- William A Schabas & Aisling O’Sullivan, Of Politics and Poor Weather: How Ireland Decided to Sue the United Kingdom Under the European Convention on Human Rights
- Ray Murphy, Whither UN Peacekeeping in Lebanon
- Pádraig McAuliffe, Forgetting the Purposes of Hybrid Courts: The East Timorese Experience
- Fiona de Londras, Shannon, Saadi and Ireland’s Reliance on Diplomatic Assurances Under Article 3 of the European Convention
- Colin Smith, Special Agreements to Apply the Geneva Conventions in Internal Armed Conflicts: The Lessons of Darfur
Saturday, August 15, 2009
New Volume: Irish Yearbook of International Law
Friday, August 14, 2009
BIICL: Seminars on the Geneva Conventions of 1949
September 7 - The ICRC and the Geneva Conventions
October 5 - The Geneva Conventions and Israel
October 13 - Operationalizing the Geneva Conventions
November 2 - The Geneva Conventions and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups
November 25 - The Future of the Geneva Conventions
New Issue: Global Governance
- Global Insights: Governance, Climate Change, and the Challenge for Copenhagen
- Daniel C. Esty, Revitalizing Global Environmental Governance for Climate Change
- Jing Huang, A Leadership of Twenty (L20) Within the UNFCCC: Establishing a Legitimate and Effective Regime to Improve Our Climate System
- Adrian Macey, Climate Change: Governance Challenges for Copenhagen
- Adam Matthews, A Role for Legislators
- Shyam Saran, Global Governance and Climate Change
- Georg Caspary, Policy Coherence for Sustainable Infrastructure in Developing Countires: The Case of OECD-Country Public Financing for Large Dams
- Ken Conca & Jennifer Wallace, Environment and Peacebuilding in War-torn Societies: Lessons from the UN Environment Programme's Experience with Postconflict Assessment
- Nathan Grills, The Paradox of Multilateral Organizations Engaging with Faith-based Organizations
- Daphne Josselin, Regime Interplay in Public-Private Governance: Taking Stock of the Relationship Between the Paris Club and Private Creditors Between 1982 and 2005
- Torunn L. Tryggestad, Trick or Treat? The UN and Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security
Conference: Canadian Council on International Law 2009 Annual Conference (Update)
Conference: Ethics, Issue Conflicts and Arbitrator Challenges (Update)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Okediji: The Regulation of Creativity Under the WIPO Internet Treaties
The WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WIPO Internet Treaties) recite a need for a digital copyright framework to facilitate 'adequate solutions to questions raised by new economic, social, cultural and technological developments.' It can hardly be contested that the social and cultural developments to which the Treaties refer do not derive from the cultural or economic conditions (much less technological developments) of the developing and least-developed countries. Consistent with their predecessors, the WIPO Internet Treaties marginalize collaborative forms of creative engagement with which citizens in the global South have long identified and continue in the tradition of assuming that copyright’s most enduring cannons are culturally neutral. Recently, however, the rise of Web 2.0 and the salience of new forms of creativity mediated by digital technologies and social networking sites have exposed structural tensions in copyright laws of OECD countries similar to those which developing countries have historically raised in opposition to the Berne Convention. This Essay reviews the evolution of the WIPO Internet Treaties and argues that the framework established just over a decade ago is increasingly less relevant in addressing the challenges of creativity in the digital age. The Treaties do not provide a meaningful basis for a harmonized approach to encourage new creative forms in much the same way the Berne Convention fell short of embracing diversity in patterns and modes of authorial expression. The growing social and legal recognition of new forms of creativity enabled through digital technologies offers an important opportunity to challenge anew claims that globally mandated copyright norms can effect incentives to create that are relevant across geographical, cultural and technological boundaries.
Call for Papers: Risk, Science and Law in International Governance
International law in the 21st century has increasingly responded to and been challenged by domestic measures which aim to address various health risks. A number of different international organizations and instruments engage the intersection of science, risk and law. These include the World Health Organization, the Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization with its Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). It also includes the jurisprudence that the WTO has spurred, such as the EC-Hormones and ECBiotech cases. Recent investment cases such as Canadian Cattlemen for Fair Trade v. United States, under NAFTA’s investment chapter suggest that these issues extend to international investment and perhaps other areas. Scholars have accordingly studied the relation of risk regulation, science, law and international governance from various disciplinary perspectives, including political science, economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and law.
