Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 54, no. 1, February 2010) is out. Contents include:
  • Michael Gilligan, Leslie Johns, & B. Peter Rosendorff, Strengthening International Courts and the Early Settlement of Disputes
  • Daniel Balliet, Communication and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: A Meta-Analytic Review
  • Amanda A. Licht, Coming into Money: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Leader Survival
  • Christopher Gelpi, Performing on Cue? The Formation of Public Opinion Toward War
  • Jan Henryk Pierskalla, Protest, Deterrence, and Escalation: The Strategic Calculus of Government Repression
  • M. Najeeb Shafiq & Abdulkader H. Sinno, Education, Income, and Support for Suicide Bombings: Evidence from Six Muslim Countries
  • Aaron Clauset & Frederik W. Wiegel, A Generalized Aggregation-Disintegration Model for the Frequency of Severe Terrorist Attacks

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sarfaty: Measuring Justice: Internal Conflict Over the World Bank's Empirical Approach to Human Rights

Galit A. Sarfaty (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Wharton School) has posted Measuring Justice: Internal Conflict Over the World Bank's Empirical Approach to Human Rights (in Mirrors of Justice: Law and Power in the Post-Cold War Era, Kamari Clarke & Mark Goodale eds., 2009). Here's the abstract:

How can we measure justice? Are there tensions between an instrumental and an intrinsic conception of justice? These questions are currently being debated within the World Bank, an international development agency founded in 1946 under a mandate of poverty reduction. On May 15-16, 2006, members of the Bank’s Legal Department led a workshop on developing justice indicators that examined these questions. The participants included thirty Bank employees, the Nordic-Baltic Foreign Ministries, and experts from four continents. The Bank organized the workshop in preparation for a new trust fund on justice and human rights, aimed at the “practical” promotion of human rights considerations at the institution. One of the objectives of the workshop was to “consider ‘what measuring justice means,’ including both the objective of and methodologies for doing so.”

The Measuring Justice Initiative, which attempts to quantify the performance of the justice sector in developing countries, is part of a larger trend in the Bank to empirically measure normative concepts. My research focuses on the institution’s empirical treatment of human rights and its support for an instrumentalist interpretation of the concept. One example of this recent approach is the Bank’s Human Rights Indicator Project, a parallel initiative to Measuring Justice, which began in 2005 and is also based in the Legal Department. This project aims to develop a methodology and operational tools to measure and assess human rights and integrate them into development processes. It is an effort to demystify human rights for employees, particularly some economists, who remain skeptical of their value for the Bank’s work.

Yet if one were to examine this project in isolation, one would overlook the multiplicity of human rights interpretations among employees. Whereas some promote human rights as instrumental goals toward achieving poverty reduction, others define them as legal obligations or as moral imperatives. Meanwhile, there is a sizable minority of staff who interpret them as political considerations that are beyond the Bank’s mandate.

Why is the Bank exhibiting such divergent approaches to human rights? I argue that the “interpretive pluralism” over human rights reveals contradictions within the Bank’s bureaucratic culture and, in particular, a tension between principles and pragmatism. This chapter seeks to analyze the internal conflicts that led to the current empirical approach by presenting a genealogy of human rights at the Bank. My analysis is based on ethnographic fieldwork at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. over a period of two years, including the summers of 2002 and 2004 and the 2005-2006 academic year. I demonstrate that human rights has been a taboo topic within parts of the institution, but the type and extent of the taboo has changed over time and in different contexts. Moreover, when the concept of human rights has been incorporated into Bank discourses and practices, it has often been in a partial or inconsistent manner.

