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Announcements: Goettingen Journal of International Law; CfP Conference on Actors in International Investment Law; Conference of the Young Researchers of International and EU Law

Published on January 6, 2019        Author: 
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1. Goettingen Journal of International Law. The Goettingen Journal of International Law publishes its Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018) as a special issue on ‘The Law Behind Rule of Law Transfers’. The full issue can be accessed here

2. Call for Papers: ESIL Sponsored Conference on Actors in International Investment Law – Beyond Claimants, Respondents and Arbitrators. The University Paris II Panthéon-Assas is hosting, in the context of the Investment Law Initiative, a Colloquium on ‘Actors in International Investment Law: Beyond Claimants, Respondents and Arbitrators’, which will take place on 26 and 27 September 2019, in Paris, France. This year’s Colloquium focuses on actors in international investment law beyond claimants, respondents, and arbitrators. Potential topics are presented here. Abstracts must not exceed 800 words and must be submitted by email to agourg {at} law.uoa(.)grcathy_titi {at} hotmail(.)com; and katiafachgomez {at} gmail(.)com. The full call for papers can be found here

3. 15th Conference of the Young Researchers of International and EU Law. On 1 April, 2019, the Università degli Studi of Milan, Italy, will host the 15th Conference of the Young Researchers of International and EU law. The Conference will focus on withdrawal from multilateral treaties. In particular, it will look at analysing its causes, procedures and effects, as well as at evaluating if and to what extent we are now facing a disengagement from multilateralism or, on the contrary, the emergence of new methods of cooperation at the international and EU levels. Even though the lingua franca of the Conference will be Italian, presentations in English and French are welcome. Deadline is 11 February 2019.  Full details can be found here or contact the organizers at 15convegnogiovanimilano@gmail.com.

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2018 Favourite Readings: Values, Identity, and Growth in the Global Economy

Published on December 26, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we give you Diane Desierto’s favourites.

Why do we have a global economy, what is it for, what comprises it, and to what ends and purposes do we regulate it?  Somewhat unconsciously, my favourite books for 2018 directly or indirectly related to these questions. Throughout 2018, I relished reading (or rereading, in some of these) Hersch Lauterpacht’s classic International Law and Human Rights (F.A. Praeger Press, 1950), followed by Louis Meuleman’s Metagovernance for Sustainability: A Framework for Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (Routledge, 2018); David Pilling’s The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018), Mariana Mazzucato’s The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (Penguin Random House UK, 2018), and Francis Fukuyama’s Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2018).  These books proved illuminating this year in my ongoing thematic and granular search for answers to the above questions.

Hersch Lauterpacht’s International Law and Human Rights is an apt reminder of how modern international law, at its inception, fundamentally serves the ends and aims of human rights in free and just societies. Lauterpacht makes his argument in three parts – showing in The Rights of Man and the Law of Nations that the concept of international peace is inseparable from the vindication of human dignity through human rights; elaborating human rights provisions central to the UN Charter in Human Rights under the Charter of the United Nations; and concluding with a detailed set of recommendations (recall, this was long before the development of the major human rights treaties today) for the International Bill of the Rights of Man.  Read the rest of this entry…

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Announcements: CfA Constitutional Court Review; UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; CfR – Global Study on the Impact of the UN Human Rights Treaty System

Published on December 23, 2018        Author: 
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1. Call for Abstracts: Constitutional Court Review. The editors of the Constitutional Court Review are issuing an open call for abstracts and articles for the Constitutional Court Review X (2019). The Constitutional Court Review is the only internationally accredited journal on the work of South Africa’s Highest Court. The Constitutional Court Review Conference/Workshop allows authors and editors to read one another’s work and engage initial drafts in an intimate environment. For those persons unfamiliar with the journal, please see here to view all eight published volumes and find out a little more on who we are and what we do. CCR I through CCR VIII are online, open access and freely downloadable. (CCR IX will be housed online in 2019.) The journal is also freely available on SAFLII (the Southern African Legal Information Institute database), and can be accessed through Heinonline and Sabinet. 

2. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs recently added the following lectures to the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law (AVL) website: Ms. Patrícia Galvão Teles on “Obligations and Rights Erga Omnes in the case-law of the International Court of Justice” and Mr. Ki-Gab Park on “Lex Ferenda in International Law”. The UN Audiovisual Library of International Law provides high quality international law training and research materials to users around the world free of charge.

