The World Cup Spotlight (Part II): In the Shadows of National Security

(Previous posts in this series here and here.)

Argentina celebrates win over Switzerland (photo credit)

Argentina celebrates win over Switzerland (photo credit)

Blogging from Argentina, where World Cup expectations are at an all-time high and where nearly everything stopped for two hours yesterday afternoon for the Argentina-Switzerland game (even schools either showed the game or let children go home temporarily to watch it).

Yet, for some Argentines – as well as likely for some Brazilians – a World Cup in South America conjures up memories they’d rather leave alone. Argentina hosted and won (though not without controversy) the Cup in 1978, two years into its brutal military dictatorship and fourteen years into Brazil’s. Under the guise of national security, both governments tortured and disappeared their own citizens in an effort to quell left-wing dissent. In Buenos Aires, one of the most infamous torture centers was just a few blocks from the stadium where the final game between Argentina and the Netherlands was played, and former prisoners recall hearing the jubilant crowds cheering while they were rotting in tiny cells awaiting the next torture session or worse.

National security was once again in the headlines in Brazil in the past year leading up to the World Cup. As is protocol for the country hosting the next Cup, Brazil also played host for the Confederations Cup a year ago, a trial run for the bigger tournament happening now. Brazilians angry with the government’s disconnect with the plight of the poor used the tournament as a stage on which to air their discontent. Protestors were sprayed with rubber bullets and arrested under Brazil’s national security law.

A counter-terrorism bill now before the Brazilian National Congress has given some people pause due to its vague wording as it could conflate protestors and terrorists, though proponents say that the law is necessary given Brazil’s growing international profile. Among other provisions, the proposed bill calls for a penalty of 15-30 years in jail for “causing or inciting widespread terror by threatening or trying to threaten the life, the physical integrity or the health or liberty of a person.” Drafters have said that they will amend the text to clear up ambiguities, but a major concern is that  the law, if passed, will criminalize freedom of expression. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, herself a former guerrilla who was tortured during the military dictatorship, likely sees the potential harm in the imprecise bill, nicknamed A1-6 after the A1-5 law that was in effect during the dictatorship, and has declined to sign it – so far.

It remains to be seen how these soccer-loving countries will reconcile their unease with national security and terrorism laws with their growing presence on a global stage. And the World Cup, while capturing the interest of much of the world, will also bring the participating countries’ uncomfortable pasts into the spotlight. As Brazil tries to best Colombia on Friday and Argentina takes on Belgium on Saturday, not everyone will be glued to a television; some will be purposely avoiding the tournament so as not to relive their experiences in 1978.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World Cup Spotlight (Part 1): At What Cost?

 

Graffiti by Paulo Ito (photo credit)

Graffiti by Brazilian artist Paulo Ito (photo credit)

 

The cost of hosting the World Cup has made headlines in recent years. When South Africa hosted in 2010, it spent roughly $3 billion to put on what was at the time the most expensive World Cup in history. Brazil, however, has taken spending to a new level; it is estimated that the Cup will cost the country at least $11 billion. Russia, host of the Cup in 2018, has announced plans to spend approximately $13 billion. These amounts are dwarfed, however, by the predicted cost for hosting the 2020 World Cup in Qatar – a staggering $200 billion.

Add to these totals the profit that non-profit FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the governing body for international soccer) makes from each tournament (approximately $1.4 billion in TV and marketing rights alone in 2006 – all tax-free by FIFA requirement), and the protests that have been ongoing in Brazil for over a year are unsurprising. Initially the Brazilian government stated that no money for the World Cup would come from public coffers, but construction delays and overspending resulted in $3 billion being diverted from various public programs, including those focused on indigent relief. Many Brazilians have responded by protesting in the streets, calling for more money towards healthcare, education, and affordable housing, and less money toward the many stadiums that were built specifically for the World Cup.

