Saturday, May 17, 2008

Güner-Özbek: The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Sea

Meltem Deniz Güner-Özbek has published The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Sea (Springer 2008). Here's the abstract:
The carriage of goods by sea mainly focuses on loss of or damage to goods. There are voluminous discussions and texts on this issue. By contrast, the issue of loss or damage from goods has been paid little attention. Ever-increasing numbers of dangerous goods are carried by sea today. This increase draws attention to explosions or fire on ships, spillages, pollution, accidents and potential danger. Worldwide concern with the risk posed by the increased frequency in the carriage of dangerous goods has led to the adoption of international technical standards to promote maritime safety and the insertion of special provisions in the carriage contracts. Moreover, growing environmental awareness and concern with the economic cost implications of maritime casualties have given rise to the regulation of liability and compensation in respect of damage caused by hazardous and noxious substances.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Schneider-Enk: Der völkerrechtliche Schutz humanitärer Helfer in bewaffneten Konflikten

Michaela Schneider-Enk has published Der völkerrechtliche Schutz humanitärer Helfer in bewaffneten Konflikten: Die Sicherheit des Hilfspersonals und die ‚neuen‘ Konflikte (Verlag Dr. Kovač 2008). Here's the abstract:

Humanitäre Helfer, die in Konfliktgebieten tätig werden, sind seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges in vielen Teilen der Welt verstärkt zum Ziel von gewalttätigen Angriffen wie Körperverletzungen, Geiselnahmen, Raubüberfällen, Vergewaltigungen oder Mord geworden.

Die Eskalation der Vorfälle wirft die Frage auf, warum die Sicherheit humanitärer Akteure in den seit 1990 stattfindenden bewaffneten Konflikten nicht mehr gewähleistet ist. Die Verfasserin führt dies auf vier kumulative Ursachen zurück: Erstens hat sich die Natur der ,neuen’ bewaffneten Konflikte im Hinblick auf die Konflikte vor 1990 erheblich gewandelt. Zweitens unterlag der Charakter der humanitären Hilfe, welche in Konfliktgebieten geleistet wird, ebenfalls beträchtlichen Veränderungen. Drittens tragen die völkerrechtlichen Normen zum Schutz humanitären Hilfspersonals aufgrund mangelnder Effektivität nicht zu dessen Sicherheit bei. Und viertens ist das Sicherheitsmanagement der Hilfsorganisationen nicht ausreichend.

Dementsprechend gestaltet sich der Aufbau der Studie, wobei allerdings auf die Erörterung des unzureichenden Sicherheitsmanagements der Hilfsorganisationen aufgrund des Umfangs der Thematik verzichtet werden muss.

Die zum Schutz des humanitären Hilfspersonals bestehenden völkerrechtlichen Normen, deren Bedeutung meist verkannt wird, werden hier erstmals ausführlich dargelegt und unter Berücksichtigung der ,neuen’ Konflikte auf ihre Effektivität hin analysiert. Hierbei stehen das humanitäre Völkerrecht und das Übereinkommen über die Sicherheit von Personal der Vereinten Nationen und beigeordnetem Personal im Vordergrund.

Den Abschluss bilden Vorschläge hinsichtlich möglicher Ansätze für einen verbesserten Schutz humanitärer Helfer in Konfliktgebieten.

New Issue: Revue de l'Arbitrage

The latest issue of the Revue de l'Arbitrage (2008, no. 1) is out. Contents include:
  • Guy Canivet, Ethique et bien commun: à propos des Ecrits de Philippe Fouchard
  • Chiara Giovannucci-Orlandi, La nouvelle réglementation italienne de l'arbitrage après la loi du 2 février 2006
  • Béatrice Gorchs, Le contrôle judiciaire des accords de règlement amiable

