Saturday, March 19, 2016

Romano: International Judicialization in the Arab World: An Initial Assessment

Cesare P.R. Romano (Loyola Law School Los Angeles) has posted International Judicialization in the Arab World: An Initial Assessment. Here's the abstract:

Over the past 20 years, international judicialization — that is, the increasing creation and use of international judicial bodies — has attracted much scholarly attention. Yet despite the concerted effort of growing numbers of scholars from an expanding and disparate number of fields (e.g. law, political science, history, philosophy, sociology) there are still significant gaps in knowledge on the factors leading to success or checks to international judicialization.

One of the least-studied areas of international judicialization is the Arab world. Although reaching most of the globe, international judicialization has mostly left unaffected this large and critical area, which is populated by more than 360 million people and quickly growing. Arab countries appear relatively seldom before global international adjudicative bodies, and the few adjudicative bodies created, or in the process of being created, in the region have been crippled by significant problems.

This paper provides first an overview of international judicialization in the Arab world and participation of Arab states in global international judicialization. Second, it advances some explanations for the factors that have led to the attempt to create international adjudicative bodies in the Arab world and the reasons why these bodies have largely failed to take roots.

Fitzmaurice & Merkouris: Re-Shaping Treaties While Balancing Interests of Stability and Change

Malgosia Fitzmaurice (Queen Mary Univ. of London - Law) & Panos Merkouris (Univ. of Groningen - Law) have posted Re-Shaping Treaties While Balancing Interests of Stability and Change: Critical Issues in the Amendment/Modification/Revision of Treaties. Here's the abstract:

The present Article aims to examine trends in amendment/modification/revision (A/M/R) practices in international law, both pre- and post-VCLT, and how these reflect the constant tug-of-war between the competing interests of stability of international relations and the necessity to change in order to avoid stagnation. However, any study on trends, whether viewed as reflecting either linear or circular concepts, requires a study of the drafting history of any existing generally applicable set of rules on A/M/R. For this reason, in Section II the drafting history of the relevant articles of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) will be examined in order to draw some initial conclusions as to the trends at that time regarding A/M/R. In Section III, interesting forms of A/M/R will be examined, which either emerged post-VCLT, or existed pre-VCLT but have shown a remarkable surge in application in the last few decades. Finally, in Section IV the A/M/R clauses of treaties will be statistically examined to reveal whether any conclusions arrived at the previous Sections can be confirmed or whether any additional trends can be identified.

It goes without saying that when dealing with such a broad topic certain concessions, by necessity, have to be made. In Sections III and IV, the focus has been mainly on multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). This is not because A/M/R practice in other fields of international law is devoid of interest, far from it. However, for the purposes of this Article it was considered better to adopt a ‘narrow and deep’ approach rather than a ‘broad and shallow’ one. MEAs were selected as the ideal focal point for several reasons; firstly, because an examination of the A/M/R of all treaties would be impossible within the confines of this article. Second, because MEAs due to their technical nature and their particular object and purpose seem to best reflect the constant battle between stability and change and finally, because there is a great number of MEAs from which useful statistical data can be drawn.

Van Schaack: Mapping War Crimes in Syria

Beth Van Schaack (Stanford Univ. - Law) has posted Mapping War Crimes in Syria (International Law Studies, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This paper maps the range of war crimes being committed in Syria with reference to the applicable treaty and customary international law and prospects for prosecution. It begins by presenting the international legal framework employed to determine when an armed conflict began in Syria, how this conflict is classified under international law, and which multilateral treaties and customary rules are operative. This framework underlies the determination of which war crimes can be prosecuted, which tribunals might have jurisdiction, and which perpetrators may be made subject to indictment. The paper next focuses on some open legal and factual issues around certain war crimes that are particularly salient in the Syrian conflict but that have been under-theorized and rarely prosecuted. Along the way, it demonstrates that many of these war crimes could not be easily prosecuted before the ICC or under any domestic war crimes statutes that hew closely to the law-of-war treaties given the stark divergence between treaty law and customary international law when it comes to non-international armed conflicts in general and to the prosecutability of war crimes in such conflicts in particular. These observations offer support for proposals to develop an ad hoc tribunal dedicated to the Syrian conflict, as sketched out in the final section. All told, the paper demonstrates the continued utility of customary international law to ensure that courts can enforce evolutions in the law notwithstanding the tendency of treaties toward normative ossification.