3. Call for Researchers: Global Study on the Impact of the UN Human Rights Treaty System on the Domestic Level. The UN human right treaty system is widely believed to be at the core of the international human rights project. But exactly what evidence is available to demonstrate its impact on the lives of people worldwide? Moreover, what are the factors that enhance or inhibit its effect where it matters – on the ground? Two decades ago, a group of researchers  based in twenty countries engaged in the most comprehensive attempt thus far to to answer these questions. The study leaders were Christof Heyns and Frans Viljoen from the the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, working with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. They have now again assembled a group of researchers based in the same twenty countries. Using the earlier study as a base-line, they are  asking where are we today, and how should we approach the future. Yet in spite of its geographical and temporal scope, this study will reveal only part of the picture, and it will date soon. What is needed is global, ongoing academic engagement with the treaty system. Researchers worldwide are encouraged to undertake independent research on the same topic in their home countries and to publish it in academic journals of their choice, making sure the treaty system enjoys the benefit of rigorous – and most importantly, locally based – academic engagement. See here

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Call for Papers: European Journal of International Law – International Law and Democracy Revisited, The EJIL 30th Anniversary Symposium

Published on December 23, 2018        Author: 
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EJIL was founded in 1989, coinciding with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the attendant excitement encapsulated by that well-known optimistic/hubristic End of History phraseology, with predictions of liberal democracy to become regnant in the world and a New International Legal Order to replace the old First World-Second World-Third World distinctions.

Thirty years later the state of democracy, whether liberal or social or any other variant, seems to be far from sanguine.

Here is but a partial list of the challenges to democracy in the contemporary world:

  • The advent of so-called ‘illiberal democracies’
  • The crisis and breakdown of trust within established democracies
  • The reality or otherwise of states with ‘formal democracy’ often reduced to little more than elections, more or less free
  • The accountability and rule of law concerns, famously termed GAL concerns, which transnational governance regimes raise as indispensable features of democracy
  • The persistent ‘democracy deficit’ or ‘political deficit’ of the European Union and similar Organizations
  • The emergence of the global ‘data economy’ with mega platforms calling into question basic assumptions about territory and jurisdiction and calling into question the ability of democratic regimes to reign in such platforms increasingly questioned
  • The impact of both financial markets and international monetary bodies on the internal margin of manoeuvre and democratic choices of economic management
  • Democracy and global inequality: The relationship between counter-democratic ideologies, legal reforms and political processes at the domestic and global levels and social and economic processes such as the shrinking middle class and the lasting ramifications of the 2008 economic crisis.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: Revisiting the Postwar Moment

Published on December 21, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we bring you 2018 favourite reads from Doreen Lustig

In 2018, the international legal world as we know it has faced deep and significant challenges, including the attack on democracies and the rise of authoritarianism, the preference of both the American and Chinese governments for bilateralism over multilateralism or the destabilizing of global economic institutions. How and what does one read at a time like this? Most of the books I survey here revisit the history of the postwar moment and its hopes for a future that is now our present. It may not be surprising that in this moment of bewilderment we return to history and early beginnings, searching for answers. We look for parallels in the past. We look more closely at the key architects of international law and how their ideas shaped (or not) the legal reality over time. We examine whose ideas took prominence and why. We search for the roads not taken. This is by no means a comprehensive list for such an inquiry, but I hope that reading these books may offer some important clues in working with these questions.

Let me open with a book on the transition from the interwar era of minority rights to the postwar era. James Loeffler’s Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2018) examines the tension between Jewish lawyers’ great hopes for a postwar human rights order, one that would take seriously the plight and persecution of minority groups, and their limited influence on its content and design. Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: The Passage of Time

Published on December 19, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we give you Guy Fiti Sinclair’s favourites.

None of my chosen books would be found in the ‘341’ (or even ‘340’) stacks in a Dewey Decimal classified library, or in the KCs in a Moys-organized library such as the one at my law school. This is not because I haven’t read any books in those stacks this year. To the contrary, it turns out, somewhat to my own surprise, that I’ve actually managed this year to work my way through a fair few international law books – and books about international law, to adopt a to adopt a useful distinction I have heard from Joseph Weiler more than once – and read parts of many more. Nor is it that I’m worried that if I start listing books by international lawyers, one or another colleague will feel offended that I didn’t mention theirs (although I must admit this has crossed my mind).

Rather, I have decided to highlight books that I have read this year which spoke most directly to my current interests (one might say obsessions). Like many people, I suspect, I have spent much of the past year oscillating between trying to understand our current perplexing moment and trying not to think about it. These books have helped, one way or the other.

Nitsan Chorev, Remaking U.S. Trade Politics: From Protectionism to Globalization (Cornell University Press, 2007)

Kristen Hopewell, Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project (Stanford University Press, 2016) Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: Discovering (new) classics, better late than never

Published on December 18, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we have Sarah Nouwen’s choices.

Sometimes, writing is easier without reading. Skim-reading the most recent work on a topic, one may find sufficient disagreements to pick a fight with. But truly widely reading about a topic, going back several decades, if not centuries, makes one realise how many of one’s arguments have already been made, and much better. Ultimately, of course, it is such wide reading that allows one’s own work to mature. It is also an act of rebellion against the pressures of quantitative assessments of one’s work, and an inspiring source for the scholar’s primary job: to educate, first oneself, and then others.

