ICC Appeals Chamber resurrects controversial customary international law argument to find Al-Bashir has no immunity before international courts – Keilin Anderson

Last Monday the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered its judgment on the question of Omar Al-Bashir’s immunity from prosecution for international crimes. In addition to the majority judgment, four Judges penned a Joint Concurring Opinion. A joint dissenting opinion from two Judges is yet to be published.

The decision has already been described in early commentary as ‘stunning’ ‘deeply misguided’ and ‘extremely controversial’.

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Book Launch – “Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century” – 15 May 2019

The Australian Branch of the International Law Association is proud to sponsor an event to launch a new book by Dr Robert Dubler SC and Matthew Kalyk entitled Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century: Law, Practice and Threats to International Peace and Security.

The event will take place at the Sydney office of Herbert Smith Freehills on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 from 5:30pm.

Guest speakers include Professor Gillian Triggs and The Hon Michael Kirby AC, as well as Dr Christopher Ward SC, President of the Australian Branch.

Further information on this event, including details for registration, is available in this flyer.

International Disputes and the Right to a Clean Environment: The Significance of Jam et al v. International Finance Corp in South-East Asia — Tudor Filaret

The decision rendered in Jam et al v. International Finance Corp has removed the blanket immunity that international organisations like the World Bank had previously enjoyed, where they were immune to claims in United States courts for commercial activities.  This decision represents a development that is in lockstep with the growing accountability of States and investors which cause damage to the environment.

This article gives an overview of what the case was about and outlines the significance of this decision for the Asia region. The author then places Jam et al in the context of the trend where international courts and arbitral tribunals have expanded accountability for States and investors which cause damage to the environment. 

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The Art of Law in the International Community or How To Prevent A Killer Robot Apocalypse – Mary Ellen O’Connell

“The conference title for the Sydney Biennial Meeting of the International Law Association was well chosen: “International Law in Challenging Times”. Humanity is facing extraordinary challenges of major violence, environmental decline, human rights abuse, and economic privation. Our ILA committees are seeking remedies through international law as one of the few tools humanity commonly shares. But there seems to be a widespread preference for violence and the use of military force over international law. Untold sums are poured into armed conflict and weapons research, including on fully autonomous robotic weapons, a truly inhuman weapon. International law needs to attract adherence. Military strategists have Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to inspire them. We need The Art of Law.”

These words commenced Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell’s keynote at the International Law Association’s 2018 Conference Dinner in Sydney. Professor O’Connell’s full remarks are available for download here.

Call for Submissions – Melbourne Journal of International Law

The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’) are now inviting submissions for volume 20(2). The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2019.

MJIL is a peer-reviewed academic journal based at the University of Melbourne and publishes innovative scholarly research and critical examination of issues in international law. Submissions and inquiries should be directed to law-mjil@unimelb.edu.au. For more information, please visit https://law.unimelb.edu.au/mjil#submissions

Law Council of Australia – ILS International Law and Practice Course 2019

The Law Council of Australia is inviting students and practitioners with an interest in international law to attend the ILS International Law and Practice Course 2019. The course consists of a series of 10 monthly lectures, the first of which will be held on 15 March 2019 on the topic of EU law. Details of the subsequent lectures are set out below.

The Law Council is offering ILA members a special reduced registration fee of $250 for the 10-lecture course (in lieu of $300).

For information on registration and other enquiries, click here. To join the ILA and take advantage of the reduced registration fee, click here.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the WTO Panel’s decision in Australia – Plain Packaging – Suzanne Zhou

In June 2018, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel in Australia – Plain Packaging affirmed that Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws are consistent with its WTO obligations. The law and its accompanying regulations prohibit the use of colours, imagery, logos, fonts, scents, textures, pack shapes and promotional text (other than brand and variant name and consumer information) on tobacco packaging.

The Panel rejected claims by Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Indonesia that Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws violated the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It found that plain packaging is ‘apt to, and does, contribute’ to the goal of reducing tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke, and that it is not more trade-restrictive than necessary to protect public health under article 2.2 of the TBT, nor does it infringe on any relevant intellectual property protections under TRIPS.

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Call for Submissions – ILA Reporter

The ILA Reporter (ilareporter.org.au) is the official blog of the Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA). The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873. It has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. The ILA Reporter provides analysis, commentary and discussion on issues in public and private international law which have bearing on Australia and the wider region.

The ILA Reporter accepts articles on a rolling basis from academics, legal practitioners, and students. This is a great opportunity to be published by a well-respected non-government organisation with a wide readership.

The ILA Reporter accepts analytical articles, book reviews, case analysis, and recounts of recent events in the field of international law. It is preferable that articles have a connection with Australia. We are flexible as to the length of the article – anywhere between 400 and 2,000 words is ideal – and multi-part articles may be submitted. Articles must follow the citation guide, which is available here.

Please contact the Editors, Molly Thomas and Evan Ritli, at editor@ilareporter.org.au with your proposal or completed article, or any queries you may have.

Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in International Fisheries Law and Its Implementation in Bangladesh – Abdullah Al Arif

Sustainable management of marine fisheries is a complex, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder process that entails sustainable use of marine living resources and conservation of marine biodiversity. Legislative, policy and institutional frameworks play a crucial role in conservation and management of fish stocks at all levels of governance—global, regional, national and local. Like many parts of the world, fisheries resources in the marine waters of Bangladesh are not sustainably managed.

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