This week on Opinio Juris, Kevin Jon Heller continued coverage of the Melinda Taylor situation in Libya, pointing out a special report in the Guardian detailing her detention and that so far, the “non-apology apology” issued by the ICC has not helped the situation. In other ICC-related news, he pointed out John Bellinger’s editorial on the Court at 10 years old. Kevin additionally gave an informative look at how Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch do not, in fact, ignore labor rights, as Kathleen Geier might have us believe and pointed us to his playlist of the best anti-war songs ever.
Peter Spiro followed a couple of US Supreme Court stories looking at them from an international law perspective, including how the Court studiously avoided it entirely in the recent Miller v. Alabama case (striking down laws mandating juvenile offenders be sentenced to life without parole) and calling attention to Justice Scalia’s dissent in the SB 1070 case.
In other US news, Julian Ku pointed out that on the same day the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Health Care Act, other employees in Washington were debating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ratification during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing and highlighted a letter to the editor at in the Wall Street Journal that previewed China’s argument about the dispute involving the Scarborough Shoal/Huangyan Island. Additioanlly, Duncan Hollis put out an open sollicitation for novelists looking for advice on international law in response to Brad Thor’s new novel, Full Black.
This week, we hosted a Symposium for the Yale Journal of International Law’s Volume 37:2, wherein two articles from the issue were discussed at length. First, in Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law, Margaux J. Hall and David C. Weiss discuss how international human rights law can inform and guide policy decisions regarding climate change adaptation. Hall and Weiss introduced their article with a post here and Bonnie Docherty and Tyler Giannini offer comments regarding climate change refugees, and specifically how human rights can affect the underlying principles of a climate change refugee instrument here.
Robin Kundis Craig discusses the inherent temporal complexities related to climate change as an example of how complex the human rights approach to climate change could be and discusses the role and burden of women and girls in adapting to climate change and J.B. Ruhr also adds to the discourse raising many questions regarding the issue of whether the international right to equity in climate change is substantial or procedural. Siobhan McIneney-Lankford contributed thoughts regarding the value added of human rights law with respect to climate change and Hall and Weiss respond to the comments raised by the other posts here.
The second article of the Symposium is Permitting Pluralism: The Seal Products Dispute and Why the WTO Should Accept Trade Restrictions Justified by Noninstrumental Moral Values, wherein Robert Howse and Joanna Langille analyzed in how far countries can use animal welfare concerns and morals, generally, to justify restrictions on international trade under the law of the WTO. The authors begin by introducing their article here and as a first response, Simon Lester discusses the seal dispute as it related to the boundaries of international trade law.
Isabel Feichtner adds an analysis of the article focused on a critical look at TEFU and European regulations before Tamara Perisin pointed out a few subtleties about which she disagrees with the article’s authors and opens several questions for discussion regarding the aims, coherence and necessity of the EU’s seal product regulations. Howse and Langille respond to the comments on their article in a post here.
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Thank you very much to our guest contributors and have a nice weekend!