International Law and International Human Rights Law Programming at the 2023 AALS

For those attending the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, here is a list of all International Law and International Human Rights Law-related programming.

  1. Conflict in Ukraine: Can Prosecuting Atrocity Crimes Make a Difference? (organizer/moderator Leila Sadat)

Cosponsors: Section on Comparative Law, Section on International Human Rights, Section on Global Engagement

Friday, January 6, 2023, 10:00 – 11:40 AM 

This program will focus on the atrocities committed during the conflict in Ukraine, from 2013 to the present time, as well as state responses to those actions. We will explore the actions of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other justice mechanisms, including national systems, and the steps needed to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes, as well as the political and diplomatic challenges to those prosecutions. We will also explore the reluctance of the United States to embrace the ICC as a global institution and the implications of that hesitancy for the legal academy and the Court. Finally, the panel will ask whether and how prosecuting atrocity crimes can make a difference either in Ukraine or elsewhere.

  • Second Program: Global War and Conflict in Ukraine and Beyond:  An Effective and Balanced Response? (Organizers/Moderators Craig Martin & Sahar Aziz)

Cosponsored by the Section on Comparative Law, the Section on Global Engagement, the Section on Litigation, and the Section on International Human Rights

Saturday, January 7, 2023, 8:30 – 10:10 AM 

The conflict in Ukraine, almost more than any other, has brought a host of international institutions and mechanisms to the fore and sparked litigation all over the globe. The United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, International Court of Justice, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Human Rights Council, European Court of Human Rights, World Trade Organization, and International Criminal Court are among the institutions that have acted or been engaged in addition to national courts.  Have national and international institutions been effective?  And why has the response in Ukraine seemingly been so different than the response in Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Israel/Palestine and a host of other “hot spots” around the world? This panel will take a look back at the events of 2022 and take stock of how well our international institutions have handled (or weathered) the events that unfolded.

  • Pedagogy Program: How Can Students and Faculty Make a Difference via Teaching and Clinical Work in Times of Crisis? (Organizers/Moderators Cindy Buys, Charlotte Ku & Milena Sterio)

Cosponsored by the Section on Global Engagement, Section on International Human Rights, and Section on Comparative Law. (Also cosponsored by teaching international law committee of ABILA.)

Friday, January 6, 2023, 3:00 – 4:40 PM

In light of conflicts around the globe, refugee flows, and human rights crises, this discussion will explore creative ways for faculty and students to make a positive difference and contribute to the development of international law through clinics, pro bono work, internships, externships, and other activities.

  • Discussion Group: Russia v. Ukraine: Implications for a New Global Order (organizer/moderator: Milena Sterio)

Thursday, January 5, 8:00 – 9:40 AM

This program will be a discussion group composed of experts who have studied the role of international law and international institutions in world affairs. The overall goal of this program will be to assess whether the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has the potential to disrupt the existing global order and our understanding of the role which international institutions play in global affairs. In addition, the panelists will focus on what role law schools will be able to play in terms of shaping such a possible new world order.

  • New Voices in International Human Rights (organizer/moderator: Milena Sterio)

Saturday, January 7, 1:00- 2:40 PM

This program will feature presentations by emerging scholars in the field of International Human Rights.

  • (organizer Tom McDonnell) 

Co-sponsored by the International Law Section.  

Friday, January 6, 1-2:40 PM

This Program covers the following: (a) To recognize that sanctions may advance the right to life; condemn Russia’s aggression, war crimes, and gross human rights violations against Ukraine; and may deter other states from violating international humanitarian law and human rights, and (b) To examine the intended and unintended consequences of general rather than smart sanctions; to acknowledge that few civilians bear responsibility for Russia’s aggressive war, war crimes, or gross human rights violations; and to analyze whether general sanctions violate the economic, social and cultural rights of the most vulnerable of the Russian civilian population.

