Saturday, November 21, 2015

Weisburd: Failings of the International Court of Justice

A. Mark Weisburd (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Law) has published Failings of the International Court of Justice (Oxford Univ. Press 2015). Here's the abstract:

Failings of the International Court of Justice critically examines the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice. Even though the legal instrument that establishes the Court provides that its judgments have no formal precedential value, those judgments are treated as authoritative by international lawyers throughout the world. In this book, A. Mark Weisburd argues that the Court's decisions are, in a large minority of cases, poorly reasoned and doubtful as a matter of law, and therefore ought not to be accorded the deference they receive.

The book seeks to demonstrate its thesis by a careful review of the Court's errors. It begins with an examination of the law that created and empowered the Court. It then describes the body of law upon which the Court was intended to base its decisions, and the mistakes in the arguments supporting the Court's drawing legal rules from other sources. The book goes on to analyze in detail cases in which the Court has made serious legal errors, first addressing procedural errors, then turning to mistakes in the application of substantive international law. The book closes with a quantitative summing up of the Court's performance, and a tentative explanation for its relatively disappointing record.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Issue: Revue Générale de Droit International Public

The latest issue of the Revue Générale de Droit International Public (Vol. 119, no. 3, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Hélène Raspail, Nationalité et droit d'asile
    • Laurent Trigeaud, L'influence des reconnaissances d'Etat sur la formation des engagements conventionnels
    • Florian Aumond, Les petits Etats insulaires en développement

New Issue: Revista Española de Derecho Internacional

The latest issue of the Revista Española de Derecho Internacional (Vol. 67, no. 2, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Estudios
    • Pablo A. Fernández-Sánchez, La controversia sobre la titularidad jurídico-internacional de los espacios marítimos adyacentes a Gibraltar
    • Marta Requejo Isidro, Le ejecución sin exeguátur: reflexiones sobre el Reglamento Bruselas I bis, Capítulo III
    • Ana Fernández Pérez, Funciones de las cláusulas de excepción en el proceso de localización de la norma en conflicto
  • Notas
    • Sixto Alfonso Sánchez Lorenzo, Derechos humanos y competencia exclusiva del Estado en materia de nacionalidad

New Issue: Journal du Droit International

The latest issue of the Journal du Droit International ("Clunet") (Vol. 142, no. 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Doctrine
    • Emmanuel Gaillard, Sociologie de l’arbitrage
    • Yann Kerbrat, Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, & Matthieu Wemäere, Conférence internationale de Paris sur le climat en décembre 2015 : comment construire un accord évolutif dans le temps ?
  • Variétés
    • Enguerrand Serrurier, Déclin, résistance et perspectives du droit français dans la compétition juridique mondiale

Liu & Shan: China and International Commercial Dispute Resolution

Qiao Liu (Xi’an Jiaotong Univ.) & Wenhua Shan (Xi’an Jiaotong Univ.) have published China and International Commercial Dispute Resolution (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:
China and International Commercial Dispute Resolution presents important contributions from eminent legal scholars from Europe, the United States, Australia, South America, and China in a variety of areas of international commercial law with relevance to China. The authors provide expert analyses from a number of perspectives – doctrinal, comparative, empirical, economic, and legal – on an array of issues, private and public, involved in or arising from international commercial dispute resolution in China.

Shumba: Harmonising Regional Trade Law in the Southern African Development Community

Tapiwa Shumba (Stellenbosch Univ. - Law) has published Harmonising Regional Trade Law in the Southern African Development Community (SADC): A Critical Analysis of the CISG, OHADA and CESL (Hart Publishing/Nomos 2015). Here's the abstract:
A detailed critical analysis of the CISG, OHADA and CESL as models for the harmonisation of sales laws in the SADC region. The study is cutting edge research on SADC and the application of its legal and institutional framework towards creating and implementing community laws. This study focuses on the need to harmonise the law of international sale within the SADC region in order to facilitate international trade with the aim of fostering regional integration, economic development and alleviating poverty. This study addresses the mechanisms by which such harmonisation could be achieved by analysing three models which have been selected for this purpose, namely the CISG, the OHADA and the proposed CESL. The main issues addressed include whether SADC Member States should adopt the CISG, join OHADA, emulate the CESL or should use any of the other instruments as a model for creating a harmonised sales law for SADC. In conclusion, it is observed that SADC has its own institutional and operational mechanisms that require a process and instrument tailor-made for the unique needs of the region. It is recommended that SADC should create its own common sales law based on the CISG but taking into account lessons learnt from both the OHADA system and the CESL. A number of legislative, institutional and operational transformative and reform mechanisms are recommended to enable the creation of such a community law and ensure its uniform application and interpretation.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oosterveld: The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy

Willem Theo Oosterveld has published The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice from the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). Here's the abstract:

In The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy, Willem Theo Oosterveld provides the first general study of international law as interpreted and applied by the generation of the Founding Fathers. A mostly neglected aspect in the historiography of the early republic, this study argues that international law was in fact an integral part of the Revolutionary creed.

Taking the reader from colonial debates about the law of nations to the discussions about slavery in the early 19th century, this study shows the zest of the Founders to conduct foreign policy on the basis of treatises such as Vattel’s The Law of Nations. But it also highlights the deep ambiguities and sometimes personal struggles that arose when applying international law.

