Call for Papers: ‘Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict- Beyond the ILC’

The Goettingen Journal of International Law (GoJIL) has published a call for papers for a Special Issue on ‘Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict – Beyond the ILC’. The GoJIL, a student-run law journal, is based on a double-blind peer review process and is available open access.

The objective of the special issue is to review the work of the International Law Commission (ILC) on the topic up until now but also looking beyond the Commission’s work to search for legal avenues on how to consolidate the protection of the environment. The ILC included the topic ‘Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict’ in 2011 on its future program of work. The Commission is now in the stage of finalizing the project by drafting principles that address environmental protection from a temporal approach, i.e. the phases of pre-conflict, during conflict, and post-conflict in light of different fields of international law. The ILC has been focusing on, inter alia the laws of armed conflict, human rights law and international environmental law.

The special issue includes papers discussed during a workshop co-organised by the Law Faculty of Lund University and the Law Faculty of University of Hamburg in March 2019, but is also open for other submissions. Contributions should address one (or several) of the three conflict phases with regard to environmental protection. Submissions can also zoom out of the three phases and look at different actors and affected groups, for instance, and how they are impacted by the environment and armed conflicts. Contributions are not limited to legal views but can include other perspectives on the topic as well.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 1 June 2019 and the final paper needs to be submitted no later than 1 August 2019. The special issue is scheduled to be published early 2020. For more information on how to submit a paper, please consult the call (below).

CfP Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict – Beyond the ILC

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Work On! Academy of European Public Law

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Work On! is an occasional item about workshops, roundtables, and other fora that do not necessarily include publication:

The European Public Law Organization will host the Summer Academy of European Public Law on August 26 – September 14, 2019 at the European Public Law Organization’s premises in Athens and Sounion in the Attica region of Greece. This is a three week summer study session for those interested in furthering their knowledge on the philosophical backdrop of different European national public law systems. Applicants should be proficient in English and have a degree in law or political science, European studies, international affairs, or another related field. Deadline to register is June 29, 2019. Details here.

The customary  law nature of article 62 of the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit, was the first of many unexpected developments in British politics over the course of the last three years. In the last few days, international lawyers have been surprised by the attempt to invoke article 62 of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties in order to facilitate the passing of a third vote by the UK Parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Several commentators have explained the flaws inherent to the application of a provision requiring a fundamental change of circumstances that cannot be foreseen (see the excellent blog by Marko Milanovik here, including comments by Alessandra Asteriti & Aoife O’Donogue),  and for which an extraordinarily high threshold was established by the International Court of Justice in the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case (commentary by Philippe Sands who represented Hungary before the Court here). In successive tweets Matin Paparinskis has unearthed the historic opposition of the UK to the doctrine of fundamental change of circumstances and suggested that arguments based on the doctrine of necessity may provide better legal grounds for the unilateral termination of a treaty.

The applicability of article 62 underlines every analysis I have encountered so far. Commentators refer to the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties without specifying whether they are referring to the 1969 Convention only applicable to treaties between states, or the 1986 Convention for treaties between States and International Organisations (the latter not yet into force). This is not an oversight. The clarification seems unnecessary because article 62 is presumed as a codified expression of customary international law that applies to any treaty, whether concluded between States or between States and international organisations.

The International Court of Justice has supported this view on several occasions. In its admissibility decision on the Qatar v Bahrain case, the Court applied the definition of treaty enshrined in article 2 of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties, despite neither Qatar nor Bahrain being parties to the Convention. The Court did not justify its approach implicitly suggesting that the definition contained in the Vienna Convention had customary law status, a conclusion categorised as ‘surprising’ by Jan Klabbers ‘given the fact that it is, after all,  but a definition, and, moreover, a definition for purposes of the Vienna Convention only’ (page 366). The Court was forced into a more explicit approach in Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros because Hungary argued that the Vienna Convention was not applicable to the concerned agreement, suggesting that the Court should establish ‘the conformity of the prescriptions of the Convention with customary international law’ on a case-by-case basis (paragraph 43). The International Court resolved the issue in a sweeping statement only substantiated by its own jurisprudence (paragraph 46):

“The Court has no need to dwell upon the question of the applicability in the present case of the Vienna Convention of 1969 on the Law of Treaties. It needs only to be mindful of the fact that it has several times had occasion to hold that some of the rules laid down in that Convention might be considered as a codification of existing customary law. The Court takes the view that in many respects this applies to the provisions of the Vienna Convention concerning the termination and the suspension of the operation of treaties, set forth in Articles 60 to 62 (see Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports. 1971, p. 47, and Fisheries Jurisdiction (United Kingdom v. Iceland), Jurisdiction of the Court, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1973, p. 18; see also Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1980, pp. 95-96).”