Tuesday Nov. 15: Defending Artistic Freedom After the Attack on Salman Rushdie

Defending Artistic Freedom After the Attack on Salman Rushdie

When: Tuesday, November 15, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM, Eastern Time (USA)

Where:  Palmer Commons on the University of Michigan campus, a 15 minute walk from the law school (Palmer Commons address: 100 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218 Palmer Commons | Welcome to Palmer Commons (umich.edu))

Link to event page with link for zoom registration: https://ii.umich.edu/humanrights/news-events/all-events.detail.html/98508-21796731.html

More about the event: 

On August 12, acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie was to address a crowd at the Chautauqua Institution about safe havens for at-risk writers, when he was stabbed multiple times. While Mr. Rushdie thankfully survived, he experienced severe injuries, after facing years of threats since the 1989 fatwa against his book “The Satanic Verses” by Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. What will be the impact of this brutal act of violence against a writer on efforts to defend the human right to freedom of artistic expression around the world? What kinds of threats are artists facing globally as they practice their crafts – practice essential to the cultural rights of all? What kind of self-censorship do these pressures foster, especially around controversial issues such as religion? What strategies can cultural rights defenders use to support artists like Salman Rushdie, and all the Rushdies around the world?

Moderated by: Karima Bennoune, Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law, Michigan Law School

Panelists:

Julie Trébault, Director, Artists at Risk Connection
Julie Trébault is the director of the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), a project of PEN America that aims to safeguard the right to artistic freedom by connecting threatened artists to support, building a global network of resources for artists at risk, and forging ties between arts and human rights organizations. She has nearly two decades of experience in international arts programming and network-building, including at the Museum of the City of New York, the Center for Architecture, the National Museum of Ethnology in The Netherlands, and the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.


Salil Tripathi, Board member, PEN International, and former chair, PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee

Salil Tripathi was born in Bombay and lives in New York. He chaired PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee from 2015 to 2021 and is a member of its board. Between 2009 and 2013, he was on the board of English PEN. His honors include the Red Ink Award from the Mumbai Press Club in 2015 for human rights journalism and the third prize at the Bastiat Awards for Journalism in New York in 2011, among others. His journalism has appeared in major publications worldwide and he has been a correspondent in India and Southeast Asia. Offence: The Hindu Case, about the rise of Hindu nationalism and its implications on free expression, was his first book. His other books include The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy (Aleph, 2014, Yale, 2016), and Detours: Songs of the Open Road, (Tranquebar, 2015). His most recent work is For In Your Tongue I Cannot Fit: Encounters with Prison, which he co-edited with the artist Shilpa Gupta. He is currently writing a book about Gujaratis, which Aleph will publish. Salil studied at the New Era School and Sydenham College in Bombay, and has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College in the United States.


Ahmed Naji, writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Ahmed Naji is a writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and criminal. His Using Life (2014) made him the only writer in Egyptian history to have been sent to prison for offending public morality. (Mr. Rushdie corresponded with him while he was imprisoned.) His book Rotten Evidence chronicles his time in prison, which is due out in September (2023) with McSweeney’s. Other published novels in Arabic are Tigers, Uninvited (2020), and The happy end (2022) Naji has won several prizes, including a Dubai Press Club Award, a PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, and an Open Eye Award. He is currently a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in UNLV. He now lives in exile in Las Vegas, where his writing continues to delight and provoke. For more about his work: https://ahmednaji.net/

Peace and Solidarity: Dilemmas of the Evolution of International Law in An Age of Decoupling

I presented my research to the North South Webinar Series, based on my previous Research Handbook on International Law and Peace (Edward Elgar 2019) and my forthcoming Research Handbook on International Law and Solidarity (Edward Elgar 2023). I will discuss the normative evolution of these third generation rights, the link to the UN Report Our Common Agenda, solidarity paradoxes in an age of decoupling and recoupling, as well as securitized peace and solidarity. There is a role for peace and solidarity in the context of transitional justice, and hence relevant to intractable conflicts like Palestine in which peace and solidarity civic society spaces are under threat. I argue for a pro homine peace and solidarity that is gendered, intergenerational, and inclusive. Peace and Solidarity are both means and ends as they call for pacific settlement of disputes, recognition of the right to freedom of expression (including digital access) and equitable participation and benefit in the common heritage of mankind. The lecture is available here

Launching a Global Campaign Against Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan

Three items to share on this, the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan:

Register and attend what promises to be a riveting discussion on Global Strategies for Countering Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan on Friday 19 August 2022, with courageous Afghan women human rights defenders like Shaharzad Akbar and Zarqa Yaftali and international partners like the University of Michigan’s Professor Karima Bennoune and Human Rights Watch’s Heather Barr. Register here.

