Accountability for harms to children during armed conflict discussed at ILW panel

NEW YORK – Ways to redress offenses against children during armed conflict formed the core of the panel that our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center sponsored last Friday at International Law Weekend, an annual three-day conference presented by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association. I was honored to take part.

► Opening our panel was Shaheed Fatima QC (top right), a barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London, who led a panel of researchers for the Inquiry on Protecting Children in Conflict, an initiative chaired by Gordon Brown, former United Kingdom Prime Minister and current UN Special Envoy for Global Education.

As Fatima explained, the Inquiry focused on harms that the UN Security Council has identified as “six grave violations” against children in conflict; specifically, killing and maiming; recruitment or use as soldiers; sexual violence; abduction; attacks against schools or hospitals; and denial of humanitarian access. With regard to each, the Inquiry identified legal frameworks in international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law. It proposed a new means for redress: promulgation of a “single instrument” that would permit individual communications, for an expressed set of violations, to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the treaty body that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its three optional protocols. These findings and recommendations have just been published as Protecting Children in Armed Conflict (Hart 2018).

► Next, Mara Redlich Revkin (2d from left), a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University and Lead Researcher on Iraq and Syria for the United Nations University Project on Children and Extreme Violence.

She drew from her fieldwork to provide a thick description of children’s experiences in regions controlled by the Islamic State, an armed group devoted to state-building – “rebel governance,” as Revkin termed it. Because the IS sees children as its future, she said, it makes population growth a priority, and exercises its control over schools and other “sites for the weaponization of children.” Children who manage to free themselves from the group encounter new problems on account of states’ responses, responses that Revkin has found often to be at odds with public opinion. These range from the  harsh punishment of every child once associated with IS, without considering the extent of that association, to the rejection of IS-issued birth certificates, thus rendering a child stateless.

► Then came yours truly, Diane Marie Amann (left), Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law and our Center’s Faculty Co-Director. I served as a member of the Inquiry’s Advisory Board.

Discussing my service as the Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict, I focused on the preparation and contents of the 2016 ICC OTP Policy on Children, available here in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Swahili. The Policy pinpoints the crimes against and affecting children that may be punished pursuant to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and it further delineates a “child-sensitive approach” to OTP work at all stages, including investigation, charging, prosecution, and witness protection.

► Summing up the conversation was Harold Hongju Koh (2d from right), Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and former Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, who served as a consultant to the Inquiry.

Together, he said, the presentations comprised “5 I’s: Inquiry, Iraq and Syria, the ICC, and” – evoking the theme of the conference – “international law and why it matters.” Koh lauded the Inquiry’s report as “agenda-setting,” and its proposal for a means to civil redress as a “panda’s thumb” response that bears serious consideration. Koh envisaged that in some future administration the United States – the only country in the world not to have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child – might come to ratify the proposed new  protocol, as it has the optional protocols relating to children in armed conflict and the sale of children.

The panel thus trained attention on the harms children experience amid conflict and called for redoubled efforts to secure accountability and compensation for such harms.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

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Write On! Call for Panel Proposals, International Law Weekend 2015 (deadline 20 March)

IntLawGrrl Chiara Giorgetti and her colleagues at the International Law Weekend (ILW) Programming Committee invite proposal submissions for ILW 2015 panels, roundtables, and lectures. ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held on November 57, 2015, in New York City. The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2015.

About ILW

ILW is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) – which welcomes new members from academia, the practicing bar, and the diplomatic world – and the International Law Students Association (ILSA). This annual conference attracts an audience of more than eight hundred academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and foreign policy and law students.

Call for Proposals

The unifying theme for ILW 2015 is Global Problems, Legal Solutions: Challenges for Contemporary International Lawyers.

ILW 2015 will explore the many roles that international law plays in addressing global challenges. The aim is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about the ways in which international law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues.  ILW 2015 will offer engaging panels on current problems and innovative solutions in both public and private international law.

