Friday, February 5, 2016

New Issue: Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht

The latest issue of the Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Vol. 75, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Abhandlungen
    • Szilvia Altwicker-Hámori, Tilmann Altwicker, & Anne Peters, Measuring Violations of Human Rights
    • Matthias Lippold, Between Humanization and Humanitarization? Detention in Armed Conflicts and the European Convention on Human Rights
    • Christoph Krönke, Das Ordnungspotenzial der Chorzów-Grundsätze für das Investitionsschutzrecht
    • Paul de Hert & Fisnik Korenica, The New Kosovo Constitution and Its Relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights: Constitutionalization “Without” Ratification in Post-Conflict Societies
    • Gerhard van der Schyff, EU Member State Constitutional Identity: A Comparison of Germany and the Netherlands as Polar Opposites
  • Stellungnahmen und Berichte
    • Karin Oellers-Frahm, A Never-Ending Story: The International Court of Justice – The Italian Constitutional Court – Italian Tribunals and the Question of Immunity
    • Giovanni Boggero, The Legal Implications of Sentenza No. 238/2014 by Italy’s Constitutional Court for Italian Municipal Judges: Is Overcoming the “Triepelian Approach” Possible?

Drumbl: Extracurricular International Criminal Law

Mark A. Drumbl (Washington and Lee Univ. - Law) has posted Extracurricular International Criminal Law. Here's the abstract:

Domestic criminal law informs the register of international criminal law, whether formally through the development of general principles of law or informally through experience and analogy. Reciprocally, international criminal law also informs the register of domestic criminal law, whether formally through incorporation of treaty and custom or, once again, informally through experience and analogy. Circulation thereby arises within the curricular sphere of penal responsibility.

Might international criminal law nonetheless, and perhaps unexpectedly, stray elsewhere in domestic law? When it comes to municipal legal practice, might international criminal law cast a somewhat longer shadow, travel a bit farther, or leave a somewhat haler legacy?

This paper considers such extracurricular effects, and related trans-judicial dialogue, by unpacking the jurisprudential footprints of international criminal courts and tribunals in domestic civil litigation in the United States conducted under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The ATS allows victims of human rights abuses to file tort-based lawsuits for violations of the laws of nations (a phrase taken to mean customary international law). This project organizes itself around a survey of US federal court citations to the case-law and materials of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). This survey quickly demonstrates that US judges who cite to ICTR work product to determine the rule of application in an ATS dispute also frequently cite to the case-law and materials of other institutions, notably the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (IMT), and the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (AMT). Hence, this Article references these cases and materials as well. While diverse, citations to international cases and materials in ATS adjudication tend to cluster around three substantive areas: (1) aiding and abetting as a mode of liability; (2) the definition and substantive legal elements of genocide and crimes against humanity; and (3) the availability of corporate liability.

In light of the sharply limited capacity of international criminal courts and tribunals, domestic tort claims as avenues for redress of systematic human rights abuses will likely grow in number. The experiences of US courts of general jurisdiction as ‘receivers’ of international criminal law reveal broader patterns of transnational legal migration and a largely unanticipated legacy of international criminal courts and tribunals. Distortions may nonetheless arise when international norms migrate into legal practices at the national level, in particular, when they do so in cognate legal regimes. These migrations constitute national practices indicative of “comparative international law,” namely, that international legal norms may take shape differently among, and within, various national jurisdictions. While international criminal lawyers may welcome the broad diffusion of international norms, including extracurricularly from the criminal to civil context in a rich array of venues, concerns emerge should the content of the norms fragment and, thereby, weaken international law’s purported universality. The US experience is thereby instructive in terms of striking the appropriate relationship between national courts and international law. Should national courts serve as dispassionate law enforcers, as translators of law, or engaged law creators? Should international judges be mindful of the at times unforeseen afterlife of the jurisprudence they create? Obversely, the US experience also raises questions as to whether the specialized, and at times inconsistent, work-product of the international criminal courts and tribunals is even suitable for broader dissemination and incorporation at the national level.

Mavroidis: Dispute Settlement in the WTO. Mind Over Matter

Petros C. Mavroidis (Columbia Univ. - Law) has posted Dispute Settlement in the WTO. Mind Over Matter. Here's the abstract:
The basic point I advocate in this paper is that the WTO Dispute Settlement System aims to curb unilateralism. No sanctions can be imposed, unless if the arbitration process is through, the purpose of which is to ensure that reciprocal commitments entered should not be unilaterally undone through the commission of illegalities. There are good reasons though, to doubt whether practice guarantees full reciprocity. The insistence on calculating remedies prospectively, and not as of the date when an illegality has been committed, and the ensuing losses for everybody that could or could not be symmetric, lend support to the claim that the WTO regime serves ‘diffuse’ as opposed to ‘specific’ reciprocity. Still, WTO Members continue to routinely submit their disputes to the WTO adjudicating fora, showing through their behaviour that they would rather live in a world where punishment is curbed, than in world where punishment acts as deterrent since full reciprocity would be always guaranteed.