Ducheine, Schmitt, & Osinga: Targeting: The Challenges of Modern Warfare

Paul A.L. Ducheine (Netherlands Defence Academy; Univ. of Amsterdam - Law), Michael N. Schmitt (U.S. Naval War College; Univ. of Exeter - Law), & Frans P.B. Osinga (Netherlands Defence Academy) have published Targeting: The Challenges of Modern Warfare (Asser Press 2015). Contents include:
  • Paul A.L. Ducheine, Michael N. Schmitt & Frans P.B. Osinga, Introduction
  • Christopher Coker, Targeting in Context
  • Frans P.B. Osinga & Mark P. Roorda, From Douhet to Drones, Air Warfare, and the Evolution of Targeting
  • Phillip R. Pratzner, The Current Targeting Process
  • Terry D. Gill, Some Considerations Concerning the Role of the Ius ad Bellum in Targeting
  • Michael N. Schmitt & Eric Widmar, The Law of Targeting
  • Martin L. Cook, Ethical Issues in Targeting
  • Hans Boddens Hosang, Rules of Engagement and Targeting
  • Jeffrey S. Thurnher, Means and Methods of the Future: Autonomous Systems
  • Paul A.L. Ducheine, Non-kinetic Capabilities: Complementing the Kinetic Prevalence to Targeting
  • Chris De Cock, Targeting in Coalition Operations
  • Bryan Price, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation Tactics Against Terrorist Groups

Cantú Rivera: The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Humberto Cantú Rivera (Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas - Centre de recherche sur les droits de l’homme et le droit humanitaire) has published The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (Intersentia 2015). Here's the abstract:

Special Procedures is the collective name given to the different mandates of Independent Experts, Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups in the field of human rights appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (and formerly by the now-defunct Commission on Human Rights) with the purpose of developing international human rights standards, receiving communications, visiting States, and generally advancing international human rights law and practice. They have been considered the “crown jewel” of the United Nations, for they symbolise a beacon of hope for victims of human rights abuses worldwide.

This edited volume seeks to contribute to the dissemination of the work undertaken by different mandate-holders for the protection of human rights. The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and six acting UN human rights experts from different mandates (some of whom have now moved to other positions within the UN human rights machinery) contribute brilliant and deeply interesting chapters to shed light on different aspects of their work. By sharing their own reflections, experiences and expectations, they provide an insider’s view of the work undertaken by their mandates to promote the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights in all corners of the globe. Additionally, this book includes contributions from leading human rights law practitioners at the local level, who share their thoughts on the interaction and influence of international human rights law in the domestic sphere.

The collected essays contributed to this book by Navi Pillay, Olivier De Schutter, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, Catarina de Albuquerque, John H. Knox, Michael K. Addo, Olivier de Frouville, Catalina Rivera Díaz and Minerva Martínez Garza, accompanied by a superb foreword written by Emmanuel Decaux, provide a thoughtful and inspiring glimpse into the inner workings of the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and the titanic task of protecting globally the fundamental human rights and freedoms of peoples.

Call for Papers: Le colloque annuel de la SFDI

The Société française pour le Droit international has issued a call for papers directed at young researchers for its 2016 annual conference, to be held at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, on May 19-21, 2016. the theme is: "L’entreprise multinationale et le droit international." Here's the call:



Contexte scientifique :

La question du statut juridique des entreprises agissant à l’échelle internationale est souvent éludée par le droit international. Les entreprises multinationales sont ainsi volontiers appréhendées comme des acteurs transnationaux, capables de s’autoréguler tout en bénéficiant de droits d’origine internationale lorsqu’elles réalisent des opérations d’investissement direct étranger. En revanche, la possibilité pour elles d’être assujetties au droit international est souvent traitée de manière éclatée (responsabilité sociétale des entreprises conçue en marge d’une responsabilité juridique) et peu formelle du point de vue des techniques juridiques utilisées (soft law, régulation, accountability). Ainsi, bien que les entreprises participent de plus en plus à l’élaboration et à l’application d’instruments internationaux destinés à encadrer leur comportement à l’échelle globale (notamment au regard des droits de l’homme ou de la protection de l’environnement) ou régir des domaines qui influent sur leurs activités (droits de propriété intellectuelle, facilitation des échanges …), elles ne sont guère envisagées, d’un point de vue externe comme étant liées par des obligations provenant du droit international. En cela, l’appréhension de l’entreprise révèle sans doute que la globalisation, bien qu’elle bouscule les processus normatifs traditionnels en déplaçant les lieux de production de la norme des autorités publiques vers les acteurs privés, n’est pas (encore ?) devenue un paradigme permettant de renouveler le cercle des sujets du droit international, créanciers de droits mais aussi débiteurs d’obligations internationales.

Nous proposons donc d’aborder les problèmes théoriques ainsi que les difficultés juridiques et pratiques qui gênent l’assujettissement des entreprises multinationales au droit international. Le face-à-face entre l’entreprise multinationale et le droit international impliquera de s’interroger sur la discipline même du droit international tant au regard de ses finalités que des contours épistémologiques qui permettent de la définir dans ses « branches » publique et privée. Mais, loin de vouloir dissocier droit international public et droit international privé, ce colloque se propose, au contraire, de comparer et d’articuler les méthodes avec lesquelles chacun appréhende (ou n’appréhende pas), construit (ou déconstruit) la réalité des entreprises multinationales. C’est au final la capacité du droit international à encadrer la liberté d’agir des entreprises multinationales dont il sera question (de leurs pratiques de law shopping, d’optimisation fiscale, contentieuse, etc.) et qui leur permet de jouer sur la scène mondialisée aux côtés des autorités publiques ou à rebours de celles-ci.

