Saturday, June 2, 2012

Call for Papers: The Political Economy of International Organizations

A call for papers has been issued for the 6th Annual Conference on the Political Economy of International Organizations, to take place February 7–9, 2013, at the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg. Here's the call:

Call for papers:

6th Annual Conference on the

Political Economy of International Organizations

February 7-9, 2013, Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany

Submissions are invited for the sixth annual conference on the political economy of international organizations, to be held at the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany, on February 7-9, 2013. The conference brings together economists and political scientists to address political-economy issues related to international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Union, and also other international organizations that have as yet received less attention in the academic literature.

Submission of Papers

Both empirical and theoretical papers will be considered. Please submit full papers to conference@peio.me. The deadline for submission is 30 September, 2012. Decisions will be made by 31 October, 2012. This year’s special issue of the Review of International Organizations will be focusing on The Political Economy of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, edited by Peter Egger (ETH Zurich) and Marcelo Olarreaga (University of Geneva). Please indicate in your submission to the conference whether you are interested in also submitting to the special issue.

Conference Format, Attendance, and Registration

The number of participants will be limited to about 70, which allows for in-depth discussion of each paper. Authors of accepted papers are expected to attend the entire conference. There is no registration or conference fee. Travel and accommodation are at the expense of participants.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reynolds & Kearney: Palestine, and the Politics of International Criminal Justice

John Reynolds (National Univ. of Ireland, Galway - Irish Centre for Human Rights) & Michael G. Kearney (London School of Economics - Law) have posted Palestine, and the Politics of International Criminal Justice. Here's the abstract:
The indeterminacy of international law rarely works in favour of the peoples of the global South. Ambiguities and uncertainties are invariably resolved by resort to broader legal principles, policy goals or social contexts that have most often been shaped by colonial views of the world and their supporting conceptual apparatuses. The glimmer of hope presented in the wake of Third World decolonisation by an international law that seemed to offer the prospect of a realignment of the global balance of power and the possibility of a new international economic order has long been extinguished. Despite this, nations that were on the wrong side of imperial history remain unwilling to depart the arena of international law, retaining a belief in its transformative potential and in the ideal of law as a means of constraining, if not subverting, the hegemony of empire. The promise of the International Criminal Court in this regard lies in its global potential. By virtue of its mere existence, the Court alters the dynamics of international relations and sounds a warning signal that no Colonel, Comrade or Commander-in-Chief remains impervious. At the same time, however, the reality is that all international legal institutions are intensely political actors. The International Criminal Court is no different. It can be understood as a site of meta-conflict, where conflict over the nature of a given conflict plays out, and inevitably some particular narrative is endorsed and consolidated at the expense of others. What that narrative will be often depends less on the law than on the socio-political context. The premise that international criminal justice can fully transcend international politics is a false one – it is inherently political. The International Criminal Court in both its constitution (its relationship with the Security Council, for example) and its functioning (the Prosecutor’s exercise of discretion, for example) essentially serves to implement a form of foreign policy. The Office of the Prosecutor’s decision of April 2012 – to eschew a functional approach to Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute and decline jurisdiction over alleged international crimes committed in Palestine – is read in this light. The effect, despite widespread recognition of Palestine and its admission as a member state of UNESCO, is a continuing exclusion of the Palestinians from the mechanisms of international justice.

Davis: Why Adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO

Christina L. Davis (Princeton Univ. - Politics and International Affairs) has published Why Adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO (Princeton Univ. Press 2012). Here's the abstract:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) oversees the negotiation and enforcement of formal rules governing international trade. Why do countries choose to adjudicate their trade disputes in the WTO rather than settling their differences on their own? In Why Adjudicate?, Christina Davis investigates the domestic politics behind the filing of WTO complaints and reveals why formal dispute settlement creates better outcomes for governments and their citizens.

Davis demonstrates that industry lobbying, legislative demands, and international politics influence which countries and cases appear before the WTO. Democratic checks and balances bias the trade policy process toward public lawsuits and away from informal settlements. Trade officials use legal complaints to manage domestic politics and defend trade interests. WTO dispute settlement enables states and domestic groups to signal resolve more effectively, thereby enhancing the information available to policymakers and reducing the risk of a trade war. Davis establishes her argument with data on trade disputes and landmark cases, including the Boeing-Airbus controversy over aircraft subsidies, disagreement over Chinese intellectual property rights, and Japan's repeated challenges of U.S. steel industry protection. In her analysis of foreign trade barriers against U.S. exports, Davis explains why the United States gains better outcomes for cases taken to formal dispute settlement than for those negotiated. Case studies of Peru and Vietnam show that legal action can also benefit developing countries.