Matz-Lück: Framework Conventions as Regulatory Tools

Nele Matz-Lück (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law) has posted Framework Conventions as Regulatory Tools (Göttingen Journal of International Law, Vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 439, 2009). Here's the abstract:
The adoption of framework conventions is a relatively recent phenomenon in international law and has mainly been employed in the field of international environmental law. According to the so-called “framework convention and protocol approach” parties agree on a more general treaty, the framework convention, and more detailed protocols to fill out the room left for specific regulations. While there are no legal definition and fixed models for framework conventions, they have certain characteristics in common. Namely the formulation of the objectives of the regime, the establishment of broad commitments for its parties and a general system of governance are assigned to the framework, while more detailed rules and the setting of specific targets are left to either parallel or subsequent agreements between the parties. This regulatory technique has certain benefits compared to single “piecemeal” treaties in international law. Yet, framework conventions and protocols are subject to the law of treaties and relevant practice and thus not per se easier to negotiate or more flexible than other agreements.

Workshop: Cogan

Jacob Katz Cogan (Univ. of Cincinnati - Law) will give a talk today at the Villanova University School of Law on "The Coercive Turn in International Law."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crawford: The Treatment of Combatants and Insurgents under the Law of Armed Conflict

Emily Crawford (Univ. of New South Wales - Law) has published The Treatment of Combatants and Insurgents under the Law of Armed Conflict (Oxford Univ. Press 2010). Here's the abstract:

This book makes the case for eliminating the distinction between types of armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL), specifically as they apply to persons taking a direct part in the hostilities - be they soldiers or insurgents. Currently, IHL makes a distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts. International armed conflicts are regulated by more treaties than their non-international counterparts. The regulation of international armed conflicts is also considerably more comprehensive than that offered for participants in and victims of non-international armed conflicts. This bifurcation of the law was logical at the time the Geneva Conventions of 1949 were drafted and adopted, as the majority of armed conflicts prior to that point had been international in character. However, in the years following the adoption of the Conventions, there has been a proliferation of non-international armed conflicts, which presents challenges to a body of law that has few tools to adequately address such occurrences. The adoption of the Additional Protocols in 1977 went some way to addressing the legal lacunae that existed, but significant gaps still remain.

Mindful of this history, this book tracks the growth and evolution of the laws of armed conflict in the modern era, since the first document of the laws of war produced for the American Civil War. In doing so, this book demonstrates how the law of armed conflict has become increasingly harmonised in its application, with more rules of IHL being generally applicable in all instances of armed conflict, regardless of characterisation. This book then makes the argument that the time has come for the final step to be taken, the elimination of the distinction between types of armed conflict, and the complete harmonisation of the laws of war. Focusing specifically on the issue of combatants and POWs in armed conflicts, and drawing on the recent US treatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay in the "War on Terror", this book draws on considerable legal precedent, legal theory, and policy arguments to make the case that it is time for the law relating to the regulation of armed conflicts to be more uniformly applied.

Smit & Waters: A Guide to International Law Careers

Anneke Smit (Univ. of Windsor - Law) & Christopher Waters (Univ. of Windsor - Law) have published A Guide to International Law Careers (British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2010). Here's the abstract:

The experience of many students studying public international law at university is, 'This is fascinating, but what can I do with it? While this Guide in no way detracts from the more intangible reasons to study international law, it is practically focused and explores the options available to law graduates beyond traditional or domestic law career paths.

The range of possible careers is vast-from human rights to investment law and from the courtroom or boardroom to the refugee camp-and the Guide offers a step-by-step approach to considering whether and how to pursue a career in one of these areas. The essential message is that international law jobs are out there and attainable if approached strategically and with perseverance.

The text-written as a series of questions and answers-is supplemented by practitioners' views and experiences, and appendices containing concrete information on the most useful internships, short courses and Master's programmes.