Cronin & Hurd: The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority

Bruce Cronin (City College of New York - Political Science) & Ian Hurd (Northwestern Univ. - Political Science) have published The UN Security Council and the Politics of International Authority (Routledge 2008). Contents include:
  • Bruce Cronin & Ian Hurd, Introduction
  • Ian Hurd, Theories and Tests of International Authority
  • Erik Voeten, Delegation and the Nature of Security Council Authority
  • Bruce Cronin, International Consensus and the Changing Legal Authority of the Security Council
  • Ian Johnstone, The Security Council as Legislature
  • George Andropolous, The Security Council and the Challenges and Perils of Normative Overstretch
  • Wayne Sandholtz, Creating Authority by the Council: The International Criminal Tribunals
  • Jonathan Graubart, NGOs and the Security Council: Authority All Around But For Whose Interest?
  • Mitushi Das & Jean Krasno, The Uniting for Peace Resolution and Other Ways of Circumventing the Authority of the Security Council
  • Bruce Cronin & Ian Hurd, Assessing the Council’s Authority

New Issue: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht

The latest issue of the Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (Vol. 17, no. 4, 2007) is out. Contents include:
  • Christine Kaddous, Le traité de Lisbonne
  • Daniele Favalli & Joseph M. Matthews, Recognition and Enforcement of U.S. class action judgments and settlements in Switzerland
  • Christine Kaddous & Christa Tobler, Droit européen: Suisse - Union européenne. Europarecht: Schweiz - Europäische Union
  • Matthias Oesch, The Jurisprudence of WTO Dispute Resolution (2007)

Smith de Bruin: Transnational Litigation: Jurisdiction and Procedure

Michelle Smith de Bruin has published Transnational Litigation: Jurisdiction and Procedure (Thomson Round Hall 2008). Here's the abstract:

Transnational Litigation Jurisdiction and Procedure is a new book that addresses the complex jurisdictional rules and procedural issues which arise when dealing with disputes which cross national boundaries. It focuses on the issues which are most likely to come across the desk of an Irish practitioner.

The primary focus is on the determination of jurisdiction and practical matters such as how to serve defendants out of the jurisdiction, choice of court clauses, service of proceedings, protective measures, the taking of evidence and cross border discovery, and the enforcement of judgments at home and abroad.

ASIL: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting

The Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (2007) is now in print.

Rau: Fear of Freedom

Alan Scott Rau (Univ. of Texas - Law) has posted Fear of Freedom (American Review of International Arbitration, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The Supreme Court, in a highly-anticipated decision, has recently held that the FAA's statutory grounds for vacatur of awards may not be supplemented by contract. So the illicit character of contractual provisions purporting to expand judicial review of arbitral awards is firmly established. However, even to phrase the issue in Hall Street in terms of extended judicial review is already tendentious: For it is not even necessary to characterize in that way an agreement to subject arbitral conclusions of law to a court's second look; alternative characterizations are available which make the contractual arrangement attempted by the parties in that case quite unproblematical. In addition, the familiar, century-old assertion to the effect that expanded review would be a perversion of the goals of arbitration - contrary to its ethos, given that finality is its indispensable characteristic - although trotted out once again in Justice Souter's opinion for the Court - seems perfectly beside the point. What is truly appalling about Hall Street, however, is not so much the unfortunate result, but rather the grotesque deficiencies in craftsmanship, in rhetoric, in argument. Most of the Court's opinion dwells on the textual features of the FAA that are supposedly at odds with enforcement of the contractual provision: This forces us to confront directly the question of how one ought to go about reading a statute - and how not to. As to that question, the Hall Street opinion must represent a new low in context-free, policy-free, abstract, non-functional decision-making. Finally, I consider briefly three questions that the holding seems to pose for the future: (a) What remains of manifest disregard and other supposedly non statutory grounds for the vacatur of awards? (b) What ways out are there in future cases? What, for example, are we to make of Justice Souter's suggestion that the Court's holding need not exclude more searching review based on authority outside the statute - for example, enforcement under state statutory or common law? (c) No matter how unsatisfactory the opinion, what factors might explain this decision? In particular, how can one account for the fact that the largest providers of arbitration services should have lined up so strongly on the defendant's side in Hall Street? Surely this is paradoxical, as one would have thought that the arbitration establishment is made up precisely of those least likely to remain fettered to the historically contingent, modal form of the arbitration process - most likely by contrast to have internalized all the vaunted advantages of tailoring the arbitration mechanism to individual needs.

