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Announcements: Conference in London on Refugee Law and IHL; Colloquium in Pisa on Agriculture Law; Assistant Professorship in Geneva; Opening for UK Judge on European General Court; Political Science Prof’ship in Oslo; Call for Papers on Law of Atmosphere; Event in London on UK Exit from EU

Published on January 31, 2015        Author: 

1.  The International Law Programme at Chatham House would like to invite you to an event on 25 February 2015 ‘Refuge from Inhumanity? War Refugees at the Intersection of IHL and Refugee Law’ with Dr David Cantor (Refugee Law Initiative, University of London),  Jean-François Durieux (International Institute of Humanitarian Law) and Professor Françoise Hampson (University of Essex). The meeting will explore pressing legal and practical controversies surrounding the use of International Humanitarian Law to protect refugees fleeing from war.  The event, being held in partnership with the Refugee Law Initiative,  will take place from 17:30 to 19:00 on 25 February at Chatham House in St James’s Square, London, and will be followed by a drinks reception.  Attendance is free, but prior registration is required. For further details and to register see here.

2.  International Colloquium “Current Issues of Agricultural Law in a Global Perspective”, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa, September 17-18, 2015. The Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the Institute of Law, Politics and Sustainability are pleased to announce the First Edition of the International Colloquium on Current Issues in Agricultural Law in a Global Perspective. The Colloquium is intended to be an opportunity for Post Docs and Ph.D Candidates to present and discuss their research results and methodological approaches in a supportive environment. The aim is to build a community of early career researchers interested in agricultural law and its intersections with other legal areas. We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers as well as studies on issues at the local, regional and international levels. The main topics include: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection at the cross-roads with Agricultural Law; Agricultural models and People’s Rights; Agri-Food Production: Tradition and Technologies; International Trade Agreements, Investment Law and Agriculture. Those interested should submit a short CV and 400 word abstract to colloquium {at} sssup(.)it no later than April 3, 2015. For full details, including information about application processes, please see the official Call for Papers or visit here.

3.  Job Opening: Graduate Institute, Geneva, Assistant Professor in International Law. The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva invites applications for an assistant professorship in international law, with potential specializations in international economic law, the protection of human dignity, international environmental law, or transnational law. The advertisement is here. The deadline for applications is 15 February 2015. Read the rest of this entry…

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The Jurisdictional Rubicon: Scrutinizing China’s Position Paper on the South China Sea Arbitration – Part II

Published on January 30, 2015        Author: 

Yesterday I set out the background to the Position Paper issued by the China, on December 7, 2014, “on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration initiated by the Republic of the Philippines” [hereafter, “China Position Paper”] and examined China’s first objection to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal. In this post, I consider the other Chinese objections.

Second Chinese Objection: Did the Philippines violate the duty to negotiate in regard to the subject-matter of this dispute, when it initiated the arbitration?

The China Position Paper effectively maintains that the ‘exclusive’ dispute settlement mechanism between the Philippines and China on the South China Sea is friendly consultations and negotiations (China Position Paper, paras. 30-39). This position would appear tenable, if one were to tacitly accept the characterization of the arbitration’s subject-matter as one involving claims for maritime delimitation, rather than merely the “interpretation or application of UNCLOS” to the maritime limits drawn in the 9-dash line map as well as to the submerged geographic features described therein.

Notwithstanding the disputed characterization of the arbitration’s subject-matter, however, it is difficult to see where a duty to exclusively pursue negotiations or friendly consultations exists. Ordinary textual examination of the bilateral instruments and multilateral instrument (e.g. the 2002 ASEAN Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea) referenced in the China Position Paper, appears to militate against the notion of an exclusive choice of dispute settlement through ‘friendly consultations and negotiations’. Nothing in the language of the instruments therein definitively rules out compulsory arbitration under Part XV of UNCLOS – which as UNCLOS Part XV also explicitly stresses, is likewise a peaceful means of dispute settlement in international law. Read the rest of this entry…

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The Jurisdictional Rubicon: Scrutinizing China’s Position Paper on the South China Sea Arbitration – Part I

Published on January 29, 2015        Author: 