Temple University School of Law International Law Colloquium

Here's the schedule for the Temple University School of Law International Law Colloquium for the Spring Semester 2010:
  • January 19: Monica Hakimi (Univ. of Michigan - Law), State Bystander Responsibility
  • February 2: Jan Klabbers (Univ. of Helsinki), Autonomy, Constitutionalism, and Virtue in International Law
  • February 16: Yuval Shany (Hebrew Univ. - Law), Assessing the Effectiveness of International Courts: Quantifying the Unquantifiable
  • March 2: Grainne de Burca (Fordham Univ. - Law), Between Governance and Foreign Policy: The External Relations of the European Union
  • March 23: Galit Sarfaty (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Wharton School), Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank
  • April 6: Gregory Shaffer (Univ. of Minnesota - Law), Who Decides: A Comparative Institutional Approach to WTO Dispute Settlement
  • April 20: Harlan Cohen (Univ. of Georgia - Law), From International Law to International Conflicts of Law: The Fragmentation of Legitimacy

Lester: The WTO Seal Products Dispute: A Preview of the Key Legal Issues

Simon Lester ( has posted an ASIL Insight on The WTO Seal Products Dispute: A Preview of the Key Legal Issues.

BIICL: Human Rights and the Global Economy

David Kinley (Univ. of Sydney - Law) will speak today at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law on "Human Rights and the Global Economy."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conference: Legal Regimes of Sea, Antarctica, Air and Space

The seventh international conference of the Indian Society of International Law will take place January 15-17, 2010, in New Delhi. (I noted the call for papers here.) The topic is "Legal Regimes of Sea, Antarctica, Air and Space." The program is here.

Chwieroth: Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization

Jeffrey M. Chwieroth (LSE - International Relations) has published Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization (Princeton Univ. Press 2010). Here's the abstract:

The right of governments to employ capital controls has always been the official orthodoxy of the International Monetary Fund, and the organization's formal rules providing this right have not changed significantly since the IMF was founded in 1945. But informally, among the staff inside the IMF, these controls became heresy in the 1980s and 1990s, prompting critics to accuse the IMF of indiscriminately encouraging the liberalization of controls and precipitating a wave of financial crises in emerging markets in the late 1990s. In Capital Ideas, Jeffrey Chwieroth explores the inner workings of the IMF to understand how its staff's thinking about capital controls changed so radically. In doing so, he also provides an important case study of how international organizations work and evolve.

Drawing on original survey and archival research, extensive interviews, and scholarship from economics, politics, and sociology, Chwieroth traces the evolution of the IMF's approach to capital controls from the 1940s through spring 2009 and the first stages of the subprime credit crisis. He shows that IMF staff vigorously debated the legitimacy of capital controls and that these internal debates eventually changed the organization's behavior--despite the lack of major rule changes. He also shows that the IMF exercised a significant amount of autonomy despite the influence of member states. Normative and behavioral changes in international organizations, Chwieroth concludes, are driven not just by new rules but also by the evolving makeup, beliefs, debates, and strategic agency of their staffs.

NYU School of Law Institute for International Law and Justice International Legal Theory Colloquium

Here's the schedule for the New York University School of Law Institute for International Law and Justice Spring 2010 International Legal Theory Colloquium on "The Turn to Governance: The Exercise of Power in the International Public Space":
  • January 20: Andrew Hurrell (Univ. of Oxford - Politics and International Relations), Regional Powers in Global Order
  • January 27: Richard Stewart (New York Univ. – Law), The World Trade Organization and Global Administrative Law
  • February 3: Robert Keohane (Princeton Univ.), The Regime Complex for Climate Change (paper with David Victor, Univ. of California, San Diego)
  • February 10: Jan Klabbers (Univ. of Helsinki), Controlling International Bureaucracies
  • February 24: Gianluigi Palombella (European Univ. Institute), Rule of Law in Extra-National Governance
  • March 3: Joseph Weiler (New York Univ. - Law), On the Distinction between Values and Virtues (and Vices) in European Integration
  • March 10: David Kretzmer (Hebrew Univ.), State Reports to the UN Human Rights Committee
  • March 24: Marta Cartabia (Univ. of Milan), Rights in Europe
  • April 7: Grainne de Burca (Fordham Univ. - Law), EU External Relations: Foreign Policy or Governance?
  • April 14: Beth Simmons (Harvard Univ. - Government), Effects of Investor-State Treaty Regimes and Arbitral Processes
  • April 15: Daryl Levinson (Harvard Univ. - Law), Public Law: Constitutional and International
  • April 21: Benedict Kingsbury (New York Univ. - Law), Techniques of Global Governance

2009/10 Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures

On March 2, 3, and 4, 2010, Malcolm Shaw, the Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law at the University of Leicester, will deliver the 2009/10 Sir Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures at the University of Cambridge. The topic of the lectures is "Regulating the Relationship between International and Domestic Law."

