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Announcements: ECHR and the Crimes of the Past; Journal on the Use of Force and International Law RfS; Women in International Law Network; International Cultural Heritage Law Summer School; CfC for International Criminal Justice On/And Film Workshop; Conference on the Protection of Persons in Times of Disasters; Drones and International Law Event; Reforms of the Individual Complaint Mechanisms Conference

Published on January 31, 2016        Author: 

1. European Convention on Human Rights and the Crimes of the Past. A one-day conference entitled European Convention on Human Rights and the Crimes of the Past is organized jointly by the European Court of Human Rights and the European Society for International Law.  The programme includes presentations by judges from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as international law scholars.  The conference will take place on Friday 26 February 2016 at the premises of the Court in Strasbourg. Registration is now open (deadline: 19 February). In order to register, please send an email to ESIL-ECHR-Conf2016 {at} echr.coe(.)int.

2. Request for Submissions: Journal on the Use of Force and International Law. The Journal on the Use of Force and International Law (Routledge) is requesting submissions. The Journal attracts contributions both from scholars writing on the general nature of the law in the area of the jus ad bellum and those examining particular uses of force or developments in this field of law. The Journal invites submissions of unsolicited manuscripts for both articles (suggested word length between 8-25,000 words including footnotes) and book reviews (suggested word length between  3-4,000 words including footnotes).  All submissions will be double-blind peer reviewed and should comply with the Journal’s style guidelines. The deadline for submissions is 20 May 2016.  Articles and book reviews can be submitted online here.

3. Women in International Law Network: The Olive Schill Society. At a time where there are continuing efforts to promote the place of women working in international law, such as the recently launched global campaign for gender parity in international representation, the Manchester InternationaI Law Centre is proud to launch the Women in International Law Network: The Olive Schill Society (WILNET). Founded by female researchers of MILC, and dedicated to Miss Olive B. Schill (whose bequest to the University of Manchester funds public lectures in commemoration of her brother, Edward Melland Schill, who was killed in the First World War), this new platform aims to provide a professional community for women international lawyers at any stage of their career to discuss both their experiences in — and pathways into — the field. WILNET will be formally launched in Manchester on 1 February: see here for further information.  WILNET invites female international lawyers at any stage of their careers, including students, to join us in this initiative. If you are interested in becoming a member, please email us at wilnet {at} manchester.ac(.)uk. Place “Membership” in the subject title, and provide us with your name, affiliation, and a short bio. Read the rest of this entry…

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Compliance Adjudication at the ICJ – The Alleged Violations Case

Published on January 26, 2016        Author: 

The ICJ should soon deliver judgments on Preliminary Objections in the two most recent Nicaragua v Colombia cases. Both cases are closely related to the 2012 Judgment in Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v Colombia). In one of them, Nicaragua repeats a pleading the Court rejected in the 2012 Judgment for procedural reasons – that the maritime delimitation take into account Nicaragua’s proposed extended Continental Platform. In the other, Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights, Nicaragua requests the Court, first, to declare that Colombia has violated Nicaragua’s maritime sovereignty as established in the 2012 judgment; second, that Colombia ‘is bound to comply with the Judgment of 19 November 2012, wipe out the legal and material consequences of its internationally wrongful acts, and make full reparation for the harm caused by those acts’.

International Courts and Compliance Jurisdiction

Alleged Violations is the first attempt in half a century to directly bring to the ICJ a dispute concerning compliance with one of its judgments. This is less surprising once one finds out that, in the 1951 judgment in Haya de la Torre, the ICJ refused to provide meaningful guidance regarding the implementation of its 1950 Asylum judgment, on grounds that implementation of judgments must be based ‘only on considerations of practicability or political expediency’, and therefore is ‘not part of the Court’s judicial function’. Subsequent compliance cases (discussed below), other than the sui generis case of Nuclear Tests II, were ‘disguised’ as requests for interpretation, most clearly in Avena and Temple.