On December 7, 2014, China officially published its Position Paper “on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration initiated by the Republic of the Philippines” [hereafter, “China Position Paper”]. The China Position Paper was issued two days after the US State Department issued its December 5, 2014 Limits in the Seas No. 143 Report, “China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea”, authored by its Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs and Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs [hereafter, “US State Department Report”]. The US State Department Report concludes, in particular, that: “unless China clarifies that the dashed-line claim reflects only a claim to islands within that line and any maritime zones that are generated from those land features in accordance with the international law of the sea, as reflected in the [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea/UNCLOS], its dashed-line claim does not accord with the international law of the sea.” (US State Department Report, p. 24). China’s 7 December 2014 Position Paper provides its first official, public, and certainly most authoritative clarification of its arguments and claims to date, and certainly introduces a significant dimension to the ongoing arbitration proceedings. Vietnam is reported to have filed a (hitherto-undisclosed) statement to the Annex VII arbitral tribunal, asking the latter to take into account its legal interests while also refuting China’s claims. Although the China Position Paper explicitly states that it should “not be regarded as China’s acceptance of or participation in [the] arbitration” (China Position Paper, para. 2), the Annex VII tribunal is arguably not prevented from taking cognizance of the statements therein as part of China’s jurisdictional objections in this dispute. China itself circulated the Position Paper to members of the arbitral tribunal, albeit stressing that it should not be construed as acceptance of, or participation in, the arbitration (Permanent Court of Arbitration 17 December 2014 Press Release). In its 22 November 2013 Provisional Measures Order in the Arctic Sunrise case (Netherlands v. Russian Federation) – a case where Russia explicitly refused to appear in the proceedings – the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) took motu proprio judicial notice of two Notes Verbale by Russia to the Netherlands, as evidence of the nature and content of Russia’s jurisdictional challenge to the existence of a dispute between the parties (Arctic Sunrise Order, paras. 64-65, 68). Read the rest of this entry…

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25 Years of EJIL: A Retrospective

Published on January 26, 2015        Author: 

EJILOxford University Press has assembled an online exhibition to commemorate EJIL’s 25th anniversary. The collection includes the following exhibits:

  • The Main Exhibition: A Retrospective anniversary collection of articles published in EJIL over the past 25 years, featuring two articles per volume.
  • Special exhibit 1: An aggregation into one chronological file all the Tables of Contents of EJIL.
  • Special exhibit 2: An aggregation into one file of all the Editorials reflecting different styles and different sensibilities of various editors.
  • Special exhibit 3: Book Review Editor, Isabel Feichtner, has selected 25 book reviews, one for each year, memorable for the book or for the Review.
  • Special exhibit 4: All the Roaming Charges photographs have been aggregated into one file.
  • Special exhibit 5: All the Last Page Poems have been aggregated into one file.
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Announcements: Human Rights Post-Docs at Hebrew Univ. Jerusalem & Freie Universität Berlin; Cultural Heritage Law Summer School in Geneva; Research/Team Lead Job at Red Cross; Whewell Professorship at Cambridge; New Additions to UN AV Library; New EJIL:Live! Extra!

Published on January 24, 2015        Author: 

1.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Freie Universität Berlin are now accepting applications for the second round  of Post-Doctoral Fellowships in their joint interdisciplinary program “Human Rights under Pressure – Ethics, Law and Politics” (HR-UP), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Einstein Foundation Berlin. HR-UP offers researchers a unique opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research on the most pressing contemporary challenges for human rights, including issues arising from crises and emergencies, globalization and diversity. Post-doctoral fellows will participate in the full HR-UP program curriculum, including interdisciplinary colloquia and annual summer schools. The fellowship includes a monthly stipend of 1416 € + 103 € for material expenses awarded for a period of 12 months, with a possibility of extension up to 24 months. The deadline for applications is February 20th, 2015. For further information, and to apply, please visit here.

