, 2014

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, Julian discussed the US’ funding (along with the EU and the UK) of a team of investigators gathering war crimes evidence in Syria and why that effort would probably not lead to any prosecutions. Chris pointed out a trend with regard to in cyber(in)security with his post on zero-day exploits, noting that the “money in the market has shifted from rewarding security to incentivizing insecurity.”

Duncan covered the latest breach by the US on its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations after Texas executed Edgar Tamayo, a Mexican national, earlier this week; Roger posed the question about whether the presumption against extraterritoriality only apply to the alien tort statute or also to the underlying federal common law claims in the Kiobel decision and Kevin gave us his new e-mail address as he transitions to SOAS in London.

Additionally we’ve featured stellar guest posts: one from Chantal Meloni, analyzing the latest communication to the International Criminal Court about allegations of torture carried out by UK forces against Iraqi detainees from 2004-2008; a piece from Farshad Ghodoosi continuing Duncan’s discussion on the Iranian New Deal, but offering analysis under Iranian law; and a contribution from Adam Steinman, who covered the US Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, an Alien Tort Statute case involving human rights violations by Daimler Argentinian subsidiary during Argentina’s “dirty war” of the 1970s and 1980s.

Finally, I wrapped up the news and listed events and announcements.

Thanks again to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!