Présentation de l’appel à contributions :

Le colloque annuel de la SFDI se déroulera du 19 au 21 mai 2016 à l’Université Paris 8 à Saint-Denis. Outre des séances plénières, notamment lors de l’ouverture et de la clôture du colloque, des tables rondes et une conférence d’actualité, deux ateliers faisant intervenir de jeunes chercheurs seront également organisés.

D’une manière plus spécifique et originale, l’objectif de ces ateliers consiste à présenter des études de cas qui permettront d’illustrer de manière concrète les défis juridiques que pose l’encadrement des activités des entreprises multinationales. Il est ainsi attendu des jeunes chercheurs qu’ils focalisent leur analyse sur une affaire précise – ou plusieurs affaires relatives à une même problématique – impliquant des entreprises multinationales. L’analyse « microjuridique » à laquelle les jeunes chercheurs participeront à partir de l’étude d’affaires précises impliquant des entreprises multinationales – que ces affaires aient abouti ou non à une décision juridictionnelle interne ou internationale – permettra alors de compléter utilement l’analyse « macro-juridique » qui aura été menée précédemment au cours de la session par les enseignants-chercheurs et les praticiens participant au colloque. Les jeunes chercheurs devront ainsi relier l’analyse de l’affaire ou des affaires qu’ils ont sélectionné(es) aux problématiques qui font l’objet des rapports généraux.

Deux thématiques ont été choisies pour guider les études de cas.

Atelier n°1 : Etude de cas sur l’identification et le statut de l’entreprise multinationale en droit européen et en droit national comparé, regards croisés entre jeunes chercheurs

Cet atelier, présidé par Walid Ben Hamida, Maître de conférences à l’Université d’Evry, sera l’occasion d’observer, à travers une analyse menée sous l’angle du droit européen et du droit national comparé, les principales difficultés qui gênent l’identification juridique de l’entreprise multinationale comme une « entité organisée » pourvue d’un centre de décision stratégique. En principe, les diverses personnalités morales acquises par les sociétés contrôlées par l’entreprise multinationale forment un écran permettant de préserver l’entité où se loge le centre de décision stratégique. Toutefois, il existe des dérogations à ce principe admises par le droit européen et par plusieurs droits nationaux. Dans ce contexte, plusieurs questions se posent. Quelles sont les textes normatifs et les jurisprudences étrangères et arbitrales qui ont permis de percer le voile de la personnalité morale des sociétés filiales pour atteindre la société mère ? La responsabilité de l’entreprise multinationale peut-elle être engagée pour des faits commis à l’étranger, notamment par ses filiales ? Sur quel fondement ? La levée du voile de la personnalité morale des filiales dépend-elle des lois qui leur sont applicables ou de la loi applicable au délit ou d’autres facteurs ? Le recours aux tribunaux du siège de la société mère ne se heurte-t-il pas aux règles relatives à la compétence internationale des juridictions ou à la théorie du forum non conveniens en raison de l’extranéité des demandeurs ou du lieu du dommage ? Dans quelle mesure les juges nationaux ainsi que le juge européen admettent-ils un statut unitaire de l’entreprise multinationale ?

Atelier n°2: Etude de cas sur les obligations internationales des entreprises, regards croisés entre jeunes chercheurs

Cet atelier, présidé par Patrick Jacob, Maître de conférences à l’Université de Paris-Sud, permettra d’offrir des études de cas dans lesquels des activités d’entreprises multinationales ont été contestées au titre de violations de règles internationales ou de standards de comportement (tels que définis par exemple par les principes directeurs de l’OCDE ou les principes de Ruggie, comme le standard de due diligence). A rebours du contentieux du droit des investissements dans lequel les entreprises multinationales agissent en tant que demandeurs afin de protéger leurs opérations d’investissement, le « contentieux » initié par ou au nom de victimes ayant subi des dommages occasionnés par des activités d’entreprises multinationales (du fait de violations de droits sociaux, de dépossessions de terres ou, bien encore, de dommages environnementaux) apparaît profondément éclaté, disparate et souvent guère concluant. Parmi les plaintes qui ont été initiées au nom de victimes d’agissements commis par des entreprises multinationales, beaucoup ont été adressées à des juridictions internes et se sont soldées par des échecs (il en va ainsi des plaintes portées au for américain au titre de l’Alien Tort Claims Act, au for français comme la plainte finalement classée sans suite contre Auchan pour la catastrophe du Rana Plaza). Les organisations non gouvernementales agissant au nom des victimes peuvent alors préférer porter les « cas » devant des organes non juridictionnels, comme les Points de Contact Nationaux – les PCN – chargés d’assurer le suivi des Principes directeurs à l’intention des entreprises multinationales de l’OCDE. Les études des cas portés devant les PCN peuvent s’avérer utiles pour déterminer les critères juridiques que ces organes utilisent pour établir l’imputation d’activités poursuivies par les filiales, succursales ou soustraitants liés à des entreprises multinationales. Au final, l’atelier permettra de prolonger les analyses qui auront été menées précédemment par les intervenants quant à l’influence réelle du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit international de l’environnement sur les entreprises multinationales. Les études de cas pourront par ailleurs porter sur des procédures en cours.

