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Let the Games Continue: Immunity for War Crimes before the Italian Constitutional Court

Published on October 24, 2014        Author: 

The issue is important, no doubt – to what extent do rules of immunity apply in respect of grave violations of international law? Over the past two decades, it has been addressed by lawmakers, the ILC, international and national courts in cases like Al Adsani, Jones, Bouzari and others – and of course in hundreds of articles, notes and books. In fact, few other questions have prompted as much intense debate in the literature. As the number of plausible arguments and approaches is finite (jus cogens, implied waiver, etc.), there was bound to be duplication and repetition. (Was I the only one gradually tiring of the debate?)

In any event, the ICJ’s judgment in Jurisdictional Immunities of early 2012 seemed to settle matters: immunity could be invoked in respect of war crimes, said the Court; jus cogens was not at issue; immunity had to be assessed as a preliminary matter and irrespective of the gravity of the allegations; grave violations could still be acts iure imperii; the territorial tort exception did not apply etc. In terms of international legal process, this seemed to show the Court at its strongest, acting as supreme arbiter in long-standing debates about the proper understanding of the law, and by virtue of its authority clarifying the state of international law.  ‘At last we have certainty’ wrote Andrea Bianchi on EJIL:Talk! . And in 2013, Italy passed legislation implementing the ICJ judgment.

Two and a half years on, it’s clear that the matter remains a live one. The ECHR’s judgment in Jones seemed to accept the authority of the ICJ’s decision, but raised questions about the scope of personal immunities. (See Philippa Webb’s post).  And in the past few weeks, things have accelerated. Two weeks ago, the High Court of England and Wales decided that a Bahraini prince is not immune from prosecution for torture allegations.

But that, it seems, was no more than the prologue: Because on Wednesday, the Italian Constitutional Court seems to have gone much further. It has quashed the Italian legislation implementing the 2012 judgment, which in its view violates constitutional provisions. The ICJ’s decision is duly addressed, but not followed. As my Italian is rudimentary (and as I have yet to find a translation of the decision), I will not even begin to discuss the merits and arguments set forward. All I want to do at this stage is draw readers’ attention to it. And suggest we all prepare for yet another round of debates about how to strike the balance between human rights and immunity. ‘Certainty at last?’ You wish.

UPDATE: Here is an English summary of the judgment, provided by Francesco Messineo, Honorary Research Fellow at Kent Law School.

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The Francis Lieber Prize

Published on October 23, 2014        Author: 

The Francis Lieber Prize is awarded annually by the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict to the authors of publications which the judges consider to be outstanding in the field of law and armed conflict.  Both monographs and articles (including chapters in books of essays) are eligible for consideration, as the prize is awarded to the best submission in each of these two categories.

Criteria:  Any work in the English language published during 2014 or whose publication is in proof at the time of submission may be nominated for this prize.  The re-submission of works which have already been considered for this prize is not allowed.  Entries may address such topics as the use of force in international law, the conduct of hostilities during international and non‑international armed conflicts, protected persons and objects under the law of armed conflict, the law of weapons, operational law, rules of engagement, occupation law, peace operations, counter‑terrorist operations, and humanitarian assistance.  Other topics bearing on the application of international law during armed conflict or other military operations are also appropriate.

Age Limit:  Competitors must be 35 years old or younger on 31 December 2014. They need not be members of the American Society of International Law.  Multi-authored works may be submitted if all the authors are eligible to enter the competition.  Should a multi-authored submission win the competition, the cash component of the prize shall be divided, pro rata, between the authors.  Submissions from outside the United States are welcomed.

Submission:  Submissions, including a letter or message of nomination, must be received by 9 January 2015.  Three copies of books must be submitted.  The electronic submission of articles is encouraged.  Authors may submit their own work.  All submissions must include contact data (e‑mail, fax, phone, address).  The Prize Committee will acknowledge receipt of the submission by e‑mail.

Printed submissions must be sent to Professor Iain Scobbie, School of Law, Williamson Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester  M13 9PL, United Kingdom

Electronic submissions must be sent to iain.scobbie[at]manchester.ac.uk. Please indicate clearly in the subject line that the email concerns a submission for the Lieber Prize.