View filmmaker Ramita Navai’s documentary Afghanistan Undercover, about which noted interviewer Terry Gross of the program Fresh Air remarked in her interview with Navai: “I feel like the world isn’t watching as carefully anymore. And your documentary was a wake-up call to me. . . . things have gotten so dire for women there.”

Read Professor Bennoune’s powerful analysis The Best Way to Mark the Anniversary of Taliban Takeover? Launch a Global Campaign Against Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, which explains why “it is critical to commit to a more effective and principled global response, and to do so by recognizing this grave set of abuses for exactly what it is: gender apartheid.”

RELINQUISHMENT TO THE GRAND CHAMBER: THE CLIMATE CHANGE CASE

INTRODUCTION:

On Friday, 29th April, the European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR] declared that the Swiss Climate Case [Verein KlimaSeniorinnen and Others vs Switzerland] was relinquished to the Grand Chamber. The competent Chamber of the ECtHR relinquished authority to the Grand Chamber in compliance with Article 30 of the ECHR and Rule 72 (1) and (2) of the Rules of the Court. This relinquishment can be utilized, firstly, when the 7 judges agree that the issue raises a ‘grave question impacting the interpretation of the ECHR or its Protocols, or secondly, where there is a chance of deviating from preceding case laws’. 

FACTUAL BACKGROUND:

The Swiss Climate Case involves a complaint filed by a Swiss Association and its members [a group of elderly individuals] who are protesting against the effects of global warming on their health and living standards. The applications mentioned three primary issues: first, insufficient climate policies in Switzerland that infringe upon the right to life and health under Articles 2 and 8 of the ECtHR; second, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissal of their cases on irrational grounds, in breach of Article 6 of the Convention; and third, the courts and Swiss officials non-compliance with the subject-matter of their complaints, in breach of Article 13 of the Convention. 

The significance of the Swiss Climate case is that it will be the first case of climate change adjudicated by the ECtHR. Although Duarte Agostinho and Other was the first case to bring up the topic of climate change, the Swiss Climate Case and Agostinho address different legal issues.

RULE:

The competent Chamber of the ECtHR relinquished authority to the Grand Chamber in compliance with Article 30 of the ECHR and Rule 72 (1) and (2) of the Rules of the Court. This relinquishment can be utilized, firstly, when the 7 judges agree that the issue raises a ‘grave question impacting the interpretation of the ECHR or its Protocols, or secondly, where there is a chance of deviating from preceding case laws’.

In the case of Tatar vs Romania, the Court emphasized that pollution can damage the personal and family sphere of an individual because pollution damages the individual’s well-being and health. Further, the government has a responsibility to safeguard its people by governing and controlling the authorization, establishment, functionality and security of industrial operations, particularly those that are hazardous to the environment and human health. 

ANALYSIS:

i.                        VICTIM STATUS: 

The admissibility stage, particularly the acknowledgment of ‘victim status’ will be the initial obstacle for the Swiss Climate Case. According to Article 34 of the Convention, applicants can allege ‘to be the victim of an infringement’ of the rights in the Convention by one of the states.  If the claim is an omission to undertake appropriate measures mandated by a constructive obligation, the legal evaluation will invariably need at least an inquiry into whether the complainants have victim status.  Further, to be a victim of an infringement, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she was ‘directly impacted’ by the actions complained of, like in the current case, the allegedly omitted implementation of necessary actions despite an international duty binding upon Switzerland. 

In the case of Cordella vs Italy, the Court ruled that persons are ‘directly affected’ by the measures complained of if there is the persistence of a circumstance ‘of great environmental danger’, in which the environmental risk ‘will become potentially detrimental to the well-being and health of those who are subjected to it’. The Swiss climate case fulfills that standard because the Swiss authorities have not taken positive action to protect the elderly persons who will be subjected to intense heat waves in the future.

The applicant in Swiss Climate contended that the applicant organization should be given representative status for its members. This contradicts the previous precedent, as the Court does not consider petitions in the public interest [‘actio popularis’]. However, in the case of Fadeyeva, the court stated that because there is no  ‘right to nature preservation’ in the Convention, in cases of environmental deterioration ‘the involvement must personally affect the household, home or private affairs of the applicant’ to invoke Article 8 of the Convention. 

