Monthly Archives: March 2014

TwitterCruise7Concern about the dearth of international law women with online or op-ed presence helped launch IntLawGrrls in 2007. Since then, the blog (archives here, current posts here) has welcomed hundreds of  women who’ve posted on a range of issues related to international, comparative, and transnational law and policy.

Recent buzz in Foreign Policy about the dearth of women writing in that field prompted a search for @IntLawGrrls; that is, IntLawGrrls contributors now posting on Twitter. (image credit) For readers who’d like to follow favorites there, here’s a list:

Aziza Ahmed: @AzizaAhmed
Karen J. Alter: @AlterKaren
Diane Marie Amann: @DianeMarieAmann
Elizabeth Andersen: @AndersenBetsy

Sandra L. Babcock: @sandralbabcock
Sari Bashi: @saribashi
Nadia Bernaz: @HRightsBusiness
Jillian Blake: @JilliBlake
Sadie Blanchard: @sadie_blanchard
Carolyn Patty Blum: @PattyBlum
Rosa Brooks: @brooks_rosa
Elizabeth Burleson: @BurlesonInst
Mira Burri: @miraburri

Naomi Cahn: @NaomiCahn
Liz Campbell: @lizjcampbell
Aparna Chandra: @aparnachandra
Louise Chappell: @chappell_louise
Ioana Cismas: @IoanaCismas
Kathleen Clark: @clarkkathleen
Kamari Maxine Clarke: @KamMClarke

Colin Dayan: @mehdidog
Fiona de Londras: @fdelond
Jessica Dorsey: @jessicadorsey
Mary L. Dudziak: @marydudziak
Angela Duger: @UDHR_Duger

Christie Edwards: @cjoye7
Máiréad Enright: @maireadenright
Noura Erakat: @4noura
Daphne Eviatar: @deviatar
Andrea Ewart: @developtradelaw

Marjorie Florestal: @MarjorieFlo
Rosa Freedman: @GoonerDr

Anne Gallagher: @AnneTGallagher

Jill Goldenziel: @JillGoldenziel
Michele Bratcher Goodwin: @michelebgoodwin

Lisa Hajjar: @lisahajjar
Leslie Haskell: @HaskellLeslie
Gina Heathcote: @gina_heathcote
Karen Hoffmann: @karhoff
Sofie A. E. Høgestøl: @sofiehogestol

Joanna Cuevas Ingram: @4truejustice

Olga Jurasz: @olga_jurasz

Elise Keppler: @EliseKeppler

Rebecca Eve Landy: @RebeccaEveLandy
Hope Lewis: @ProfHopeLewis
Jennifer Lind: @profLind

Vanessa MacDonnell: @vanessa_macd

Hope Elizabeth May: @selfconcordance
Clare McGlynn: @McGlynnClare
Chi Mgbako: @chiadanna
Lelia Mooney: @Lelia_Mooney

Luz Estella Nagle: @LuzEstella
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin: @NiAolainF

Mary Ellen O’Connell: @OConnell_IntLaw
Aoife O’Donoghue: @aoifemod
Hari M. Osofsky: @HariOsofsky
Aminta Ossom: @AmintaOssom

Elaine Pearson: @PearsonElaine
Nicole Phillips: @BuddhistLawyer

Noëlle Quénivet: @NoelleQuenivet1

Susan Harris Rimmer: @FemInt
Mónica Roa: @MonicaRoa
Sarah Rogerson: @RogersonSarah

Kim Thuy Seelinger: @ktseelinger
Pam Spees: @PamSpees
Margaret Stock: @MargaretDStock
Staci Strobl: @Staci_Strobl

Jessica Tillipman: @JTillipman
Kellie Toole: @KellieToole

Beth Van Schaack: @BethVanSchaack
Monika Kalra Varma: @monikakv

Judith Weingarten: @zenobia1
Lesley Wexler: @lesley_wexler

Pamela Yates: @pameladyates

am14_header_sitetop_1Having posted a while back on early registration, I write to report: Now available is the full program for the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting/International Law Association Biennial Conference, set for April 7 to 12 in Washington, D.C., at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House.

