Saturday, October 3, 2009

de Londras: Privatised Torture: Reflections on the Implications for Human Rights Law of the Emergent Phenomenon of Out-Sourced Torture

Fiona de Londras (University College Dublin - Law) has posted Privatised Torture: Reflections on the Implications for Human Rights Law of the Emergent Phenomenon of Out-Sourced Torture. Here's the abstract:
This paper, delivered as part of the Scrymgeour Lecture series of Dundee Law School, addresses the phenomenon of the use of private entities (airline companies and air traffic logistics companies) in the transportation of suspected terrorists for interrogation and torture (‘extraordinary rendition’). In addressing this phenomenon from the perspective of international human rights law, the paper makes both normative and practical arguments. Normatively it is claimed that the use of private entities for the purposes of concealment of activity and in the attempt to minimise liability in the event of suit reveal a position termed ‘ontological acceptance: intentional breach’ by the United States towards the absolute prohibition of torture in international law. It is argued that the normative core of the prohibition is sound, but that the gap between norm and enforcement is exacerbated by the use of private entities. The final part of the paper argues for an approach to enforcement that addresses both the public and the private through law and regulatory mechanisms.

Friday, October 2, 2009

WTO Arbitrator's Award: Colombia - Indicative Prices and Restrictions on Ports of Entry

Today, an Article 21.3(c) Arbitrator issued an award in Colombia - Indicative Prices and Restrictions on Ports of Entry (DS366). Panama brought the original complaint. The full award can be found here. A summary of the case can be found here. The DSU Panel's Report can be found here.

Beitz: The Idea of Human Rights

Charles R. Beitz (Princeton Univ. - Politics) has published The Idea of Human Rights (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:
The international doctrine of human rights is one of the most ambitious parts of the settlement of World War II. Since then, the language of human rights has become the common language of social criticism in global political life. This book is a theoretical examination of the central idea of that language, the idea of a human right. In contrast to more conventional philosophical studies, the author takes a practical approach, looking at the history and political practice of human rights for guidance in understanding the central idea. The author presents a model of human rights as matters of international concern whose violation by governments can justify international protective and restorative action ranging from intervention to assistance. He proposes a schema for justifying human rights and applies it to several controversial cases--rights against poverty, rights to democracy, and the human rights of women. Throughout, the book attends to some main reasons why people are skeptical about human rights, including the fear that human rights will be used by strong powers to advance their national interests. The book concludes by observing that contemporary human rights practice is vulnerable to several pathologies and argues the need for international collaboration to avoid them.

Wilson: Remade in China: Foreign Investors and Institutional Change in China

Scott Wilson (Univ. of the South - Political Science) has published Remade in China: Foreign Investors and Institutional Change in China (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:

Since opening to foreign investment in 1979, China has emerged as the leading investment site for multinational corporations. Remade in China looks beyond the macroeconomic effects of China's investment boom to analyze how foreign investors from the US, Japan, and other nations are shaping China's legal, labor, and business reforms. Wilson draws on interviews with nearly 100 foreign and local managers, attorneys, workers, and members of the business community to explain why Chinese laborers and firms have gravitated toward foreign models, especially US businesses and their institutions.

Wilson uses the term "state-guided globalization" to describe how China has used foreign engagement to advance its domestic reform objectives and to enhance its role in international society. Rather than undermining state power, globalization actually has allowed China's state to push through difficult labor and legal reforms. Wilson concludes that Chinese policy makers drew lessons from foreign investors and foreign legal experts on how to introduce difficult labor market reforms in its state-owned enterprises and how to promote rule of law.

Remade in China examines globalization and foreign investment in a different light, showing how these developments have helped to chart China's entry into international society. China's WTO accession agreement and international norms have established parameters by which to judge Chinese legal and business reforms. Although China's rise is a grave concern to the world, Remade in China asserts that Chinese leaders now see compliance with international rules as a means to secure more investment and to enhance their international legitimacy. Wilson provides a lucid and insightful analysis of how foreign and domestic actors, from political leaders to average laborers, have contributed to remaking China's institutions.