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series

Here's the schedule for the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law's Lent Term 2010 Friday Lunchtime Lectures:
  • January 22: Ben Batros (International Criminal Court), The Evolving Law of the ICC - Challenges of Shifting from Theory to Practice
  • January 29: Christine Chinkin (London School of Economics), The UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
  • February 5: Christian Tams (Univ. of Glasgow), Barcelona Traction: 40 Years After
  • February 12: Sandeep Gopalan (National Univ. of Ireland, Maynooth), International Law and the Agency Problem: Insights from Economic Theory
  • February 19: Jessie Hohmann (Lautherpacht Centre for International Law), Evaluating the Right to Housing
  • February 26: Jesse Clark (U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Negotiating the UN Arms Trade Treaty: Law and Policy
  • March 5: Malcolm Shaw (Univ. of Leicester), Regulating the Relationship between International and Domestic Law: Discussion on the Hersch Lauterpacht Memorial Lectures
  • March 12: Claus Kress (Univ. of Cologne), The Immediate Future of the Crime of Aggression

Sarfaty: Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank

Galit A. Sarfaty (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Wharton School) has posted Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank (American Journal of International Law, Vol. 103, no. 4, p. 647, 2009). Here's the abstract:
Why do international organizations (IOs) behave as they do? Scholarship in international law and international relations reflects an emerging interest in IOs, yet it overemphasizes the role of states in shaping how IOs behave and make policy. Understanding institutional behavior and change requires an ethnographic analysis of the internal dynamics of IOs, including their formal and informal norms, incentive systems, and decision-making processes. This Article analyzes the organizational culture of one particularly powerful international institution—the World Bank—based on ethnographic fieldwork at the Bank over four years. It seeks to understand why the institution has not adopted a human rights policy or agenda despite external and internal pressure over the past two decades. I argue that legal and political constraints do not fully explain this phenomenon; what is needed is an anthropological analysis of the organization that sheds light on bureaucratic obstacles to the adoption of human rights norms. These obstacles include the Bank’s incentive system as well as a clash of expertise among staff and, in particular, interpretive gaps between lawyers and economists over how to define human rights. I conclude that while scholars have emphasized the benefits of legalization, there are instances where legalizing human rights would not be effective. The recent efforts to frame norms for economists is a better fit with the Bank’s organizational culture.

Skouteris: The Notion of Progress in International Law Discourse

Thomas Skouteris (American Univ. of Cairo) has published The Notion of Progress in International Law Discourse (T.M.C. Asser Press 2010). Here's the abstract:
Progress is a familiar slogan in international law, commonly used to accompany claims for improvement or change. At the same time, the notion of progress is rarely explored as such in the literature. The book begins to address this gap by examining the function of the notion of progress in international law rhetoric and writing. By looking at three concrete case studies taken from ‘everyday’ international law, the book concentrates on explaining ‘what is it’ that makes a specific international law event synonymous with progress. The book engages questions of narrativity, objectivity, and truth in some of international law’s founding progress narratives.