New Issue: Revue Québécoise de Droit International

The latest issue of the Revue Québécoise de Droit International (Hors-série décembre 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • La justice pénale internationale comme projet politique et sélectif
    • Julien Pieret & Marie-Laurence Hébert-Dolbec, La justice pénale internationale comme projet politique et sélectif : une exploration de plusieurs zones d’ombre de la pénalité internationale
    • Damien Scalia, Expérience de justice internationale pénale : perception de domination par d’anciens dominants
    • Marie-Laurence Hébert-Dolbec, Towards Bureaucratization : An Analysis of Common Legal Representation Practices before the International Criminal Court
    • Mélanie Vianney-Liaud, La reconnaissance timide de la responsabilité pénale des Khmers rouges
    • Patricia Naftalihors, The Politics of Truth: On Legal Fetichism and the Rhetoric of Complementarity
    • Éloïse Benoit, Criminalité et justice sans souveraineté dans les camps de réfugiés du HCR: des systèmes de justice parallèle à l’impunité pour le personnel humanitaire

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Conference: The Evolutionary Interpretation of Treaties

Tomorrow, February 5, 2016, the European Society of International Law, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Jessup Russia (Threefold Legal Advisors LLC) will hold a conference on "The Evolutionary Interpretation of Treaties: The UN Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights Facing Modern Challenges," in Moscow. The program is here. Live video will be available here.

New Issue: Archiv des Völkerrechts

The latest issue of Archiv des Völkerrechts (Vol. 53, no. 3, September 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Abhandlungen
    • Ulrike Brandl, Auslegung von Resolutionen des Sicherheitsrats: Einheitliche völkerrechtliche Regelungen oder ,,pick and choose“ aus möglichen Auslegungsregeln?
    • Tim René Salomon, Die Anwendung von Menschenrechten im bewaffneten Konflikt: Normative Grundlagen, neue Entwicklungen und Anwendungsmodalitäten
  • Beiträge und Berichte
    • Sarah Leyli Rödiger & Dana-Sophia Valentiner, ,,living together“ Zum Pluralismuskonzept des EGMR unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Burka-Entscheidung
    • Brygida Kuźniak & Piotr Turek, Le droit des organisations internationales: modèle et moteur du droit international

Verdier & Versteeg: Modes of Domestic Incorporation of International Law

Pierre-Hugues Verdier (Univ. of Virginia - Law) & Mila Versteeg (Univ. of Virginia - Law) have posted Modes of Domestic Incorporation of International Law (in Handbook on the Politics of International Law, Wayne Sandholtz & Christopher A. Whytock eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
While political science scholarship recognizes that the effectiveness of international law often rests on its domestic implementation, relatively little attention has been given to the national legal rules that govern this process. These rules, which govern matters such as treaty-making, how treaties and custom are received and interpreted, and their status vis-à-vis other sources of domestic law, differ substantially across countries and over time. In this paper, we examine these rules and their role in shaping the state’s engagement with international law by allocating authority among political actors and institutions. We incorporate empirical insights from an original dataset, which captures in detail the domestic rules that govern the creation, implementation and interpretation of international law for 101 countries for the period 1815-2013. We contrast our data with existing proxies used in the literature, such as legal traditions, explicit constitutional provisions, and the monist-dualist classification, and show that our dataset offers more fine-grained and precise information on international law’s place in national legal orders.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sarvarian, Fontanelli, Baker, & Tzevelekos: Procedural Fairness in International Courts

Arman Sarvarian, Filippo Fontanelli, Rudy Baker, & Vassilis Tzevelekos have published Procedural Fairness in International Courts (British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2015). Here's the abstract:

Procedural fairness is a topic of contemporary importance that touches upon the jurisdictional powers, effectiveness and normative and institutional framework of international courts and tribunals. Increasingly prominent in practice, it features in a wide spectrum of the arbitral and judicial settlement processes, from the handling of expert evidence before the International Court of Justice and the burden and standard of proof in investor-State arbitration to the role of victims and right to a prompt and speedy trial at the International Criminal Court. The fairness of these proceedings, therefore, is a topic of fundamental importance not only to practitioners of international law (judges, counsels, registrars, NGO lawyers, legal advisers and other civil servants) but also to scholars of international law due to its implications for the key topic of international dispute settlement.

This book frames the study of procedural fairness as the identification of fundamental principles inherent to international judicial and arbitral processes. It draws together a number of pertinent issues on specific aspects of fairness (e.g. the equality of arms principle) before international courts and tribunals within a comprehensive narrative. The book brings academics and practitioners together to initiate ground-breaking research into this novel topic. It employs a comparative approach whereby contributors analyse the procedures and practices of various international courts and tribunals. It identifies patterns of commonality and divergence in the core standards of procedural fairness of international courts and develops a holistic understanding of the nature of procedural fairness and the challenges to its realisation in the international judicial system. The book concludes that, while there is no universal model of procedural fairness, nascent principles of fairness are emerging in the jurisprudence of international courts in order to resolve procedural and practical issues.