Alleged Violations therefore gives the Court the opportunity to re-assess its jurisprudence on the matter, and establish that questions regarding compliance with and implementation of judgments are legal questions, as justiciable as any other. Read the rest of this entry…

 
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Announcements: ANZSIL Call for Papers & Panel Proposals; ESIL Paper Series; Responsibility to Protect Workshop; UCL Journal Call for Submissions; University of Reading Postgraduate Programme; Protection of Human Rights & Environment Training

Published on January 23, 2016        Author: 

1. Call for Papers & Panel Proposals: 24th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. This ANZSIL conference will take place from 30 June 2016 to Saturday 2 July 2016 at University House, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. The theme of the conference is International Law of the Everyday: Fieldwork, Friction & Fairness, and participants are invited to reflect on what comprises the everyday of international law and how international law shapes the everyday. The Conference Organising Committee invites paper submissions reflecting on these themes in any area of public and private international law. Also invited are proposals for panels comprised of three to four papers in circumstances where the presenters concerned are already in conversation, or would find it useful to be so assembled. Details of the submission process for proposals can be found in this flyer. Submissions must be sent by 26 February 2016.

2. ESIL Paper Series. The latest instalments in the European Society of International Law’s Paper Series have been published, featuring 8 papers from its 2015 Annual Conference and 7 papers from its 2015 Research Forum. The complete collection of papers from the ESIL Series is available here.

3. Lincoln Law School Responsibility to Protect Workshop. On 22 April 2016, Lincoln Law School will host the workshop ‘Evaluating the Impact of the Responsibility to Protect – 10 years on: An idea whose time has come and gone?’. This workshop will focus on the effectiveness and implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), and brings together eminent scholars in the field and academics currently undertaking research into the implementation of RtoP. Key speakers include, Dr Aiden Hehir, University of Westminster; Professor James Pattison, University of Manchester; and Dr Justin Morris, University of Hull. We will also be joined by Dr Alexandra Bohm, University of Sheffield; Dr Sarah Sargeant, University of Buckingham; and Dr Stuart Wallace, University of Nottingham. Registration is available here and costs £15. The workshop will run between 10am and 6pm, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Contact Dr. Graham Melling (gmelling {at} lincoln.ac(.)uk) or Dr. Christy Shucksmith (cshucksmith {at} lincoln.ac(.)uk) for further information.

4. Call for Submissions: UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. The UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence is a law journal run by postgraduate students of the UCL Faculty of Laws. The Journal appears twice a year and is available open access. The Editorial Board is pleased to call for submissions for the second issue of 2016. This will be our ‘City Issue’ and the Editorial Board welcomes submissions that engage with this general theme. The topic is broadly conceived and leaves scope for any area of law or jurisprudence (domestic, regional or international) that is deemed to be ‘City’ related, including, for example, banking and finance, regulation, capital markets, trusts, tax, IP, corporate or international economic law. Submissions could be theoretical, doctrinal or aimed at practice. The deadline for submissions is 30th April 2016. Manuscripts must be uploaded via the submissions section on our website. For further information and guidelines for authors please visit our website.

Read the rest of this entry…

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The ‘Compliance Track’ on a Track to Nowhere

Published on January 22, 2016        Author: 

The 32nd International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IC), held from 8th to 10th December 2015 and bringing together delegations from States Party to the Geneva Conventions (GCs), National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC and the IFRC, has already attracted some comments (here and here). A little-explored topic to date has been the adoption of Resolution 2 on “Strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law”. This Resolution was linked to the so-called ‘compliance track’: an initiative managed by the ICRC and Switzerland, aimed at identifying options to improve the implementation of IHL.

A draft resolution circulated in October 2015 recommended that States create a new compliance mechanism, the so-called “Meeting of States on IHL” (MoS), and identified the key elements proposed for that mechanism. This draft resolution was also accompanied by a Concluding Report, providing insights into the consultation process and emphasizing the questions still pending. However, delegations at the International Conference were unable to reach a consensus on this new mechanism. Operative paragraph (OP) 2 of Resolution 2 adopted at the International Conference merely recommends “the continuation of an inclusive, State-driven inter-governmental process based on the principle of consensus…to find agreement on features and functions of a potential forum of States…in order to submit the outcome of this intergovernmental process to the 33rd International Conference”. The Resolution reiterates a series of guiding principles intended to inform further discussions. This post will describe the key features of the proposed Meeting of States. It will be noted that the proposals which were put to the International Conference, but not adopted, contained only a minimal option for strengthening compliance with IHL, though it would have had the merit of planting a tiny seed in the IHL system, with an eye to its possible ripening into a fruit.

