Saturday, February 14, 2009

Call for Papers: Multilateralism and Regionalism in Global Economic Governance: Trade, Investment and Finance

A call for papers has been issued by the Asian International Economic Law Network for its inaugural conference, August 3, 2009, at the University of Tokyo. The conference theme is: "Multilateralism and Regionalism in Global Economic Governance: Trade, Investment and Finance." Here's the call:

General information

The theme of the Conference is: “Multilateralism and Regionalism in Global Economic Governance: Trade, Investment and Finance”.

The Call for Papers for this Conference concerns two different types of papers: (1) Those for the Kick-off Panel Discussion on the Main Theme (Panel 1) and the Wrap-up Panel Discussion on the Main Theme (Panel 4), and (2) those for three Thematic Panels on Trade, Investment and Finance (Panels 2, 3 and 5).

The Organizing Committee seeks to encourage the participation in the Conference of international economic lawyers, whether young professionals or established scholars, academics or practitioners, by inviting submissions of paper proposals for speakers in all Panels.

Speakers will be selected through a competitive process without any prejudice to factors such as race, gender, language, religious background and geographical location. Papers of the speakers will be selected by the Selection Committee.

Note should be taken that presentation shall be made only in English.

All speakers at the Conference must be members of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL). A non-member may respond to the Call for Papers but if selected, will be expected to join promptly. For instruction as to how to sign up for SIEL, please refer to:

Please note that the standard rate of SIEL membership is £85@year, but there are discounts available for students, academics and government officials and those who work for NGOs. Additional discounts are available for people from developing countries. Also, please note that benefits for SIEL members include discounted rates for SIEL meetings, discounts on subscription to several renowned journals, discounted rates on all or some titles from Cambridge University Press, Cameron May publishers, Hart Publishing, among others. For the details of the benefits of SIEL membership, please refer to:

Call for papers for Panels 1 and 4

Concepts and objectives: These Panels will discuss general issues of multilateralism and regionalism in global economic governance. Panel 1 will be focused on finding what problems and challenges we are facing in governing the global economy, particularly on how to coordinate multilateralism and regionalism in global economic governance. While the decades-old multilateral institutions governing the global economy (IMF, WTO, Basel Committee, etc.) are facing serious challenges in the effective governance of a globalizing world economy, regional agreements and institutions (EU, ASEAN, FTAs, regional financial cooperation mechanisms, etc.) are rising as forces in the governance of the global as well as regional economy. The challenges are, therefore, not the lack of institutions, both multilateral and regional, governing the global economy, but the lack of coordination between these multilateral and regional mechanisms.

Papers for Panel 1 should seek to discuss the reasons for the current impasse of multilateral institutions for global economic governance, the reasons for the current surge of regionalism, and the challenges for coordinating multilateralism and regionalism in global economic governance. Both comprehensive analyses and sector-specific analyses (focusing on trade, investment or finance) will be welcome. Also, both historic analyses and analyses of the present state will be welcome. Finally, analyses focusing on a specific region, Asia in particular, and comparative regional analyses will be welcome.

Panel 4 will be focused on finding solutions to the problems and challenges we are facing in governing the global economy, and may contain constructive policy proposals for improving global economic governance. Improvement of global economic governance may take the form of reforming the existing multilateral and/or regional institutions, establishing new ones, or better coordinating existing multilateral and regional institutions. As in Panel 1, both comprehensive proposals and sector-specific proposals will be welcome. Also, region-specific and comparative regional analyses will be welcome.

An applicant is required to provide his or her application in accordance with the conditions as mentioned below.

Call for papers for Panels 2, 3 and 5

The themes of these Panels are fixed as follows:

Panel 2 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Trade

Panel 3 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Investment

Panel 5 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Finance

Panel 2 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Trade

Concept and objective: With the delayed and stalled Doha negotiation, multilateral trade governance seems to be in a stalemate. On the other hand, a growing number of bilateral and regional FTAs are concluded for the purpose of enhancing trade and investment among the parties, but they are bringing about an associate issue of the “spaghetti bowl” effect. What should be done to reinvigorate the Doha negotiation? What should be done to get rid of the “spaghetti bowl”? How can we coordinate multilateral and regional governance of trade? Both papers focusing on WTO and on FTAs will be welcome. Also, papers focusing on the coordination problem will be welcome. Finally, papers focusing on a specific region, Asia in particular, and those conducting comparative regional analyses will be welcome.

Panel 3 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Investment

Concept and objective: The failed attempts of establishing multilateral rules for investment (MAI in 1998, WTO Geneva Ministerial of 2004) seem to have accelerated the move toward bilateral and regional promotion and protection of foreign investment. The increasing number of investor-state arbitrations may support the view that, at least for the time being, bilateral and regional governance of investment through BITs and investment chapters of FTAs will be a prevailing means of governing foreign investment. However, accumulation of investor-state arbitration is causing issues of conflicting arbitral awards, forum shopping, etc., that needs coordination at multilateral level.