Workshop: Scobbie

Iain Scobbie (SOAS) will give a talk today at the UCL Faculty of Laws and International Law Association (British Branch) International Law Seminar on "Israel/Palestine: Aspects of a Prolonged Occupation."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bown & Pauwelyn: The Law, Economics and Politics of Retaliation in WTO Dispute Settlement

Chad P. Bown (Brandeis Univ. - Economics) & Joost Pauwelyn (Graduate Institute of International Studies - Law) have published The Law, Economics and Politics of Retaliation in WTO Dispute Settlement (Cambridge Univ. Press 2010). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:
The WTO allows its members to retaliate in the face of continued non-compliance. After more than ten years’ operation and ten arbitration disputes, this volume assesses the law, economics and politics of trade sanctions in WTO dispute settlement. Including more than thirty contributions from leading academics, trade diplomats and practitioners, it offers a thorough analysis of the legal rules on permissible WTO retaliation as well as an assessment of the economic rationale and calculations behind the mechanism. In addition, it provides first hand experiences of those countries that have obtained WTO authorisation to retaliate, ranging from the United States and the EC to Mexico and Antigua. In this assessment, the question of how to make the system work also for small countries is paramount. Finally, the volume spells out lessons that could be learned from related fields such as remedies for non-compliance in investment arbitration and competition or anti-trust regimes.

Diehl & Ku: The Dynamics of International Law

Paul F. Diehl (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Political Science) & Charlotte Ku (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Law) have published The Dynamics of International Law (Cambridge Univ. Press 2010). Here's the abstract:
Paul F. Diehl and Charlotte Ku’s new framework for international law divides it into operating and normative systems. The authors provide a theory of how these two systems interact, which explains how changes in one system precipitate changes and create capacity in the other. A punctuated equilibrium theory of system evolution, drawn from studies of biology and public policy studies, provides the basis for delineating the conditions for change and helps explain a pattern of international legal change that is often infrequent and sub-optimal, but still influential.

Black & Williams: The International Politics of Mass Atrocities: The Case of Darfur

David R. Black (Dalhousie Univ. - Political Science) & Paul D. Williams (George Washington Univ. - International Affairs) have published The International Politics of Mass Atrocities: The Case of Darfur (Routledge 2010). Here's the abstract:

The ongoing crisis in Darfur, Sudan has stimulated a huge amount of political and academic interest across the world. The crisis has been both reflective and constitutive of key areas of contestation and change within contemporary international society.

This book examines the crisis in Darfur as a case study of some of the wider debates currently taking place within International Relations theory. Using the conceptual framework developed by English School theorists, specifically their concept of international society and the related idea of "good international citizenship", this book examines a wide range of issues: foreign policy analysis, theories of norm diffusion, international organizations, peace operations, international criminal justice and war law, the causes and nature of contemporary warfare, and the international relations of Africa.

Ronen: ICC Jurisdiction Over Acts Committed in the Gaza Strip: Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute and Non-State Entities

Yaël Ronen (Hebrew Univ. - Law) has posted ICC Jurisdiction Over Acts Committed in the Gaza Strip: Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute and Non-State Entities (Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 7, no. 1, 2009). Here's the abstract:
On 21 January the Palestinian Minister of Justice lodged with the ICC Registrar a ‘Declaration Recognizing the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court’ over acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 2002. This article concerns three issues regarding the admissibility of this declaration, all of which are linked to the question of statehood. It first argues that the ICC Prosecutor may not assume the existence of a Palestinian state because the Palestinians themselves do not make a claim to that effect. It then examines whether under a purposive interpretation of Article 12(3), declarations should also be admitted from quasi-states. Finally, it examines the consequences of the ICC Prosecutor engaging in questions concerning statehood and recognition.

Buergenthal & Thürer: Menschenrechte: Ideale, Instrumente, Institutionen

Thomas Buergenthal (Judge, International Court of Justice) & Daniel Thürer (Universität Zürich - Law) have published Menschenrechte: Ideale, Instrumente, Institutionen (Nomos 2010). Here's the abstract:

Menschenrechte sind elementare Rechte, mit denen jeder Mensch, nur weil er Mensch ist, ausgestattet ist. Sie sind Ausdruck der allen Menschen in gleicher Weise zukommenden Würde. Sie bilden heute einen zentralen Bestandteil des Völkerrechts und der internationalen Politik und sind zu wesentlichen Maßstäben der Kritik und der Rechtfertigung des Verhaltens staatlicher, nicht-staatlicher und gesellschaftlicher Akteure und zu einer tragenden Legitimitätsgrundlage öffentlicher Institutionen geworden. Ziel dieses Buches ist es, einen sachlichen Überblick über die Normen und Institutionen des internationalen Menschenrechtsschutzes zu vermitteln. Ein besonderer Akzent wird auf die Verfahren, Institutionen und Techniken der Umsetzung von Rechtsgarantien gelegt. Es wird die universelle, regionale und staatliche Ebene in die Darstellung einbezogen.