The International Economic Law Interest Group (IEcLIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) will host a special Research Forum in early December 2009 to discuss the emerging complexities and interconnectedness of risk, science and law as they relate to international governance. The conference will take place at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, IL on December 5 (Saturday), 2009. We invite the submission of proposals in the form of abstracts of no more than 300 words which will address this topic. Here is an illustrative list of potential topics, although you should feel free to submit any paper topic relevant to this field of study.
- What is the role of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Plant Protection Commission, World Animal Health Organization and the WHO/FAO regarding risk regulation and the role of science? How do their processes work? How have they developed? What is the role of epistemic scientific communities?
- What role do transgovernmental regulatory networks play? How have they developed?
- How have concerns terrorism risks (such as through the use of biologic agents) affected domestic risk regulatory policy? How should they?
- What role can informal, soft-law oriented bodies play, such as the WTO SPS Committee or those provided by standard organizations, in resolving disputes?
- How should WTO adjudication be informed by risk science? What criteria are and should be used (if any)? What should be the role of the precautionary principle? How should one conceive it?
- How have international dispute settlement bodies used science to resolve regulatory disputes? What deference has and should be given to states?
- Does (and should) culture and ethics play a role in addressing risk disputes? For example, what should there role be when addressing disputes involving biotechnology, cloning or animal rights?
- What leverage do studies of the philosophy of science and science and technology provide us in addressing international governance issues regarding risk regulation? What insights does behavioral economics offer, such as regards availability heuristics and social cascades, in dealing with transnational risk disputes?
- How should we conceive of the issues of participation, accountability and administrative procedure regarding risk regulation in a globally interdependent world?
- What is the (desirable) role of civil society and NGOs in addressing risk disputes before international tribunals?
- How do “development” issue relate to disputes over risk regulation? What approaches have and should be considered to address development concerns?
- What linkages are there between trade, investment, anti-trust and any other regulatory areas on these issues?
- What causal mechanisms explain developments in international governance over risk regulation? What has been their impact within state practice? How should international governance over risk regulation be reformed?
- Any other question of relevance to the subject.
Abstracts should be emailed to Sungjoon Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2009. Each submission should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information and e-mail address. Selected papers will be announced by September 30, 2009. Working drafts should be submitted by November 15, 2009 to be circulated among the forum participants. Presenters will be exempted from the forum fee. A limited number of partial stipends to help cover travel costs may be available to help defray travel and accommodation costs.
New Issue: Revue Générale de Droit International Public
- Philippe Weckel, Plaidoyer pour le processus d'indépendance du Kosovo, réponse à Olivier Corten
- Peter-Tobias Stoll, Le droit international économique face aux défis de la mondialisation
- P. Maddalon, Les faits économiques dans les rapports de l'organe d'appel de I'OMC
- Ottavio Quirico, La théorie de la négligence criminelle et le Statut de la Cour pénale internationale
- Peter H. Sand, Diego Garcia : nouveau "trou noir" dans l'océan Indien?
- Anaïs Lagelle, Quelques interrogations sur la valeur juridique des "principes et pratiques généralement acceptés par les fonds souverains" (PPGA) - Engagement juridique ou simple message politique?