The path towards the 32nd International Conference

The ‘compliance track’ was developed following the adoption of Resolution 1 at the 31st IC held in 2011, where the ICRC (later joined by Switzerland) was entrusted with pursuing consultations to enhance the effectiveness of IHL compliance mechanisms. A shared skepticism on the effectiveness of some existing mechanisms (such as Protecting Powers, Enquiry Procedures, Meeting of the High Contracting Parties, or the IHFFC) lay behind this request. In particular, as such mechanisms were designed for international armed conflicts and are dependent on States’ consent for their activation, they have barely functioned as envisaged. States’ discomfort with the increasing proliferation of (sometimes) proactive compliance mechanisms operating outside the realm of IHL, such as human rights bodies, was an additional element in favor of the possible development of new mechanisms for implementing compliance with IHL. Read the rest of this entry…

 
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Provisional Measures and Joinder of Cases at the International Court of Justice – The Answers

Published on January 18, 2016        Author: 

Earlier this month I asked four trivia questions about the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) practice on provisional measures and joinder of cases. The questions were prompted by the ICJ’s recent Judgment in the joined cases concerning Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica). I also stated that the first person to provide the most correct answers would win a year’s free subscription to the European Journal of International Law prize. Within minutes of my piece being posted, Niccolò Ridi (right, who is doctoral candidate at the Dickson Poon School of Law,  King’s College London and Research Assistant at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva) had provided comprehensive answers to all four questions. His quickness off the mark hardly gave anybody else a chance! He later added to his answers with subsequent comments, and is very deserving of the prize!

My first question was “1) In what other case has the Court made a finding in the dispositif of a judgment that a party has breached a provisional measures order made by the Court?” Niccolò is absolutely right to note that the use of the singular – ‘case’ – in my formulation is incorrect. The Court has made such a finding in the dispositif of a judgment in a few cases. The first case in which the Court did so was the La Grand case (Germany v the US) 2001. That was the first case in which the Court held that provisional measures orders were legally binding, and it is only since that judgment that the Court has included declarations of non-compliance with provisional measures in the dispositifs of judgments. Massimo Lando and Niccolò are also right that the Request for Interpretation of the Avena Judgment (Mexico v US); the Armed Activities case (DRC v Uganda); and the Bosnia Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v Serbia and Montenegro) case are other cases where the Court has found non-compliance with provisional measures. Indeed, it seems to be the case that, since LaGrand, in the majority of judgments dealing with cases where the Court has ordered provisional measures, it has subsequently made findings of violations of its interim orders. Two cases where the ICJ has not, in that time period since LaGrand, made such findings are the Land and Maritime Boundary (Cameroon v Nigeria) case (2002) and the Request for Interpretation of the Judgment in the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand) case (2013). By my count that makes it 5 cases of findings of non-compliance with 2 cases of no such finding. These are not encouraging statistics regarding compliance with provisional measures!

Which Cases have been Joined?

Question 2 asked “In which proceedings have cases before the International Court been joined?” Niccolò was correct in referring to the South West Africa cases (Liberia & Ethiopia v South Africa) and the North Sea Continental Shelf cases (Federal Republic of Germany/Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany/Netherlands). Those were indeed the two cases where the ICJ has formally joined proceedings (I later realized that I had made a gaffe in my earlier post in referring to this press release as the answer to the question was made plain there).  Read the rest of this entry…

 

Announcements: CfP Adjudicating International Trade and Investment Disputes; CfP Regional Approaches to International Adjudication; CfP DEBACLES – Illusions and Failures in the History of International Adjudication; Conference on Non-State Actors; Judge Rosas Conversation at City University; Research Fellow – International Humanitarian Law; Representations of the (Extra)territorial Conference; 1st Annual Conference on Energy Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in the Middle East and Africa;

Published on January 17, 2016        Author: 

1. Call for Papers – Adjudicating International Trade and Investment Disputes. PluriCourts, Center of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimacy of International Courts and Tribunals at the University of Oslo will host a conference from 25 – 26 August 2016 on “Adjudicating International Trade and Investment Disputes: Between Interaction and Isolation”. A call for papers has been issued for the conference across the disciplines of law, political science, and philosophy relating to three themes: the new mega-regionals, comparisons and practices, and cross-fertilization and learning. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by 1 March 2016. Further details can be found here.