Das Werk befasst sich mit drei Bereichen des Menschenrechtsschutzes. Zunächst werden Normen und Institutionen universeller Natur behandelt. Schwerpunkte bilden das Menschenrechtssystem der Vereinten Nationen sowie das humanitäre Völkerrecht und das Völkerstrafrecht. Es folgt eine Analyse der regionalen Menschenrechtsordnungen in Europa (Europarat einschl. Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte, EU, OSZE), Amerika und Afrika. Schließlich wird exemplarisch der Menschenrechtsschutz im staatsrechtlichen Bereich behandelt (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Salacuse: The Law of Investment Treaties

Jeswald W. Salacuse (Tufts Univ. - The Fletcher School) has published The Law of Investment Treaties (Oxford Univ. Press 2010). Here's the abstract:

Investment treaties, which grant special international protection to foreign investors and give them a means to enforce those rights against States in which they have invested, have become increasingly important in planning, executing and managing international investments. The Law of Investment Treaties explains the nature, history, and significance of investment treaties and their impact on international investors and investments, as well as on governments that are parties to them.

The international law governing trans-national investments has undergone a remarkable transformation in a relatively short time. The fundamental tool for effecting that transformation has been the investment treaty, in which contracting countries set down rules to govern investments by their respective nationals in each other's territories. They include the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Energy Charter Treaty, and some 2500 bilateral investment treaties. This trend is bound to grow in the future. While differing in particular provisions, investment treaties all do two things: 1) they grant special protective rights to foreign investors, and 2) they provide for mechanisms that allow investors to enforce those rights, usually by international arbitration.

The Law of Investment Treaties examines the nature, history, and significance of investment treaties and their impact particularly on protected investors and investments, as well as on governments. Although the precise provisions of investment treaties are not uniform and some treaties restrict host country governmental action more than others, virtually all investment treaties address the same issues. Drawing on the growing body of arbitration decisions applying and interpreting investment treaties, this book examines in detail these common issues, including the scope of application, conditions for the entry of foreign investment and general standards of treatment of foreign investments (including increasingly common concepts such as "fair and equitable treatment" "national treatment", "most-favoured-nation treatment" etc.). Monetary transfers, operational conditions, protection against expropriation and dispossession and compensation for losses are also explored. Salacuse also discusses dispute settlement, including negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, and judicial proceedings.

New Issue: Asian International Arbitration Journal

The latest issue of the Asian International Arbitration Journal (Vol. 5, no. 2, 2009) is out. Contents include:
  • Dean Lewis, The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance — Proposed Changes
  • Chi Manjiao, Is It Time For Change? A Comparative Study of Chinese Arbitration Law and the 2006 Revision of UNCITRAL Model Law
  • Iain Maxwell & Kay-Jannes Wegner, The New ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement
  • Gordon Smith, Dismissal of Arbitration Proceedings for Want of Prosecution
  • Michael Hwang & Charis Tan, New Developments in Arbitration in Singapore

Stein: Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Innovations, Lost Opportunities, and Future Potential

Michael Stein (William & Mary - Law) has posted Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Innovations, Lost Opportunities, and Future Potential (Human Rights Quarterly, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

As the first human rights treaty of the twenty-first century, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, or Convention) has an opportunity to progressively reconfigure the structure and process of human rights oversight. The Convention was opened for signature on March 30, 2007, and entered into force on May 3, 2008. On November 3, 2008, a monitoring Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Committee) was elected during the initial Conference of States Parties to protect the rights of the world’s largest minority, some 650 million persons with disabilities.