So, in the spirit of better late than never, this year’s list includes some books that I should have read long ago.

Karen Knop’s Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law (2002)

I opened this book to develop a stronger grasp on the international law of self-determination. I closed it with an even broader understanding of everything that self-determination could mean, depending on who interprets it, and who gets to participate in the process of interpretation. Putting her finger on one of the paradoxes of self-determination, Knop shows that those most affected by self-determination are often excluded from the process of its legal interpretation. While this may be the case for many legal norms, it is paradoxical for self-determination, which is essentially concerned with people deciding for themselves.

But the book’s significance goes far beyond self-determination. I’ll use it for teaching classes on interpretation: thought you knew what this text meant? Read Knop and you’ll be surprised in how many ways the same few lines can be understood, depending on one’s world view and what we consider coherent or incoherent.

Rita Kesselring, Bodies of Truth: Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2017) Read the rest of this entry…

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Favourite Readings 2018: The Power of Words

Published on December 17, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. Today we have selections from Jan Klabbers.

Somehow, 2018 has been for me a year of epistemic concerns, of wondering about the social, emotional and above all political power of language and words and concepts. Many of my favourite readings of the year are related to the exercise of power, legal and otherwise, by epistemic means: the exercise of power through the ways in which we use our concepts, our words; through the ways we express our thoughts, and the ways in which these thoughts come to lead a life of their own, relatively independent even from the work we originally wanted those thoughts to do. This runs like a red thread through all the academic studies on this list, and even, in perhaps less obvious ways, through the non-academic works as well, characterized as these are by their distinct use of language.

Perhaps the most gratifying book I read during 2018 is written by Guy Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (2017). I am not the only one who thinks the book is excellent: a jury of the European Society of International Law awarded it the Society’s ‘book of the year’ prize, so I am in good company. Read the rest of this entry…

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Announcements: CfA Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; CfP 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition

Published on December 16, 2018        Author: 
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Call for Applications – 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is happy to announce its call for applications to the 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, taking place from May 28 – June 14. This annual Program offers 18 courses in English and Spanish, lectured by over 40 scholars of relevance in the field of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and gathers more than 125 participants from over 25 different countries and with different levels of professional experience. The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides through this Program the unique opportunity to learn and interact with judges of the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, Special Rapporteurs of United Nations, members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, experts from prominent NGO’s and professors from all over the world. The application form for this program is available here. All courses can be taken for ABA credits. For more information please contact hracademy {at} wcl.american(.)edu.

Call for Papers – 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition: Submit Your Work to the 2019 Human Rights Essay Award Competition. The Human Rights Essay Award, sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the American University Washington College of Law, seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The topic of the 2019 competition is the Protection of Migrants Under International Human Rights Law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to this topic, however the scope of the submission must directly relate to this year’s topic. In addition, we would like to note we believe that international human rights law can be understood to include international humanitarian law and international criminal law. We will award two winners — one for a submission in English and one for a submission in Spanish — with a full scholarship (including lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C.) to complete the Certificate of Attendance or Diploma in the 2019 Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law which will take place from 27 May – 14 June 2019. The deadline to enter your submission to the Human Rights Essay Award competition is 1 February 2019. Please note that only participants with a law degree are eligible to enter this competition. We look forward to receiving your submission! If you would like additional information or have any questions, we invite you to contact us via email at hracademy {at} wcl.american(.)edu and via phone at (202) 274-4295.

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Favourite Readings 2018: Nine Good Reads and One Viewing

Published on December 14, 2018        Author: 
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Editor’s note: Continuing a tradition started by Isabel Feichtner a few years ago, EJIL’s Review Editor, Christian J. Tams, invited members of the EJIL board to offer short reflections on their favourite books of the year 2018. In the following days we will present some selections here on EJIL:Talk! They comprise a wide range of books, from (a few) doctrinal legal texts, to (many more) historical accounts and works of fiction. Unlike in many official book prize competitions, 2018 does not necessarily stand for the year of publication; rather, board members were asked to list books they read or re-read this year, and found inspiring or enjoyable. We are starting off the small series with selections from our Editor-in-Chief,  Joesph Weiler.

For the first time I have managed to prepare my Good Reads to post on EJIL:Talk! well before Christmas. I publish my pick from some of the books that have come my way during the past year. 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 analyse or critique, but rather to explain why the books appealed to me and why I think you, too, may find them well worth reading.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki, The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki (Princeton University Press, 2001) 

My German readers will be shaking their head in some wonderment: Marcel Reich-Ranicki? Him again? An autobiography from 1999 of a person who died in 2013? Did he not speak enough about he, him and himself during his lifetime so as to last a few lifetimes? My non-German speakers will be shaking their heads with a different wonderment: Marcel Reich who?

But then, consider that when published this book was the no. 1 best-selling book in Germany for 52 weeks. Must be something there, no? Read the rest of this entry…

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