Weekend Roundup: May 25-31, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, we teamed up with SHARES Blog for a symposium on the intersection between the law of the sea and the law of responsibility, introduced here by Kristen. A first series of posts dealt with whaling. Natalie Klein contrasted responsibility regimes on whales and sharks. In his comment, Tim Stephens expressed hope that the ICJ will apply article 48 of the Articles on State Responsibility in the Whaling in the Antarctic case. Irini Papanicolopulu also discussed the international responsibility of non-state actors in the whaling dispute, which led Julian to ponder whether non-state actors are more important than states.

Further on living marine resources, Yoshinobu Takei asked whether the law of responsibility can play a role in international fisheries management. Ilias Plakokefalos commented that, as desirable as it is to apply the law of state responsibility to overfishing, it will be no easy feat. Tim Stephens’ comment pointed out how regulatory efforts to deal with overfishing tend to focus on specialized regimes rather than the law of responsibility. Anastasia Telesetsky argued in favour of imposing a due diligence obligation on flag states to avoid damage to marine resources. Ilias Plakokefalos raised two questions regarding the role of the flag state in terms of its international responsibility.

Finally, there was also a discussion of humans at sea with Seline Trevisanut’s post on responsibility for search and rescue operations, on which Tim Stephens provided an Australian perspective in his comment.

In other posts, Ken returned to his old favourite of EVOO, while Kevin brought you a breaking news update that the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber has rejected Libya’s admissibility challenge. Kevin also mentioned two unpleasant possibilities about the drone programme, and was disturbed by threats of genocide against Shia in Syria. A guest post by Onur Güven highlighted three challenging questions during the Third CWC Review Conference that recently took place in The Hague.

Finally, as always, we listed events and announcements and brought you the weekday news wraps.

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


Weekend Roundup: May 18-24, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, drone strikes unsurprisingly took center stage. In anticipation of President Obama’s speech, Jonathan Horowitz contributed a guest post on their human rights impact and Ken pointed to his new essay arguing the case for drone strikes. Deborah linked to the transcript of the speech here, and pointed to two things she liked about itDeborah also discussed the White House Fact Sheet on Use of Force Procedures, and summed it all up with a post on what the newly released documents on targeted killing tell us compared to the leaked DOJ White Paper a few months ago. Kevin considered the requirement of “near certainty” of no civilian casualties a blatant lie that made him distrustful of all claims made in the speech.  He followed this up with a post outlining two problems with the “near certainty” standard and another arguing that the standards for the use of force in the fact sheet are a retreat from IHL. In a guest post Michael W. Lewis argued that Obama got it right

In other posts, Kevin posted a must-see link to a report visualizing international criminal justice and recommended an article by one of his students on the Kapo trials

We also revisited our discussion of Samantar, with Ingrid Wuerth’s guest post on foreign official immunity, and of the Philippines-China UNCLOS arbitration, with a post by Julian who wasn’t convinced by Professor Stefan Talmon’s argument that all of the Philippines’ claims against China fall outside of the tribunal’s jurisdiction. Julian also asked whether we should care about the upcoming hearings by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Speaking of international conventions, Duncan got inspired by Jennifer Lawrence to draft a petition to the White House to ratify the VCLTIO.

Finally, as always we provided you with a list of events and announcements and with weekday news wraps.

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

Weekend Roundup: May 11-17, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin was surprised by an unexpected dissenter in Kenya’s request to the Security Council to terminate the ICC’s Kenya cases. He also analysed whether the ICC has jurisdiction over Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara and particularly whether the flotilla attack qualifies as a “situation”. He followed up with a post asking why the Comoros are represented by Turkish lawyers in their referral request and why the referral request was only filed now. He also examined whether the PTC could review an OTP decision not to investigate a situation referred to it.

Kevin called on the ICC to keep its website updated, and listed four errors in the description of NBC’s upcoming series Crossing Lines on the ICC Police Unit, poignantly illustrating why outreach by the ICC itself is important to avoid a distorted public understanding of the ICC.

Peter asked whether the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord was a watershed moment in global governance, while Roger pointed out problems with the Accord’s arbitration clause.