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Issue: Journal of World Intellectual Property

The latest issue of the Journal of World Intellectual Property (Vol. 19, nos. 1-2, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Gabriel J. Michael, International Coercion and the Diffusion of Regulatory Data Protection
  • Bram De Jonge & Peter Munyi, A Differentiated Approach to Plant Variety Protection in Africa
  • Pratyush Nath Upreti, Enforcing IPRs Through Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A Paradigm Shift in Global IP Practice

Arato: The Logic of Contract in a World of Treaties

Julian Arato (Brooklyn Law School) has posted The Logic of Contract in a World of Treaties (William & Mary Law Review, forthcoming 2016). Here's the abstract:

Investment treaties protect foreign investors who contract with sovereign states. It remains unclear, however, whether parties are free to contract around these treaty rules, or whether treaty provisions should be understood as mandatory terms that constrain party choice. While investment treaties clearly apply to contracts in some way, they are silent as to how these instruments ultimately interact. Moreover, arbitral jurisprudence has varied wildly on this point, creating significant problems of certainty, efficiency, and fairness – for states and foreign investors alike.

This Article reappraises the treaty/contract issue from the ex ante perspective of contracting states and foreign investors. I make three novel claims: one conceptual, one descriptive, and one normative. First, I argue that investment treaties must be understood as having generated a rudimentary, yet broad, law of contracts – governing agreements between states and foreign investors on pivotal issues, from substantive rights and duties, to damages and forum selection. Second, I argue that this emerging international law of contracts has developed sporadically, irregularly, and inconsistently, due in part to a tendency among tribunals to confuse the logics of contract and property. As a result, it remains undecided whether contracting parties should understand background treaty norms as defaults, sticky defaults, or mandatory terms – leaving the meaning of their contracts under a cloud of doubt. Third, I argue that the best way to resolve this problem for both states and investors, ex ante, is generally to privilege their contractual arrangements over background treaty rules. Even when these parties have different interests and values at stake, the treaty/contract problem is not zero-sum. Both sides usually stand to benefit from the freedom to negotiate around treaty rules as mere defaults – though I explore certain cases where treaty norms might justifiably exert a greater pull. In general, prioritizing party choice is not only optimal from the economic standpoint – it also provides states with the tools to secure their future capacities to regulate in the public interest.

AJIL Unbound Symposium: TWAIL Perspectives on ICL, IHL, and Intervention

AJIL Unbound has posted a symposium on "TWAIL Perspectives on ICL, IHL, and Intervention." The symposium includes an introduction by James T. Gathii and contributions by Asad G. Kiyani, Parvathi Menon, Ntina Tzouvala, and Corri Zoli.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Issue: Ocean Development & International Law

The latest issue of Ocean Development & International Law (Vol. 47, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Andrew Serdy, Implementing Article 28 of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement: The First Review of a Conservation Measure in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
  • Raghavendra Mishra, The “Grey Area” in the Northern Bay of Bengal: A Note on a Functional Cooperative Solution
  • Wensheng Qu, The Issue of Jurisdiction Over Mixed Disputes in the Chagos Marine Protection Area Arbitration and Beyond
  • Yunus Emre Acikgonul, Reflections on the Principle of Non-Cut Off: A Growing Concept in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Law
  • Øystein Jensen, Russia's Revised Arctic Seabed Submission

Call for Papers: International Law and a Dynamic Asia

The Asian Society of International Law has issued a call for papers for its 2016 Regional Conference, which will be hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, in Hanoi, on June 14-15. The theme is "International Law and a Dynamic Asia." Here's the call:

Asian Society of International Law

Regional Conference

International Law and a Dynamic Asia

Ha Noi, 14-15 June 2016

Call for Papers

The 2016 Regional Conference of the Asian Society of International Law will take place in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

The Conference will consist of plenary sessions and a number of agorae. In addition, the Conference will feature two special agorae on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the establishment of the ASEAN Community – two remarkable developments in 2015.

The Conference provides an excellent forum for speakers to share innovative and original ideas in wide-ranging areas of international law with a view to stimulating debate and promoting further research; this is also an opportunity to foster contacts between participants. Papers presented in agorae should focus on the field of international law connected with the overarching conference theme and the description of the agora as described below.

Papers should be unpublished at the moment of presentation and be at an advanced stage of completion. The working language of the conference is English.

Theme of the Conference

The 21st century is frequently called the “Asian century” with most countries in the region recording remarkable economic growth. Economic links within the region and beyond are constantly increasing, examples being, among others, the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Further development in terms of regional integration has also been achieved especially with the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

Yet Asia, dynamic and diverse as it is, comprises high-income industrialised countries and emerging economies but is also home to two thirds of the world's poor. The region remains fraught with numerous political crises, intractable territorial and maritime disputes and unresolved ethnic and social conflicts.

