Write On! The New York International Law Review (NYILR)- Call for Submissions

For over 30 years, the New York International Law Review has provided in-depth legal analysis on cutting-edge international law topics. In continuing this tradition, NYILR invites submissions for scholarly papers on international law via Scholastica. NYILR is co-published by St. John’s University School of Law and the New York State Bar Association.

For more information, please visit the St. John’s University School of Law website or the NYSBA website.

Follow @nyilr for updates.

Advertisements

A Handshake and the Right to Bodily Integrity

Recently, France’s highest administrative court upheld a ruling denying citizenship to a woman who has been married to a French national since 2010. Media outlets reported that the woman cited her “religious beliefs” as a reason for not shaking hands with a male official during the citizenship ceremony. As a result, she was denied citizenship due to the government’s assessment that she was “not assimilated into the French community.” According to the civil code of France, the government has the right to deny citizenship on grounds of “lack of assimilation, other than linguistic.”

There are a number of cases in France and other European countries that are using this concept of assimilation to take away a privilege or penalize those that are perceived as not assimilating. There are arguments supporting both sides of the debate but I thought it may be interesting to use a rights framework to examine these types of cases.

If you are advocating for the woman in this case, a major argument would be that individuals have freedom of religion, which is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, along with many other domestic and international law instruments. The challenge with this argument is that countries have different histories that lead them to a divergence in the understanding of freedom of religion. For example, in the United States, freedom of religion was loosely based on a concept of pluralism. You can argue that it is not completely the case in practice.  Nonetheless, children in U.S. schools are taught that some immigrants to the United States came to practice their religion freely and openly and this is one of the positive aspects of living in the U.S. This concept remains to be an integral part of American education and understanding. In some other secular countries, governments adopted a definition of freedom of religion that involved relegating religion to the private sphere—essentially practicing freedom from religion in the public sphere. This is mainly due to historical relationships with religious institutions. The history is even more complex than this summary, which highlights the difficulties in advocating a position based a freedom of religion argument alone. Therefore, putting this religious freedom argument to the side for now, I started thinking about the concept of the body and the rights of a person to her or his own body. Continue reading

Go On! The New York International Law Review’s 30th Anniversary Symposium

Description

The Symposium & Dinner celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the New York International Law Review (NYILR) by examining the unique role of New York State in international legal practice. This Symposium will bring together the lawyers, judges, scholars, arbitrators, policy makers and activists who engage in this global practice of law in New York. These experts will address how New York leads in these areas of international practice – where it succeeds, where it falls short and what trends in international practice we are likely to see in the decades ahead.

You may register for either or both events. Dinner is $125. The symposium is free, however registration is required.

Thursday, April 12 Dinner ($125)

Dinner will be held at the New York Athletic Club on Thursday, April 12, 2018 beginning at 6:30 pm. Space is limited. Please RSVP early.

6:30 p.m.— Cocktail Reception (President’s Room)

7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. — Dinner (Olympic Suites 1-5)

Dinner Speaker: D. Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at United Nations

Friday, April 13 Symposium (Free)

The Symposium will be held on Friday, April 13, 2018 at St. John’s University School of Law, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY.

The entire day’s program will also qualify for 4.5 non-transitional practice CLE credits with an additional $75 payment. If you want CLE credit, please 1. Register on this site and 2. Download and return the CLE form. (St. John’s University School of Law has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of Continuing Legal Education in the State of New York.)

8:30 a.m.- 9:15 a.m. — Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:15 a.m. — Introductory Remarks

Professor Peggy McGuinness, Director of LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice Program &
Co-Director of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law

9:30 a.m.- 11:10 a.m. — Panel One: New York and Cross-Border Dispute Resolution

This panel will address the ways in which New York law has become the standard law to apply to international commercial contracts – how New York courts and, increasingly, New York mediation and arbitration providers have become leaders in cross-border dispute resolution.

Moderator: Nancy M. Thevenin, Esq., Chair of the New York State Bar Association International Section & Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law

Panelists: E. Alexandra Dosman, Dosman Law & New York International Arbitration Center; James P. Duffy IV, Esq., Partner, Baker & McKenzie, New York, NY; Anibal Martin Sabater, Esq., Partner, Chaffetz & Lindsey LLP, New York, NY; Yasuhiro Saito, Esq., Partner at Saito Law Group PLLC, New York, NY

11:20 a.m.-1:00 p.m. — Panel Two: International Deals and Investment in New York

Panelists will discuss how New York serves as the center of international deal making, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, real estate development and investment, and international licensing of intellectual property. Panelists will also address challenges to New York legal primacy from other financial centers in Europe, China and elsewhere.