The overall framework for monitoring and implementing the Convention resembles existing core human rights instruments, particularly the Enforced Disappearances treaty that was adopted eight days afterwards. At the same time, the Committee is endowed with several notable innovations of significant potential, especially in the breadth of reporting and investigative procedures, thereby offering prospects for other treaty bodies and the human rights system more generally. Accordingly, this Article examines the development of the CRPD Committee and assesses its potential for invigorating future United Nations monitoring reforms.

Part I of the Article describes the Committee established by the United Nations to scrutinize the CRPD and highlights its advances over other human rights treaty bodies. Next, Part II looks at monitoring innovations that were suggested during the CRPD negotiations at a time when treaty body reform was a major subtext, but ultimately were not incorporated into the final instrument. In doing so, Part II considers how adoption of some of these oversight procedures could have affected broader human rights treaty reform efforts at the United Nations. Finally, Part III suggests creative avenues through which the Committee may yet progressively shape the direction of human rights treaty monitoring through innovative practices.

Robinson: "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor

Geoffrey Robinson (Univ. of California, Los Angeles - History) has published "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor (Princeton Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:

This is a book about a terrible spate of mass violence. It is also about a rare success in bringing such violence to an end. "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die" tells the story of East Timor, a half-island that suffered genocide after Indonesia invaded in 1975, and which was again laid to waste after the population voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999. Before international forces intervened, more than half the population had been displaced and 1,500 people killed. Geoffrey Robinson, an expert in Southeast Asian history, was in East Timor with the United Nations in 1999 and provides a gripping first-person account of the violence, as well as a rigorous assessment of the politics and history behind it.

Robinson debunks claims that the militias committing the violence in East Timor acted spontaneously, attributing their actions instead to the calculation of Indonesian leaders, and to a "culture of terror" within the Indonesian army. He argues that major powers--notably the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom--were complicit in the genocide of the late 1970s and the violence of 1999. At the same time, Robinson stresses that armed intervention supported by those powers in late 1999 was vital in averting a second genocide. Advocating accountability, the book chronicles the failure to bring those responsible for the violence to justice.

A riveting narrative filled with personal observations, documentary evidence, and eyewitness accounts, "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die" engages essential questions about political violence, international humanitarian intervention, genocide, and transitional justice.

Sinha: Global Governance, Human Rights and Development

Manoj K. Sinha (National Univ. of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata) has published Global Governance, Human Rights and Development (Satyam Law International 2009). Contents include:
  • Ved P. Nanda, Good Governance and Human Rights, With Special Emphasis on the Control of Corruption
  • Sandy Ghandhi, International Human Rights Law: Origins, Governance and Education
  • Thomas Fues, Human Rights and Global Governance
  • Manoj Kumar Sinha, The Right to Development in Africa: Issues and Challenges
  • S.R.S. Bedi, Global Governance and the International Criminal Court in the Perspective of Human Dignity
  • Katerina Novotna, Joint Criminal Enterprise – Amorphous Concept or Viable Model for Prosecution of Crimes Under International Law?
  • Noëlle Quénivet, The Responsibility to Protect: an Empty Concept for Darfur?
  • Mohammed Saif-Alden Wattad, A Vision of Citizenship: Arabs in a Jewish & Democratic State
  • D.E. Fisher, Sustainability, Globalisation and the Law
  • Gianfranco Tamburelli, Notes on Democratization Processes of Environmental Law-Making
  • U.C. Jha, Environmental Governance: Corruption and Access to Information
  • Scott J. Shackelford, In the Name of Efficiency: The Role of Permanent Lok Adalats in the Indian Justice System and Power Infrastructure

Workshop: Weiler

Joseph Weiler (New York Univ. - Law) will give a talk today at the NYU Investment Law Forum on "National Treatment and the Public Interest: The Hermeneutics of the Unwritten Exception."