Prize:   The Selection Committee will select one submission for the award of the Francis Lieber Prize in the book category and one in the article category. The Prizes consist of $500, a certificate of recognition, and a year’s membership of the American Society of International Law.  The winner of the Lieber Prize in both categories will be announced at the American Society of International Law’s Annual Meeting in April 2015.

In 2014, the winners were:

Dr Russell Buchan, for his book, “International law and the construction of the liberal peace,” published by Hart.

Professor Anna Spain, for her article, “The UN Security Council’s duty to decide”, 4 Harvard National Security Journal 320 (2013).

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A Few Thoughts on Hassan v. United Kingdom

Published on October 22, 2014        Author: 

Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne has written an excellent analysis of the European Court’s recent Hassan v. UK judgment, which I fully subscribe to and have nothing substantive to add. Rather, I wish to use this post to outline some thoughts on the practical impact of Hassan, its bottom line and possible future influence.

(1) When it comes to the extraterritorial application of the Convention, the Court has now reaffirmed that de facto physical custody will ipso facto constitute Article 1 jurisdiction, within the personal model of jurisdiction as authority and control over an individual. The Court did not seem to put any limits on this principle (and rightly so), not even the vague idea of ‘public powers’ that it invented in Bankovic and imported into the personal model of jurisdiction in Al-Skeini (cf. the Court’s finding in Hassan, para. 75 that the events took place before the UK assumed responsibility for the maintenance of security in South East Iraq, which was the basis for the ‘public powers’ in Al-Skeini). Similarly, the Court (again, rightly) focused on factual control, disregarding some of the formal arrangements under a memorandum of understanding between the UK and the US (para. 78), and finding that ‘Tarek Hassan fell within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom from the moment of his capture by United Kingdom troops, at Umm Qasr on 23 April 2003, until his release from the bus that took him from Camp Bucca to the drop-off point, most probably Umm Qasr on 2 May 2003 ‘ (para. 80).

The bottom-line of this approach is that whenever the military forces of a European state capture any individual, no matter where that individual is located (note how the Court again, like in Al-Skeini, explicitly avoided ruling whether the territory of South Iraq was under UK control for the purpose of the spatial conception of jurisdiction (para. 75)), the Convention will apply by virtue of the personal conception of Article 1 jurisdiction as authority and control over individuals. The Convention will apply on this basis not only to detention operations in Afghanistan, but also to situations such as the French intervention in Mali, the capture of Ukrainian soldiers by Russian forces in Crimea, etc. This is fully consistent with the English High Court’s Serdar Mohammed judgment, which rejected the UK government’s attempts to confine Al-Skeini to the facts of Iraq (for our previous coverage of Serdar Mohammed, see here).

In short, European soldiers carry the ECHR with them whenever they engage in capture operations. Military legal advisers and other officials will hence inevitably have to take the Convention into account (as many have been doing anyway). Use of force operations are not so comprehensively covered – at least for the time being.

Read the rest of this entry…

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On the Phylum and Logic of Human Rights

Published on October 20, 2014        Author: 

Back CameraDino Kritsiotis is Chair of Public International Law in the University of Nottingham, where he heads the International Humanitarian Law Unit of the Human Rights Law Centre (established in November 2012).

The question of the existence of a ‘general’ international human rights law suggests a discrete system of traditions, practices and routines that have taken form following the ‘heuristic references’ to human rights found in the Charter of the United Nations (Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law, 8th ed., 2012, p. 234). The idea of this exercise seems to be to extract the operating principles or systemic themes of this ‘specialist regime’ (Chinkin ‘Sources’, in International Human Rights Law, 2nd ed., 2014, p. 75),  even though this regime has evidently taken root ‘within general public international law’ (ibid.). It is thus because of this older, overarching system that human rights law possesses normative authority at the international level, though some have argued that its relationship with/in the discipline of public international law may now need to be reconfigured or rethought (for example, in introducing his International Human Rights Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary, 2nd ed., 2014, De Schutter considers that ‘the colonization of international law by human rights perfectly illustrates the formation of a “self-contained regime” (at p. 1)).