Against this background, it is high time that legal scholars and practitioners discussed the role of international law in creating an environment conducive to the safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people across borders, maintaining peace and stability in the region and addressing non-traditional security challenges. The 2016 Regional Conference of the Asian Society of International Law will offer a great opportunity to share Asian perspective on and approach to the legal issues that arise from the recent developments in or related to the region.

Topics of Papers

Proposals for papers are now being invited on the following topics:

  1. International economic law: trade and investment;
  2. Intellectual property rights;
  3. International commercial arbitration, including investor-state arbitration;
  4. Private International Law, especially choice of law and jurisdiction for international contracts in Asia;
  5. National implementation of international law;
  6. Human Rights, including Asian perspective on the protection of human rights, international and regional monitoring and enforcing human rights, business and human rights;
  7. The protection of refugee and other forced migrants;
  8. International environmental law, including transboundary air pollution, climate change and freshwater resources;
  9. Law of the sea, including territorial and maritime disputes, safety and security of navigation, the protection of the marine environment and sustainable development;
  10. Peaceful settlement of international disputes: diplomatic and judicial means;
  11. TPP and other (Mega-)Regional Trade Agreements;
  12. The establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015.
All persons interested in international law, be they academic or practitioners, government officials or NGO officers, are encouraged to participate in and apply for positions as agora speakers. Papers are expected to provide an Asian perspective on or adopt an international/comparative approach to the listed topics.

Submission of Paper Proposals

Paper proposals, for which joint submission is possible, will be reviewed by a selection committee who will make decision based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and innovativeness of the work
  • Links to the conference theme
  • Only one abstract per author will be considered
Abstracts (in word or PDF format) in no more than 500 words must be submitted via e-mail to with the following information:
  • Author’s affiliation details and one-page biography
  • Author’s contact details, including email address and phone number
  • Author’s affiliation to the Asian Society of International Law.
Preference will be given to existing members of the Asian Society of International Law in the selection process. To sign up for membership, please click here.

Any enquiries about the paper selection process and the Ha Noi Conference may be addressed to email address above.


  • The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 April 2016
  • Successful applicants will be informed by no later than 01 May 2016
  • The deadline for submission of fully developed papers, which should be no more than 10 000 words, or more detailed abstracts, is 05 June 2016.
  • The conference begins on Tuesday 14 June and ends on Wednesday 15 June 2016

All selected agora speakers must register for the conference and, if AsianSIL members, will be eligible for a reduced conference registration fee and an invitation to the conference reception. Neither the Diplomatic Academy nor Asian Society of International Law will cover expenses for travel and accommodation.


Paper presenters are encouraged to submit finalized papers to the Society’s Asian Journal of International Law. Publication is subject to a double-blind peer-review and editorial discretion. Details may be found on the Journal’s Website.

Lauterpacht Centre Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series for Easter Term 2016

Here's the schedule for the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law's Easter Term 2016 Friday Lunchtime Lectures:
  • April 22, 2016: Kai Ambos (University of Göttingen - Law), The Colombian Peace Process with the FARC and International (Criminal) Law
  • April 29, 2016: Dapo Akande and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard (respectively, Univ. of Oxford - Law and Univ. of Oxford - Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict), The Law Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict
  • May 6, 2016: Rachel Murray (Univ. of Bristol - Law), Monitoring Implementation of the Decisions of the African Commission and Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

New Issue: International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

The latest issue of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics (Vol. 16, no. 2, April 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Jing Liu & Michael Faure, Compensation for nuclear damage: a comparison among the international regime, Japan and China
  • Victor Galaz, Henrik Österblom, Örjan Bodin, & Beatrice Crona, Global networks and global change-induced tipping points
  • Gabriele Spilker & Vally Koubi, The effects of treaty legality and domestic institutional hurdles on environmental treaty ratification
  • Miriam Prys & Jörg Balsiger, Regional agreements in international environmental politics
  • Patrick Bayer, Johannes Urpelainen, & Alice Xu, Explaining differences in sub-national patterns of clean technology transfer to China and India
  • Mathias Friman, Consensus rationales in negotiating historical responsibility for climate change
  • Neda A. Zawahri, Ariel Dinar, & Getachew Nigatu, Governing international freshwater resources: an analysis of treaty design