Mansfield & Milner: Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements

Edward D. Mansfield (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Political Science) & Helen V. Milner (Princeton Univ. - Politics and International Affairs) have published Votes, Vetoes, and the Political Economy of International Trade Agreements (Princeton Univ. Press 2012). Here's the abstract:
Preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) play an increasingly prominent role in the global political economy, two notable examples being the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements foster economic integration among member states by enhancing their access to one another's markets. Yet despite the importance of PTAs to international trade and world politics, until now little attention has been focused on why governments choose to join them and how governments design them. This book offers valuable new insights into the political economy of PTA formation. Many economists have argued that the roots of these agreements lie in the promise they hold for improving the welfare of member states. Others have posited that trade agreements are a response to global political conditions. Edward Mansfield and Helen Milner argue that domestic politics provide a crucial impetus to the decision by governments to enter trade pacts. Drawing on this argument, they explain why democracies are more likely to enter PTAs than nondemocratic regimes, and why as the number of veto players--interest groups with the power to block policy change--increases in a prospective member state, the likelihood of the state entering a trade agreement is reduced. The book provides a novel view of the political foundations of trade agreements.

Dreher & Vreeland: Buying Votes and International Organizations

Axel Dreher (Univ. of Heidelberg - Economics) & James Raymond Vreeland (Georgetown Univ. - School of Foreign Service) have posted Buying Votes and International Organizations. Here's the abstract:
This study explores a basic idea in political economy: trading money for political influence. Our focus is at the level of international institutions, where governments may exploit their influence in one organization to gain leverage over another. In particular, we consider the lending activities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and voting behavior at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Analyzing an original data set on the successful and failed resolutions of the UNSC, we find evidence of vote-buying.

Conference: Regionalism in International Arbitration

On June 19, 2012, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law will host a conference on "Regionalism in International Arbitration." Here's the idea:
This event deals with the phenomenon of regionalisation of arbitration and its advantages and shortcomings. Topics include the expansion of international arbitral venues (LCIA, PCA, The Hague International Financial Tribunal), recent developments in regional arbitration centres (Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Dubai, India, Jerusalem) as well as regionalism in investment arbitration (Latin America, ASEAN, NAFTA).

New Issue: Global Trade and Customs Journal

The latest issue of Global Trade and Customs Journal (Vol. 7, no. 6, 2012) is out. Contents include:
  • Alejandro Sánchez, What Trade Lawyers Should Know about the ILC Articles on State Responsibility
  • Manuel Sanchez, The Expiration of Mexico’s Transitional Regime against Chinese Imports: The Beginning of a New Trade Era
  • Louise Bohmann & Jini Koh, Conversation with Judge Evan J. Wallach

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Horowitz: Transferring Wartime Detainees and a State's Responsibility to Prevent Torture

Jonathan Thompson Horowitz (Open Society Justice Initiative) has posted Transferring Wartime Detainees and a State's Responsibility to Prevent Torture (American University National Security Law Brief, Vol. 2, Issue 2). Here's the abstract:

States forcibly transfer detainees to the custody and control of other States for a variety of reasons. This Article assesses the obligations that States incur under international law if they seek to make such a transfer during times of war. As this Article demonstrates, the law of armed conflict (LOAC), which regulates State action during war, provides broad, substantive transfer protections, but those protections have a relatively limited scope of application in international armed conflicts; explicit protections in the law of non-international armed conflicts (NIAC) are almost non-existent. The reasons for these protection gaps are largely due to several outdated and State-centric considerations that shaped the LOAC. Remedying these protection gaps would therefore benefit from either 1) the codification of new international wartime law and/or 2) a stronger interpretation og the LOAC that applies conjunctively with international human rights law.

To explore these options, this Article begins by analyzing detainee transfer protections under the LOAC. Part III discusses detainee transfer protections under international human rights law and assesses whether those protections are applicable in armed conflict. Finally, Part IV evaluates diplomatic assurances and post-transfer monitoring systems, both of which, according to some States, mitigate the risk of post-transfer torture and fulfill States’ transfer obligations under international law.

Call for Submissions: Australian International Law Journal

The Australian International Law Journal has issued a call for submissions for its 2012 volume. The deadline is June 30, 2012. Details can be found here.

Gregg: Human Rights as Social Construction

Benjamin Gregg (Univ. of Texas, Austin - Government) has published Human Rights as Social Construction (Cambridge Univ. Press 2012). Here's the abstract:
Most conceptions of human rights rely on metaphysical or theological assumptions that construe them as possible only as something imposed from outside existing communities. Most people, in other words, presume that human rights come from nature, God or the United Nations. This book argues that reliance on such putative sources actually undermines human rights. Benjamin Gregg envisions an alternative; he sees human rights as locally developed, freely embraced and indigenously valid. Human rights, he posits, can be created by the average, ordinary people to whom they are addressed and that they are valid only if embraced by those to whom they would apply. To view human rights in this manner is to increase the chances and opportunities that more people across the globe will come to embrace them.

Call for Papers: Regionalism and Feminism: How regionalism impacts on women's lives

The Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law has issued a call for papers for a workshop as part of the 5th ESIL Biennial Conference. Here's the call:

Feminism and International Law Interest Group

Call for Papers

5th ESIL Biennial Conference: Interest Group Workshops

13th September 2012, Valencia Spain

"Regionalism and Feminism: How regionalism impacts on women's lives"

This is a call for papers for the interest group workshops that will take place on the morning of 13th September 2012 as part of the 5th ESIL Biennial Conference. The interest group on Feminism and International Law is organising a panel to consider the contribution feminist theory and methodology can make to questions raised by conference theme: regionalism and international law.