Perhaps it is important at this point to identify the level of our analysis. We are not concerned here with a functional assessment of how ‘human rights’ may or may not have been protected by public international law before their official conceptualization after World War II. Such an analysis was instructively undertaken by Brownlie for environmental protection in the Natural Resources Journal (1973), Vol. 13, pp. 179-189, where he concluded that ‘[t]hough the position may soon change, general international law (or customary law) contains no rules or standards related to the protection of the environment as such’ (p. 179; my emphasis). He went on nevertheless to specify how three aspects of the lex lata of that time had ‘major relevance’ for the realization of environmental protection: the rules relating to State responsibility; the territorial sovereignty of States and, finally, the concept of the freedom of the seas. If we were to attempt a similar exercise for human rights, we would presumably find that (general) public international law did aim towards the protection of human rights before they were known eo nomine as it were. We would find that the rules on State responsibility yielded their own dividends for human rights protection through the  notion of diplomatic protection, as well as the fact that, for the most part, the territorial sovereignty of States rejected assertions of male captus bene detentus. Furthermore, under the jus ad bellum, Oppenheim’s treatise on international law adverted to the number of jurists who believed that intervention ‘even has a basis of right, when exercised in the interest of humanity for the purpose of stopping religious persecution and endless cruelties in time of peace and war’ (Vol. I, 2nd ed., §137). The Martens Clause, too, instructed High Contracting Parties of the 1899 Hague Convention (II) on the Laws and Customs of War on Land that populations and belligerents stood to benefit from the protections offered by ‘the laws of humanity’ (amongst other things).

Against such functional assessments, we can imagine the possibilities of the technical identification of this ‘general’ international human rights law—of what it is and how it may have come to ‘colonize’ aspects (perhaps even the greater cohort) of public international law. Reflecting back on Simma and Alston’s seminal article on ‘The Sources of Human Rights Law: Custom, Jus Cogens, and General Principles’, AYbIL (1988-1989), Vol. 12, pp. 82-108, it is striking to observe how, for the most part, the analysis of that article is organized around a series of disciplinary narratives (e.g. the dichotomization of conventional and customary arrangements, the focus on ‘inter-State relations’ (p. 87)). And, from here, the context of human rights becomes the occasion for developing alternative approaches toward their ultimate realization (at pp. 100-101: ‘there are strong grounds for arguing that States Parties to the Charter [of the United Nations], having in good faith undertaken treaty obligations to respect “human rights”, are subsequently bound to accept, for the purposes of interpreting their treaty obligations, the definition of “human rights” which has evolved over time on the basis of the virtually unanimous practice of the relevant organs of the United Nations’; at p. 102: ‘[general] [p]rinciples brought to the fore in this “direct” way … would (and should) then percolate down into domestic fora, instead of being elevated from the domestic level to that of international law by way of analogy’). Accordingly, methodologies on human rights must therefore work from within existing structures and realities; it is through ‘trojan’ strategies of assertion and influence that change will be brought to bear upon public international law as a whole and inform how it is to be used and put to use in practice, all in the name of the realization of human rights.

Time and again, we are thus reminded of the system of public international law to which human rights in fact belong and from whose cloth they are actually cut: Read the rest of this entry…

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Announcements: EJIL:Live!; ESIL Conference in Oslo; EJIL Call for Poems and Photos

Published on October 18, 2014        Author: 

1.  In case you missed it: Episodes 1 and 2 of EJIL:Live! are available onlineEpisode 1 presents both video and (edited) audio versions of a “Fireside Chat” between the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Joseph H. H. Weiler, and Maria Aristodemou, whose article “A Constant Craving for Fresh Brains and a Taste for Decaffeinated Neighbours”, appears in EJIL 25:1 (2014). The audio podcast also features a conversation with EJIL’s Book Review Editor, Isabel Feichtner; and a discussion with the Editors of EJIL: Talk!, Dapo Akande and Marko Milanovic, on the recent decision of the International Court of Justice in Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening), the crisis in Crimea, and much more. Episode 2 features an extended “Fireside Chat” between the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Professor Joseph Weiler, and Oliver Diggelmann (University of Zurich) and Tilmann Altwicker (University of Basel), whose article “How is Progress Constructed in International Legal Scholarship?”, appears in Vol. 25, Issue 2 of EJIL.

