Saturday, February 13, 2016

Call for Papers: Law between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire (Reminder)

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki has issued a call for papers for a conference on "Law between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire," to be held October 3-5, 2016. Here's the call:


“Law between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire”

University of Helsinki, (3-5 October 2016)

The Conference Law Between Global and Colonial: Techniques of Empire proposes to discuss the legal languages and techniques through which colonial powers ruled non-European territories and populations throughout the modern age. The aim of the Conference is to examine in detail the juridical practices and discourses of colonial powers when they exercised their supremacy over colonial subjects and disciplined them. Given the complexity and variety of these legal strategies and without neglecting the classical the study of “law of nature and nations”, we intend to move beyond it in order to explore a hybrid normative body consisting of ad-hoc colonial laws, commercial laws and domestic laws adapted to colonial contexts. What came to be called the “empire of free trade”, for instance, operated largely through a commercial law (sometimes, though not always called “lex mercatoria”) that possessed features of both international and domestic law.

Although the focus of the conference is historical, the interest feeding it lies in the present. With the great numbers of people moving about in Europe, Asia and Africa as migrants, guest workers, refugees and displaced persons, territorial states have often used methods and techniques that resemble those with which colonial populations once were treated. With research showing a sharp rise in world inequality, the conference poses the question whether legislative techniques and institutions inherited from the imperial past, once again see the light of day in the present.

How was the “law of nations” understood when it was used for imperial purposes? Would domestic laws apply to colonial expansion? What laws might govern the groups concerned – indigenous population, settlers, slaves, indentured servants, subjects of third nations? What was the role of the idiom of international law in Europe’s colonial expansion? To what extent was colonial rule organised by domestic laws of a special character? How did special colonial laws and the “law of nature and nations” relate to each other? To what extent did any of these laws open an avenue to contesting colonial governance? How far did such techniques extend beyond the end of the period of formal colonialism and even decolonization?

To answer such questions, the relations between global and domestic laws in imperial expansion and colonial governance ought to be studied.

Keynote speakers: Lauren Benton, Isabel. V. Hull, Luigi Nuzzo

The conference will close the four and a half-year period of the Finnish Academy research project on “International Law, Religion and Empire” at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. Members: Martti Koskenniemi, Paolo Amorosa, Mónica García-Salmones, Manuel Jimenez and Walter Rech.

Interested participants should submit an abstract of no more than 600 words, in Word format accompanied by a brief (2-3 sentences) scholarly biography by March 1st, 2016 to both Mónica García-Salmones ( and Paolo Amorosa (

Accepted participants will be required to submit full papers, in Word format, of no more than 8000 words by August 31st, 2016.

The conveners will cover meals for the duration of the conference for accepted participants. Travel and accommodation expenses are to be met by the participants.

Excellent papers will be selected for a special symposium of the Leiden Journal of International Law.

Deadlines: Submission of Abstracts March 1st, 2016

Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by June 1st, 2016

Final papers must be submitted by August 31st, 2016

New Issue: International Journal of Human Rights

The latest issue of the International Journal of Human Rights (Vol. 20, no. 2, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Comparative regional protection frameworks for refugees: norms and norm entrepreneurs
    • Susan Kneebone, Comparative regional protection frameworks for refugees: norms and norm entrepreneurs
    • Sriprapha Petcharamesree, ASEAN and its approach to forced migration issues
    • Stefania Eugenia Barichello, Refugee protection and responsibility sharing in Latin America: solidarity programmes and the Mexico Plan of Action
    • Paolo Biondi, Human security and external burden-sharing: the European approach to refugee protection between past and present
    • Alice M. Nah, Networks and norm entrepreneurship amongst local civil society actors: advancing refugee protection in the Asia Pacific region
    • Maria O'Sullivan, The ethics of resettlement: Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region
    • Dallal Stevens, Rights, needs or assistance? The role of the UNHCR in refugee protection in the Middle East

New Issue: Human Rights & International Legal Discourse

The latest issue of Human Rights & International Legal Discourse (Vol. 9, no. 2, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • C. Breen, Progressing towards Peace? States’ Extraterritorial Obligations in Peace Operations and the Added Value of Human Rights Indicators
  • D. Kearney, Corporate Liability in Regional Human Rights Courts: Expanding Jurisdiction in West Africa
  • F. Ippolito, A European Judicial Dialogue on Refugee Rights?
  • B. Toebes, Health and Human Rights: in Search of the Legal Dimension
  • M. Vlieks, The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict – A Legal Appraisal of Its Application and Development of International Legal Standards

