Welcoming MacKensie Larson

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IntLawGrrls is delighted to welcome MacKensie Larson  as a new student editor.  MacKensie is a law student at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law focusing on international trade and finance law. Prior to law school, she worked for two years as a language consultant for various companies in Nantes, France. Currently, she is a staff editor on Temple’s International and Comparative Law Journal. Her research focuses on Chinese investment in Africa, cross-border trade within the e-commerce industry, and fairness of bilateral investment treaties. This year, she is spending a semester of law school interning and studying international law in Tokyo, Japan. MacKensie received her B.A. from the University of Iowa with majors in International Relations and French.  We are delighted to have MacKensie on board, and you will be hearing more from her soon!

Heartfelt welcome!

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Introducing our new student editors: Carla Cortavarría and Maria Solomidou

On behalf of the IntLawGrrls editorial team, I’m delighted to welcome two new student editors, Carla Cortavarría and Maria Solomidou, to the blog.

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Carla Cortavarría is a rising 2L at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is interested in human rights, particularly in Latin America, as well as immigration and refugee law. This summer she is interning at the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), a non-profit membership organization that strives to advance human rights in various parts of the world through its members. She is currently helping with their Dominican Republic and Haiti programs focusing on gender-based violence, human trafficking, and judicial corruption.

This upcoming school year, she will be the Vice President of Temple’s International Law Society and is planning on studying abroad in Utrecht, Netherlands in the Spring to focus on human rights law. Her goal after graduation is to work in public interest, specifically focusing on social justice issues within Latin America, and those affecting the Latino communities in the United States. Carla is originally from Lima, Peru, but grew up in the DC Metro area. She speaks fluent Spanish, advanced-level French, and some Portuguese.

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Maria Solomidou is a Global Scholar and a rising 3L at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Her family history and her experiences overseas have cultivated her academic interest in international and human rights law. Prior to entering law school, she received her B.A. in International Business and Economics from Temple University’s Fox School of Business. From a young age, Maria was an avid volunteer at the International Red Cross in Nicosia, Cyprus where she had the opportunity to help refugee families fleeing several international crises including the Lebanese/Israeli Conflict and the War in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Since then, Maria has participated in the Temple Global Scholars program in Rome, Italy. She has also interned with a law firm in the Republic of Cyprus that specialized in European Union law and immigration issues. She was able to work directly on asylum cases on appeal in the European Court of Human Rights and also assisted with immigration cases in the Supreme Court of Cyprus. This past year Maria also worked at the Nationalities Services Center in Philadelphia where she worked directly with asylum applicants and refugees.

This summer she is interning with the Honorable Ourania Papademetriou in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Family Division where she will have the opportunity to research family law matters relating to immigration law, specifically Special Immigrant Juveniles Status.

Maria looks forward to a rewarding career in international and human rights law, and is excited to be welcomed into the IntLawGrrls community.

We also say a heartfelt thank you and farewell to student editors Claire Poppelwell-Scevak and Melissa Vo, who worked with us over the past year.   Thanks for your many contributions to the blog!

Day One of the Apocalypse, . . . er, Resistance

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Official posters for the Women’s March on Washington, available for download here.

We awoke this morning deluged with news of the inauguration, impossible to avoid and perhaps even harder to comprehend.  For many of us, a feeling of nausea mounting since November has given way this morning to full-blown morning sickness, but without any bundle of joy at the end of it.  As I grapple to deal with the impending apocalypse, I try to remind myself of my dear friend and IntLawGrrl Beth Van Schaack’s framing — that this is day one of the resistance, not the apocalypse.

Here at IntLawGrrls we will begin this resistance by bringing you thoughts and images from women protesting the inauguration of he-who-shall-not-be-named, both today and tomorrow at the Women’s March on DC and around the country, and hopefully around the world.  In contrast to the joyful posts surrounding the 2008 US Presidential election, this is a dark dawn, but one that we will not take sitting down.

I am reminded this morning of an NY Times op-ed, from December, by Australian doctor Lisa Pryor, Dear America, Why Did You Let Us Down?  Pryor laments the loss of America’s “poetry of democracy that was grand and uplifting.”  I want to say to her and others around the world who mourn that loss that this beautiful, diverse, and democratic America is still here.  Indeed, most Americans voted for Hillary Clinton.  And from the inside, America has never looked like a shining picture of democracy, but rather a place of ongoing contestation and struggle to promote ideals of equality and justice.  Those of us who believe dearly in those ideals are still here, and we will fight, day in and day out, to protect that beautiful dream.new-sanctuary

In Philadelphia alone, I know of three inauguration events today focused on immigration: a panel discussion at Temple University on sanctuary campuses; an open house at Puentes de Salud, an organization providing health care for immigrants, at which lawyers from Friends of Farmworkers will be available to answer questions relating to immigration status; and a protest at the Liberty Bell, the birthplace of our democracy, organized by the New Sanctuary Movement and other immigrant community groups.  This is just a small snapshot of the beginning of the resistance.