Modalités de participation :

Tous les jeunes chercheurs (doctorants, docteurs et maître de conférences récemment qualifiés) spécialisés en droit international privé ou en droit international public sont invités à contribuer aux ateliers. La participation à l’un d’entre eux est possible au terme d’un processus de sélection comportant la soumission d’une proposition.

Les propositions doivent comprendre :

  • le nom de l’auteur
  • l’institution de provenance
  • l’atelier souhaité
  • une page de description du travail de recherche proposé (une page imprimée maximum)
  • le cadre dans lequel la recherche est menée (thèse, article, etc.)

et doivent être accompagnées de :

  • un CV et ;
  • une liste de publications (éventuellement)

Les demandes et contributions devront être envoyées à :

La date limite pour la soumission des propositions est le 29 février 2016.

Le résultat de la sélection sera communiqué aux candidats pour la Fin mars

Une fois sélectionné, le participant devra fournir une version provisoire de la présentation, sous forme d’un texte d’environ 10 pages, pour la fin avril, de façon à ce que le président et l’autre participant de l’atelier aient le temps d’en prendre connaissance.

Tous les participants sélectionnés pour les ateliers bénéficieront :

  • d’une dispense des frais d’inscription au colloque
  • d’une invitation pour tous les repas et réceptions qui auront lieu dans le cadre du colloque
  • d’une publication de leur contribution dans les Actes du colloque

Conference: 5th Biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law

On November 26-27, 2015, the Asian Society of International Law will hold its fifth biennial conference, in Bangkok. The theme is: "International Law and the Changing Economic & Political Landscape in Asia." The program is here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Issue: Review of International Political Economy

The latest issue of the Review of International Political Economy (Vol. 22, no. 5, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Mark P. Dallas, ‘Governed’ trade: global value chains, firms, and the heterogeneity of trade in an era of fragmented production
  • Okechukwu C. Iheduru, Organized business and regional integration in Africa
  • Andreas Goldthau & Nick Sitter, Soft power with a hard edge: EU policy tools and energy security
  • Amin Samman, Crisis theory and the historical imagination
  • Alexander Reisenbichler, The domestic sources and power dynamics of regulatory networks: evidence from the financial stability forum
  • Louise Curran, The impact of trade policy on global production networks: the solar panel case
  • Daniela Campello & Leany Lemos, The non-ratification of bilateral investment treaties in Brazil: a story of conflict in a land of cooperation

Romanin Jacur, Bonfanti, & Seatzu: Natural Resources Grabbing: An International Law Perspective

Francesca Romanin Jacur (Università degli Studi di Milano), Angelica Bonfanti (Università degli Studi di Milano), & Francesco Seatzu (Università degli studi di Cagliari) have published Natural Resources Grabbing: An International Law Perspective (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). Contents include:
  • Angelica Bonfanti, Francesca Romanin Jacur, & Francesco Seatzu, Introduction
  • Federica Violi, The Practice of Land Grabbing and Its Compatibility with the Exercise of Territorial Sovereignty
  • Nadia Bernaz & Jérémie Gilbert, Resources Grabbing and Human Rights: Building a Triangular Relationship Between States, Indigenous Peoples and Corporations
  • Jochen Von Bernstorff, Who is Entitled to Cultivate the Land? Sovereignty, Land Resources and Foreign Investments in Agriculture in International Law
  • Elisa Ruozzi, Land Grabbing and International Human Rights: The Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • M. Bordignon, R. Greco, & G. Lepore, Water Grabbing and Water Rights: Indigenous ‘Sovereignty’ v. State Sovereignty?
  • Marco Borraccetti, The Right to Water and Access to Water Resources in the European Development Policy
  • Francesca Romanin Jacur, Tackling the Grabbing of Genetic Resources and of Associated Traditional Knowledge Trough the Nagoya Protocol
  • Annalisa Savaresi, Natural Resources Grabbing: The Case of Tropical Forests and REDD+
  • Komlan Sangbana, International Land Investments or the Environment Put Up for Auction: the Case of the Niger Basin
  • Federico Esu & Solenne Avet, The European Integration and the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive: A Suitable Framework for the Implementation of the Sustainability Criteria for Biofuels Production in Third-States?
  • Anil Ylmaz & Tara Van Ho, Integrating Human Rights into the Extractive Industries: How Investment Contracts Can Achieve Protection
  • Tomoko Ishikawa, The Role of International Environmental Principles in Investment Treaty Arbitration: Precautionary and Polluter Pays Principles and Partial Compensation
  • Inesa Stolper, Exploration and Extraction of Natural Resources: MIGA’s Role in the Promotion of Foreign Investments in Developing Countries
  • Francesco Seatzu, On the World Bank’s Efforts in Defence of the Human Right to Land
  • Angelica Bonfanti, The WTO Members’ Right to Protect Animals in International Trade: A TBT Perspective
  • Julinda Beqiraj, Water Resources’ Exploitation and Trade Flows: The Impact of International Trade Law
  • Ilaria Espa, Energy Export Restrictions in the WTO Between Resources Nationalism and Sustainable Development
  • Marco Pertile, On the Financing of Civil Wars through Natural Resources: Is there a Duty of Vigilance for Third States on the Activities of Trans-national Corporations?
  • Garima Tiwari, Breaking the ‘Resource Curse’: Prosecuting Pillage of Natural Resources
  • Angelica Bonfanti, Francesca Romanin Jacur, & Francesco Seatzu, Conclusion