Arena da Amazônia (photo credit)

Arena da Amazônia (photo credit)

In fact, there are at least two brand-new stadiums in Brazil that will likely not be used often once the World Cup ends next month. The first, Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brásilia, is now the second most expensive soccer stadium in the world (after England’s Wembley Stadium). Despite the fact that nearly ten percent of the World Cup budget was spent on Mané Garrincha, the stadium is likely to remain unused as Brásilia doesn’t have a professional soccer team. Neither does the city of Manaus, where the U.S. team played -and won- its first game last week. Many of the materials needed to build the Arena da Amazônia there were brought in by boat via the Amazon River to this remote city of two million people. Changes to existing stadiums have also proven controversial: Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã, one of the most famous stadiums in the world, was modified to include more seats where fans used to stand. In a country known for its passionate soccer fans who sing and dance and cheer their way through games, adding seats changes the tenor of the stadium completely.

All of this spending naturally raises the question of whether all this money would have been better spent on social services needed by the more than 20% of the population who live below the poverty line in Brazil than on a soccer tournament whose ticket prices make it difficult if not impossible for many locals to attend. Soccer has historically been an equalizer between the rich and the poor and yet people living in countries hosting the most popular sporting event in the world may be shut out from that experience.

There is no doubt that the World Cup, like any major sporting event, can bring increased revenue from tourism and raise a country’s profile, but at what cost to the people who live there?

 

The World Cup Spotlight (Introduction)

By now, Brazil’s lack of adequate preparation for the World Cup soccer tournament is well documented (see here, here, and here, among others). As the month-long competition kicks off tomorrow, it is likely that roads, transit lines, and stadiums throughout Brazil will still be under construction. Yet, insufficient infrastructure is but one of the myriad issues that may potentially plague this and other World Cups. Legal-political issues such as sex trafficking, forced migration, slavery, questions about the amount of public money spent on this quadrennial event, and national security concerns all threaten to mar the glossy surface of the world’s most popular sporting event.

This series, The World Cup Spotlight, will examine some of the effects this quadrennial event has on the host country and beyond.

 

 

Every Mother Counts

WHOJust in time for Mother’s Day in the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released updated statistics showing that maternal mortality rates are dropping worldwide. In fact, maternal deaths have fallen 45% since 1990, a statistic that should be cause for optimism about the future.  Yet, the actual number of women who die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth every year translates into a mind-boggling one death every two minutes. Here are some relevant statistics:

►The vast majority of maternal deaths (90%) occur in the developing world, though the WHO report notes that maternal mortality rates in the United States have increased since 1990.

Every Mother Counts, an organization that addresses the barriers to maternal health worldwide, states that two women die every day in the United States from pregnancy or childbirth complications and that the U.S. ranks 50th in the world in terms of maternal health.Every-Mother-Counts-logo

►India (17%) and Nigeria (14%) together account for one-third of maternal deaths worldwide.

►Eleven countries are considered to be “on track” to meet the Millennium Development Goal regarding maternal mortality by 2015: Maldives, Bhutan, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Romania, Timor Leste, Cabo Verde, Eritrea, Nepal, and Rwanda.

You can access the full report here.

Women @ ASIL (8th ed.)

ASILIntLawGrrls is pleased to highlight this year’s roster of incredible women who will speak at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law this week in D.C. (prior editions here and here). This 108th gathering, entitled The Effectiveness of International Law, marks the first time that ASIL and the International Law Association will jointly convene a conference. Details on registration here.

Highlights include the Grotius Lecture on Wednesday, April 9. Radhika Coomaraswamy (left, photo credit), former U.N. Under Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict and Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women will deliver this year’s lecture: Women and Children: The Cutting Edge of International Law. We are particularly pleased to note that IntLawGrrls co-founder and contributor Diane Marie Amann (University of Georgia School of Law; Special Adviser on Children in Armed Conflict, International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor) (below right) will serve as discussant.

In addition to the Grotius Lecture, the annual WILIG luncheon on Thursday will honor three International Court of Justice Judges: Julia Sebuntinde, Joan Donoghue, and Xue Hanqin. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will provide the opening remarks at what promises to be another fascinating WILIG event.

593px-Deputy_ProsecutorJustices Donoghue, Sebutinde, and Hanqin will appear again on Friday, April 11, at the plenary session, and International Criminal Court Prosecutor and IntLawGrrl Fatou Bensouda (right) will be one of the honorees at the Gala Dinner later that evening.