Numbering more than a hundred pages, the program, available in full here, details the more than 250 persons, from A (Frederick M. Abbott) to Z (Marten Zwanenberg) scheduled to speak at myriad sessions. Besides my certain attendance at the WILIG Luncheon on which I previously posted – note that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has been added as a luncheon speaker – I’m pleased to note 2 other events in which I’ll be participating:

► I will have the immense honor of serving as discussant for the Grotius Lecture, a keynote event 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9. Delivering the lecture will be Radhika Coomaraswamy, whose former posts include Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Children & Armed Conflict and U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. Her talk is entitled “Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law.”

► During the ASIL Annual General Meeting set for 2:30-4 p.m. Thursday, April 10, I look forward to the opportunity to launch ASIL’s Benchbook on International Law, a just-completed volume for which I’m honored to be Editor-in-Chief. (Beta version now online; keep checking here for the final version.) About 4 dozen ASIL member colleagues contributed to this multiyear project intended to aid judges and litigants in federal courts; it will be great to demonstrate the Benchbook and give a heartfelt thanks to all who helped.

You can still register for the meeting here. Would be great to see you there.

nottThanks to Nottingham Law Professor Aoife Nolan, I’ve learned that the law school’s Human Rights Law Centre is welcoming applications for its Summer School on the Rights of the Child, set for June 23-27, 2014.

To be discussed are regional and international legal regimes and institutions concerned with the rights of children. Topics will include violence against children, child participation, child poverty, children in conflict, and child rights monitoring and advocacy. The full program lists a host of expert speakers, not least among them Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, appointed in 2008 as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. (Her recent report, numbered A/HRC/25/48 and reflecting on the conclusion of her 6-year tenure, is here.)

Summer school details and registration here.

OC.indd“A Point to Meet: Justice and International Criminal Law,” just published by the Asian Journal of International Law, is worth a read, given that its author is Dr. Xue Hanqin, a longtime Chinese diplomat who since 2010 has served as a Judge on the International Court of Justice. (As posted, she and the 2 other women of the ICJ, Judges Joan E. Donoghue and Julia Sebutinde, will headline the American Society of International Law Women in International Law Interest Group luncheon on April 10.)

In the just-published article, based on a 2012 speech, Judge Xue (below right; prior posts) takes on what she calls a “resurgence of legal idealism, in opposition to realism and positivism” – a resurgence evidenced by the growth of international criminal tribunals in the last 2 decades. Toward the end she states:

xue‘Justice should be placed at the centre of international law development, although as with any other topic in the field, the issue of global justice equally involves the politics of international law.’

(Many have made this point, as did I in articles here and here.) The “politics” that Judge Xue’s essay identifies have regional emphases, positioned at some odds with international criminal justice:

► “Asian efforts in socieconomic development” (a phrasing that hearkens to the longstanding “Asian values” debate) are put forward as a “broader” “vision on global justice”; that is, broader than “global justice” defined only to include criminal accountability.

► An “African practice” of ending “bloody conflicts” by means of amnesty, rather than criminal accountability.

The issues are critical, and the references invite scrutiny:

► The former reference describes a vision prevalent not just in Asia, but pretty much anywhere transitional justice is discussed. The identification of this vision with a particular region thus intrigues.

► The latter reference likewise pretermits that the “practice” of amnesty prevailed not just in Africa, but rather worldwide, through to the late-20th-C. revival of international criminal justice mechanisms. Indeed, Article 6(5) of Additional Protocol II (1977) to the 1949 Geneva Conventions specifically contemplates amnesty. Exploration and critique of the history and reasons for movement away from that global practice would have enriched the discussion. The same is true for the essay’s treatment of the International Criminal Court and amnesty: A discussion (like that in this article by my former student, Gwen K. Young) of the potential to consider at least some amnesties, within the framework of the Rome Statute, would have been welcome.

AAA_howethom_47898Suppose it’s like aiming at fish in a barrel to name the many flaws in The Monuments Men, now playing in cinemas. There’s the failed Oceans 1944 sense of it – it’s a buddy movie with no true friends. There’s the cinematography that looks like a green-screen loop of some field in the San Fernando Valley, accented by some surprisingly flat Paris street scenes. There’s the absence of any love interest; indeed, so little love is lavished on the artworks recovered by the “Men” (with the essential help of one woman) that the viewer is left wondering what the fuss was about.

