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Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: August 9-15, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we started with follow-up on last week, with Julian raising more issues with the emerging Article II humanitarian intervention power and Kevin sharing his final thoughts on the Bar Human Rights Committee’s letter to the OTP in relation to the situation in Gaza.

More on the Gaza situation in a post by Kristin Hausler and Robert McCorquodale, who asked whether attacks on schools, teachers and students ever be legitimate under international law.

This week, we welcomed Lucas Barreiros, Stacey Henderson and Marcos Kotlik to our Emerging Voices symposium, who, respectively, compared the European and Inter-American Human Rights Courts, discussed R2P and measures-less-than-force in the context of protecting children in armed conflict and proposed enhanced participation of civil society organizations in Committee on Enforced Disappearances.

Another guest post, by Priya Urs, asked whether states are injured by whaling in the Antarctic.

Of our permanent bloggers, Kevin argued that the attack on MH17 should be framed as murder not as a war crime, Chris asked whether the US should change its approach to zero-day exploits and Kristen wrote about ensuring robust peacekeeping missions.

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

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

Weekend Roundup: August 2-8, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, the main point of discussion was the ICC’s jurisdiction over the situation in Gaza. Eugene Kontorovich put the spotlight on a recent development at the ICC in relation to Egypt that reduces the chances of the Palestinians’ ICC accession bid being accepted, to which Kevin responded here and Eugene followed up here. In related posts, Kevin pointed out the Bar Human Rights Committee in the UK request to the OTP for an investigation of the situation in Gaza, the OTP’s statement that the ICC lacks jurisdiction, and his podcast on the issue.

Clare Frances Moran contributed an Emerging Voices post on the contribution of international criminal tribunals and courts to the development and promotion of international human rights law. Other posts in this symposium discussed race-based statelessness in the Dominican Republic and a discussion of the impact of extraordinary reparations on the legitimacy of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

In other posts, Julian shared his thoughts on Taiwan’s East China Sea Peace Initiative, and criticized Argentina for launching ICJ proceedings against the US, which the latter is unlikely to consent to. He also discussed the Article II “Humanitarian Intervention” powers in light of President Obama’s authorization of airstrikes against ISIS.

Jessica wrapped up the weekly news and listed events and announcements. A very special event is Philippe Sands’ upcoming London premiere of his “A Song of Good and Evil“.

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

Weekend Roundup: July 26-August 1, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we had some vigorous debate on the legality of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza. Kevin opened the week with the question whether Israel can cut off water and electricity to Gaza, and Janina Dill raised two concerns with the IDF’s practice of using warnings. Julian commented on the Joint Declaration on the Gaza Offensive signed by over 140 international law experts, and Tali Kolesov Har-Oz and Ori Pomson discussed the use of human shields through the lens of international criminal law.

Our Emerging Voices symposium continued with a post by Rosemary Grey on sexual violence as a war crime in the Ntaganda decision. Continuing on this gender theme, Jens Iverson discussed the rights of women in armed conflict. Finally, David Benger argued that the preliminary examinations in Iraq had resulted in a net loss for the ICC’s political capital.

Big arbitration news as well this week with the historic $50bn dollar award against Russia in the Yukos arbitration, and Argentina’s default followed by its threat to sue the United States for its courts’ contribution to the default.

In other posts, Jens Ohlin inquired after the meaning of the common law of war and examined when the combatant’s privilege applies, while Duncan analysed US claims that Russia’s tests of a ground launched missile violated the 1987 INF Treaty.

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

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

Weekend Roundup: July 19-25, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, our Emerging Voices symposium continued with a post by François Delerue on cyber operations and the prohibition on the threat of force, a comparison by Otto Spijkers of the Nuhanović and Mothers of Srebrenica cases, and Arpita Goswami’s analysis of the PCA’s recent Bay of Bengal Maritime Arbitration Case between India and Bangladesh.

We also welcomed Jens Ohlin for a guest posting stint. This week, Jens discussed competing theories of control in light of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and two decisions by the European Court of Human Rights on Poland’s involvement in CIA Black Sites on its territory.

Other guest posts were by Jonathan Hafetz who discussed the D.C. Circuit’s en banc ruling in Al Bahlul and by Charles Kels who followed up on our recent symposium self-defence during armed conflict.

Of our regular bloggers, Kevin explained why comments by Moshe Feiglin, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset in Israel, can be seen as advocating crimes against humanity, but not genocide, against Palestinians. He also summarized the al-Senussi admissibility decision in two quotes. Kristen discussed interesting questions about the increasing “jurisdictional overlap” between individuals designated on targeted sanctions lists and international criminal courts.