New Issue: Revista Española de Derecho Internacional
- Natividad Fernández Sola, El derecho a la reparación de las víctimas de desaparición forzada: hacia la justicia a través del derecho internacional
- Antonio Pastor Palomar, "Blackwater" ante el derecho internacional: el negocio de la inmunidad
- Pablo J. Martín Rodríguez, Sistema, fragmentación y contencioso internacional
- Carmen Azcárraga Monzonís, El nuevo Convenio de La Haya sobre el cobro internacional de alimentos para los niños y otros miembros de la familia (sobre la negociación de determinados artículos en la sesión diplomática del 5 al 23 de noviembre de 2007)
- Montserrat Abad Castelos, La participación de empresas privadas en la tramitación externa de visados: algunos problemas jurídico-internacionales en presencia, con especial énfasis en el carácter no inviolable de sus instalaciones
New Issue: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht
- Sébastien Touzé, L'approche communautaires de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises
- Panagiotis Delimatsis & Pauline Lièvre, En quête de cohérence: l'interprétation des concepts de restriction ou de limitation quantitative dans le GATT et l'AGCS
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
New Issue: Rivista di Diritto Internazionale
- Francesco Munari, La "nuova" pirateria e il diritto internazionale. Spunti per una riflessione
- Carlo Focarelli, Diniego dell'immunità alla Germania per crimini internazionali: la suprema Corte si fonda su valutazioni "qualitative"
- Pietro Pustorino, Lo stato di necessità alla luce della prassi recente
- Note e Commenti
- Gabriele Della Morte, Sulla giurisprudenza italiana in tema di terrorismo internazionale
- Andrea Gattini, La Corte internazionale di giustizia fra judicial activism e judicial self-restraint: il curioso caso della richiesta di interpretazione della sentenza resa nell'affare Avena
- Enrico Milano, L'evoluzione della situazione in Kosovo e la dichiarazione presidenziale del Consiglio di sicurezza del 26 novembre 2008
- Elena Sciso, Punta Perotti a Bari: ancora una condanna per una confisca da parte della Corte europea dei diritti dell'uomo
- Matteo Bordoni, L'ordine pubblico internazionale nella sentenza della Cassazione sulla esecuzione della decisione greca relativa al caso Distomo
- Giorgio Gaja, Convenzione di New York sull'arbitrato e anti-suit injunctions
Manacorda & Nieto: El Derecho penal entre la guerra y la paz
If subjecting war to law is one of the most important legal achievements of the 20th century, progressing further in that direction is one of the most important challenges for the 21st century. The problems it poses are many: the term “war” has formally fallen into disuse and we talk about “peacekeeping”; armies are today the product of cooperation between states and international organizations; private contractors increasingly participate in warlike activities, as the case of the Iraq war demonstrates; and the lines between war and very serious forms of crime (terrorism, organized crime) are increasingly blurred. This volume compiles the contributions presented at XVth International Congress on Social Defence and tackles the criminal-legal issues raised by these new scenarios. It constitutes an innovative volume, gathering together the work of both academic and military authors, who have drawn on their theoretical and practical experience.
Krisch: The Case for Pluralism in Postnational Law
As the divide between domestic and international law becomes blurred, paradigms for the structure of the new, postnational legal order remain elusive, on both the analytical and the normative plane. In this paper, I inquire into the normative status of two main candidates, constitutionalism and pluralism. The constitutionalist ideal of a coherent, hierarchically structured order in a framework defined by law is often seen as an attractive goal also for postnational politics, but on closer look it turns out to face similar problems as in domestic divided societies, especially with respect to power, integration and the rule of law. Pluralism, on the other hand, is often regarded as better suited to conditions of radical diversity as they prevail in the postnational realm. The openness of legal relations between different parts of a political order is seen to foster greater adaptability, responsiveness to contestation and an ability to steer a path between competing (and equally deficient) supremacy claims. Yet while these are important virtues, I argue that a defence of a pluralist postnational law has to find its starting point elsewhere: in the public autonomy of citizens in the definition of their legal and political framework. Such an approach shifts the focus to social attitudes and identities, to the multiplicity of loyalties and allegiances characteristic of the global polity. These do indeed appear to be better reflected in a pluralist than in a constitutionalist order.
de Guttry, Post, & Venturini: The 1998–2000 War Between Eritrea and Ethiopia: An International Legal Perspective
The war that raged between Eritrea and Ethiopia from 1998 to 2000 has caused great loss of life and tremendous devastation. This book analyses from an international legal perspective the nature and the state of the boundary conflict preceding the actual armed conflict, the military actions themselves as well as developments in the aftermath of the military activities, like the role of the UN peace-keeping deployment and the responsibility for the multitude of explosive remnants of the war. The authors address the complex issues of responsibility for the use of force, violations of humanitarian law and ‘borderline’ issues regarding situations where the law of armed conflict and the (successive) law of peace meet. Ample attention is paid to the decisions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.Contents include:
- Fausto Pocar, Introductory remarks
- Gian Paolo Calchi Novati, The lines of tension in the Horn and the Ethiopia-Eritrea case
- Bahru Zewde, The historical background of the 1998–2000 war: Some salient points
- Uoldelul Chelati Dirar, Rivalry, antagonism and war in the nation- and state-building process: The H factor in the relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia
- Edoardo Greppi, The Algiers agreements between Eritrea and Ethiopia of June 18 and December 12, 2000
- Andreas De Guttry, The UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE)
- Olivier Ribbelink, Some observations on the nature, practice and future of UNMEE
- Federica Guazzini, The Eritrean-Ethiopian boundary conflict: The physical border and the human border
- Jon Abbink, Law against reality? Contextualizing the Ethiopian-Eritrean border problem
- Christopher Clapham, Indigenous statehood and international law in Ethiopia and Eritrea
- Kaiyan Kaikobad, The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission: A legal analysis of the boundary delimitation decision of 13 April 2002 and relevant subsequent decisions
- Romesh Weeramantry, International law as to the use of force
- Ige Dekker & Wouter Werner, The crime of aggression and the Eritrea-Ethiopia war
- Paul Tavernier, Criminal responsibility and the crime of aggression: Some observations
- Christian Ponti, The Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission on the threat or the use of force and on self-defence
- Gabriella Venturini, International law and the conduct of military operations
- Silvia Sanna, International humanitarian law and the treatment of protected persons
- Marco Sassòli, Comments on the approach of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission towards the treatment of protected persons in international humanitarian law
- Andrea Gioia, The belligerent occupation of territory
- Terry D. Gill, The distinction between invasion and occupation of disputed territory
- Wolff Heintschel Von Heinegg, International economic relations and armed conflict
- Michael Bothe, The protection of property rights in times of armed conflict
- Emanuele Sommario, State responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law in the work of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
- Luisa Castagnetti, The claims on behalf of individuals before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
- Erik Koppe, Compensation for war damages
- Vera Gowlland-Debbas, Some remarks on compensation for war damages
- Michael Addo, The role of intergovernmental agencies in the management of human rights risk
- Harry Post, Explosive remnants of war
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Van Damme: Treaty Interpretation by the WTO Appellate Body
This book analyzes how the Appellate Body uses particular principles of general international law in interpreting the WTO covered agreements. It deals equally with general international law and WTO law. The aim is to explain how the Appellate Body interprets and applies customary international law on treaty interpretation in dealing with the WTO covered agreements. The main concern is to analyze the judicial reasoning and ways of justifying judicial decision-making. In particular, it answers the question of how the Appellate Body explains its reading of WTO treaty language.
It is argued that the Appellate Body has interpreted the WTO covered agreements in a contextual and effective manner, an approach that corresponds with general international law. The character of the WTO covered agreements has, nevertheless, confronted the Appellate Body with some questions of interpretation that were until recently unexplored or neglected by other courts and tribunals. In that sense, the Appellate Body has contributed to the development of general international law on treaty interpretation, or at least to its practice.
Schropp: Trade Policy Flexibility and Enforcement in the WTO
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an incomplete contract among sovereign countries. Trade policy flexibility mechanisms are designed to deal with contractual gaps, which are the inevitable consequence of this contractual incompleteness. Trade policy flexibility mechanisms are backed up by enforcement instruments which allow for punishment of illegal extra-contractual conduct. This book offers a legal and economic analysis of contractual escape and punishment in the WTO. It assesses the interrelation between contractual incompleteness, trade policy flexibility mechanisms, contract enforcement, and WTO Members' willingness to co-operate and to commit to trade liberalization. It contributes to the body of WTO scholarship by providing a systematic assessment of the weaknesses of the current regime of escape and punishment in the WTO, and the systemic implications that these weaknesses have for the international trading system, before offering a reform agenda that is concrete, politically realistic, and systemically viable.
New Issue: International Criminal Law Review
- Charles Chernor Jalloh, Regionalizing International Criminal Law?
- Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops, The Duality of the Proportionality Principle within Asymmetric Warfare and Ensuing Superior Criminal Responsibilities
- Manuela Melandri, The Relationship between State Sovereignty and the Enforcement of International Criminal Law under the Rome Statute (1998): A Complex Interplay
- Ignaz Stegmiller, The Gravity Threshold under the ICC Statute: Gravity Back and Forth in Lubanga and Ntaganda
- Noelle Higgins & Kieran O'Reilly, The Use of Force, Wars of National Liberation and the Right to Self-Determination in the South Ossetian Conflict
New Issue: International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
- Clive R. Symmons, The Maritime Border Areas of Ireland, North and South: An Assessment of Present Jurisdictional Ambiguities and International Precedents Relating to Delimitation of 'Border Bays'
- Sophia Kopela, 2007 Archipelagic Legislation of the Dominican Republic: An Assessment
- Alex G. Oude Elferink, The Establishment of Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles by the Coastal State: The Possibilities of Other States to Have an Impact on the Process
- Transform Aqorau, Recent Developments in Pacific Tuna Fisheries: The Palau Arrangement and the Vessel Day Scheme
New Issue: Human Rights Quarterly
- Simon Wigley, Parliamentary Immunity in Democratizing Countries: The Case of Turkey
- David Mendeloff, Trauma and Vengeance: Assessing the Psychological and Emotional Effects of Post-Conflict Justice
- Payam Akhavan, Are International Criminal Tribunals a Disincentive to Peace?: Reconciling Judicial Romanticism with Political Realism
- Victor Peskin, Caution and Confrontation in the International Criminal Court’s Pursuit of Accountability in Uganda and Sudan
- Elena Blanco & Jona Razzaque, Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being in a Globalized World: Assessing the Role of Law
- Terence Roehrig, Executive Leadership and the Continuing Quest for Justice in Argentina
- Saul Takahashi, Drug Control, Human Rights, and the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health: By No Means Straightforward Issues
- Tobias Kelly, The UN Committee Against Torture: Human Rights Monitoring and the Legal Recognition of Cruelty
Monday, August 10, 2009
Schreuer, et al.: The ICSID Convention: A Commentary (Second Edition)
This unique compendium offers an article-by-article commentary to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. Providing a comprehensive explanation of the functioning of this important mechanism for the settlement of investor–host State disputes, it incorporates the preparatory work, the Convention’s text, various rules and regulations adopted under the Convention, the practice of arbitral tribunals under the Convention and academic writings on the subject. The first edition of this work has been relied upon by numerous arbitral tribunals. This second edition follows the same system and approach, but extensive updates reflect the vast increase in arbitral practice since the publication of the first edition. A number of novel issues that have emerged through this practice are now addressed, making this practice-oriented guide an indispensable tool for anyone dealing with the ICSID Convention.
Schokkaert & Heckscher: International Investments Protection
An efficient system of investment protection, either through legislation or through Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT’s), is indispensable.
Expeditiously resolving litigation relating to investments through arbitration, and, in particular, through institutional arbitration (ICC, ICSID) has become a frequent and worldwide practice. This alternative sidetracks the filing, in national and international tribunals, of lawsuits thatmay otherwise take years to be heard.
The objective of this book’s authors is to suggestmeans, to Contracting States and international investors alike, to improve current media of protection of investments made on foreign soil. Their suggestions are intended to facilitate the drafting of Treaty and State Contract texts better adapted to rapidly evolving international arbitration.
Rötting: Das verfassungsrechtliche Beitrittsverfahren zur Europäischen Union
Die Europäische Union wird in wenigen Jahren einen neuen Erweiterungsschub durch Länder auf dem Westbalkan und in Südosteuropa erleben, denen bereits eine konkrete Beitrittsperspektive eingeräumt wurde. Die vorliegende Arbeit analysiert vor diesem Hintergrund das Beitrittsverfahren, das Bewerberländer beschreiten müssen. Sie führt den Nachweis, dass dieses Verfahren mittlerweile in einer Weise verrechtlicht ist, die dem Charakter der Union als Rechtsgemeinschaft entspricht. Das zur Anwendung kommende Recht ist im Wesentlichen in der Unionsverfassung verankert und determiniert die Ermessensentscheidung des Rates bei der Aufnahme neuer Mitglieder.
Conference: FDI, the Global Crisis and Sustainable Recovery
The global economic crisis has already had a tremendous effect in reducing FDI flows, and they are likely to continue to decline in 2009. At the same time, the deepening recession has made the need for such investment, and especially investments that will contribute to a sustainable recovery, ever more important. The financial crisis and recession therefore requires us to take stock of the changing trends in FDI and to discuss policy implications of encouraging FDI so that it may contribute to a robust and sustainable recovery.
The Fourth Columbia International Investment Conference will address how the crisis is affecting FDI (including the impact on flows, new players, changing patters of energy sector FDI), the changing business environment for FDI (including the effect of the crisis on social conditions, CSR and resource nationalism), and public policy opportunities for a sustainable recovery (including public-private partnerships, a global bankruptcy law and a sustainable investment regime).
