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EJIL Vol. 30 (2019) No. 3: In this Issue

Published on December 11, 2019        Author: 

 

The first section of this issue includes three articles. The first article, by Paz Andrés Sáenz de Santa María, examines the treaty-making practice of the European Union (EU) from an international law perspective. Contrary to the view that international treaty law is ill-suited to deal with distinct legal actors such as the EU, this article shows that international treaty law has been a useful and flexible mechanism to fulfil the objectives of the EU’s external relations. At the same time, EU treaty-making practice and adjudication have contributed to the development of international treaty law. The article highlights the main features of this mutually constructive relationship, while also pointing to some challenges that need to be addressed.

The second article, by Vera Shikhelman, assesses the implementation of the decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) in individual communications. Drawing on an analysis of original empirical data, the article identifies the main factors that influence state compliance with HRC decisions. Arguably, these findings can also shed light on state cooperation with other international human rights institutions.

In the third article, Máximo Langer and Mackenzie Eason challenge the prevailing perception that universal jurisdiction is in decline. They conduct a worldwide survey to show that universal jurisdiction has actually been invisibly but persistently expanding in terms of quantity, frequency, and geographical spread. They then suggest some explanations for this trend and assess its merits and pitfalls. Read the rest of this entry…

 
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Favourite Readings 2019 – Closing an Uneasy Decade with Rhythm and Blues

Published on December 11, 2019        Author: 

 

As in previous years, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, has invited EJIL board members and (associate) editors to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2019. No strict rules apply — the posts are meant to introduce books that left an impression, irrespective of their genre. Today we have selections from Michal Saliternik. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 

We are closing the second decade of the twenty-first century without seeing much progress in addressing this century’s most daunting problems, including violent conflicts, social inequality, environmental degradation, and the decline of democracy. My good reads for the past year deal with these problems from different perspectives and methodological approaches within several genres. Together, they take the reader to a journey between the small details and the big picture; between the past and the future; between the heart and the mind; between despair and hope.

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On My Way Out – Advice to Young Scholars VI: WeakPoint, On the Uses and Abuses of PowerPoint

Published on December 10, 2019        Author: 

 

I have most certainly reached the final phase of my academic and professional career and as I look back I want to offer, for what it is worth, some dos and don’ts on different topics to younger scholars in the early phases of theirs. This is the sixth instalment and regards that staple of academic life: PowerPoint.

There is a concept in Jewish law called ‘Fencing’ (Seyag). It is a prophylactic; a new prohibition is decreed, which is not, in and of itself, biblically based but is introduced in the interest of protecting people from inadvertently committing an infraction of a divine commandment or in order to prevent people from entering into a danger zone of temptation. Here is a trivial example: the recitation of one’s nightly prayers can (and should) take place during the night. Night time lasts, surely, until daybreak – just before dawn. One o’clock in the morning is surely still night time. The Rabbis decreed a ‘Fence’ and fixed a deadline of midnight. ‘A man’, they reasoned, ‘will return home, and say to himself: I’ll eat a little bit, and drink a little bit, and sleep a little bit – and then recite my prayers. [After all, I have all night ahead of me]. He ends up sleeping all night and missing his nightly prayers.’

I have imposed on myself a Fence: No PowerPoint at all (for that matter, no FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram). It is an extreme (im)position, which I am not suggesting others should adopt. However, I am advocating a far more prudent and discerning use of PowerPoint.

The technology was originally developed for the American corporate world, driven by an ethos in which time is money – cut it short, get to the point – and in which presentation trumps deliberation, decisiveness trumps doubt, and communication is oftentimes in the command mode. Read the rest of this entry…

Filed under: Editorials, EJIL
 
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On My Way In – I: Impressions of a New Editor-in-Chief’s First Months in the EJIL Engine Room

Published on December 10, 2019        Author: 

 

EJIL’s Editor-in-Chief Joseph Weiler has written a series of editorials titled ‘On My Way Out’, providing advice to young scholars. I’ve always read these with great interest, considering myself squarely in the target audience. That has not changed now that I have joined him as an Editor-in-Chief of this most inspiring journal. I am very much still on my way in, although into what continues to surprise. ‘Not a single dull day at EJIL’, Joseph had promised me. He has not disappointed.