How shall we assess the current state of play in the governance of investment? Will there be the possibility of a multilateral investment agreement (or institution)? If so, what role should it play in relation to the existing BITs and investment chapters present in some FTAs? Both reflections of historical development and prognosis of future governance structure will be welcome. Also, both global and regional analyses, in particular Asia-focused ones, will be welcome.

Panel 5 – Multilateral and Regional Governance of Finance

Concept and objective: The contemporary global financial crisis has its roots in the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S.A. since 2007, and has developed perhaps into a “once in a century” panic worldwide. The decades-old Bretton Woods institutions, in particular the IMF, have proved ineffective in preventing and solving the crisis. Also, the twenty-year old Basel Accord appears not to have prevented the occurrence of the subprime mortgage crisis. Instead, a new framework for governing finance is being sought, e.g., G20, and Miyazawa Initiative in East and Southeast Asia.

What went wrong with the existing multilateral institutions and rules? What role should a new regional financial framework or initiative play in solving the current financial crisis and in preventing future ones? Both comprehensive and region-specific analyses, in particular those focusing on Asia, will be welcome. Also, both problem-finding and problem-solving analyses will be welcome.

An applicant is required to provide his or her application in accordance with the conditions as mentioned below.

Instructions for paper submitters

An applicant is required to submit his or her paper proposal of 500 to 800 words to: in MS WORD file. The submission deadline is 28 February 2009 (23:00 Japan standard time, or GMT 14:00).

The result will be announced to all the applicants by e-mail by 30 April 2009.

The following content needs to be included in the submission:

1. Title of the paper with keywords (up to 5 words).

2. Paper proposal as an attached file. (1 and 2 should be in the same file)

3. Name of applicant.

4. Affiliation of applicant.

5. Mailing address for contact person.

6. E-mail address of applicant.

7. Telephone number (including country code) for contact person.

8. The name (number) of the Panel to which the proposal is submitted. (3 through 8 should be in the text of the e-mail. Please note that they should not be in the paper proposal in supra 2.)

9. CV and major publications and presentations of applicant in an attached file (in either MS WORD or PDF file).

Those selected as speakers are required to submit his or her full papers by 30 June 2009. The time allocated to each speaker is 15 minutes. Speakers can submit a full paper which may require more than 15 minutes for presentation. However, even in this case, the number of words of the full paper should be no more than 6,000 words including citations.

The Organizing Committee is planning to publish the result of the Conference in a book, though it has not concluded a contract with any publishing house yet. The speakers may be advised to write a longer paper for publication. They will be informed of the instruction for publication after the Conference.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Colloquium: Current Research in International Economic Law

Today, the American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group is hosting a research colloquium at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. (I posted the call for papers here.) The schedule is here and the conference papers are here.

Workshops: Boyle, Langer, O'Cinneide, Van Damme

Alan Boyle (Univ. of Edinburgh - Law) will give a talk today at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law's Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series on "Recent Developments in International Environmental Law."

Maximo Langer (Univ. of California, Los Angeles - Law) will give a talk today at the University of Texas School of Law Friday Faculty Colloquium on "A Sisyphean Task? An Empirical Assessment of the Managerial Judging Reforms to Expedite ICTY's Criminal Process."

Colm O'Cinneide (Univ. College London - Law) give a talk today at the Faculty Transnational Law Colloquium at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies on "Extracting Protection for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from Human Rights Frameworks: Established Limits and New Possibilities."

Isabelle Van Damme (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) will give a talk today at the University of Nottingham School of Law-International Law Association (British Branch) Regional Seminar Series on "Treaty Interpretation by the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bradley: Self-Execution and Treaty Duality

Curtis A. Bradley (Duke Univ. - Law) has posted Self-Execution and Treaty Duality (Supreme Court Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that, along with the Constitution and laws of the United States, treaties made by the United States are part of the "supreme Law of the Land." At least since the Supreme Court's 1829 decision in Foster v. Neilson, however, it has been understood that treaty provisions are enforceable in U.S. courts only if they are "self-executing." The legitimacy and implications of this self-execution requirement have generated substantial controversy and uncertainty among both courts and commentators. This Article attempts to clear up some of the conceptual confusion relating to the self-execution doctrine and, in the process, better explain the contemporary practice of the courts and political branches relating to treaty enforcement. To that end, the Article makes three claims. First, the Supremacy Clause does not by itself tell us the extent to which treaties should be judicially enforceable. Second, the relevant intent in discerning self-execution is the intent of the U.S. treatymakers (that is, the President and Senate), not the collective intent of the various parties to the treaty. Third, even if treaties and statutes have an equivalent status in the U.S. legal system in the abstract, there are important structural and functional differences between them that are relevant to judicial enforceability. These three claims are interconnected in that each of them reflects the fact that treaties have a dual nature, operating both within the domain of international politics as well as within the domain of law, a feature that is in turn relevant to the scope of their domestic judicial enforceability. The three claims are also complementary, in that each of them is best understood along with the other two, and together they present a relatively coherent explanation for the precedent and practice in the area. The Article concludes by discussing how the Supreme Court's recent decision in Medellin v. Texas, despite certain ambiguities, is generally consistent with the three claims.

