Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Volume: Recueil des Cours

Volume 381 of the Recueil des Cours, Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law is out. Contents include:
  • Volume 381
    • Erik Jayme, Les langues et le droit international privé
    • George Bermann, Arbitration and Private International Law

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thirlway: Professor Baxter’s Legacy: Still Paradoxical?

Hugh Thirlway (formerly, Graduate Institute of International Studies) has posted an ESIL Reflection on Professor Baxter’s Legacy: Still Paradoxical?

Cardinal & Mégret: The Other 'Other': Moors, International Law and the Origin of the Colonial Matrix

Pierre-Alexandre Cardinal (McGill Univ. - Law) & Frédéric Mégret (McGill Univ. - Law) have posted The Other 'Other': Moors, International Law and the Origin of the Colonial Matrix (in New Approaches to the History of International Law and Islam, I. de la Rasilla del Moral & A. Shahid eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

Historiographies of international law highlight as the beginning of this “inter-national” set of binding rules the Reformation and the way it tore at the very fabric of Christian unity by exposing seemingly incommensurable (while hermeneutically similar) world views. Others go further and point to the Renaissance and the early modern periods as at least containing the seeds of an international legal order in the making. In particular the beginning of international law is located in the writings of the Spanish post-scholastics of the Salamanca school, essentially Dominicans and Jesuits reflecting on Aquinas’ rendition of natural law. The “Other” of International Law, therefore, is conceived as being the Indian of the Americas, one whose encounter powerfully contributed to the shaping of an international system becoming aware of his radical difference.

Still, international law’s debt to its encounter with its Muslim Other, despite its evident linkages to early modernity, remains curiously absent from the discipline’s historiography. At no point are the “Re-”Conquista and medieval Europe’s continued dealings with Muslims in its midst and on its frontiers mentioned, as if the “discovery” alone marked a fundamental break in the normative interactions between people. Why is this initial and even foundational hinging moment neglected? What does it say about the writing of the history of international law? That it is conspicuously not a history of the relation of Europe with its Islamic other, perhaps even a tentative erasure of that relation?

This essay seeks to challenge the accepted historiography of the discipline, with specific regard to Europe’s relations with the people of Islam, and those they perceived as the people of Islam. The general guiding thread of the argument is that international law, at its inception, was a discourse that enforced a structure of power for the justification of conquest and control of Europe’s normatively divergent “Other.” Conceptually, we propose to use Peruvian Philosopher Anibal Quijano’s theorization of the “matrix of coloniality” as a reifying structure of power, and thus of the inherent relationship between the project of modernity and the domination of the Other. We claim that the structure of the “matrix of coloniality” arguably emerged long before the “Re-”Conquista, while that event significantly helped shape its unfolding and arguably paved the way for the other conquista, that of the Americas.

New Issue: International Legal Materials

The latest issue of International Legal Materials (Vol. 55, no. 6, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Al-Dulimi and Montana Management Inc. v. Switzerland (Eur. Ct. H.R.), with introductory note by Stefan Kadelbach
  • Bédat v. Switzerland (Eur. Ct. H.R.), with introductory note by Dimitrios Kagiaros
  • Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, with introductory note by Alexis J. Ortiz
  • United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), with introductory note by Kasey McCall-Smith
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 2298, with introductory note by David P. Fidler

Armitage & Pitts: Alexandrowicz on The Law of Nations in Global History

David Armitage (Harvard Univ. - History) & Jennifer Pitts (Univ. of Chicago - Political Science) have published the writings of C.H. Alexandrowicz on The Law of Nations in Global History (Oxford Univ. Press 2017). Here's the abstract:

The history and theory of international law have been transformed in recent years by post-colonial and post-imperial critiques of the universalistic claims of Western international law. The origins of those critiques lie in the often overlooked work of the remarkable Polish-British lawyer-historian C.H. Alexandrowicz (1902-75). This volume collects Alexandrowicz's shorter historical writings, on subjects from the law of nations in pre-colonial India to the New International Economic Order of the 1970s, and presents them as a challenging portrait of early modern and modern world history seen through the lens of the law of nations.

