IntLawGrrls welcomes Alice Bullard

alice-bullardToday we welcome a post on inauguration events from Dr. Alice Bullard.

Alice is an historian and a human rights and environmental law lawyer based in Washington, D.C. Formerly a tenured historian, she is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of Initiative for the Resurgent Abolition Movement  (IRA USA), a human rights non-profit organization that, in her words, “fights slavery, gender oppression, and state racism in the West African state of Mauritania.”

Alice received her PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.  Most of her publications (refereed and non-refereed) may be found here.

Heartfelt welcome!

Trump Inauguration Events Jan 19, 2017

President Elect Donald Trump’s only tweet in the last seven hours (as of about 3pm EST, Jan 19th), is the relatively inoffensive, “Getting ready to leave for Washington, D.C. The journey begins and I will be working and fighting very hard to make it a great journey for..the American people. I have no doubt that we will, together, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

This restraint is remarkable, given what the citizenry has grown to expect. The legal issues raised by Donald Trump and his incoming administration are almost too many to enumerate, so we can be glad at least for this slight pause in his output.

Let’s take stock briefly.

Continue reading

Write On! 2d annual “Revisiting the Role of International Law in National Security” workshop

backlit_keyboardMany conversations in the U.S. about 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 aims to draw the international legal aspects of armed conflicts to the forefront of national security discussions.
The workshop, co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Delegation in Washington, and faculty at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Stanford Law School (yours truly), and Cardozo School of Law, is for public international law scholars and practitioners.  It aims 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 provide time to discuss scholarly articles that are in process, and provide a networking opportunity for participants.  The organizers are particularly interested in discussing scholarship and ideas that seeks to bridge partisan political divides while addressing both the law and national interests.
We invite you to submit an abstract or draft of an article for discussion.  A small number of papers will be selected for discussion at the workshop.  The article does not need to be finished – an abstract or draft may be submitted.
  • When:  May 18th, 2017 (full day)
  • Where:  Cardozo Law School, New York City
  • Submissions:  Please send your name, current affiliation, and paper proposal to Tracey Begley.
  • Deadline for submissions:  Monday, March 6, 2017

A limited amount of travel funds may be available.  More details here. 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.

Write On! Spaces and Places of the Journey to the UK: Assessing the Legal Framework for People Fleeing Conflict

fullsizeoutput_84                      linc
This conference is motivated by the plight of people fleeing conflict, attempting to reach Europe, and more specifically, the UK. How does the UK government govern (globally) for refugees and how should it govern for refugees? We invite engagement from theoretical, legal and empirical research into refugee journeys to the UK. From the plight of people affected by conflict, to refugee camps, perilous water crossings, the Jungle, UK Border Force and the process of seeking asylum on arrival in the UK (including UK detention centres). This conference will establish an evidence base to help practitioners and to highlight issues specific to the UK government in the current ‘crisis’. We welcome papers from academic and practitioner colleagues in law and related disciplines that consider how law helps or hinders the journey of refugees and the protections that they are offered at key points of transition. We welcome academics at all stages of their career, including PhD candidates and Early Career Researchers.

Keynote Speaker
Professor Satvinder Juss (King’s College London): Refugee Law in an Age of violent revolutions

“What is the role of refugee law in the world today? Should violent revolutionaries from blood-soaked struggles in the Middle East be excluded from refugee status even when they are at risk? Are they terrorists? If so, what does that mean for the purposes of refugee law? What role does international criminal law (“ICL”) play in the development of international refugee law (“IRL”)? Should the two regimes be kept separate because they serve separate purposes? Or, should ICL be used only to complement refugee law? Through a discussion of the latest case-law, this essay analyses the arrival of new terms in refugee law, such as “individual responsibility” , “individually responsible for the crime”, “otherwise participate in the commission of crimes” for the purposes of ‘crimes against humanity’ and determining acts ‘contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations’ which already appear in refugee law.”

Call for Papers

All interested scholars and practitioners are invited to submit a paper to the conference on one of the following topics:

  • The UK’s obligations under UK and International Law towards people fleeing conflict and at points of transition between countries or legal orders.
  • The legal rules on the provision of humanitarian protection and assistance to people on the move and at points of transition.
  • Humanitarianism v. the State: Migration as an issue of national security or human security.
  • Law as a solution or as a cause of emergency migration, refugee flows and internal displacement.
  • Analysis of the practicalities of the journey.
  • Any other related area that a presenter feels fits within the discussion will be considered.

This conference is being organised jointly by the University of Lincoln and Birmingham City University. It will be hosted by the University of Lincoln on 10th April 2017. Abstracts and enquiries of no more than 300 words should be sent to me, Dr Christy Shucksmith (introductory IntLawGrrls post here) ( or Dr Scarlett McArdle ( by Monday 20th February 2017.

Introducing Christy Shucksmith

intlawgrrls-picIt is our great pleasure to introduce our new IntLawGrrls contributor Dr Christy Shucksmith! Christy is a Senior Lecturer at Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln. Christy is the co-founder of the Conflict and Disasters Research group at the University of Lincoln. She is the Chair of the ECU Athena SWAN Gender Charter committee. She is currently a reviewer for the Journal of Conflict and Security Law (Oxford University Press).

