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EJIL Debate: Jean d’Aspremont’s Article on the Blurring of Interpretation and Sources in the ICJ Case on Whaling in the Antarctic

Published on January 15, 2018        Author: 
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The blog is happy to announce that over the next few days, we will host a discussion of Jean d’Aspremont’s article, ‘The International Court of Justice, the Whales, and the Blurring of the Lines between Sources and Interpretation‘. The debate will open this afternoon with Professor Hugh Thirlway’s reaction to  d’Aspremont’s article. We will continue the discussion tomorrow with Jean d’Aspremont’s response. On Wednesday, Maiko Meguro will bring the debate to a close with her reaction to the argumentative framework of ‘logic of interpretation’ and ‘logic of sources’ put forward by Professor d’Aspremont in his EJIL article and discussed by Hugh Thirlway in his rebuttal.

d’Aspremont’s article, which was published in the European Journal of International Law in November 2017, argues that the idea that the doctrine of sources enjoys a monopoly on the tracing of bindingness and does not directly constrain the interpretation of those standards and norms that it validates has been seriously eroded by the International Court of Justice in its 31 March 2014 judgment concerning Whaling in the Antarctic. d’Aspremont contends that the Court comes very close to calibrating the interpretive effects of the resolutions of the International Whaling Commission through the doctrine of sources. He explains, how this blurring between sources and interpretation is most unsettling given the efforts that the Court had invested, over the years, in consolidating two distinct doctrines – the doctrine of sources and the doctrine of interpretation.

We are grateful to all of the participants for agreeing to have this discussion here. Readers are invited to join in- comments will of course be open on all posts.

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Announcements: CfP International Law at the Seas; CfJ Chinese National Round for ICC Trial Competition

Published on January 14, 2018        Author: 
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1. Call for Papers: International Law at the Seas. The Collaborative Innovation Center for Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights (CSCTSMR) at China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)  is now calling for papers for the symposium on international law at the seas, which is to take place on 15-16 March 2018 in Beijing. For more information, see here

2. Call for Judges: Chinese National Round for International Criminal Court Trial Competition (English Edition). The 2018 Chinese national round for International Criminal Court Trial Competition (English Edition) will take place at CUPL on 17-18 March in Beijing, and the competition organization committee is also calling for judges. For more information, see here

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Announcements: Assistant Professor of International Law at Maastricht University; Scholars Workshop – Challenges to Global Constitutionalism; CfA Hague Academy of International Law 

Published on January 7, 2018        Author: 
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1. Assistant Professor of International Law at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. The Department of International and European Law of the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University intends to appoint a fulltime Assistant Professor of International Law (‘Universitair Docent’) with a starting date of 1 May 2018 (or a period shortly after that). Applicants must have proven expertise in public international law. Excellent written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of the Dutch language may be an advantage, but is not required. More information is available here. Informal enquiries may be made to Prof Jure Vidmar (jure.vidmar@maastrichtuniversity.nl).

2. Scholars Workshop: Challenges to Global Constitutionalism. The editorial team of Global Constitutionalism, in conjunction with PluriCourts, will be organizing a workshop from 4 – 6 July at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. As part of this workshop we will be running special sessions for scholars interested in publishing in the field of global constitutionalism. Each selected scholar will be invited to present a paper to the workshop. The expectation is that selected papers, after revisions based upon feedback at the workshop, would be submitted to Global Constitutionalism for peer review with the possibility of publication. Editors from the journal will work closely with the selected scholars throughout the process. We invite paper proposals on any topic related to global constitutionalism. We define global constitutionalism as the foundations, limitations, and contestations of the principles and norms of political order and their dynamics over time on a global scale. We invite submissions from a broad range of disciplines including International Law, Political Science, International Relations, Comparative Constitutional Law, Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Philosophy. To apply, please submit a paper abstract of up to 400 words and an academic biography of 150 words at globcon-journal {at} wzb(.)eu. The deadline for submissions is 23 February 2018. If you have any questions, please contact globcon-journal@wzb.eu. For further information, see here

3. Call for Applications: Hague Academy of International Law – Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations. The Hague Academy of International Law is now accepting applications for the next session of its Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations, which is to take place  from 20 August – 7 September 2018. This year’s subject is “International Inspections.” The program is available here. For more information, see here

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Announcements: UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition; CfA The Interface between Cyber Security and Military Applications of Human Enhancement; Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union Conference; IHL Senior Research Fellow/Team Leader Vacancy

Published on December 31, 2017        Author: 
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1. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Codification Division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs has added new lectures to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law website, which provides high quality international law training and research materials to users around the world free of charge. The latest lectures were given by Professor Claudia Martin on “The Role and Jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights” and Professor Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón on “The Inter-American Human Rights System: The Inter-American Commission” and “Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos: La Comisión Interamericana”. 