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

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

Weekend Roundup: July 12-18, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we kicked off the second edition of our Emerging Voices symposium with a post by Zachary Clopton on the horizontal and vertical dimensions of international law in U.S. Courts, followed by Abel Knottnerus’ post on rule 134quater.

Julian clarified last week’s post on Taiwan and argued that “lawfare” will not deter China in the South China Sea. He also posted an obituary for William T. Burke.

Kevin gave his take on the most important issues in international criminal justice today, while Kristen commented on the Mothers of Srebrenica judgment in the Netherlands.

Chris looked at the international legal argument behind the story about the dad who claimed a kingdom for his little girl.

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

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: July 5-11, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we hosted a symposium on Ian Henderson and Bryan Cavanagh’s paper on Military Members Claiming Self-Defence during Armed Conflict. In a first post, Ian and Bryan discussed when self-defence applies during an armed conflict, while their second post dealt with collateral damage and “precautions in attack”. Their third post addressed prohibited weapons, obedience to lawful commands, and a ‘duty’ to retreat, and summarized the main points of their paper. In their final post, they focused on the concept of unit self-defenceJens Ohlin and Kinga Tibori-Szabó commented.

In our regular posts, Kevin posted Yuval Diskin’s comments on the escalating situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories and pointed out a misrepresentation in ABC’s reporting on the conflict. Julian argued why a Japanese intervention in Taiwan would violate international law, but should still be done if it came to defending Taiwan against a Chinese attack. Peter pointed out three distortions behind July 4 naturalization ceremonies

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the news.

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

Weekend Roundup: June 14-27, 2014

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Kevin and Deborah discussed the OLC’s legal justification of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, which Kevin called murder. Kevin then replied to a response by Jamie Orr on the issue of the CIA’s entitlement to invoke the public authority justification. Deborah analysed what procedural protection the Fifth Amendment requires before a citizens can be targeted and discussed the key legal limits on the scope of U.S. targeting authority identified in the memo.

Kevin posted how US drone strikes now also target citizens of US allies, as witnessed by the recent killings of two Australian citizens. More Australians made the blog, as Kevin wrote about Tony Abbott’s mistaken belief that the rule of law would be observed in Egypt’s prosecution of Peter Greste, the Australian Al-Jazeera journalist, and his colleagues.

Kevin also analysed the US self-defence argument in relation to the killing of Abu Khattallah, discussed Fatou Bensouda’s request for the UNSC to investigate the role of UN peacekeepers in covering up crimes in Darfur, and drew our attention to Charles Taylor’s detention situation in the UK, as discussed in his request to be transferred to a prison in Rwanda. Finally, he asked readers for insights on the OTP’s motivations when dropping its appeal against Katanga.

Deborah discussed potential international law obstacles against US airstrikes in Iraq, even at the request of the Iraqi government.

Lest you think this blog has become the Kevin and Deborah show, Kristen wrote about the relevance of Security Council acts for the formation of customary international law.

As always, we listed events and announcements (1, 2) and Jessica wrapped up the news. For those of you in the UK, you can see Kevin in action on Monday night during a LSE roundtable on Syria and international justice.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: June 7 – 13, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin had a chuckle at Libya’s newest excuse why it missed the deadline for filing submissions to the ICC. He also called your attention to the work of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO collecting testimonials from IDF on the treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Deborah discussed ongoing confusion between al Qaeda and ISIS, and the wider implications of such confusion for war policy decisions.

Julian wrote about the PR battle between China and Vietnam on the South China Sea and posted a link to his and John Yoo’s Forbes piece criticizing Bond v United States as a missed opportunity. In other treaty-related news, Duncan wondered how significant a new protocol to the ILO Convention on Forced Labor would be.

Michael Ramsey wrote a guest post on the latest round over the battle between Argentina and its bondholders over the application of the FSIA, and Chris closed the week with a tribute to Andreas Lowenfeld who passed away on June 9.

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

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: May 24 – June 6, 2014

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, we discussed the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bond v United States. Peter argued how the Court ducked the question about the federal treaty power and provided a Bond cheat sheet. A guest post by Jean Galbraith focused on the notable silences in the Bond opinions, and David Golove and Marty Lederman described the outcome as stepping back from the precipice.

Kevin reminded readers about the ICRC’s free database of customary international humanitarian law and posted links to the ICRC’s President lecture to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He warned that a UNGA-created non-consensual hybrid tribunal on Syria could backfire against the US, and raised two problems with the polling questions of a recent study of Pakistani attitudes towards drone strikes.

Kristen updated us on the new briefs filed in the Haiti Cholera case, and on the launch of a high level sanctions review at the UN, while Chris discussed the many hurdles in the path of the Eurasian Economic Union.

