Call for Papers: International Law & National Security

CALL FOR PAPERS: 3rd ANNUAL “REVISITING THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN NATIONAL SECURITY” WORKSHOP

Many 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 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 organizers are interested in discussing 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 have not yet been accepted for publication.

In addition to submissions to traditional US law reviews, participants might consider the possibility of publication in the ICRC’s International Committee of the Red Cross Review, 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 there are paper topics that overlap with “revisiting the role of international law in national security” and upcoming Review topics, the organizers encourage these submissions. The upcoming Review topics are outlined below.  Please note that 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.

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:  June 18th, 2018 (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:  April 1st, 2018

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.

A limited amount of travel funds may be available.

Upcoming editions of the International Review of the Red Cross

Digital technology and war

The latest transformations in technology and digitization have led to a more connected world by facilitating communications, even more so due to the dramatic increase in access to digital technology in all aspects of life—from smartphones to new ways of connecting via social networks and other online platforms.

In emergency situations, new technology now allows for real time interactions between all actors involved. Relationships with beneficiaries of humanitarian relief are evolving, as more and more of the exchanges are made via digital tools such as messaging apps and digital cash payments. Meanwhile, technology can be used to allow for an easier and more direct access to humanitarian aid, for example through self-registration.

As the use of new technology spreads, digitized information is generated, shared and made available. This new information environment presents both challenges and opportunities for humanitarian organisations interested in using this information for the benefit of those they serve, while questions of privacy and data protection regularly arise. As it is often the case, ethical and legal considerations are being addressed in parallel with the evolution of technology.

There are also important risks that must be considered in terms of cyber security and data privacy. Another aspect of the virtual space is so-called cyberwarfare, as subject that was at the forefront in 2017 with the launch of the updated Tallinn Manual on law applicable to cyber warfare in March 2017 and calls by some for a “digital Geneva Convention”.

This edition of the Review will cover these topics and more. Contributors may choose to write on such topics as digital communication and humanitarian work, the information environment, cyberwarfare and IHL or the impact of new technology on the humanitarian field.

Children and war

Armed conflict and other situations of violence deprive children of food, clean water, health care—which is particularly troubling given the number of children who die of preventable illnesses, shelter, and the opportunity to have a childhood. Despite the protection afforded by international law, children are especially vulnerable to a myriad risks.  They are all too often drawn into hostilities, directly as child soldiers or indirectly, separated from their families, detained, recruited, forcibly driven from their homes, killed, injured, sexually abused or exploited in other ways.

Although children have been tragically affected by war throughout history, today’s conflicts seemingly reach new levels of suffering, especially for children. In light of this, more research is needed on the mental health and psycho-social consequences armed conflict, particularly prolonged armed conflict, has for children.

Another essential service that is affected by armed conflict is education, and when this happens it is children who are the most affected. Increasingly, protracted conflicts lead to lack of access to education for several years, raising questions on how to protect children in protracted conflict and insure that they have the tools to continue their development after the conflict. Recently, governments have joined together in the Safe Schools Process, seeking to promote safer access to education. Education is fundamental to a functioning society and to the wellbeing of individuals and of communities. As such, it can be thought of as an essential service, akin to electricity and clean water.

War and the body, war and the mind

War has a profound effect on both the human body and the human mind. This issue of the Review will explore the place of the body in war and address various issues such as the war wounded and other physical consequences of armed conflict, war surgery, the respectful and dignified handling of dead bodies, human enhancement of soldiers or the different ways in which genders experience war.

This edition will also examine various aspects of the human mind related to warfare, such as the impact of war on mental health and the use of psychology in military operations. War causes great psychological trauma to civilians and combatants alike. The “invisible scars” of war – from “shell shock” first observed after WW I to “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), have been extensively studied and the mental health response progressively developed. Modern armies have recognized the psychological consequences of combat and psychological support is made available for veterans, but there is far less attention paid to psychological consequences of violence on the affected civilian population and their access to psychosocial care.

The ICRC has commissioned various studies in recent years which attempt to understand behavior in war (for example the Roots of Behavior in War study, which is currently being revisited, as well as the People on War project, which aimed at understanding how civilians and combatants experience war, etc.). Mental health and care of humanitarian practitioners is also increasingly being addressed and discussed in the humanitarian field.

A major consideration is the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, both mental and physical, in armed conflict or other emergencies in terms of access to essential services like food, water, health care or social inclusion. Hostilities inflict physical and mental suffering, leaving many marked with disabilities for the rest of their lives. New developments in health care in conflict or other emergencies will also be explored, as well as the legal implications of the 2016 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in comparison with the provisions on the sick and wounded in the Geneva Conventions.

This issue will also address the distinction between the body and the mind, to see how this division is seen in different cultures.