New Issue: ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal

The latest issue of the ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal (Vol. 31, no. 1, Winter 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Focus Issue: State-Owned Enterprises
    • Lu Wang & Norah Gallagher, Introduction to the Special Focus Issue on State-Owned Enterprises
    • Paul Michael Blyschak, State-Owned Enterprises in International Investment
    • Lauge N. Skovgaard Poulsen, States as Foreign Investors: Diplomatic Disputes and Legal Fictions
    • Mark Feldman, State-Owned Enterprises as Claimants in International Investment Arbitration
    • James E. Mendenhall, Assessing Security Risks Posed by State-Owned Enterprises in the Context of International Investment Agreements
    • Lu Wang, Non-Discrimination Treatment of State-Owned Enterprise Investors in International Investment Agreements?
    • Kevin Ackhurst, Stephen Nattrass, & Erin Brown, CETA, the Investment Canada Act and SOEs: A Brave New World for Free Trade
    • Paul Rose US Regulation of Investment by State-Controlled Entities
    • Norah Gallagher, Role of China in Investment: BITs, SOEs, Private Enterprises, and Evolution of Policy
  • Case Comments
    • Alejandro A. Escobar & Ernesto J. Féliz De Jesús La decisión de anulación en el caso Iberdrola Energía, SA c República de Guatemala: Alcance del estándar aplicable a causales de anulación bajo el Convenio del CIADI
    • Mélida Hodgson, Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v Republic of Indonesia: Procedural Order No 15: Reconsideration under the ICSID Convention: No Award Required
    • Martins Paparinskis, Franck Charles Arif v Republic of Moldova: Courts Behaving Nicely and What to Do About It
    • Qing Ren, Ping An v Belgium: Temporal Jurisdiction of Successive BITs 
    • Christian Tomuschat, Tidewater v Venezuela: The Award of 13 March 2015
  • Articles
    • Juan Pablo Hugues Arthur & Jimena Moreno González, Mitos y realidades del arbitraje inversionista-Estado en el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte: La experiencia mexicana
    • Engela C. Schlemmer, An Overview of South Africa’s Bilateral Investment Treaties and Investment Policy
    • Leon E. Trakman & David Musayelyan, The Repudiation of Investor–State Arbitration and Subsequent Treaty Practice: The Resurgence of Qualified Investor–State Arbitration
  • Note
    • Florin A. Dorobantu, Natasha Dupont, & M. Alexis Maniatis, Country Risk and Damages in Investment Arbitration

Friday, February 12, 2016

New Issue: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht

The latest issue of the Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (Vol. 25, no. 3, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Aktuell/Actualité
    • Christa Tobler, Der Euro – Verwirklichung oder Verhängnis der europäischen ­Wirtschaftsintegration?
  • Artikel/Article
    • Ivo Schwander, Sollen das schweizerische IPR-Gesetz von 1987 und insbesondere sein Erstes Kapitel («Gemeinsame Bestimmungen», Art. 1–32 IPRG) revidiert werden?
    • Thomas Kadner Graziano, Zur Reformbedürftigkeit des Schuldrechts im schweizerischen IPRG, ­insbesondere der ­Regelungen zur ausservertraglichen Haftung
    • Rodrigo Rodriguez, Rechtsvergleichende Betrachtungen de lege ferenda zum 11. Titel des IPRG

Call for Papers: Persons/Things Workshop

The Faculty of Law of the University of Turku has issued a call for papers for a workshop on "Persons/Things," to be held May 12-13, 2016. Here's the call:

In recent decades many of the foundational classificatory structures of law have been challenged by entities that are familiar to law but who appear in new functions. While robots are revolutionising trade and warfare, animals, embryos and corporations are knocking the doors of personhood with their multifarious rights reminiscent to those of natural persons. At the other end of the spectrum, many marginal people are transformed into mere objects. When the European Union makes an administrative decision to relocate 120,000 refugees or when the United States consider all military-aged males as legitimate targets in drone warfare, little of humanity remains. Despite of these drastic changes, many of the conceptual tools used to analyse these new phenomena are vestiges of past centuries, such as the Roman law structure between persona and res—persons and things.