The ILW Organizing Committee invites proposals to be submitted online on or before Friday, March 20, 2015 via the ILW Panel Proposal Submission Form located at: http://www.ilsa.org/index.php?option=com_chronoforms&chronoform=ILW_Panel_Proposals.

Proposals

Panel proposals may concern any aspect of contemporary international law and practice including, but not limited to, international arbitration, international environmental law, national security, cyber law, use of force, human rights and humanitarian law, international organizations, international criminal law, international intellectual property, the law of the sea and outer space, and transnational commercial and trade law. When submitting your proposal, please identify the primary area(s) of international law that your proposed panel will address.

We also ask that you provide a brief description of the topic, and the names, titles, and affiliations of the chair and likely speakers.  One of the objectives of ILW 2015 is to promote new dialogues among scholars and practicing lawyers; so all panels should include presenters with diverse experiences and perspectives.

On the submission form, you will be asked to describe what you think would be the most engaging and exciting format for your proposed program. We encourage suggestions of varied formats, such as debates, roundtables, lectures, and break-out groups, as well as the usual practice of panel presentations.  Additionally, we encourage you to consider taking the necessary steps to qualify your panel for CLE credit.  We hope to offer at least seven panels qualifying for CLE.

ILW 2015

ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held at 42 West 44th Street on Thursday evening, November 5, and at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center on November 6 – 7, 2015.  The ABILA Annual meeting will also be held during ILW 2015 at the same location. For questions regarding ILW 2015, please contact conferences@ilsa.org.

ILW Programming Committee

Chiara Giorgetti, Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty Director, LLM Program, Richmond School of Law;

Jeremy Sharpe, Chief of Investment Arbitration, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State;

David P. Stewart, President, ABILA, Georgetown University Law Center;

Santiago Villalpando, Acting Chief, Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations;

Tessa Walker, Programs Director, ILSA.

Go On! International Law Weekend 2014: Call for Panel Proposals

In anticipation of International Law Weekend 2014 – the premier international law event of the fall season, to be held on October 23-25, 2014, in New York City – the sponsors would like to invite proposals for panels, roundtables, and lectures by March 21. The overall theme of ILW 2014 is International Law in a Time of Chaos.

About ILW

ILW is sponsored and organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA). This annual conference attracts an audience of more than 1,000 practitioners, academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, and most importantly, foreign policy and law students who are learning about the range of practice and career opportunities.

Call for Proposals

The theme — hopefully not too disheartening — is “International Law in a Time of Chaos.” The role of international law in conflict mitigation is  a focus  – whether by building commercial links between states, fighting corruption, improving democratic governance, providing methods for resolving international and ethnic disputes, or regulating the use of force.  International Law Weekend 2014 will seek to address the role of public and private international lawyers in each of these tasks.

Panel proposals may also concern any other aspect of international law, including trade, investment, arbitration, intellectual property, combating corruption, labor standards in the global supply chain, and human rights, as well as issues of international organizations and international security.   We are also interested in panel proposals that are of particular interest to practitioners.  Alongside a broad array of public international law topics, we will have dedicated tracks of private international law topics in each program slot.

The ILW Program Committee invites proposals to be submitted online by Friday, March 21, 2014.

Please provide a title, brief description of the topic, and the names, titles, and affiliations of the chair and likely speakers – but also describe what you think would be the most engaging and exciting format, including ways to enhance participation by the audience.  Varied formats, such as debates, roundtables, lectures, and break-out groups are encouraged, as well as the more familiar genus of of panel presentations.

One of the objectives of ILW 2014 is to promote conversations among scholars and practicing lawyers; so formats should include presenters with diverse experiences and perspectives.

ILW 2014 will open with a Great Hall program  at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York at 42 West 44th Street on Thursday evening, October 23, and continue at the Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center on October 24-25, 2014.  We expect an audience that will include practitioners, professors, UN diplomats, business leaders, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, writers, journalists, and interested citizens.