This meeting of the interest group on Feminism and International Law will provide participants with an opportunity to explore the impact of regionalism on women’s lives. In particular, participants will explore whether the fracture and fragmentation of international law is mirrored in the fragmentation of feminist thought. The question of whether a uniquely ‘European’ feminism exists – and the implications of this for women in Europe and beyond – is foremost in our minds. There will also be an opportunity in this session to look in depth at the meaning of regional legal institutions and tribunals, such as the European Court of Human Rights, to women’s lives.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words in English or French should be submitted directly to troy.lavers@le.ac.uk with the author's title, contact information and organisational affiliation. The deadline for submitting abstracts is Friday 8 June 2012. We anticipate that scholars who contribute to the workshop maybe interested in publishing their papers jointly in a good quality peer reviewed journal, and publication plans will be discussed at the meeting.

There will also be an opportunity at the end of the panel for a discussion on future events of the interest group.

New Volume: Australian International Law Journal

The latest volume of the Australian International Law Journal (Volume 18, 2011) is out. Contents include:
  • Andrew Byrnes, The Asian Development Bank and the Role of Human Rights in the Pursuit of Just and Sustainable Development in the Asia Pacific Region: An Advocacy Role for Australia?
  • Ben Saul, Jacqueline Mowbray & Irene Baghoomians, The Last Frontier of Human Rights Protection: Interrogating Resistance to Regional Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific
  • Jane McAdam, From Humanitarian Discretion to Complementary Protection — Reflections on the Emergence of Human Rights-based Refugee Protection in Australia
  • Robin Perry, Juridifying Politics and Politicising the Juridical: The Nature, Status and Future of Amnesties under International Criminal Law
  • Bridie McAsey, Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and its Impact on Procedural Fairness
  • Micah Burch & Luke Nottage, Novel Treaty-Based Approaches to Resolving International Investment and Tax Disputes in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • Brett G Williams, Innovative Mechanisms for Avoiding or Resolving Inter-State Trade Disputes in an Asia-Pacific Regional Free Trade Agreement
  • Luke Villiers, Breaking in the ‘unruly horse’: The Status of Mandatory Rules of Law as a Public Policy Basis for the Non-enforcement of Arbitral Awards

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 56, no. 3, June 2012) is out. Contents include:
  • Matthew Fuhrmann & Jeffrey D. Berejikian, Disaggregating Noncompliance: Abstention versus Predation in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
  • Scott L. Althaus, Brittany H. Bramlett, & James G. Gimpel, When War Hits Home: The Geography of Military Losses and Support for War in Time and Space
  • Uk Heo & John Bohte, Who Pays for National Defense? Financing Defense Programs in the United States, 1947–2007
  • Jeff Carter, Michael Bernhard, & Glenn Palmer, Social Revolution, the State, and War: How Revolutions Affect War-Making Capacity and Interstate War Outcomes
  • Marco Nilsson, Offense–Defense Balance, War Duration, and the Security Dilemma
  • Monika Nalepa, Tolerating Mistakes: How Do Popular Perceptions of Procedural Fairness Affect Demand for Transitional Justice?
  • Axel Dreher, Martin Gassebner, & Lars-H. R. Siemers, Globalization, Economic Freedom, and Human Rights
  • Bryan R. Early, Alliances and Trade with Sanctioned States: A Study of U.S. Economic Sanctions, 1950–2000

New Issue: Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

The latest issue of the Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy (Vol. 15, no. 2, April-June 2012) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Large Mammal Conservation: Toward Adaptive Management and Assessment
    • Margaret Mantor, Introduction: Toward Adaptive Management and Assessment in Large Mammal Conservation
    • Deborah A. Giles & Kari L. Koski, Managing Vessel-Based Killer Whale Watching: A Critical Assessment of the Evolution From Voluntary Guidelines to Regulations in the Salish Sea
    • Noa Pinter-Wollman, Human–Elephant Conflict in Africa: The Legal and Political Viability of Translocations, Wildlife Corridors, and Transfrontier Parks for Large Mammal Conservation
    • Vivek Thuppil & Richard G. Coss, Using Threatening Sounds as a Conservation Tool: Evolutionary Bases for Managing Human–Elephant Conflict in India

Job Opening: Exeter (Professor/Associate Professor)

The University of Exeter School of Law is seeking to hire a Professor or Associate Professor in Public International Law. The advertisement is here.

