Introducing Vladislava Stoyanova

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It’s our great pleasure today to welcome Dr. Vladislava Stoyanova as an IntLawGrrls contributor. Vladislava is a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden. She is a lecturer in Migration Law and Human Rights Law and the director of the Migration Law courses. Her research interests are within the areas of international migration law, international refugee law, international human rights law and EU law. Vladislava’s publications include one monograph ‘Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered: Conceptual Limits and States’ Positive Obligations in European Law’ (Cambridge University Press, 2017, recipient of the Lund Society of Humanities and Social Sciences Award), one co-edited volume ‘Seeking Asylum in the European Union. Selected Protection Issues Raised by the Second Phase of the Common European Asylum System’ (Brill, 2015), and various book chapters and articles. As a result of successful research grant applications, she is currently working on a project on positive obligations in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

 

Her first post today discusses her newly published book with Cambridge University Press ‘Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered: Conceptual Limits and States’ Positive Obligations in European Law’ (2017) and the more recent developments in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights under Article 4 of the (ECHR): the right not to be held in slavery, servitude and forced labour and not to be subjected to human trafficking.

Heartfelt welcome!

Write On! Hamburg Young Scholars’ Workshop in International Law


This installment of Write On!, our periodic compilation of calls for papers, includes calls to present at
the Hamburg Workshop as follows:

►The Hamburg Workshop will be held from 15 – 16 September 2017 at the University of Hamburg to discuss research projects in international law among peers (e.g. a chapter of a dissertation, a draft of an article, case comments). The workshop brings together promising doctoral students and postdocs with a background in international law and neighboring disciplines. All participants ought to exchange ideas and arguments to inspire each other and advance their research. Public international law and common sense will serve as a shared basis that will result in discovering parallel developments and similar issues in different fields of international law. For more details click here.

Go On! Transnational Law & Justice Network + Contemporary Challenges to International Criminal Justice + 2017 ICC Summer School

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

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 20.12.58.png ► The Transnational Law and Justice Network at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law announced open registration for the “Transnational Criminal Law in the Americas”, which will be held on May 4-5, 2017, at Windsor University inWindsor, Ontario, Canada. Click here for details.

► Northumbria University has announced their inaugural summer academy open for registration for the “Contemporary Challenges to International Criminal Justice”, which will be held on June 12-16, 2017, at Northumbria University in Newcastle, United Kingdom. Click here for details.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 20.35.34► The Irish Centre for Human Rights has announced registration open for the “2017 International Criminal Court Summer School”, which will be held on June 19-23, 2017, atNational University of Ireland Galway in Galway, Ireland. Click here for more details.

Victims’ interminable wait for justice in Sri Lanka

On 23 March 2017, the Human Rights Council (HRC) passed Resolution 34/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka – the latest in a series of resolutions addressing the aftermath of the ethnic conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It follows Resolution 30/1 of October 2015 that provides a roadmap for judicial and non-judicial measures to promote post-conflict accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The first to be co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, Resolution 30/1 was heralded as an opportunity for Sri Lanka to reset its human rights record and embark on a post-conflict journey towards justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence.

Resolution 30/1 sought to implement the recommendations set out in the 2015 report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), which documented the “horrific level of violations and abuses” in the Sri Lankan civil war. (See my previous blogs “The Long Journey to Justice for Sri Lanka’s Victims” Part I and Part II for a discussion on the OISL report and Resolution 30/1 respectively). Resolution 34/1 rolls over Resolution 30/1 due to the lack of progress in fulfilling the latter.

Where do we stand, seventeen months after Resolution 30/1 and almost eight years after the official end to the conflict? In March 2017, reporting back to the HRC on the implementation of Resolution 30/1, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein noted that the GoSL has been “worryingly slow” in fulfilling its transitional justice commitments and that “the structures set up and measures taken during the period under review were inadequate to ensure real progress.” For instance, in August 2016, Parliament adopted legislation for the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons to investigate the tens of thousands of missing persons – a key transitional justice measure given that Sri Lanka records one of the highest rates of disappearances in the world. However, the legislation is yet to be operationalised.

Another key recommendation – establishing a “Sri Lankan judicial mechanism” with international actors – has been ignored despite being a cornerstone of Resolution 30/1 in securing accountability and justice for victims. International presence in an accountability process was intended to mitigate deep-seated mistrust in purely domestic mechanisms by providing impartiality and credibility. As noted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2015, there has been “a total failure of domestic mechanisms to conduct credible investigations, clarify the truth of past events, ensure accountability and provide redress to victims.” Despite the GoSL’s commitments, President Sirisena, in January 2016, excluded any foreign involvement in an accountability mechanism – a position that has been maintained by other senior government officials including the Prime Minister.

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SCOTUS should grant cert in Castro. Judicial review of Trump’s immigration detention regime depends on it

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60 miles outside Philadelphia, on a bucolic country road in Berks County, PA, sits a brick building with a fenced-in yard fronting a line of trees. To look at it, you would never guess this place is the epicenter of the coming battles over judicial review of immigration detention in the United States.