New Issue: Journal of International Criminal Justice

The latest issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice (Vol. 6, no. 2, May 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: The Law of Cruelty: Torture as an International Crime
  • Jens David Ohlin & George P. Fletcher, Introduction
  • I. The Legal Contours of the Crime of Torture
    • Christoph Burchard, Torture in the Jurisprudence of the Ad Hoc Tribunals: A Critical Assessment
    • Paola Gaeta, When is the Involvement of State Officials a Requirement for the Crime of Torture
    • Antonio Marchesi, Implementing the UN Convention Definition of Torture in National Criminal Law (with Reference to the Special Case of Italy)
    • Brad R. Roth, Just Short of Torture: Abusive Treatment and the Limits of International Criminal Justice
  • II. Can We Ever Justify or Excuse Torturers?
    • Alon Harel & Assaf Sharon, What is Really Wrong with Torture?
    • Kai Ambos, May a State Torture Suspects to Save the Life of Innocents?
    • Jens David Ohlin, The Bounds of Necessity
    • David A. Wallace, Torture v. the Basic Principles of the US Military
  • III. Suing Torturers for Compensation: Mission Impossible?
    • Jaykumar A. Menon, Guantánamo Torture Litigation
    • Bardo Fassbender, Can Victims Sue State Officials for Torture?: Reflections on Rasul v. Myers from the Perspective of International Law
  • Notes and Comments
    • John C. Dehn, Why Article 5 Status Determinations are not ‘Required’ at Guantánamo
    • Antonio Cassese, Under What Conditions May Belligerents be Acquitted of the Crime of Attacking an Ambulance?

McGuinness: Three Narratives of Medellin v. Texas

Margaret E. McGuinness (Univ. of Missouri - Law) has posted Three Narratives of Medellin v. Texas (Suffolk Transnational Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

The Supreme Court held in Medellin v. Texas that an International Court of Justice decision made pursuant to treaty is not binding domestic law, and that it is beyond the scope of the president's foreign affairs powers to convert an ICJ decision into domestic law. This essay, a contribution to a symposium convened to examine the case, argues that analysis of Medellin is likely to fall into one of the three narratives to have emerged from the arguments of the parties, the briefs of amici, and outside commentary: (1) Internal/Constitutionalist: Draws on the U.S. Constitution as the final word on applicable law and modes of judicial interpretation in the case; (2) External/Internationalist: Looks to the tenets of pubic international law to indentify first order principles for understanding the case and appropriate judicial outcomes; and (3) Transnational/Intersystemic: Seeks to explain Medellin through the phenomenon of multiple, interactive systems of law through which changes in normative behavior occur. While the first two narratives dominated the parties' submissions to the Court and form the space within which much of the academic debate has taken place, it is the third narrative that provides a more complete story of how a death penalty case in Texas came to be litigated before both the ICJ and the Supreme Court.

Medellin is thus an excellent case study for process-oriented theories of how international human rights norms move across national borders and between and among local, national and transnational actors and provides important detail about the domestic and international mechanisms that promote norm integration and, significantly, can serve as barriers to norm integration. For human rights activists, Medellin illustrates the complexity of an increasingly legalized international system that permits multiple legal portals - local, national , regional and international - through which to contest individual rights, but one in which politics and the legal constructs of statehood and nationality continue to play a central role.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Conference: Fall Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law

The Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law will take place September 23-27, in Brussels. The meeting's agenda is here.

New Issue: Leiden Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Leiden Journal of International Law (Vol. 21, no. 2, June 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Symposium: Taslim Olawale Elias
    • Fleur Johns, Thomas Skouteris, & Wouter Werner, Editors’ Introduction:
      Taslim Olawale Elias in the Periphery Series
    • Olufolake Elias Adebowale & Olusoji Elias, Taslim Olawale Elias (1914–1991): A Biographical Note
    • C.L. Lim, Neither Sheep nor Peacocks: T.O. Elias and Post-colonial International Law
    • James Thuo Gathii, A Critical Appraisal of the International Legal Tradition of Taslim Olawale Elias
    • Carl Landauer, Things Fall Together: The Past and Future Africas of T.O. Elias's Africa and the Development of International Law
    • Mark Toufayan, When British Justice (in African Colonies) Points Two Ways: On Dualism, Hybridity, and the Genealogy of Juridical Negritude in Taslim Olawale Elias
  • Hague International Tribunals: International Court of Justice
    • C.F. Amerasinghe, The Bosnia Genocide Case
  • Hague International Tribunals: International Criminal Court
    • Carsten Stahn & Volker Nerlich, The International Criminal Court and Co-operation: Introductory Note
    • Rod Rastan, Testing Co-operation: The International Criminal Court and National Authorities
    • Steven D. Roper & Lilian A. Barria, State Co-operation and International Criminal Court Bargaining Influence in the Arrest and the Surrender of Suspects
    • William W. Burke-White, Bargaining for Arrests at the International Criminal Court: A Response to Roper and Barria
  • Current Legal Developments
    • Jean d’Aspremont & Annemarieke Vermeer-Künzli, The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Introductory Note
    • Frédéric Mégret, A Special Tribunal for Lebanon: The UN Security Council and the Emancipation of International Criminal Justice
    • William A. Schabas, The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Is a ‘Tribunal of an International Character’ Equivalent to an ‘International Criminal Court’?
    • Björn Elberling, The Next Step in History-Writing through Criminal Law: Exactly How Tailor-Made Is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon?