Fortas: La surveillance de l’exécution des arrêts et décisions des Cours européenne et interaméricaine des droits de l’homme

Anne-Catherine Fortas has published La surveillance de l’exécution des arrêts et décisions des Cours européenne et interaméricaine des droits de l’homme : Contribution à l’etude du droit du contentieux international (Pedone 2015). Here's the abstract:

Cet ouvrage, qui propose une étude approfondie des procédures de surveillance de l’exécution des arrêts et décisions des Cours européenne et interaméricaine des droits de l’homme, porte un regard renouvelé sur le procès international et la morphologie de l’instance.

Les deux procédures étudiées prouvent que l’instance ne se termine pas au jour du prononcé de l’arrêt définitif. Celle-ci continue et révèle l’existence de statuts de tiers très singuliers ainsi que de nouveaux types de recours mixtes dans le contentieux international, qui prennent leur source dans la demande en interprétation et le recours en révision. Au-delà des contentieux juridictionnel et quasi juridictionnel de l’exécution qu’elles instaurent et qui mettent à jour l’existence d’imperi judiciaire et quasi judiciaire, inédits en droit international, ces procédures de surveillance renouvellent par ailleurs les théories du contrôle et du suivi.

L’analyse proposée porte ainsi sur des procédures de voies d’exécution, dans un domaine réputé souple et politique. En effet, à l’issue d’un contrôle des comportements étatiques, les organes de surveillance exercent une contrainte sur les États afin de les forcer à exécuter les arrêts et écisions. Cette contrainte est formelle et consiste en un suivi continu d’actes, duquel l’État ne peut se libérer que s’il exécute la chose jugée ou décidée, dans le sens où l’entendent les organes de surveillance, c’est-à-dire selon la chose à exécuter (res exsequenda). Cette chose, qui résulte du suivi, se substitue à la chose jugée en tant que nouveau référent de contrôle des comportements étatiques.

La logique des suivis prouve donc que le principe selon lequel les décisions juridictionnelles internationales sont obligatoires et non exécutoires n’est pas absolu.

Call for Papers: ILA British Branch 2016 Spring Conference

The International Law Association British Branch has issued a call for papers for its spring conference, to take place at Lancaster University, on April 8-9, 2016. The theme is: "Non-State Actors and Changing Relations in International Law." Here's the call:

Non-State Actors and Changing Relations in International Law

This conference will examine the changing role of non-state actors in international law and their impact on law-making, obligations, responsibility and dispute settlement. These actors lie at the heart of international law, expressing many of its aspirations: in business and investment, human rights, the environment and humanising conflict: but also at its margins, underlining its borders and limitations. Non-state actors hold many of the key rights in international law, especially human and peoples’ rights, provide frameworks for its creation and enforcement, and drive its agendas. But, they are also defined by exclusion: by not being the principal subject of international law, the sovereign state. As such non-state actors are by nature a wide and diverse group, defined in essence not by their varied contributions but by their lack of sovereignty.

This conference will take a broad view of non-state actors, which could include: individuals; peoples, minorities, and indigenous groups; NGOs; businesses; organised armed groups; and international organisations, amongst others. Each may have their own rights and/or duties and particular relationship with international law. But, they also raise common questions: how do they contribute to international law; to what extent are they bound by its obligations; how do they enjoy rights and ensure protection of those rights; whether they hold responsibilities; and how they access enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms?

In some cases, this relationship with international law is direct: e.g. treaties concluded by international organisations or individual/NGOs communications to human rights bodies: in other cases it is indirect, with the actors having to seek to influence states or other bodies in order to make a legal impact. Moreover, the relationship between states and non-state actors may be reciprocal with states using these actors to avoid their own obligations, e.g. in the case of cyber-attacks or by providing support for insurgent groups.

We welcome papers on this subject, which might include, but are by no means limited to:

(1) the nature and position of non-state actors within the international legal system;

(2) their role with respect to the sources of international law, which may include their role in the formation of custom and in the conclusion of treaties;

(3) the source and scope of obligations for particular non-state actors, such as businesses or corporations (e.g. sanctions, human rights, modern slavery), sporting bodies and organised armed groups;

(4) the potential responsibility of these actors and its relationship to state responsibility;

(5) the position of these actors in dispute resolution and enforcement mechanisms, whether judicial institutions, organs of international organisations or treaty regimes.

(6) the special roles of non-state actors in particular areas of international law, such as international environmental law, international economic law (including investment law), the international law of armed conflict, international human rights law and international criminal law, amongst others.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to by 31 January 2016.

