Author: Kevin Jon Heller

The blogosphere and twitterverse are replete with horror stories about how universities treat their academic staff. And rightly so: for most academics, particularly those who are part of the ever-growing ranks of the adjunct professoriat, the rise of the neoliberal university has meant -- as summarised by a recent book on the subject -- little more than "de-professionalisation, worsening conditions...

We at Opinio Juris take great pride in the fact that we have never, at any point in our 17-year history, asked readers to give us money. Fortunately, despite rarely having been flush with cash, we have never needed to. None of the permanent members of the blog have ever taken a penny for their blogging (which means I've been...

In my previous posts on the crime of ecocide -- Post 1, Post 2 -- I argued the theoretical/normative case against the IEP's decision to subject lawful acts to anthropocentric cost-benefit analysis via the "wantonness" requirement. In this post, I want to bracket the issue of whether the definition of ecocide should distinguish between lawful and unlawful acts and question...

In my previous post, I criticised the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide (IEP) for endorsing a definition that is unjustifiably anthropocentric. In particular, I criticised the idea that "knowingly" causing a substantial likelihood of either widespread or long-term severe environmental damage is not criminal unless it is "wanton," defined as "reckless disregard for damage which would...

I have been eagerly awaiting the results of the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide (IEP), which includes a number of excellent lawyers and some close friends. The exercise has always been largely symbolic: even if 2/3 of states parties are willing to support an ecocide amendment, which is unlikely, an amendment to Art. 5 of the...

My first academic position, now 15 long years ago, was at the University of Georgia. I was one of two Assistant Professors hired that year; the other was Erica Hashimoto, who is now a Professor at Georgetown. We were about the same age, quickly became close friends, and taught similar courses -- Prof. Hashimoto, criminal law; me, evidence. Yet our...

Alas, we are losing our wonderful Editorial Assistant, Parisa Zangeneh, who needs to focus on her PhD at NUI-Galway. Parisa has been an incredible asset to Opinio Juris as an editor and in terms of her own blogging. (See here for an example of the latter.) She will be much missed, though she will maintain her blogging rights and we...

As readers no doubt know, Fatou Bensouda announced yesterday that the OTP is opening a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine. Doing so was a foregone conclusion, given the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent decision that the ICC has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Regardless, even if the bulk of the work will fall...

Andras Vamos-Goldman has a long post today at Just Security criticising the UK's recent adoption of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, which will make it considerably more difficult for British courts to prosecute soldiers who commit international crimes overseas or to hear civil actions brought by the victims of such crimes. He also decries in general the lack of...

Few things bother me more than journalists who seemingly cannot be bothered to accurately describe what the ICC does. Here is what Isabel Kershner, a Jerusalem correspondent for the New York Times, wrote about the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent decision that the Court has jurisdiction over the situation in Palestine (my emphasis): Dealing a severe diplomatic blow to Israel, the court ruled...

Six important African NGOs have sent a letter to the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties offering their enthusiastic endorsement of Karim Khan's candidacy for ICC Prosecutor. The signatories are Club des Amis du droit du Congo (DRC); Ligue pour la paix, les droits de l’homme et la justice (DRC), Bureau d’études et de réflexions pour le bien être...

On New Year's Eve, the Trial Chamber overseeing the Al Hassan case referred Hassan's lead defence counsel, Melinda Taylor, to the Registry for violating the Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel. That referral will trigger an investigation by a Disciplinary Commissioner into Taylor's actions. The Trial Chamber's referral stems from a tweet that Taylor posted the day before Christmas concerning her...