Archive of posts for category
Weekend Roundup

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!

Weekend Roundup: January 4-17, 2014

by An Hertogen

In the past fortnight on Opinio Juris, Kevin wasn’t convinced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s argument that can accept the ICC’s jurisdiction on an ad hoc basis because it is still Egypt’s legitimate government. He also discussed the OTP’s motion to challenge Rule 134quater and the Trial Chamber’s decision to conditionally excuse Ruto from continuously attending his trial in The Hague.

Julian gave the US State Department an “F” over its handling of the visa fraud allegations against India’s Deputy Consul-General in New York. Julian was also doubtful about a recommendation for the US to accede to UNCLOS as a way to assert leadership and push back China’s claims in the East and South China Seas.

In two guest posts, Lorenzo Kamel compared the EU’s approach to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories with its approach to Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara. Further on Israel and Palestine, Eliav Lieblich discussed a recent court hearing in which Israel is trying to revive maritime prize law against a Finnish ship intercepted when it tried to breach the Gaza blockade.

We engaged in cross-blog dialogues with Kevin’s thoughts on Manuel Ventura’s critique of specific direction over at Spreading the Jam, and a discussion with EJIL:Talk! of the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Jones v. UKdiscussed on our end by Bill Dodge and Chimène Keitner.

In other posts, Duncan asked whether the interim agreement over Iran’s nuclear program was a secret treaty, Kristen shared reflections on UN law making, Deborah discussed the inaccuracy of attaching the “al-Qaeda” label too liberally and the political consequences of attaching such a label, and Peter pointed out a key provision on Obama’s NSA reforms (policy directive) allowing foreigners as well as Americans data protection with regard to bulk surveillance data.

If you want more to read, you can check out the AJIL Agora on Kiobel, mentioned by Julian, or read the new blog Global Military Justice Reform to which Deborah drew our attention.

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

Have a nice weekend!

Holiday Roundup: December 21, 2013 – January 3, 2014

by An Hertogen

If you’ve been away for the holidays, here is a summary of what we got up to at Opinio Juris over the break.

Kevin posted Banksy’s Christmas postcard, linked to his new essay on the legal recharacterization of facts at the ICC, and held another round in the Amnesty-Goodman-Heller debate on universal jurisdiction, and hoped the Muslim Brotherhood’s legal team would explain the basis for the ICC’s jurisdiction in their complaint. His post on NYU’s selective defense of academic freedom in response to the ASA’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions triggered a long debate in the comments.

Fair trial issues came up in Kevin’s post recommending Daphne Evitar’s discussion of the infringements with attorney-client privilege at Guantanamo and in Megan Fairlie’s guest post on the ICTY’s management of Judge Harhoff’s disqualification in the Šešelj case.

Duncan participated in a podcast explaining the importance of US treaty power with John Bellinger, Joseph Ellis and Nick Rosenkranz, and Julian took a break from teaching in Curacao to argue that the ICJ could have a role to play in resolving the diplomatic incident between India and the US over the latter’s arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.

The end of the year made us reflect on the year that was: Peter listed nine trends from 2013 on citizenship and Chris rounded up the main themes and highlights for Opinio Juris in 2013.

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

Best wishes to all our readers for 2014!

Weekend Roundup: December 14-20, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week Kevin briefly turned the blog into The Onion Juris with his satirical ICTY press release, after the Court, in Kevin’s opinion, nailed the final nail in the coffin of its legitimacy. In a guest post, Eugene Kontorovich framed the question as a design choice in terms of who should bear the risk when a judge becomes unavailable before a trial has ended.

Not satire was Kevin’s post about glitter territorism. Kevin also posted a surreply to Ryan Goodman on whether Amnesty International inflated universal jurisdiction numbers.

We ran a symposium on Kristina Daugirdas’ Congress Underestimated from the latest AJIL issue, with comments by Paul Stephan, Daniel Abebe, and David Gartner. Kristina’s reply is here.

Jessica rounded up the news, and I listed events and announcements.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: November 30-December 13, 2013

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Deborah reminisced about her handshake with Nelson Mandela during her time as a junior White House staffer and Roger posted about the day Mandela was free.

Mandela’s example was invoked at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, where trade ministers reached their first trade agreement in years. Julian argued that the WTO however does not need the Bali Package for its dispute settlement system to remain relevant and Duncan discussed whether the Bali Package requires US Congressional approval. In other WTO news, Roger discussed how the WTO Dispute Panel in its recent EU-Seal Products decision recognized the self-judging nature of the public morals exception in article XX:a GATT.

Trade issues have inspired recent political protests in Ukraine, which Chris used to illustrate how geopolitics has become normative, and how all normative geopolitics is local. Chris also asked where international law should go now that life is imitating the art of political science fiction.