Workshops: Okowa, Regan

Phoebe Okowa (Queen Mary, University of London - Law) will give a talk today at the University of Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group on "Sovereignty Disputes and Protection of Natural Resources in Armed Conflict."

Donald H. Regan (Univ. of Michigan - Law) will give a talk today at the University College London Faculty of Laws WTO Scholars' Forum on "What Are Trade Agreements For?"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Issue: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht

The latest issue of the Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (Vol. 17, no. 3, 2007) is out. Contents include:
  • Christine Kaddous & Chaire Jean Monnet, Les droits de l'homme en Suisseet dans l'Union européenne
  • Bruno Nascimbene, Les droits de l'homme et la citoyenneté européenne
  • Christine Kaddous, Les droits de l'homme et les libertés de circulation en droit communautaire
  • Stephan Breitenmoser, Grundrechtsschutz im Wettbewerbsrecht - ein Überblick
  • Laurent Moreillon, Les droits de l'homme et la coopération pénale dans l'Union europénne
  • François Knoepfler, Les droits de l'homme et l'arbitrage
  • Ivo Schwander, Menschenrechte und schweizerisches Zivilprozessrecht
  • Michel Hottelier, Les droits de l'homme et la procédure pénale en Suisse
  • Marc Amstutz, Menschenrechte und freier Wettbewerb - eine Skizze

Hofmann: Das Küstenmeer im Völkerrecht

Björn Hofmann has published Das Küstenmeer im Völkerrecht (Nomos 2008). Here's the abstract:
Der Verfasser weist in diesem Werk die Existenz einer aquitorialen Souveränität nach, die eigenständig neben der territorialen Souveränität besteht und von allen Staaten über ihre 12-Seemeilen-Küstenmeere ausgeübt wird. Schwerpunkt ist dabei zum einen die Darstellung dieser neuen Souveränitätsform unter Abgrenzung zu den bestehenden Souveränitätstheorien und zum anderen die Untersuchung der Auswirkungen auf die Souveränität des Einzelstaates als Teil der internationalen Staatengemeinschaft. In einem zweiten Schritt wird die praktische Bedeutung der aquitorialen Souveränität anhand des für die internationale Schifffahrt besonders wichtigen Rechts zur friedlichen Durchfahrt detailliert herausgearbeitet.

Kees: Privatisierung im Völkerrecht: Zur Verantwortlichkeit der Staaten bei der Privatisierung von Staatsaufgaben

Alexander Kees has published Privatisierung im Völkerrecht: Zur Verantwortlichkeit der Staaten bei der Privatisierung von Staatsaufgaben (Duncker & Humblot 2008). Here's the abstract:

Die Privatisierung von Staatsaufgaben hat zunehmend völkerrechtliche Brisanz. Immer häufiger erstreckt sie sich auf hoheitliche Kernfunktionen, deren Wahrnehmung völkerrechtlichen Bindungen unterliegt. Nicht nur in den Konflikten in Afghanistan und im Irak führen zehntausende private Sicherheits- und Militärdienstleister Unterstützungs- und Kampfhandlungen für die Streitkräfte durch. Die sich intensivierende Privatisierung staatlicher Funktionen führt auch im Justiz- und Polizeiwesen zu neuen Fragestellungen, deren Dringlichkeit bei der Verletzung der Menschenrechte und des humanitären Völkerrechts durch nichtsstaatliche Akteure deutlich wird.