As always, Jessica wrapped up the news (1, 2) and we listed events and announcements (1, 2). In other news, Kevin announced how he is joining Doughty Street Chambers as an Academic MemberJulian wished all the best to former Washington University law professor Peter Mutharika who was named Malawi’s new President; and Chris posted the search announcement for a new Executive Director at ASIL. Our New York based readers may also want to attend the Human Rights Film Festival starting next week.

Thank you to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: May 17 – 23, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Duncan shared his initial reactions on the DOJ charges against Chinese military officials over cyberespionage targeting US industries and Chimène Keitner examined the indictments from the perspective of foreign official immunity.

Julian looked into the aftermath of China’s decision to move an oil rig to a disputed area of the South China Sea. He argued that Taiwanese investors might be better off invoking the China-Vietnam BIT rather than the Taiwan-Vietnam Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement to claim compensation following anti-Chinese riots, and discussed what form Vietnam’s reported legal action could take.

ICC news came from Kevin and Kristen, with Kevin updating us on a constitutional amendment before the Ukrainian Parliament that would enable ratification of the Rome Statute, and posting a quote from Judge Van den Wyngaert’s dissent in Katanga in anticipation of Katanga’s sentencing. Kristen discussed the implications of Security Council veto on the referral of the situation in Syria to the ICC.

Guest posts this week touched upon a variety of topics: Christopher Gevers reported back from this week’s hearings at the South African Constitutional Court in a landmark universal jurisdiction case involving alleged crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe in 2007. Tyler Cullis, meanwhile, reviewed to what extent the US would be legally and politically able to ease sanctions against Iran as part of a nuclear deal. In the last guest post of the week, Gabor Rona commented on the recent Serdar Mohammed v Ministry of Defence case on detention in a non-international armed conflict.

Finally, Deborah shared her views on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearings on the AUMF, and as every week, you could also count on us to wrap up the news and list events and announcements.

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

 

Weekend Roundup: May 10-16, 2014

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics brought you a symposium on Professor Jedidiah J. Kroncke’s article Property Rights, Labor Rights and Democratization: Lessons From China and Experimental Authoritarians. In their comments, Cynthia Estlund looked at parallels with the US, Eva Pils pointed to a discrepancy in transnational civil society’s concern for labour and evictee rights in China, and John Ohnesorge reflected on why labor issues have not received much attention in the world of law and developmentJedidiah Kroncke’s response can be found here.

Kevin added the Security Council’s refusal to pay for any expenses related to an ICC investigation in Syria as another reason to be skeptical about the likelihood of a referral. More on Syria in a two-part guest post by Naz Modirzadeh who responded to the open letter to the UN on humanitarian access to Syria.

Deborah shared her opinion on the Al Nashiri case and the question whether an armed conflict existed. In another guest post, Ezequiel Heffes offered four arguments why international humanitarian law covers detention in non-international armed conflicts.

Finally, Duncan looked at the US job market for international law academics, and Peter wondered if an “anti-passport” could be helpful to deal with the FATCA woes of potential Americans overseas.

As every week, Jessica wrapped up the news and listed events and announcements.

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

Weekend Roundup: May 10, 2014

by An Hertogen

A busy week on Opinio Juris with a book symposium on Just Post Bellum-Mapping the Normative Foundations. Kristen introduced the great definitional debate on the meaning of “just post bellum” (JPB). Jens Iversion contrasted JPB with transitional justice and Ruti Teitel discussed JPB as transitional justice. Jens Ohlin argued in his post that ideas about omission liability are stumbling blocks towards the acceptance of JPB. Where Eric de Brabandere offered a normative critique of JPB in international law, James Gallen was more optimistic that there was value in an interpretative conception of JPB. Jennifer Easterday focused on peace agreements as a framework for JPB, and Christine Bell explored the dynamics that have led to all these overlapping conceptualisations of international law’s role in post-conflict situations. Cymie Payne discussed the concept of environmental integrity central to her chapter and Dov Jacobs explained the thinking behind his chapter on the central role of sovereignty in JPB. Greg Fox shared his thoughts on how JPB discussions can navigate the unilateral/multilateral divide. James Pattison examined who has a duty to rebuild after a war and Carsten Stahn finished the symposium with a post on JPB and the ethics of care.

The Al-Nashiri prosecution also attracted commentary with Kevin expressing surprise at Judge Pohl’s order that hazarding a vessel is a war crime and arguing that the attack on the USS Cole did not take place in an armed conflict. David Frakt also wrote a guest post on the existence of an armed conflict in the Al-Nashiri case.

In another guest post, Hayk Kupelyants advanced an alternative interpretation of pari passu clauses.

Of our other regular bloggers, Julian discussed how Colombia’s Supreme Court had apparently followed the US Supreme Court’s lead in denying that ICJ judgments are self-executing under domestic law, and Peter evaluated the looming constitutional challenge against the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

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

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