The International Court of Justice has repeatedly been unwilling to support its statements referring to the existence of customary law, using state practice and/or evidence of opinio juris (for a recent criticism referring to the Chagos case, see Milanovic here). International lawyers should be careful in adopting the same method when it is difficult or impossible to corroborate the existence of a customary rule. Reference to the jurisprudence of the Court does not suffice because the Court has failed to engage, for the most part, with proper analysis in this area. The fundamental change of circumstance’s clause, where acceptance of the validity of the rule can be derived from general consensus of opinion among states rather than state practice, might fit better the categorisation of general principle of international law.

 

 

Go On! Xiamen Academy of International Law Summer Program

 

This installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to apply to the Xiamen Academy of International Law: 

►The Xiamen Academy of International Law is now accepting applications for its summer program, which includes courses on various topics of international law. The program runs from July 8-26, 2019. The deadline to submit the application is April 30, 2019

► For more details, see 2019 Summer Program Brochure – Xiamen Academy of International Law.

 

Go On! 6th Annual International Disaster Law Course

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

The 6th Annual International Disaster Law Course is now open for application. The course will take place in Sanremo, Itay from June 17-21, 2019. More info and the application form are available here.

The Course is organized jointly by 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.

Work On! Business & Human Rights Summer School

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Work On! is an occasional item about workshops, roundtables, and other fora that do not necessarily include publication:

► The Human Rights International Corner, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, the University of Milan, and the National Research Council of Italy have organized its 2nd annual Business & Human Rights Summer School, which will address the main challenges of rising economic globalization. The course will be hosted by Temple University’s Rome campus in Rome, Italy and will take place on June 24-28, 2019. It will be taught entirely in English. Deadline to apply is April 25. Click here for more information and click the link below to view the program.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 4th ANNUAL “REVISITING THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN NATIONAL SECURITY” WORKSHOP

Many conversations in the U.S. regarding situations of armed conflict – within civil society, academia, and the U.S. government – center on “national security law,” often drawing primarily from domestic law and military perspectives.  International law is sometimes set aside in these discussions. This workshop, now in its fourth year, aims to draw the international legal aspects of armed conflicts to the forefront of national security discussions.

The workshop is for public international law scholars and practitioners.  The co-organizers hope to drive discussions of public international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law, into conversations, in the U.S. in particular, on national security issues and situations of armed conflict. The workshop will focus on scholarship and ideas that seek to bridge partisan political divides while addressing both the law and national interests.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for authors to have their works in progress critiqued by established experts in the field of IHL, and will provide a networking opportunity for participants.  The organizers ask only for papers that that will not yet have been accepted for publication at the time of the workshop (July 12).

In addition to submissions to traditional US law reviews, participants might consider the possibility of publication in the ICRC’s International Review of the Red Cross, which is seeking submissions for its upcoming editions.  The Review is a thematic journal covering a wide variety of issues, and to the extent that papers submitted for the workshop overlap with upcoming Review topics, the organizers encourage these submissions. The upcoming Review topics are outlined below.  Please note that papers submitted for the workshop need not fall within Review topics and selection for this workshop does not guarantee that a paper will be published by the Review. The author would still need to submit the publication to the Editor of the Review for consideration.  The upcoming themes of the Review are:

  • The Sahel
  • Terror/Counterterror
  • How does IHL develop?
  • Emotions and war

Please direct questions about the Review to review@icrc.org.

We invite you to submit a detailed abstract or draft of an article for discussion.  A small number of papers will be selected for discussion at the workshop.

  • When:  July 12th, 2019 (full day)
  • Where:  Cardozo Law School, New York City
  • Submissions:  Please send your name, current affiliation, and paper proposal to Tracey Begley at trbegley@icrc.org. 
  • Deadline for submissions:  May 1st, 2019

Co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation for the United States and Canada, and faculty at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Stanford Law School and Cardozo Law School.