2. Call for Papers – Regional Approaches to International Adjudication. A call for papers for the second joint meeting of ASIL Interest Group on International Courts and Tribunals (ASIL ICTIG) and ESIL Interest Group on International Courts (ESIL ICTIG) has been announced. The joint meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. during ASIL’s annual meeting (30 March-3 April 2016) (exact time and date to be confirmed). Abstracts are requested describing unpublished works (original and ongoing research) on the theme of  “Regional Approaches to International Adjudication”. Current (2016) members of either ASIL ICTIG and ESIL ICTIG, at any level of their careers, are invited to submit abstracts. Abstracts must not exceed 500 words, and must be submitted to geir.ulfstein {at} jus.uio(.)no and ngrossman {at} ubalt(.)edu. Deadline for submissions is 1 February 2016. Along with the abstract, please include the author’s name and affiliation, a short author’s CV and whether the author is an ESIL ICTIG member or an ASIL ICTIG member, or both

3.  Call for papers – “DEBACLES – Illusions and Failures in the History of International Adjudication”. The Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law launches a call for papers for the Research Workshop “DEBACLES – Illusions and Failures in the History of International Adjudication/ Illusions et échecs dans l’histoire de la juridiction internationale”. The purpose of the DEBACLES project is to share cutting-edge research on specific failed attempts to create and operate international judicial forums as well as on broader historical/theoretical issues related to such failures. For more information, please read the call for papers. Read the rest of this entry…

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Targeting Child Soldiers

Published on January 12, 2016        Author: 

Despite the numerous volume on child soldiers in legal literature over the last few decades, very little has been said on targeting child soldiers. It seems to be something international lawyers would rather not talk about. The fact that legal literature doesn’t say much about targeting child soldiers doesn’t mean that no such practice exists, or that soldiers haven’t discuss the matter. In 2002, the US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory organised a ‘Cultural Intelligence Seminar’ on the implication of child soldiering for US forces. One trigger for that discussion was the fact that the very first US soldier killed in Afghanistan reportedly was a Special Forces Sergeant shot by a 14-year-old boy. The year before, in Sierra Leone, a squad from the Royal Irish Regiment was taken prisoner by a group consisting mostly of armed children called the West Side Boys, as the British soldiers were hesitant to open fire. After they had been held hostage for two weeks, an assault was launched by an SAS unit supported by suppression fire from helicopters, leading to between 25 to 150 dead among the West Side Boys. Finally, during the civil war in Sri Lanka, a Government aircraft bombed what was deemed an LTTE training camp, killing a reported 61 minors, mostly girls. Although the LTTE was widely known to use child soldiers, and the specific facts were contested, the Sri Lanka Government was adamant that if a child took up arms, then he or she could be targeted and killed.

The phenomenon of child soldiers remains widespread, and their activities does include direct participation in hostilities. It is imperative that international humanitarian law provide guidance as to what opposing forces can do if they are confronted with that reality. In this piece, I suggest that there are elements in international humanitarian law that support adapting a child-specific approach to targeting. Under this approach, the fact that a potential target is a child should prima facie raise a doubt as to whether he or she is targetable. Although the doubt may be dissipated in light of available facts, overcoming the presumption of civilian status might require more than would be the case for an adult. In addition, even if a child is deemed targetable, the allowable means and methods must nevertheless reflect the protected status of children in international law. Read the rest of this entry…

 

Immunity of Heads of State on the Retreat

Published on January 11, 2016        Author: 

On December 31st, the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library tweeted that its most popular item of 2015 was my book entitled “Immunity of Heads of State and State Officials for International Crimes”.

The tweet immediately led to an intense controversy on Twitter and to a number of articles (here or here). Many commentators suggested that the book has been popular because diplomats were looking for ways to protect themselves or their bosses. Some also claimed that it was a poor sign for the United Nations. The news website Vox wrote: “The UN is full of delegates representing awful dictatorships, and the book that got checked out the most from the UN library was about … how to be immune from war crimes prosecution. That does not seem like a good thing!”

Numerous commentators jumped to the conclusion that the book was some sort of recipe to escape prosecution for international crimes. But in fact, rather than for criminal dictators, the book is for committed prosecutors and judges. In particular, it contains a detailed analysis of the relevant customary international law. Read the rest of this entry…

 

Curriculum Vitae: A Prequel | The Video

Published on January 10, 2016        Author: 

Earlier this week, we reproduced in two posts on EJIL:Talk! Roger O’Keefe’s insighful and hilarious Inaugural Lecture, delivered at UCL at the end of 2015. It is now available as an online video.

In his inaugural lecture, Professor O’Keefe teases out some recurrent international legal problems through the story of the life and opinions of D. H. G. H.-G. Salamander, lesser highly qualified publicist and minor poet.

 
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