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“International Law Weekend” New York City, Oct. 25-27

Published on October 17, 2012        Author: 

International Law Weekend 2012 – the premier international law event of the fall season, will be held on October 25-27, 2012, in New York City. The overall theme of ILW 2012 is Ideas, Institutions, and Interests – Dynamics of Change in International Law. International Law Weekend is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (“ABILA”).

The unifying theme for this year’s meeting is to explore the mechanisms of change in international law. The weekend opens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 25 at the New York City Bar Association at 42 West 44th Street, in mid-town Manhattan with a blazing panel on China — with former U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Lord, NYU Law School human rights expert Jerome Cohen, China environmental expert Liz Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations, legal eagle John Crowley of Davis, Polk and Wardwell, and Professor Ben Liebman of Columbia Law School — followed by a free cocktail reception.

It continues 9 a.m. Friday October 26 at the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham Law School, 140 West 62nd Street — with a Conversation with famed former SDNY U.S. Attorney and Debevoise litigation chief Mary Jo White, who indicted Bin Laden and pursued Siemens for foreign corrupt practices; a Lecture by the chief Yugoslav tribunal war crimes judge Ted Meron; a two-part series on ICSID investment arbitration with ICSID secretary general Meg Kinnear; and a talk by blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Read the rest of this entry…

Filed under: Conference, EJIL Reports
 
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International Law Weekend 2012: Call for Papers and Panels

Published on March 15, 2012        Author: 

After last year’s gathering of the flock (with over 1400 attendees and some 40 co-sponsors, a record draw), we’re ready to do New York City’s International Law Weekend again, in a continuing collaboration between the International Law Association’s American Branch and the International Law Students Association. This year’s International Law Weekend (ILW) conference dates will be October 25-27, 2012. The conference will be held in two venues, at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and at Fordham Law School.

The theme for ILW 2012 is “Ideas, Institutions, and Interests – Dynamics of Change in International Law”. The sponsors have issued a call for panels, roundtables, and lectures. That call can be found on the site of the American Branch of the International Law Association.  That call states that:

“The unifying theme for this year’s meeting is to explore the mechanisms of change in international law. Panels may focus on key regions undergoing particularly dramatic change, for instance in the Middle East or China, and subject matter areas undergoing rapid change, such as tariffs and trade, human rights and humanitarian intervention, immigration, labor, public health, sustainable development and the environment.”

“This year, we plan to have a broad array of public international law topics, but will also have dedicated tracks of private international law topics in each program slot. Thus, we welcome suggestions of cutting-edge issues in the international aspects of corporate, tax, securities, and investment law, as well as international arbitration and other forms of international dispute resolution.”

“Equally welcome are topics in public international law and institutions, including issues regarding the United Nations, human rights, peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention, arms control, the development of regional and sub-regional organizations, etc. We also encourage suggestions of varied formats, such as debates, roundtables, lectures, and break-out groups, as well as the usual practice of panel presentations.”

The online Proposal Submission form can be found on the ILSA website.

Ruth Wedgwood is President of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Filed under: Conference, EJIL Analysis
 
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International Law Weekend 2011

Published on October 3, 2011        Author: 

International Law Weekend 2011 — the world-famous gathering of the flock of international lawyers for the fall season — begins on Thursday night, October 20, 2011, at the Association of the  Bar of the City of New York, 42 West 44th Street, NYC, and continues at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 21-22, at Fordham Law School, at 140 West 62nd Street, NYC. This year’s theme is “International Law and National Politics.”

A blue ribbon opening panel at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night at the City Bar will address whether international law has seen “The Death of Sovereignty?” in an era of debt downgrades, seccesionist conflicts, and covert military operations — and will be followed by a free wine and cheese reception.

Panels starting at 9 a.m. on Friday at Fordham will look at International Law and U.S. Grand Strategy, the Extraterritorial Reach of Anti-Bribery Legislation Libel Tourism, the UN Disabilities Convention, Sharia and U.S. Law, Developments in Commercial Arbitration, Access to Justice in the Middle East North Africa Region, Regulation of Private Military and Security Companeis, LGBT Rights in Africa, and the Impact of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty on National Politics.  State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh will give a keynote talk at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, after a free buffet lunch in the atrium, on “International Lawyering for the U.S. in an Age of Smart Power.”

Panels starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday include Civilian Casualties in Modern War, Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights Law – Emerging Risks for Corporate Counsel, Private Litigation against Alleged Terrorist Sponsors, Intellectual Property Law, the New International Investment Arbitration Lawyer, Current Challenges for the International Criminal Court, Tribunal Procedures and Ethical Dilemmas for the Guantanamo Bay Military Tribunals, and Promoting Independence for Human Rights Lawyers Worldwide.   Former Yugoslav Tribunal Prosecutor Richard Goldstone will give a keynote address at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday on “The Future of International Criminal Justice: The Crucial Role of the United States.”

As always, admission is free for all students, all faculty, lawyers, and staff from co-sponsoring institutions, as well as all members of the American Branch of the International Law Association, the International Law Students Association, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  Staff members of the United Nations and Permanent Missions to the United Nations can also attend for free.  The registration fee remains a modest $75 for the two days combined for all other practicing lawyers and members of the public.

We have a record number of co-sponsors this year, whose generous contributions makes the event possible. New sponsors include the International Bar Association, and law faculties from as far north as Maine and as far south as Virgina.    Further information and registration is available at www.ila-americanbranch.org or www.ilsa.org, or at the door

Filed under: Conference, EJIL Reports
 
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International Law Weekend 2011: Call for Panel Proposals

Published on March 31, 2011        Author: 

On October 20-22, 2011, the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association will host the annual New York-based International Law Weekend (“ILW”), in conjunction with the 90th annual meeting of the American Branch.  “ILW 2011” will bring together hundreds of legal practitioners, professors, U.N. diplomats, experts from government, NGO’s and private industry, and students.  It will feature lively and contentious panels, distinguished speakers, and delicious receptions.