What does that mean for our international sisters?  We ask you to raise your voices with ours, and stand in solidarity with us.  It’s a bleak forecast in terms of state-based victoriagarcia-respeta-1-1international law for the next four years.  Many of us in the United States are turning to municipalities and local governments to uphold fundamental rights, and we will seek transnational connections at the substate level.  You can leverage international law on our behalf, making arguments based on law, policy, and deeper morality about the actions and stances of the new administration.  I still remember how heartening it was to see the number of Iraq war protests around the world as we marched in New York City in 2003. Most importantly of all, don’t give up hope for the future of America.  We haven’t, and we are counting on your support to get us through the next four years to a brighter dawn.

IntLawGrrls! 10th Birthday Conference

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law

 Athens, Georgia USA

 We can hardly believe that ten years have passed since our first birthposts on the IntLawGrrls blog.  If you had told us on our birth-day in 2007–March 3, Girls’ Day in Japan–of the incredible contributions and accomplishments of our bloggers ten years on, we would have been equally incredulous. And so we’re delighted to issue this invitation to a very special event on March 3, 2017: “IntLawGrrls! 10th Birthday Conference.”

 Created by Diane Marie Amann as a forum for “voices in international law, policy, and practice,” the blog grew beyond our wildest expectations into a forum for hundreds of women at all levels of their career, from law students to celebrated luminaries, to hold forth on contemporary questions and historical issues in our field.  We welcomed posts that offered feminist perspectives on international law and equally relished those that simply opined on matters of the day, particularly in subfields of international law from which women have historically been excluded.

 Perhaps the most bittersweet moment came in December 2012, when we closed down the blog; shielded from our readership by the impersonal wall of the internet, we were surprised and touched by the heartfelt outpouring from those of you who demanded that we keep alive this space for women’s voices in international law.  We duly responded to your requests for an encore: within 3 months—on International Women’s Day 2013—IntLawGrrls created ilg2.org. We continue to be amazed and delighted by the quality and frequency of your posts.  We owe many thanks to the current staff that keeps the blog up and running to this day: Senior Editors Cecilia Marcela Bailliet, Andrea Ewart, Sital Kalantry, Elizabeth Ludwin King, and Milena Sterio; Submissions Editors past and present Brian Citro, Danielle DerOhanessian, and Karen Hoffmann; Technical Editor, Sarah Stephens; and Student Editors past and present  Osazenoriuwa Ebose, Sasha Filippova, Marte Ingvildsdatter Jervan, Lauren Marsh, Beverly Mbu, Claire Poppelwell-Scevak, Maggie Spicer, and Melissa Vo.

 We view the 10th anniversary of IntLawGrrls as a fitting opportunity to celebrate our contributors and readership by providing a live forum to discuss your scholarship and to get to know each other in person, putting faces to the many internet connections we have made.  We welcome and encourage you to submit a paper proposal and join us for this conference, which will take place on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia.

 The conference organizers—the blog’s original editors, Diane Marie Amann, Kate Doty, Beth Van Schaack, and yours truly–welcome IntLawGrrls contributors and readers to submit paper proposals relating to any aspect of international law and policy.

 As detailed in the call for papers here, we expect that the conference will cover a broad range of substantive topic areas and a variety of perspectives and methods.  We encourage in particular submissions from junior scholars as well as papers in subfields of international law that have been historically dominated by male scholars.  We also encourage papers that explore the challenges that populist anti-globalization, and often anti-feminist, movements such as Brexit, the Colombian referendum, and the U.S. presidential election pose to women in international law, as well as strategies to promote women’s participation in shaping international law and policy in the wake of these events.  We expect that this will be a topic for a panel discussion at the conference.

 Please upload an abstract of up to 500 words, a bio of no more than 150 words, and a cv using the “submit now” button at http://law.uga.edu/IntLawGrrls2016. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2017.  The conference organizers will confirm speakers’ participation on a rolling basis, and at the latest by January 20, 2017.

 Should your paper be accepted, we will be in touch with additional details. For planning purposes, please expect to arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta  International Airport on Thursday, March 2, to provide sufficient time to reach Athens before the conference.  Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center will host a dinner for all conference participants the evening of Friday, March 3.  We hope you will join us for the dinner, which will be a great opportunity to network, catch up with old friends, and make new ones. If you do, you should plan to fly home on Saturday, March 4.  Although we are unable to cover the costs of your airfare or hotel accommodations, we will offer some assistance with Atlanta-Athens ground transportation on the preferred dates described above.  We have reserved a block of hotel rooms in Athens, and will make information on discounted hotel rooms available to participants as papers are accepted.