Moderator: Professor Christopher J. Borgen, Co-Director of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law

Panelists: Richard F. Hans, Esq., Managing Partner and Global Co-Chairman of Financial Services Sector DLA Piper, New York, NY; Mark A. Meyer, Esq., Member, Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C., New York, NY; Christina Tsesmelis, Esq., Head of Global Anti-Corruption and AML, Privacy Officer at Neuberger Berman; Amanda Rottermund, Esq., Withersworldwide, New York, NY

1:15 p.m.-2:25 p.m. — Lunch

Lunch Speaker and Recipient of Award for Distinction in International Law and Affairs: Judge Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, President, Guatemala High Risk Court

2:30 p.m.- 4:10 p.m. — Panel Three: Global Politics and Public International Law in New York

Panelists will discuss New York’s participation and influences in global problems and how solutions are reached through international cooperation and international law, particularly in the areas of efforts to address environmental harms, human rights, and terrorism.

Moderator: Professor Peggy McGuinness, Director of LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice Program & Co-Director of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law

Panelists: Anil Kalhan, Esq., Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law & Chair of International Human Rights Committee at New York City Bar Association; Sarah Friedman, Esq., General Counsel for the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs; JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Esq., Director of the Institute’s Human Rights in the US Projector at Columbia Law School

4:15 p.m-5:30 p.m. — Cocktail Reception

You may register here.

Write On! Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award

To foster legal scholarship among law students in the field of international law. The competition is intended to encourage students of law to write on areas of public or private international law. The Section believes that by providing a forum for students to disseminate their ideas and articles, the professional and academic communities are enriched. Furthermore, the competition presents an opportunity for students to submit law review quality articles to the Section for possible publication in one of its publications.

Presented by: International Section of the New York State Bar Association
Contact:  Tiffany Bardwell
Nomination Deadline: Entries should be emailed by 4:00 p.m., Friday, November 10, 2017 to the staff liaison.
Date Presented: January 2018 Annual Meeting
Award Criteria: Articles must be submitted (in English), and emailed to tbardwell@nysba.org, double-spaced on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper with one-inch margins, be no longer than 35 pages in length (including footnotes/endnotes). Citations are to conform with “A Uniform System of Citation” (The Blue Book).

All articles submitted for the competition become the property of the Section. No article submitted may be published in any journal or periodical other than the “New York State Bar Journal,” the “New York International Law and Review,” or the “International Law Practicum,” until after announcement of the winner of this competition in January.

Law students (including J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. and S.J.D. candidates) are cordially invited to submit an entry. Entries will be judged on a variety of factors including significance and timeliness of the subject matter, thoroughness of research and analysis, and clarity of writing style.

Please provide your permanent address, current email address and daytime phone number.

Prize Awarded: $2,000 and publication of the article (subject to editorial approval) in aforementioned publications.

Past Recipients of this Award

2017 Brochure

Court of Justice of the European Union takes on Muslim headscarf employment discrimination cases

With the increased reach of the populist movement and changing demographics, several European countries have been confronted with the need to define secularism and freedom of religion in a way where each of these concepts do not impinge on the rights of the other. This has dominated several discussions in politics, law, education, and social interactions throughout Europe.

One issue that stands at the forefront of these arguments is the wearing of the headscarf by Muslim women in Europe as a practice of their faith. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest court in the European Union with regards to European Union law, provided judgments on two cases involving the headscarf in March 2017.

In Samira Achbita v. G4S Secure Solutions NV (G4S), the CJEU was asked to provide guidance on the interpretation of Council Directive 2000/78 as it related to the dismissal of Ms. Achbita, an employee of G4S, for wearing a headscarf as part of her religious beliefs. The Council Directive 2000/78 provides that the “principle of equal treatment” means that there will be no direct or indirect discrimination based on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation as regards employment and occupation. Furthermore, the Council Directive highlights that indiscrimination occurs when apparently neutral provisions, criteria, or practice put persons of a particular religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation, at a particular disadvantage unless it is “objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.”

G4S stated that the company has a policy of not allowing employees to wear any political, philosophical, or religious signs as it may compromise the visibility of G4S’s position of neutrality. The Court ruled that there was no direct discrimination as the Directive did not single out a specific group of people or religion to target and was facially neutral. The Court did leave room to say that the rule may constitute indirect discrimination if persons of a particular religion or belief were put at a particular disadvantage, “unless justified by a legitimate aim” and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.

Similarly, in Asma Bougnaoui v. Micropole, SA (Micropole), Ms. Bougnaoui was dismissed from her employment at Micropole because of her refusal to remove the headscarf that she wore for religious reasons, and about which some customers of the company had complained. However, here the CJEU ruled that the “the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the services of that employer provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered a genuine and determining occupational requirement within the meaning of that provision.” Continue reading