The book includes the first complete bibliography of Alexandrowicz's writings and the first biographical and critical introduction to his life and works. It reveals the formative influence of his Polish roots and early work on canon law for his later scholarship undertaken in Madras (1951-61) and Sydney (1961-67) and the development of his thought regarding sovereignty, statehood, self-determination, and legal personality, among many other topics still of urgent interest to international lawyers, political theorists, and global historians.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

McCrudden: CEDAW in National Courts: A Case Study in Operationalizing Comparative International Law Analysis in a Human Rights Context

Christopher McCrudden (Queen's Univ. Belfast - Law) has posted CEDAW in National Courts: A Case Study in Operationalizing Comparative International Law Analysis in a Human Rights Context (in Comparative International Law, Anthea Roberts, Paul Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, & Mila Versteeg eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
In an article published in the American Journal of International Law (AJIL), I tackled the difficult question of how to explain the pattern of domestic judicial use of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women that I had identified, and I suggested explanations for this pattern. My tentative conclusion was that what similarities and differences were observable resulted, at least in part, from the functions that international human rights law fulfills in domestic jurisdictions, and that these functions may differ from the role that international human rights law plays at the international level. It was suggested that the observable pattern of references to CEDAW in national level courts results, to a significant degree, from the combination of the four elements involved in comparative international human rights law: that it is international law; and that it concerns human rights; and that it is law; and that it is being applied domestically. In this article, I referred to both the methodology I used, and the findings of the study on which this analysis was based, in summary form, promising a fuller account in this book. This chapter seeks to fulfil the promise in my AJIL article to explain my methodology and my basic findings in more detail. The chapter is structured as follows. Part II presents a brief outline of CEDAW in order to locate what follows. Part III provides a detailed analysis of the methodology I adopted in undertaking the study, including a discussion of the sources I used in compiling a detailed dataset of judicial opinions and how I formulated the questions used to analyze this dataset. Part IV presents the basic findings that resulted from this analysis. Part V concludes. There are, in addition, two appendices. Appendix A sets out the electronic and other databases and datasets from which my dataset of domestic cases citing CEDAW was drawn. Appendix B provides citations for each of the cases in the dataset, by jurisdiction.

Schill: Sources of International Investment Law: Multilateralization, Arbitral Precedent, Comparativism, Soft Law

Stephan W. Schill (Univ. of Amsterdam - Law) has posted Sources of International Investment Law: Multilateralization, Arbitral Precedent, Comparativism, Soft Law (in The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law, Jean d’Aspremont & Samantha Besson eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This paper discusses the use of sources of international law in the settlement of disputes arising under bilateral, regional and multilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements, focusing specifically on particularities this field of international law displays in comparison to general international law. It addresses, first, the importance of bilateral treaties in international investment law (IIL) and shows that their bilateral form is not opposed to the emergence of a genuinely multilateral regime of IIL. Second, the paper turns to the preeminent importance arbitral decisions assume in determining and developing the content of IIL. Third, the paper addresses the increasing influence of comparative law in IIL and its impact on its understanding of sources. Fourth, the paper discusses how soft law instruments influence IIL, even though they are not binding law. It argues that the particular ‘sources-mix’ in IIL is chiefly a product of the existence of compulsory dispute settlement through investment treaty arbitration and the sociological composition of the field.

Reydams: Politics or Pragmatism? The ICTR and the Burying of the Investigation into the Assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana

Luc Reydams (Univ. of Notre Dame - Political Science) has posted Politics or Pragmatism? The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Burying of the Investigation into the Assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana (Human Rights Quarterly, forthcoming). Here's abstract:
A persistent rumor about the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is that ‘politics’ played a role in the decision in 1997 of then Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour to end the investigation into the assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana. The article examines whether there is any truth to this rumor and, alternatively, whether more mundane reasons may explain the burying of the investigation. On the basis of interviews and email correspondence with the persons who might have pressured Arbour and with the former Chief-Prosecutor herself, the article concludes that there is no evidence that the US Government or the UN Secretariat intervened. Arbour’s decision seems to have been based on an assessment of the concrete conditions at the time. These were such that any responsible Prosecutor would have concluded that pursuing the investigation would be futile and dangerous. Because the truth about the assassination remains unknown, the article ends by suggesting a way to finish the ICTR’s unfinished business.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gurmendi Dunkelberg: There and Back Again: The Inter-American Human Rights System's Approach to International Humanitarian Law

Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg (Universidad del Pacifico) has posted There and Back Again: The Inter-American Human Rights System's Approach to International Humanitarian Law. Here's the abstract:
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is constantly deciding cases that relate to the conduct of States in times of armed conflict. However, while a trailblazer in the field of human rights, the Court’s record with regard to the advancement of international humanitarian law is less stellar. In this article I will offer an explanation for this disconnect between the Inter-American System and international humanitarian law. Through the analysis of the court’s humanitarian law case-law, I argue that the Inter-American Court has gone through a long process of adaptation to international humanitarian law, starting with promising beginnings in the late-nineties at the Inter-American Commission, continuing through a philosophical shift in the early 2000s that drove the Inter-American Court away from direct application of humanitarian law, and ultimately returning to humanitarian law-friendly causeways in the 2010s. I also point to the risks entailed by a human rights system not well connected to humanitarian law and the reasons why I believe the Court’s disassociation with international humanitarian law seems to be slowly but steadily tending towards a positive evolution.

