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Favourite Readings 2019 – What IS the Real Price of Development?

Published on December 13, 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 Diane Desierto. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 

Do communities and populations have any means of knowing what the real price is of the development decisions made on their behalf by their respective States? Are they always just doomed to reckon with seeking redress after-the-fact for any negative externalities that result from these development decisions (e.g. environmental, health, climate change, labor, alongside a whole host of human rights impacts from these development decisions), resorting to a variably asymmetric (and quite imperfect) spectrum of local, regional, or international dispute settlement processes?  These questions were foremost in my mind throughout 2019, especially given the responsibility of working with fellow Experts for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development with respect to the consultation process and drafting of the legally binding instrument on the Right to Development. Likewise, in a year when the Nobel Prize (technically the Bank of Sweden Prize) for Economics was awarded to development economists Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer (who pioneered the export of Randomized Control Trials (RCT) methods in medical research into experiments on human subjects (mostly the poor) to determine the efficacy of development-funded interventions, but generally without such RCTs being conducted using any universal or global code of ethics), what has been argued by Duflo et al. as the relative end of poverty visibly exemplified by the Chinese model of development (an amalgam of ‘authoritarian capitalism’,“market authoritarianism”, or “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”) certainly provokes much rethinking into what development is under international law, and what costs States can legally and legitimately incur to realize that development. 

Most importantly, at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued various reports pointing to the rapid escalation of environmental risks for the entire planet (see 2019 reports on increased risks given climate change impacts on the oceans and cryosphere, land, and global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius) alongside magnified (and often more open) violations (if not dismissals) of human rights around the world (see human rights global reports here, here, and here), can States’ decision-makers still afford to craft development plans without putting the question of negative externalities from development projects at the forefront of policymaking?

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 3) – Now Published

Published on December 12, 2019        Author: 

 

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law (Vol. 30 (2019) No. 3) is now out. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access article in this issue is Paz Andrés Sáenz de Santa María’s The European Union and the Law of Treaties: A Fruitful RelationshipEJIL subscribers have full access to the latest issue of the journal at EJIL’s Oxford University Press site. Apart from articles published in the last 12 months, EJIL articles are freely available on the EJIL website.

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Favourite Readings 2019 – Industry? What Industry?

Published on December 12, 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 Jan Klabbers. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 

Looking back, I notice I have read a surprisingly large number of really good books this year, and from a variety of disciplines too. Still, it is a rather damning indictment of the current state of the academic industry that the most memorable works I have read this year have had no relationship whatsoever to formal notions of research projects”, funding schemes”, grant applications”, principal investigators”, or any other manifestation of the competitive bureaucratization of academic work in recent decades.

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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…

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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

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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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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