It is in this changed world the Persons/Things workshop seeks to explore the present and the past of persona/res distinction. Are challenges of the present world unheard of are they simple re-enactments of the past debates held over slaves and women? Or could there be something genuinely new in the seeming porosity of the border between things and persons? Whilst there are countless developments worthy of note, some of the key questions include:

  • How does one become Person/Thing in the first place?
  • How does the change of status take place?
  • Are there categories where change is more likely and are there categories unable to attain new status?
  • What are the main indicators of a change?
  • Who are the actors promoting change?
  • Does change of status have permanence or are there categories, historical or present, that have constantly fluctuated between the two poles?

The Persons/Things workshop calls for papers exploring both concrete and theoretical aspects of changing (legal) personhood. The papers could, for example:

  • examine how national or international legal doctrines act as gatekeepers to personhood
  • account if emergence of rights or their disappearance signals an equal change in Person/Thing status
  • map the ways in which  courts make Persons/Things

The Persons/Things workshop will feature keynote sessions delivered by Joshua Barkan (Associate Professor of Geography, University of Georgia) and Yoriko Otomo (Lecturer in Law, SOAS).

The workshop will take place on 12 and 13 May 2016 in Turku, Finland.

Building on the success of our former initiative, Imagining post-neoliberal regulatory subjectivities workshop held in 2014, the Persons/Things workshop promotes interdisciplinary approaches and welcomes early career scholars from law, history, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, geography and related fields of study.  Call is open to everyone but a preference will be given to current doctoral candidates and those who have recently graduated.

Paper proposals of approximately 500 words are due by Tuesday, March 1 at 10:00 am CET. Please use webform for submitting your application. Notifications will be sent by mid-March and those presenting their papers are expected to send their work to the workshop organizers for circulation by Friday, May 6th.

For additional information, please contact either Toni Selkälä ( or Mikko Rajavuori (

New Issue: Human Rights Law Review

The latest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (Vol. 16, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Yossi Nehushtan, Offensive Expression: The Limits of Neutral Balancing Tests and the Need to Take Sides
  • Alecia Johns, The Case for Political Candidacy as a Fundamental Human Right
  • Daria Davitti, Refining the Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for Business and Human Rights and its Guiding Principles
  • Adamantia Rachovitsa, Treaty Clauses and Fragmentation of International Law: Applying the More Favourable Protection Clause in Human Rights Treaties
  • Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Strasbourg Jurisprudence, Law Reform and Comparative Law: A Tale of the Right to Custodial Legal Assistance in Five Countries
  • Alison E.C. Struthers, Human Rights: A Topic Too Controversial for Mainstream Education?
  • Lisl Brunner, The Liability of an Online Intermediary for Third Party Content: The Watchdog Becomes the Monitor: Intermediary Liability after Delfi v Estonia

Jalloh & Meisenberg: The Law Reports of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Volume III: The Taylor Case

Charles Chernor Jalloh (Florida International Univ. - Law) & Simon M. Meisenberg have published The Law Reports of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Volume III: Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor (The Taylor Case) (Brill | Nijhoff 2015). Here's the abstract:

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established through signature of a bilateral treaty between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone in early 2002, making it the third modern ad hoc international criminal tribunal. The tribunal has tried various persons, including former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor, for allegedly bearing "greatest responsibility" for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed during the latter half of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. It completed its work in December 2013. A new Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Freetown and with offices in The Hague, has been created to carry out its essential “residual” functions.

This volume, which consists of three books and a CD-ROM and is edited by two legal experts on the Sierra Leone court, presents, for the first time in a single place, a comprehensive collection of all the interlocutory decisions and final trial and appeals judgments issued by the court in the case Prosecutor v. Charles Ghankay Taylor. The Taylor case is the jewel in the crown of the SCSL, as it was the first ever trial and conviction of a former African head of state for crimes committed in a neighboring state. It is also one of a handful of such significant cases in international criminal law.

New Issue: Journal of International Peacekeeping

The latest issue of the Journal of International Peacekeeping (Vol. 19, nos. 3-4, 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Duu (Jason) Renn & Paul F. Diehl, Déjà vu All Over Again and Peacekeeping Reform?
  • Lindy Heinecken, Are Women ‘Really’ Making a Unique Contribution to Peacekeeping?
  • Rashed Uz Zaman & Niloy Ranjan Biswas, South Asian Regionalism and UN Peacekeeping Missions
  • Unsal Sigri & Ufuk Basar, Assessing the Quality of Training
  • Rembert Boom, Criminal Accountability of Military Peacekeepers