Ní Aoláin: Gendering the Declaration

Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin (Univ. of Minnesota - Law) has posted Gendering the Declaration. Here's the abstract:
As the Universal Declaration on Human Rights celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this article examines the gendered foundations of the document. Drawing on its drafting history the article concludes that despite considerable advances contained within it the document has many limitations. Over the years, greater attention has been focused on the ways in which the Universal Declaration has advanced claims for gender equality. As the document's influence and status have magnified, its gendered boundaries are in plainer sight. Moreover, as feminists have systematically exposed the entrenched biases of international law, the Universal Declaration does not emerge from scrutiny unscathed. This article analyses the enduring impact of gender inclusions and exclusions in the drafting of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Examining the Declaration's drafting history reveals the character and form of gender as included in the document and the long-term effects on the normative character of human rights law. Following in the footsteps of other feminist international scholars, this article suggests that foundational documents matter to the construction of gender relations in ways that are difficult to dislodge and create conceptual pathways that can substantially limit theoretically open-ended visions of international human rights law. Thus, advancements typified as achievements in their time may carry more baggage with them than we perceive. The article suggest that a more quizzical view of the gains made for women in the Universal Declaration might contribute to the broader project of defining gender dignity, violation, and accountability in ways that consistently reflect and respond to the experiences and needs of women rather than to an accommodationalist model which tries to "fit" the experiences of women within an existing and constrained framework.

Witt: Lincoln's Laws of War

John Fabian Witt (Columbia Univ. - Law) has published in Slate Lincoln's Laws of War. (You might want to check out as well John's Ye Olde Gitmo from a couple of months ago, also in Slate.) Here's the first paragraph:
One of Abraham Lincoln's little-noted accomplishments has become his most unlikely legacy. He helped create the modern international rules that protect civilians, prevent torture, and limit the horrors of combat, the body of law known as the laws of war. Indeed, he was probably our most important law-of-war president, having crafted the very rules that George W. Bush and his Justice Department tried to destroy.

Goldsmith & Levinson: Law for States: International Law, Constitutional Law, Public Law

Jack Landman Goldsmith III (Harvard Univ. - Law) & Daryl J. Levinson (Harvard Univ. - Law) have posted Law for States: International Law, Constitutional Law, Public Law (Harvard Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

The divide between international and domestic law runs deep in Anglo-American legal thought. Domestic law is taken to be the paradigm of how a legal system should work. International law, by comparison, seems different and degraded. The international legal system has no centralized legislature or hierarchical court system authorized to create, revise, or specify the application of legal norms, and as a result is said to suffer from irremediable uncertainty and political contestation. Out of deference to state sovereignty, international law is a "voluntary" system that obligates only states that have consented to be bound, and thus generally lacks the power to impose obligations on states against their interests. Consequently, the content of international law often reflects the interests of powerful states. And to the extent international law diverges from those interests, powerful states often interpret away or ignore it. They are able to do so because the international legal system lacks a super-state enforcement authority capable of coercing recalcitrant states to comply. These characteristics of the international legal system have led realists and other skeptics to conclude that, in both form and function, international law is a qualitatively different and lesser species of law - if it qualifies as law at all.

Constitutional law, in contrast, has been subject to few such doubts. But perhaps it should be. This Article argues that constitutional law in fact shares all of the features that are supposed to make international law so distinctively dubious. In mapping out these commonalities, the Article suggests that the traditional divide between domestic and international law obscures what is, for many purposes, a more important and generative conceptual divide between law for states and law by states. The ways in which both international and constitutional law differ from ordinary domestic law follow from the distinctive aspiration of legal regimes for states - or "public law" - to constitute and constrain the behavior of states and the distinctive difficulty these regimes face of not being able to rely fully on the institutions of their subject states for implementation and enforcement.

Conference: Junior International Law Scholars Association

Tomorrow, February 13th, the Junior International Law Scholars Association will host its annual conference at Temple Law School in Philadelphia. Here's the program:

  • Session I: Theories of International Law and Development of IL Norms
    • Tai-Heng Cheng (New York Law School), "An International Law Paradigm: Integrating Law, Policy and Politics" - Comment: Stavros Gadinis (Harvard Univ. - Law)
    • Michael Granne (Seton Hall Univ. - Law), "The 'One Voice' of Two-Dimensional Federalism and Foreign Affairs Preemption" - Comment: Jacob Katz Cogan (Univ. of Cincinnati - Law)
    • Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Temple Univ. - Law), "Resolving Dueling Legitimacies: Law, Morality, and Transitional Justice" - Comment: Meg deGuzman (Georgetown Univ. - Law)
  • Session II: Early Stage Projects—Crime and Human Rights
    • Jenia Iontcheva Turner (Southern Methodist Univ. - Law), "Ethics for International Criminal Defense"
    • Caroline Davidson (Willamette Univ. - Law), "Bail for Genocide?"
    • Kristen Boon (Seton Hall Univ. - Law), "Transformative Property Rights: The Developing Right to Property in International Law"
    • Session discussion leader: Harlan Cohen (Univ. of Georgia - Law)
  • Session III: Transnational Environmental, Labor & Employment Law
    • Katerina Linos (Harvard Univ. - Society of Fellows), "Path Dependence and Cross-National Borrowing in Employment Discrimination Law: A U.S.-E.U. Comparison" - Comment: Robin Effron (Brooklyn Law School)
    • Karen Bravo (Indiana Univ., Indianapolis - Law), "Transborder Labor Liberalization: A Path to Enforcement of the Global Social Contract for Labor?" - Comment: Lesley Wexler (Florida State Univ. - Law)
    • Hari Osofsky (Washington and Lee Univ. - Law), "Diagonal Climate Regulation: Implications for the Obama Administration" - Comment: Rebecca Bratspies (City Univ. of New York - Law)
  • Methods Session: Social Science and International Law - David Abrams (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Law) & Jessica Stanton (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Political Science)

Conference: Practical Legal Problems of International Organizations

The Department of Public International Law and International Organization at the University of Geneva Law School and the New York University Institute for International Law and Justice, together with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Institute for Research on Public Administration of Rome, are sponsoring a conference on "Practical Legal Problems of International Organizations: A Global Administrative Law Perspective on Public/Private Partnerships, Accountability, and Human Rights." The conference will take place in Geneva, March 20-21, 2009. An overview and program is available here. Here's the idea:

The purpose of the meeting is to raise, analyze, and discuss important operational issues that confront major international organizations (IOs) that may not as yet have been sufficiently addressed in systematic fashion. In order to do so, the conference will bring together leading experts – both practitioners and academics – in the field.

IOs are today confronted with new challenges as they operate in new ways, connected to development of “new public management” and other organizational changes. They increasingly use partnerships with private and civil society entities. They produce a growing set of non-treaty standards, guidelines, policies, and many other different kinds of “norms”. They frequently take, or should be able to consider taking, emergency actions that have an important impact on individuals or third parties, giving rise to accountability, liability and immunities issues. They conduct many field operations, involving civil society and million of lives; and the increase of activities has produced huge growth and differentiation in their field offices. All of these have important consequences for the relations between IOs and host-States, and between IOsʼ HQ and field offices; and they also have relevant human rights implications, relating both to the growing number of IOs (and their activities) in the field of human rights protection, and the problem of the abuse or violation of human rights law committed by officers of IOs or their contractors.

Workshops: Payne, Waibel

Leigh Payne (Univ. of Oxford - Sociology) will give a talk today at the New York University School of Law Institute for International Law and Justice International Legal Theory Colloquium on "Performances of Power: Paramilitary Confessions in Colombia" and Chapter 1 and Conclusion Unsettling Accounts: Neither Truth nor Reconciliation in Confessions of State Violence.

Michael Waibel (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) will give a talk today at the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group on "Insolvent States."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raustiala: Offshoring the War on Terror

Kal Raustiala (Univ. of California, Los Angeles - Law) has posted Offshoring the War on Terror (in Kal Raustiala, Does the Constitution Follow the Flag?: The Evolution of Territoriality in American Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Offshoring is usually thought of in the context of globalization and economic activity. Yet a signal feature of the Bush Administration's "war on terror" was the offshoring of core security functions. The most famous example is the use of Guantanamo Bay as a detention center, but many other examples of extraterritorial activity exist, such as the practice of "extraordinary rendition." This chapter, drawn from a forthcoming book from Oxford University Press titled Does the Constitution Follow the Flag?, charts and analyzes these developments, and associated judicial decisions such as Boumediene v. Bush, with reference to larger trends in American politics and jurisprudence.

Conference: The Law of Nations and the Early Modern Atlantic World

The University of Illinois College of Law Legal History Program and the Newberry Library will host a conference on "The Law of Nations and the Early Modern Atlantic World," April 3, 2009, in Chicago. The program is here. Here's the idea:

Of the various changes associated with Europe’s post-1492 expansion, few were more important than the pan-European development of what came to be known as the law of nations. Aware of this significance, Atlantic historians have increasingly asked about the role of the law of nations in the transatlantic suppression of piracy, in the enslavement of non-Europeans in Africa and America, and in the dispossession of Indian land. There is also growing interest among scholars of early modern Europe and the Atlantic world in exactly what Europeans understood the law of nations to be and in how such conceptions fluctuated according to time and place. The status of the law of nations became particularly complicated at the often-permeable boundary between international and municipal bodies of law, and in European encounters with other legalities, whether within Europe (as in the English suppression of Brehon law in Gaelic Ireland) or outside Europe (as in the Americas and on the fringes of the Islamic world in Africa and the Mediterranean).