The overall theme of ILW 2011 is “International Law and National Politics.”

This year’s three-day conference will focus on issues arising from the interplay and intersection of international rules and norms and domestic politics and policymaking.  To what extent do international standards influence the application and interpretation of national law including complimentary or contrary policies sought by domestic policymakers, non-governmental actors and/or civil society?  Expert panels and discussion sessions will examine these and other issues with regard to such diverse areas as human rights and humanitarian intervention, national security, immigration, trade, labor, health care and the environment.  Though this is the primary focus of the conference, other inventive ideas and proposals, especially arising from current events, are always welcome for consideration as well.

The Co-Chairs of ILW 2011 are Professor Martin S. Flaherty, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, mflaherty17{at}yahoo.com, Sahra Diament of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, diament{at}un.org, and Jill Schmieder Hereau, Program Coordinator at the International Law Students Association, jshereau{at}ilsa.org.

The Co-Chairs invite proposals for panels for ILW 2011.  Please submit proposals by email to each of the Co-Chairs no later than Wednesday, May 4, 2011.  Please also submit a copy of your proposal to ILA president Ruth Wedgwood, at rwedgwood{at}jhu.edu and to ILA executive committee chairman John Noyes, jen{at}cwsl.edu.

  Read the rest of this entry…

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Paul Kagame and Rwanda’s Faux Democracy

Published on August 8, 2010        Author: 

Ruth Wedgwood is Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy; and Director of the International Law and Organizations Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington DC. She is also a  visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.

If you’re a betting person, here’s a safe bet: On August 9, the balloting in the east African state of Rwanda will give world-famous military leader Paul Kagame yet another seven-year term as president. The astonishing margin of victory will impress even the modern grand viziers of Central Asia. The outcome is quite easy to predict, when no other candidates are allowed to campaign.

Given this and much else besides, it’s time Washington began to create some distance from a man who has earned his reputation as a de facto despot who terrorizes critics and does not shrink from political violence.

Kagame revels in his fame as the strategist who led a Tutsi invasion force from Uganda in 1994, pushing back the Hutu army and Hutu militia, though not before they perpetrated a shocking genocidal slaughter of hundreds of thousands of the country’s Tutsi minority, as well as moderate Hutu. Washington, reeling from Somalia and fearing another Black Hawk Down, refused to intervene. Madeline Albright was directed to inform the U.N. Security Council that, no, we would not reconstitute the U.N. peacekeeping force in Rwanda, and, further, the United States would veto any resolution that authorized other countries to do so. It was the season of peacekeeping misadventures, and the Clinton White House decided, as one former National Security Council official recalls, that it could not afford to intervene both in Haiti and Rwanda. Presidential Decision Directive 25, drafted by Richard Clarke as a white paper for peacekeeping, morphed into an excuse to “just say no.”

For the last 15 years, Kagame has at every turn invoked these memories to shoehorn the West into a nearly reflexive support for his government. Even Bill Clinton came back to apologize. Kagame has become a fixture at the United Nations in New York, regaling delegations in the Indonesian Lounge, extolling his vision of benevolent autocracy, claiming to admire Singapore as his model for economic growth and insisting that he and only he can keep Rwanda’s torn society knitted together.

In truth, the Rwandan leader presides over nothing more than hollow democracy. He has attacked and exiled any and all viable political opponents. The local press, as well as international journalists, have been bludgeoned and harassed. The regime uses the Stalinist crime of “divisionism” as a pretext to silence and prosecute any critic who dares question its policies or the state sanctioned version of the 1994 conflict. Read the rest of this entry…

Filed under: EJIL Analysis, Rwanda
 

The Strange Case of Florence Hartmann

Published on July 9, 2009        Author: 

Ruth Wedgwood is Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy; and Director of the International Law and Organizations Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington DC. She is also a  visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Previously, she served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, and designed the redaction procedures that became the Classified Information Procedures Act

A striking consensus is emerging in Washington for a closer relationship with the International Criminal Court. Even some staunch conservatives have backed the idea of lending logistical, political, and diplomatic assistance to the ICC on a case-by-case basis – to act against the most shocking outrages of genocide, crimes against humanity, and systematic war crimes.

Yet, with notoriously bad timing, the path to this cooperation may be washed away, due to a troublesome and unnecessary fight brewing at a sister criminal tribunal in The Hague.

The fracas has arisen at the ad hoc United Nations war crimes court tasked since 1993 to try cases from the bloody ethnic war in the former Yugoslavia. This is a high-performing tribunal that has enjoyed strong leadership from its American judges and other admired jurists. The court is currently focused on the prosecution of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and has an indictment and arrest warrant waiting for fugitive Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic.

But this exemplary war crimes court also has a mess on its hands, partly of its own creation. The outcome will hold an important lesson for the transparency that any international criminal court should maintain, even amidst the difficulties of dealing with sovereign states. To be acceptable to democratic states and publics, an international court should make available the logic and effect of its rulings. There can be no secret jurisprudence, unavailable to debate and critique by an audience of lawyers, political leaders, and citizens.

Yet, in a summary proceeding now underway at the tribunal, three judges hailing from China, Turkey, and South Africa are threatening to send a French journalist to jail on a charge of criminal contempt for revealing the bare-bones logic of two appellate opinions. No witness has been endangered. No sealed arrest warrant was thwarted. And the criminal case to which the decisions pertained was ended by the fatal heart attack of former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic in his jail cell in The Hague in March 2005. Read the rest of this entry…

 
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