2.  The Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law (Oslo, September 10-12, 2015) will be hosted by the University of Oslo’s PluriCourts Center on the Legitimate Roles on the Judiciary in the Global Order. The annual ESIL conference has become one of the indispensable venues for European and international scholars interested in questions of international law. The conference is entitled “The Judicialization of International Law – A Mixed Blessing?”. The conference will address the international law aspects of the increased judicialization from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will ask critical questions about how international courts and tribunals work, whether we need judicialization in new areas, alternatives to courts and tribunals, and if we should expect further judicialization in the coming years. The conference will feature plenary sessions, fora with invited speakers, and a number of agorae with speakers selected on the basis of a call for proposals. The event will also offer poster sessions for early career scholars following a call for posters.  Invited speakers include current and former judges of various international courts, as well as legal practitioners and scholars of several disciplines.  For information on registration and the programme, please visit the conference website.

3.  Call for Poems and Photographs for the European Journal of International Law. In addition to its cutting-edge scholarship, the European Journal of International Law features two rubrics which aim to remind us, as academics and human beings, of the ultimate subject of our scholarly reflections, the world and the people who inhabit it. The Last Page, which is literally the last page of each issue, features poems which reflect in some way, direct or indirect, the world in which we live, the world we strive to change for the better, the world with its many contradictions that international law seeks to address.

Roaming Charges features photographs of places – the world we live in – and photographs of people – who we are, the human condition. We seek photos which have some ambiguity, and which relate in some way both to current circumstances, without falling into easy clichés of photojournalism, and to something, like human dignity, which is more unchanging and enduring.  For more information, please read the Roaming Charges Introduction in the Journal. EJIL welcomes your submissions of poems and photographs. Please send contributions to Anny Bremner, Managing Editor of EJIL.
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We Need to Look at International Human Rights Law (Also) as a Whole

Published on October 17, 2014        Author: 

Eva bootEva Brems is a Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Human Rights Center at Ghent University, Belgium.

As a political and ethical project, human rights are one, indivisible and universal. As law however, they are fragmented. Yet most situations of alleged human rights violations fall within the scope of several human rights provisions from different sources at the same time. Hence the relevance of a holistic perspective on international human rights law.

Fragmentation

The complex architecture of international human rights law is characterized by a multitude of highly diverse sources. These sources can be differentiated in several cross-cutting ways: by governance level (regional, world), by their material scope (general, categorical , single issue), by their personal scope (universal or specific target group), by their legal force (hard or soft law) and by the type of monitoring mechanism that accompanies them.

The fragmentation of human rights law is accompanied by increasing specialization of human rights scholarship. As the field has grown, general human rights experts have largely been replaced by experts of ‘religious freedom’, ‘children’s rights’, ‘the European Convention on Human Rights’ and such. While this has brought the discipline to a higher lzevel, it has also contributed to creating a fragmented, compartmentalized view of human rights law.

Agents’ Perspectives

In all this, there is a risk to overlook the basic fact that rights holders as well as public authorities and other duty bearers under human rights norms are confronted simultaneously with a multitude of these sources. To any particular situation, a dozen relevant human rights sources may apply. Read the rest of this entry…

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Is There General International Human Rights Law?

Published on October 16, 2014        Author: 

Nigel RodleySir Nigel Rodley KBE, PhD (Essex) is Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. He is also Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee.

One can’t begin to answer this question without posing two prior questions:

(1) is there general international law (GIL); and

(2) if so, what are its indicia?

I shall offer brief answers as my personal take on the questions, fully conscious that the answers I choose are likely to predetermine the answer to the specific question posed.

As to the first question, I do believe that there is such a thing as GIL.  If I’m wrong, then by definition there is no such thing as general international human rights law (GIHRL). Assuming that there is GIL, then we are confronted by the second question. Here I offer my own understanding of the term.  GIL is that set of obligations presumptively binding on all states independently of any treaty-based obligation.  So, to find a category of GIL, one would look to any plausible combination of the so-called sources of international law, that is, in addition to treaties, customary international law (CIL), general principles of law, judicial decisions (especially international ones) and doctrine, as found in article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Evidently, CIL will be crucial, if only because a rule or an area of GIL will need at least not to be inconsistent with CIL.