This lawyer feels compelled to focus on a different flaw, on how the film squandered an opportunity to raise awareness about the laws of cultural heritage and armed conflict.

At one point in “Monuments,” the leader of the American search team questions a German colonel. Captured while destroying medieval and Renaissance masterpieces that the Nazis had seized from churches, private collections, and public museums, this POW refuses to talk: “I have done nothing wrong, and pursuant to the Geneva Convention, soon I will be repatriated.” The American’s oh-no-you-won’t retort turns on the colonel’s earlier actions at a concentration camp. It is an odd turn, given the film’s ostensible concern with looted art.

Well before World War II, international injunctions against such destruction already were in place. Armies were bound to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and only permitted to attack the person and property of the former. Article 23(g) of the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to the 1899 Hague Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land and to its 1907 reiteration, deemed it

‘especially prohibited … [t]o destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.’

Articles 25 and 28, dealing with attacks and pillage, reinforced this prohibition.

In short, the colonel’s actions respecting art were not just immoral. They were illegal, even then, a decade before the proscriptions were spelled out in detail via the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Given the continued violations of such proscriptions – Syria and Mali jump to mind – one wishes the movie had stressed this fact.

(credit for 1946 photo of Belgian Lt. Raymond Lemaire and Capt. Edith Standen, U.S. Women’s Army Corps (neither mentioned in the film), holding a portrait by Peter Paul Rubens, part of Smithsonian Institution online exhibit on the “Monuments” recoveries)

ucdAmong the many sobering materials that my students and I have examined in this semester’s Children & International Law seminar is an article entitled “Why Are Children Working in American Tobacco Fields?,” which Gabriel Thompson published last year in the the Nation. It recounts the lives of preteens and young teens who toil in North Carolina, 60 hours a week for $7.25 an hour. Most were born outside the United States, and many suffer nicotine poisoning from their labor. U.S. laws have regulated child labor for the last three-quarters of a century, yet even today those laws place only loose restrictions on the agricultural sector.

The article exposes a gap in child protection –  one that will receive further examination when academics and policymakers take part in “Confronting Child Labor in the Global Agricultural Supply Chains,” a symposium to be held April 4 at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. Cosponsors include the law school’s California International Law Center (of which I’m proud to have served as the founding Director) and its Journal of International Law and Policy.

According to the conference program, speakers will include Eric Biel, Acting Associate Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, along with a host of experts drawn from the private sector, academia, and nongovernmental organizations.

Details and registration here.

In its first-ever case involving investor-state arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the state. The state at bar was the Republic of Argentina, which had sought to defend the reversal below of a 2007 decision in which a 3-member arbitral panel awarded $185 million in damages. But in its decision in BG Group plc v. Republic of Argentina, the high court overturned the appellate decision.  A seven-member majority accepted the argument of petitioner, a British company that had suffered losses on a Buenos Aires investment as a result of emergency measures Argentina took during an early 2000s economic collapse. The private investor had sought arbitration without first fulfilling a requirement, found in Article 8(2)(a) of the 1990 Britain-Argentina BIT, the insiders’ shorthand for “bilateral investment treaty.” Arbitrators excused that nonfulfillment, and the Court majority deferred to the arbitrators. In so doing, it rejected the de novo review applied by the court below and urged by Argentina.

Iscot‘ve had the honor of following this case for SCOTUSblog, via a pre-argument preview, a post-argument recap, and, just posted, an opinion analysis. After summarizing the opinion for the Court by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the dissent by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and the concurrence in part by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the analysis views the decision as advancing a clear statement rule,

‘a rule that no less than a private party, a nation-state which wants to assure that courts rather than arbitrators have the last word on whether it consented to arbitration must say so explicitly.’

As for treaties that are explicit on this account, among them a number of BITs to which the United States is a party, the analysis, available in full here, concluded:

‘Whether in some future case the Supreme Court will enforce such express provisions remains an open question.’