 

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Alexander Prize Nominations Sought

Santa Clara University School of Law is seeking nominations of outstanding lawyers who might be candidates for the Alexander Law Prize, given annually by the Law School. Now in its 11th year, the “Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize” is intended to bring recognition to lawyers who have used their legal knowledge and skills to help alleviate injustice and inequity. It is named after its two benefactors: George Alexander, Dean Emeritus of the Law School and a Professor of Law for 34 years, and Katharine Alexander, who practiced law for 25 years as a Santa Clara County Attorney. In establishing this Prize, the Alexanders aim to inspire young lawyers to heed the call of the public interest. It is also hoped that the recognition of such individuals will improve the image of lawyers around the world.  The winner of the Alexander Prize receives a substantial cash award to be used as the individual chooses. The winner will be brought to Santa Clara University to be honored at a ceremony in early 2018.
Nominees must be lawyers who have used their skill, knowledge and abilities in the field of law to correct injustice. Selection criteria may include factors such as the:
  • Innovative nature of the programs or other activities undertaken
  • Courage and self-sacrifice required
  • Sustainability of the programs the nominee has implemented
  • Number of people benefited

In particular, they are seeking nominees who are committed in both heart and mind to alleviating injustice and inequity.  Nominations should be submitted here. The deadline is October 1, 2017.

A number of exceptional human rights lawyers have been honored with the Prize in years past:

► 2008 Award Winner: Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, where he and his colleagues have helped reduce or overturn death sentences in more than sixty cases.

► 2009 Award Winner: Mario Joseph, one of Haiti’s most influential and respected human rights attorneys and Managing Attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), which uses prominent human rights cases and a victim-centered approach to force open the doors of Haiti’s justice system for the country’s poor majority.

► 2010 Award Winner: Shadi Sadr, an Iranian lawyer who has risked her life in her efforts to protect the human rights of women, activists, and journalists, and who launched the “End Stoning Forever” campaign and Raahi, a legal center for women which has been forced to close since Ms. Sadr has been in exile.

► 2011 Award Winner: Paul Van Zyl, former Executive Secretary of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, co‐founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), and now the CEO of PeaceVentures.

► 2012 Award Winner: Almudena Bernabeau, formerly of the Center for Justice and Accountability and founder of Guernica37, a new human rights law firm litigating on behalf of victims of human rights abuses.

► 2013 Award Winner: Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese civil rights attorney who, although he is blind and had a broken leg at the time, managed to escape house arrest in China. He was targeted for his human rights campaigns, including against forced abortion while China’s one-child policy was in place.

► 2014 Award Winner: Hossam Bahgat, founder and former Executive Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, whom I featured here when he was detained again for advocating on behalf of the freedom of speech and assembly in Tahrir Square.

► 2015 Award Winner: Martina E. Vandenberg, founder and president of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center.

► 2016 Maria Foscarinis, founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (2016).

► 2017 Paul Hoffman, partner in Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP and ace litigator under the Alien Tort Statute/Torture Victim Protection Act.

International Law And National Security: A View From Abroad On Current Trends In Targeting, Detention, And Trials

On May 18, from 6-7:30 pm, in Cardozo Law School’s Moot Court Room, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Cardozo Law School will co-host an essential program for anyone interested in the application of international law to national security.

This event will feature some of the most active and respected experts in the field from abroad to discuss their view of international law and national security in the United States and around the globe in light of recent political upheavals. The panel will be moderated by yours truly (Prof. Beth Van Schaack of Stanford Law School).

For further information, please see the flyer below. There will be a reception after the event.

To register: Eventbriteppflyernorsvp.

Call for Papers: “Revisiting the Role of International Law in National Security”

Many 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, now in its second year, 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, 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.

The organizers 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 in final form – the hope is that participants will receive substantive feedback on works-in-progress.

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, trbegley@icrc.org.

Deadline for submissions:  Monday, March 20, 2017   

A limited amount of travel funds may be available.

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.

Dispatch from the Women’s March in Washington

Wow.  What an experience.

img_9288Like Diane, I am not much of a marcher.  I respect and support direct action, but—as an academic—my contributions to social change tend to involve disseminating the written word more than chanting in the streets.

But this was an event to remember.  I am so thrilled that I was able to be here in img_9250Washington, D.C. (having flown from California in a plane FULL of women) with my mom, sister, daughter, and a number of students and friends from all stages of my life.  Thanks to our cell phones (and notwithstanding the overwhelmed cell towers), we were miraculously able to connect at random points along the way.

img_9287The Rally and March offered a beautiful display of American diversity—all ages, races, orientations, and genders were represented.  There were families with children everywhere—marching, chanting, frolicking, and sharing their own messages (“Grown-ups: WTF??” & “I Am 8 Years Old & I Have Better Manners & Fewer Tantrums”). Although this was billed as “The Woman’s March,” thousands and thousands of supportive men were in attendance, all advocating for women’s rights and inclusiveness (“Men of Quality Do Not Fear Equality”).

Although there were incredible speakers and performers (including Gloria Steinem, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd, andimg_9232 Madonna), this was really about building community and solidarity in the streets.  The roar of the crowds was incredible—and deafening—at times.