Corradetti: Kant's Legacy and the Idea of a Transitional Jus Cosmopoliticum

Claudio Corradetti (Univ. of Oslo - Law) has published Kant's Legacy and the Idea of a Transitional Jus Cosmopoliticum (Ratio Juris, Vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 105–121, March 2016). Here's the abstract:
In the following sections, I defend the idea of Kant's 'transitional cosmopolitanism'. I hold that Kant holds a distinct view for the 'transitional' character of cosmopolitan law which avoids the danger of a world state. According to this suggested interpretation, the relation between cosmopolitan law and its institutional instantiations is explained by the function the former plays as a “freedom generating” advancement. Among those most relevant to the argument I offer here, both Kleingeld and Brown are worth mentioning. However, my interpretation differs from theirs in important ways. Whereas Kleingeld attributes to Kant’s change of mind the institutional shift from a weak noncoercive league to a coercive state of states, and Brown emphasizes the practical implementation of cosmopolitan law as a form of legal transition, I reconstruct and explain how the multiple institutional entities Kant refers to are to be considered as parts of a single pattern. This hypothesis justifies the idea of an inherent transitional character of transnational improvements brought about by cosmopolitan right.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Su: Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power

Anna Su (Univ. of Toronto - Law) has published Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power (Harvard Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

Religious freedom is widely recognized today as a basic human right, guaranteed by nearly all national constitutions. Exporting Freedom charts the rise of religious freedom as an ideal firmly enshrined in international law and shows how America’s promotion of the cause of individuals worldwide to freely practice their faith advanced its ascent as a global power.

Anna Su traces America’s exportation of religious freedom in various laws and policies enacted over the course of the twentieth century, in diverse locations and under a variety of historical circumstances. Influenced by growing religious tolerance at home and inspired by a belief in the United States’ obligation to protect the persecuted beyond its borders, American officials drafted constitutions as part of military occupations—in the Philippines after the Spanish–American War, in Japan following World War II, and in Iraq after 2003. They also spearheaded efforts to reform the international legal order by pursuing Wilsonian principles in the League of Nations, drafting the United Nations Charter, and signing the Helsinki Accords during the Cold War. The fruits of these labors are evident in the religious freedom provisions in international legal instruments, regional human rights conventions, and national constitutions.

In examining the evolution of religious freedom from an expression of the civilizing impulse to the democratization of states and, finally, through the promotion of human rights, Su offers a new understanding of the significance of religion in international relations.

Singh: Koskenniemi's Images of the International Lawyer

Sahib Singh (Univ. of Cambridge) has posted Koskenniemi's Images of the International Lawyer (Leiden Journal of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
In this paper I excavate and critique the images of the international lawyer that emerge from the main texts of Martti Koskenniemi. After uncovering their attitudes and characteristics, I question whether these images are capable of realising the politics of critical thought. The first is the critical subject that emerges from "From Apology to Utopia", who also happens to be a projection of the critic. She is governed by both elitism and unhappiness, for whom freedom is always both a constant and overarching possibility, yet always embodied in a fleeting moment. I question whether this critic(al subject) may not unwittingly embed the very aspects of liberal legal and political thought that she seeks to challenge. (Part II) The second image of the international lawyer is the professional lawyer who is left on the shores of pragmatism. She takes a last - and perhaps futile - refuge in an ethics that could buttress an identity which allows for international law's moral regeneration. She emerges from my reading of "The Gentle Civilizer", the 2005 Epilogue to the republished "From Apology to Utopia" and those texts relating to Koskenniemi's turn to Kant. (Part III) My hope, in exploring these images of the international lawyer and their politics, is to shake the faith often invested in the potential of the subject within critical international legal thought. The small contribution of this paper is to suggest that we need to be willing to shake our own foundations no matter how deep they run. Even if, and perhaps especially because, it is our identity at stake.

New Issue: Virginia Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Virginia Journal of International Law (Vol. 55, no. 3, Summer 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Charles P. Trumbull IV, Re-Thinking the Principle of Proportionality Outside of Hot Battlefields
  • James A. Green, The Article 51 Reporting Requirement for Self-Defense Actions
  • Margaret K. Lewis, When Foreign is Criminal
  • Gráinne de Búrca, International Law Before the Courts: the EU and the US Compared
  • Shalev Roisman, Constraining States: Constitutional Lessons for International Courts

Venzke: Investor-State Dispute Settlement in TTIP from the Perspective of a Public Law Theory of International Adjudication

Ingo Venzke (Univ. of Amsterdam - Law) has posted Investor-State Dispute Settlement in TTIP from the Perspective of a Public Law Theory of International Adjudication (Journal of World Investment & Trade, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The article provides an assessment of the European Commission’s recent proposal for reform in investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) under the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It does so on the basis of a public law theory of international adjudication that presents international courts and tribunals as multifunctional actors who exercise public authority and therefore require democratic legitimacy. The article introduces this understanding against the background of other, traditional basic conceptions of international courts and tribunals. It then focuses on the prospects of appellate review and politico-legislative input under the European Commission’s proposal for TTIP, as well as on the provisions pertaining to the arbitrators, the judicial process, and the judicial decisions. While the net merits of ISDS in the Trans-Atlantic context are uncertain, the article submits that the European Commission’s proposal provides, in principle, a welcome response to some of the more egregious shortcomings of investor-state arbitration.

