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The European Law Institute

Published on July 11, 2012        Author: 

EJIL is delighted to reprint the following information received from Sir Francis Jacobs, President of the newly established European Law Institute.

The European Law Institute was founded in 2011 as an entirely independent organization, with the aim of improving the quality of European law, understood in the broad sense. It seeks to initiate, conduct and facilitate research, to make recommendations, and to provide practical guidance in the field of European legal development.

The Institute will study and stimulate European legal development in a global context. This will include, but by no means be limited to, the development of European law by the European Union and the Council of Europe. Other fields of national law will be included and the Institute’s scope may also encompass the development of international law, both public and private.

The process of founding the Institute as a pan-European body generated a high degree of enthusiasm for the idea, an enthusiasm which has been reflected in the many expressions of interest and the large number of applications for membership. The Institute is now established at the University of Vienna, where an inaugural ceremony was held on 17 November 2011, and where the Secretariat is based.  Read the rest of this entry…

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Council of Europe Ministers adopt declaration to address libel tourism

Published on July 11, 2012        Author: 

For those interested in matters of jurisdiction and cross-border litigation, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has now adopted a declaratory text alerting its 47 member states to what it termed the “serious threat to freedom of expression and information” posed by the practice of libel tourism – a practice where one chooses a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction in which to bring a libel suit against a journalist, publisher, or academic. In calling for the reform of defamation laws in Europe to prevent libel tourism, the Committee of Ministers is also calling for some uniformity of standards.

For those unfamiliar with the organs of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers is the Council’s executive body, consisting of all Foreign Ministers from the Council’s 47 member states or their deputies. The declaration adopted last week, while not a legally binding text, serves to add the voice of a weighty regional group of states to the claim that libel tourism and forum shopping in defamation cases can produce a chilling effect on expression and the availability of information. A copy of the declaration, entitled the “Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the Desirability of International Standards dealing with Forum Shopping in respect of Defamation, “Libel Tourism”, to Ensure Freedom of Expression,” can be found here.

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New Issue of EJIL [Vol 23, No.2]: In this Issue

Published on July 10, 2012        Author: 

We begin this latest issue of the European Journal of International Law with a high-profile exchange on Europe and Democracy between Armin von Bogdandy and Jürgen Habermas, who, despite the ambient malaise, believe in the promises of the European Union as a model for the democratization of the international arena.

In this issue, we feature three articles illustrating the eclecticism that characterizes EJIL: Leora Bilsky’s article, assessing the contribution of transnational holocaust civil litigation to conceptions of justice in international law; Virginie Barral’s article which revisits the issue of the legal status of sustainable development; and the article by Giuseppe Martinico which explores a possible convergence in the way national courts deal with both the ECHR and EU law.

Roaming Charges shifts from Moments of Dignity back to Places. In this issue it is Places of Entry – Tel Aviv Airport.

In this issue we publish a symposium on the EU and Climate Change that tackles the recent inclusion of aviation in the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) from two different perspectives. Lorand Bartels addresses the legality of the scheme under WTO law whereas Joanne Scott and Lavanya Rajamani stress the relevance of the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the context of unilateral climate action.

This issue also displays two of our occasional series, Critical Review of International Jurisprudence and Critical Review of International Governance. In the first series, Alberto Alvarez-Jiminez proceeds to a systematic analysis of the different modalities of disputes over boundary agreements, featured  in the ICJ’s jurisprudence over the last decade. In the second series, Jakob Cornides gives us a foretaste of what the EU anti-discrimination policy might entail.

We are hugely proud of EJIL’s book reviewing under the leadership of Professor Dr Isabel Feichtner of Frankfurt University. I think the selection of books for review is judicious and the various creative forms in which the reviews take place enhance and underlie the seriousness with which we take ‘the book’ in the age of the internet. In another example of creative innovation we introduce in this issue a further type of review essay – the review of A Life’s Work. This type of review does not assess, like our other reviews, individual books or developments in the literature on a particular topic. Instead, it concentrates on a scholar and critically assesses his or her writings, their impact on international law scholarship and their continued relevance in the world of today. An essay by Jorge Viñuales on the writings of Michel Virally begins this occasional series and focuses on Virally’s writings on International Organizations.

We also publish a Review Essay by Gregory Shaffer, who offers a transnational take on Nico Krisch’s pluralist structure of post-national law.

The Last Page poem is Nocturnal Vision by Elliot R. Wolfson.

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Insights into the world of the foreign office lawyer

Published on July 9, 2012        Author: 

I’ve long been a fan of Joshua Rozenberg, who I believe is one of the best legal commentators in the United Kingdom, and among other activities, is the presenter of a worthwhile program called “Law in Action” for BBC Radio 4, which I listen to in Canada via podcast.

Recently, while going through last month’s podcast collection, I listened with interest to Rozenberg’s first program for the summer 2012 season, entitled “Secret courts, drones and international law” which featured an interview with Sir Daniel Bethlehem KCMG QC, (or “Kindly Call Me God” as the old joke goes), the former principal Legal Adviser with the UK’s ministry of foreign affairs, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Rozenberg also interviewed EJIL Talk’s own blogger-extraordinaire Dapo Akande as well as Mary-Ellen O’Connell of the University of Notre Dame for this program, which aired in early June, but you can still listen to it here.

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