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Article Archive for September 2009

From “climate refugees” to “survival migrants”: can we return them to their country of origin?

30/09/2009 – 12:11 pm | One Comment

No week passes without a newspaper article, television news or a documentary describing the plight of “climate refugees”. In this post, I would like to explain why, in my opinion, “survival migrants” is a more adequate term than “climate refugees” from a humanitarian and legal protection perspective. Secondly, I would like to examine to what extent “survival migrants” who have crossed an internationally-recognised border can …

Guest Writer Michèle Morel

30/09/2009 – 12:09 pm | Comments Off on Guest Writer Michèle Morel

International Law Observer is pleased to welcome Michèle Morel as guest contributor.  Michèle is currently undertaking PhD studies at Ghent University, Belgium, Faculty of Law, Department of Public International Law, into the topic of “environmental migration” (more specifically the interplay between International Human Rights Law and Refugee Law).  Prior to commencing her PhD work, Michèle studied at both University of Ghent and University of Nottingham. …

Unintended Consequences

29/09/2009 – 7:37 am | Comments Off on Unintended Consequences

I’d like to take this post and discuss the problem of unintended consequences.  It is a problem which plagues the rules governing antiquities and stolen art, but also international law generally.  To begin we can take a few prominent examples. 
First, the United States has waged a decades-long “War on Drugs”, in which it has exported arms and military know-how to nations to its South.  It …

Blog Action Day 2009 coming up

25/09/2009 – 7:26 am | Comments Off on Blog Action Day 2009 coming up

As in the previous years International Law Observer is proud to support this year’s Blog Action Day coming up on 15 October. Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion and Blog Action Day 2009 promises to be the largest-ever …

Debate on International Law: Its Importance and Place in Curricula

24/09/2009 – 2:36 pm | Comments Off on Debate on International Law: Its Importance and Place in Curricula

There have been a few interesting posts on our blog and elsewhere on two distinct, but related issues. That is the importance of international law and its place in the university curricula.
First I just wanted to expand a little on what my fellow co-blogger Ole W. Pedersen wrote in the last post on 18 September, drawing attention to an article by Posner entitled ‘Think Again: …

The General Assembly and the Responsibility to Protect: “The Devil will be in the Details”

23/09/2009 – 12:46 pm | Comments Off on The General Assembly and the Responsibility to Protect: “The Devil will be in the Details”

I thought that for my first post it would be apposite to discuss a component of my doctoral research. This post will therefore focus upon the Responsibility to Protect doctrine or, “R2P”, as it has become known (for earlier posts on the R2P see here). This post considers the most recent institutional development which R2P has been subjected to- the General Assembly’s July 2009 Thematic …

International Law Observer welcomes new author

23/09/2009 – 11:38 am | Comments Off on International Law Observer welcomes new author

Once again we are delighted to announce that our team is expending: starting today Jennifer Dee Halbert, a Ph.D. candidate in international law at Swansea University, is joining our ranks. Her research is on the topic of ”The Responsibility to Protect Minority Populations” and examines whether R2P may be viably applied as a minority protection mechanism.  Utilizing the tripartite typology of responsibility inherent to human …

150th Birthday of John Dewey

22/09/2009 – 7:37 am | Comments Off on 150th Birthday of John Dewey

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of American philosopher John Dewy. Although not terrible relevant to international law per se, Dewey’s contribution to philosophy stretches a wide range of areas relevant to the law. Of interest to international lawyers would be Dewey’s work on democracy emphasising the deliberative role of individuals (not in a strictly liberal sense) rather than institutions. In addition, Dewey’s …

ECtHR's interim measures ignored

21/09/2009 – 1:46 pm | Comments Off on ECtHR's interim measures ignored

In Saadi v Italy, the European Court of Human Rights held in 2008 that article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits expulsion of individuals to states where they would face a “real risk” of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. In other words, the Court held that serious threats to the community presented by the suspected terrorist cannot be given priority over the …

Kadi: One Year On

21/09/2009 – 11:10 am | Comments Off on Kadi: One Year On

As my first post I thought it appropriate to reflect on the September 2008 Kadi judgment of the ECJ, in which the Court held an EC Regulation to be in violation of fundamental rights.[i] What was fundamental to Kadi was that the EC Regulation at issue directly transposed a Chapter VII Security Council Resolution dealing with counter-terrorism. This case remains topical; not only is Kadi …

International Law Observer welcomes new author

20/09/2009 – 11:12 pm | One Comment

International Law Observer is pleased to announce the expansion of the team of authors. Starting today Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne from Oxford will be joining the team of authors. Lawrence received his LL.B. at the London School of Economics – where he worked on international criminal law research under Christopher Greenwood – and his master’s degree in public international law – with a special focus on the relationship between the …

UN Fact-Finding Mission releases its Report on the Gaza Conflict

20/09/2009 – 10:55 pm | Comments Off on UN Fact-Finding Mission releases its Report on the Gaza Conflict

The Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict headed by Justice Richard Goldstone was released on 15 September 2009 together with a set of recommendations by the mission’s experts for the way forward in bringing justice to victims and perpetrators to justice (our previous coverage of the fact-finding mission’s work can be found here). The report concludes that there is strong evidence …

International Environmental Law History

19/09/2009 – 8:51 am | Comments Off on International Environmental Law History

According to the Environment News Service (ENS), the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, a protocol to the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, achieved universal ratification this week when the prime minister of Timor-Leste ratified the Protocol. This is the first time ever that a multinational environmental agreement has gained universal ratification. Thanks to the legal …

Good Faith and the Antiquities Trade

18/09/2009 – 8:51 am | One Comment

There are a plethora of domestic and international laws which aim to stem the illicit trade in works of art and antiquities.  Unfortunately they are not working at stemming the illicit trade.  As Colin Renfrew, a prominent English Archaeologist has argued, in the decades since the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of …

Think Again on International Law?

18/09/2009 – 7:06 am | Comments Off on Think Again on International Law?

In yesterday’s Foreign Policy, Eric Posner has a brief piece on what he sees as some of the misunderstandings of international law. It looks as if the piece builds on the Limitations of International Law which he wrote some years back with Jack Goldsmith and draws on his most recent and forthcoming book The Perils of Global Legalism. While Posner has many critics among international …

Thinking About Legal Teaching: Cultural Heritage and International Law

16/09/2009 – 10:47 pm | Comments Off on Thinking About Legal Teaching: Cultural Heritage and International Law

First off, many thanks to Ole and everyone here at International Law Observer for the kind invitation to post a little bit about my research on cultural heritage law.  I’d like to begin by thinking about how and why we choose what to teach and study.  I was interested to read the recent discussion of the issue of whether law students should study international law …

Guest Writer Dr Derek Fincham

16/09/2009 – 10:45 pm | Comments Off on Guest Writer Dr Derek Fincham

International Law Observer is pleased to welcome Dr Derek Fincham as guest writer for the next few days. Derek currently serves as a Westerfield Fellow at Loyola Law School, New Orleans, where he teaches Property Law and Heritage and Legal Research and Writing. He holds a BA in history from University of Kansas, a JD from Wake Forrest Law School and a PhD from University …

New Human Rights in Ireland Blog

16/09/2009 – 7:27 am | Comments Off on New Human Rights in Ireland Blog

A warm welcome to the blogosphere to Human Rights in Ireland which is, as the name indicates, a new blog dedicated to human rights issues in Ireland. The contributors to the blog come from a wide range of mainly legal backgrounds (and count my good friends Aofie O’Donoghue and Colin Murray) all with some connection to Ireland. Check it out.