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Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: May 10-16, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, Duncan posted his thoughts on the fog of technology and international law with respect to drone strikes and Kevin defended (!) Jeb Bush for his somewhat botched answer to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about the Iraq war.

We had three great guest posts. The first, garnering a large amount of discussion, was from Eugene Kontorovich on Iran’s relief ship and the blockade of Yemen. Our second came from Emma Irving, highlighting the news this week that Mathieu Ngudjolo Chiu, acquitted by the ICC, was sent packing from the Netherlands back to the DRC without asylum, despite the risk he claims he faces in the DRC. Finally, Rishi Gulati weighed in on the recent case of Anders Kompass, the senior UN official who leaked an internal UN report on sexual abuse by UN staff in the Central African Republic to the French authorities, and gave some insights into the UN’s internal justice system.

We’ve announced our third annual Emerging Voices symposium–abstracts are due by 31 May 2015 and I rounded up the news here and the events of the week here.

Thanks for following us and have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: April 25-May 9, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Roundup: April 11-25, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Roundup: April 4-10, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, we hosted a Book Symposium on Interpretation in International Law. The Symposium was introduced by Daniel Peat and Matthew Windsor who offered the framework and context of the book in describing their introductory chapter (available here), explaining that the idea of interpretation in their work centers around the metaphor of a game, with each of the authors contributing their thoughts on elements of that game.

In the next post, our own Duncan examined the object of the game of interpretation in terms of its existential function. Then, on Tuesday, Michael Waibel analyzed the players of the game by discussing the nature of interpretive and epistemic communities in international law. Wednesday, Julian Arato confronted the paradox that, despite the unity and universality of the VCLT rules, there is a practice of affording some treaties differential treatment in the process of interpretation. Thursday, Fuad Zarbiyev characterized the interpretive method of textualism in strategic terms, revealing the historical contingencies that led to it being regarded as sacrosanct in international law. And finally on Friday, Philip Allott’s contribution (emblematic of the aims of the book) reflected on ways to promote critical and open-minded reflection on interpretive practices and processes in international law.

We had two guest posts, one from John Louth who discussed how many international law books are published each year, and one from Gabor Rona, who addressed the recent holding Maldonado v. Holder as it pertains to the US’ obligations under the Convention Against Torture.

Kevin offered his thoughts on the advantage for Palestine of a slow preliminary examination with respect to Palestinian statehood and the recent petition to bar Harold Koh from teaching human rights at NYU and Roger highlighted a debate amongst scholars on the investment arbitration chapter in the TPP and TTIP.

I posted the news and events and announcements.

Thanks very much to the contributing authors of Interpretation in International Law as well as our guest contributors and to you for following us on Opinio Juris. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: April 4, 2015

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin posted links to Justice in Conflict‘s symposium on Palestine and the ICC (1, 2), and commented on John Bellinger’s op-ed on the prosecution of ISIS through the ICC. Following the University of Southampton’s withdrawal of its permission for a conference on Israel, Kevin argued that Israel’s defenders use double standards when it comes to academic freedom. He also asked for reader recommendations for a good book on the practicalities of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.

Duncan noted the usage of “will”, as opposed to “shall”, in the Iran nuclear deal, as an indication of the political, rather than the legal nature, of the commitments.

In a guest post, Sushma Nagaraj noted the Delhi High Court’s embrace of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

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

Thank you for following us on Opinio Juris. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 15-26, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

In the last fortnight at Opinio Juris, we saw Julian critique M. Cherif Bassiouni on his take on the Amanda Knox case in Italy, arguing that she would indeed be extraditable to the US.

Peter analyzed whether the Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is in fact a natural-born citizen (spoiler alert: he is).

Kevin posted his thoughts on the two-year anniversary of the death of Chinua Achebe and a response to a Just Security post from Blank, Corn and Jensen on the assessment of proportionality and finally a response to Bartels (also posting on Just Security) on perfidy.

We received a guest post from Sonya Sceats on China as a shaper of international law, in conjunction with a series of meetings at Chatham House. And finally, An posted on events here, I did here, and I added two weekly news wraps (here and here).

Thanks to our guest contributors and to you for following us on Opinio Juris. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: March 8-14, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris, we saw some analysis on the recent letter sent by US Republicans to Iran. Julian kicked off the discussion by pointing out the (unnecessary?) letter explaining the US Constitution and foreign relations law and Peter questioned whether the letter might be unconstitutional and even criminal. Julian offered further thoughts about why the Congress should be involved in the process, after Iran responded to the letter. Duncan spelled out the President’s options for dealing with Iran, with a focus on international commitments and domestic authority to commit the US internationally and Julian found a workaround toward a legally binding solution via a Security Council resolution on the matter.

Kevin added a few of his thoughts on the recent domestic conviction by the Ivory Coast of Simone Gbagbo and complementarity at the ICC, and offered a mea culpa on the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah in 2006. Finally, Tom Ruys offered a response to a recent discussion with his guest post on self-defense and non-state actors in the Cold War Era. We saw a lot of discussion on all the posts this week in the comments.

I wrapped up the news here and listed the events and announcements here.

Thanks for following us and have a great weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 21- March 6, 2015

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Kristen discussed the Elders Proposal for Strengthening the UN and its proposals to change the selection process for the position of the Secretary-General

Jens pointed out how the end of an armed conflict can be as legally complex as its start, and wrote about the proposed CIA reorganisation.

