How is your elevator speech? ICourts/Pluricourt Summer School for Phd students June 20-24, 2016

Applications are due April 1 for the ICourts and Pluricourts  PhD Summer School on International law: Courts and Contexts. This week-long intensive training focuses on professional development, including explaining your dissertation project in a concise yet general way, developing and defending your methodological approach, framing your project to interest diverse audiences, reflecting on your writing and outreach strategies, and building a professional CV.

Morning sessions feature presentations from senior faculty member who reflect on their research strategies, methods and trajectories.  Afternoons include working sessions focused on your dissertation project.  The Summer School takes place in lovely Copenhagen, and includes sight seeing and networking. It is a blast, although exhausting (if only because the sun sets very late in the summer!)

Learn more, including how to apply, here. The course is offered free of charge but the participants carry out expenses relating to travel and accommodation. iCourts will offer up to 5 travel scholarships. Space is limited, and admission is competitive.

 

 

 

 

The Variable Authority of International Courts

The peer-reviewed journal Law and Contemporary Problems has just published a 314-page special issue edited by Karen Alter, Laurence Helfer and Mikael Rask Madsen. This long-term project, launched at iCourts and involving numerous staff and close collaborators of the Centre, realizes iCourts’ ambition to build theory by comparing the real-world experiences of different international courts (ICs).

The special issue offers the first systematic empirical exploration of the authority of the ten most active ICs. Each article, authored by leading scholars in law, political science and sociology, analyzes how IC authority varies over time, by issue area, and within and across member countries.  The contributors apply the framework developed by the co-editors in the introductory article, “How Context Shapes the Authority of International Courts.”  The key question addressed in the special issue is how to explain the wide variation in the de facto authority of ICs.  Specifically, which contextual factors lead some ICs to become active and prominent judicial bodies that cast a rule-of-law shadow beyond the courtroom, while others remain moribund or legally and politically sidelined?

A number of authors explain how international judges have influenced the environment in which they operate. But the symposium collectively suggests that contextual factors beyond the control of judges may be equally if not more influential, limiting the ability international judges to transform de jure into de facto legal authority.

The articles focus on well known ICs (CJEU, ECtHR, ICC, WTO, ICJ, ICTY) and less well known regional courts in Latin American and Africa (OHADA, EACJ, IACtHR, CCJ.) A book version, to be published by Oxford University press, will include commentaries and  additional chapters focusing on the Andean Tribunal, the SADC, and ECOWAS courts.

 

Funded Doctoral Studies at iCourts

iCourts is a  Centre of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research
Foundation. Its research focus is on the ever-growing role of international courts, their place in a globalizing legal order and their impact on politics and society at large.

iCourts particularly welcomes research projects that deal with:

  •  Comparative analysis of the embeddedness of international courts in different political and social systems, considering the perceived legitimacy and/or the legal and political conflicts faced by international courts in different national systems;
  • Comparative analysis of the impact of regional international courts on regional integration processes, especially in less explored settings in Africa and Latin America;
  • The interaction between regional courts with jurisdiction over either human rights, or economic matters in settings with overlapping regional and international legal regimes;
  • The interaction between regional courts and the highest courts of contracting parties and/or global courts such as the ICJ, ICC, and WTO Appellate Body;
  • The transformations of global governance and the role that international courts play in constitutionalizing legal regimes, examined via an empirical and/or theoretical analysis of the organization of public authority in pluralist/federal/hierarchical/non-hierarchical settings;

Students must have a masters degree in hand before beginning the program. Closing date for applications is 28 January 2016. Details on the requirements and application process are available here.

 

Great postdoc opportunity for those interested in international courts

Postdoctoral interdisciplinary fellowships to study international courts
Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

The iCourts (the Center of Excellence for International Courts) at the University of Copenhagen is seeking applications for two or three positions as postdoctoral researcher/ The positions are available from 1st February 2016, and for duration of two (2) years. Start date is negotiable under special circumstances. See the employment call to learn more.

About iCourts

iCourts is a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. Its research focus is on the ever-growing role of international courts, their place in a globalizing legal order and their impact on politics and society at large. To understand these crucial and contemporary interplays of law, politics and society, iCourts has launched a set of integrated interdisciplinary research projects on the causes and consequences of the proliferation of international courts. In particular, the research agenda of iCourts explores the processes of institutionalization, autonomization and legitimation of international courts. By bringing together a transnational group of top scholars with a background in law and the social sciences, iCourts encourages interdisciplinary exchanges, and promotes empirical research of new and well-established international courts.

Read more about iCourts here. Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the faculty’s research areas and education programmes. Special consideration will be given to the applicant’s ability to help strengthen and add to the Faculty’s research and education programmes.

The postdoc projects:

For this call, iCourts particularly welcomes research projects that deal with:

  • Comparative analysis of the embeddedness of international courts in different political and social systems, considering the perceived legitimacy and/or the legal and political conflicts faced by international courts in different national systems;
  • Comparative analysis of the impact of regional international courts on regional integration processes, especially in less explored settings in Africa and Latin America;
  • The interaction between regional courts with jurisdiction over either human rights, or economic matters in settings with overlapping regional and international legal regimes;
  • The interaction between regional courts and the highest courts of contracting parties and/or global courts such as the ICJ, ICC, and WTO Appellate Body;
  • The transformations of global governance and the role that international courts play in constitutionalizing legal regimes, examined via an empirical and/or theoretical analysis of the organization of public authority in pluralist/federal/heterarchical/non-hierarchical settings.