Today the Supreme Court is conferencing to decide whether to grant a writ of certiorari in the case of Castro v. Department of Homeland Security.

Of the two dozen families who are the plaintiffs in Castro, about half have been released. But 14 families remain at Berks. They fled gender-based violence and threats to their lives in their home countries and sought asylum in the United States. After deeply flawed credible fear interviews and rubber-stamp affirmations by an immigration judge, they have languished in legal limbo for the past year and a half.

The Third Circuit decided that these families had no access to habeas corpus, the ability to seek judicial review of one’s detention – a basic right dating back to English common law. The Third Circuit’s reasoning was that these families had entered “surreptitiously” and were apprehended “near the border,” ergo they had no constitutional right to challenge their detention.

That’s plainly wrong. Even Guantánamo detainees, as law professor Steve Vladeck has pointed out over at Just Security, have been given more right to judicial review than the Berks families.

Vladeck called the ruling “deeply troubling” and pointed out that “it is now so much more important for the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Castro–and reverse the Third Circuit. Reasonable minds may well disagree about the limits of immigration law, and the extent to which the Executive Order (and other U.S. immigration policies) run afoul of the Constitution. But the courts have to be the institution to settle those disputes; under Castro, the Executive Branch’s actions could theoretically be immune from such review… .”

Over at the Insightful Immigration Blog, David Isaacson writes:

The purpose of the Suspension Clause is to ensure that the government can be held to account in court when it detains someone, whether that someone is a suspected terrorist or a woman fleeing persecution with her child. The Third Circuit panel in Castro denied the petitioners in the case that Constitutionally guaranteed ability to demonstrate that they were being held pursuant to an erroneous application or interpretation of the law. We can hope, however, that … the Supreme Court on certiorari, may restore it to them.

Signing on as amici in Castro are no less eminent legal scholars than Chemerinsky, who literally wrote the book on constitutional law; the American Bar Association; and IntLawGrrls’ own editor Jaya Ramji-Nogales and contributors Lindsay M. Harris and Sarah Paoletti, who conclude: “Particularly given that the procedural and substantive protections provided to asylum claimants are consistently flouted or ignored, safeguarding Petitioners’ access to habeas corpus is of exceptional importance.”

Since last fall, I’ve been working with the Berks families and their attorneys as a legal advocate. Berks may be fine for a short-term stay but to be stuck there for 600 days is a living nightmare. This week NBC published an in-depth investigative article on the facility. If you haven’t read it yet, please do.

I’d really like to let the families speak for themselves, but cameras aren’t allowed in Berks, nor is access to social media.

Here’s America’s sweetheart Tom Hanks recently discussing the Castro plaintiffs with lead attorney Lee Gelernt of the ACLU. The card made for him by the Berks kids says simply, “We want to be free.”

Finally, please watch this 9-year-old girl who was detained in Berks but freed in December after “only” a year. This is her heartfelt message on behalf of the families who still remain:

For the sake not only of the Castro plaintiffs, but all those who are and will be caught up in Trump’s expanded detention regime, let’s hope SCOTUS is listening.

International Law Weekend 2017

International Law Weekend 2017 will take place from October 19-21 in New York City, at the Association of the Bar of New York City and at Fordham Law School.  This conference is jointly organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students’ Association.  Panel proposals are due on April 30th, and the conference theme and call for papers are available here.

USC Shoah Foundation awards inaugural research fellowship to IntLawGrrl Diane Marie Amann

The first-ever Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship has been awarded to Diane Marie Amann, IntLawGrrls’ founding editor emerita. Amann joined the University of Georgia School of Law in 2011, taking up the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. She also has served, since 2015, as Georgia Law’s Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives.

Amann speaking at the 2016 launch of the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor Policy on Children that she helped prepare in her role as the Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

The Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellowship arises out of a recent gift to the Center for Advanced Genocide Research at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles.

Established by Steven Spielberg in the early 1990s, just after he completed his film Schindler’s List, the foundation contains extensive visual history archives. These include oral histories by numerous participants in the post-World War II trials in Europe. Those trials lie at the core of Amann’s scholarship on “Women at Nuremberg,” which explores the many roles women played in those proceedings, including prosecutors, defense counsel, journalists, witnesses, staffers, and defendants – everything except judges. (Prior IntLawGrrls posts on this subject available here.)

Among those whose oral histories may be found at these archives are two members of the U.S. prosecution team: Cecelia Goetz, who as part of the Krupp case became the only woman to deliver part of an opening statement at Nuremberg, and Belle Mayer Zeck, who helped to try the Farben case. As quoted at the USC Shoah Foundation website, Amann commented:

“I’m very interested in finding out what they remember and what they thought was important and what their feelings were about the Nuremberg project. It seems to me there’s a lost story about that era that would be worth uncovering to give a richer picture of what that period was about.”

Amann’s visit to USC will occur next January, during a research-intensive Spring 2018 semester during which she will continue to pursue a Ph.D. in Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

(Cross-posted from Exchange of Notes blog)