Job Opening: Max Planck Group Leader in Bogotá

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and Universidad de Los Andes are looking to hire a Principal Investigator to lead a newly established Max Planck Tandem Group in Transformations of Public Law. Other than research, responsibilities include supervision of two doctoral students at Universidad de Los Andes. There is no mandatory teaching load. The Group will be located in Bogotá, and the Leader will be expected to reside in that city. The initiative will provide funding for at least one extended research stay per year of the Group at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2016. The full announcement is here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Conference: History, Politics, Law: Thinking through the International

On May 16-17, 2016, a conference on "History, Politics, Law: Thinking through the International" will be held at the University of Cambridge. The program is here. Here's the idea:
In recent years, two decisive trends have occurred in the fields of international law and the history of political thought. The 'historical turn' in international law has involved students of that discipline in intense reflection on what kind of history intenational law can, and should, have. At the same time, the history of political thought has been undergoing an 'international' (or indeed a global) turn, changing its focus from questions arising from thinking of politics and polities in relation to others. As a result, international lawyers and historians of political thought have increasingly been reading each other's work, meeting each other at conferences, etc., to their mutual benefit. Nevertheless, neither turn has been methodologically very comfortable for its participants, nor have people from either discipline got together to try to think through, in any systematic way, where it is that the history o political thought and the history of international law come together, and where - and if - they must necessarily divide. What is it to do one or the other? This conference aims to address that subject by bringing together some of the most distinguished practitioners in both fields for a sustained discussion. We begin with a directly methodological opening session, and then proceed to think through the historical in international law, and the international in the history of political thought, in a series of themed conversations. Reflections and a roundtable will bring the discussions to a close, if not a conclusion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wood: The Use of Force in 2015 with Particular Reference to Syria

Michael Wood (Member, International Law Commission) has posted The Use of Force in 2015 with Particular Reference to Syria. Here's the abstract:
Lecture given at Hebrew University offering a brief look at some jus ad bellum issues that arose in the course of 2015 particularly with reference to Syria (and Iraq). Including whether: there is a right of self-defence against armed attacks by non-State actors like the so-called ‘Islamic State’; How, assuming anticipatory self-defence is permitted, the requirement of imminence applies in the case of self-defence against a terrorist group; and, possibly what is necessary and proportionate in the case of self-defence against terrorist groups.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Issue: International Criminal Law Review

The latest issue of the International Criminal Law Review (Vol. 16, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Rachel Killean, Procedural Justice in International Criminal Courts: Assessing Civil Parties’ Perceptions of Justice at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
  • Neil Boister, The Cooperation Provisions of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime: A ‘Toolbox’ Rarely Used?
  • Manisuli Ssenyonjo & Saidat Nakitto, The African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights ‘International Criminal Law Section’: Promoting Impunity for African Union Heads of State and Senior State Officials?
  • Alicia Robinson, Challenges to Justice at Home: The Domestic Prosecution of Efrain Rios Montt
  • Joanna Nicholson, Is Targeting Naked Child Soldiers a War Crime?
  • Amrutanshu Dash & Dhruv Sharma, Arrest Warrants at the International Criminal Court: Reasonable Suspicion or Reasonable Grounds to Believe?

Symposium: Who Supports International Law, and Why? The United States, the European Union, and the International Legal Order

The latest issue of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (Vol. 13, no. 4, October 2015) contains a symposium on "Who Supports International Law, and Why? The United States, the European Union, and the International Legal Order." Contents include:
  • Symposium: Who Supports International Law, and Why? The United States, the European Union, and the International Legal Order
    • Mark A. Pollack, Who supports international law, and why?: The United States, the European Union, and the international legal order
    • Başak Çalı, Comparing the support of the EU and the US for international human rights law qua international human rights law: Worlds too far apart?
    • Martijn Groenleer, The United States, the European Union, and the International Criminal Court: Similar values, different interests?
    • R. Daniel Kelemen & Tim Knievel, The United States, the European Union, and international environmental law: The domestic dimensions of green diplomacy
    • Jappe Eckhardt & Manfred Elsig, Support for international trade law: The US and the EU compared
    • Gráinne de Búrca, Internalization of international law by the CJEU and the US Supreme Court