New Issue: Journal of International Criminal Justice

The latest issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice (Vol. 14, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Article
    • Marjolein Cupido, Facing Facts in International Criminal Law: A Casuistic Model of Judicial Reasoning
  • Symposium: The Specialist Chambers of Kosovo: Domestic Trials or the First Incursion by the European Union into International Criminal Justice?
    • Foreword
    • Sarah Williams, The Specialist Chambers of Kosovo: The Limits of Internationalization?
    • Emanuele Cimiotta, The Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in Kosovo: The ‘Regionalization’ of International Criminal Justice in Context
    • Matthew E. Cross, Equipping the Specialist Chambers of Kosovo to Try Transnational Crimes: Remarks on Independence and Cooperation
    • Lachezar Yanev, Co-Perpetration Responsibility in the Kosovo Specialist Chambers: Staying on the Beaten Path?
    • Gabriella Citroni, The Specialist Chambers of Kosovo: The Applicable Law and the Special Challenges Related to the Crime of Enforced Disappearance
  • Cases before International Courts and Tribunals
    • Helen McDermott, Seeking a Stay of Proceedings for Irregular Apprehension before International Courts: Fighting a Losing Battle against the Pursuit of International Criminal Justice
    • Tilman Rodenhäuser, Squaring the Circle?: Prosecuting Sexual Violence against Child Soldiers by their ‘Own Forces’
  • National Prosecution of International Crimes: Legislation and Cases
    • Helen L. Trouille, France, Universal Jurisdiction and Rwandan génocidaires: The Simbikangwa Trial

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lecture: Darian-Smith on "Islands of Law, Seas of Humanity: Law in a Postnational World"

Tomorrow, March 16, 2016, Eve Darian-Smith (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) will deliver the second annual Cotterrell Lecture in Sociological Jurisprudence at Queen Mary University of London. Her topic will be "Islands of Law, Seas of Humanity: Law in a Postnational World."

New Issue: Trade, Law and Development

The latest issue of Trade, Law and Development (Vol. 7, no. 1, Summer 2015) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Issue: Government Procurement
    • Ali Amerjee, Are Government(s) Pro-‘Cure’(Ment)? The WTO and Beyond
    • Nicholas C. Niggli, Helping Nations, Businesses and People to Succeed: How Government Procurement Influences Institution Building, Good Governance, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
    • Chang-fa Lo, Anti-Corruption Provisions in the New GPA
    • Robert D. Anderson & Anna Caroline Müller, The Revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement as an Emerging Pillar of the World Trading System: Recent Developments
    • Caroline Nicholas, Negotiations and the Development of International Standards in Public Procurement: Let the Best Team Win?
    • Christopher R. Yukins & Johannes S. Schnitzer, GPA Accession: Lessons Learned on the Strengths and Weaknesses of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement
    • Sandeep Verma, Life Cycle Costing in Defence Acquisition: The Challenges of Transforming Complex Aspirations into Factual Ground Realities
    • Geo Quinot, Innovation, State Contracting and Public Procurement Law
    • Anna La Chimia, Cui bono? Scope, rationales and consequences of the exemption for development procurement in the revised text of the GPA

New Issue: Arbitration International

The latest issue of Arbitration International (Vol. 32, no. 1, March 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Stephen M. Schwebel, The outlook for the continued vitality, or lack thereof, of investor–State arbitration
    • Francisco González de Cossío, Enforcement of annulled awards: towards a better analytical approach
    • Berk Demirkol, Interpretation of the dispute settlement clause in Turkish investment treaties with Turkic States
    • Kateryna Bondar, Allocation of costs in investor-State and commercial arbitration: towards a harmonized approach
    • Stephanie Mullen & Elizabeth Whitsitt, Quantum, annulment and the requirement to give reasons: analysis and reform
    • Mitchell Moranis, Between power and procedure: the changing balance of investment treaty protections
  • Case Notes
    • Guido Carducci, Notes on the EUCJ’s ruling in Gazprom: West Tankers is unaffected and anti-suit injunctions issued by arbitral tribunals are not governed by EU Regulation 44/2001
    • Jennifer Cabrera, Dante Figueroa, & Herfried Wöss, The administrative contract, non-arbitrability, and the recognition and execution of awards annulled in the country of origin: the case of Commisa v Pemex
    • Tamar Meshel, Bannai v Erez and the jurisdictional race of the Israeli and English courts
    • Friedrich Rosenfeld, Security for costs in ICSID arbitration: RSM Production Corporation v St Lucia
    • Klaus Peter Berger & Thomas Arntz, Good faith as a ‘general organising principle’ of the common law
  • Recent Developments
    • Arthad Kurlekar & Gauri Pillai, To be or not to be: the oscillating support of Indian courts to arbitration awards challenged under the public policy exception
    • Eleni Magklasi, ‘Shaky’ times for arbitration clauses: rethinking business common sense