Job Opening: Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic (Clinical Fellow/Supervising Attorney)

Duke Law School seeks to fill a Clinical Fellow/Supervising Attorney position in its International Human Rights Clinic beginning in the summer of 2017. The advertisement is here.

New Issue: Transnational Legal Theory

The latest issue of Transnational Legal Theory (Vol. 7, no. 4, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Thomas Lundmark & Helen Waller, Using statutes and cases in common and civil law
  • Machiko Kanetake, The dual vulnerability of transnational, science-based standards in the national legal order
  • Alexis Galán & Stephanie Law, The emergence of European private law and the plurality of authority
  • Christoph B. Graber, Bottom-up constitutionalism: the case of net neutrality

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

The latest issue of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics (Vol. 17, no. 2, April 2017) is out. Contents include:
  • Chaewoon Oh & Shunji Matsuoka, The genesis and end of institutional fragmentation in global governance on climate change from a constructivist perspective
  • R. Guarino, F. Cutaia, A. L. Giacopelli, P. Menegoni, F. Pelagallo, C. Trotta, & G. Trombino, Disintegration of Italian rural landscapes to international environmental agreements
  • Rishikesh Ram Bhandary, Coalition strategies in the climate negotiations: an analysis of mountain-related coalitions
  • Magdalena Kuchler, Stakeholding as sorting of actors into categories: implications for civil society participation in the CDM
  • Linda Wallbott & Andrea Schapper, Negotiating by own standards? The use and validity of human rights norms in UN climate negotiations
  • Jennifer S. Bansard, Philipp H. Pattberg, & Oscar Widerberg, Cities to the rescue? Assessing the performance of transnational municipal networks in global climate governance
  • Katharina Michaelowa & Axel Michaelowa, The growing influence of the UNFCCC Secretariat on the clean development mechanism
  • Mark Zeitoun, Ana Elisa Cascão, Jeroen Warner, Naho Mirumachi, Nathanial Matthews, Filippo Menga, & Rebecca Farnum, Transboundary water interaction III: contest and compliance
  • Alexandros Kailis, The influential role of consensual knowledge in international environmental agreements: negotiating the implementing measures of the Mediterranean Land-Based Sources Protocol (1980)

New Issue: Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

The latest issue of the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies (Vol. 7, no. 1, 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Djemila Carron, Transnational Armed Conflicts
  • Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, A Ghost in the Ivory Tower: Positivism and International Legal Regulation of Armed Opposition Groups
  • Andres B. Munoz Mosquera & Sascha Dov Bachmann, Lawfare in Hybrid Wars: The 21st Century Warfare
  • Tamar Meshel, A Decade Later and Still on Target: Revisiting the 2006 Israeli Targeted Killing Decision
  • Camille Marquis Bissonnette, The Definition of Civilians in Non-International Armed Conflicts
  • Alon Margalit, Recent Trends in the Application of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Sam Pack, Targeting Child Soldiers: Striking a Balance between Humanity and Military Necessity

New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law

The Codification Division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs recently added two lectures to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. They were given by Tommy Koh on “Straits Used for International Navigation” and Simon Chesterman on “Asia’s Ambivalence About International Law and Institutions: Past, Present, and Futures.”

Murphy: AIDS as an Object of International Law

Thérèse Murphy (Queen's Univ. Belfast - Law) has posted AIDS as an Object of International Law (in International Law's Objects: Emergence, Encounter and Erasure through Object and Image, Jessie Hohmann & Daniel Joyce eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Inspired in part by 'A History of the World in a 100 Objects', the volume interrogates international law's material culture and everyday life. My chosen object or 'thing' is AIDS. The essay opens by explaining the reason for this potentially controversial choice, before using AIDS to challenge how international law frames the following: crisis; human rights; and law itself.

