Monthly Archives: August 2014

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.

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!

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.

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 by December 1, 2014.

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.


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.

aalsLogoThe Association of American Law Schools Section on International Law welcomes papers on the “The Influence of International Law on U.S. Government Decision-Making,” the topic of the panel it will sponsor from 10:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m. Sunday, January 4, 2015, at the AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Organizers write:

This panel will explore the role that international law plays in informing the policy outcomes arrived at by U.S. government decision-makers. To what extent is international law determinative or even influential, and to what extent does the policy area, the branch of government, or the ideological orientation of the decision-maker matter? As a more practical matter, at what stage in the decision-making process is international law taken into account and who are the most influential actors? How can academics be most influential in that process?

A number of current or former U.S. government officials are already schedule to present on the panel; one additional presenter will be chosen from the call for papers, open to full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools.

Deadline for submission of manuscripts or detailed abstracts  is September 2, 2014. For details, contact the Section Chair, Southern Illinois University Law Professor Cindy Galway Buys, an IntLawGrrls contributor, at cbuys [at] siu [dot] edu.