New Issue: Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht

The latest issue of the Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Vol. 69, no. 2, 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • Der pouvoir neutre im nationalen und internationalen Recht - Kolloquium zum 90. Geburtstag von Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Karl Doehring, veranstaltet am Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg, 20.März 2009
    • Thorsten Stein, Der Bundespräsident als "pouvoir neutre"?
    • Matthias Herdegen, Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit als pouvoir neutre
    • Kay Hailbronner, Der öffentliche Dienst als "pouvoir neutre"
    • Juliane Kokott, Der pouvoir neutre im Recht der Europäischen Union
    • Georg Ress, Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte als pouvoir neutre
    • Karl Doehring, Schlusswort – Auf der Suche nach einem die politischen Mächte begrenzenden pouvoir neutre
  • Isabelle Ley, Kant versus Locke: Europarechtlicher und völkerrechtlicher Konstitutionalismus im Vergleich
  • Henning Lahmann, The Israeli Approach to Detain Terrorist Suspects and International Humanitarian Law: The Decision Anonymous v. State of Israel
  • Gerd Morgenthaler & Christian Heuser, Die Verfassung der Republik Aserbaidschan – Entwicklungslinien und Perspektiven

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kaye: The Goldstone Report

David Kaye (Univ. of California, Los Angeles - Law) has posted an ASIL Insight on The Goldstone Report.

New Issue: International Legal Materials

The latest issue of International Legal Materials (Vol. 48, no. 3, May 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • International Criminal Court's Arrest Warrant for Omar Al Bashir, President of the Sudan, with introductory note by Michael P. Scharf
  • European Court of Justice: Commission of the European Communities v. Austria and Sweden, with introductory note by August Reinisch
  • European Court of Justice: Allianz Spa v. West Tankers Inc., with introductory note by David J.A. Cairns
  • ICSID: TSA Spectrum de Argentina S.A. v. Argentine Republic, with introductory note by Charles Owen Verrill Jr.
  • Southern African Development Community Tribunal: Mike Campbell (PVT) Ltd and Others v. Republic of Zimbabwe, with introductory note by Ben Chigara
  • The European Court of Human Rights: Kozacioglu v. Turkey, with introductory note by Dinah Shelton
  • Human Rights Committee & The European Court of Human Rights: Treatment of Terrorism Suspects, with introductory note by Vijay Padmanabhan
  • United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, with introductory note by Jim Lynch
  • International Court of Justice: Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), with introductory note by Coalter G. Lathrop

Corn et al.: The War on Terror and the Laws of War

Geoffrey S. Corn (South Texas College of Law), Victor M. Hansen (New England School of Law), Richard B. Jackson (U.S. Army), Eric T. Jensen (U.S. Army), Michael W. Lewis (Ohio Northern Univ. - Law), & James A. Schoettler, Jr. (Georgetown Univ. - Law) have published The War on Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:
When a soldier in the field of battle is under attack in a small village and comes upon a villager who could be a combatant or a civilian, what rules govern how that soldier should act? If the soldier detains the villager and determines that the villager is an unaffiliated combatant, what do the rules of detention require? In The War on Terror and the Laws of War, six legal scholars with experience as military officers bring practical wisdom to the contentious topic of applying international law to the battlefield. The authors apply their unique expertise to issues that have gained greater urgency during the United States' wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: including categorizing targets and properly detaining combatants. The modern battlefield has proven to be a difficult arena in which to apply traditional legal rules. The War on Terror and the Laws of War brings clarity to the subject with an insider's perspective.

Roberts: Satow's Diplomatic Practice (6th Edition)

Ivor Roberts (Univ. of Oxford) has published the sixth edition of Satow's Diplomatic Practice (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:
Satow's Diplomatic Practice is a classic work, first published 90 years ago and revised four times since. This is the first revised edition for thirty years, during which time the world and diplomacy have changed almost beyond recognition. The new edition provides an enlarged and updated section on the history of diplomacy and revises comprehensively the practice of diplomacy and the corpus of diplomatic and international law since the end of the Cold War. It traces the substantial expansion in numbers both of sovereign states and international and regional organisations and features detailed chapters on diplomatic privileges and immunities, diplomatic missions and consular matters. It also examines new forms of diplomacy from the work of NGOs to the use of secret envoys and commercial security firms, and the book highlights the impact of international terrorism on the life and work of a diplomat. Satow is an indispensable guide for anyone working in or studying the field of diplomacy.

Morgera: Corporate Accountability in International Environmental Law

Elisa Morgera (Food and Agriculture Organization) has published Corporate Accountability in International Environmental Law (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:

What is the current and future role of international environmental law in directing and controlling the conduct of business enterprises, particularly multinational corporations? This book responds to this topical question by identifying corporate accountability standards and discussing their implementation by international organizations.

This is the first book to examine systematically all international sources of corporate accountability standards with specific reference to environmental protection and to elaborate on their theoretical and practical implications for international environmental law. The book argues that although international environmental law does not bind multinational corporations and other business entities, growing international practice points to the emergence of legal standards. These standards allow adapting and translating inter-State obligations embodied in international environmental law into specific normative benchmarks to determine the legitimacy of the conduct of the private sector against internationally recognized values and rules.