New Issue: Yale Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Yale Journal of International Law (Vol. 41, no. 1, Winter 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Nancy Amoury Combs, Seeking Inconsistency: Advancing Pluralism in International Criminal Sentencing
  • Michael J. Glennon & Robert D. Sloane, The Sad, Quiet Death of Missouri v. Holland: How Bond Hobbled the Treaty Power
  • Aparna Polavarapu, Expanding Standing to Develop Democracy: Third-Party Public Interest Standing as a Tool for Emerging Democracies
  • Harold Hongju Koh, The Legal Adviser’s Duty to Explain

New Volume: Anuario Mexicano de Derecho Internacional

The latest volume of the Anuario Mexicano de Derecho Internacional (Vol. 16, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Doctrina
    • Elisa Ortega Velázquez, Naturaleza jurídica de la protección diplomática a la luz del desarrollo progresivo del derecho internacional: ¿derecho del Estado o de la persona humana?
    • Camilo Soto Crespo, Algunas consideraciones jurídicas sobre la participación de México en las operaciones de mantenimiento de la paz
    • Roberto Garza Barbosa, U.S. Copyright Law, Technology and Litigation. A National Approach and its International Consequences
    • Soledad Torrecuadrada García-Lozano, El interés superior del niño
    • Nuria González Martín & María Mercedes Albornoz, Aspectos transfronterizos de la gestación por sustitución
    • Daniel Tavela Luís & José Augusto Fontoura Costa, Repúblicas bolivarianas e o ICSID: será que o inimigo não é outro?
    • Alexandre Pereira da Silva, O direito internacional e o renovado interesse pelo Ártico
    • Alonso Gómez-Robledo Verduzco, Apuntes sobre delimitación en derecho internacional del mar
  • Comentarios
    • Juan Manuel Portilla Gómez & Imanol de la Flor Patiño, Las inmunidades diplomáticas en el derecho comparado (México-Estados Unidos) y en el derecho internacional
    • Luisa Gabriela Morales Vega & Roberto Sanromán Aranda, Derechos humanos y seguridad nacional en México. Programa frontera Sur a cuatro años de la Ley de Migración
    • Sergio Alejandro Rea Granados, Retos actuales en la implementación de la Ley sobre Refugiados y protección complementaria en México: identificación, admisión y acceso al procedimiento de asilo
    • Andrés Sarmiento Lamus, Impacto e implementación en Colombia de la decisión de fondo de la Corte Internacional de Justicia en el diferendo territorial y marítimo (Nicaragua c. Colombia)
    • Humberto Cantú Rivera, ¿Hacia un tratado internacional sobre la responsabilidad de las empresas en el ámbito de los derechos humanos? Reflexiones sobre la primera sesión del Grupo de Trabajo intergubernamental de composición abierta
    • Jânia Maria Lopez Saldanha, Márcio Morais Brum, & Rafaela da Cruz Mello, As novas tecnologias da informação e comunicação entre a promessa de liberdade e o risco de controle total: estudo da jurisprudência do sistema interamericano de direitos humanos
    • Salete Oro Boff & Natasha Alves Ferreira, Análise dos benefícios sociais da bitcoin como moeda
    • Doris Teresita Mendoza López, La lucha del derecho internacional tributario contra la planeación fiscal agresiva

Call for Papers: Emotions & International Law

A call for papers has been issued for a colloquium on “Emotions & International Law,” to be held August 25-26, 2016, at the School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. Here's the call:


“Emotions & International Law”

Call for papers

The School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires is hosting a Colloquium on “Emotions & International Law”, which will take place on August 25th and 26th in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event is organized by the Permanent Seminar on the Theory and History of International Law (SEMPITHIDIA) and the DECyT Research Project “The passions of international law: Affective perspectives, States’ emotions and political feelings in the history of ius gentium”, under the direction of Prof. Emiliano J. Buis.