New Issue: Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law

The latest issue of the Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law (Vol. 3, no. 2, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Yann-huei Song, Legal Status of Taiping Island under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Kanami Ishibashi, Implementation of International Law in Japanese Courts
  • Il Lee, Korea’s Landmark Case for Improving the Legal Process for Asylum Seekers

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Issue: International Human Rights Law Review

The latest issue of the International Human Rights Law Review (Vol. 4, no. 2, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Manisuli Ssenyonjo, The Development of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Alexandre Andrade Sampaio & Luís Renato Vedovato, With the Stroke of a Pen: Legal Standards for Adding Names to Government Kill Lists
  • Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi, The Right to Institute a Private Prosecution
  • Kathryn McNeilly, Reclaiming the Radical in Universal Human Rights
  • Fisnik Korenica & Dren Doli, “Not Taking Rights Seriously”. Opting for the Primacy of EU Law over Broader Human Rights Protection
  • Salvatore Fabio Nicolosi, Re-Conceptualizing the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum in International Law

New Issue: Nordic Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Nordic Journal of International Law (Vol. 84, no. 4, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Linnea Kortfält, Sexual Violence and the Relevance of the Doctrine of Superior Responsibility in the Light of the Katanga Judgment at the International Criminal Court
  • Øystein Jensen, Maritime Boundary Delimitation Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: The International Judiciary and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

New Issue: Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law

The latest issue of the Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law (Vol. 24, no. 3, November 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Comparative Environmental Law
    • Elisa Morgera, Global Environmental Law and Comparative Legal Methods
    • Apolline Roger, In the Public Interest? A Comparative Analysis of Norway and EU GMO Regulations (pages 264–277)
    • Lorenzo Cotula, Expropriation Clauses and Environmental Regulation: Diffusion of Law in the Era of Investment Treaties
    • Emanuela Orlando, From Domestic to Global? Recent Trends in Environmental Liability from a Multi-level and Comparative Law Perspective
    • Saskia Vermeylen, Comparative Environmental Law and Orientalism: Reading beyond the ‘Text’ of Traditional Knowledge Protection
    • Francesco Sindico & Stephanie Hawkins, The Guarani Aquifer Agreement and Transboundary Aquifer Law in the SADC: Comparing Apples and Oranges?
    • Adriana Bessa, Traditional Local Communities: What Lessons Can Be Learnt at the International Level from the Experiences of Brazil and Scotland?
    • Michael Mehling, The Comparative Law of Climate Change: A Research Agenda
    • Louisa Parks & Elisa Morgera, The Need for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Norm Diffusion: The Case of Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing

Call for Papers: The Resilience of Law

The International Environmental Law and International Legal Theory Interest Groups of the European Society of International Law have issued a call for papers for a panel proposal for ESIL's 12th Annual Conference, in Riga. Here's the call:


The resilience of law

Crisis overwhelms law with its scale and scope, its complexity, and the irreducible uncertainty concerning its origins and trajectory. In a crisis, the categories through which law operates fail to contain a definition of a problem and its solution. The speed with which events unfold – or, in many cases, the suddenness with which the amplitude and seriousness of the crisis become discernible – outpace the deliberate speed of law. Crisis creates irreducible uncertainty: the resources of the law, rooted in experience garnered in the past, are difficult to muster for the purposes of projecting onto the future. Attempts to react rapidly and decisively through legal institutions can inflict lasting damage on those institutions as they are stretched beyond their limits or appropriated to ends to which they are ill suited. Due to the unpredictability that characterises crisis, focusing on features that could better equip law to face crisis – to promote the resilience of the legal system – may be a more fruitful approach than seeking to determine in advance how law should respond to crisis in substantive terms.

Since crisis emerges in complex systems, analysing the response of complex systems to stress and seeking to identify features of such systems able to absorb stress while maintaining a high degree of function is an appealing approach. In ecology, the concept ‘resilience’ has attracted attention: a resilient ecosystem possesses characteristics such as diversity, self-organisation, and the capacity to adapt. Resilience may prove crucial in the Anthropocene, presaging a state of permanent crisis in which delayed response leads to an accelerated rate of change as a result of negative feedback loops. This proposed panel aims to consider the relevance of the concept ‘resilience’ in theorising about international law, and to investigate properties and features of international law that either promote or compromise its resilience.

There are many features of international law that tend to diminish resilience. The states in the system are very diverse, but when it comes to the development of international law, the nature and form of states as a type of legal person entails them sharing very similar interests, and face often perverse incentives to respect one another’s sovereignty and to resist the crafting of international law that is too constraining. The level at which international law operates is often remote from the locales in which problems are experienced and solutions sought. International legal rules are slow to emerge, and lack flexibility, unless they are developed deep within regimes through opaque forms of law-making. The processes through which alleged violations of international law are addressed are difficult to activate, slow, and cumbersome, creating impediments to flows of information through the system, and reducing opportunities for learning and adaptation. These, in turn, compromise international law’s ability to address problems requiring global concerted action, and undermine its legitimacy as a political tool.

One attractive, but also potentially dangerous, means to increase international law’s resilience is through transnational networks of actors, including international organisations and private actors claiming or exercising authority in their own name or in that of the public. Such transnational networks have the potential to contribute to international law’s resilience in a variety of ways. They introduce both diversity and flexibility to the system; they can enhance flows of information; they are often nimbler and can act more rapidly than states; they can operate on a variety of levels within the system and across jurisdictional boundaries. However, transnational law has implications that require careful consideration. Private authorities have a very different relationship with their stakeholders than states with their citizens, with implications for the democratic grounding of international law. The heavy reliance of private authorities on incentive structures for the effectiveness of their governance activities implies an expansion of cognitive mechanisms in international law at the expense of normative ones. International organisations, by contrast, exist in an uneasy tension between upholding the cooperative objectives for which they have been established, and the legitimacy they must continue to curry with the states to which they are ultimately beholden.