As usual, the ubiquitous hand-made signs, all emphasizing social justice themes and the power of resistance, were a highlight. They were full of creative double entendres (“Electile dysfunction”) and clever puns (“Donald Dump” (with poop emoji) – “Trump Puts The ‘Twit’ in Twitter” & “We Shall Overcomb”).  Even Trump’s bizarre appearance did not escape reference (“Orange is the New Blech”).

The messages were pro-immigrant (“To All Immigrants: img_9268Thanks for Choosing America”), pro-diversity, pro-social justice, pro-human rights (“Women Just Want to Have FUNdamental Rights”) and pro-reproductive rights.  Indeed, I’ve never seen so many unique renderings of the female uterus in one place (“Shed Walls, Don’t Build Them”).

Not surprisingly, Trump’s unbridled misogyny and sordid history of sexual assault offered frequent themes (“No Sex Offenders in Public Housing” (with a picture of the White House)).  The pussy references were legion, even over and above the seas of pink knitted hats thanks to the Pussyhat Project.  I was thrilled to wear one knitted for me by one of my students. img_9281

Much of the anger was directed toward Trump (“Dump Trump”), but Mike Pence did not escape the crowd’s ire (“Pence Sucks Too”), particularly as we all marched past the EEOB where the Vice President has his office.  There were also plenty of references to Russia’s intervention in the election (“Nyet my President”) and images of Trump as Putin’s puppet or crybaby (“Make Daddy Vimg_9283ladimir Proud”).  Trump’s campaign slogans and vile comments were all turned inside out (“Make America Kind Again” – “Build a Wall Around Trump & We’ll Pay For It” – “Hate Does Not Make America Great” & “You Haven’t Seen Nasty Yet”).  Even Melania receivedimg_9207 some attention (“Free Melania” & “Melania, Blink Twice if You Need Help”).

Everyone was peaceful and loving. Notwithstanding the finality of yesterday’s inauguration, people were upbeat, strategizing for the coming resistance, and exchanging random acts of kindness, even in hot, crowded metro stops and the throngs on the streets.  We saw two people wearing “Trump” hats, but otherwise this was a crowd full of Hillary Clinton supporters (“Still With Her”).

In fact, there were so many references to Hillary that it was as if this were her inauguration celebration. It should have been (“The People’s President: She Got 2,864,974 More Votes”).

Onward.

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.

Crowd-Funding for the ICC’s Trust Fund for Victims

Students enrolled in my Policy Lab at Stanford Law School on Legal & Policy Tools to Prevent giving-tuesdayAtrocities were asked to undertake a project dedicated to generating new ideas for funding international justice to ensure more stable funding streams for contemporary justice efforts.

The funding of international and hybrid courts has been a perennial challenge, and almost every ad hoc tribunal to date has gone over budget. (The Extraordinary African Chambers, which tried Hissène Habré has been the most economical to date). There is no question that the costs of international justice appear high, although not necessarily when compared to the cost of other international interventions in atrocity situations, such as peacekeeping missions, humanitarian relief efforts, and military action. The most stable source of funding available has come from U.N. assessed contributions, which enables burden-sharing and forward planning. As creatures of the Security Council, the ICTY and ICTR benefited from such U.N. funding.

Most modern hybrid tribunals, however, have depended on voluntary contributions, which has proven to be unsustainable in the long-run. Ambassador David Scheffer, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, has done a yeoman’s job of keeping the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia in the black, but it hasn’t been easy. Over the years, the various tribunals and special chambers have been governed by different funding mechanisms and different budgetary arrangements with the host state. This is due in part to policy preferences but also to quasi-legal arguments about the availability of assessed contributions for independent entities with indirect United Nations involvement. Almost half of the funding for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, for example, comes from Lebanon itself, which often teeters on the edge of being in arrears when domestic political support for the STL wanes.

My studealinant, Alina Utrata (left), and undergraduate at Stanford, took the lead on this project and developed a new crowd-funding platform dedicated to raising funds from people around the world for the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims (TFV):  Go Fund Justice! Working with staff from the TFV, Alina built a website, created original content about the TFV, and launched a social media campaign in connection with Giving Tuesday.

 

This idea has great appeal; she has already reached 30% of her goal of raising $10,000.  Her explanation of this initiative is below:

Dear friends, family, and community members,

This year, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Go Fund Justice is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. Last year, more than 45,000 organizations in 71 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday.

Go Fund Justice is a crowd-funding initiative for the Trust Fund for Victims. The Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court is responsible for giving assistance and reparations to communities who have suffered from mass atrocities under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

That means they do things like things like providing prosthetic limbs and plastic surgery; trauma and counseling services; or vocational and financial training. Their work empowers victims to return to a dignified and contributory life within their communities. By focusing on healing the wounds caused by atrocities, the TFV hopes to foster a sustainable and long-lasting peace.

We hope that this Giving Tuesday you consider supporting Go Fund Justice. Even ten dollars can go a long way towards providing someone with a prosthetic limb or trauma counseling. You can also click here to hear about the experience of people who the Trust Fund for Victims has supported.

We also ask that you forward this information to just five members of your community. Spreading the word can help us make a difference! Click here to donate now to Go Fund Justice!