Questions regarding ILW 2014 can be directed to conferences@ilsa.org.

ILW 2014 Program Committee

Tamara Cummings-John, Legal Officer, United Nations Office of Legal Affairs; Davis Robinson, Former Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State; Stephen Shapiro, Managing Partner, BSR Investments; Vivian Shen, Programs Director, International Law Students Association; David Stewart, President-Elect, American Branch of the International Law Association; and Ruth Wedgwood, President, American Branch of the International Law Association.

Early registration ends soon for April meet of American Society of International Law & International Law Association

This year’s annual meeting of the American Society of International Law features a unique trove of speakers and events. The gathering – from April 7 to 12, at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House – will also be the global biennial conference of the donoghueInternational Law Association. That combination promises multiple addresses, panels, debates, and roundtables, as well as committee, working group, and interest group meetings, as detailed in the draft program.

sebutindeOne highlight will be the annual luncheon of ASIL’s Women in International Law Interest Group, at which I xuewas honored to speak last year. This year, at the Thursday, April 10 luncheon, WILIG’s Prominent Women in International Law will go to three especially worthy women – International Court of Justice Judges Joan Donoghue, Julia Sebutinde, and Hanqin Xue.

radhikaA notable keynote will be the Grotius Lecture on Wednesday, April 9, by Radhika Coomaraswamy, who’s served as the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General with regard both to Children and Armed Conflict and to Violence against Women.

This year’s other honorees likewise include some very special people:

bensouda► International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (whom I am honored to serve as Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict) will receive the ASIL Honorary Membership awarded each year for “distinguished contributions or service in the field of international law.” (Bensouda contributed an IntLawGrrls post on the occasion of her 2011 ICC election.)

cherifM. Cherif Bassiouni, whose many titles include Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Law and President Emeritus, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago – not to mention dean and mentor to all of us who work in international criminal justice – will receive the Goler T. Butcher Medal, given “for outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights,” and named after a woman we at IntLawGrrls honor as a foremother.

pelletAlain Pellet, Professor of Public International Law at the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and a frequent advocate before the International Court of Justice, will receive the Manley O. Hudson Medal “for outstanding contributions to scholarship and achievement in international law.”

Click here for details (including the complete draft program) and registration, which is significantly discounted through February 7, 2014.

annmtg(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Ideas sought now for 2014 joint meeting of ASIL & International Law Association

Next April international lawyers will be treated to an unusual event: the 108th annual meeting of the D.C.-based American Society of International Law will be held jointly with the 76th Biennial Conference of the London-based International Law Association, which has branches in the United States (that is, the American Branch) and throughout the world. The event will take place April 7-12, 2014,  at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, a block or so east of the White House; the conference hotel will be the J.W. Marriott nearby.

The theme for the event, “The Effectiveness of International Law,” is described in detail here.

Chairing the joint Program Committee will be Professors Oona Hathaway of Yale Law, Larry Johnson of Columbia Law, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin of Minnesota Law. They’ve put out a call for session topic ideas. Here’s an excerpt:

asil_logoThe aim of the joint conference is to promote discussion of important topics by including a range of voices and perspectives. To this end, the Program Committee will draw on the submissions process as it identifies important topics and knowledgeable speakers. Drawing on members’ suggestions, the Program Committee will create a program with the following goals in mind:

1. Ensurimagesing coverage of a wide range of important topics of current interest.

2. Ensuring wide participation by individuals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives (for example, to the extent possible, including in each session both academics and practitioners, both women and men, and those of different nationalities and perspectives).

Abila3. Ensuring a place in the program for some sessions organized by ASIL Interest Groups and ILA Committees or Study Groups.

4. Ensuring a vibrant exchange of ideas through the use of innovative program formats.

Deadline for suggestions for keynotes, roundtables, panels, New Voices sessions, etc., is soon – Friday, June 21 – and must be made via the online form available here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)