Contributors: Dr Paolo Busco, Judge Sir Kenneth Keith, Dr John Sorabji, Dr Gabriele Ruscalla, Dr Serena Forlati, Mr Raymundo Tullio Treves, Dr M I Fedorova, Dr James Devaney, Ms Catherine H Gibson, Dr Chiara Giogetti, Professor Hugh Thirlway, Brooks Daly, Hugh Meighen, Professor Chi Carmody, Oonagh Sands, Advocate General Juliane Kokott, Wolfgang Rosch, Dr Lucas Lixinski, Judge Philip Weiner, Dr Sergey Vasiliev.

New Issue: Review of International Organizations

The latest issue of the Review of International Organizations (Vol. 11, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Glen Biglaiser, Hoon Lee & Joseph L. Staats, The effects of the IMF on expropriation of foreign firms
  • Seok-ju Cho, Yong Kyun Kim, & Cheol-Sung Lee, Credibility, preferences, and bilateral investment treaties
  • Jonas Tallberg, Thomas Sommerer, & Theresa Squatrito, Democratic memberships in international organizations: Sources of institutional design Jonas Tallberg, Thomas Sommerer…
  • Todd Allee & Manfred Elsig, Why do some international institutions contain strong dispute settlement provisions? New evidence from preferential trade agreements
  • Daniel Berliner, Transnational advocacy and domestic law: International NGOs and the design of freedom of information laws

Wan: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Ming Wan has published The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: The Construction of Power and the Struggle for the East Asian International Order (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). Here's the abstract:
This book assesses the significance of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) by examining the logic of international power and order, historic trends in East Asian international relations, the AIIB's design in comparison to 'rival' financial institutions, recent tendencies in Chinese foreign policy, and Chinese political economy.

Kurtz: The WTO and International Investment Law: Converging Systems

Jürgen Kurtz (Univ. of Melbourne - Law) has published The WTO and International Investment Law: Converging Systems (Cambridge Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:
International law has historically regulated foreign trade and foreign investment differently. Distinct evolutionary pathways have led to variances in treaty form, institutional culture, and dispute settlement. With their inevitable erosion through the late twentieth to early twenty-first centuries, those weak boundaries have become porous and indefensible. Powerful economic, legal and sociological factors are now pushing the two systems together. In this book, Jürgen Kurtz systematically explores the often complex and little-understood dynamics of this convergence phenomenon. Kurtz addresses the growing connections between international trade and investment law, proposing a theoretically grounded and doctrinally tractable framework to understand the deepening relationship between them. The book also offers reform ideas and possibilities, providing treaty negotiators and other government officials with a set of theoretical insights and doctrinal models that can guide actors in building a justifiable and sustainable level of commonality between the two legal systems.

New Issue: International Theory

The latest issue of International Theory (Vol. 8, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Jordan Branch, How should states be shaped? Contiguity, compactness, and territorial rights
  • Eva Erman, Global political legitimacy beyond justice and democracy?
  • Jörg Friedrichs, An intercultural theory of international relations: how self-worth underlies politics among nations
  • Anthony C. Lopez, The evolution of war: theory and controversy
  • Javier Hidalgo, The case for the international governance of immigration
  • Naomi Head, Costly encounters of the empathic kind: a typology

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Call for Papers: Human Rights and Empire: Graduate Conference

A call for papers has been issued for a conference for graduate students on "Human Rights and Empire," to be held May 19-20, 2016, at the University of Chicago. Here's the call:

Thursday and Friday, May 19-20, 2016

Keynote by Antony Anghie, University of Utah
“Colonialism and the Future of Human Rights”

Imperial powers have often been among the most vocal advocates of human rights. Are human rights ideals in tension with imperialism, or might such ideals in fact be implicated in imperial projects? Especially if such ideals have been complicit in empire, can invocations of human rights still be useful in opposing imperial and racial domination? How does the history of human rights relate to the history of imperialism and decolonization?

This conference will bring together graduate students working with a range of theoretical and historical approaches to address the politics of human rights in relation to race and empire. Potential topics include (but are not limited to) the relationship between liberalism and empire; questions of intervention and sovereignty; narratives of nationhood in human rights discourse; the place of international law in past and contemporary forms of imperialism; international imaginaries and forms of solidarity beyond the nation-state; and connections between human rights, sovereignty, and self-determination.

This conference will run for a day and a half, starting mid-afternoon on Thursday, May 19th and ending early Friday evening, May 20th, 2016. It will include up to six workshop-style sessions on pre-circulated graduate student papers, as well as a Thursday evening keynote talk by Antony Anghie (University of Utah) on “Colonialism and the Future of Human Rights.” Each session will begin with comments from a University of Chicago graduate student discussant. The presenter will have time to respond to discussant comments before opening the conversation to the wider group.

Full schedule to be released in late March 2016.


Paper proposals, including a title and an abstract of approximately 500 words, are due by Tuesday, March 1 at 9:00am CST using the webform below. Notifications will be sent by mid-March. University of Chicago graduate students are welcome to apply; however, preference will be given to external applicants. The conference will cover the cost of lodging in shared rooms for out of town presenters. A limited amount of travel funding is available for participants who cannot secure funding from their home institution.