This panel, therefore, seeks to encourage basic theorising about the concept of resilience in international law. What features does a resilient system possess and to what extent are these features present in international and transnational law? How can the flexibility and adaptability that resilience apparently requires be reconciled with the stability and predictability that law is meant to bestow? How does resilience map onto rule of law? What is the impact on international law’s resilience of the growth of specialised, managerial regimes? Under the broad concept, it is hoped to bring together specialised experts from various sub-disciplines into dialogue with broader generalist theorising about the nature of international law and the place of international lawyers within it.


Some of the key themes that stand to be developed include the structure and dynamic of transnational networks: the interaction between private and public bodies; implications for democracy (private authority, transnational authority, acceleration of the time of law); challenges to the rule of law; interactions between legal networks and other social networks (scientific, economic); potential adverse effects of economic incentives on the dynamics of legal networks of private authority; implications of a move from spatially differentiated and hierarchically structured systems of law to horizontal, transnational networks; and the shift from citizen to stakeholder, suggesting a decline in law’s normative pull and increased cognitivisation of law.


A selection committee will be composed of members of the coordinating committees of the international environmental law and international legal theory interest groups.

Please submit an abstract in Word or PDF of no more than 800 words to The following information must be provided with each abstract:

  • The author’s name and affiliation
  • The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications
  • The author’s contact details, including email address and phone number
  • Whether the author is an ESIL member
  • Whether the abstract should be considered for the ESIL Young Scholar Prize

The following selection criteria are drawn from the criteria for acceptance to the ESIL annual conference:

  • Originality and innovativeness of the work
  • Links to the conference theme
  • Geographical and gender balance
  • Only one abstract per author will be considered

Abstracts will be selected for inclusion in the IEL-ILT panel proposal on the additional basis of their alignment with the panel description and objectives.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 January 2016. Applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision no later than 25 January 2015. The selection committee will submit a panel proposal to the ESIL conference organisers by 31 January 2016 and will have a response by 31 March 2016.

The Interest Groups are unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference. Please see the call for papers and the ESIL web site for information on finances and for other relevant information about the conference.

Call for Papers: ESIL Research Forum Workshop on Making International Law

The European Society of International Law Interest Groups on Feminism and International Law and International Legal Theory have issued a call for papers for a joint workshop on April 20, 2016, in advance of the 2016 ESIL Research Forum at Koç University Law School. The theme is: "The Making of International Law from a Theoretical Perspective." Here's the call:

European Society of International Law Research Forum Workshop

Koç University and the Centre for Global Public Law, Istanbul

20 April 2016

Call for Papers

ESIL interest groups will meet on the afternoon of the 20th April 2016, in advance of the 2016 ESIL Research Forum at Koç University Law School.

The Interest Groups on Feminism and International Law and International Legal Theory will host a joint workshop aimed at engaging with the theme of making of international law from a theoretical perspective. We are inviting submissions that might engage with (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • How does the use of a particular theoretical perspective influence the process and the outcomes of the making of international law?

  • What distinct insights can be gained from analyzing the making of international law through various theoretical perspectives?

  • Does theory matter for the making of international law and if so how?

The organisers of the workshop are particularly interested in papers that address the interplay between different theoretical perspectives, especially the various feminist approaches to international law and other theories. However, papers addressing the above questions from any theoretical perspective are welcome. The making of international law is interpreted broadly.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to organisers of the workshop Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui and Dr Loveday Hodson using the following e-mail address: Please include your name, e-mail address and a one-page curriculum vitae.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 January 2016. Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail by 30 January 2016.

Although there is no charge for attending the workshop, successful applicants will be expected to bear the costs of their own travel and accommodation.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bassan: Research Handbook on Sovereign Wealth Funds and International Investment Law

Fabio Bassan (Università degli Studi Roma Tre) has published Research Handbook on Sovereign Wealth Funds and International Investment Law (Edward Elgar Publishing 2015). Contents include:
  • Fabio Bassan, Introduction
  • Massimiliano Castelli & Fabio Scacciavillani, SWFs and State investments: A preliminary general overview
  • Fabio Bassan, Sovereign wealth funds: A definition and classification
  • Larry Catá Backer, SWFs in five continents and three narratives: Similarities and differences
  • Locknie Hsu, Santiago GAPPs and codes of conduct: Limits and chances of negotiated rules
  • Kathryn Gordon & Joachim Pohl, Policy frameworks for SWF investments: OECD and host-country perspectives
  • Paul Rose, The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007: An assessment of its impact on sovereign wealth funds and state-owned enterprises
  • Anna De Luca, The EU and Member States: FDI, portfolio investments, golden powers and SWFs
  • Fabio Bassan, SWFs and taxation: National, bilateral and multilateral approach
  • Giovanna Adinolfi, SWFs and State immunity: Overcoming the contradiction
  • Elizabeth Whitsitt & Todd Weiler, Sovereign wealth funds and bilateral investment treaties’ new models: Issues, new trends and State practice
  • Salar Ghahramani, SWFs and human rights protection
  • Francesco Munari, SWFs and environmental protection
  • Michele Vellano & Annamaria Viterbo, SWFs and development
  • Benjamin J. Richardson & Angela Lee, Social investing without legal imprimatur: The latent possibilities for SWFs

Gillner & Stümke: Kollateralopfer: Die Tötung von Unschuldigen als rechtliches und moralisches Problem