Petersmann: Human Rights and International Economic Law: Common Constitutional Challenges and Changing Structures

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (European Univ. Institute - Law) has posted Human Rights and International Economic Law: Common Constitutional Challenges and Changing Structures. Here's the abstract:
This contribution is based on my lecture at the SIDI XVI annual meeting of the Italian Society of International Law in June 2011 at Catania. Section I of this contribution recalls that – due to the ‘dual’ and ‘incomplete nature’ of human rights as positive law and moral rights - the legal protection of ‘inalienable’ human rights risks always remaining contested, especially in international economic law (IEL). In both UN human rights law (HRL) as well as in IEL, the worldwide recognition of ‘duties to protect’ calls for stronger protection of human rights in international economic regulation (II). Human rights, ‘constitutional justice’ and IEL increasingly limit the ‘rules of recognition’ in HRL as well as in IEL (III). The need for ‘institutionalizing public reason’ and the necessary legal ‘balancing’ of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights call for ‘constitutional’ and ‘cosmopolitan reforms’ of IEL (IV). As in ‘human rights revolutions’, citizens have to ‘struggle for justice’ also in IEL, notably for judicial protection of transnational rule of law with due respect for HRL (V). HRL protects ‘margins of appreciation’ in the domestic implementation of international obligations and requires respect for ‘reasonable disagreement’ on the diverse conceptions of IEL (VI). The increasing recognition of the ‘indivisible’ and ‘inalienable’ nature of human rights, and the worldwide recognition of collective ‘third generation human rights’, reflect the increasing importance of cosmopolitan rights for supplying international public goods more effectively (VII). The ‘collective action problems’ require additional institutional innovation and multilevel constitutional restraints of economic regulation (VIII). Multilevel governance of human rights and of IEL must be coordinated through multilevel ‘constitutional bottom-up pluralism’ and through multilevel judicial protection of transnational rule of law for the benefit of citizens (IX).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rigo Sureda: Investment Treaty Arbitration: Judging Under Uncertainty

Andrés Rigo Sureda has published Investment Treaty Arbitration: Judging Under Uncertainty (Cambridge Univ. Press 2012). Here's the abstract:
Investment claims have exposed the vague nature of the standards by which arbitral tribunals are expected to adjudicate them and the policy reasons which explicitly or implicitly have an influence. The ad hoc nature of the tribunals and the decisions reached on various controversial issues have brought to the fore the issue of consistency. Andrés Rigo Sureda's Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lecture examines how arbitral discretion is exercised in the face of uncertainty of the law. It explores the choices made by arbitral tribunals as they approach treaty interpretation, as they search for limits in determining jurisdiction and the content of the standards of protection and as they search for consistency in the exercise of arbitral discretion.

New Issue: Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

The latest issue of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (Vol. 50, no. 2, 2012) is out. Contents include:
  • Margaret K. Lewis, Presuming Innocence, or Corruption in China
  • Tanusri Prasanna, Taking Remedies Seriously: The Normative Implications of Risking Torture

Francioni: Realism, Utopia and the Future of International Environmental Law

Francesco Francioni (European Univ. Institute - Law) has posted Realism, Utopia and the Future of International Environmental Law. Here's the abstract:
In spite of its impressive development at the level of treaty law and soft law, international environmental law remains a weak and under-developed body of law. This is due especially to the persistent institutional “deficit” and lack of compulsory dispute settlement mechanisms that hamper effective monitoring and implementation of environmental standards. To overcome these limits, in a perspective that avoids wishful thinking, such as the project of an “international court for the environment”, and the hard realism of an unfettered sovereignty over the natural resources, this paper argues for a “realistic utopia” that recoups the original idea of the natural environment as a “common good”. Congruent with this idea is the re-discovery of the category of erga omnes obligations to be administered in the interest of the international community as a whole. At the normative level, this entails a re-conceptualisation of “sovereignty” in terms of responsible exercise of state powers over natural resources located in the national territory and over activities capable of impacting on the global environment, so as to make such exercise responsive and functional to the achievement of the goal of conserving the quality of the environment that sustain our life. At the institutional level this approach invites two responses: rejection of the need for reform of global institutions and reliance instead on market mechanisms of self-regulation and transnational private enforcement; or a search for reform of the institutional system of environmental governance in view of creating effective multilateral institutions that can mirror what has been done in other areas of international law, such as trade, investments and human rights. This paper argues that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. They should be complementary because the first one can hardly work without the other.

New Issue: European Journal of International Relations

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Relations (Vol. 18, no. 2, June 2012) is out. Contents include:
  • George Lawson, The eternal divide? History and International Relations
  • Kai He & Huiyun Feng, ‘Why is there no NATO in Asia?’ revisited: Prospect theory, balance of threat, and US alliance strategies
  • Irja Vormedal, States and markets in global environmental governance: The role of tipping points in international regime formation
  • Jordan Branch, ‘Colonial reflection’ and territoriality: The peripheral origins of sovereign statehood
  • Iver B. Neumann, Euro-centric diplomacy: Challenging but manageable
  • Brian C. Rathbun, From vicious to virtuous circle: Moralistic trust, diffuse reciprocity, and the American security commitment to Europe
  • Jeremy Green, Uneven and combined development and the Anglo-German prelude to World War I
  • Bernhard Zangl, Achim Helmedach, Aletta Mondré, Alexander Kocks, Gerald Neubauer, & Kerstin Blome, Between law and politics: Explaining international dispute settlement behavior

Petersmann: Constitutional Problems of Multilevel Judicial Governance in Trade and Investment Regulation