Those presenting papers will be expected to send their paper draft to the conference organizer for circulation to participants by Monday, May 9th. They are also expected to read all papers and attend all sessions. Travel plans should include arriving in Chicago by 12noon on Thursday, May 19th and depart no earlier than 7pm on Friday, May 20th.



Contact Emma Stone Mackinnon, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science and Human Rights Workshop Co-Coordinator

New Issue: Leiden Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Leiden Journal of International Law (Vol. 29, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Editorial
    • Elies van Sliedregt, International Criminal Law: Over-studied and Underachieving?
  • International Legal Theory: The Future of Restrictivist Scholarship on the Use of Force
    • Jörg Kammerhofer, Introduction: The Future of Restrictivist Scholarship on the Use of Force
    • André De Hoogh, Restrictivist Reasoning on the Ratione Personae Dimension of Armed Attacks in the Post 9/11 World
    • Raphaël Van Steenberghe, The Law of Self-Defence and the New Argumentative Landscape on the Expansionists’ Side
    • William C. Banks & Evan J. Criddle, Customary Constraints on the Use of Force: Article 51 with an American Accent
    • Anne-Charlotte Martineau, Concerning Violence: A Post-Colonial Reading of the Debate on the Use of Force
  • International Law and Practice
    • Ria Mohammed-Davidson, Show Me the Money: Enforcing Original Jurisdiction Judgments of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    • Friedrich Rosenfeld, Arbitral Praeliminaria – Reflections on the Distinction between Admissibility and Jurisdiction after BG v. Argentina
    • Tom Ruys & Anemoon Soete, ‘Creeping’ Advisory Jurisdiction of International Courts and Tribunals? The case of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
  • Hague International Tribunals: International Court of Justice
    • Juliette Mcintyre, The Declaratory Judgment in Recent Jurisprudence of the ICJ: Conflicting Approaches to State Responsibility?
  • Hague International Tribunals: International Criminal Courts and Tribunals
    • Frédéric Mégret, The Anxieties of International Criminal Justice
    • Stuti Kochhar & Mayeul Hieramente, Of Fallen Demons: Reflections on the International Criminal Court's Defendant
    • Gabrielle Simm, The Paris Peoples' Tribunal and the Istanbul Trials: Archives of the Armenian Genocide

Call for Papers: 16th Annual WTO Conference

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the Institute of International Economic Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and the Society of International Economic Law have issued a call for papers for the 16th Annual WTO conference, to be held June 10-11, 2016, in Geneva. Here's the call:

16th Annual WTO Conference

10 & 11 June 2016

Call for Papers

The Annual WTO Conference was originally established in 2000 through a partnership between the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) and the Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) at the Georgetown University Law Center. The 16th edition of the Conference is organized jointly by BIICL, IIEL, the Graduate Institute, Geneva and the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL). As originally established by University Professor John H. Jackson of Georgetown, and Professor Sir Francis Jacobs, KCMG, QC, a Trustee of BIICL, the Annual WTO Conference has a longstanding affiliation with the Journal of International Economic Law (JIEL), published by the Oxford University Press. The Annual WTO Conference is one of the most important and prestigious conferences addressing developments in international trade law, pursuing cutting-edge issues of interest to academics and practitioners alike.

To celebrate the life and achievements of Professor Jackson, who passed away in 2015, the Conference will be held in Geneva this year (not London), with a special tribute at the WTO Headquarters, the second day of the Conference, in honour of Professor Jackson.

The Annual WTO Conference has traditionally selected speakers by invitation only; like last year, however, the organizers have decided to conduct a call for papers aimed at opening opportunities especially for younger scholars to present their research and analysis at the Conference. The organizers will consider proposals, in the form of an abstract or a completed short paper, submitted on or before 14 March 2016, for inclusion on the panels being organized on the following five topics:


The conclusion in fall 2015 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a major landmark. Other “deep” FTAs such as CETA or the EU-Singapore agreement have also been concluded, and more are under negotiation (TTIP, TiSA, RCEP etc.). What legal/rule innovation can be found in and across these 21st century trade agreements, both at the institutional and the substantive or procedural level (including dispute settlement)? Are some “new issues” (e.g. e-commerce, investment, corruption, data flows, environment, competition, labor, SOEs, regulatory cooperation) dealt with in all of these agreements and in similar ways, making some of them possible candidates for a multilateral or at least plurilateral approach? Where, in contrast, reside the major differences, both on substantive and institutional issues and why are they there? Are some FTAs more open or “WTO friendly” than others? Is the trend one of consolidation toward something of a “common law of international trade” (the term used by J.H.H. Weiler in a 2001 edited book) or rather one of fragmentation with deepening divisions especially on “new issues”?


In a recent ruling (Peru – Agricultural Products, DS457), the WTO Appellate Body addressed the potential impact of a bilateral free trade agreement on the interpretation of WTO rules between the disputing parties. In a context where WTO treaty updates are stalled, can or should the AB interpret 20 years-old WTO rules to accommodate new developments, be it new clarifications in post-1995 WTO declarations or committee decisions (outside of the formal WTO treaty), party agreements to settle disputes outside the WTO or substantive rules in FTAs or multilateral environmental agreements (such as the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change)? If the AB sticks strictly to the “old rules” does it risk losing credibility or even becoming obsolete? Or, conversely, would reference to such “outside sources” depart from the AB’s original purpose and risk undermining its hard-fought authority? Is it the AB’s task to bring some clarity and order in the world of overlapping trade agreements, or should the AB “do what it does best” and consider only WTO rules and defend those rules against “outside interference”? How can treaty interpretation in this evolving legal context remain objective and predictable? What is the role of competing dispute settlement fora under other trade and investment agreements?


