Write On! International Law Dept. for the Geneva Graduate Institute

backlit_keyboardThis installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes an opportunity to submit papers to the International Law Department for the Geneva Graduate Institute as follows:

The International Law Department for the Geneva Graduate Institute is now taking paper proposals for its upcoming conference to be held September 7-8, 2018. The theme of the conference is Knowledge Production and International Law in general, divided into four specific panels on 1) International law as a field of knowledge; 2) ignorance and the limits of knowledge in international law; 3) determinants of international law scholarship, and; 4) emotions and international law.

Interested candidates may submit abstracts of maximum 500 words and a CV/resume to knowledgeproduction-IL@graduateinstitute.ch by May 14, 2018. Please indicate in your
abstract to which panel you are submitting. Decisions regarding abstracts will be communicated by May 28, 2018. Draft discussion papers of no more than 8,000 words are due by July 31, 2018. For more info, click here.


Go On! Get Involved in The Brussels Binder!

trunks.jpgGo On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

►  In celebration of the most recent International Women’s Day, we encourage our readers to get involved in The Brussels Binder! This initiative aims to create a database of female experts to further diversity in policy debates. Corinna Hörst of the German Marshall Fund helped set up The Brussels Binder after feeling shocked and frustrated with the lack of female representation in policy think-tanks and discussions. The Brussels Binder recently held its launch party on January 31, 2018 in Brussels.

You can get involved by registering as a female expert on their database, recommending a female expert for their database, donating, or following along with their progress! See here to learn how you can get involved, and be sure to check them out on Twitter!

You Go ‘Grrl

sue harris rimmer

To celebrate International Women’s Day, IntLawGrrl Sue Harris Rimmer has a terrific post on the Elgar blog about her life journey.  Here’s just a tidbit, but I encourage you to read the entire post:

I finished high school living on my own in a caravan park in a small Australian town at the bottom of the world, living hand to mouth and uncertain about my future. Last year I shared a panel discussion with Angela Merkel in Berlin. I am proud of both these facts.  I can now talk about the economic rights of women from a place of bitter experience and utter conviction, as well as an intellectual base. And I better understand my own position of privilege as a white woman from a developed country, who benefited from a welfare system.

Among her many accomplishments, Sue and her co-editor Kate Ogg are completing the final steps on the Handbook on the Future of Feminist Engagement with International Law, an edited volume forthcoming from Edward Elgar (to which yours truly contributed a chapter).  Keep an eye out for book launches at ANZIL, ASIL, and ESIL in 2018 and 2019!

Harris Institute Presents Testimony on Gun Violence at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Members of the Commission, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On February 27, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a hearing on “The Regulation of Gun Sales and Social Violence in the United States” in Bogotá, Colombia. The Commission invited the U.S. government and four members of civil society— the Harris Institute, the Center for American Progress, Amnesty International, and the Igarapé Institute — to present testimony on this important issue.

As part of the Gun Violence and Human Rights Project recently launched by Harris Institute Director Leila Sadat, WashULaw students Jiyeon Kim and Nicole Smith attended the hearing. The Harris Institute’s testimony can be found at minute 6:43 of the hearing video. A copy of the Harris Institute’s Written Statement submitted to the Commission is available at this link.

From left: Eugenio Weigend and Joel Martinez (Center for American Progress), Jiyeon Kim, Katherine Aguirre (Igarapé Institute), Zeke Johnson (Amnesty International), and Nicole Smith.

The hearing highlighted that there are proven and effective measures that the U.S. government can implement to reduce the number of lives lost due to gun violence. An appropriate government response that takes a public health and human rights approach to this problem would reduce homicide and suicide rates in the United States, and reduce illegal gun trafficking that is rampant in the Americas.

During the joint recommendation at the end of the hearing, the Harris Institute urged the Commission to conduct a study on gun violence in the U.S., with a special focus on school shootings, and hold a thematic hearing on this important issue. Visit the Harris Institute’s website to learn more about the Gun Violence and Human Rights Project.

Remembering Female Prisoners of Conscience on International Women’s Day

Women's Day blog photo (00000002)

Female Prisoners of Conscience (starting top left, clockwise): Diane Rwigara (Rwanda), Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan, now released), Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee (Iran), and Atena Daemi (Iran) 

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to consider the plight of female prisoners of conscience, a group of women distinguished both by their exceptional heroism and by their extreme vulnerability.

As the United Nations has increasingly emphasized in recent years, even among activists, journalists and politicians generally, Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) face heightened danger; they are “subject to the same types of risks as any human rights defender, but as women, they are also targeted for or exposed to gender-specific threats and gender-specific violence.” The factors behind these heightened risks are complicated, but can relate both to the type of work that WHRDs often engage in (advocacy related to women’s issues), as well as who the WHRDs are (women, challenging traditional gender roles). Far too often, WHRDs face stigmatization, exclusion, violence and imprisonment.

Take the case of Diane Rwigara, for instance, a 35-year-old Rwandan politician currently being held in pre-trial detention. Diane’s crime was attempting to run against Rwanda’s authoritarian president Paul Kagame in the most recent election. Within 72 hours of her announcement of her candidacy, nude pictures allegedly of Diane were leaked on social media. When this public shaming failed to intimidate her, she was arrested—along with her mother and sister—and charged with a slew of specious offenses related to forgery, incitement to insurrection, and promotion of sectarian practices. Although Diane and her female relatives were arrested about six months ago, the government has refused to release her and her mother on bail while they await trial. There have been credible reports that the women have been tortured while in prison. If convicted, Diane’s mother and sister could spend up to seven years in prison; Diane herself faces a 15-year-sentence.

Sadly, Diane’s story is not unique. In fact, it hews closely to the authoritarian playbook on how to target a WHRD. Those who follow prisoner of conscience cases might remember a similar fact-pattern playing out with respect to Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent Azerbaijani investigative journalist, who was arrested in 2014, after a leaked video of her having sex with her boyfriend—obtained through illegal surveillance in her home—failed to shame her into silence.  After spending nearly 18 months in prison, Khadija was finally released in May 2016, however she remains under a travel ban for at least three more years.

Continue reading

Go On! International Institute of Humanitarian Law of Sanremo Summer International Disaster Law Course

Go On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

►  The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law of Sanremo, the International Disaster Law Project and in cooperation with the Italian Red Cross and the EU Jean Monnet Module on “International and European Disaster Law” Roma Tre University  are pleased to announce open registration for the 5th Edition of the International Disaster Law Course

The programme seeks to offer a comprehensive overview of the main practical, diplomatic and military issues related to the legal aspects of disaster prevention and management activities.

Dates: June 18-22, 2018 in Sanremo, Italy.

Please click here for more details.

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Meeting (deadline April 1)

Go On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

►  The American Society of International Law (ASIL) has announced open registration for its 112th Annual MeetingThe 2018 Annual Meeting will focus on international law in action and consider how international legal practice has changed and is continuing to change in response to geopolitical shifts and contemporary challenges.

Dates: April 4-7, 2018 in Washington D.C.

Online Registration Closes April 1, 2018.

Please click here for more details.