Matthias Gillner & Volker Stümke have published Kollateralopfer: Die Tötung von Unschuldigen als rechtliches und moralisches Problem (Nomos 2015). Contents include:
  • Sebastian Grumer, Kollateralopfer und die moralische Verantwortung von Soldaten. Einführende Überlegungen
  • Mike Zimmermann, Hinterhalt am Baghlan River in Afghanistan. Eine Tagebuchaufzeichnung
  • Jörn Thießen, Von der Selbstbeaufsichtigung unserer Macht. Der Bombenabwurf in Kunduz aus politischer Sicht
  • Björn Werres, Der Targeting-Prozess in der NATO. Die Methode CollateralDamage-Estimation (CDE)
  • Adrian Klocke, Untersuchungen in Libyen zu zivilen Opfern bei den NATOLuftangriffen von 2011
  • Anna Gebhardt, Menschenrechtsschutz oder Humanitäres Völkerrecht
  • Gerd Hankel, Das Humanitäre Völkerrecht im nicht-internationalen bewaffneten Konflikt. Probleme und Herausforderungen
  • Michael Haspel, Die ethische Beurteilung der Tötung von Zivilpersonen in militärischen Konflikten in der Lehre vom gerecht(fertigt)en Krieg
  • Bernhard Koch, Zur ethischen Bedeutung von Zurechenbarkeit
  • Maria Scharlau, Welche Entschädigung können Angehörige von zivilen Opfern bewaffneter Konflikte erwarten?
  • Hartwig von Schubert, Wie werden Soldaten im Umgang mit Schuld und Ohnmacht begleitet?
  • Peter Zimmermann, Einsatz, Werte und psychische Gesundheit bei Bundeswehrsoldaten
  • Volker Stümke, Der Umgang mit Macht und Machtlosigkeit
  • Arjan Kozica, Kritische Würdigung der Diskussionsbeiträge
  • Matthias Gillner, Sieben Thesen für eine öffentliche Debatte

New Issue: Human Rights Review

The latest issue of the Human Rights Review (Vol. 16, no. 4, December 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Geoff Dancy & Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, Timing, Sequencing, and Transitional Justice Impact: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Latin America
  • Temitope Tunbi Onifade, Peoples-Based Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources: Toward Functional Distributive Justice?
  • Lantz Fleming Miller, Granting Automata Human Rights: Challenge to a Basis of Full-Rights Privilege

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 59, no. 8, December 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Drug Violence in Mexico
    • David Shirk & Joel Wallman, Understanding Mexico’s Drug Violence
    • Angelica Duran-Martinez, To Kill and Tell? State Power, Criminal Competition, and Drug Violence
    • Javier Osorio, The Contagion of Drug Violence: Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the Mexican War on Drugs
    • Viridiana Rios, How Government Coordination Controlled Organized Crime: The Case of Mexico’s Cocaine Markets
    • Gabriela Calderón, Gustavo Robles, Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, & Beatriz Magaloni, The Beheading of Criminal Organizations and the Dynamics of Violence in Mexico
    • Benjamin Lessing, Logics of Violence in Criminal War
    • Stathis N. Kalyvas, How Civil Wars Help Explain Organized Crime—and How They Do Not

d’Aspremont: Bindingness

Jean d'Aspremont (Univ. of Manchester - Law; Univ. of Amsterdam - Law) has posted Bindingness (in Fundamental Concepts for International Law, Jean d’Aspremont & Sahib Singh eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
In the last decades of international legal thought, the defining role of bindingness has been growingly approached with skepticism. It is less and less construed as the exclusive genetic code that provides the instructions for the identification and autonomous development of international legal discourses as international lawyers have sought to emancipate themselves from their own genetic heritage. Since the second half of the 20th century, many international lawyers have come to feel that international legal discourses ought no longer to be structured and developed around the dichotomy between the ‘legally binding’ and the ‘legally non-binding’. Their emancipatory moves have arguably brought about refreshing dynamism and excitement in international legal thought. And yet, as this article argues, bindingness has proved resilient. After recalling the modern understandings and ontological functions of bindingness in international legal discourses (1), a few observations are formulated on the emancipatory experiments found in recent international legal thought (2). This paper ends with some remarks on the resilience of the idea of bindingness as a result of the anxiety and suspicions that have accompanied the attempts to alter the genetic code of the discipline (3).

Lecture: Weiler on "Peace in the Middle East: Has International Law Failed?"

On December 2, 2015, Joseph Weiler (European Univ. Institute; New York Univ. - Law) will give the inaugural T.M.C. Asser Lecture on "Peace in the Middle East: Has International Law Failed?"

Sunday, November 15, 2015

García García-Revillo: The Contentious and Advisory Jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

Miguel García García-Revillo (Univ. of Córdoba - Law) has published The Contentious and Advisory Jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). Here's the abstract:
In The Contentious and Advisory Jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Miguel García García-Revillo offers an in-depth examination of all relevant facets of the jurisdiction of this important international judicial institution. Created by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ITLOS plays an essential role not only in respect to the interpretation of this major international treaty but also to the contemporary law of the sea in general. The book covers both the contentious (ratione materiae, ratione personae, mainline, incidental, compulsory, not compulsory) and the advisory jurisdiction of ITLOS, which are analysed not only from a theoretical perspective but also in light of the own Tribunal's jurisprudence.