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (European Univ. Institute - Law) has posted Constitutional Problems of Multilevel Judicial Governance in Trade and Investment Regulation. Here's the abstract:
This lecture, delivered at Copenhagen Business School on 18 November 2011, examines the legal and constitutional methodologies underlying private commercial arbitration, national, regional and worldwide adjudication in trade and investment regulation with a particular focus on ‘multilevel judicial governance’ inside the European Union (EU) relating to international agreements concluded by the EU and/or its member states. It explains the need for methodological legal constitutionalism in terms of theories of justice and human rights and emphasizes the customary law requirement of interpreting treaties, and settling disputes, ‘in conformity with principles of justice’, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Due to the ‘dual nature’ of modern legal systems as positive law including ‘principles of justice’, judges and ‘courts of justice’ must define their ‘constitutional functions’ of ‘administering justice’ with due regard to procedural and substantive human rights and other ‘principles of justice’. The particular context of European and international economic law (IEL) calls for interpreting the 5 competing conceptions of IEL not only in terms of Westphalian conceptions of ‘public international law among sovereign states’, ‘global administrative law’, multilevel economic regulation and international commercial and ‘conflicts law’, but also as part of multilevel constitutional rules based on respect for legitimate ‘constitutional pluralism’ aimed at protecting transnational rule of law for the benefit of citizens. Arguably, both human rights and the ‘rule of law’ requirements of EU law justify ‘cosmopolitan conceptions’ of IEL protecting transnational rule of law and limiting arbitrary violations of EU law and IEL by EU institutions and member states.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Inaugural Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law

Today and tomorrow, the Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law hosts its inaugural event at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice at New York University School of Law. The program is here. Details for the second Forum - to be held at the University of Nottingham next year - will be released in June 2012.

Call for Papers: International Law, Genocide and Imperialism: The Colonial Origins of Human Rights?

A call for papers on the thematic stream "International Law, Genocide and Imperialism: The Colonial Origins of Human Rights?" has been issued for the 2012 Critical Legal Conference, which will take place September 14-16 in Stockholm. Here's the call:

Critical Legal Conference 2012

Stockholm, 14-16 September

Call for papers for the stream

International Law, Genocide and Imperialism:

The Colonial Origins of Human Rights?

In Memoriam Vincent Keter

Stream organisers: Jose-Manuel Barreto (Goldsmiths College London), Fernanda Bragato (UNISINOS, Porto Alegre), Prabhakar Singh (National University of Singapore).

Anghie’s thesis according to which the ‘colonial origins of international law’ can be found in the context of the Conquest of America and the works of Francisco de Vitoria led to a re-thinking of international law. This thematic has also attracted the attention of critical legal scholars like Fitzpatrick, Kennedy and Koskenniemi, and of Decolonial thinkers like Dussel and Mignolo. What venues does Anghie’s thesis open for re-thinking human rights from a non-eurocentric perspective? What consequences can be drawn for human rights from a Decolonial reading of modern ius gentium and iusnaturalism?

The issue of genocide can provide an insightful perspective on human rights in early modernity. While Stannard has referred to the Conquest of America as ‘centuries of genocide’, Todorov claims that ‘the Sixteenth century perpetrated the greatest genocide in human history’. On his part, Lindqvist finds in colonial genocide an antecedent for the Holocaust.

The political economy of colonialism can also offer key ideas on the origins of human rights. Marx described the formation of the capitalist economy as a process in which the peasants were separated from the means of production and became wage labourers. Marx also stated that ‘the discovery of gold and silver in America... the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production’. The first thesis became crucial for the understanding of primitive accumulation, the second has remained marginal. Can the latter help us to understand natural law in the context of colonialism?

In the background of elaborations on Eurocentrism and international law (Mignolo, Koskenniemi), this stream works as a dialogue between a Third-World standpoint and the European-US perspective. This interdisciplinary stream invites papers on the possibility of constructing an early modern history and theory of human rights by an interpretation of the works of Vitoria, Las Casas, Sepulveda, Suarez and Vieira, and on the basis of the analysis of the questions of genocide and the primitive accumulation of capital in the context of the Conquest of America.

Proposals should consist of a short abstract (max 250 words). Deadline for proposal of individual papers is 15 June 2012.

Contacts: manuel.barreto@gold.ac.uk; fernanda_bragato@hotmail.com & Prabhakarsingh.adv@gmail.com

Call for Applications: The Hague Academy's Seminar for Advanced Studies

The Hague Academy of International Law is now accepting applications for the ninth session of the Seminar for Advanced Studies, which is to take place January 13-19, 2013. This year's subject is "Les immunités en droit international public et privé." The course will be conducted in French only. The program is here. The closing date for applications is August 31, 2012. Here's the call:

Le thème de la 9ème session du Cours de perfectionnement pour praticiens en droit international public et privé est Les immunités en droit international public et privé.