Julian put the spotlight on the confusing legal background of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute, and discussed whether California’s Armenian Genocide Law can be struck down on the basis of “field pre-emption”.

Bill Dodge provided another guest post on Yousef v Samantar, in response to last week’s post by Ingrid Wuerth.

Finally, we listed events and announcements and Jessica provided her weekday news wraps.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: May 4-10, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, the discussion of Kiobel continued with guest posts by Jordan Wells asking whether corporate liability is jurisdictional, and Anthony Colangelo arguing that Kiobel actually contradicts Morrison – the case on which it is supposedly based. Kevin asked whether the Al Shimari  v. CACI case could be a model for post-Kiobel ATS cases.

We also returned to last week‘s discussion of the decision by the Court of Appeals in Versailles on corporate liability for involvement in the construction of Jerusalem Light Rail, with an assessment of the case by Milena Sterio.

Another guest post this week was by Ingrid Wuerth on Yousuf v Samantar.

Peter argued that Ted Cruz’ birthplace isn’t a reason to oppose his nascent candidacy for the US Presidency and pointed out another Obama speech trying to reinvigorate the notion of citizenship.

Kevin discussed the finding of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria that the rebels, rather than the government, may have been responsible for deploying chemical weapons against civilians. Despite his past forays in reality TV, Kevin was still surprised by The President – a Palestinian TV show to (mock-)pick a new President.

Kristen discussed the transformation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. She also drew our attention to a new case filed at the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that Poland violated its human rights obligations due to its involvement in the CIA’s black sites and the extraordinary rendition of Abu Zubaydah.

Ken predicted that autonomous cars could force us to dust off the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, and discussed a new bill to be introduced to increase congressional oversight over kill-or-capture missions conducted by the US military outside of Afghanistan. Further on the war on terror, Chris recommended reading Harold Koh’s speech at Oxford Union.

Julian worried that China was playing a dangerous game floating claims about sovereignty over Okinawa.

Kristen posted a call for papers for the 2013 ASIL Research Forum, which she co-organizes. Other calls for papers can be found in our events and announcements. Finally, Jessica also provided you with weekday news wraps.

Have a nice weekend!

Weekend Roundup: April 27 – May 3, 2013

by An Hertogen

This week on Opinio Juris, the debate on Kiobel continued. Katherine Florey pointed out how the decision will deepen the divide between state and federal approaches to extraterritoriality issues. Ken Anderson argued that the ATS should be understood as the “law of the hegemon”. Peter agreed with Samuel Moyn that more attention to corporate social responsibility regulation could potentially have a broader impact in improving human rights than high profile ATS cases. Corporate social responsibility was also central to Peter’s post on the impact of recent tragedies in the Bangladesh garment industry on voluntary corporate codes.

Eugene Kontorovich wrote a guest post on the recent decision of a French Court of Appeals rejecting claims that the contract between Alstom Transport and the State of Israel for the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail was illegal due to a violation of international law. Disagreeing with Eugene, Kevin pointed out that the Court of Appeal is silent about the possibility of a war crime under the Rome Statute.

On another controversial dispute involving a big corporation, Roger wrote about an Ontario Court’s decision to dismiss the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Canada.

In news from international courts, Julian was surprised by reports about the ICJ Registrar calling the Bolivia’s application against Colombia “impeccable“, since he thought Bolivia’s case was ridiculously weak. Should the case reach the merits and go against Colombia, chances are though that we’ll end up with Colombian complaints about biased judges after the conclusion of the case, as it did for the recent decision in its case against Nicaragua.

Turning to the ICC, Kevin was troubled by Judge van den Wyngaert’s decision to withdraw from the ICC’s Uhuru Kenyatta case, and followed up with further thoughts. He also congratulated Leiden for winning the ICC Moot Court.

In other posts, Julian pointed out how China is now also pushing the boundary with India, and  asked whether force feeding of detainees on a hunger strike is always illegal. Kevin noted with horror a quote from Ari Fleischer on the difference between Nazis and terrorists, and recommended Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists

As always, we provided news wraps and a list of events and announcements. Many thanks to all our “younger” readers for the many New Voices abstracts. It’s wonderful to see such a great response! Jessica and I are working through the submissions and plan to finalize the selection by mid-May.

Have a nice weekend!