2.  The Geneva Summer Schools at the University of Geneva is excited to announce a 2015 summer school on “International Cultural Heritage Law” (22 June to 3 July 2015). The 2 week course taught in English is aimed at upper-year undergraduates, master’s degree students and PhD candidates in law and all other faculties, including art history, archaeology and anthropology. Practitioners, non-specialists and art enthusiasts may also apply. The summer school aims to develop the students’ awareness and general understanding of the main substantive themes of international cultural heritage law, namely: the trade in cultural objects; the restitution of stolen or looted artworks; the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict; the protection of the built heritage from natural and human-induced disasters; the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and of the diversity of cultural expressions; the relationship between cultural heritage law and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); the settlement of cultural heritage disputes. The course will be taught by brilliant young scholars, renowned professors from various prestigious universities, as well as professionals from governmental agencies and international organizations. The University of Geneva staff comprises the team of the Art-Law Centre and of the UNESCO Chair in the International Law of the Protection of Cultural Heritage. Students must apply online. Course places are limited and enrollment is on a rolling basis so students are encouraged to apply early.

3.  In the framework of the co-operation between the ICRC and the British Red Cross to update the collection of practice of the ICRC’s study on customary international humanitarian law, the ICRC and the British Red Cross seek to recruit a senior research fellow/team leader to join the research team. To apply and for further information on the position, please visit here and search for the job title “Senior Research Fellow/Team Leader – International Humanitarian Law”.

4.  The University of Cambridge has announced a call for applications for the Whewell Professorship in International Law. See details here.

5.  New additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International LawThe Codification Division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of the European Union Lecture Series, which is now available on the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law website. It contains 13 lectures given by eminent European law practitioners on various subjects of the European Union. All interested parties are invited to visit the website.

6.  In case you missed it, a new episode of EJIL: Live Extra! is now online. In the new episode, EJIL Editor-in-Chief Joseph Weiler and Professor Andrew Clapham of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, discuss Prof. Clapham’s new edition of Brierly’s Law of Nations. They touch on the process of writing in Brierly’s “voice”, what has changed in the 50 years since Brierly wrote his last edition, and the great achievement of this important and concise book.

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The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects: Rejoinder to Enzo Cannizzaro

Published on January 23, 2015        Author: 

This post is a continuation of the EJIL:Debate! in EJIL vol. 25: 4 between Lorand Bartels and Enzo Cannizzaro on “The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects.”

I thank Professor Cannizzaro warmly for his thoughtful reply to my article, which extends it in several interesting directions. Professor Cannizzaro’s main point is that Article 3(5) and Article 21 TEU do not add anything to the EU’s existing human rights obligations insofar as they apply to conduct with mere extraterritorial effects. In some respects I agree with him. However, I would argue that there are some gaps that these provisions plug.

I agree, first of all, that there is some conduct with mere extraterritorial effects that is already covered by the EU’s fundamental rights obligations. Most obviously, there is a Soering-inspired obligation not to remove a person to a third country in which he or she would be at risk of harm (NS v. Secretary of State for the Home Department). But this is a special case, and I do not think that it follows, as does Professor Cannizzaro, that other conduct with mere effects in third countries is also covered. There is to my mind something particular about the EU’s (or a state’s) obligations in relation to a person that is at the relevant time on its territory, and this cannot so easily be translated into an obligation to prohibit exports of death penalty drugs or not to adopt an economic embargo on third states.

At a more general level, the problem is that in practice the high level of fundamental rights protection applicable domestically cannot automatically be extended to policies with mere extraterritorial effects. As my article details, with the exception of Soering scenarios, there have not been any CJEU decisions on whether fundamental rights obligations apply to measures with mere extraterritorial effects, and while the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with this, it has done so very inconsistently (Cf the contrasting decisions in Kovačič (ECtHR, admissibility, 9 Oct 2003) and Ben El Mahi (ECtHR, 11 Dec 2006)). My suspicion is that the CJEU will avoid the problem of extending domestic levels of protection to measures with extraterritorial effects not by applying a dual standard, but rather by not applying fundamental rights obligations to measures in the first place. Read the rest of this entry…

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ICJ to Hand Down Croatia v. Serbia Genocide Judgment on 3 February

Published on January 22, 2015        Author: 

As reported in Serbian and Croatian media yesterday, and officially confirmed by the Court today (press release). As for what the Court will decide, it will most likely find that no crime in the conflict in Croatia constitutes genocide, that it lacks the jurisdiction to decide on the responsibility of either state for any other crime, and that accordingly it has to reject both Croatia’s claim and Serbia’s counterclaim. By ‘most likely’ read ‘virtually inevitable, so that I would fall of my chair if the Court did anything else’ – see more here.  We’ll see whether the Court will say something interesting on various ancillary substantive questions before it reaches its main conclusion.

