On the Job! Director, Women’s Rights Program in New York

On the Job! compiles interesting vacancy notices, as follows:

► Applications are welcome from candidates holding a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/ education in challenging barriers to gender equity for the position of Director of the Woman’s Right Program (WRP) of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) in New York.  

The holder of this position will be the principal strategist on women’s rights for the OSF Network, articulating the goals and crafting strategies of the global program and serving as a resource to those designing and implementing the strategies of the national and regional foundations and the various geographic programs in the network.


Deadline is March 5, 2018; details here 

(Photo Credit)


Go on! Summer School ‘Business and Human Rights’ in Pisa (deadline April 23)

► The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies together with the University of Milan, The Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IRISS), and Temple University, Rome, have announced open registration for summer school in Business and Human Rights.
The course will be entirely taught in English and will feature excellent speakers, such as Prof. Sheldon Leader, Prof. Nadia Bernaz, Judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, Dr. Tara Van Ho, Prof. Jernej L. Cernic, Dr. Maddalena Neglia, and many others.
Location: Pisa, Italy at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies
Dates: 18-22 June 2018.
Deadline for applications: April 23, 2018
Discounted early-bird fee is available until March 8!
Detailed information can be found on the Program’s Website
Click here to apply!

Go On! iCourts/PluriCourts Summer School in Copenhagen (deadline April 2, 2018)

Go On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

PhD Summer School: International Law: Courts and Contexts - Joint Summer School: iCourts (Copenhagen) and PluriCourts (Oslo). (Photo Credit)

►  The University of Copenhagen has announced that 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) will be hosting a high-level summer school for PhD students working on international courts in their social and political context.

Time: 18 June – 22 June 2018 at 9:00 – 16:00

Place: iCourts, Faculty of Law, Conference/flex room, ground floor, room 8A-0-57, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Deadline for submission: 2 April 2018 12:00.  To Apply Use this Form.

For more information click here .

Go on! PhD Research Fellowships at PluriCourts, University of Oslo (Deadline February 28, 2018)

Go On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

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►  The University of Oslo, PluriCourts is accepting applications for two, paid PhD Research Fellowships in Public International LawThe PhD candidate must hold a master’s degree of high quality in law.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Up to two PhD Research Fellowships within the project ‘State Consent to International Jurisdiction: Conferral, Modification and Termination’ under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Freya Baetens are available at the PluriCourts Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, Department for Public and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway, as part of the Young Research Talents grant program.
For more information regarding the project, please visit the Project’s Homepage
QUALIFICATIONS: Details regarding qualifications & requirements in addition to compensation can be found here
Please follow the link to submit your application electronically. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents submitted as part of the application must be in English.
STARTING DATE: 1 September 2018 (negotiable)

Call for Papers: International Law & 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 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.


Opportunity to Advance a Development Dimension to Investment Facilitation

The Joint Ministerial Statement on Investment Facilitation for Development adopted on the last day of the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (for our discussion on the Ministerial click here), signals an opportunity to advance a development dimension to investment facilitation. The Joint Ministerial Statement called for the start of structured discussions with the aim of developing a multilateral framework for facilitating foreign direct investments (FDI).

The 70 WTO Member States that endorsed the Joint Ministerial Statement agreed to begin discussions early in 2018 to develop the elements of the framework to:

  • improve the transparency and predictability of investment measures;
  • streamline and speed up administrative procedures and requirements;
  • enhance international cooperation, information sharing, the exchange of best practices, and relations with relevant stakeholders, including dispute prevention; and
  • seek to clarify the framework’s relationship and interaction with existing WTO provisions, with current investment commitments among Members, and with the investment facilitation work of other international organizations.

The overall goal is to create a more “transparent, efficient, and predictable environment” for facilitating cross-border investment. These outlined elements appear to focus on creating a platform that will address the “resource curse” – the high levels of poverty and inequality present in many oil-rich countries and other developing/emerging economies with the “greatest natural resource endowments”.