The law is usually conceived as a “rational” ground, a social construction that emanates from the need to objectivise passionate controversies and find discursively structured solutions to avoid the use of vengeance. Nonetheless, the "affective turn" in social sciences and humanities have made it also possible to think of law as the result of passions and therefore emotionally apprehensible. From an international relations perspective, it would seem that, in the absence of a superior authority, interactions among States are guided by their feelings and conveniences. Indeed, their behaviour seems less structured on justified reasoning than on national impulses and reactions, which are in fact complex as they rely on cognitive structures that are not limited to the sensitive dimension.

The event will mainly encompass the conceptual discussion on feelings such as hatred, resentment, compassion, nostalgia, fear, empathy/sympathy, jealousy, shame, humiliation, affection/love, among others, which are considered as possible keys of interpretation and analysis frameworks to examine international relations on a broad sense, involving States and non-State actors, as well as the generation of rules regulating them.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Emotions throughout the history of international law and its relationship with the hegemonic construction of power.
  • The role of emotions in international law-making.
  • Tensions between change and stability in international law.
  • History, present and emotions in transitional justice mechanisms.
  • Emotions involved in the use of force and in international humanitarian law.
  • The affective expression of international actors.
  • Emotional readings in international scholarship.
The Colloquium is open to academics, professionals and students of international law and other related subjects. Proposals will be selected on the basis of their quality, originality and thought-provoking capacity. The submitted papers may be eventually published.

Proposals requirements: Abstracts (no more than 500 words) will be received until May 1st, 2016 and must be emailed to and The results will be announced on June 1st 2016.

Those scholars whose abstracts had been accepted are due to send their final paper (between 4500 and 7500 words, including footnotes) before August 1st, 2016. The presentations will be distributed to the other participants beforehand in order to facilitate in-depth discussions. Proposals will be received both in English or in Spanish.

For questions related to the information contained in this call for papers or the event please contact the organizers on the following e-mails:;

Summary of relevant dates:

  • May 1st: Abstracts deadline.
  • June 1st: Announcement of accepted proposals.
  • August 1st: Deadline for paper submissions.
  • August 25th and 26th: Colloquium.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Åhrén: Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System

Mattias Åhrén (Arctic Univ. of Norway) has published Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

While many have explored the law governing the rights of indigenous peoples through an examination of relevant instruments and institutions, this book demonstrates that international indigenous rights can be best understood through the study of two questions: What is meant by 'peoples' and 'equality' under international law?

Indigenous Peoples' Status in the International Legal System offers a new and profound insight into the international indigenous rights discourse. This volume explains that the understanding of 'peoples' is paramount to the question of whether indigenous peoples are beneficiaries of the right to self-determination and sets out the content and scope of this right. The book additionally explores the contemporary meaning of 'equality', arguing that the understanding of equality fundamentally impacts what rights indigenous peoples possess over territories and natural resources. This book outlines the rights of greatest relevance to indigenous peoples, communities, and individuals, and explains the justification for indigenous rights.

New Volume: Anuario Iberoamericano de Derecho Internacional Penal

The latest volume of the Anuario Iberoamericano de Derecho Internacional Penal (Vol. 4, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Sección de Investigación
    • Mónica Rocha Herrera, Actores no estatales: grupos armados, milicias, señores de la guerra, grupos criminales organizados y paramilitares. ¿Pueden acaso estos grupos cometer crímenes internacionales conforme al Derecho penal internacional?
  • Sección de Ensayos de Investigación
    • Giovanna M. Frisso, O direito internacional penal como instrumento de resistência nos tribunais do povo: o Tribunal Internacional para a Aplicação da Justiça Restaurativa em El Salvador
    • Natalia Paz Morales Cerda, Ausencia de una perspectiva de género en la Corte Penal Internacional: una mirada al caso Fiscalía vs. Lubanga Dyilo
    • Luciano Pezzano, El umbral de gravedad en el crimen de agresión: ¿una nueva categoría en los usos ilícitos de la fuerza?
    • Noelia Trinidad Núñez, La función de la costumbre en el Estatuto de la Corte Penal Internacional
  • Sección de Reseñas Jurisprudenciales
    • Juan Camilo Serrano Uribe, Tribunal Internacional Penal para la antigua Yugoslavia Decisión de la Sala de Apelaciones del Tribunal Internacional Penal para la antigua Yugoslavia en el caso de la Fiscalía contra Vlastimir Đorđević
    • Gretta Natalia Hernández, Corte Internacional de Justicia: caso relativo a la aplicación de la convención para la prevención y la sanción del delito de genocidio (Croacia contra Serbia) Decisión de fondo 3 de febrero de 2015

Bradley: Protecting Civilians in War: The ICRC, UNHCR, and Their Limitations in Internal Armed Conflicts