Before taking up a lectureship, Christy completed her Ph. D. at the University of Nottingham which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The thesis has inspired Christy’s first monograph “The International Committee of the Red Cross and it’s Mandate to Protect and Assist: Law and Practice” (forthcoming, Hart Publishing). Christy previously earned an MA in Socio-legal and Criminological Research (University of Nottingham); LLM in International Legal Studies (University of Sheffield); and, LLB Law (University of Sheffield). After graduating from her LLM (with distinction) Christy volunteered for the Armenian Red Cross Society (Yerevan, Armenia) as part of the European Voluntary Service and was also a volunteer with the British Red Cross.

During her Ph. D., Christy was a Visiting Research Student at Australian National University, Canberra. Christy has also participated in a number of international courses including the Hague Academy of International Law (funded by the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge); the ICRC Course on International Humanitarian Law (co-organised by the ICRC and Polish Red Cross); and the International Disaster Law Course (International Institute of Humanitarian Law).

Christy is a member of the American Society of International Law; the Eleanor Glanville Centre (University of Lincoln); and the Women in International Law Network: The Olive Schill Society (University of Manchester).

Her first post will be a call for papers for the migration conference the Conflict and Disasters Research Group at the University of Lincoln, in collaboration with Dr Scarlett McArdle (BCU), will be hosting on 10 April 2017.

Heartfelt welcome!

Reminder! Write On! Gender on the Bench Conference


PluriCourts/IntLawGrrls are pleased to send a reminder of the call for papers for our conference on Gender on the Bench scheduled in the Hague January 2018.   At present, women judges make up an average of 17% of international courts and tribunals.  There is significant disparity regarding the participation of women on the bench of different international legal regimes.  This conference seeks to promote a higher level of understanding of both current challenges and best practices in promoting women onto international courts.  Please send your abstract and CV to: by May 15th 2017.  We are accepting papers addressing various topics, including:

Whether gender affects the interpretation of legal principles, facts, precedent, rules of procedure, rules of evidence, etc.?

Whether women judges exhibit a higher or lower level of judicial restraint in participation in oral hearings, written decisions, separate concurring opinions, and dissent opinions? Does the time on the bench since appointment impact lower or higher restraint?

How does being the first female or only female judge change the behavior of those judges? How does it change the behavior of other male judges?  Do other social identities, e.g. nationality, ethnicity, or language impact the influence and behavior of judges?

How does the judge’s particular expertise impact her participation and output? Does her expertise matter more for particular legal regimes (e.g. human rights as opposed to trade law)?

Do women judges tend to have different experience from male judges before their appointment to tribunals? (e.g. background in human rights v. criminal law court background)

How do women judges describe their roles in interviews, speeches, articles, etc. outside the court?

Do some areas of international law call for legalistic and professional-socialization modes of judicial decision-making while others permit application of realistic, personal discretion modes of decisionmaking?

How can we address intersectionality and other kinds of diversity? What regions in the world are women judges coming from and why?

What impact have female judges had on different legal regimes? Are they continuing to influence their fields?

Understanding internal politics- what cases are female judges chosen for? What roles are they awarded at the court?

Why women are underrepresented in the practice of international commercial and investment arbitration, as well as trade law and law of the sea?

Why do parties, law firms, and arbitral institutions, when tasked with selecting a chairperson, do not pick women for that role?

Are there best practices in terms of mentoring, gatekeeping, and sponsoring women on the path towards the international bench?

Are female judges interrupted more than male judges? Do judges ever defer to their areas of expertise?

How does the media portray female judges?


Papers on related topics are welcome!


Call for posts: Help IntLawGrrls cover this week’s global array of counter/inauguration events

posterEven as we mark the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the many women and men who have kept the movement for human rights and human security on the march, today we at IntLawGrrls look toward events later this week:

► Friday’s transfer of power from President Barack Obama to his elected successor; and, not least,

► Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, organized around “Unity Principles” that will be familiar to our readers. Accompanying that Capitol counterinaugural event  will be a myriad of Sister Marches – at this writing, it’s estimated that more than 700,000 persons will march at more than 380 sites around the globe. The worldwide map is stunning; in the words of organizers:

“Women’s March Global is a proactive international movement, not a U.S. election-specific protest per se, which has galvanized people to defend women’s rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world.”

Eight years ago, we ‘Grrls commemorated Obama’s inauguration with celebratory posts from around the world (here and here), as we had the 2008 election itself (see here). This week we hope to repeat that coverage – this time in a spirit of determination rather than celebration. A number of us plan to march and post, and we welcome all of you to join us in this effort.

If you already have an IntLawGrrls account at this ilg2 site, simply post, ideally with photos, according to our usual process. If you haven’t an account but would like to get ready to post, or if you have one but will need assistance getting your text and photos online while you’re marching, please e-mail our editors at