The underlying assumption is that the framework is needed to provide greater accountability and transparency. We believe this is only a partial solution to the challenges that developing countries face with regards to FDI. These discussions provide an opportunity to advance a development dimension to investment facilitation by also providing rules of engagement to enhance development-oriented and sustainable outcomes for FDI.

FDI & Developing Countries

The majority of developing countries need foreign direct investment to foster economic growth and development. FDI can be a valuable tool to exploit resources and build production facilities while creating jobs and infrastructure in these countries. At the same time, because for the most part this investment is introduced and controlled by private companies, there is a tension that can, and often does, arise between the goals of private international capital and a country’s development needs.

In an earlier post, we discussed the PBS documentary, The Big Men, which tells the story of the discovery of the first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history. As events unfold, the Texan-based venture capitalists who bore all the financial risk butt heads with a newly-elected government whose officials refuse to endorse the initial agreement allocating to the investors the overwhelming majority of the profits. Juxtaposed with these events is the story and images from Nigeria’s Niger Delta where the “resource curse” is plain for all to see. The dire poverty, environmental degradation and the violence in that oil-rich region add poignancy to the position of the Ghanian officials, even as one wonders about their real motives.

For the Texan-based investors (which included a Ghanian who had initially discovered the resource but lacked the capital to fully exploit it) the issue was couched in the language of risk, adequate return on their investment, as well as respect for the initial contract signed with the Ghanian government. For the Ghanians, the issue was discussed in terms of their need to be able to use the resources located on their sovereign land to properly house, feed, and educate the populace.

The events that unfold in Ghana illustrate the tensions that can exist between the goals of private international capital and a country’s development needs. On the one hand, we have the private venture capitalists who invested where no one else would probably have. Ghana was not known for its oil resources. In return, however, they demanded a hefty return on their investment. But, does any government have the right to sell a country’s birthright to these investors? Yet, of what use to the country is the oil, or the diamond, or the gold left unmined?

How does the framework provide an opportunity to advance a development dimension to investment facilitation?

The Framework’s Development Dimension

The Joint Ministerial Statement recognizes the “dynamic links between investment, trade and development”. The Members also agreed that “facilitating greater developing and least-developed Members’ participation in global investment flows should constitute a core objective of the framework”.

To this end, the Members will seek to assess the needs of developing and least developed country Members to implement the multilateral framework so that technical assistance and capacity building support can be made available to address these identified needs. An integral part of the framework will be the right of Members to meet their policy objectives.

The policy objectives of responsible governments include helping their citizens gain access to jobs, decent housing, roads, education and other social services. Rich-oil countries with energy-deprived citizens is an untenable outcome. So are hotels built with foreign capital and by workers who live in shacks across the street.

Rules are needed to provide guidelines to help honest governments and fair-minded investors determine an equitable distribution of profits derived from exploitation of a country’s resources. These rules should provide tools to help countries negotiate fair deals. These rules should provide a pathway towards more development-oriented and sustainable outcomes for FDI.

These rules can and should be incorporated within the elements of the multilateral framework for facilitating foreign direct investments.

(Cross-posted from DevelopTradeLaw blog)

Go On! Cornell Transnational Legal Feminism Conference & Course at Tilburg Univ.

trunks.jpgGo On! makes note of interesting conferences, lectures, and similar events.

►  The Cornell International Law Journal will be holding a conference titled Transnational Legal Feminisms: Challenges and Opportunities on March 10, 2018 at Cornell Tech Campus in New York City. The symposium will bring together feminist scholars from around the world to discuss, offer, critique, and disseminate a vision of transnational legal feminisms and the challenges and opportunities it presents. To register and for more information, click here.

► Tilburg University in the Netherlands is holding a summer course on conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking. The 2-week course is set to begin on July 9, 2018. The course is organized by Impact: Center against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict. For more information, click here.