Vor diesem Hintergrund ermittelt Alexander Kees Grenzen und Konsequenzen der Privatisierung von Staatsaufgaben im Völkerrecht. Hierfür geht er den Verantwortlichkeiten nach, denen Staaten bei der Privatisierung ihrer Aufgaben unterliegen. Dazu zeigt er zum einen Voraussetzungen und Umfang der Zurechnung von Völkerrechtsverletzungen auf, die im Zuge der Wahrnehmung von Staatsaufgaben durch private Dienstleistungsunternehmen begangen werden. Zum anderen untersucht der Autor, inwieweit das Völkerrecht dieser Entwicklung Grenzen setzt. Dabei kommen nicht nur Privatisierungsverbote in einzelnen Kernbereichen hoheitlicher Funktionen in Betracht. Schranken können sich auch aus Sorgfalts-, Kontroll- und Organisationspflichten ergeben, die der Übertragung staatlicher Funktionen auf nichtstaatliche Akteure im Einzelfall entgegenstehen.

Workshop: Pistor

Katharina Pistor (Columbia Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the University of Chicago Law School International Law Workshop on "Reassessing Linkages between Sovereign Wealth Funds and Western Banks."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Letsas: A Theory of Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights

George Letsas (University College London - Law) has published A Theory of Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (Oxford Univ. Press 2008). Here's the abstract:

Recent developments have raised important jurisprudential issues in relation to the interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights which point to the relationship between the two foundational principles of a supranational human rights system: state sovereignty on one hand and the universality of human rights on the other. This book analyzes the idea that creative interpretation and choice in interpretation amounts, by default, to illegitimate discretion and is used to wave the flag of judicial self-restraint. It balances this against the inconsistency or lack of clarity in the methods used by the Court, most notably the margin of appreciation doctrine, and looks at the criticism often leveled at the Court that its use of the doctrine masks the real basis for its decisions.

The cases that have been coming before the European Court of Human Rights in recent years pose serious interpretive challenges. Does the right to life under art. 2 ECHR include the right to terminate one's life? Does the right to private life under article 8 ECHR include the right to sleep at night free from airplane noise? Does the right to property under art. 1 Protocol 1 ECHR entitle the former King of Greece to claim compensation for the expropriation of royal property, following a referendum? Do homosexual couples have a right to adopt under art. 8 ECHR? This book argues that how law should be interpreted, and what legal rights individuals have, are important questions of political morality that are both capable, and in need of, principled justification.

New Issue: European Journal of International Relations

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Relations (Vol. 14, no. 2, June 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Emanuel Adler, The Spread of Security Communities: Communities of Practice, Self-Restraint, and NATO's Post-Cold War Transformation
  • Norbert Götz, Reframing NGOs: The Identity of an International Relations Non-Starter
  • Caroline Fehl, Living with a Reluctant Hegemon: The Transatlantic Conflict Over Multilateral Arms Control
  • Jennifer L. Bailey, Arrested Development: The Fight to End Commercial Whaling as a Case of Failed Norm Change
  • Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos, Norms, Strategies and Political Change: Explaining the Establishment of the Convention on the Future of Europe
  • Brian Greenhill, Recognition and Collective Identity Formation in International Politics

Düker: Die Strafverfolgung von Angehörigen einer Friedenstruppe der Vereinten Nationen

Arnd Düker has published Die Strafverfolgung von Angehörigen einer Friedenstruppe der Vereinten Nationen (Verlag Dr. Kovač 2008). Here's the abstract:
Das Ansehen der Friedenstruppen der Vereinten Nationen (VN) hat an Glanz verloren. Immer öfter wird von Straftaten der Friedenstruppen berichtet. Die Anschuldigungen sind vielfältig und umfassen Waffenschmuggel, Tötungsdelikte und sexuelle Übergriffe. Gleichzeitig wird der Vorwurf von Straflosigkeit erhoben, da die VN keine Strafverfolgung durchführen und Entsendestaaten von der Strafverfolgung absehen können. Auch der Internationale Strafgerichtshof spielt in der Praxis keine Rolle. Der Verfasser untersucht grundsätzlich das System der Strafverfolgung von Angehörigen einer Friedenstruppe auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene. Die Untersuchung deckt anhand der Fallbeispiele von Belgien, Kanada, Italien, den Niederlanden, den USA und Deutschland strukturelle Mängel der bestehenden Praxis auf und erarbeitet Verbesserungsvorschläge.