Kihara-Hunt: Holding UNPOL to Account: Individual Criminal Accountability of United Nations Police Personnel

Ai Kihara-Hunt (Univ. of Tokyo - Graduate Program on Human Security) has published Holding UNPOL to Account: Individual Criminal Accountability of United Nations Police Personnel (Brill | Nijhoff 2017). Here's the abstract:
Ai Kihara-Hunt’s Holding UNPOL to Account: Individual Criminal Accountability of United Nations Police Personnel analyzes whether the mechanisms that address criminal accountability of United Nations police personnel serving in peace operations are effective, and if there is a problem, how it can be mitigated. The volume reviews the obligations of States and the UN to investigate and prosecute criminal acts committed by UN police, and examines the jurisdictional and immunity issues involved. It concludes that these do not constitute legal barriers to accountability, although immunity poses some problems in practice. The principal problem appears to be the lack of political will to bring prosecutions, as well as a lack of transparency, which makes it difficult accurately to determine the scale of the problem.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Issue: Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

The latest issue of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law (Vol. 50, no. 1, January 2017) is out. Contents include:
  • Jorge L. Contreras & Rohini Lakshané, Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey
  • Rodolfo D. Saenz, Confronting Mexico’s Enforced Disappearance Monsters: How the ICC Can Contribute to the Process of Realizing Criminal Justice Reform in Mexico
  • Michal Saliternik, Expanding the Boundaries of Boundary Dispute Settlement: International Law and Critical Geography at the Crossroads
  • Frédéric Gilles Sourgens, Supernational Law

Galbraith: From Treaties to International Commitments: The Changing Landscape of Foreign Relations Law

Jean Galbraith (Univ. of Pennsylvania - Law) has posted From Treaties to International Commitments: The Changing Landscape of Foreign Relations Law (University of Chicago Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Sometimes the United States makes international commitments in the manner set forth in the Treaty Clause. But far more often it uses congressional-executive agreements, sole executive agreements, and soft law commitments. Foreign relations law scholars typically approach these other processes from the perspective of constitutional law, seeking to determine the extent to which they are constitutionally permissible. In contrast, this Article situates the myriad ways in which the United States enters into international commitments as the product not only of constitutional law, but also of international law and administrative law. Drawing on all three strands of law provides a rich understanding of the various processes for making international commitments and of the circumstances under which a particular process will be used. This approach also has important implications for separation-of-powers concerns. From a constitutional law perspective, the rise of international commitments outside the Treaty Clause registers as an unvarnished increase in presidential power. Factoring in international law and administrative law reveals a far more nuanced reality. While direct congressional checks on presidential power have weakened, alternative checks have arisen from administrative agencies, the international legal structure, and even to some degree from U.S. states. This Article describes the reconfigured landscape of checks and balances, which are spread across the negotiation, domestic approval, and implementation of international commitments. It then offers a qualified normative defense of this system and proposes several structural and doctrinal improvements. The Article closes with a case study applying its approach to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate.

New Issue: Virginia Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Virginia Journal of International Law (Vol. 56, no. 2, Fall 2016) is out. Contents include:
  • Adam S. Chilton & Eric A. Posner, The Influence of History on States’ Compliance with Human Rights Obligations
  • John D. Ciorciari & Anne Heindel, Victim Testimony in International and Hybrid Criminal Courts: Narrative Opportunities, Challenges, and Fair Trial Demands
  • Nienke Grossman, Shattering the Glass Ceiling in International Adjudication
  • William Partlett, The Elite Threat to Constitutional Transitions
  • Responses
    • Kevin L. Cope & Cosette D. Creamer, Disaggregating the Human Rights Treaty Regime
    • Yonatan Lupu, Explaining Human Rights Abuses: Comparing Contemporary Factors and Historical Factors
    • Mila Versteeg, History, Geography, and Rights: A Response to Chilton and Posner

