Munch’s magic Oslo “Scream”

blackOSLO –  Remember the famous Edvard Munch image of The Scream? Well, that’s it at left. At least, that’s how it looked to me on first glimpse at the Munchmuseet, a highlight of this Norwegian capital.

A while back, thieves stole The Scream and another painting, Madonna, from this museum. Both eventually were recovered and again placed on display. But The Scream suffered damage. And so when I entered the small room where it hangs, I found nothing but darkness, so much that I began to leave. Suddenly, an unseen guard said:

‘No, wait. Magic will happen.’

As I inched again into the room, a motion-sensor was triggered, and The Scream emerged from the blackness. The 1893 oil painting’s bright colored swirls madonnawere more brilliant, more moving in person than in any reproduction –  so much more expressive than Munch’s black and white lithograph of the same image. True magic.

A ban on photography in that room precludes showing any but the “before” picture. But the photo at right of the other formerly stolen painting, Madonna, serves to remind of Munch’s eerie genius.

(Thanks to Cecilia Marcela Bailliet and her colleagues at the University of Oslo PluriCourts project for the opportunity to visit and take part in a brilliant conference.)

International Review of the Red Cross review of Jess Bravin’s “Terror Courts”

bravin3As I’ve indicated in prior posts, among the more significant recent writings on international humanitarian law is The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay. This account of the military commissions established in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, appeared in hardback in 2013 and in paperback earlier this year. The author is Jess Bravin, the Wall Street Journal‘s Supreme Court reporter, whom I met while observing commissions proceedings at Gitmo in December 2008 (prior post). I’m pleased to have just published a review of his book in the International Review of the Red Cross. Available here, my book review summarizes the content of Terror Courts and places it in its context, as a must-read on international humanitarian law in this post-9/11 world.

“Ferguson”: Caitlyn Clark’s poem to America, at John Legend concert

Stunned to listen to this poem by Caitlyn Clark, recited on stage at a John Legend’s Hollywood Bowl concert 2 days ago. It’s moving, heartfelt, raw, and real. She wants to make revolution not with the children who have been felled but with those who still live and can bring change to our troubled times. And, I am most proud to say, she is my cousin, daughter of my favorite first cousin, who, as she tells the world in this amazing video, did 6 months’ active duty at Bagram Prison, Afghanistan. ¡Brava, Caitlyn!

“Rules of War” & 1882 US joinder of 1864 Geneva Convention, 150 years old today

In honor of the 150th anniversary today of the very first Geneva Convention on the laws of war, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued the brilliant video above: Rules of War in 4 very informative minutes. Through simple yet compelling drawings, it covers founding principles of international humanitarian law, such as humanity, distinction, necessity, and proportionality.

As an international story, it focuses on the men who were delegates to the 1863 Geneva Conference and their handiwork, the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field adopted on August 22, 1864.

It thus omits the vc007053U.S. after-story of this treaty; that is, the 1882 U.S. ratification that was the handiwork of a remarkable woman: Massachusetts-born Clara Barton (left), a pioneer nurse during America’s Civil War and, at age 60, a founder of the American Red Cross. (photo credit) For that after-story, see the 2012 IntLawGrrls post entitled Clara Barton, ICRC & crimes v. humanity, peace, by Washington University-St. Louis Law Professor Leila Nadya Sadat.

Nominations sought for American Journal of International Law editorial board

AJIL_COVERThe American Journal of International Law, the quarterly journal published by the American Society of International Law since 1907, welcomes applications and nominations for new members of its Board of Editors, to be elected by the existing board in Spring 2015. AJIL‘s leadership writes:

Nominations are based primarily on scholarship and creativity, as demonstrated in books, articles, and other written work appearing over a period of years.

Suggestions, along with supporting statements and information, such as a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and, if possible, copies of significant publications, should be sent to the journal’s co-editors-in-chief, New York University Law Professors José Alvarez and Benedict Kingsbury, at law.ajil.admin@nyu.edu by December 1, 2014.

Program Officer sought for project on accountability for crimes against children

Conflict Dynamics International, a Massachusetts-based nongovernmental organization established in 2004, welcomes applications for a Program Officer to work on project relating to accountability for violations committed against children in armed conflict. The multiyear project, on which I am honored to serve as an advisor, is now in its second year. It is described as follows:

This initiatiCDI_logo_regve builds on CDI’s previous work in this area and aims to contribute substantially to the achievement of effective accountability for these violations through national and international mechanisms. CDI is developing a conceptual and practical framework aimed at practitioners working on accountability in the CAC context. Through this initiative CDI will also develop several other related resources that will provide guidance and technical support to practitioners.

As detailed in this complete job notice, duties of this full-time Program Officer will include communications and publications, fundraising and grant management, and monitoring. Sought is someone with inter alia a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in relevant fields; working knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable.

Deadline for applications is soon: September 12, 2014. Details on job duties and desired qualifications, and on how to apply, here.

 

Bangura, UN expert on sexual violence, to deliver lecture at annual IHL Dialogs

zbanguraDelighted to announce that U.N. Under-Secretary-General Zainab Bangura (left), the Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, will deliver the 4th annual Katherine B. Fite Lecture at the International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, to be held August 24-26, 2014, at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. This will be the 8th year that international prosecutors and other experts gather at Chautauqua’s lovely lakeside Athenaeum Hotel to take stock of developments in international criminal law.

And it’s the 4th that IntLawGrrls blog has had the honor of selecting the person who will deliver the lecture in honor of Fite, the State Department lawyer who helped Chief U.S. Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson with thebvs drafting of the London Charter and other duties in preparation for the 1st postwar trial at Nuremberg. (My own 2011 Fite Lecture, which describes Fite’s career, is here.) Bangura promises to be a memorable speaker, given her tireless work as the SRSG since 2012, and her prior service in the government of Sierra Leone. (photo credit) Introducing her will be IntLawGrrl Beth Van Schaack (right), Stanford Visiting Professor of Law and former Deputy, Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State.

Bangura’s lecture is just one of many special events planned for this year’s Dialogs. Other highlights:

fb► Reflections by current and former international prosecutors. Scheduled to take part are International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (left; photo credit) and Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart; Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; from the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Nicholas Koumijian and Andrew T. Cayley; from the Special Court for Sierra Leone,  David Crane (organizer of the Dialogs, Syracuse Law Professor, and chairman of the Board of the Robert H. Jackson Center), Stephen Rapp (since 2009 the Ambassador-at-Large and head of the Office of Global Justice, U.S. Department of State), Brenda J. Hollis, and Desmond de Silva; and Hassan Jallow, trahan3Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and formerly Prosecutor of the ICTR. IntLawGrrl Jennifer Trahan (left), Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at New York University, will moderate.

tiina► Keynote address by Ambassador Tiina Intelmann (right), President of the ICC Assembly of States Parties.

theidon140►Clara Barton Lecture by Harvard Anthropology Professor Kimberly Theidon (left).

►Roundtable on “Relevance of International Humanitarian Law” featuring IntLawGrrl Leila Nadya Sadat (right),Sadatl4 Professor at Washington University-St. Louis, along with former U.N. Legal Counsel Hans Corell, Professor William A. Schabas, and former U.S. Ambassador David Scheffer, now a Northwestern Law Professor.

zeid►Breakout porch sessions, including one on “Islamic Extremism” featuring Sadat, Scheffer, and Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein (right; photo credit), who soon will take up the post of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

val► Year in review by IntLawGrrl Valerie Oosterveld (left), Western Ontario Law Professor.

More information is at the website of the Robert H. Jackson Center, a primary sponsor, here.