The goal of this conference is to see where scholarship on the law of nations in the early modern Atlantic currently stands, and to highlight points of connection and dissonance within what is, by its nature, a dispersed and fragmented subject. As part of this objective, the conference will consider several broad themes. We will explore the internal European structure of the law of nations, examining its intellectual roots in Roman law, the law of Oleron, and — though rarely acknowledged by European and colonial American jurists — Islam. Because the law of nations was itself part of the legal pluralism that characterized all of Europe’s maritime empires, this part of the discussion will include the law’s often fraught relationship to municipal legalities such as England’s common law. We will also examine the paradox — inherent to all international legal regimes — of a body of law whose precepts depended on nothing more than a culturally specific disposition to obey them: what Blackstone called “universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world.” Another theme is the growing importance of the state and the corresponding loss of status by groups who could not claim the benefits of statehood, in Europe no less than in the outer world. And we will consider the law’s complex relationship to the settler revolutions that destroyed the Atlantic empires of Britain and Spain.

The law of nations guided European interaction with foreign laws and customs, many of which European jurists regarded as barbaric and uncivilized. Because the law of nations depended on a shared culture of civility, Europeans in the outer Atlantic viewed respect for the law’s precepts as part of the civilizing process that distinguished their own societies from those of the “lawless” peoples whom they sought to conquer or displace. Yet as the conference will discuss, Europeans and non-Europeans alike were also adept at manipulating the law of nations to accommodate non-European legal and cultural forms. In the case of slavery, both European and American jurists traced the legitimacy of chattel servitude in the western Atlantic to the customs of Africa’s slave factories; conversely, Europeans often had no choice but to observe indigenous customs in treaties with groups like Native Americans and West Indian maroons. One of the conference’s larger goals will be to assess the various ways in which the Atlantic world’s “many legalities” signaled the limits of European hegemony, as well as to think about ways in which the law of nations’ inherent legal pluralism was simultaneously a bulwark of imperial power.

Call for Papers: Business and International Law - New Scholars

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law has issued a call for papers for new scholars for its annual conference, to be held June 5, 2009, in London. The conference theme is: "Business and International Law." Here's the call:

The 2009 Annual Conference of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law will be held on Friday 5 June 2009 in London. The theme of the conference will be: ‘Business and International Law’.

This Call for Papers is for new scholars to submit a proposal for a paper to be delivered at the Conference. It is designed to encourage new academics, doctoral and masters students, and new legal professionals. A list of panels and a brief summary of the issues to be addressed by them is set out below, though this is not the final programme. Papers on subjects within these themes or more generally on the subject of business and international law are sought.

Interested persons should submit a synopsis (350-600 words) of their proposed presentation no later than Monday 16 March 2009 at 5.00pm GMT. The synopsis should provide an outline of the proposed paper and should identify the argument to be advanced, and the major issues to be addressed. Proposal submissions should be accompanied by a short CV (no more than 2 pages). The submission should indicate the author’s name, institutional affiliation and contact details.

All papers should be sent in the first instance by email to Sergey Ripinsky (BIICL) at The proposals will then be considered by members of the Conference Steering Group. The outcome of the review will be announced in early April 2009. Unfortunately, the British Institute will not be able to cover travel expenses for successful applicants.

Conference Panels

Business and Cartel Enforcement

This panel will consider competition law enforcement efforts to prohibit international cartels. Unilateral extraterritorial enforcement and more current cooperative efforts will be considered, including the latest use of extradition, imprisonment and disqualification of directors.

Business and International Crimes

Businesses operating in situations of armed conflict or repressive regimes are increasingly at risk of violating or being complicit in the violation of international law, in particular international humanitarian law and international criminal law, whether through their own conduct or the conduct of those they engage. Violations may include engaging an abusive private security company, forcibly expelling people from their communities to enable a project, providing the means to kill (sometimes in violation of international sanctions regimes), permitting the use of company assets in the commission of international crimes, and financing or otherwise supporting unlawful conduct. This panel will consider the potential criminal responsibility of corporate actors for such conduct.

Business and Damages Actions

Actions for damages against business, especially by collective/class actions, have affected both the operation of those businesses and the application of law. This panel will consider a range of the damages actions that have occurred.

Business, Investment and International Law

Foreign investors are keen to reduce political risks in host States and therefore prefer to have their investments covered by international law where possible. The relevant international legal framework has changed quite dramatically over the past decade. The developments in this area will be explored in this panel including the balance of rights and obligations in more recent investment treaties and the impact this may have on investors as well as changing expectations of host States: from attracting any type of investment to more quality and sustainable investment.

Business and Human Rights

The scope of international human rights obligations on business practices has been developing at a fast pace. This has prompted more and more corporate social responsibility policies and active practices by business and the involvement of the United Nations in establishing international law to clarify this area.