Pegram: Human Rights: Leveraging Compliance

Tom Pegram (Univ. College London - Political Science) has posted Human Rights: Leveraging Compliance (in Beyond Gridlock, David Held & Thomas Hale et al. eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The performance of global governance regimes across issue areas is increasingly beset by what scholars have termed the “governance dilemma” (Keohane 2001). As noted in Gridlock (Hale, Held and Young 2013), second-order trends, brought on by deepening global interdependence are combining to undermine international cooperation where it is needed most. The governance dilemma is particularly acute in a human rights domain characterized more by distributive costs than easily resolved cooperation problems. Drawing on the introduction to this book, the chapter surveys the current state of human rights scholarship and practice through an exploration of four potential pathways “through” or even “beyond” gridlock in the human rights domain, with particular attention to: (1) autonomous and adaptive institutions, and (2) plurality and diversity of actors and agencies around common goals/norms. In so doing, it highlights how human rights governance is emblematic of certain exit options from gridlock, especially mobilization of willing and able transgovernmental and transnational networks of non-state actors. This includes both civil society actors, as well as networks of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and other official regulatory bodies, which have received growing attention of late. The chapter begins with an outline of governance arrangements in the human rights domain, including a survey of the many challenges human rights governance confronts. It then evaluates the extent to which the pathways out of gridlock identified in this project are evident in human rights governance and with what effect. The chapter concludes by reflecting on what the analysis means for advancing human rights policy objectives and overcoming multilateral gridlock more generally.

Schneiderman: International Investment Law as Formally Rational Law: A Weberian Analysis

David Schneiderman (Univ. of Toronto - Law) has posted International Investment Law as Formally Rational Law: A Weberian Analysis (in Research Handbook on the Sociology of International Law, Andrew Lang & Moshe Hirsch eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Weber famously described formally rational law as the highest form of modern law, where ‘definitely fixed legal concepts in the form of highly abstract rules are formulated and applied.’ Formally rational law facilitated economic development by providing continuous, predictable, and efficient administration of justice. Modern disputes having to do with ‘equality before the law’ or ‘legal guarantees against arbitrariness’ demanded formal and objective decision-making, Weber maintained. Formally rational law also ensured that substantive elements exogenous to the legal system, those ‘directed against the dominance of a mere business morality,’ were kept at a safe distance. In this paper, I trace how the norm entrepreneurs promoting investment law’s disciplines conceive of this regime as exhibiting features of formally rational law. They also are resisting the substantively irrational – pejoratively labeled as ‘politics’ – from entering into investment law’s domains. I argue that keeping substantive justice at bay is impossible, not only because of pressures that are at present being generated by states and citizens alike, but because the system itself is saturated with substance, in much the same way as was Weber’s higher form of law.

Helfer, Land, Okediji, & Reichman: The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty: Facilitating Access to Books for Print-Disabled Individuals

Laurence R. Helfer (Duke Univ. - Law), Molly K. Land (Univ. of Connecticut - Law), Ruth L. Okediji (Univ. of Minnesota - Law), & Jerome H. Reichman (Duke Univ. - Law) have published The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty: Facilitating Access to Books for Print-Disabled Individuals (Oxford Univ. Press 2017). Here's the abstract:
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled is a watershed development in the fields of intellectual property and human rights. As the first international legal instrument to establish mandatory exceptions to copyright, the Marrakesh Treaty uses the legal and policy tools of copyright to advance human rights. The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty offers a comprehensive framework for interpreting the Treaty in ways that enhance the ability of print-disabled individuals to create, read, and share books and cultural materials in accessible formats. The Guide also provides specific recommendations to government officials, policymakers, and disability rights organizations involved with implementing the Treaty's provisions in national law.

Shaffer & Gao: China's Rise: How it Took on the U.S. at the WTO

Gregory Shaffer (Univ. of California, Irvine - Law) & Henry S. Gao (Singapore Management Univ. - Law) have posted China's Rise: How it Took on the U.S. at the WTO (University of Illinois Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This article builds from original fieldwork to show what lies behind China’s remarkably successful use of international trade law to take on the United States and Europe. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is unique in China’s international relations as it is the only forum where China, with its anti-legalist traditions, has resolved its disputes through law and the use of third party dispute settlement. After China acceded to the WTO in 2001, it invested massively in building trade law capacity to transform itself and defend itself externally. Through these investments and its increased market power, China became a serious rival to the U.S. and Europe in the development and enforcement of international trade law. This article provides the most complete account of this important development, which has had significant political impacts within the United States and Europe. The article first explains China’s significant trade law capacity-building efforts in government, academia, law firms, and business. It then assesses the broader implications for the international trade legal order. It shows that global economic order itself is at stake, affecting citizens around the globe. The article builds from research involving over a decade of original fieldwork in China, Washington D.C., Brussels, and Geneva.