Coming closer to content, GIL would have to include norms of jus cogens, but that would not close the list.  It is significant that one of the few incontrovertible rules of jus cogens is the human right not to be subjected to torture (see Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v Senegal) in 2012).  The prohibitions of genocide, slavery and racial discrimination and, I venture to suggest, discrimination on grounds of gender probably also qualify, as do other ‘non-derogable’ rights.  Still, if only jus cogens represented GIL, then that would evidently not be enough to establish a GIHRL.  But, by the same token, there would be no GIL of anything.  Just a few rules recognized as jus cogens would be the sum total of GIL.  One only has to state it, I hope, to demonstrate the unsustainability of the proposition. Read the rest of this entry…

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ESIL-IHRL Online Symposium: Is There General International Human Rights Law?

In June 2014, we launched the ESIL-IHRL interest group online symposia.  In our first blog post we identified three overarching challenges for researchers of international human rights law. These are resistance to containment as a sub-branch; internal-fragmentation; and interdisciplinary expansion.  We start our symposia with a basic question about international human rights law (a question that cuts through both resistance to contentment as a sub-branch and internal fragmentation): Is there general international human rights law?

Any question of general international law queries which international laws attain sufficient generality as to bind all members of the international community. General international law is distinguished from particular international law. The latter only binds a small number of state parties to treaties. Some also argue that there is a third category in between: some norms can be ‘more or less general’. That is they bind a large number of states – including major powers (Oppenheim-Lauterpacht, International Law: A Treatise, Vol. I, 1948, 4-5). Whether one agrees with a definition of general international law and how one accesses it is a matter of controversy. Some hold that general international law is just another name for customary international law (see, famously, Brownlie, ‘Problems Concerning the Unity of International Law, in A. Giuffre ed. International Law in the Time of its Codification. Essays in Honour of Roberto Ago (1987) VoL 1,15). Others argue that general international law is a hybrid form of international law made up of both customary law and conventional law of a general character (Tunkin, ‘Is general International Law Customary Law only?’ 4 European Journal of International Law (1993) 534-541).

In the field of international human rights law, perhaps due to the availability of a diverse number of specialised interpretive bodies ranging from regional human rights courts to UN human rights committees, this question has not been at the forefront of debates within the sub-discipline. Yet, the question of  ‘is there general international human rights law’ is not only timely but also in need of a deeper analysis. This is down to  a) the nearly universal ratification of the United Nations Human Rights treaties and b)  the new turn towards holistic interpretations of human rights law, either through comparative methods à la the European Court of Human Rights (seen most recently in the case of  Centre for Legal Resources on Behalf of Valentin Campeanu v. Romania), or through explicit provisions to take other international human rights law obligations of state parties into account (Article 29(b) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 7 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and People’s Rights). From the perspective of the domestic judge, the question of what the wide array of international human rights obligations amounts to as a whole when interpreting rights also has urgent practical importance. Read the rest of this entry…

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The UK House of Commons calls for Palestine to be recognised as a State.

Published on October 14, 2014        Author: 

Yesterday, the UK House of Commons overwhelmingly adopted a resolution, by 274 votes to 12, which stated that “this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”, which was amended to include the words “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”. This resolution (or motion) is not binding on the government whose official policy is that it “reserves the right to recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at the moment of our choosing and when it can best help bring about peace”. Government ministers did not vote on the motion in accordance with a long—standing procedural policy that they do not vote on motions introduced by backbenchers (members of Parliament who do not hold ministerial office), and a number of pro—Israeli MPs were absent from the debate, as well as much of the Conservative Party.

The House of Commons debate recalls that in the UN General Assembly when it adopted Resolution 67/19 ((29 November 2012) which “accord[ed] to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations”. The voting for this resolution was 138—9, 41 abstentions (including the UK). The implications of that resolution were discussed in this blog, eg, here, here, and here.