Conference: Healing the Wounds: Speech, Identity and Reconciliation in Rwanda

The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies will host a conference on "Healing the Wounds: Speech, Identity and Reconciliation in Rwanda," March 30, 2009, in New York City. The program is here. Here's the idea:

Since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has struggled to promote unity and reconciliation among its peoples in order to create a stable society and lasting peace. Eradicating ‘genocide ideology’ has become a mainstay of the government’s efforts. ‘Genocide ideology’ is broadly defined and has different meanings in law and in popular discourse. The Rwandan Minister of Justice has described genocide ideology as a “spirit” and a recent criminal bill defines it almost as broadly. The closely related laws on discrimination, sectarianism (divisionism) and hate speech likewise seek to punish individuals found guilty of fuelling conflicts among Rwandans or sewing division among them.

These laws seek to abolish ‘genocide ideology’, and hence prevent a future genocide, by creating a Rwandan identity that overcomes the ethnic categories of the past (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa). To achieve these goals, the laws have been simultaneously broadly and strictly interpreted to promote a specific narrative of Rwandan history. Speaking outside of the official narrative could find one in violation of the law. The judicial mechanisms established to punish alleged genocidaires contribute to this narrative.

The power of the law to shape collective and individual identities raises important and complex issues, for which there are diverse opinions. Some wonder whether the government’s suppression of discussion about ethnicity helps forge a new Rwandan identity, or veils other policy objectives, while others believe it is the only way forward. This Conference seeks to explore the interplay of law and identity in Rwanda and the role each plays in reconciliation.

Ultimately, the Conference aims to assist relevant stakeholders in appreciating the current legal, political, and social climate in Rwanda in order to assist Rwanda in its quest for lasting peace and stability.

This conference is sponsored by the Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, The Centre for International Human Rights, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Institute for the Study of Genocide.

New Issue: Michigan Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Michigan Journal of International Law (Vol. 29, no. 4, Summer 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Claire R. Kelly, Institutional Alliances and Derivative Legitimacy
  • Michael M. Karayanni, The Quest for Creative Jurisdiction: The Evolution of Personal Jurisdiction Doctrine of Israeli Courts Toward the Palestinian Territories
  • Joel H. Samuels, Condominium Arrangements in International Practice: Reviving an Abandoned Concept of Boundary Dispute Resolution
  • Charles P. Trumbull, The Victims of Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings

Workshops: Bantekas, Meron

Ilias Bantekas (Brunel Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the International Law Association (British Branch)-University College London Faculty of Laws International Law Seminar on "Trust Funds in International Law."

Theodor Meron (Judge, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) will deliver a lecture today at the New York University School of Law on "International Criminal Justice: Does It Work?"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sharma: Sanctity of Foreign Awards: Recent Developments in India

Raghav Sharma (National Law Univ., Jodhpur) has posted Sanctity of Foreign Awards: Recent Developments in India (Arbitration: Journal of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This article critically examines the rulings of the Indian Supreme Court in Centrotrade Metals and Minerals Inc. v Hindustan Copper Ltd and Venture Global Engineering v Satyam Computer Services Ltd. The former vindicates the pro-enforcement stance of the New York Convention 1958, by holding that an award from international commercial arbitration conducted in any Convention country would be a foreign award irrespective of the proper law governing the arbitration agreement, while the latter has frustrated that objective by ruling that Indian courts can set aside foreign awards on the same grounds (e.g., patent illegality) as are applicable to domestic awards.

Wirth: The International Organization for Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards as Swords and Shields

David A. Wirth (Boston College - Law) has posted The International Organization for Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards as Swords and Shields (Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Private voluntary standards such as the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) 14000 series have played an increasingly important role in encouraging corporations to adopt more sustainable business models on their own initiative and not in direct response to governmentally mandated requirements. ISO standards have a number of benefits, including promoting international uniformity; elevating environmental issues within an enterprise; promoting international trade; and providing a minimal level of environmental performance in countries with less than adequate regulatory infrastructure. Concerns about ISO standards include the relationship to public regulation; and ISO 14001's essentially procedural, as opposed to performance-based, character. International trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade inject ISO standards into the public policy arena. Because of the structure of these agreements, ISO standards may operate either as a sword-a negative standard used to challenge a domestic regulatory action-or a shield-an internationally agreed reference point that bolsters the legitimacy of a national measure. This Essay examines the potential for ISO standards on eco-labeling to act as swords to attack domestic requirements, and those on life cycle analysis to serve as shields to insulate municipal actions from international challenge in areas such as climate protection.