The role of international organizations that, in the absence of State intervention, identify and promote the application of selected international environmental standards is analyzed in depth. This analysis demonstrates how these international organizations are a driving force in establishing and operating international standards for corporate environmental accountability.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Annual Report of the International Law Commission

The Report of the International Law Commission on its sixty-first session (A/64/10) is now available.

Bodansky: Creating a More Flexible Architecture for Climate Change Governance

Daniel Bodansky (Univ. of Georgia - Law) has posted Creating a More Flexible Architecture for Climate Change Governance (in Climate Finance: Regulatory and Funding Strategies for Climate Change and Global Development, Richard B. Stewart, Benedict Kingsbury and Bryce Rudyk, eds., 2009). Here's the abstract:
Everyone wants to learn from history, so as not to repeat it. But what are the lessons of the Kyoto Protocol? Although opinions differ widely, a growing consensus accepts the need for greater flexibility in a new climate change agreement. This short essay argues that a more flexible architecture is a necessary, though not sufficient condition, for agreement in Copenhagen, and briefly discusses how flexibility is reflected in recent proposals by the US and Australia.

Cert. Grant: Samantar v. Yousuf

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Samantar v. Yousuf (No. 08-1555). The opinion below, the petition for certiorari, the brief in opposition, and the petitioner's reply are available here. The question before the Court will be: "Whether a foreign state’s immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. § 1604, extends to an individual acting in his official capacity on behalf of a foreign state and whether an individual who is no longer an official of a foreign state at the time suit is filed retains immunity for acts taken in the individual’s former capacity as an official acting on behalf of a foreign state."

Annual Report of the ICJ

The Annual Report of the International Court of Justice for 2008-2009 (A/64/4) is now available.

Knox: Climate Change and Human Rights Law

John H. Knox (Wake Forest Univ. - Law) has posted Climate Change and Human Rights Law (Virginia Journal of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

This article seeks to provide a basis for a better understanding of how human rights law applies to climate change. Its aim is to establish some fundamental points. First, climate change already interferes with the human rights of vulnerable communities and is an enormous threat to human rights everywhere. Second, human rights law imposes duties on states to respond to climate change regardless of whether they can be held responsible for “causing” it. Third, human rights law also constrains states’ responses. Last, and most important, the jurisprudence that human rights tribunals have developed in the context of domestic environmental harm may be applied to global environmental harm, such as climate change, on the basis of the duty of international cooperation.

The environmental human rights jurisprudence has developed strong procedural requirements and deferential substantive standards, which make sense in the context of a single polity experiencing the costs and benefits of activities that cause environmental degradation, but which do not easily apply to transboundary harm. The duty of cooperation would require states to try to act as a single polity at a global level to address the global threat of climate change. It would thus provide a basis for the application of the environmental human rights jurisprudence. That jurisprudence would allow states some flexibility as to the substance of their joint decisions, but only if they follow procedures designed to ensure full, well-informed participation by those most affected. Moreover, the substance of decisions that result from such processes would not be entitled to complete deference: under no conditions could states allow climate change to destroy the human rights of the most vulnerable.

Thürer: Völkerrecht als Fortschritt und Chance

Daniel Thürer (Universität Zürich - Law) has published Völkerrecht als Fortschritt und Chance - Grundidee Gerechtigkeit (Nomos 2009). Here's the abstract:

Der Sammelband enthält juristische Studien und Essays zur Zukunft des Völkerrechts. Der Autor will das Völkerrecht verständlich machen, indem er es von verschiedenen Seiten erschließt. Die Beiträge richten sich bewusst nicht nur an den engeren Kreis der Völkerrechtsspezialisten. Das Spektrum der Themen reicht von Krieg und Neutralität über das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Völker bis zu den Menschenrechten und dem humanitären Völkerrecht.

In allen Beiträgen orientiert sich der Verfasser an der (freilich vagen) Idee der Gerechtigkeit. Recht – und gerade das Völkerrecht – wird hier also nicht einfach instrumentell, sondern von einer Grundidee her verstanden. Das Buch soll – so die Intention des Autors – Gestalter des öffentlichen Lebens inspirieren und Menschen dazu bewegen, aktiv zu werden.

Lecture: Simma on "The International Court of Justice and Human Rights"

On October 14th, Judge Bruno Simma of the International Court of Justice will deliver the keynote at the formal launch of the Wayne State University Law School Program for International Legal Studies. His topic will be "The International Court of Justice and Human Rights."