To learn more about these positions, including how to apply, see this employment call.

Law and Boundaries: Conference at Sciences Po for young scholars and doctoral students

June 17-18 Sciences Po in Paris will host a conference on Law and Boundaries. There is an open call for abstracts, with a deadline of April 17.  Themes include:

  • Adjudication reloaded
  • Bargaining in the Shadow of the Private/Public Distinction: Globalisation and the State
  • “Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!”: Education and the State
  • “Oh boy, it’s a girl!”: Gendering, Sexuality and Bodies within the Family, the Market and the State
  • Of (also) Access and Distribution: Reexamining Copyright and Property
  • Receive or Reject: Transplanting “Legal Organs”
  • Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Boundaries, Contradiction and Transgression
  • The Dark Sides of Value: Occupation and the Global Circulation of Value
  • The King is Dead, Long Live the King: the Stakes of Managerialism.

More information, including how to apply, is available here,

iCourts and Pluricourts Summer School- Applications due April 1

The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order is hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international law and with a special interest in interdisciplinary studies of international law and its social and political context. The program is designed for students and scholars who are writing up a PhD thesis that involves an interdisciplinary study of one or more international courts.  Senior faculty work with students to develop their projects, and provide insights from their own experience of becoming a scholar of international courts.

All the details are available here.

Karen J. Alter writes about the Trials and Tribulations of Prosecuting Heads of State: the ICC and Kenyatta

See my post today on the Monkey Cage

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/12/19/the-trials-and-tribulations-of-prosecuting-heads-of-states-kenyatta-and-the-icc/

The Kenyatta decision differs from the decision to suspend the investigation of Sudan’s Bashir (see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/14/omar-al-bashir-celebrates-icc-decision-to-halt-darfur-investigation).  My intuition is that Bensouda  responding to the reality that her cases cannot proceed.  An alternative understanding, however, would be that this is a response to African pressure. Thoughts anyone about this question?

The Judicialization of International Relations- an open call workshop

The journal International Organization and Northwestern University’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies invite applications for a workshop to be held June 12-13, 2015.

Karen Alter and Erik Voeten, with the support of IO’s editorial board, will convene this workshop. Interested participants should submit a proposal of no more than 500 words by December 1, 2014 to judicializationconference@gmail.com.

We especially welcome the following types of proposals:

• Studies that examine whether states, international institutions, firms or other nonstate actors act differently in the shadow of adjudication

• Studies comparing politics in non-judicialized to judicialized contexts

• Studies of the impact of judicialization across countries, regions or issue areas

• Studies that analyze whether and when adjudicators are becoming consequential creators of international law

• Examinations of the potential counter-responses to the increased authority of judicial institutions. For example, how and when do state actors successfully seek to influence adjudicators or otherwise reduce their jurisdiction or authority?

• Analyses of whether international law differentially influences states depending on how much authority domestic judicial bodies have to utilize international law.

• Inquiries into the larger theoretical implications of the emergence of these judicial actors.

• Studies that provide generalizable insight into the practices, processes, politics and decision-making of adjudicatory bodies that have an international or transnational jurisdiction.

For more information, see: http://www.cics.northwestern.edu/groups/ioil/2015Workshop.html

Are female law scholars representing themselves well?

Shana Tabak’s announcement of the Pioneers of Women in the Law reminds us of the need to make sure that women are written into both the history and scholarship of the international law.

A year ago I wrote about a paper in circulation that documented a gender citation gap.  The study has been published, and it is generating a debate.  Recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article noting the cultural tradition of women feeling uncomfortable citing their own work. The article reminds us of the need to cite our own work, and to pay attention to gender balance in our own citation practices.

In political science, the focus is also moving to Wikipedia. We have long known that Wikipedia, like many encyclopedias, tends to write out the contributions of women. Indeed the format of an internet based encyclopedia may even exacerbate the problem, since 90 percent of Wikipedia’s contributors are men.

I plan to study the representation of women political scientists on Wikipedia, comparing it to their representation in institutions like editorial boards and learned societies. My interest in this topic was piqued when I found a page that lists American Political scientists with Wikipedia pages.  Former presidents of APSA, winners of the most prestigious Woodrow Wilson Book Prize, and many other notable female scholars were not on the list.

Take a look at the Wikipedia list of international law scholars.  Maybe I missed some names, but I found 8 females on this list.

In addition to studying the female pioneers of international law, we need to counter the practices which continue to marginalize female voices. The question is not ‘if’ women’s contributions are written out. The real question is what are we going to do about this? The solution in a number of fields is for women scholars to organize and write more entries.  On the eve of ASILs conference (which I will unfortunately miss), it seems timely to put this issue on the agenda of IntLawGrrls.