  1. POSITIVE OBLIGATION IN THE CONVENTION: 

Generally, positive duties are those which compel member states to undertake certain actions. They are essential where there is (I) a known and serious danger to the exercise of a right, and (II) the State has the potential to restrict, mitigate a danger or remedy its repercussions. A pre-requisite is that the State was aware of, or should have been aware of, the presence of a serious and imminent threat to a major legal value. In the case of Balmer-Schafroth and Others c. Switzerland, the Grand Chamber pointed to a ‘threat that was not just significant but also precise and, most importantly imminent’.

The two kinds of positive duties which have been recognized by the ECtHR to safeguard can co-exist in the same situation, whether it’s in the context of domestic violence or various other risks. The Swiss Climate case essentially turns on the issue of preventive positive duties under Articles 2 and 8 of the Convention. The applicants note the negative consequences of the absence of climate change prevention measures. See the case of Bevacqua and Others vs Bulgaria.

The case law and precedent of the Court acknowledging the duty to safeguard against widespread risks by legal and other actions [and the recognition that there can be potential victims, before damage has occurred] has conceptual implications on the evaluation of the victim status provision. If claims of omissions to act in respect to particular, one-time risks will receive preferential consideration over claims of breaches of duties to safeguard against potentially serious risks on a broader level, protection would be rendered ineffective. Certainly, the positive duties at issue in the current case are primarily directed at the law-maker [and as the Swiss Federal Tribunal stated, the duties are consequently of importance to political entities]. However, because of the lawful character of the duties, their invocation shouldn’t be considered inadmissible due to procedural grounds. 

CONCLUSION:

Humanity is facing a worldwide climate catastrophe that is already having devastating consequences for human rights. To avoid disastrous climate change and the wave of human rights abuses that would follow, immediate, comprehensive, and revolutionary reforms are essential. When States fail to adopt effective measures to accomplish the objectives of the Paris Agreement, international human rights courts may and should give adequate protection to elderly people or other vulnerable persons who are endangered by catastrophic heat waves and its related consequences. The Court’s reaction to this conclusion is expected to set the stage for how it handles future climate issues, and it will be echoed in the court rulings of domestic courts as well as various other human rights organizations. The ECtHR shall act as a Court of Law within the scope of its jurisdiction, always keeping in account that Convention protections must be practical and genuine, not fictitious.

Solidarity Activism in a time of Unpeace

For inspiration from amazing women who work for solidarity actions to assist the dis-empowered and vulnerable persons, including refugees, minorities, persons subjected to solitary confinement, and victims of atrocity crimes seeking truth, please see the video from the 2022 ASIL Roundtable including Noura Erakat, Maha Hillal, Azadeh Shashahani, Nia Houston, chaired by Cecilia Bailliet. The video is available here

Feminist methods in international law 

Feminist methods in international law understood– A path to transformation: Asking “The Woman Question” in International Law / Cochav Elkayam-Levy


Methods matter and the discussion over feminist methods in international law is an important one. As Kathrine Bartlett famously noted, “thinking about method is empowering.” It makes us more aware of the nature of what we do and what we aim to improve in the law. Consequently, we can act more effectively when we examine legal structures and do it with a stronger sense of commitment to our feminist work. Methods are also the fundamental means by which we produce “valid knowing.” The discussion of feminist methods in international law is one that engages with the combination of rules and assumptions that shape and delimit our views about the exclusion of women’s experiences from this doctrine. Despite their significance, feminist methods in international law have been deserted. They seem neglected in ways that have weakened the sense of discipline that nurtures our feminist knowing. The prospect of clarifying some of the vagueness is the primary motivation for this new article. The article is dedicated to identifying, explaining and differentiating feminist methods in international law.
It then introduces the potential contribution of the method of asking the woman question – or what can be also termed as the gender question for broader inquiries about people of all genders – as a transformative question – for the work of many international lawyers on their path to developing feminist consciousness. It encourages a bold ambition to tackle structural barriers, embracing a commitment to transformative equality.
While this question seeks to highlight and address the continuing injustice that
women experience, it also allows scholars to see beyond the gender binary in ways that take into consideration a spectrum of genders and the impact of the law on people of all genders. It proposes clarity and promises a feminist sensitivity to any analysis of international law. Based on this method, the article develops a unique analytical model that tackles the distinctive structural ways in which the international legal system perpetuates women’s inequality.