La question des immunités de juridiction et d'exécution, dans les domaines du droit privé, pénal et public, des Etats, des représentants de l'Etat, du personnel diplomatique et consulaire et des organisations internationales et leurs agents devant les tribunaux d'un autre Etat (par opposition aux tribunaux internationaux) est au cœur de l'actualité du droit international tant public que privé. C'est le cas, par exemple, des contours matériels et personnels des immunités de juridiction des représentants des Etats comme le montrent les travaux récents de la Commission du droit international dans ce domaine. On mentionnera aussi les immunités de juridiction et d'exécution des Etats eux-mêmes qui font l'objet de la Convention des Nations Unies de 2004 actuellement en cours de ratification, mais font cependant encore l'objet de nombreuses controverses comme le confirment la jurisprudence nationale récente aux Etats-Unis et en Europe, mais aussi celle de la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme ou tout dernièrement celle de la Cour internationale de Justice. Parallèlement aux développements de droit international, les immunités se retrouvent aussi au cœur de la pratique de nombreux Etats depuis quelques années, notamment lorsqu'ils constituent un lieu de passage de représentants de l'Etat ou sont les Etats hôtes d'organisations internationales, ce qui explique l'existence de diverses règlementations et de jurisprudences nationales sur la question.

Outre les difficultés liées au droit applicable dues à une règlementation juridique de droit national, européen et international fragmentée selon les sujets, les domaines et les types d'actes couverts par les immunités, de nombreuses questions demeurent encore sans réponse quant aux sujets (Etats, représentants de l'Etat, personnel diplomatique et consulaire, organisations internationales et leurs agents), aux types d'actes (actes jure imperii ou gestionis), aux domaines juridiques (civil, public ou pénal), à la durée de protection (immunités ratione materiae ou personae) couverts par les immunités et aux modalités procédurales de ces dernières (immunités de juridiction ou d'exécution). On pensera, par exemple, au champ personnel précis des représentants de l'Etat protégés par les immunités, aux rapports entre responsabilités et immunités de différents sujets (p.ex. celles des Etats et de leurs agents) ou encore à la question des limites matérielles aux immunités de juridiction notamment en cas de violation grave des droits de l'homme ou aux immunités d'exécution en cas de violation du droit international pour la protection des biens culturels.

Ce cours de perfectionnement vise à fournir aux participants des connaissances extensives et spécialisées des garanties et mécanismes de mise en œuvre des immunités en droit international public et privé. Il se concentre sur les questions encore ouvertes et présente un état des lieux du droit non seulement existant, mais aussi en développement. Après une introduction générale à la thématique et quelques délimitations de la question des immunités de thèmes connexes comme l'act of state, l'inviolabilité ou l'impunité, le programme du cours sera divisé en deux parties complémentaires portant sur les immunités en droit international public et les immunités en droit international privé. La première partie est subdivisée en quatre par référence aux différents sujets d'immunité : les Etats, les représentants de l'Etat, les agents diplomatiques, et les organisations internationales et leurs agents. La seconde partie reprend certaines de ces questions dans le domaine du droit international privé de la juridiction et l'exécution forcée, ainsi que dans le contexte des procédures d'arbitrage et du droit bancaire et financier. Le dernier jour du cours est consacré à un cas pratique dans le cadre duquel les participants sont appelés à résoudre une affaire d'immunités avec l'aide de praticiens spécialisés dans le domaine.

Le cours s'adresse avant tout aux praticiens (procureurs, juges, fonctionnaires nationaux et internationaux, avocats, diplomates, etc.) actifs dans le domaine du droit international des immunités et qui ont besoin d'une formation intensive ou d'une mise à jour dans ce domaine. Le cours adopte une approche pratique ; il repose sur l'expérience vaste et variée de praticiens renommés et sur l'expertise de chercheurs internationaux établis dans ce domaine. Il cherchera aussi cependant à susciter chez les participants une approche critique du système existant. D'aucuns voient en effet dans l'évolution du droit international des immunités les signes avant-coureurs d'un changement plus profond de paradigmes dans le système de droit international ; dans certains domaines, le juge national pourrait à l'avenir fonctionner aussi comme juge du droit international général et ce même à l'encontre d'autres Etats que le sien.

Focarelli: International Law as Social Construct: The Struggle for Global Justice

Carlo Focarelli (Univ. of Perugia - Law) has published International Law as Social Construct: The Struggle for Global Justice (Oxford Univ. Press 2012). Here's the abstract:

The book distils and articulates international law as a social construct. It does so by analysing its social foundations, essence, and roots in practical and socially workable (as opposed to 'pure') reason. In addition to well-known doctrines of jurisprudence and international law, it draws upon psycho-analytic insights into the origins and nature of law, as well as philosophical social constructivism. The work suggests that seeing law as a social construct is crucial to our understanding of international law and to the struggle to create better working rules.

The book re-conceptualizes both past and new doctrines of international law as 'constructs', namely, as strategies of concomitantly de-mythologizing and re-mythologizing international law. Key areas of international law, including subjects, sources, hierarchy, values, and remedies, are shown to be part of this process. The social impact on international law of transnational actors and stakeholders, normative fragmentation, global justice, legitimacy of both rules and players, dynamics and hierarchization of norms, compliance and implementation in municipal law is also extensively investigated. Five basic values of the international community, namely security, humanity, wealth, environment, and knowledge, are explored by stressing their inter- and intra-tensions. Finally, the analysis is extended to the role that international courts play in the prosecution of heads of state and other transnational players who violate international law.