2. 10th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, Geneva, Switzerland 2018. Students from all universities in the world are invited to participate in the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, to be held in the Palais des Nations, United Nations Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, 15 – 20 July 2018. The Competition will be held in English and in French, and, depending on interest, will in future years also be presented in the other UN languages. For the invitation in all UN languages, see here
 
3. Call for Post-Doctorate Applications: The Interface between Cyber Security and Military Applications of Human Enhancement. The Cyber Security Research Center of the Hebrew University is advertising for a funded post-doc position in the field of IHL/IHRL. The research focus is ‘The Interface between Cyber Security and Military Applications of Human Enhancement’. See here for further information. 
 
4. Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union 1950-1993 Conference. A conference entitled “Key Biographies in the Legal History of European Union 1950-1993” will be held on 21-22 June 2018 at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History at Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The event will scrutinize the history of European law with a distinct focus on professional biographies, both of key personalities in the history of European integration and of less prominent actors. We welcome proposals of not more than 150 words by 15 January 2018. Please email your proposal and a short CV to bajon {at} rg.mpg(.)de. For further information, see here.
 
5. Customary IHL: Senior Research Fellow/Team Leader – International Humanitarian Law. In the framework of the co-operation between the ICRC and the British Red Cross to update the practice collection of the ICRC’s study on customary international humanitarian law (IHL), the ICRC and the British Red Cross seek to recruit for the Senior Research Fellow/Team Leader position in the customary IHL research team based in Cambridge/UK. To apply, and for details about the position, please visit the British Red Cross website. For further information, see here and here. Final closing date for applications is Sunday 14 January, 2018 (midnight). Interviews will take place in London, the week commencing Monday, 5 February, 2018.
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Our Most Read Posts of 2017

Published on December 30, 2017        Author: 
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As 2017 comes to an end we would like to thank our readers for coming back to us time and again over the course of the year. This year we have had more readers than in any previous year and more page views.

I would like to welcome Gail Lythgoe to our editorial team. Gail joins us as Associate Editor with particular responsibility for managing our social media presence. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Glasgow and Managing Editor of Oxford International Organizations. Hopefully, readers have already noticed a difference in our activity on Twitter and Facebook.

To conclude 2017, I set out below our 20 most read posts of the year.  We strive to cover a very wide range of international law issues on this blog, but of course it is up to readers to decide on which issues resonate more with them at particular moments. As is often the case, many of those most read pieces are those which offer timely (and may I add insightful) commentary on the big issues of the day raising questions of international law. The US missile strikes in Syria in April, Catalonia’s bid for independence and some of the issues relating to Brexit are leading examples  this year. However, the list of most read pieces this year include, one by Douglas Guilfoyle and another by Marko from several years ago. Those two pieces feature as the most read post and the third most read post since the blog was established 9 years ago (with this piece being the second most read post). 

Two other remarkable pieces in our top 20 for 2017 are the speeches by the UK Attorney General and another by the Australian Attorney-General setting out the understanding of those states on the law relating to self-defence and in particular, their views on issues relating to self defence in anticipation of armed attacks. We are grateful to the Attorneys General for choosing EJIL:Talk! as a forum for dissemination of the official position of their governments.

 The top 20 posts are here in reverse order with the top 10 below the fold. Happy New Year to all of you for 2018!