Kevin noted the OTP’s remarkable slow-walking of the Afghanistan examination. A series of articles on Judge Harhoff’s resignation also confirmed to Kevin-once he stopped fuming about the persistent misquoting of the Perisic judgment-that the Judge needed to be removed from the Seselj case. Kevin also assessed Ryan Goodman’s argument that Amnesty International has overstated the number of states that have implemented universal jurisdiction in its report on the issue.

Julian covered various topics that we have known him for recently. He noticed how Russia’s non-compliance with the ITLOS Artic Sunrise order went unnoticed in most media, and concluded that states do not take a reputational hit in case of non-compliance. Julian followed up on earlier posts regarding China’s ADIZ, and argued that the US position is not backed up by a coherent international legal framework. You can also see Julian in action in this video from a Cato Institute event on Argentina’s Debt Litigation and Sovereignty Immunity. On a lighter note, Julian also pondered how the US and Canada could legally merge, and pointed out the happy news that Santa has a visa waiver to enter the US.

Following the recent diplomatic success of the P5+1 and Iran, Sondre Torp Helmersen revisited the impact of the Iran hostage crisis for diplomatic law. Kristen focused on the effect of the deal for UN, rather than unilateral US and EU, sanctions on Iran.

In other organizational news, Kristen updated us on recent developments in Bluefin Tuna management.

Finally, Jessica and I listed various events and announcements that came to our attention (1, 2), and Jessica wrapped up the news headlines (1, 2).

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: November 23-29, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin asked why the agreement between the P5+1 and Iran is not void given that it goes against earlier UNSC resolutions prohibiting uranium enrichment by Iran. Duncan also looked at the deal, decided that it is not actually legally binding, and asked whether that mattered.

Kevin found the timing of the Bemba arrests curious and raised a word of caution about the arrests. In other ICC developments, he contrasted two Rome Statute articles with the new rule 134ter of the ICC’s Rules and Procedure and Evidence, and argued that the new rules are unlikely to survive judicial review. He also welcomed the DOJ’s reported, although not yet formalised, decision not to prosecute Julian Assange.

Craig Allen contributed a guest post about ITLOS’ order for the release of the Arctic Sunrise and the remaining Greenpeace protestors held by Russia. Julian followed up on this with a post discussing the likelihood of Russian non-compliance. Julian also updated us on the latest developments in the East China Sea.

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

Thank you to all our readers for the very lively comments this week. Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: November 9-22, 2013

by An Hertogen

This fortnight on Opinio Juris, Julian shared his impressions of the Asian Society of International Law Biennial Meeting in New Delhi, and summarized his unofficial notes on Judge Xue Hanqin’s personal comments regarding China’s non-participation in the UNCLOS arbitration started by the Philippines. Peter, meanwhile, was at the 2013 Emma Lazarus Lecture and found much to agree with in Jagdish Baghwati’s proposals for state, as opposed to federal, powers in immigration reform.

Peter later alerted us to Somalia’s ratification of the Children’s Rights Convention. This of course leaves the US in a peculiar position, and a rather more peculiar one than regarding the Minamata Convention on Mercury for which it became the first nation to deposit its instrument of acceptance, as Duncan pointed out in a post raising three questions about the acceptance process and the exclusion of the Senate.

Kristen discussed Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented decision to reject the UN Security Council seat within 24 hours of its election. In other news from the Middle East, Kevin outlined why it is not surprising that Syria is destroying its chemical weapons.

Kevin also analysed whether the ASP can change the ICC’s RPE to allow Kenyatta to attend his trial via video-conference, but argued that the relevant Rome Statute provision is too clear to be circumvented by amending the RPE. He also got his hands on two proposed amendments to examine in more detail.

We teamed up with the Leiden Journal of International Law this week to bring you a symposium on their two most recent issues, introduced here by Dov Jacobs. On the first day, Gabriella Blum and Christopher Kutz discussed Janina Dill’s essay “Should International Law Ensure the Moral Acceptability of War?”. Janina’s reply is here. The second article, on Diplomatic Asylum and the Assange Case, by Maarten Den Heijer, was discussed by Gregor Noll and Roger O’Keefe, with a reply by Maarten. On Wednesday, Piet Eeckhout and Erika de Wet discussed Devika Hovell’s proposals in A Dialogue Model: The Role of the Domestic Judge in Security Council Decision-MakingYou can find Devika’s response here. Finally, Brad Roth defended his concept of self-determination against Zoran Oklopcic’s challenge in “Beyond Empty, Conservative, and Ethereal:  Pluralist Self-Determination and a Peripheral Political Imaginary”. The debate continued in Zoran’s reply.

In other guest posts, Paul Williams and Roushani Mansoor argued that the Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal is not just about justice, but also about transforming Bangladeshi national identity, and James Stewart wrote on his research on corporate war crimes.

For those of you who want to read more, Kevin announced the publication, including in open access format, of his edited volume with Gerry Simpson on The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials.

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

Have a nice weekend!