Please contact Kate Doty at doty@uga.edu with any questions about submissions or logistics.

 We hope you can join us!

Transitions

On behalf of the IntLawGrrls editorial team, I’m delighted to announce that Danielle DerOhannesian has agreed to become our new Submissions Editor.  Danielle, who has been an IntLawGdaniellerrls student editor since May, will now be the main point of contact for new contributors.  As detailed in our earlier post, Danielle has a strong interest and background in international law, and human rights law in particular.  She was previously the Libya Correspondent with the Media Monitoring Project for the Montréal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. Danielle also interned in Israel and Palestine with rights-based community centers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and performed research for the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center.  We’re delighted to have her step into this new role.

karenWe also say a fond farewell and heartfelt thank you to Karen Hoffman, who has been our Submissions Editor for over two years, and was a student editor for a year before that.  Karen has her hands full as an On-The-Ground Advocate at the Berks Family Detention Center, representing families fleeing violence in Central America. She also serves as a coordinator for the NGO Advocates Abroad, which connects lawyers from around the world with refugees in Greece and Turkey.  We’re deeply grateful for her many contributions to the blog.

Reflections on ‘The Gendered Imaginaries of Crisis in International Law’ Agora @ the 2016 ESIL Annual Conference, Riga, Latvia

With many thanks to Emily Jones, currently a PhD researcher at SOAS, University of London, who authored this reflection and, along with IntLawgrrls Gina Heathcote, Loveday Hodson, and Bérénice Schramm, as well as Troy Lavers, organized the Gendered Imaginaries of Crisis Agora on behalf of the Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law.

esil-2016On Friday 9th September, the Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) held an agora entitled ‘The Gendered Imaginaries of Crisis in International Law.’ The agora session was initially inspired by Hilary Charlesworth’s provocative statement that ‘international lawyers revel in a good crisis. A crisis provides a focus for the development of the discipline and it also allows international lawyers the sense that their work is of immediate, intense relevance.’ In this vein, the agora aimed to disrupt mainstream interpretations and perspectives on crisis as well as remind attendees of the various ways in which gender is implicated in the narratives of crisis. (Agora participants pictured above, from left to right, Bérénice Schramm (chair), Marion Blondel, Dianne Otto, and Jaya Ramji-Nogales; Zeynep Kivilcim is pictured in the Skype screen at the top.)

The agora was bilingual (in both French and English). This bilingualism not only helped to disrupt the increasing dominance of the English language at ESIL but also allowed for a wider array of feminist perspectives to be considered.

The panel began with an intervention by IntLawGrrl Bérénice K. Schramm, the Agora Chair. Bérénice began with a reminder of the many ways in which crisis is utilised globally, not only by international lawyers to revel in but also as a moment for change and resistance, thus disrupting mainstream international legal views of crisis. She also highlighted the many elements of crisis which go unseen, including the sounds and images of crisis, showing pictures of women in Rojava engaging in radical democratic work and drawing on the work of German art collective Maiden Monsters to highlight both the existence of counter images to crises and sounds of crisis and the corollary fact that neoliberalism, from a feminist perspective, is, itself, a crisis.

Bérénice, in her introduction, also read an important statement regarding Turkey. One of the panellists, Zeynep Kivilcim, sadly, was unable to attend the agora in person and was forced to intervene via Skype. This was due to the current political situation in her country and the crack down by the government on academics and academic freedom. As a signatory to the ‘Academics for Peace’ petition‘Academics for Peace’ petition, Zeynep risks being interrogated daily. Bérénice reminded the agora participants of the terrible ongoing situation in Turkey and the need to remember the ways in which crises affect academic work and freedom.

The first paper presented was by Dianne Otto and was entitled ‘Feminist Aspirations and Crisis Law: Navigating Uncomfortable Convergences and New Opportunities.’ Dianne noted the normalisation of crisis in international discourse and the ways in which this spreading atmosphere of crisis has allowed for the expansion of emergency laws and rule by experts and technocrats who often favour neoliberal ends. Her paper went on to highlight the ways in which ‘gender panics’ are also caught up in international discourses on crisis, noting, for example, how the trafficking movement and the panic over preventing sex trafficking has been used, not only to deny women agency and the right to make their own sexual and economic decisions, but also to ignore the wider, structural issues which surround trafficking, including poverty and exploitative labour conditions (noting how the focus on trafficking also works to ignore other migrants). Continue reading