The House of Commons vote is essentially symbolic rather than determinative, and the BBC has reported that a former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who supports a two—State solution in the Israel—Palestine conflict stated during the debate:

“Symbolism sometimes has a purpose, it sometimes has a role, but I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”

Ha’aretz, one of the leading Israeli newspapers, in its report on the vote, noted that Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, decided not to give interviews in advance of the vote, in an attempt to ensure that because there was no official acknowledgment by Israel, this would undercut its importance.

The symbolism of this motion, however, goes beyond the vote and beyond the Chamber of the House of Commons. It might well reverberate in international circles, and Ha’aretz has also reported that the UK ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, while restating that the vote would not alter the government’s view on recognition, that the issues raised by this debate should not be ignored:

“Separate from the narrow question of recognition, I am concerned in the long run about the shift in public opinion in the U.K. and beyond towards Israel,” [says Gould.] “Israel lost support after this summer’s conflict, and after the series of announcements on settlements. This Parliamentary vote is a sign of the way the wind is blowing, and will continue to blow without any progress towards peace.”

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Announcements: EJIL:Live!; Research Fellowship in Oxford; Syria Conference in Manchester; Calls for Papers: Nordic Approach to International Law, New Voices at ASIL Annual Meeting; Human Rights Essay Competition

Published on October 11, 2014        Author: 

1.  The Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in the area of Law and Armed Conflict. This is a fixed-term appointment until 31 March 2016, commencing as soon as possible. The postholder will be based at Pembroke College, Oxford. The Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations  a research programme in the University of Oxford, which focuses on the question of whether human rights constitutes an appropriate framework for confronting some of the most serious problems facing current and future generations. Within this shared framework the research programme focuses on three of the most urgent aspects of insecurity; armed conflict, poverty and environmental change. The successful applicant will be required to conduct research on the themes above as directed by the Programme Co-Directors (which includes Dapo Akande) and to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Applicants will be expected to write papers and articles linked to the programme’s area of focus, for publication in books, peer-reviewed journals and/or edited books. The deadline for completed applications is 13 October 2014. Further details are available here.

2. In case you missed it: Episodes 1 and 2 of EJIL:Live! are available onlineEpisode 1 presents both video and (edited) audio versions of a “Fireside Chat” between the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Joseph H. H. Weiler, and Maria Aristodemou, whose article “A Constant Craving for Fresh Brains and a Taste for Decaffeinated Neighbours”, appears in EJIL 25:1 (2014). The audio podcast also features a conversation with EJIL’s Book Review Editor, Isabel Feichtner; and a discussion with the Editors of EJIL: Talk!, Dapo Akande and Marko Milanovic, on the recent decision of the International Court of Justice in Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening), the crisis in Crimea, and much more. Episode 2 features an extended “Fireside Chat” between the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Professor Joseph Weiler, and Oliver Diggelmann (University of Zurich) and Tilmann Altwicker (University of Basel), whose article “How is Progress Constructed in International Legal Scholarship?”, appears in Vol. 25, Issue 2 of EJIL.

3.  The Rethink Rebuild Society in Manchester will hold a conference on 17 October: ‘Syrian Conflict in Regional Crises: Complications, Implications, and the Way Forward’This conference represents a critical forum through which policy makers, NGOs, academics and activists can together identify and discuss the most appropriate British domestic and international policy towards Syria in light of current research and developments on the ground, specifically the emergence of IS (formerly ISIS) and the impact that this will have on British domestic and international policy, as well as action by the international community. Conference speakers include Dr. Christopher Phillips (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr. James Pattison (University of Manchester), Asim Qureshi (Research Director of CAGE Prisoners), Anas Al Abdah (Syrian National Coalition), and Raffaello Pantucci (Royal United Services Institute). The conference deliberations will focus on the following themes:

·  The situation in Syria: misconceptions vs. realities

·  The emergence of IS (formerly ISIS): British jihadists, media coverage, and national policy

·  Where is Syria heading? Decoding the future of Syria and the region

·  Is British policy on the right track?

·  The role of the international community

Further conference information and registration can be found at the conference website. Read the rest of this entry…

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