Edelstein: Occupational Hazards: Success and Failure in Military Occupation

David M. Edelstein (Georgetown Univ. - School of Foreign Service & Department of Government) has published Occupational Hazards: Success and Failure in Military Occupation (Cornell Univ. Press 2008). Here's the abstract:

Few would contest that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is a clear example of just how fraught a military occupation can become. In Occupational Hazards, David M. Edelstein elucidates the occasional successes of military occupations and their more frequent failures. Edelstein has identified twenty-six cases since 1815 in which an outside power seized control of a territory where the occupying party had no long-term claim on sovereignty. In a book that has implications for present-day policy, he draws evidence from such historical cases as well as from four current occupations—Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq—where the outcome is not yet known.

Occupation is difficult, in Edelstein's view, because ambitious goals require considerable time and resources, yet both the occupied population and the occupying power want occupation to end quickly and inexpensively; in drawn-out occupations, impatience grows and resources dwindle. This combination sabotages the occupying power's ability to accomplish two tasks: convince an occupied population to suppress its nationalist desires and sustain its own commitment to the occupation. Structural conditions and strategic choices play crucial roles in the success or failure of an occupation. In describing those factors, Edelstein prescribes a course of action for the future.

Workshop: Westbrook

Jay Westbrook (Univ. of Texas - Law) will give a talk today at the University of Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group on "Supranational Review of Domestic Courts in NAFTA."

Menkel-Meadow: Are Cross-Cultural Ethics Standards Possible or Desirable in International Arbitration?

Carrie Menkel-Meadow (Georgetown Univ. - Law) has posted Are Cross-Cultural Ethics Standards Possible or Desirable in International Arbitration? (Melanges en l'honneur de Pierrie Tercier, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This essay (as a festschrift/melanges en l'honneur de Pierre Tercier, outgoing Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration and Professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland) argues that it is possible and desirable for such bodies as the ICC to promulgate and enforce ethics standards for use in international arbitration. Many international arbitral administrative tribunals (and the non-administrative International Bar Association) have discussed, drafted, and approved ethics standards on such topics as conflicts of interests, disclosures, timely performance, fees, ex parte communication,use of information, competence and jurisdictional issues, truthfulness and candor, due process, impartiality, confidentiality and transparency. This article suggests that the ICC should do so as well if it intends to retain prominence and legitimacy in the field of international commercial justice. Where more or less private processes have significant power in international dispute resolution, they should ensure fairness of process if these processes seek to continue to dominate the field of international dispute resolution (as compared to international litigation which is more or less public). Despite claims that cultural differences in legal systems, judicial and attorney practices, procedural and evidentiary rules, as well as nationally based ethical obligations, might prevent true cross-cultural ethical standards from being agreed to, this essay suggests such standards are possible and desirable. The core issues and contours of some international ethics standards are suggested.

Monday, May 12, 2008

American Isuzu Motors v. Ntsebeza: Judgment Affirmed

Because it lacked a quorum, the Supreme Court today affirmed the Second Circuit's judgment in a highly watched Alien Tort Statute case, American Isuzu Motors v. Ntsebeza (No. 07-919). (Previous coverage here, here, here, and here.) Here's the full text of the order:
Because the Court lacks a quorum, 28 U.S.C. §1, and since a majority of the qualified Justices are of the opinion that the case cannot be heard and determined at the next Term of the Court, the judgment is affirmed under 28 U.S.C. §2109, which provides that under these circumstances the Court shall enter its order affirming the judgment of the court from which the case was brought for review with the same effect as upon affirmance by an equally divided Court. The Chief Justice, Justice Kennedy, Justice Breyer, and Justice Alito took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition.
SCOTUSblog has more.