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Guest Editorial: Ten Years of ESIL – Reflections

From time to time, we are asked about the relationship between EJIL and the European Society of International Law (ESIL). That relationship is simple: the Journal and the Society are two separate, but mutually supportive and complementary entities. Indeed, past and present EJIL Editors can boast, with parental pride, of having been present at the conception, as well as the birth, of the Society! From its inception, membership in ESIL has included automatic online and print subscriptions to EJIL – including very soon a tablet version. The relationship has only strengthened in recent years, with ESIL Presidents and Presidents-elect serving ex officio on the EJIL Board. It is in the spirit of that growing bond that we wholeheartedly share in ESIL’s 10-year celebrations, and have invited the following Guest Editorial from its leadership.

Ten years ago, the European Society of International Law (ESIL) organized its Inaugural Conference in Florence. Some papers were later published in the Baltic Yearbook of International Law but, other than that, most presentations at the event have long been forgotten. Yet that event was one of those moments where the participants still proudly recall that they were there: yes, I was there in Florence when ESIL started, I was there when the seed was planted.

Ten years later, although ESIL has matured rapidly with the development of a wide array of activities, the Society is still in its formative stage. There is a real sense that ESIL is beginning to realize its enormous potential for understanding and influencing international law in Europe and throughout the world. But this is not a self-propelling process. On a day-to-day basis, critical choices have to be made on the directions in which the Society can and should evolve. Read the rest of this entry…

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European Hypocrisy: TTIP and ISDS

Published on January 21, 2015        Author: 

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For some, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in and of itself has become in many European (and American) circles, the enemy: another manifestation of unchecked globalization, the march of Capital trumping social, environmental and other  rights, an unhealthy embrace of the Americans from whose clutches we have painfully managed to extricate ourselves, et cetera. Yes, there is some sarcasm or irony in the above, but visit the blogs and you will see where it comes from. My sarcasm should not be taken as a dismissal of all or any of these concerns. TTIP is far from Snow White. The concerns are not entirely fanciful. It is the final objective I oppose: a no-holds-barred attack on TTIP with the objective of tanking the whole agreement. If this is your view, do not waste your time here and skip to another item.

A wholesale defeat of TTIP, if achieved, will, I believe, be a big time Pyrrhic victory ̶ a hugely missed opportunity for the polities and the peoples of these polities.

I support the TTIP for two obvious and banal reasons. First, there is every reason to believe that on aggregate it will contribute significantly to an increase in welfare in both polities, enhance growth, contribute to stability and constitute another tool, in an embarrassingly empty toolkit, to combat future transatlantic-generated economic shocks. A large and often unspoken asset of TTIP rests not with the content of the various substantive disciplines but in establishing a culture of joint conversation, regulation and management. It will counter the litigious and confrontational culture of the WTO, where the EU and the USA find themselves typically as rivals and antagonists. Constructivist theory actually has something to say here as do the insights of Global Administrative Law scholarship. Read the rest of this entry…

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 25: No. 4) Published; New EJIL:Live! Extra!

Published on January 21, 2015        Author: 

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law (Vol. 25, No. 4) is out today. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can also access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access article in this issue is Kristina Daugirdas’s Reputation and the Responsibility of International Organizations. We will hold a discussion of the article on the blog in the coming months. This week on the blog, we will continue this issue’s EJIL:Debate! on “The EU’s Human Rights Obligations in Relation to Policies with Extraterritorial Effects” with a rejoinder by Lorand Bartels. Subscribers have full access to the latest issue of the journal at EJIL’s Oxford University Press site. Apart from articles published in the last 12 months, EJIL articles are freely available on the EJIL website.

Also, a new episode of EJIL: Live Extra! is now online. In the new episode, EJIL Editor-in-Chief Joseph Weiler and Professor Andrew Clapham of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, discuss Prof. Clapham’s new edition of Brierly’s Law of Nations. They touch on the process of writing in Brierly’s “voice”, what has changed in the 50 years since Brierly wrote his last edition, and the great achievement of this important and concise book.

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