Workshops: Hathaway, Shany

Oona Hathaway (Yale Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the New York University School of Law Hauser Globalization Colloquium on Interdisciplinary Approaches to International Law on "Presidential Power over International Law: Restoring the Balance." Professors Stephen Holmes and Ryan Goodman (both New York Univ. - Law) will be the discussants.

Yuval Shany (Hebrew Univ. - Law) will give a talk at the Harvard Law School International Law Workshop on "Assessing the Effectiveness of International Courts: Quantifying the Unquantifiable?"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Conference: International Law Weekend 2009 (Update)

The American Branch of the International Law Association's annual International Law Weekend will take place October 22-24, 2009, at Fordham Law School in New York. This year's theme is "Challenges to Transnational Governance." (We posted the call for papers here.) The program is now available here.

Schmidl: The Changing Nature of Self-Defence in International Law

Matthias Schmidl has published The Changing Nature of Self-Defence in International Law (Nomos 2009). Here's the abstract:
This book deals with the development of the right of self-defence in international law until the present time. Special emphasis is laid on the development since 9/11. The right of self-defence will be analyzed from the point of view of international and constitutional law as well as from the perspective of state practice since 1945 in order to define its current scope. The key question that will be answered is whether a state can lawfully invoke its right of self-defence to fight non-state actors.

Gondek: The Reach of Human Rights in a Globalizing World: Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties

Michał Gondek has published The Reach of Human Rights in a Globalizing World: Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties (Intersentia 2009). Here's the abstract:

In the globalizing world of today, the conduct of states often affects the human rights of persons situated outside of those states’ territories. The problem of applying human rights to such state conduct has become increasingly topical as a result of phenomena such as the ‘war on terror’, foreign military interventions and economic globalization. The controversies as regards the applicability of human rights treaty law in such cases stem mainly from the wording of the relevant treaty provisions. The principal treaties on civil and political rights require states to guarantee certain human rights to persons ‘within their jurisdiction’, while treaties on economic, social and cultural rights specifically envisage international cooperation of states parties for the purposes of achieving these rights. The meaning of ‘jurisdiction’ and the precise nature and content of the obligation of international cooperation are subject to debate.

This study explores the question of extraterritorial application of principal universal and regional human rights treaties. It covers treaties on civil and political rights as well as those on economic, social and cultural rights. The study seeks to determine to what extent and under which circumstances human rights treaties are applicable to state conduct which affects the human rights of persons situated outside the borders of the state party in question. The problem is analyzed by reference to the rules of treaty interpretation and in the conceptual framework of public international law. It contains thorough analysis of preparatory works of the relevant treaties, the case law of the International Court of Justice and of human rights courts on the subject, as well as other output of human rights treaty bodies. State practice, including the case law of national courts, is also explored. The study argues for a flexible approach to extraterritorial application of human rights treaties, which would make it possible for the human right systems to respond to the challenges posed by the ever more notorious extraterritorial state conduct.

Workshop on McMahan's Killing in War

The Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict will host a workshop on Jeff McMahan's recently published book, Killing in War, on October 9-10, 2009. The provisional schedule is here. Note that participation is by invitation only; if you are interested in attending, you should contact the Institute. Here's the idea:
Killing in War distils and develops a series of powerful arguments about the morality of war proposed over the last fifteen years, advocating a wholesale revision of conventional thinking on the just war. This workshop brings together some of the leading moral, political and legal philosophers in the field, to respond to McMahan's arguments, and present their own views of what justifies killing in war.

Plog: Grundrechtsschutz gegenüber internationalen Organisationen ohne Durchgriffsbefugnisse

Max Plog has published Grundrechtsschutz gegenüber internationalen Organisationen ohne Durchgriffsbefugnisse (Nomos 2009). Here's the abstract:

Auch "klassische" internationale Organisationen geraten zunehmend nicht nur als Garanten, sondern auch als potentielle Verletzer individueller Rechtspositionen in den Blick. Die Arbeit greift diese Problematik anhand konkreter Beispiele, insbesondere der so genannten "individuellen Sanktionen" des UN-Sicherheitsrates, auf. Diese Sanktionen betreffen auch deutsche Staatsbürger und Rechtspositionen, die nach dem Grundgesetz grundrechtlichen Schutz genießen.

Der Autor untersucht vor diesem Hintergrund, ob und wie die Grundrechte gegenüber internationalen Organisationen ohne Durchgriffsbefugnisse zur Geltung gebracht werden können. Grundlage der Untersuchung bilden die verfassungsrechtlichen Diskussionen zu der Grundrechtsbindung der auswärtigen Gewalt, den grundrechtlichen Grenzen der Übertragung von Hoheitsgewalt nach Art. 24 Abs. 1 GG sowie aktuelle völkerrechtliche Entwicklungen.