New Issue: Journal of World Trade

The latest issue of the Journal of World Trade (Vol. 42, no. 2, April 2008) is out. Contents include:
  • Marco Bronckers, Private Appeals to WTO Law: An Update
  • Ruwantissa Abeyratne, Ground Handling Services at Airports as a Trade Barrier
  • Marc Iynedjian, The Case for Incorporating Scientists and Technicians into WTO Panels
  • Brian D. Kelly, The Treatment of Profit in the Export Market in Antidumping Duty Proceedings
  • Keith Walsh, Trade in Services: Does Gravity Hold?
  • Shi Young Lee, Eun-mee Kim, & Young Il Kim, The Effect of the Korean Screen Quota System on Box Office Performance
  • Rahul Singh, The World Trade Organization and Legitimacy: Evolving a Framework for Bridging the Democratic Deficit
  • Leon E. Trakman, The Proliferation of Free Trade Agreements: Bane or Beauty?

Schulz: The Future of Human Rights: U.S. Policy for a New Era

William F. Schulz (Center for American Progress) has published The Future of Human Rights: U.S. Policy for a New Era (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press 2008). This is another volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights. Here's the abstract:

In the introduction to The Future of Human Rights, William F. Schulz laments that U.S. foreign policy, "so buoyant at the end of the Cold War, has returned to earth with a thud over the past few years. Among its crash victims has been American leadership in the struggle for human rights."

Although countless books have decried the impact of neoconservatism on America's standing in the world, far fewer have examined how the adherents to that movement, including those in the Bush administration, have damaged human rights themselves. The administration used human rights as a justification for invading Iraq only after no weapons of mass destruction were discovered. But, according to Schulz, it seems likely that the WMDs and terror links were rationalizations of the wish to topple a regime for other reasons.

The extent to which the damage sustained over the past few years is the result of misappropriated principles may be debated, but the tragic result is that the United States has been handicapped in providing crucial human rights leadership—especially where such leadership is desperately needed.

The thirteen essays in this volume, by such notable scholars and activists as Philip Alston, Rachel Kleinfeld, George Lopez, John Shattuck, and Deborah Spar, provide thematic assessments of the current state of global human rights programs as well as prescriptions for once again making the United States a respected and forceful proponent of human rights. Topics include democracy promotion, women's rights, refugee policy, religious freedom, labor standards, and economic, social, and cultural rights, among many others. Taken together, the essays converge on one overarching point: to attract the widest support, the U.S. commitment to universal human rights should be presented as reflecting the best of the American tradition.

Contents include:
  • William Schulz, Introduction
  • Elisa Massimino, Fighting from Strength: Human Rights and the Challenge of Terrorism
  • John Shattuck, National Security and the Rule of Law: Self-Inflicted Wounds
  • Rachel Kleinfeld, The United States and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention
  • George A. Lopez, Matching Means with Intentions: Sanctions and Human Rights
  • Jennifer L. Windsor, Setting the Record Straight: Why Now Is Not the Time to Abandon Democracy Promotion
  • Catherine Powell, A Tale of Two Traditions: International Cooperation and American Exceptionalism in U.S. Human Rights Policy
  • Philip Alston, Putting Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Back on the Agenda of the United States
  • Debora L. Spar, Strange Bedfellows: U.S. Corporations and the Pursuit of Human Rights
  • Carol Pier & Elizabeth Drake, Prioritizing Workers' Rights in a Global Economy
  • Regan E. Ralph, Back to the Basics: Making a Commitment to Women's Human Rights
  • Felice D. Gaer, Echoes of the Future? Religious Repression as a Challenge to U.S. Human Rights Policy
  • Bill Frelick, U.S. Asylum and Refugee Policy: The "Culture of No"
  • Eric Schwartz, Building Human Rights into the Government Infrastructure
  • Alexandra Arriaga, International Human Rights: A Legislative Agenda

Workshop: Ahdieh

Robert B. Ahdieh (Emory Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the Princeton University Program in Law and Public Affairs on "International Law, Foreign Affairs, and the Federal State: Lessons from Coordination."

Downes: Targeting Civilians in War

Alexander B. Downes (Duke Univ. - Political Science) has published Targeting Civilians in War (Cornell Univ. Press 2008). Here's the abstract:

Accidental harm to civilians in warfare often becomes an occasion for public outrage, from citizens of both the victimized and the victimizing nation. In this vitally important book on a topic of acute concern for anyone interested in military strategy, international security, or human rights, Alexander B. Downes reminds readers that democratic and authoritarian governments alike will sometimes deliberately kill large numbers of civilians as a matter of military strategy. What leads governments to make such a choice?