Schill: Authority, Legitimacy, and Fragmentation in the (Envisaged) Dispute Settlement Disciplines in Mega-Regionals

Stephan W. Schill (Univ. of Amsterdam - Law) has posted Authority, Legitimacy, and Fragmentation in the (Envisaged) Dispute Settlement Disciplines in Mega-Regionals (in Mega-Regional Agreements: TTIP, CETA, TiSA. New Orientations for EU External Economic Relations, Stefan Griller, Walter Obwexer, & Erich Vranes eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
This chapter analyzes the inter-state and investor-state dispute settlement disciplines included in mega-regionals, with a specific focus on the already finalized Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It argues that dispute settlement disciplines increasingly assume a pivotal role in trade and investment negotiations and raise fundamental questions about the authority and legitimacy of international dispute resolution and concerns of fragmentation. While preferences of states participating in mega-regionals coincide in agreeing on inter-state arbitration as a compliance mechanism that minimizes both the authority of dispute resolvers and negative effects of fragmentation in respect of the World Trade Organization, starker differences arise on investor-state dispute settlement. Whereas the European Union (EU) pushes for the creation of permanent judicial bodies, the United States seemingly prefer a reformed version of investor-state arbitration. The underlying clash of ideologies shapes what may turn into a constitutional moment for international economic law more generally, as the EU and US positions directly clash in the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New Issue: Humanity

The latest issue of Humanity (Vol. 8, no. 1, Spring 2017) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Patrick Weil, Can a Citizen Be Sovereign?
    • Mark Goodale, UNESCO and the United Nations Rights of Man Declaration: History, Historiography, Ideology
    • Alden Young, African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist
    • Erik Ropers, Debating History and Memory: Examining the Controversy Surrounding Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking
  • Photo Essay
    • Jean-Philippe Dedieu, Working with the Frames of War
    • A Lens on Mohamedou Slahi at Guantánamo: A Conversation
    • Debi Cornwall, Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play
  • Dossier on Gunnar Myrdal
    • Maribel Morey & Jamie Martin, Introduction
    • Nils Gilman, The Myrdals’ Eugenicist Roots
    • Lauri Tähtinen, Will Myrdal’s America Show Up?
    • Maribel Morey, Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944) as a Swedish Text: A Further Analysis
    • Jamie Martin, Gunnar Myrdal and the Failed Promises of the Postwar International Economic Settlement
    • Samuel Moyn, Welfare World
    • Isaac Nakhimovsky, An International Dilemma: The Postwar Utopianism of Gunnar Myrdal’s Beyond the Welfare State
    • Benjamin Siegel, Asian Drama Revisited
    • Simon Reid-Henry, From Welfare World to Global Poverty

Ruys: Justiciability, Complementarity and Immunity: Reflections on the Crime of Aggression

Tom Ruys (Universiteit Gent - Law) has posted Justiciability, Complementarity and Immunity: Reflections on the Crime of Aggression (Utrecht Law Review, Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 18-33, January 2017). Here's the abstract:
Some 70 years after the first and, so far the only, criminal prosecutions pertaining to the ‘supreme international crime’ took place, the activation of the – long dormant – jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the crime of aggression appears imminent. At the time of writing, 32 States Parties had ratified the Kampala Amendments on the Crime of Aggression, thus exceeding the 30 ratifications required under Articles 15bis and 15ter of the ICC Rome Statute (RS). The moment of truth will arrive somewhere after 1 January 2017, when the Assembly of States Parties will need to adopt a decision affirming the Court’s jurisdiction. As the activation of Articles 8bis, 15bis and 15ter RS is drawing nearer, the debate over the prosecution of the crime of aggression has again taken off with renewed vigour. Against this background, the present essay revisits the suggestion that the crime of aggression is inherently non-justiciable, on the one hand, as well as the critique that the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression will have a detrimental effect by inspiring (highly politicized) prosecutions of alleged ‘aggressors’ before the national courts of third States, which are moreover incompatible with the par in parem axiom.

2017 Camera Justitia Masterclass: Judge Julia Sebutinde

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, Julia Sebutinde (Judge, International Court of Justice) will deliver the annual Camera Justitia Masterclass at the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague. Here's the idea:
On Thursday 30 March at 16h, Judge Julia Sebutinde delivers the annual Camera Justitia Masterclass. She will reflect on a selection of film fragments from the festival’s Camera Justitia programme. Sebutinde currently works at the International Court of Justice and previously served as a Judge at the Special Court of Sierra Leone and the High Court of Uganda. She will talk about law and justice in Uganda, her experiences as an international Judge, and the role of law in the global search for peace and justice. The masterclass is moderated by Heikelina Verrijn Stuart, philosopher of law and independent academic publicist on international legal matters.