McDorman: Salt Water Neighbors International Ocean Law Relations Between the United States and Canada

Ted L. McDorman (Univ. of Victoria - Law) has published Salt Water Neighbors: International Ocean Law Relations Between the United States and Canada (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:

The United States and Canada are salt water neighbors on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Despite the general closeness of the political, economic and social relationship, the two States have approached their offshore areas from different perspectives. Canada has long supported expansion of exclusive national control over its adjacent offshore; whereas the United States has been concerned with the balance between national authority and international navigation rights. Canada has tended to view maritime disputes with the United States as local matters; whereas the United States has tended to see the disputes with Canada in global terms.

Against this background, Salt Water Neighbor's examines both the international ocean law disagreements that exist between the United States and Canada respecting maritime boundaries, fisheries and navigation rights (e.g., the Northwest Passage) and the numerous cooperative bilateral arrangements that have prevented these disputes from being significant causes of friction between the neighbors. There has not been a comprehensive book-length study of United States-Canada international ocean relations since the early 1970s. Much has changed in the last 30 years. Most importantly, the law and the nature of the disputes between the two States have changed as a result of the adoption of 200 nautical mile zones in the late 1970s.

Kindt: Menschenrechte und Souveränität

Anne Kindt has published Menschenrechte und Souveränität. Diskutiert anhand der internationalen Strafrechtspflege (Duncker & Humblot 2009). Here's the abstract:

Ein effektiver Menschenrechtsschutz ist ohne Erodierung staatlicher Souveränität nicht möglich. Zugleich ist das Prinzip der souveränen Gleichheit von Staaten ein Grundprinzip des Friedensrechts und damit des Menschenrechtsschutzes. Dieser Konflikt ist im internationalen Strafrecht besonders virulent: Es liegt im Interesse des Menschenrechtsschutzes, der Straffreiheit der Täter völkerstrafrechtlicher Verbrechen ein Ende zu setzen. Zugleich besteht die Gefahr, dass nur Staatsangehörige schwacher Staaten vor fremde Gerichte gestellt werden, während entsprechende Eingriffe in die Souveränität mächtiger Staaten faktisch ausgeschlossen bleiben. Die Gefahr der Selektivität und der Schaffung von Doppelstandards für reiche und arme Staaten ist das stärkste Argument gegen die internationale Strafrechtspflege.

Anne Kindt diskutiert diese Problematik unter Berücksichtigung vieler aktueller Fälle anhand der noch immer unklaren Konzepte des Weltrechtsprinzips und des Komplementaritätsprinzips. Im Zentrum ihrer Untersuchung steht die Frage, wann nationale Gerichte und der ICC ihre Strafgewalt über extraterritoriale Fälle von Völkermord, Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit und Kriegsverbrechen ausüben sollten. Im Ergebnis plädiert sie für eine vorsichtige, respektvolle Ausübung internationaler Strafgewalt, da eine konsequente Anwendung des Prinzips der individuellen strafrechtlichen Verantwortung (noch) nicht real ist.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Workshop: Cole

David Cole (Georgetown Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the Georgetown University Law Center Foreign Relations Law Colloquium on "Out of the Shadows: Preventive Detention, Suspected Terrorists, and War."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Langille: What is International Labour Law For?

Brian A. Langille (Univ. of Toronto - Law) has posted What is International Labour Law For? (Law & Ethics of Human Rights, Vol. 3, no. 1, p. 46, 2009). Here's the abstract:
This Paper suggests that the answer to the question “what is domestic labor law for?” - commonly regarded as securing “justice against markets” or a justified tax on market activity - has informed the search for the answer for the question “what is international labor law for.” This is reflected in what this Paper refers to as P2, which provides that “the failure of any country to adopt humane conditions of labor is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries.” P2 envisions a “race to the bottom” by rational states trapped in a Prisoner’s Dilemma game. The author maintains that this cannot be the objective of ILO which cannot stop “the race” given its deficient enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. This Paper suggests an alternative raison d’etre for the ILO, which is called P1, namely social justice: “universal peace can only be established if it is based upon social justice.” P1 reflects what states actually seek to achieve. Following Sen, this Paper suggests that there is no tradeoff between social justice and economic efficiency. Therefore the promotion of labor rights by the ILO will contribute both to social justice and to economic success. Thus the ILO should promote international labor law so as to lead member states to pursue their self-interest which is consistent with the collective goal of humanity.