Continuing in the EJIL tradition of being as transparent as possible about the editorial process, let me share with you a few experiences as a fresh Editor-in-Chief. I hope this newcomer’s view from behind the scenes will complement the official accounts and statistics that EJIL already provides.

Unsurprisingly, the core of the job has been an enormous amount of reading. Every few weeks, the Editors-in-Chief receive a pack of over 1000 pages: new submissions, peer review reports, road maps for revisions, revised submissions, peer review reports of revised manuscripts, final submissions. Reading all of these pages is a great way to learn about emerging research areas, different styles of scholarly writing and wide-ranging approaches to peer reviewing (ranging from the rather unhelpful conclusion-only assessments to truly impressive engagement with an author’s work and detailed suggestions for improving it).

Perhaps the best and most educative part of the job has been discussing all of these articles and reports with the Associate Editors and the other Editor-in-Chief. Meeting virtually, some of us with a double espresso because in their time zone it is 6 am, we analyse each and every piece of writing. What is exciting about this article? What does the article allow us to see or understand that was not known already? Will it still be read in five years’ time? Have we recently published on the same topic? How could the argument be made clearer? Who would be in a good position to peer review in this particular area? Is the reviewer’s issue with the article one of quality or one of not liking the argument or approach? Does the author’s revision road map address the issues raised by the reviewer? Has the second, third, or even fourth version of the submission addressed all previous concerns? Read the rest of this entry…

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 3) Out This Week

Published on December 9, 2019        Author: 

 

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law will be published this week. Over the coming days, we will have a series of editorial posts by Joseph Weiler and Sarah Nouwen, Editors-in-Chief of EJIL. These posts will appear in the Editorial of the new issue. 

Here is the Table of Contents for this new issue:

Editorial

On My Way In – I: Impressions of a New Editor-in-Chief’s First Months in the EJIL Engine Room; On My Way Out – Advice to Young Scholars VI: WeakPoint, On the Uses and Abuses of PowerPoint; In This Issue

Articles

Paz Andrés Sáenz de Santa María, The European Union and the Law of Treaties: A Fruitful Relationship

Vera Shikhelman, Implementing Decisions of International Human Rights Institutions – Evidence from the United Nations Human Rights Committee

Máximo Langer and Mackenzie Eason, The Quiet Expansion of Universal Jurisdiction

Symposium: International Commissions of Inquiry

Michael A. Becker and Sarah M.H. Nouwen, International Commissions of Inquiry: What Difference Do They Make? Taking an Empirical Approach

Eliav Lieblich, At Least Something: The UN Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary, 1957–1958

Hala Khoury-Bisharat, The Unintended Consequences of the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Organizations in Israel

Mohamed S. Helal, Two Seas Apart: An Account of the Establishment, Operation and Impact of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)

Roaming Charges: Moments of Dignity: Mekong River

EJIL: Debate!

Jeffrey Kahn, The Relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation: Conflicting Conceptions of Sovereignty in Strasbourg and St. Petersburg

A. Blankenagel, The Relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation: A Reply to Jeffrey Kahn

EJIL: Debate!

Heike Krieger, Populist Governments and International Law

Marcela Prieto Rudolphy, Populist Governments and International Law: A Reply to Heike Krieger

Paul Blokker, Populist Governments and International Law: A Reply to Heike Krieger

A Fresh Look at an Old Case

Amedeo Arena, From an Unpaid Electricity Bill to the Primacy of EU Law: Gian Galeazzo Stendardi and the Making of Costa v ENEL 

Review Essay

JHHW, FIFA – The Beautiful Game – The Ugly Organization

Sahiba Gill, Edouard Adelus and Francisco de Abreu Duarte, Whose Game? FIFA, Corruption, and the Challenge of Global Governance. Review of J. Sugden and A. Tomlinson. Football, Corruption and Lies: Revisiting ‘Badfellas’, the Book FIFA Tried to Ban; D. Conn. The Fall of the House of FIFA: The Multimillion-Dollar Corruption at the Heart of Global Soccer; H. Blake and J. Calvert. The Ugly Game: The Corruption of FIFA and the Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup; B. Mersiades. Whatever It Takes: The Inside Story of the FIFA Way; J. Chade. Política, Propina e Futebol: Como o Padrão FIFA Ameaça o Esporte Mais Popular do Planeta