In October 2015, OECD members agreed on major new tax rules to address tax avoidance and increase tax transparency (the so-called Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Package). At the same time, Panama filed a noted WTO complaint (DS453) against Argentina for “blacklisting” Panama as a tax haven and imposing certain allegedly trade restrictive measures against it (Appellate Body report expected in the first half of 2016). Also, in another move to counter unfair or illegal tax practices of multinationals, the EU Commission is examining the tax treatment offered by certain EU countries to certain multinationals as potential state-aid/subsidization, and by the end of January 2016 it will have proposed a new set of binding rules to curb corporate tax avoidance. These global tax reforms and disputes will likely have an important impact on multinationals and how countries divide tax revenues. How do updated tax rules interrelate with existing trade rules? Could the WTO (e.g. the traditional arms-length principle in the Subsidies Agreement) be used to stall the implementation of some of these tax reforms (e.g. in respect of BEPS transfer pricing rules which move away from the traditional arms-length principle)? Or rather is there scope to use WTO dispute settlement (e.g. national treatment disciplines in GATT and GATS) to enforce some of these tax reforms or to settle direct taxation disputes between WTO members in the absence of binding dispute settlement in the international tax arena? What is the continued relevance in this context of the direct v. indirect taxation distinction?


At the 20th anniversary of the WTO, most observers are celebrating the achievements of WTO dispute settlement and the WTO Appellate Body (AB) in particular. In ongoing efforts to reform investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) some countries have even urged to copy the AB model including AB appointment and remuneration rules. Other voices have strongly criticized the AB for an obsessive textual approach or, conversely, expansive activism or “subjective” interpretations, reading new obligations into the WTO treaty. When the AB “clarifies” ambiguities, does it assist WTO members or rather make future negotiations more difficult (as negotiators may refuse to conclude a deal with any ambiguity in it for fear that the AB will “complete the contract” in some unexpected way)? Yet others have stated that rather than clarifying WTO rules and making them more predictable, the AB has complicated compliance and reduced predictability especially in the trade remedies field. Has the AB gone out of bounds or been too conservative? Has WTO dispute settlement clarified or complicated the WTO treaty? Is the AB respecting the same standard of review in all disputes (e.g., comparing the non-interventionist standard of review in EC - Hormones II with that in the zeroing disputes and the recent US – Tuna II 21.5 AB report)? Is the standard “recommendation”, after lengthy and complex legal findings, to “bring the measure into compliance” specific enough or too vague (and inviting even more complicated 21.5 compliance proceedings where claimants may get to relitigate the entire case)? After 20 years, does WTO dispute settlement remain an attractive proposition for the private sector affected by trade barriers? Is its success spread equally across agreements and WTO members, or have WTO disputes been filed selectively in some areas and against some countries leaving “black holes” elsewhere?


The 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, resulted in a series of discrete, substantive commitments (e.g. on export competition) but disagreement on what to discuss next and in what format, in terms of WTO negotiations post-Nairobi. How can negotiations on outstanding “old issues” (e.g. domestic farm subsidies) be completed? What “new issues” can realistically be taken on board, how and when, if at all? Should negotiations be issue-specific or continue to be “package deals” with bargains across subject matters? Given the complexity and time it takes for formal WTO amendments (e.g. the TRIPS amendment) or new treaties (e.g. the Trade Facilitation Agreement) to enter into force, how can the WTO remain relevant and engage in effective rulemaking or rule clarification? Can new commitments, for example, be taken on in mere “ministerial declarations” but are they subject then to WTO dispute settlement and sufficient domestic scrutiny and democratic support?

It is expected that each panelist will be allotted approximately 15 minutes to present his or her paper, and that a question and answer period will follow.

Proposers must be available to attend the Conference in Geneva on 10 & 11 June 2015.

Everyone is eligible to submit proposals but a preference will be given to current graduate students, and academics and practitioners who completed their most recent academic qualification after June 2008. Proposals should be prepared for anonymous review, should identify which of the five panel themes they fall under and should be submitted in PDF or Word format to Mr. Manuel Sanchez, at his email: Emails should have “16th ANNUAL WTO CONFERENCE PROPOSAL” in the subject line and should include the proposal title in the body of the email. No identifying information should be included in the attached proposal. Proposers should certify their availability to attend the Conference in Geneva on June 10 and 11, 2016, in the body of the email, and should attach a brief CV of the proposer that includes the dates of award of relevant academic qualifications. The organizers will make every effort to respond to all proposals by the end of March.

If the author so wishes, selected papers will be considered for subsequent publication in the JIEL. Proposers should be aware that if their paper is selected for publication it may be necessary to expand the paper to publishable length in a relatively short time frame.