20) Jure Vidmar, Catalonia: The Way Forward is Comparative Constitutional Rather than International Legal Argument  (Oct. 2017)

19) Dapo Akande, The ICC Assembly of States Parties Prepares to Activate the ICC’s Jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression: But Who Will be Covered by that Jurisdiction? (June 2017)

18) Marko Milanovic, Self-Defense and Non-State Actors: Indeterminacy and the Jus ad Bellum (Feb. 2010)

17) Marko Milanovic, European Court Decides Al-Skeini and Al-Jedda (July 2011)

16) Monica Hakimi, US Strikes against Syria and the Implications for the Jus ad Bellum (April 2017)

15) Monica Hakimi, North Korea and the Law on Anticipatory Self-Defense (Mar. 2017)

14) Dan Joyner, Legal Bindingness of Security Council Resolutions Generally, and Resolution 2334 on the Israeli Settlements in Particular (Jan. 2017)

13) Senator George Brandis QC (Attorney-General of Australia),  The Right of Self-Defence Against Imminent Armed Attack In International Law, (May 2017)

12) Dapo Akande, ICJ Elections 2017: UN General Assembly and Security Council Elect Four Judges to the ICJ But fail to Agree on a Fifth, yet again! + Trivia Question (Nov. 2017)

11) Jeremy Wright QC MP (Attorney General of the UK), The Modern Law of Self-Defence (Jan. 2017) Read the rest of this entry…

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Happy Holidays

Published on December 24, 2017        Author: 
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All of us at EJIL: Talk! wish a happy festive season to our readers and their families. And may 2018 be just a tad less execrable than its unfortunate predecessor… Posting will be light for the next week or so. In the meantime, here is some holiday cheer in the spirit of the times – “Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing?”

 

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Announcements: CfS Max Planck Institute; Odysseus Academic Network Annual Conference; Economic and Social Rights Tools; International Investment Law and Constitutional Law Workshop; UN Audiovisual Library of International Law

Published on December 17, 2017        Author: 
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1. Call for Submissions: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law invites the submission of proposals for a panel entitled “The Authoritarian Pushback and the Resilience of International Institutions” at the upcoming ICON Society annual conference in Hong Kong. More than a decade after the emergence of public law approaches to international institutions, such as Global Administrative Law, Global Constitutionalism, or International Public Authority, the international system has changed dramatically. The panel will address several research questions that emerge from this situation: How does the authoritarian, nationalist pushback change international institutions, including international courts, and how do these changes affect their problem-solving capacity? How does the authoritarian, nationalist pushback affect the legitimacy of international institutions, including international courts? How resilient are international institutions, including international courts, against the authoritarian, nationalist pushback, and which strategies do they adopt? Scholars of all levels are invited to submit proposals of up to 500 words by 20 January 2018 to ipa2018 {at} mpil(.)de. Successful applicants will receive financial support for their travel expenses of up to 1000 euros.

2. Odysseus Academic Network Annual Conference. The Odysseus Academic Network is organising its annual Conference on 1 February 2018 in Brussels, under the title “Conflict and Compromises between Law and Politics in EU Migration and Asylum Policies”. This event is an opportunity for academics and policy makers to exchange views on the current developments in the field of EU migration and asylum law and policy and beyond. For further information on the Conference, see here.   Read the rest of this entry…

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Announcements: UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; CfP International Law and Human Rights Unit Conference; Seventh Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law

Published on December 10, 2017        Author: 
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1. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. To commemorate International Human Rights Day and the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs added a two-part interview with Judge Thomas Buergenthal by Professor Sean Murphy. In this interview, Judge Buergenthal shares some personal moments from his life as well as his extensive experience in international law and, in particular, his invaluable contribution to the development of international human rights law. All interested parties are invited to visit the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law to watch the interview, which will not only educate but inspire present and future generations of lawyers around the world.

2. Call for Papers: The International Law and Human Rights Unit Conference. The International Law and Human Rights Unit, part of the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool, welcomes paper, poster and ‘soapbox’ proposals for its Second Postgraduate Conference in International Law and Human Rights. The conference will take place on 26-27 March 2018. The theme of the conference is: ‘The Notion of Change in International Law and Human Rights’. The conference theme should be broadly conceived, and we encourage proposals from any postgraduate student specialising in international law, human rights or related subjects. The conference offers a unique opportunity for postgraduate/doctoral students to present and discuss their work in a stimulating and friendly academic environment, among peers with similar research interests. Abstracts of no more than 300 words can be sent to ilhrucon {at} liverpool.ac(.)uk, along with a short biography (100 words). The deadline for submissions is 12 January 2018. Please see here for more information about the conference theme and call for papers. 