Book Reviews

William A. Schabas, The Trial of the Kaiser (Roger O’Keefe)

Honor Brabazon (ed.). Neoliberal Legality: Understanding the Role of Law in the Neoliberal Project (Anna Chadwick)

Joseph Klingler, Yuri Parkhomenko, Constantinos Salonidis (eds). Between the Lines of the Vienna Convention? Canons and Other Principles of Interpretation in Public International Law (Richard Gardiner)

The Last Page

Antjie Krog, Litany

 
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Favourite Readings 2019 – 10 Good Reads

Published on December 9, 2019        Author: 

 

 

As in previous years, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, has invited EJIL board members and (associate) editors to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2019. No strict rules apply — the posts are meant to introduce books that left an impression, irrespective of their genre. Today we have selections from Joseph Weiler. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 

It is the time of year once more when I publish my pick from some of the books that came my way since my last “Good Reads” listing. These are not book reviews in the classical and rigorous sense of the word, for which you should turn to our Book Review section. I do not attempt to analyze or critique, but rather to explain why the books appealed to me and why I think you, too, may find them not only well worth reading but enjoyable, good reads. 

Anthony Julius, Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (OUP, 2010)

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Announcements: UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; Research Positions NUS Centre for International Law; The Intensive Doctoral Week; CfP Conflict and Entanglement in the Global Legal Order; CfP Old and New Threats to Freedom of Expression; CfC Research Roundtable on Civil Liability for Human Rights Violations; CfA Oak Foundation Research Visitor Programme; ECHR Law Review 

Published on December 8, 2019        Author: 

 

1. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs recently added the following lecture to the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law (AVL) website: Ms. Vera Rusinova on “Human Rights in Armed Conflicts” available in English and Russian. The Audiovisual Library of International Law is also available as a podcast, which can be accessed through the preinstalled applications in Apple or Google devices, through SoundCloud or through the podcast application of your preference by searching “Audiovisual Library of International Law”.

2. Two Research Positions NUS Centre for International Law (CIL). NUS Centre for International Law (CIL) is hiring for 2 Research Positions. The first is a Research Associate/Fellow (CIL’s Oceans Law and Policy Programme) and the second a Research Associate/Fellow (MPA-CIL Oceans Governance Research Programme). Applications open 10 December 2019 and close on 20 January 2020. CIL is seeking applications from candidates with both an advanced degree in international law (PhD or LLM) and a demonstrable interest in the law of the sea, marine environmental law or the international regulation of shipping. Candidates with a particular interest in Southeast Asia and its regional institutions are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested applicants please see here and submit the required documents to cil.jobs {at} nus.edu(.)sg by 20 January 2020. 

3. The Intensive Doctoral Week. Initiated in 2011, the Intensive Doctoral Week (IDW) is a co-organised initiative led by Sciences Po Law School and the Law and Political Science Doctoral School of Paris Nanterre University as well as a great number of partners in the world (For more information on previous IDW events). Limited to a small number of PhD researchers coming from partners’ institutions and from other Law Schools, the IDW is designed as a PhD-training Lab. It aims at enabling researchers to present their own topics, to discuss their own work, and to engage their ideas with renowned Law professors, from France or abroad. Registration is free. Applications will be examined and selected by an independent committee of experts. To apply, fill in the online application. The deadline for application is 10 February 2020. More information is here. Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2019 — Book Recommendations by EJIL Board Members

Published on December 6, 2019        Author: 

 

Each year, around 150,000-200,000 books are published in the UK alone. A steady and not-so-slow reader averaging one book per week will get through 52 per year. So we need to be selective, and in order to select well, or at least make informed choices, we need guidance and suggestions.  