Successful proposers will have Conference fees waived, and will be invited to attend the annual dinner for speakers on Friday night (10 June). The organizers regret that they do not normally have funding available for travel or lodging expenses. In exceptional cases, however, requests for (partial) funding of travel and/or lodging expenses will be considered, in particular from proposers based in developing countries.

New Issue: Global Environmental Politics

The latest issue of Global Environmental Politics (Vol. 16, no. 1, February 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Forums
    • Peter Dauvergne & Jennifer Clapp, Researching Global Environmental Politics in the 21st Century
    • Ross Gillard, Questioning the Diffusion of Resilience Discourses in Pursuit of Transformational Change
  • Research Articles
    • Robert MacNeil, Death and Environmental Taxes: Why Market Environmentalism Fails in Liberal Market Economies
    • Philip Schleifer, Private Governance Undermined: India and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
    • Eero Palmujoki & Pekka Virtanen, Global, National, or Market? Emerging REDD+ Governance Practices in Mozambique and Tanzania
    • Ronit Justo-Hanani & Tamar Dayan, Explaining Transatlantic Policy Divergence: The Role of Domestic Politics and Policy Styles in Nanotechnology Risk Regulation

Iyi: Humanitarian Intervention and the AU-ECOWAS Intervention Treaties Under International Law

John-Mark Iyi has published Humanitarian Intervention and the AU-ECOWAS Intervention Treaties Under International Law: Towards a Theory of Regional Responsibility to Protect (Springer 2016). Here's the abstract:
The book reconciles the conflicts and legal ambiguities between African Union and ECOWAS law on the use of force on the one hand, and the UN Charter and international law on the other hand. In view of questions relating to African Union and UN relationship in the maintenance of international peace and security in Africa in recent years, the book examines the legal issues involved and how they can be resolved. By explaining the legal theory underpinning the validity of the AU-ECOWAS laws, the work provides a legal basis for the adoption of the AU-ECOWAS laws as the frameworks for the implementation of the R2P in Africa.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Call for Papers: 25th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law

The Society of Legal Scholars, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), and the European Society of International Law’s Interest Group on International Legal Theory have issued a call for papers for the 25th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law, to be held April 25, 2016, at the BIICL. The theme is "Beyond our comfort zone? Situating the authority of international lawyers, institutions, & other international actors." Here's the call:

25th Annual SLS-BIICL Conference
on Theory and International Law

a special collaboration with the European Society of International Law’s
Interest Group on International Legal Theory

Monday 25th April 2016, 14:00-19:00
British Institute of International and Comparative Law,
Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

Call for Papers and Invitation to Attend

Beyond our comfort zone?
Situating the authority of international lawyers, institutions,
& other international actors.

The SLS/BIICL Conference on Theory and International Law is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2016. To that end, this year, the SLS International Law Section is holding a special 25th anniversary conference, organised in collaboration with the Interest Group on International Legal Theory of the European Society of International Law (ESIL IGILT), on 25th April 2016. We are delighted to announce that The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG, will deliver the keynote address.

The 2016 theme reflects an enduring question: the concept of authority in international law. That the international legal system is a legal system properly socalled should by now be an accepted fact: even if not always and universally enforced, the validity of international legal rules functions itself as a reason for compliance, quite independently of the nature or character of the actions to be done. The legitimacy of international law, therefore, derives from more than the consent to be bound.

However, the systematic character of international law raises a number of interesting questions: what are the formal characteristics of international law that justify our understanding of it as an autonomous legal system? Who are the institutions, officials and agents that are endowed with the authority to interpret, apply, and enforce international law? What is the role of international lawyers in the construction of authority in the international legal system? Our technical fluency in the vocabulary of international law positions us not only as the custodians of the international legal order, but also enables us to speak out on behalf of international law in many distinct areas of international relations. Accordingly, international lawyers go beyond serving as judges, arbitrators, and advocates: often, they participate in mandates which exceed the strict remit of legal expertise, serving on fact-finding missions, commissions of enquiry, or diplomatic negotiations. International lawyers bask, therefore, in the reflected authority of the international legal system they themselves have worked to construct and to sustain.

Another point to consider is the nature of non-legal expertise, and how the international legal system grapples with claims to non-legal authority. The obvious, most illustrative examples relate to international lawyers’ grappling with scientific or technical expertise, most prominently at the WTO but increasingly in judicial institutions of general jurisdiction. It might also be asked whether international lawyers should more broadly embrace such external expertise, and what the impact might be upon their authority in doing so? How are claims to expertise cognised, evaluated or legitimated within the practice of international law? Has the emergence of increasingly complex disputes led to intervenors/amici curiae becoming an indispensable element of international legal proceedings? Can lawyers still ‘go it alone’ without the aid and assistance of technical, scientific or academic expertise, or does the authority of the legal system diminish in relation to its claims to autonomy?