New Issue: Ocean Development & International Law
- Dikdik Mohamad Sodik, IUU Fishing and Indonesia's Legal Framework for Vessel Registration and Fishing Vessel Licensing
- Brian Wilson & James Kraska, American Security and Law of the Sea
- Gao Jianjun, A Note on the 2008 Cooperation Consensus Between China and Japan in the East China Sea
New Issue: Journal of Conflict & Security Law
- Rebecca Barber, The Responsibility to Protect the Survivors of Natural Disaster: Cyclone Nargis, a Case Study
- Symposium on Darfur
- Dawn Sedman, Darfur Symposium: An Introduction
- Zeray Yihdego, Darfur and Humanitarian Law: The Protection of Civilians and Civilian Objects
- Sarah Williams & Lena Sherif , The Arrest Warrant for President al-Bashir: Immunities of Incumbent Heads of State and the International Criminal Court
- Robert P. Barnidge, Jr., The United Nations and the African Union: Assessing a Partnership for Peace in Darfur
- Shaheen Sardar Ali, Resurrecting Siyar through Fatwas? (Re) Constructing ‘Islamic International Law’ in a Post–(Iraq) Invasion World
- David Jenkins, Efficiency and Accountability in War Powers Reform
Sunday, August 9, 2009
New Issue: Melbourne Journal of International Law
- Feature: Reflections on a Decade of International Law
- Fleur Johns, International Legal Theory: Snapshots from a Decade of International Legal Life
- Dianne Otto, The Exile of Inclusion: Reflections on Gender Issues in International Law over the Last Decade
- Alexandra Xanthaki, Indigenous Rights in International Law over the Last 10 Years and Future Developments
- Mark Drumbl, International Criminal Law: Taking Stock of a Busy Decade
- Martin Davies, Reflections on the Past Decade of Transnational Litigation
- Bryan Mercurio, Reflections on the World Trade Organization and the Prospects for Its Future
- Brendan Sweeney, International Competition Law and Policy: A Work in Progress
- Jolene Lin & Charlotte Streck, Mobilising Finance for Climate Change Mitigation: Private Sector Involvement in International Carbon Finance Mechanisms
- Cameron Sim, Non-Justiciability in Australian Private International Law: A Lack of 'Judicial Restraint'?
- Lisa Spagnolo, The Last Outpost: Automatic CISG Opt Outs, Misapplications and the Costs of Ignoring the Vienna Sales Convention for Australian Lawyers
- Tim Wright, Negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention: Distant Dream or Present Possibility?
al Attar & Tava: TWAIL Pedagogy - Legal Education for Emancipation
Earlier this year, Galal Nassar asserted that universities, once the “guardians of debate and intellectual freedom”, were quickly becoming places “where young people learn how to keep their mouths shut.” In this he is correct and though it might at first appear counter-intuitive, Western law schools have been leading the reformative charge. As Duncan Kennedy demonstrated nearly thirty years ago, law lecturers, for both self-serving and self-legitimating purposes, employ methods and foster teacher-student relationships that encourage fealty to ensconced equations of power. Legal education, Kennedy bemoaned, bequeaths not merely a qualification but also an ideology and a worldview, both of which buttress the preeminent standing of established hierarchies. This is particularly worrisome from a Third World perspective for some of the more insidious hierarchies that students subtly learn to accept exist between the First and Third worlds. Though explicit efforts to inculcate students with the racial rankings of the colonial era are uncommon, the facileness with which legal academics disregard this historical record relegates it to the bin of past injustice implicitly making it irrelevant to modern legal education. Not unlike with the teaching of municipal law where class stratification is presented as inevitable, First-Third world divisions acquire a similar innocuousness, a perception that does not lend itself to the questioning of the agent-subject relationship that persists between the two blocs in international lawmaking.
In this article then, we explicate, from conceptualization to practice, the theory behind and the use of an alternate pedagogy - derived from the work of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholars, of Paolo Freire, and of Ngugi wa Thiong’o - in the delivery of a course on international law in a mainstream Western law school. We argue that this approach has enabled students to familiarize themselves with critical legal theories, to experience a dialogic and democratic approach to teaching and learning, and to reflect on the place of justice in international law, a series of achievements unlikely within the conventional banking model. The authors do not claim to offer a definitive account on the teaching of international law. Emancipatory initiatives are neither exclusive nor exclusionary and we would not advocate the adoption of a single teaching method. Instead, what we put forward is both a theoretical and a practical examination of the application of a TWAIL-inspired approach to legal pedagogy. This pedagogy, we argue, is very effective in acquiring a nuanced understanding of international legal matters, developing a wide range of practical skills, and nurturing awareness of the harmful outcomes international law produces for the Third World. It is hoped, and only time will tell, that the understanding, skills, and awareness the students acquire will manifest outwardly into a deeper social consciousness and a meaningful desire to struggle for a just international legal order.