The model is predicated on the evolving global idea of transformative equality – which I further develop in my research – asking us to reimagine the rules by which our society operates. It urges scholars to undertake a transformative reconstruction endeavor asking –

How would the law look like in a gender-just society? What rules would we have had women had a part in the design of the law? How would the law look like if women had equal social power? (pages 473-5).

It is intended to encourage transformative processes that confront entrenched social and legal gendered structures within the international legal system. It requires a complicated intellectual effort to reimagine the future as means to move toward a gender-just global system. Hopefully, reimagining the future will be the most empowering, fulfilling, and transformative result of this work.

Recommended Citation
Cochav Elkayam-Levy, A Path to Transformation: Asking “The Woman Question” in International Law, 42
MICH. J. INT’L L. 429 (2021).
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjil/vol42/iss3/2
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3543189

Prosecution of Environmental War Crimes at the ICC: Exalted Thresholds

This post traces the history of Article 8(2)(b)(iv) (“Article”) of the Rome Statute (“Statute”) – the codification of the first international environmental war crime. The author argues that the Article’s exacting standard renders it toothless.

Countries today are in agreement that the environment is a ‘global common’; a resource shared by one and all, not limited by sovereign boundaries. Time and again, the international community has entered into agreements to motivate member state(s) to protect and reinvigorate the environment. For instance the Paris Agreement, Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are all aspirational frameworks pushing states to rethink their relationship with the environment. However, there are no real legal ramifications for the non-performance of these agreements, and their observance has largely been left open to the whims of politics and diplomacy. Moreover, these agreements are limited to state responsibility and do not percolate down to actions of individuals or other non-state actors.

International frameworks with legal consequences, such as the AP-1 to the Geneva Convention, (“AP-1”) are traditional in nature. These frameworks recognize international responsibility of states for ‘environmental destruction’ only in the backdrop of internationally recognized crimes perpetrated against ‘mankind’, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, or recently, crimes of aggression. International conventions such as the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1976 (“ENMOD”), removed the need to situate environmental destruction in the backdrop of a concomitant international crime. Notwithstanding, the thrust of ENMOD depends on “damage, destruction or injury” caused to the state. The terms “damage, destruction or injury” have canonically been interpreted in an anthropocentric form, meaning consequent damage to the civilian population.

Eclipsed by climate change and environmental destruction, with rising temperatures and sinking cities, mankind today has been brought face to face with a harsh reality. The environment, as a victim ofcorporate negligence, wanton human behaviour, and silent sufferers of armed conflict, has borne countless losses. The repercussions of such prolonged environmental neglect and degradation are both far ranging and immutable. Recognizing the need for inter-generational equity; the international community through its collective duty to preserve and secure the environment conferred it with independent legal protection. With the Statute in force, and the establishment of the ICC in 2002, the world saw the advent of the first ecocentric war crime.

Ingredients of Article 8(2)(b)(iv)

Successful prosecution under this Article requires that conjunctive benchmarks of “widespread, long term, and severe” damage to the environment be met in the context of an international armed conflict. The meanings of these terms are not defined within this Article, the Statute, or in secondary sources of interpretation as per the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969. The lack of a definition is exacerbated by Article 22 of the Statute which states that “ambiguity” should be interpreted favourably towards the accused.

The preparatory material of the Statute refers heavily to ENMOD and AP-1. Under these conventions the term “widespread” has a geographical bearing, and typically a damage of 100 square kilometres or upwards satisfies the element of “widespread” damage.

The term “long-term”, as the ordinary meaning suggests, has a temporal connotation. It refers to the continued effects of an attack. “Long-term” under AP-1 means negative environmental effects lasting a minimum of 10 years. Given the difficulty in evaluating lasting environmental damage at the time of the attack, it is likely that the drafters of the Statute viewed the quantum of 10 years as a range for understanding the term “long-term” and not a minimum threshold. Environmental impact assessments need to be carried out to gauge long-term effects of an attack. These involve significant costs and questionable efficacy.