Call for Papers: Dispute Settlement in Free Trade Agreements

A call for papers has been issued for a conference on "Dispute Settlement in Free Trade Agreements," to take place May 26-27, 2017, in London. Here's the call:

London Trade Conference on
Dispute Settlement in Free Trade Agreements

26-27 May 2017

Call for Papers

King’s College London, in cooperation with the ESIL Interest Groups on International Courts and Tribunals and International Economic Law, will host a Conference on Dispute Settlement in Free Trade Agreements on 26/27 May 2017. The Conference addresses cutting-edge issues relevant to academics and practitioners alike, exploring and critiquing current models of dispute resolution in international trade law.

Guidelines for submissions

Senior and junior scholars (including PhD students) are invited to submit papers to the Organising Committee on the topic of ‘Dispute Settlement in Free Trade Agreements’ (excluding investor-state dispute settlement). Preference will be given to comparative approaches (comparing an issue across several FTAs) and rarely considered FTAs. Papers will be selected on the basis of the submitted abstracts.

Please bear in mind the following:

  • Only one abstract per author will be considered.
  • The deadline for submissions is April 12, 2017
Abstracts must not exceed 300 words, and have to be submitted to one of the following email addresses:;

In addition to each abstract, each submission should contain a separate file with information on:

  • The author’s name and affiliation
  • A short (one page) author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications
  • The author’s contact details, including email address and phone number

Call for Papers: Consumer Policy in a Comparative Perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law

The Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, the European Society of International Law Interest Group on International Environmental Law, and gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development have issued a call for papers for a conference on "Consumer Policy in a Comparative Perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law," to take place June 29-30, 2017, in Macau. Here's the call:

European Society of International Law
Interest Group on “International Environmental Law” International Conference

Consumer Policy in a Comparative Perspective:
New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law 29-30 June 2017

Faculty of Law of the University of Macau (Macau, China)

I. The Theme

On 21 November 2013 China and the European Union launched negotiations for a comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement. China is the EU’s second trading partner and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner. The agreement aims at progressive liberalisation of investment and the elimination of restrictions for investors to each other’s market, providing a more secure legal framework to investors of both sides. The European Union is a single market economy populated by approximately 500 million high-income consumers and a qualified labour force. On the other hand, Chinese policy over the last years has shifted from an export-led growth model to one that focuses more on the domestic market, with the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasizing the importance of moving towards an ‘ecological civilization’. The construction of an ecological civilization requires a global effort to improve people’s well-being while guaranteeing the future of the country. This concept balances economic development and environmental protection, putting ecological civilization on an equal footing with the civilizations of politics, economy, society, and culture. These different dimensions relate to diverse societal aspirations and concerns and must be addressed by Chinese policymakers. While the European Union is a well-established market economy with a high level of consumer protection, China is rapidly turning into a fully-fledged consumer society, raising new problems and challenges. In 2015 and 2016 the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau hosted two conferences on Consumer Policy in China. This third conference continues the debate on a wide range of issues that have a direct or indirect impact on consumer protection. The goal is to promote a discussion about how to strike a proper balance between economic development and consumer protection in modern-day China. The on-going negotiations for a comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement provide an eloquent example of how consumer policy is deeply intertwined with varied fields of Law and impacted by national and international legal frameworks. Consumer policy thus requires a holistic approach that balances trade and investment promotion policies with the protection of societal concerns such as the safeguard of consumer interests and environmental protection.

II. Topics

The organizing committee welcomes proposals on any topic relating to the general theme. The scope of the conference is interdisciplinary and submissions from backgrounds other than Law are especially welcome. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) International, European, and Chinese law and consumer protection
b) UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection and how those Guidelines have influenced national legislations in different parts of the world, namely China
c) Contemporary Issues of consumer protection in China, Europe, and worldwide
d) How consumer policy in China has aligned with international and European standards
e) Asian perspective on consumer protection and consumer rights
f) Access to water and food
g) Product safety
h) Services of general economic interest
i) Environmental protection
j) E-commerce
k) Trade, investment, and consumer protection
l) Resolution of consumer disputes

III. Submission Guidelines

Abstracts in English should be no more than 800 words long and contain the name, institutional affiliation and contact details of the author. A copy of the author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications, should also be attached. Submission should be sent by 15 May 2017 in Word or PDF format to and

IV. Publication

The organizers have publication plans for the presented papers. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference. Therefore, all selected contributions must be original and not published elsewhere. Some funding will be available to defray the expenses with transportation and accommodation of participants subject to the presentation of a final full paper by 31 September 2017.