Steger: Establishment of a Dispute Tribunal in the WTO

Debra P. Steger (Univ. of Ottawa - Law) has posted Establishment of a Dispute Tribunal in the WTO (in Trade and Development Symposium: Perspectives on the Multilateral Trading System, 2012). Here's the abstract:

The WTO dispute settlement system has been its “crown jewel” during its first 16 years. Members have brought over 400 disputes, half of which have proceeded through to completion or settlement, making the WTO the most prolific international dispute resolution system in the world today. In this time of economic turbulence and uncertainty, it is important to the overall legitimacy and credibility of the WTO to ensure that the dispute settlement system remains strong and effective, able to meet the challenges of the future.

As a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations, the dispute settlement system was significantly modified with the creation of the Appellate Body; reverse consensus decisions for establishment of panels, adoption of panel and Appellate Body reports, and authorization of suspension of concessions; as well as specific timeframes for stages of the dispute settlement proceedings. However, many of the operational aspects of the ad hoc panel system were not significantly modified in the Uruguay Round. The panel system has developed by gradual evolution since the first working party was formed in the 1950s. The panel system has served the WTO well in the past, but is it time, after over 60 years’ experience with ad hoc panels, to consider a dispute tribunal for the WTO?

Happold: International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law

Matthew Happold (Université du Luxembourg - Law) has posted International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (in Research Handbook on Interenational Conflict and Security Law, Christian Henderson & Nigel White eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

The nature of the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law remains a vexed one. In recent years, human rights lawyers and activists have sought to apply human rights norms to military conduct in international and internal conflicts, and during belligerent occupations. With varying degrees of success, complainants have brought their cases before international tribunals, and to national courts able to apply international human rights standards. This development has occurred largely because forums exist to hear human rights claims, whereas they do not for persons claiming individual redress for violations of international humanitarian law. However, human rights norms have also been seen as more restrictive: as placing greater constraints on States' freedom to conduct hostilities, preventively detain, and administer occupied territories. It is for this reason that some States have resisted attempts to extend the reach of international human rights law into areas traditionally seen as governed by international humanitarian law.

This chapter argues that principles have now developed to govern the relationship between the two bodies of law. However, their application to different situations remains a work-in-progress and controversies remain.

In particular, despite valient efforts, it remains unclear what what happens in situations where the two bodies of law cannot be read together? There are only few rules of norm-conflict resolution in international law, all of which have limited application in the context of the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law. Most inconsistencies between the rules of the two bodies of law are not true conflicts at all, as they do not require States to conduct themselves in different ways. It is simply that international humanitarian law is the more permissive system. In such situations, to argue that the two bodies of law are ‘complementary and mutually reinforcing’ is to do little more than issue a policy prescription.

In reality, in such cases States have to make a choice as regards which rules they wish to comply (a choice which is likely to be a political one) and take the consequences. There are fundamental incompatibilities between international humanitarian law and human rights law, not only as regards discrete rules but in their theoretical bases. Attempts can be made to reconcile them, to avoid conflicts, but they can only be provisional and on a case-by-case basis. The legal tools available cannot always provide an answer. Absent legislation, conflicts will remain. And in a world of States with differing interests and values, the adoption of new rules governing armed conflict and belligerent occupation will be difficult, if not impossible.

One difference between the two bodies of rules, in particular, remains fundamental. Despite developments over past decades which are said to indicate a ‘humanization of humanitarian law’, international humanitarian law, in contrast to human rights law, is not based on an individual rights paradigm. It is this difference, even excluding the differences in the substantive protections accorded individuals under the two bodies of law, which will ensure that individuals continue to bring complaints regarding their treatment in situations of armed conflict before human rights bodies. And even if human rights bodies take the view that States’ human rights obligations in situations of armed conflict are to be interpreted using the yardstick of international humanitarian law, their interpretations of humanitarian law are likely to differ from lawyers advising States’ defence ministries and armed forces, who are likely to continue to be unhappy with such trespasses into what they see as their chasse gardée.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Call for Proposals: 2013 ASIL Annual Meeting

The American Society of International Law has issued a call for proposals for its 2013 Annual Meeting. Here's the call:

ASIL 107th Annual Meeting

International Law in a Multipolar World

During the Cold War, international relations and international law were dominated by the struggle for global control between the United States and the Soviet Union. The resulting clashes reverberated in legal issues relating to the functioning of the United Nations, the use of force, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, etc. The third world countries, caught in the middle, repeatedly made claims for reform and initiated rule-making initiatives, but with limited results. After the end of the Cold War, the United States, its Western allies, and their shared economic and geopolitical interests remained largely unchallenged in the international arena.

While the United States is arguably still the only superpower and the European Union remains the largest economy, the world is undergoing major change. China, India, Russia, Brazil, and other States in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are increasingly active voices in international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, and have started questioning the dominance of the West in these organizations. These countries are forming alliances in the major international organizations and establishing new institutions to assert their authority and pursue their interests. In short, a new set of actors is moving onto center stage. In the process, these actors are seeking to reshape international rules governing trade and finance, military force, the environment, and beyond.