Patryk Labuda contributed a guest post on hybrid justice in Africa

Julian asked whether Japan will embrace the ‘illegal but legitimate view of the UN Charter’s limits on the use of force. He also wondered whether the proposed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act amounts to a violation of the principle of non-intervention. Julian then argued that the proposed Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would only impose modest oversight on the administration, and should therefore not be vetoed by the President, although he pointed out that it is close to having enough votes to override a veto. Julian also updated us on the latest steps in the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire ITLOS arbitration.

Kevin traced the march of the “unwilling and unable” doctrine through academia and spread the news about job vacancies at SOAS

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

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: February 7-20, 2015

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Kevin recommended an article on China’s proposed broad definition of terrorism, argued that there is no practice supporting the “unwilling or unable” test, and was surprised by the news that David Hicks’ conviction for material support for terrorism has been voided.

Julian questioned whether the Outer Space Treaty allows for private exploitation of the Moon’s resources.

Kristen advanced four reasons why the Security Council’s new Terrorist Financing Resolution is significant, and Jens explained why he remains troubled by the draft proposal to authorise the President to wage war against ISIS.

Other proposals that caught our attention were a proposal to make it easier for some US citizens overseas to renounce their citizenship without facing a hefty tax penalty and Duncan’s proposal (with Tim Mauer)  for a Red Cross-like movement in Cyberspace.

In guests posts this fortnight, Jonathan Horowitz looked into the drafting history of APII to argue that IHL does not regulate NIAC internment and Charlotte Peevers discussed the Chilcot Inquiry (1, 2)

Finally, Jessica listed events and announcements (1, 2) and wrapped up the international news (1, 2).

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

Weekend Roundup: January 31-February 6, 2015

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin argued that the CIA and Mossad violated the Terrorist Bombing Convention in the 2008 bombing of Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s international operations chief. Kevin also responded to Ryan Goodman’s Just Security post on Serdar Mohammed. A second part of that response is still to come, but Kevin already flagged the ICRC’s November 2014 Opinion Paper on detention in NIAC. Kevin also recommended Jens’ new book, and for the month of February OUP is offering a discount to our readers, so be quick to grab your copy by clicking on the ad on the right.

Kristen wrote about the aims of the new ILA Study Group on Sanctions of which she is a part, and Bill Dodge wrote a guest post about the Solicitor General’s views in Samantar.

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

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: January 24-31, 2015

by Jessica Dorsey

This week on Opinio Juris saw Deborah note the publication of current Guantanamo detainee Mohammedou Slahi’s diary and her review that appeared in the Washington Post about it. Peter offered further commentary on his first post on John Boehner’s invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address the US Congress, specifically in terms of what the invitation says about constitutional change.

Though he never met him in person, Julian noted the passing of Dr. Luke T. Lee, and paid homage to him and his treatise on Consular Law and Practice.

In light of the hostage situation between ISIS and Jordan/Japan, Jens weighed in on hostages and human dignity. Jens also reported on yesterday’s decision at the ICTY Appeals Chamber, upholding genocide charges in the case of The Prosecutor v. Popovic et al. related to the massacre at Srebrenica in July, 1995.

Duncan highlighted his newest paper, this time he’s written An Intersubjective Treaty Power and a guest post came in from Nimrod Karin, responding to Kevin’s critique of his Just Security posts (here and here), about whether Palestine’s joining the ICC amounted to “lawfare.”

And finally, I updated you on the weekly news and also offered the events and announcements post.

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

Weekend Roundup: January 17-23, 2015

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we hosted a symposium on International Law as Behavior, following a workshop at the University of Georgia in late 2014. Elena Baylis discussed the methodological, theoretical and conceptual questions that need to be grappled with when studying international law as behavior, while Galit Sarfaty provided insights from anthropology for the study of international law behavior. More specific issues were dealt with in posts by Jean Galbraith, who reflected on the use of deadlines in international law, Tim Meyer, who described instances of epistemic cooperation as a way of encouraging states to coordinate their behavior, and Harlan Cohen, who addressed the puzzling phenomenon of precedent in international law. Tomer Broude applied behavioural theory to the ongoing negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and Harlan Cohen closed the symposium with reflections on the agenda for the study of international law as behavior.

The Palestinian ratification of the Rome Statute and its article 12(3) declaration was the subject of extensive commentary. Kevin disagreed with Nimrod Karin’s posts on Just Security that these steps amount to “lawfare”. He also argued why an investigation into Arafat’s death would be problematic. The issues of settlements in the West Bank was discussed in Ido Rosenzweig’s guest post and by Kevin who explained why the Palestinian Authority cannot use an ICC investigation as leverage to freeze settlement construction.

Foreign affairs law issues came up in Peter’s discussion of the constitutionality of Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu in light of precedents where the Logan Act was invoked, Julian’s argument that President Obama needs congressional approval to lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and Julian’s analysis whether a US-Iranian nuclear deal should take the form of an article II treaty with its requirement of congressional approval.

In other posts,  Fox News came under fire from Kevin for its report on Paris’ “no-go” zones and from Deborah over its factual inaccuracies in reports on Muslims in the UK and France. Kristen updated us on the Haiti Cholera case where the SDNY upheld the UN’s immunity, and Kevin posted a youtube video of a protest song on Australia’s detention centre on Manus Island

Finally, Jessica wrapped up the international news headlines and I rounded up the events and announcements.

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