Once again, the panelists at ASIL are as diverse as the topics, with at least one woman on nearly every panel. The Women @ ASIL honor roll is below:

Monday, April 7, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Opening plenary: IntLawGrrl Ruth Wedgwood (President of the American Branch of the ILA and Chair of the ILA Biennial Conference 2014), and Mary McLeod (U.S. Department of State)

Tuesday, April 8, 2:15-3:45 p.m.chku-small

Teaching International Law – IntLawGrrl Charlotte Ku (University of Illinois) (left, photo credit)

Wednesday, April 9, 1:45-3:15 p.m.:

Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights – Sara Seck (University of Western Ontario), Rachel Davis (Shift)

Wednesday, April 9, 1:45-2:45 p.m.:

Connecting the Dots: Visualizing International Law – Marylin Raisch (Georgetown University Law Center)

Wednesday, April 9, 3:30-5:00 p.m.:

Lori-Damrosch-Profile-1013Is International Law Effective? The Case of Russia and Ukraine – Lori Fisler Damrosch (Columbia Law School) (right, photo credit), Nina Khruscheva (The New School)

The Fourth Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States – Sarah Cleveland (Columbia Law School)

sarfatyThe Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act’s Turn to International Law – Galit Sarfaty (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law) (left, photo credit)

Thursday, April 10, 9:00-10:30 a.m.:

The Approach of Courts to Foreign Affairs and National Security – Ruth Wedgwood (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies)

Countermeasures in Cyberspace – Alexandra Perina (Council on Foreign Relations)

janina.dillInterpretive Complexity and the International Humanitarian Law Principle of Proportionality – Janina Dill (Oxford University) (right, photo credit)

Thursday, April 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.:

Autonomous Weaponry and Armed Conflict – Naz Modirzadeh (Harvard Law School – Brookings Project on Law and Security)

Thursday, April 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.:

The Emergence of New Funding Sources of International Development – Cecilia Akintomide (African Development Bank), Betsy Apple (Open Society Justice Initiative), Uche Ewelukwa (University of Arkansas School of Law)

stromseth-jane_1M_STERIOThe Future of International Criminal Law – IntLawGrrl co-editor Milena Sterio (Cleveland State University) (right), Jane Stromseth (Office of  Global Criminal Justice, U.S. State Department; Georgetown University Law Center) (left, photo credit)

Effectiveness of International Adjudication: Assessing Functions and Performance – Sivan Shlomo Agon (New York University Law School), Joan Donoghue (International Court of Justice)

Thursday, April 10, 12:45 – 2:15 p.m.:

Domestic Human Rights Enforcement After Kiobel – Agnieszka Fryszman (Cohen MIlstein, LLP), Kristin Linsley Myles (Munger Tolles & Olsen, LLP), Katie Redford (EarthRights International)

The Idea of Effective International Law – Rachael Kent (WilmerHale)

Thursday, April 10, 2:30-4:00 p.m.:

Can International Norms Protect Us from Natural Disasters? – Kristen Bookmiller (Millersville University), Elizabeth Ferris (Brookings Institution), Ingrid Nifosi-Sutton (American University Washington College of Law) vanaaken

Possible Paradigmatic Changes in the Settlement of International Investment – IntLawGrrl Anne van Aaken (University of St. Gallen) (right, photo credit)

Is Forced Feeding in Response to Hunger Strikes a Violation of the Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment? Rachel VanLandingham (Stetson University College of Law), Pnina Sharvit Baruch (Institute for National Security Studies)

Thursday, April 10, 4:15-5:45 p.m.:

bio_Thomas_Chantal_ct343Law Enforcement Across Fields: Comparing Human Rights and Trade – IntLawGrrl Jenny Martinez (Stanford Law School), Chantal Thomas (Cornell Law School) (left, photo credit)

The Making of International Environmental Law: A Conversation with Two Pioneers – Edith Brown Weiss (Georgetown University Law Center), Olivia Radics (Environmental Law Institute), Kiran Sahdev (Georgetown University Law Center), Carina Roselli (Environmental Law Institute)Land, Molly 360x450

Designing Technology for Human Rights – Laura K. Donohue (Georgetown University Law Center), IntLawGrrl Molly Land (University of Connecticut School of Law) (right, photo credit)

Friday, April 11, 9:00-10:30 a.m.:

Everybody Come Together Over Me: Systemic Integration and Vienna Convention Art 31(3)(c) – Helene Ruiz-Fabri (Sorbonne Law School)

International Trade Law and International Investment Law: Complexity and Coherence – Mélida Hodgson (Foley Hoag LLP), Debra Steger (University of Ottawa)

obrien_smWomen’s Economic Rights, International Law and the Financial Crisis – Justice Sujata Manohar (former member of the Supreme Court of India), IntLawGrrl Patricia O’Brien (Permanent Representation of Ireland to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations) (left, photo credit)

spainJudges, Diplomats, and Peacebuilders: Evaluating International Dispute Resolution as a System – Jolynn Shoemaker (Center for Strategic and International Studies), IntLawGrrl Anna Spain (University of Colorado Law School) (right, photo credit)

On Socializing States: A Conversation with Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks on Their Certificate of Merit Winning Book – IntLawGrrl Monica Hakimi (University of Michigan Law School), Siobhan McInerney-Lankford (The World Bank)

Emerging Trends and Challenges in International Legal Education and Scholarship – Kaitlin M. Ball (International Law Students Association)

Friday, April 11, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.:

blank“Law of Warcraft”: New Approaches to Generating Respect for the Law – IntLawGrrl Laurie Blank (Emory University Law School) (left, photo credit), Elizabeth Stubbins Bates (SOAS, University of London)

The Effectiveness of the United Nations Human Rights Protection Machinery – Felice Gaer (Jacob Blaustein Institute), IntLawGrrl Beth Simmons (Harvard University), Kathryn Sikkink (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

Friday, April 11, 12:45-2:15:

The Effectiveness of Trade to Govern “Clean Energy” Strategies – Gabrielle Marceau (WTO), Susan Esserman (Steptoe & Johnson LLP), Antonia Eliason (University of Mississippi)

mcdonald_tnNew Voices in International Law: Making International Criminal Law More Effective – IntLawGrrl Saira Mohamed (University of California-Berkeley School of Law), Maria Varaki (Hebrew University/University of Copenhagen), Adejoké Babington-Ashaye (World Bank Administrative Tribunal), Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Iran-US Claims Tribunal (retired)) (right, photo credit)

katyaContinuities of Violence: What Role for Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law? – Colette Rausch (U.S. Institute of Peace), Katya Salazar (Due Process of Law Foundation) (left, photo credit), Nahla Valji (UN Women), Julie Werbel (USAID), Lorna McGregor (University of Essex)

Investment Chapters in Trade Agreements: IP Rights as Protected Investments – Susan K. Sell (Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University)

Friday, April 11, 2:30-4:00 p.m.:

Aggression and the Use of Force in International Law – IntLawGrrl Christine Chinkin (London School of Economics)

Intelligence Materials and the Courts – Kim Prost (United Nations)

natalie_kleinThe Dispute Settlement System of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: An Assessment after 20 Years – Joanna Mossop (Victoria University at Wellington), Natalie Klein (Macquarie University) (right, photo credit)

versteegNew Voices in International Law: Empirical Perspectives on International Law – Anna Schrimpf (Princeton University), Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia) (right, photo credit)

Dworkin’s Philosophy of International Law – Jean Cohen (Columbia University)

Saturday, April 12, 9:00-10:30 a.m.:

Combating Tax Avoidance and Evasion – Ruth Mason (University of Virginia)

ms.-elizabeth-dowdeswell The Effectiveness of International Law in “Greening” the Economy – IntLawGrrl Rebecca Bratspies (City University of New York School of Law), Elizabeth Dowdeswell (Council of Canadian Academies) (right, photo credit)

giorgettiChallenges of Arbitrators in International Investment Disputes: Standards and Outcomes – Judith Levine (Permanent Court of Arbitration), IntLawGrrl Meg Kinnear (ICSID), IntLawGrrl Chiara Giorgetti (University of Richmond) (left)

olga-juraszSexual Violence in Armed Conflict – Kimberly Theidon (Harvard University), IntLawGrrl Olga Jurasz (Open University) (right), Dawn Sedman (Oxford Brookes University)