New Issue: International & Comparative Law Quarterly

The latest issue of the International & Comparative Law Quarterly (Vol. 58, no. 1, January 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • Georg Nolte & Helmut Philipp Aust, Equivocal Helpers—Complicit States, Mixed Messages and International Law
  • Jennifer Corrin, From Horizontal and Vertical to Lateral: Extending the Effect of Human Rights in Post Colonial Legal Systems of the South Pacific
  • Max du Plessis & Jolyon Ford, Transitional Justice: A Future Truth Commission for Zimbabwe?
  • N Jansen Calamita, The British Bank Nationalizations: An International Law Perspective
  • Hugh Thirlway, The Recommendations Made by the International Court of Justice: A Sceptical View
  • James A. Green, Fluctuating Evidentiary Standards for Self-Defence in the International Court of Justice
  • Sue Farran, Palm Tree Justice? The Role of Comparative Law in the South Pacific

New Issue: Human Rights Quarterly

The latest issue of the Human Rights Quarterly (Vol. 31, no. 1, February 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • Kimberly Theidon, Reconstructing Masculinities: The Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia
  • Alejandro Anaya Muñoz, Transnational and Domestic Processes in the Definition of Human Rights Policies in Mexico
  • Owen Fiss, Within Reach of the State: Prosecuting Atrocities in Africa
  • Claude E. Welch Jr., Defining Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Updating a Venerable NGO
  • Adeno Addis, Imagining the International Community: The Constitutive Dimension of Universal Jurisdiction
  • Laurel E. Fletcher, Harvey M. Weinstein, & Jamie Rowen, Context, Timing and the Dynamics of Transitional Justice: A Historical Perspective
  • Alex Kirkup & Tony Evans, The Myth of Western Opposition to Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights?: A Reply to Whelan and Donnelly
  • Daniel J. Whelan & Jack Donnelly, Yes, a Myth: A Reply to Kirkup and Evans

New Issue: International Theory

The inaugural issue of International Theory (Vol. 1, no. 1, March 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • Duncan Snidal & Alexander Wendt, Why there is International Theory now
  • Nuno P. Monteiro & Keven G. Ruby, IR and the false promise of philosophical foundations
  • Jack Donnelly, Rethinking political structures: from ‘ordering principles’ to ‘vertical differentiation’ – and beyond
  • David Jason Karp, Transnational corporations in ‘bad states’: human rights duties, legitimate authority and the rule of law in international political theory
  • John M. Parrish, Collective responsibility and the state
  • K.M. Fierke, Agents of death: the structural logic of suicide terrorism and martyrdom

Workshops: Keith, Rigby

Kenneth Keith (Judge, International Court of Justice) will deliver a lecture today at the Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict lecture series on "Tutti fratelli? Perspectives and Challenges for International Humanitarian Law."

Andrew Rigby (Coventry Univ. - Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies) will give a talk at the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Seminar Series on "Unpacking Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Context of Transitional Justice."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Annual Report of the WTO Appellate Body

The Annual Report of the WTO Appellate Body for 2008 is now available here.

Call for Papers: Corruption and Human Rights

The Maastricht Centre for Human Rights has issued a call for papers for its conference "Corruption and Human Rights," to take place October 22-23, 2009. Here's the call:

Conference theme

Corruption, generally defined as ‘the abuse of public office for private gain’, is one of the greatest social evils of our time. In the words of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid.’ The adoption of several international anti-corruption treaties such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2003 put the problem on the international agenda, and it is likely to stay there. Research on corruption is conducted by scholars in several academic areas and the problem is addressed by the major international financial institutions and NGOs. However, from the human rights perspective, corruption has not been studied extensively. This two-day conference aims to bring together researchers in various disciplines to further examine the links between corruption and human rights.

Conference format

This interdisciplinary conference will host several keynote speakers as well as the six workshops described below. In order to offer all participants the opportunity to take part in the entire programme, workshops will be held simultaneously, while each workshop is offered on both the first and the second day of the conference. The workshops have an interactive character since participants will be given the opportunity to download and read the conference papers in advance and are thus encouraged to engage in discussions with the presenters.

Workshop titles

1. Corruption as a Violation of Human Rights?

Even though no human rights treaty refers explicitly to corruption, would it be possible to qualify (certain forms of) corruption as a human rights violation in itself?

2. Causes of Corruption: a Human Rights Perspective

In order to combat corruption, it is imperative to search for the driving forces behind corruption. Do human rights violations also feed corruption?

3. Researching Corruption: Methodological and Cultural Challenges

This workshop is concerned with issues surrounding the research of corruption, such as measuring the amount of corruption, cultural issues, as well as identifying the relationship between corruption and the non-fulfillment of human rights.

4. Corporations, Corruption and Human Rights

Corruption is not merely a practice for which state actors are to blame. Corporate conduct plays a large part as well. This workshop therefore addresses the supply-side of corruption and the functioning of the legal norms governing corporate behaviour.

5. Towards a Fundamental Human Right to a Corruption-Free Public Service?

Is corruption serious enough to formulate a new, independent human right to a public service free of corruption? This workshop aims to discuss arguments pro and con the establishment of such a right.

6. Safeguarding Human Rights while Fighting Corruption

Corruption is generally a secretive practice, which makes investigation and prosecution of corruption cases a difficult matter. However, in the fight against corruption, the human rights of persons suspected of corruption should be respected as well.