The conference convenors welcome contributions on the concept of authority in international law, including, but not limited to:

  • Theorising about the nature of authority, its relationship to legitimacy and power, and how authority serves to justify the validity of international legal rules;
  • The responsibility of international legal officials (judges, legal officers in international organisations, State legal representatives, international legal practitioners) in upholding the international legal system;
  • The role of international lawyers in performing functions not necessarily linked to their expertise in international law, in particular political, diplomatic or advisory functions, serving on commissions of inquiry, etc;
  • The interaction between international lawyers and experts in other fields, in particular those of a scientific or technical character, and the nature of that interaction in, for example, disputes concerning the environment, cyber, surveillance, etc; and
  • The role of amici curiae in international legal proceedings, the risks and rewards of inviting non-legal expertise into the courtroom.

Application process

A selection committee has been composed of members of the coordinating committees of the International Law section of the Society of Legal Scholars and the IGILT. Submission of abstracts is open to academics, including graduate students, and to legal practitioners.

Please submit an abstract in Word or PDF of no more than one page to all three email addresses below:

Dr Philippa Webb (
Professor Christian Henderson (
Dr Gleider Hernández (

The following information should also 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

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 29th February 2016. Applicants will be informed no later than 15th March 2016.

Regrettably, we are unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference, but thanks to some generous funding from the Durham Global Policy Institute, a conference dinner for speakers will be organised.

Philippa Webb
Christian Henderson
Gleider Hernández

The convenors are grateful for the material and financial assistance of the SLS, BIICL, and the Durham Global Policy Institute.

Scheiber, Kraska, & Kwon: Science, Technology, and New Challenges to Ocean Law

Harry N. Scheiber (Univ. of California, Berkeley), James Kraska (U.S. Naval War College), & Moon-Sang Kwon (Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology) have published Science, Technology, and New Challenges to Ocean Law (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:
Science, Technology, and New Challenges to Ocean Law offers fresh perspectives on a set of vital issues in the field of ocean law and policy. Since the early period of the industrial revolution, successive waves of revolutionary scientific discoveries and technological innovations have intensified the global population’s exploitation of ocean and coastal resources. In this volume, several leading authorities in the field address major dimensions of the interface of science, technology and ocean law—both historically and in current-day perspective—and emergent challenges in legal ordering of ocean uses for sustainability and equitability. Among the topics that are analysed in these readable, accessible papers are ecosystem approaches to resource management, the historic interplay of science and military concerns, the place of science in dispute-settlement processes, the varied human uses of the seabed, the roles in ocean governance of indigenous peoples, legal issues in fisheries management and conservation, and special regional problems of the Arctic, the Bering Strait, the South China Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean. The urgent importance of the subjects addressed here, together with the variety of disciplinary approaches deployed by the authors, enhance the value of this book’s unique contribution to the literature of ocean studies.

Attard, Fitzmaurice, Arroyo, Martinez, & Belja: The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law. Volume II: Shipping Law

David Attard (International Maritime Law Institute), Malgosia Fitzmaurice (Queen Mary, Univ. of London -Law), Ignacio Arroyo (Ramos & Arroyo, Abogados), Norman Martinez (International Maritime Law Institute), & Elda Belja (International Maritime Law Institute) have published The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law. Volume II: Shipping Law (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

This three-volume Manual on International Maritime Law presents a systematic analysis of the history and contemporary development of international maritime law by leading contributors from across the world. Prepared in cooperation with the International Maritime Law Institute, the International Maritime Organization's research and training institute, this a uniquely comprehensive study of this fundamental area of international law.

Volume II: Shipping Law provides a detailed understanding of the historical development of shipping law looking at concepts, sources, and international organisations relating to shipping law; nationality, registration and ownership of ships; ship sale and shipping contracts; ship management and ship finance; arrest of ships; international trade and shipping documents; carriage of goods, passengers and their luggage by sea; maritime labour law; law of maritime safety; law of marine collisions; law of salvage; law of wrecks; law of general average; law of towage; law of harbours and pilotage; limitation of liability for maritime claims; and law of marine insurance.

Dereje: Staatsnahe Unternehmen: Die Zurechnungsproblematik im Internationalen Investitionsrecht und weiteren Bereichen des Völkerrechts

Jonas Dereje has published Staatsnahe Unternehmen: Die Zurechnungsproblematik im Internationalen Investitionsrecht und weiteren Bereichen des Völkerrechts (Nomos 2016). Here's the abstract:

Staatsnahe Unternehmen als hybride, zwischen öffentlicher und privater Sphäre agierende Akteure, beschäftigen die Rechtswissenschaft und -praxis schon seit langer Zeit. Aktuell stellt sich gerade im Internationalen Investitionsrecht vermehrt die Frage der Zurechnung der Handlungen solcher Unternehmen zum Staat. Denn wird ein Investor durch ein staatsnahes Unternehmen geschädigt, ist er durch investitionsrechtliche und/oder weitere völkerrechtliche Standards nur geschützt, wenn die Unternehmenshandlungen als solche des Staates angesehen werden können.

Der Autor analysiert die Kriterien, anhand derer die Frage der Handlungszurechnung zu bewerten ist. Hierzu erfolgt eine Analyse der Regeln des Völkergewohnheitsrechts sowie eine umfassende Auswertung der Rechtsprechung investitionsrechtlicher Schiedsgerichte, der Welthandelsorganisation, des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte und des Europäischen Gerichtshofs. Auch völkervertragliche lex specialis zur Zurechnung werden erörtert.