Over the course of the next days, EJIL:Talk! will seek to provide such guidance: as in previous years, we‘ll publish a series of short posts in which some of the people behind EJIL offer their suggestions and tell you about their favourite readings of the year.

Needless to say, the recommendations reflect personal choices and a wide range of interests: expect international law to feature, but not to dominate — we‘ll have a good mix of life & law and fact & fiction, including Habermas and Afua Hirsch, but also Dr Seuss, Javier Marias and Leonard Cohen. As in previous years, 2019 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication: it simply means that these books impressed our writers during 2019.  I’ll hope you enjoy our suggestions — and if you do, make sure to go and buy the books from your local independent book store. 

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Bringing Deforestation before an International Court?

Published on December 6, 2019        Author: 

 

Deforestation is a key issue in the fight against climate change. In all areas of the world, forests are being transformed for different uses, all leading to a loss of forest cover “from 31.6 percent of the global land area to 30.6 percent between 1990 and 2015”. Recently, the Amazon fires have caused concern around the globe, not only because of their scale but also because of the importance of the Amazon for everyone, as one of the largest rainforests in the world, and therefore crucial for both mitigating climate change and hosting millions of species. Much concern has been raised at why such fires had intensified compared to previous years. Human-driven deforestation has been shown to be the main reason for the fires, and with less environmental oversight from the current Brazilian government, different political actors have pointed fingers at its responsibility. Brazil is not the only country where important forests are threatened. Other major forested areas in Western and Central Africa and South-East Asia are not spared from large-scale deforestation. The few original forests in Europe are also under threat.

Between legal and illegal deforestation, more forested territory is converted for various uses, from agriculture to mining. Moreover, many areas of major forests are inhabited by indigenous peoples, who suffer directly from the consequences of deforestation. President Bolsonaro has been very clear that he intends to use the land for economic prosperity as he claims that it is his sovereign power to do so. The tension between economic development and environmental protection is not specific to the Amazon and struggles over how to achieve economic development in the forested lands, with people already living and using those lands exist elsewhere too.

One rhetorical question arising from this dramatic situation is whether there are avenues to use the international judicial system to try to hold the states accountable for the deforestation happening in their territory. Is there a chance for interstate litigation to succeed? Read the rest of this entry…

 
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For Whom the Bell of the European Convention on Human Rights Tolls? The Curious Case of Slovenia v. Croatia

Published on December 5, 2019        Author: 

 

“This case is unusual, yet important and also familiar”, was the opening statement by Mr. Jeremy McBride (Croatian counsel) at the admissibility hearing before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court or ECtHR) in the case of Slovenia v. Croatia held on June 12. The case is also hot since Slovenia expects the Court’s decision on the admissibility by the end of 2019 or in the first half of 2020.

The case is unusual because it is the first EU inter-state application case and it is all about the rights of a legal person which can be classified as a governmental organization. Namely, Slovenia sued Croatia before the Court for alleged human rights violations of the state-owned bank Ljubljanska banka (LB) in Croatia. The case is familiar because the Court previously decided that LB is a governmental organization and therefore it does not have locus standi under Art 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention) (see cases Ališić and Ljubljanska banka). The problem occurred during the era of Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia. It concerns Yugoslav banking system problems which emerged after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

Slovenia states that the purpose of the case is a just solution for the old foreign-currency savings problem. By virtue of the Ališić judgment, Slovenia was obliged to pay the vast majority of old foreign-currency savings in Yugoslavia. Relying on the findings in that case, Slovenia expects the Court to remedy violation of LB’s rights committed by Croatia.

The factual background and the Court’s findings in Ališić and Ljubljanska banka cases are explained in detail in Janja Hojnik’s post on this blog. Therefore, I will not elaborate on the facts further, nor will I consider whether Croatian courts violated LB’s rights and denied justice. Instead, I will focus on one issue of importance: whether a state can bring an inter-state application before the ECtHR while at the same time the alleged victim cannot file an individual application

One important issue for the Court to resolve

Can Slovenia claim that Croatia violated LB’s rights under the Convention even though LB itself is not authorized to file an individual application? Read the rest of this entry…