V. Organizing Committee

Fernando Dias Simões (University of Macau)
Paolo Davide Farah (West Virginia University & gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, UK)
Julien Chaisse (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

This conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on “International Environmental Law”, and gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development (United Kingdom). The conference is part of the research project led by Professor Fernando Dias Simões entitled ‘Consumer Policy in China: Protecting the Citizens, Strengthening the Domestic Market and Building an Ecological Civilization’ (Research Project funded by the University of Macau, Project Reference MYRG2015-00219- FLL).

Bazargan-Forward: Noncombatant Immunity and War-Profiteering

Saba Bazargan-Forward (Univ. of California, San Diego - Philosophy) has posted Noncombatant Immunity and War-Profiteering (in The Oxford Handbook on the Ethics of War, Helen Frowe & Seth Lazar eds., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The principle of noncombatant immunity prohibits warring parties from intentionally targeting noncombatants. I explicate the moral version of this view and its criticisms by reductive individualists; they argue that certain civilians on the unjust side are morally liable to be lethally targeted to forestall substantial contributions to that war. I then argue that reductivists are mistaken in thinking that causally contributing to an unjust war is a necessary condition for moral liability. Certain noncontributing civilians—notably, war-profiteers—can be morally liable to be lethally targeted. Thus, the principle of noncombatant immunity is mistaken as a moral (though not necessarily as a legal) doctrine, not just because some civilians contribute substantially, but because some unjustly enriched civilians culpably fail to discharge their restitutionary duties to those whose victimization made the unjust enrichment possible. Consequently, the moral criterion for lethal liability in war is even broader than reductive individualists have argued.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rietiker: The (Il?)legality of Nuclear Weapons Tests Under International Law

Daniel Rietiker (Univ. of Lausanne) has posted an ASIL Insight on The (Il?)legality of Nuclear Weapons Tests Under International Law — Filling the Possible Legal Gap by Ensuring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s Entry into Force.

New Issue: International Relations

The latest issue of International Relations (Vol. 31, no. 1, March 2017) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Diana Panke, The institutional design of the United Nations General Assembly: an effective equalizer?
    • Matti Jutila, New national organization of Europe: nationalism and minority rights after the end of the Cold War
    • Deniz Kuru, Who f(o)unded IR: American philanthropies and the discipline of International Relations in Europe
  • Forum
    • Ken Booth & Milja Kurki, Editors’ introduction: Rethinking International Relations – again
    • David L Blaney & Arlene B Tickner, International Relations in the prison of colonial modernity
    • Laura J Shepherd, Whose international is it anyway? Women’s peace activists as International Relations theorists
    • Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Out of one prison, into another? Comments on Rosenberg
    • Stephen G Brooks, Distinguishing a minimalist role for grand theorizing
    • Justin Rosenberg, The elusive international

Ohlin: Did Russian Cyber-Interference in the 2016 Election Violate International Law?

Jens David Ohlin (Cornell Univ. - Law) has posted Did Russian Cyber-Interference in the 2016 Election Violate International Law? (Texas Law Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

When it was revealed that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by hacking into the email system of the Democratic National Committee and releasing its emails, international lawyers were divided over whether the cyber-attack violated international law. President Obama seemingly went out of his way to describe the attack as a mere violation of “established international norms of behavior," though some international lawyers were more willing to describe the cyber-attack as a violation of international law. However, identifying the exact legal norm that was contravened turns out to be harder than it might otherwise appear. To the layperson, the Russian hacking constituted an impermissible (and perhaps shocking) interference in the American political process—an intervention that non-lawyers would not hesitate to label a “violation of sovereignty” as that term is used in political or diplomatic discourse.

The problem arises when one attempts to translate that common-sense intuition into legal discourse. At that point, the translation effort breaks down for a variety of reasons. The genesis of the difficulty is that none of the standard rubrics for understanding illegal interventions clearly and unambiguously applies to the facts in question. That being said, it would be a mistake to hastily reject our common-sense intuitions about the impropriety of Russian hacking during the election. The lack of fit with the doctrinal requirements for an illegal intervention against another state’s sovereignty is simply an indication that the notions of “sovereignty” and “intervention”—though mainstays of contemporary public international law doctrine—are poorly suited to analyzing the legality of the conduct in this case. A far better rubric for analyzing the behavior is the notion of self-determination, a legal concept that captures the right of a people to decide, for themselves, both their political arrangements and their future destiny.