How will the international legal order evolve to reflect this new multipolar world? Will the international legal order undergo significant change as the global balance of power and influence shifts? Are there barriers preventing these actors from having a full voice in the international legal order? Can the major international organizations adapt adequately? Will new organizations emerge? How will human rights law, environmental law, trade law, the law of armed conflict, the law of the use of force, and other bodies of law reflect the interests and influence of a new set of actors? Are trends emerging already? How should the legal profession and nonlegal experts—in the fields of technology, finance, trade, climate science, arms conflict, and arms control—respond?

During the 2013 ASIL Annual Meeting we will address these questions and discuss the evolution of international law in a multipolar world.

The Society welcomes submissions from practitioners and academics on a range of topics encompassed within the 2013 theme statement. The Society invites suggestions of both panels and individual papers, including papers for inclusion in New Voices panels.

Click here to submit a proposal.

Conference: The Role of International Law in Promoting Cooperation and Resolving Conflicts in Asia

On June 8, 2012, the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore will host the 2012 DILA conference. The topic is: "The Role of International Law in Promoting Cooperation and Resolving Conflicts in Asia." The program is here. Here's the idea:
This year’s Conference intends to examine the contemporary practice of international law in Asia and its role in conflict resolution focusing on specific issues or examples.

Meyer: Global Public Goods, Governance Risk, and International Energy

Timothy Meyer (Univ. of Georgia - Law) has posted Global Public Goods, Governance Risk, and International Energy (Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Vol. 44, p. 319, 2012). Here's the abstract:

Scholars and commentators have long argued that issue linkages provide a way to increase cooperation on global public goods by increasing participation in global institutions, building consensus, and deterring free-riding. In this symposium article, I argue that the emphasis on the potential of issue linkages to facilitate cooperation in these ways has caused commentators to underestimate how common features of international legal institutions designed to accomplish these aims can actually undermine those institutions’ ability to facilitate cooperation. I focus on two features of institutional design that are intended to encourage participation in public goods institutions but can create the risk of gridlock and governance failure, which I refer to as governance risk. I illustrate the argument with examples from international energy governance.

First, many public goods institutions are epistemic institutions. They establish processes for exchanging and evaluating information in an effort to reduce scientific uncertainty as a barrier to bargaining over substantive regulation among states with diverse epistemic and normative commitments. However, institutions that merge 1) the knowledge-exchange and development processes with 2) the ability to negotiate and impose binding legal regulations run the risk that states that oppose the imposition of substantive regulations for reasons that are independent of scientific knowledge will use epistemic processes as a way to try to block the adoption of substantive regulation.

Second, governance risk can be systemic. Policies adopted in one institution can lead to governance failures or higher costs to cooperation in other institutions. For example, cooperation in an area such as energy security, with its focus on stable and cheap access to fossil fuel supplies, can crowd out cooperation on climate change, with its focus on raising the prices of carbon-intensive energy sources. States in one institution might also respond to the threat of interference from another institution by attempting to obstruct the other institution’s mission, as members of OPEC have done during the climate change negotiations. Systemic governance risk is an underappreciated negative externality of cooperation in the fragmented international legal system.

I conclude by arguing that further fragmenting institutions by giving them very narrow mandates can sometimes reduce both institutional governance risk, the risk the institution itself fails, and systemic governance risk, the risk it causes other institutions to fail. I explore this argument in the context of a relatively new intergovernmental organization, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA mitigates its governance risk by divorcing epistemic issues from the ability to promulgate binding legal rules, focusing almost entirely on the former. At the same time, IRENA mitigates its contribution to systemic governance risk by focusing on long-run market trends in renewable energy that are largely ungoverned by existing international institutions. IRENA thus does not offer the promise of grand cooperation held out by institutions such as the UNFCCC, but neither is it likely to founder on the cooperative challenges those institutions face. Instead, institutions such as IRENA - that mitigate the risks they pose to the interests of member states and other institutions - offer the realistic possibility of incremental cooperation on the provision of public goods.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Volume: Anuario Argentino de Derecho Internacional

The latest volume of the Anuario Argentino de Derecho Internacional (Vol. 19, 2010) is out. Contents include:
  • Doctrina
    • Hortensia D.T. Gutierrez Posse, El Derecho Internacional Humanitario Y el Concepto de Conflicto Armado
    • Ernesto J. Rey Caro, Carlos Calvo. Un Destacado Publicista Argentino en el Siglo XIX
    • Luciana B. Scotti, Contratos Internacionales Celebrados a Través de Medios Electrónicos: ¿Cuál Es La Ley Aplicable?
  • XXIIº Congreso Argentino de Derecho Internacional. Argentina y su proyección Latinoamericana, en el Bicentenario de la Revolución de Mayo. Asamblea General Ordinaria de la Asociación Argentina de Derecho Internacional - 2010. Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas de la Universidad Católica de Salta. Salta, 21, 22 y 23 de octubre de 2010
    • María Elsa Uzal, Palabras de la Señora Presidente de la Asociación Argentina de Derecho Internacional – AADI