Similarly one may look to AP-1 to understand the term “severe”, which refers to the potency of damage on the human and non-human environment. This interpretation takes us back to an anthropocentric approach; an otherwise progressive provision once again ties itself to civilian damage as a crucial factor in affixing international criminal responsibility.

Mens Rea and Military Objectives

The environment has often been the subject of wartime military attack, be it the scorched earth policy of the Napoleonic Wars to the use of  “Agent Orange” during the Vietnam War. The Article seeks to recognize the military’s strategic needs in conducting an offensive against the environment; it rationalizes that the damage being “widespread, long-term and severe” should also be “clearly excessive to the concrete and direct overall military advantage.” The Office of the Prosecutor, ICC opined that “clearly excessive” does not pertain to instances of collateral damage, which is purely a function of the proximity between civilians and military targets. Similarly in Prosecutor v Milan Martic, the ICTY held that any ensuing harm to civilian objects, such as the environment, cannot be justified in the “absence of closeness” between such objects and the legitimate military target.

Additionally, liability under this Article is confined to wrongdoings by military operatives in leadership positions. It provides a safe harbour to individuals without decision making powers in the military chain of command. “Leadership positions” are determined on the basis of an individuals’ say on the nature, timing, type, extent, and the general scope of the military attack. The military advantage is also qualified by the terms “concrete and direct”. The International Committee of the Red Cross has reflected that these terms do not justify “barely perceptible” military advantages. A military officer ordering an attack is required to demonstrate the potential military advantage and its nexus with the environmental attack.

Conclusion

Environmental crimes had been codified prior to 2002 under several international treaties in an anthropocentric fashion. This approach detracted from the damage caused to the environment, an object worthy of protection in and of itself. While the Article is certainly a harbinger in delinking environmental protection and damage from civilian harms, its exacting standard renders it toothless.      

Unsurprisingly, we are yet to see a single prosecution or investigation launched under this provision. Particularly in the context of gross environmental damage during recent day international armed conflicts, such as the Syrian War and the Ukraine War which are plagued by indiscriminate bombing, non-differentiation between military and civilian objects, and chemical warfare, which has the potential to pollute the lands and waterways of the country for generations to come. The ICC, as the only international court equipped to prosecute and convict individuals for crimes of international magnitude is wanting in realizing its potential.

April 18 – Ukraine Panel

Please join us for this upcoming panel on the conflict in Ukraine – organized by the American Society of International Law, Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law Interest Group, and co-sponsored by the AALS International Law and International Human Rights Law Sections.

April 18, 2022

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

The Ukraine Conflict: Expert Roundtable on Transitional Justice and International Criminal Law Issues

Organized by the Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group, American Society of International Law; co-sponsored by the AALS International Law and International Human Rights Law Sections

Panelists:

Milena Sterio, The Charles R. Emrick Jr. – Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (moderator)

Vladyslav Lanovoy, Professor, Law Faculty, Universite Laval (Canada)

Pavlo Pushkar, Head of Division, Department for the Execution of Judgments, European Court of Human Rights

Margaret deGuzman, James E. Beasley Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law and Judge of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

Rebecca Hamilton, Associate Professor, Washington College of Law, American University

Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Washington University School of Law and  Special Advisor on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor

Milena Sterio is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Zoom Information:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://csuohio.zoom.us/j/84851000100

Meeting ID: 848 5100 0100

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Refugee and Asylum Law: Towards the Centrality of Human Rights

I am pleased to announce that the UN Audio Visual Library of International Law has released my second lecture titled “Refugee and Asylum Law: Towards the Centrality of Human Rights”. It is available here

The lecture first gives an overview of the definition of a refugee according to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, including the elements of well-founded fear of persecution, nexus to protection categories, the principle of non-refoulement, and exclusion and cessation clauses. It then addresses the cost of seeking asylum, examining the risks of refugees at sea, the phenomenon of “crimmigration”, urbanization, and warehousing of refugees. This followed by a presentation of the elements of the “return turn”, including application of “safe third country/first country of asylum”, reference to internal flight alternatives, and stringent credibility analysis. There is brief presentation of the challenges regarding contemporary causes of flight, such as climate change and natural disasters. It concludes by referring to the contribution of the human rights courts and commissions from the Inter-American, European, and African human rights systems in articulating the procedural and substantive rights of refugees and migrants- who are all human beings.