Call for papers

The Centre for Human Rights of Maastricht University invites academic researchers in various disciplines to submit papers for presentation at the conference. Papers should relate to the topic of one of the six workshops mentioned above. Please note that, given the format of the conference, presenters must be available on both days, in order to participate in two sessions of the same workshop. Proposals for papers (abstracts of max. 500 words) should be submitted before 15 April 2009. First versions of accepted papers (max. 10,000 words) must be submitted by 1 October 2009, since they will be made available online (only to registered conference participants). Before 15 May 2009, the organisers of the conference will decide which papers will be accepted. Accepted papers will be published after the conference in the Maastricht Series in Human Rights by Intersentia Publishers (Antwerp). Travel expenses and costs for accommodation of authors of accepted papers will be paid for by the organisers.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to:

New Issue: Journal of World Investment & Trade

The latest issue of the Journal of World Investment & Trade (Vol. 9, no. 6, December 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Sébastien Manciaux, The Notion of Investment: New Controversies
  • Chen Huiping, The Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Where to Go in the 21st Century?
  • Adrian Emch, News from Luxembourg—Is the New EU Investment Law Taking Shape?
  • Andriy Alexeyev & Sergiy Voitovich, Tokios Tokelės Vector: Jurisdictional Issues in ICSID Case Tokios Tokelės v. Ukraine
  • Prabhash Ranjan, Understanding the Conflicts between the TRIPS Agreement and the Human Right to Health
  • Youngshin Bac & Jai S. Mah, The Post-Crisis Development of Foreign Direct Investment Policies of Korea

Brewster: The Limits of Reputation on Compliance

Rachel Brewster (Harvard Univ. - Law) has posted The Limits of Reputation on Compliance. Here's the abstract:
This short paper is a response to Andrew Guzman's book, How International Law Works. Guzman presents a novel synthesis of the IR approaches to IL by arguing that a state's concern with its reputation is one most important source of compliance with international law. But the book's approach to reputation is not up to the task of explaining compliance. In discussion the book's shortcomings, I ask to whom the relevant reputation belongs. Guzman relies on notions of the state's reputation, but this assignment is a problem for a causation analysis because governments (who make the compliance decisions) will not fully internalize the state's reputation. In addition, I discuss the methodological problems in Guzman's approach. The book provides for only a very loose means of assessing reputational costs, even as a conceptual matter. Without such means of assessment, any claim about the power of reputation remains non-falsifiable and therefore has less theoretical force.

Workshops: Koremenos, Pattison

Barbara Koremenos (Univ. of Michigan - Political Science) will give a talk today at the Northwestern University School of Law International Law Colloquium on "An Economic Analysis of International Rulemaking."

James Pattison (Univ. of the West of England - International Relations) will give a talk today at the University of Oxford Strengthening International Authority Seminar Series on "Who Should Intervene? The Agents of Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

O'Connell: Combatants and the Combat Zone

Mary Ellen O'Connell (Univ. of Notre Dame - Law) has posted Combatants and the Combat Zone (University of Richmond Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Following the attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush declared that the United States was in a "global war on terrorism". His administration claimed the wartime privileges to kill without warning and detain without trial anyone suspected of association with terrorist organizations anywhere in the world. These claims were made in the face of contrary international law. Under international law, a war or armed conflict is characterized by organized armed groups engaged in intense, armed hostilities. To meet these criteria, such groups are associated with territory. In addition to the concept of armed conflict, the concept of conflict zone is important. Killing combatants or detaining them without trial may be permissible when done in a zone of actual armed hostilities. Outside such a zone, however, authorities must attempt to arrest a suspect and only target to kill those who pose an immediate lethal threat and refuse to surrender.

Voigt: Sustainable Development as a Principle of International Law

Christina Voigt (Univ. of Oslo - Law) has published Sustainable Development as a Principle of International Law Resolving Conflicts between Climate Measures and WTO Law (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 2009). Here's the abstract:

This volume provides a framework for the doctrinal foundation of sustainable development as a principle of integration in international law. The work departs from the fragmented nature of the international legal system, a system that lacks integrative principles for creating coherent relations between, for example, the international trade regime of the WTO and multilateral environmental agreements. The specific focus is on a legal analysis of potential normative conflicts between climate measures as regulated by the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, in particular the flexibility instruments of international emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism, and the rules of the WTO. Attention is then given to the application of sustainable development as a principle of integration in relation to these conflicts.

The book takes on several important, timely and demanding tasks related to the urgent global challenge of climate change and the capacity of international law to deal with complex and multifaceted issues. It addresses in particular: the relations between various international legal regimes, especially between international trade law and climate law; the legal status of sustainable development as a principle of international law; and the analysis of interpretative methods and of principles that may serve to address conflicts between rules pertaining to different legal regimes. Here, integration as part of legal reasoning becomes particularly relevant.