David: Droit des organisations internationales

Éric David (Université libre de Bruxelles - Law) has published Droit des organisations internationales (Bruylant 2016). Here's the abstract:
Les organisations internationales, ne sont pas des super États mais ont, comme ces derniers, une constitution, une personnalité juridique propre, un système de responsabilité qu’il faut distinguer de celle de ses membres. Leur membership est généralement constitué d’États mais les organisations internationales peuvent aussi comprendre d’autres organisations internationales, voire des autorités fédérées et des personnes privées. L’accès des États aux organisations internationales et leur retrait est codifié par l’acte constitutif, mais les règles d’accès ou de retrait peuvent donner lieu à des interprétations, parfois discutables, qui résultent des options politiques de leurs membres. Les organisations produisent aussi des normes qui, dans le respect de certaines conditions, s’imposent à leurs destinataires. La personnalité juridique des organisations internationales leur permet de se comporter dans les relations internationales comme un sujet majeur de droit international apte à conclure des traités, à prendre des sanctions contre des États et des particuliers. C’est cette personnalité qui leur permet aussi de répondre des violations du droit international qui leur sont imputables. Les régimes de privilèges et immunités varient selon les organisations internationales et selon leurs titulaires (l’organisation elle-même, ses membres et leurs représentants, ses fonctionnaires et agents). Telles sont les principales questions traitées dans le présent ouvrage.

Zumbansen: Where the Wild Things are: Journeys to Transnational Legal Orders, and Back

Peer C. Zumbansen (King’s College London - Law) has posted Where the Wild Things are: Journeys to Transnational Legal Orders, and Back. Here's the abstract:
The continuing and comprehensive transnationalization of governance regimes, that is the decentering of state governments and public international organizations (IOs) through hybrid, public-private and domestic-international Actors, Norms and Processes in a vast array of regulatory fields has put both private and public lawyers on alert. While the former continue to remain skeptical with regard to governmental attempts at reclaiming control over economically sensitive areas, the latter insist on the need to strengthen and revitalize the state’s role in protecting precarious, weak interests even beyond the traditional jurisdictional confines of the nation-state. Seen from that perspective, transnational governance (TG) is an object of study as well as of hope for some, of grave concern for others, and that already from a domestic lawyer’s perspective. Meanwhile, while TG has provoked varied reactions from particularly those public international lawyers who either defend or dismiss the potential of constitutional ordering on the global level, it has also prompted responses from political scientists, who speculate about the fate of concepts and institutions that were central to International Relations, Regime Theory and debates about sovereignty. The here presented paper aims at connecting these different debates by making reference, in particular to Terrence Halliday’s and Gregory Shaffer’s proposal of “Transnational Legal Ordering”, on the one hand, and by carving out the different connotations of legitimacy which are becoming apparent in each of these debates, on the other. Against this background, the paper posits ‘transnational law’ as a methodological approach through which connections between “domestic” and “transnational” governance can be made visible and subjected to conceptual and normative scrutiny.

Bosco: Palestine in the Hague: Justice, Geopolitics, and the International Criminal Court

David L. Bosco (American Univ. - School of International Service) has posted Palestine in the Hague: Justice, Geopolitics, and the International Criminal Court (Global Governance, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Palestine's request that the International Criminal Court investigate crimes allegedly committed by Israel on its territory presents the court with a major investigative and institutional challenge. To this point, the ICC has generally avoided situations where major powers strongly oppose court involvement. The prosecution's cautious selection of situations has in turn allowed for an accommodation between skeptical major powers and the court. An investigation in Palestine, which the United States and other major powers would oppose, could unsettle that fragile truce. This article considers how the situation in Palestine came before the court and analyzes several options available to the ICC prosecutor.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Issue: Nordic Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Nordic Journal of International Law (Vol. 85, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Birsha Ohdedar, Loss and Damage from the Impacts of Climate Change: A Framework for Implementation
  • Majid Nikouei & Masoud Zamani, The Secession of Crimea: Where Does International Law Stand?
  • Matilda J. Brolin, Procedural Agreements in WTO Disputes: Addressing the Sequencing Problem

Qin: Mind the Gap: Navigating between the WTO Agreement and Its Accession Protocols

Julia Ya Qin (Wayne State Univ. - Law) has posted Mind the Gap: Navigating between the WTO Agreement and Its Accession Protocols. Here's the abstract:

Since its inception in 1995, the World Trade Organization has prescribed numerous country-specific rules for its acceded members. Set out in WTO accession protocols, the country-specific rules elaborate, expand or derogate from the standard provisions of the WTO Agreement. Despite this practice, the precise status of the accession protocols and their relationship with the WTO multilateral agreements remain unclear. In the past decade, accession protocols have given rise to claims in more than twenty WTO disputes, most of them involving China. Due to the lack of textual guidance, WTO adjudicators have had to fill large gaps in interpreting the relationship between the accession provisions and the provisions of WTO multilateral agreements. Judicial interpretations hitherto, however, have not succeeded in clarifying such relationship. In some cases, they have led to problematic jurisprudence, creating systemic incoherence and inconsistencies in WTO law and policy.