Miriam Bradley (Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals) has published Protecting Civilians in War: The ICRC, UNHCR, and Their Limitations in Internal Armed Conflicts (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

Since the complex emergencies of the 1990s, humanitarian agencies have placed increasing emphasis on the protection of civilians during armed conflict. In spite of this, there is a consensus among humanitarians that outcomes are falling short of intentions, and that the increased emphasis on protection by humanitarian actors has failed to yield a corresponding improvement in the security of the civilian population.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are two of the most important humanitarian agencies for the protection of civilians, and both have protection at the heart of their mandates. Protecting Civilians in War explores how organizational history, structure, and culture affect how each organization goes about protection, and highlights the ways in which their resulting approaches to protection are inherently limited.

Whereas existing explanations for shortcomings in humanitarian protection tend to blame factors external to humanitarian agencies, the focus of this book is on the organizations themselves, and their understandings of protection. While acknowledging the importance of other actors in determining the level of civilian security or insecurity, the analysis in this book focuses on the ways in which the ICRC and UNHCR conceptualise and practise protection in order to add another layer to our understanding of why protection outcomes are so often so disappointing. Based on research in Geneva, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar, it examines headquarter-level policy and the way that such policy is translated into practice on the ground.

Kanetake: The Dual Vulnerability of Transnational Science-Based Standards in the National Legal Order

Machiko Kanetake (Utrecht Univ. - Law) has posted The Dual Vulnerability of Transnational Science-Based Standards in the National Legal Order (Transnational Legal Theory, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This paper highlights the scientific and political vulnerability of transnational science-based standards. Among them, this paper focuses on radiation standards formulated by the decentralised web of expert committees, international organisations, and inter-governmental forums. Transnational science-based standards are beset with scientific fragility, precisely because they provide certain regulatory stability in the scientifically uncertain areas. Their much-needed standard-setting role tends to destabilise the scientific trustworthiness of transnational standards. This scientific fragility is accompanied by political vulnerability. Transnational science-based standards are often formulated without the involvement of those private entities and individuals on whom the standards have visible consequences. To overlook the dual vulnerability is problematic, particularly when such standards are absorbed into the national legal order on the basis that they are scientifically authoritative with little need for political input. This paper exposes the domestic neglect of dual vulnerability by analysing the case of Japan. In the Japanese stories after Hiroshima-Nagasaki (1945) and Fukushima (2011), the government emphasised the scientific credibility of transnational bodies and simultaneously escaped domestic political deliberation, which, paradoxically, invited both scientific and political contestations. This paper has a specific focus; yet the issue of dual vulnerability would likely arise in many other science-based standards formulated transnationally and absorbed into the domestic legal order.

Green: The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law

James A. Green (Univ. of Reading - Law) has published The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law (Oxford Univ. Press 2016). Here's the abstract:

The persistent objector rule is said to provide states with an 'escape hatch' from the otherwise universal binding force of customary international law. It provides that if a state persistently objects to a newly emerging norm of customary international law during the formation of that norm, then the objecting state is exempt from the norm once it crystallises into law. The conceptual role of the rule may be interepreted as straightforward: to preserve the fundamentalist positivist notion that any norm of international law can only bind a state that has consented to be bound by it. In reality, however, numerous unanswered questions exist about the way that it works in practice.

Through focused analysis of state practice, this monograph provides a detailed understanding of how the rule emerged and operates, how it should be conceptualised, and what its implications are for the binding nature of customary international law. It argues that the persistent objector rule ultimately has an important role to play in the mixture of consent and consensus that underpins international law.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Methymaki & Tzanakopoulos: Masters of Puppets? Reassertion of Control Through Joint Investment Treaty Interpretation

Eleni Methymaki (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) & Antonios Tzanakopoulos (Univ. of Oxford - Law) have posted Masters of Puppets? Reassertion of Control Through Joint Investment Treaty Interpretation (in States’ Reassertion of Control Over International Investment Agreements and International Investment Treaty Dispute Settlement, Andreas Kulick ed., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The explosion of international investment arbitration under international investment agreements has caused significant backlash, with states parties to such agreements now seeking to reassert control over their agreements in the face of tribunals occasionally running amok. This paper considers the options for states parties to reassert control over their treaties by putting forward joint binding interpretations of relevant provisions. It posits the states parties as the masters of their treaties, reviews the relevant law and arbitral practice, and responds to common objections to joint binding interpretation.

Ravanides: Srebrenica at 20: The ICTY Issues Long-Due Final Convictions

Christos Ravanides (Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals) has posted an ASIL Insight on Srebrenica at 20: The ICTY Issues Long-Due Final Convictions.