Grossi-webState Law Litigation of International Norms – Beth Stephens (Rutgers University Law School), Cassandra Burke Robertson (Case Western University Law School), Simona Grossi (Loyola Law School, Los Angeles) (left, photo credit)

Saturday, April 12, 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.:

gowlland-debbasClosing Plenary – Syria: Testing the Effectiveness of International Law – Vera Gowlland-Debbas (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) (right, photo credit)

ABA Adopts Official Policy on Atrocity Crimes

Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in court in February 2013

Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in court in February 2013 (photo credit)

ABA

Last month the American Bar Association‘s House of Delegates unanimously approved a policy developed by the ABA’s International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) on no statutes of limitations for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. The IHRC mentioned what occurred in Haiti, where in 2012 a Haitian judge ruled that Jean Claude Duvalier (“Baby Doc”), having recently returned to Haiti after fleeing allegations of financial corruption and serious human rights abuses, could not face prosecution for crimes against humanity due to the expiration of  Haiti’s relevant statute of limitations. An ABA policy on this issue, said the IHRC, could have assisted the Haitian judiciary in the proper application of international law in this instance.

The policy systematically makes the case that customary international law now proscribes statutes of limitation for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity. It further states that encouraging all countries to adhere to this norm of customary international law will:

  • Minimize the likelihood that the relevant authorities will misapply or disregard this norm;
  • Promote the appropriate understanding of this principle of international law, thereby strengthening its deterrent aspect; and
  • Improve the human rights situation worldwide.

The policy can be found here.

IntLawGrrls at SEALS

sealslogo2The increasingly popular Southeastern Association of Law Schools annual conference is underway in beautiful Palm Beach, FL this week. Though not a conference focused on international law, there are a few panels with international topics, as well as several IntLawGrrls presenting. One of the great things about this conference is the focus on diversity in participants; because there are so many women listed in the program, we’re highlighting only those on panels focusing on international law and IntLawGrrls contributors. If we’ve missed anyone, please let one of us know!

Sunday, Aug. 4:

Naomi_Cahn_2008_lowres

Naomi Cahn

“Discussion Group: Children’s Issues” – Naomi Cahn (The George Washington University Law School) (photo credit)

“Arbitration of Internal Trust Disputes: Bold New Frontier or Disaster in the Making?” – Stacie I. Strong (University of Missouri School of Law) (photo credit)

Stacie I. Strong

Stacie I. Strong

“The Intersection of Reproductive Rights and Class” – Naomi Cahn (The George Washington University Law School)

“Experiential Legal Education: Assessing the Present and Imagining the Future” – Johanna Bond (Washington and Lee University School of Law) (photo credit)

Johanna Bond

Johanna Bond

Monday, Aug. 7:

“Experiential Legal Education: Imagining the Future and Integrated Education” – Johanna Bond (Washington and Lee University School of Law) (photo credit)

Tuesday, Aug. 6:

“The Rise and Fall of the Wagner Model: An International and Comparative Perspective” – Charlotte Garden (Seattle University School of Law) (photo credit), Orly Lobel (San Diego University School of Law) (photo credit)

Orly Lobel

Orly Lobel

Charlotte Garden

Charlotte Garden

Wednesday, Aug. 7:

“New Scholars Colloquia: Justice/International” – Rachel VanLandingham (Stetson University College of Law) (photo credit)

Rachel VanLandingham

Rachel VanLandingham

Thursday, Aug. 8:

“New Scholars Colloquia: Constitutional Law: Federal Courts” – Yvonne Dutton (Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law) (photo credit)

Yvonne Dutton

Yvonne Dutton

Friday, Aug. 9:

“Building New Democracies: Lessons from the Third Wave for the Arab Spring” – Rachel Rebouché (University of Florida Levin College of Law) (photo credit)

Rachel Rebouche

Rachel Rebouche

“New Scholars Colloquia: Insurance/Business Associations” – Elizabeth Ludwin King (Wake Forest University School of Law) (photo credit)Elizabeth Ludwin King

“The Law and Politics of International Prosecutions” – Elizabeth Ludwin King (Wake Forest University School of Law) (photo credit), Milena Sterio (Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law) (photo credit), Margaret Spicer (Florida State University College of Law)

Margaret Spicer

Margaret Spicer

Milena Sterio

Milena Sterio