This article provides an overview of the WTO disputes involving accession protocols, and analyzes the fraught relationship between accession protocols and WTO multilateral agreements. At the systemic level, it questions the commonly accepted legal basis for country-specific rulemaking under WTO law, and advocates the need to focus on systemic coherence in navigating between the WTO Agreement and its accession protocols. To achieve systemic coherence, it is proposed that tools of conflict rules should be utilized in interpreting the relationship between country-specific rules and general WTO provisions, and that any gaps and ambiguities in the text of accession provisions should be construed in a way that will preserve WTO’s fundamental principle of nondiscrimination. The article further addresses four specific interpretive issues: (i) how to determine the availability of general exceptions of WTO agreements to country-specific obligations; (ii) how to determine the scope of derogation from WTO provisions by the country-specific rules; (iii) relevance of accession protocols to the interpretation of WTO multilateral agreements; and (iv) relevance of the accession protocol of one member to the interpretation of the accession protocol of another member.

Titi: Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment, Survival Clauses and Reform of International Investment Law

Catharine Titi (French National Centre for Scientific Research) has posted Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment, Survival Clauses and Reform of International Investment Law. Here's the abstract:
In the last decade, international investment law has been on a trajectory of rapid evolution with reform high on agenda priorities. Reform requires a reconciliation of competing interests generally so difficult to achieve that it is often unclear which option constitutes ‘reform’ and which unwanted change. When political will is present, and contracting parties agree on reformed options, two particular treaty provisions, the most-favoured-nation treatment and survival clauses, can interfere with the process and become an impediment to changing the rules of the game. The most-favoured-nation treatment, a guarantee of non-discrimination present in the quasi-totality of investment treaties, can have far-reaching ramifications for newly-negotiated provisions, especially where international investment agreements confer pre-establishment rights and the clause expressly covers ‘all matters’ within a treaty. Survival clauses, a type of provision that extends the validity of an investment agreement beyond its termination, can delay the onset of the new options for an average of between five and twenty years after expiry of the treaty’s minimum period of application. The present contribution explores these two types of clause from the angle of their potential impact on reform of international investment law.

Meyer: The World Trade Organization's Role in Global Energy Governance

Timothy Meyer (Vanderbilt Univ. - Law) has posted The World Trade Organization's Role in Global Energy Governance (in Palgrave Handbook on the International Political Economy of Energy, Thijs Van de Graaf, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Florian Kern, Arunabha Ghosh & Michael T. Klare eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The World Trade Organization is by many accounts the most successful international organization in history. Yet it has been slow to address head-on the problems in one of the largest sectors of the global economy – energy. Indeed, fuel exports alone constitute roughly 18% of global merchandise exports, the single largest category. Historically, this reluctance to engage with energy can be explained partially by the fact that many major fossil fuel-producing nations were outside of the GATT. Today, however, most such nations are WTO members. While the WTO dispute settlement system has become an active tool for regulating government support of the renewable energy sector, active WTO regulation of the fossil fuel sector remains limited. This chapter, prepared for the Palgrave Handbook on the International Political Economy of Energy, presents an overview of WTO rules and how they apply or might apply to the energy sector. It further argues that this differential treatment between fossil fuels and renewable energy reflects a) the greater number, and the identity, of nations that aspire to be "producers" of renewable energy, and b) the expected growth in renewable energy in years to come.

New Issue: World Trade Review

The latest issue of the World Trade Review (Vol. 15, no. 1, January 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Joshua A. Zell, Just Between You and Me: Mutual Recognition Agreements and the Most-Favoured Nation Principle
  • Ayse Kaya, Designing the Multilateral Trading System: Voting Equality at the International Trade Organization
  • Gonzalo Villalta Puig & Eric D Dalke, Nature and Enforceability of WTO-plus SPS and TBT Provisions in Canada's PTAs: From NAFTA to CETA
  • Rosane Nunes de Faria & Christine Wieck, Regulatory Differences in the Approval of GMOs: Extent and Development over Time
  • Alexia Herwig, Too much Zeal on Seals? Animal Welfare, Public Morals, and Consumer Ethics at the Bar of the WTO
  • Ming Du, ‘Treatment No Less Favorable’ and the Future of National Treatment Obligation in GATT Article III:4 after EC–Seal Products