3. Deadline for Applications for Seventh Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law. Applications for the Seventh Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law are due on 15 December 2017. The Forum will be convened by Anne Orford (Law – Melbourne), Dino Kritsiotis (Law – Nottingham) and J.H.H. Weiler (Law – NYU) and will be held at the University of Melbourne in May next year (28 – 30 May 2018). Full details of the application process are available on the Forum website. Applications are welcome!  

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Announcements: CfP Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy; Maastricht Conference on Nationalism, Populism and Human Rights; UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; CfP Economic Constitutionalism 

Published on December 3, 2017        Author: 
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1. Call for Papers – Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy. The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the edition of the Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy covering 2017. Beginning with the 2017 edition, Part One of the Yearbook will include short pieces providing succinct overviews of recent developments and trends in international investment treaties and treaty policy; investor-state dispute settlement; institutional developments; and developments relevant to particular regions or countries. Part Two continues to include detailed analyses or short think pieces on central thematic issues in the contemporary discussions on international investment law and policy. Original contributions to be considered for publication in the Yearbook are accepted on a rolling basis until 1 February 2018. See here for further information. 

2. Maastricht Conference on Nationalism, Populism and Human Rights. This conference will be held on 11 – 12 January 2018 at Maastricht University Faculty of Law, the Netherlands. Keynote speakers: Prof Başak Çalı (Hertie School of Governance), Prof Jean d’Aspremont (Manchester and Science Po), Prof Theo van Boven (Maastricht). The full programme is available here.

3. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Codification Division of the UN Office of Legal Affairs has added new lectures to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law website, which provides high quality international law training and research materials to users around the world free of charge. The latest lectures were given by Professor Christian J. Tams – “The League of Nations” and Dr. Jean Ho – “La responsabilité d’Etat et la rupture des contrats d’Etat”, “国际法对投资合约的保障”.

4. Call for Papers – Economic Constitutionalism: Mapping its Contours in European and Global Governance. The School of Law at the University of Portsmouth and the European University Institute (EUI) are organising a 2-day international conference to explore the function and nature of economic constitutionalism within broader constitutional processes in the European and global legal orders. The conference will be hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on 14 – 15 June 2018. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 28 February 2018. For more information please visit the conference webpage.

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Announcements: Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia; UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; CfP Contingency in the Course of International Law; Legal consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius

Published on November 19, 2017        Author: 
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1. Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia. The Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore will be hosting a conference from 21 – 22 June 2018 on “Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia” (TRILA). The broad purposes of the Conference are to assess the current state of teaching and research in international law in Asia, to identify commonly experienced challenges for teachers of international law in the region, and to formulate a programme of further action and activities to assist individuals in their teaching and research. The Conference will be preceded by a Junior Faculty Workshop on 20 June, which is directed at assisting junior faculty with their scholarship and efforts to publish. Further details about these events and information on how to participate are available here.

2. New Additions to the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs has launched a Moot Courts section under the Research Library of the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law (AVL), which organizes lectures and legal instruments useful for preparing for the 2018 Charles Rousseau Moot Court competition in international law. All interested parties are welcome to visit the AVL’s Moot Court page.  Additionally, the following lectures have recently been added to the AVL: Mr. Ahmed Mahiou “Les priorités actuelles du droit international” and “Coopération et intégration régionale en Afrique”, Mr. Yves Nouvel “ Le standard minimum de traitement des étrangers en droit international”.

3. Call for Papers – Contingency in the Course of International Law: How International Law Could Have Been.  The conference, in Amsterdam from 14-16 June 2018, will ask a question that is deceptive in its simplicity: How might international law have been otherwise? We want to question the present state of international law by challenging its pretence to necessity and by better understanding the forces that have shaped it. Put simply with Robert Musil: “If there is a sense of reality, there must also be a sense of possibility.” Fleur Johns (UNSW) will give a public keynote and Samuel Moyn (Yale) will give a closing address. Please see here for more information. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 1 December 2017

4. Legal consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius (ICJ Advisory Opinion). This event, on Monday 11 December 2017, discusses the upcoming proceedings concerning the latest request by the General Assembly for an ICJ Advisory Opinion in the case of ‘Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius’. The discussion will centre on the efforts before domestic UK courts as well as the public international law discussion concerning the Chagos Islanders and examine the merits of the case before the ICJ with international legal experts. The event is at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP. Find out more and book online here.

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