Call for Papers: Entreprises multinationales et responsabilité(s)

The Société Française pour le Droit International has issued a call for papers for a workshop for young researchers on "Entreprises multinationales et responsabilité(s)," to be held April 15, 2016, at the Université de Paris-8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis. Here's the call:

Demi-journée d’étude organisée par le Bureau des Jeunes Chercheurs de la SFDI

LE 15 AVRIL 2016

à l’Université de Paris-8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis


Cette année, le colloque annuel de la Société Française pour le Droit International (SFDI) qui se tiendra du 19 au 21 mai 2016, aura pour thème « L’ENTREPRISE MULTINATIONALE ET LE DROIT INTERNATIONAL »

Le Bureau des Jeunes Chercheurs organise une demi-journée d’étude destinées aux jeunes doctorants et docteurs sur le thème général « Entreprises multinationales et responsabilité(s) ».

La demi-journée sera présidée et parrainée par M. Vincent Tomkiewicz.

Nous vous invitons les doctorants et jeunes docteurs en droit international public & privé à nous faire part de leurs propositions. Celles-ci pourront concerner la production normative des entreprises multinationales dans le cadre de la responsabilité sociétale des entreprises, la responsabilité des entreprises multinationales, les mécanismes et fora d’activation de la responsabilité ainsi que toute autre question en lien avec le thème général.

Les communications dureront 20 minutes chacune et seront suivies d’un débat. Elles donneront lieu, par la suite, à la publication sur le site de la SFDI.

Nous appelons l’attention des éventuels candidats sur les points suivants :

  • Cet appel est différent de l’appel officiel à contributions pour les ateliers qui se tiendront lors du colloque annuel. Les candidats peuvent proposer une contribution à la demi-journée ou au colloque annuel, ou bien aux deux, étant entendu que les jeunes chercheurs retenus pour le colloque annuel seront invités à présenter leur contribution le 15 avril en « avant-première » (et ne présenteront dans ce cas pas de contribution différente à la demi-journée) ;
  • Aucun financement (déplacements, restauration, hébergement) n’est normalement prévu pour les demi-journées. Il est donc indispensable que les futurs retenus recherchent un financement auprès de leurs écoles doctorales et centres de recherches spécifiques. Des exceptions, motivées, peuvent être étudiées par le Bureau des jeunes chercheurs.

Les propositions de communication (en français ou en anglais) devront comporter un titre et un résumé de 2 pages maximum. Un curriculum vitae sera transmis séparément. Il sera exigé des candidats à une contribution en langue anglaise une très bonne compréhension du français à l’oral, l’essentiel des débats devant se dérouler dans cette langue.

Elles devront être envoyées au format .doc pour le 29 février 2016 aux responsables du BJC à l’adresse suivante :

En espérant vous voir nombreux !


  • 29 Février 2016 Date limite d’envoi des propositions de contributions
  • 7 Mars 2016 Communication des contributions retenues
  • 15 Avril 2016 Demi-Journée d’étude
  • 15 Juin 2016 Rendu des contributions écrites
  • Été 2016 Publication des contributions écrites sur le site de la SFDI

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Call for Submissions: Canadian International Lawyer

The Canadian International Lawyer has issued a call for submissions for its forthcoming issue. The call is here.

New Issue: Legal Issues of Economic Integration

The latest issue of Legal Issues of Economic Integration (Vol. 43, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • From the Board, Litigation on External Relations Powers after Lisbon: The Member States Reject Their Own Treaty
  • Kathryn Wright, The Ambit of Judicial Competence after the EU Antitrust Damages Directive
  • Marta Simoncini & Alessandro Lazari, Principles and Policies of Resilience in European Critical Infrastructures: Cases from the Sectors of Gas and Air Transport
  • Fay Valinaki, ‘Repairing the Defects’ of Article 2.1 of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement: An Amendment Proposal
  • James Mathis, WTO Appellate Body, Peru – Additional Duty on Imports of Certain Agriculture Products, WT/DS457/AB/R, 20 July 2015

Appazov: Expert Evidence and International Criminal Justice

Artur Appazov has published Expert Evidence and International Criminal Justice (Springer 2016). Here's the abstract:

The book is a comprehensive narration of the use of expertise in international criminal trials offering reflection on standards concerning the quality and presentation of expert evidence. It analyzes and critiques the rules governing expert evidence in international criminal trials and the strategies employed by counsel and courts relying upon expert evidence and challenges that courts face determining its reliability. In particular, the author considers how the procedural and evidentiary architecture of international criminal courts and tribunals influences the courts’ ability to meaningfully incorporate expert evidence into the rational fact-finding process.

The book provides analysis of the unique properties of expert evidence as compared with other forms of evidence and the challenges that these properties present for fact-finding in international criminal trials. It draws conclusions about the extent to which particularized evidentiary rules for expert evidence in international criminal trials is wanting. Based on comparative analyses of relevant national practices, the book proposes procedural improvements to address some of the challenges associated with the use of expertise in international criminal trials.