Downes examines several historical cases: British counterinsurgency tactics during the Boer War, the starvation blockade used by the Allies against Germany in World War I, Axis and Allied bombing campaigns in World War II, and ethnic cleansing in the Palestine War. He concludes that governments decide to target civilian populations for two main reasons—desperation to reduce their own military casualties or avert defeat, or a desire to seize and annex enemy territory. When a state's military fortunes take a turn for the worse, he finds, civilians are more likely to be declared legitimate targets to coerce the enemy state to give up. When territorial conquest and annexation are the aims of warfare, the population of the disputed land is viewed as a threat and the aggressor state may target those civilians to remove them. Democracies historically have proven especially likely to target civilians in desperate circumstances.

In Targeting Civilians in War, Downes explores several major recent conflicts, including the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Civilian casualties occurred in each campaign, but they were not the aim of military action. In these cases, Downes maintains, the achievement of quick and decisive victories against overmatched foes allowed democracies to win without abandoning their normative beliefs by intentionally targeting civilians. Whether such “restraint” can be guaranteed in future conflicts against more powerful adversaries is, however, uncertain.

During times of war, democratic societies suffer tension between norms of humane conduct and pressures to win at the lowest possible costs. The painful lesson of Targeting Civilians in War is that when these two concerns clash, the latter usually prevails.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Issue: European Human Rights Law Review

The latest issue of the European Human Rights Law Review (2008, no. 2) is out. Contents include:
  • Steven Greer, Human Rights and the Struggle against Terrorism in the United Kingdom
  • Loukis G. Loucaides, Reparation for Violations of Human Rights under the European Convention and Restitutio in Integrum
  • Padraic Kenna, Housing Rights: Positive Duties and Enforceable Rights at the European Court of Human Rights
  • Guglielmo Verdirame, Breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights Resulting from the Conduct of International Organisations
  • Gunnar Beck, Human Rights Adjudication under the ECHR between Value Pluralism and Essential Contestability

Symposium: Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes in the ICC: Translating Promises into Reality

Women and International Law Program and the War Crimes Research Office of the American University Washington College of Law will host a symposium on "Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes in the ICC: Translating Promises into Reality," October 14, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Why attend?
Prior to the passage of the Rome Statute in 1998, women’s human rights activists engaged in a campaign to demand prosecution of gender-based crimes in the proposed International Criminal Court. Because of this campaign, the International Criminal Court is the first international criminal justice mechanism that explicitly takes into account gender concerns in both its administrative structure and its general subject matter jurisdiction. The International Criminal Court serves as a symbol of a legal system that takes the concerns and needs of women seriously. Join leading experts and practitioners in international criminal law and feminist jurisprudence for a full day exploration of a deceptively simple question: Has the ICC’s symbolic potential as an institution committed to holding accountable perpetrators of mass sexual and gender-based crimes translated into reality?

Steinberger-Fraunhofer: Internationaler Strafgerichtshof und Drittstaaten

Theresa Steinberger-Fraunhofer has published Internationaler Strafgerichtshof und Drittstaaten: Eine Untersuchung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Position der USA (Duncker & Humblot 2008). Here's the abstract:
Stellt das Rom-Statut zur Gründung des IStGH einen unzulässigen Vertrag zu Lasten dritter Staaten dar? Theresa Steinberger-Fraunhofer analysiert das Verhältnis zwischen dem IStGH und den Staaten, die ihm bisher nicht beigetreten sind. Dabei prüft sie, ob die Bestimmungen des Rom-Statuts, die einen Drittstaatenbezug aufweisen, rechtliche Verpflichtungen für Nichtvertragsstaaten begründen. Einen Schwerpunkt bildet die Untersuchung der Völkerrechtmäßigkeit des Jurisdiktionsregimes des IStGH. Neben der dogmatischen Herleitung seiner Gerichtsbarkeit wird geprüft, ob die dem IStGH verliehene Strafgerichtsbarkeit über Staatsangehörige aus Nichtvertragsstaaten diese Staaten in ihren Rechten verletzt. Die Autorin thematisiert insoweit das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen internationaler Strafgerichtsbarkeit und staatlicher Souveränität unter Berücksichtigung der bisherigen Entwicklungen im Bereich des Völkerstrafrechts und der internationalen Strafgerichtsbarkeit.