Monday, May 31, 2010

'Nuff Said: The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009

(Another in IntLawGrrls' series of Kampala Conference posts)

KAMPALA, Uganda – As we finalize the first day of the ICC Review Conference here, it is worth highlighting an important piece of new legislation of particular relevance to our work here. On May 24, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. His signing statement is a moving tribute the importance of accountability for atrocities committed in Uganda (picture credit) and is worth quoting here in full:

Today, I signed into law the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. The legislation crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa.

The Lord’s Resistance Army preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival. It fills its ranks of fighters with the young boys and girls it abducts. By any measure, its actions are an affront to human dignity.

Of the millions affected by the violence, each had an individual story and voice that we must not forget. In northern Uganda, we recall Angelina Atyam’s 14-year old daughter, whom the LRA kidnapped in 1996 and held captive for nearly eight years -- one of 139 girls abducted that day from a boarding school. In southern Sudan, we recall John Loboi -- a father, a husband, a brother, a local humanitarian assistance worker killed in an ambush while helping others in 2003. Now, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, the people of Dungu and of Obo, too, have their stories of loss and pain.

We mourn those killed. We pray for those abducted to be freed, and for those wounded to heal. We call on the ranks of the LRA to disarm and surrender. We believe that the leadership of the LRA should be brought to justice.

I signed this bill today recognizing that we must all renew our commitments and strengthen our capabilities to protect and assist civilians caught in the LRA’s wake, to receive those that surrender, and to support efforts to bring the LRA leadership to justice. The Bill reiterates U.S. policy and our commitment to work toward a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict in northern Uganda and other affected areas, including northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, and the Central African Republic. We will do so in partnership with regional governments and multilateral efforts.

I commend the Government of Uganda for its efforts to stabilize the northern part of the country, for actively supporting transitional and development assistance, and for pursuing reintegration programs for those who surrender and escape from the LRA ranks.

I also want the governments of other LRA-affected countries to know that we are aware of the danger the LRA represents, and we will continue to support efforts to protect civilians and to end this terrible chapter in central African history. For over a decade, the United States has worked with others to respond to the LRA crisis. We have supported peace process and reconciliation, humanitarian assistance and regional recovery, protection of civilians and reintegration for former combatants, and have supported regional governments as they worked to provide for their people’s security. Going forward, we will call on our partners as we all renew our efforts.

I congratulate Congress for seizing on this important issue, and I congratulate the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have mobilized to respond to this unique crisis of conscience. We have heard from the advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, humanitarian actors who lack access, and those who continue to work on this issue in our own government. We have seen your reporting, your websites, your blogs, and your video postcards -- you have made the plight of the children visible to us all. Your action represents the very best of American leadership around the world, and we are committed to working with you in pursuit of the future of peace and dignity that the people of who have suffered at the hands of the LRA deserve.

Hear, hear...

Remembering women in service

On this Memorial Day, we note a recent discovery:
In a corner of Washington's Arlington National Cemetery stands the Women in Military Service for American Memorial, "the only major national memorial in our nation's history to honor and pay tribute to all servicewomen of the United States Armed Forces — past, present and future." (photo credit)
Dedicated in 1997, the 4-acre monument, including glass tablets and a reflecting pool, lies at the cemetery's Ceremonial Entrance. Inside may be found a computer database about a quarter-million of the 2 million women who've served, as well as multimedia exhibits including photographs (like that at right of Margaret (Zane) Fleming, an Army nurse at a Korean War MASH unit), recordings, and items used by U.S. servicewomen throughout the centuries.

Black Women Teaching International Law (II)

I'm already making a start on new posts for the "Black Women Teaching International Law" list! The first highlights Anna Williams Shavers (photo, right), Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Chair, University of Nebraska College of Law--Lincoln. Her expertise and teaching focus on Immigration Law, International Gender Issues, and Refugee & Asylum Law.

On May 31

On this day in ...
...1975 (35 years ago today), the European Space Agency was established the day after plenipotentiaries meeting in Paris approved the ESA Convention, which formally entered into force 5-1/2 years later. The ESA's purpose is "to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications ..." It's also involved in monitoring of the global environment, including the Gulf of Mexico oil debacle, which IntLawGrrls have discussed in posts available here.

(Prior May 31 posts are here, here, and here.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Against aggression

(1 in a series of IntLawGrrls' Kampala Conference posts)

Serendipity led me this month finally to read Victors' Justice.
Over the years I'd often given it the Washington read -- the flip through the index to pinpoint selected passages -- and cited it accordingly (e.g., here and here). After all, this 1971 work by Amherst History Professor Richard H. Minear stands as a landmark critique of the post-World War II trial of Japanese leaders before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (above left).
The serendipity of my close read this month surfaced as early as page xi.
In the preface penned in May 1971 -- when controversy over the Vietnam War was seething -- Minear endorsed prosecution for "conventional war crimes" like those committed 3 years earlier at My Lai (additional post). Minear also supported holding "at least two American presidents and their civilian and military advisors" accountable for tactics deemed "of highly dubious legal character" by no less a figure than retired Brigadier General Telford Taylor (right), a former top U.S. Prosecutor before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and author of Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (1970). Yet Minear warned against any court going any further:

But when the issue is not conventional war crimes but aggression, when it is the whole course of American policy and indeed the history of Indochina and East and Southeast Asia, then I must demur.
Hence the serendipity.
Minear's demurrer brought immediately to mind the 2-week International Criminal Court Review Conference set to begin tomorrow in Kampala, Uganda. As detailed in the superb series that IntLawGrrl Beth Van Schaack launched last year, among the key action items that the ICC Assembly of State Parties will take up at Kampala are, 1st, whether to define the "crime of aggression" enumerated in Article 5 of the ICC Statute and, 2d, whether to make that definition operational, thus authorizing the ICC to punish individuals found guilty of the offense.
Supporters of international criminal justice have divided on these questions.
► Among the staunchest advocates of a "Yes" approach is another U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg, Benjamin B. Ferencz (below right), who wrote in a March 2010 letter published online:
[T]he lock which now exists preventing aggressors from being tried must be removed from the courthouse door. Failure to make 'the supreme international crime' punishable by the ICC would, in fact, be a repudiation of the Nuremberg Principles and the rule of law. It would be a step backward instead of forward.
► Among several experts who answer "No" is former South Africa Constitutional Court Justice Richard Goldstone (below left), who served as the 1st Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia. In an International Herald Tribune op-ed published last week (hat tip), Goldstone wrote:
Grappling with aggression now also threatens to open rifts among members of the Court. Despite years of complex negotiations, deep disagreements persist over key issues related to amending the statute on aggression, such as state consent and how cases would be initiated. Attempting to force a decision absent consensus would vitiate one of the strongest assets the Court has had — the solidarity of it members in the face of efforts to undermine the project.
In Victors' Justice -- self-avowed "political scholarship" (p. xiii) written decades ago -- Minear cited other considerations that counsel an ICC "No" vote this year.
► Minear doubted that any criminal tribunal could make a record sufficiently close to the truth about responsibility for starting a war, even as he allowed that for a court to "come closer to the truth" than the Tokyo Tribunal did in its 1948 judgment "would be child's play." (p. xi) (Skepticism about the assignment to international criminal tribunals of a truth-telling function has inspired my own scholarship; see, e.g., pp. 132-33 here.)
► Minear further contended that the pursuit of convictions for aggression -- not for atrocities committed during conflict, but rather for "the war itself" -- would have little utility beyond being "politically convenient and satisfying." (p. xi) He expanded on the political aspects of proceeding against persons who lost World War II:

The reverse of the coin of enemy criminality was the rightness of the course pursued by the Allies in the same years. The trials were designed not only to punish wrongdoers but also to justify the right side, our side.
(p. 13) The distance between those designs and the traditional goals of criminal justice reveals the condemnation implicit in Minear's contention.
What's more, the villainization of 1 side via an aggression prosecution could diminish a prosecutor's appetite to pursue perpetrators of atrocities on all sides. (Any such risk simply compounds the problems of randomness and selectivity, discussed here at pp. 116-17, that are endemic to international criminal justice.) Post-World War II examples of this risk may be found in -- to cite Taylor's 1992 memoir, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trial -- the Nuremberg indictment of Germans for atrocities at Katyn that in fact were committed by troops of an Allied country, as well as the absence of judicial scrutiny of Allied bombing efforts in Europe and Japan alike. (Minear too treated the latter; see pp. 99-102.) More recent are allegations that ad hoc tribunals have concentrated overmuch on crimes by members of disfavored groups, such as the Serbs and the Hutu, and not enough on the crimes of those groups' rivals.
► Minear detailed concerns like these throughout the couple-hundred pages of his book. His litany supported the policy conclusion that he articulated as early as p. xi:
The Tokyo trial is a bad precedent, bad enough, I suggest, to cast doubt on the Nuremberg precedent as well. The wiser course would be to return to the international law of the period before 1945, when atrocities were considered justiciable but the issue of aggression was not.
Minear's arguments retain force today, 39 years to the month after they were written. Still valid too are concerns underlying Minear's work: revulsion against the evils of warfare, coupled with distaste for the threat that the reality of politicization poses to the meaning of justice. It shows that one may be against aggression in a double sense; that is, against individual criminal prosecution of aggression even while remaining steadfastly against the commission, by individual, state, or nonstate entity, of aggression.
Thus does Minear's conclusion back then suggest a "wiser course" for the ICC right now:
Focus not on assessing the criminality-or-not of a given conflict, but rather on assuring the proper criminal punishment of persons responsible for the world's worst offenses.

(Cross-posted at ASIL Blog - International Criminal Court Review Conference)

On May 30

On this day in ...
... 1918, a daughter, Guadalupe, was born in Mexico City, the youngest of 7 children, to aristocrats of French, German, and Spanish heritage. Called audacious and rebellious for her acting and modeling exploits, the girl -- who as a poet came to be known as Pita Amor -- counted among her friends many of Mexico's artistic and intellectual elite, including Diego Rivera, who created the ca. 1950s portrait of Amor at left (credit), and an IntLawGrrls foremother, Gabriela Mistral. Amor's poetry is noted as 1st-person musings on metaphysics; among the poets who inspired her was another foremother, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Amor died in 2000, at age 81, in the city of her birth.

(Prior May 30 posts are here, here, and here.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Black Women Teaching International Law (U.S.)

Quick! Name the Black women who teach international, comparative, foreign relations, or immigration/asylum law at U.S. law schools!
A friend asked me this awhile back, but I realize now that it should be an impossible task. There should be far too many to name in a single blogpost.
It’s like asking someone to name the women in international law. We couldn’t possibly provide a comprehensive response to any such request, but IntLawGrrls includes many such voices here. See posts on
--women who are experts on international law;
--women who participated in recent meetings or the leadership of the American Society of International Law;
--or the many regular contributors and guest bloggers on (see list at right). Still, not enough women in international law.
The field has made some progress in the inclusion of African-American and other Black women since people like the late Professor Goler Teal Butcher, an IntLawGrrls foremother, opened new paths. (See, e.g., Henry J. Richardson, Tribute: African-Americans in International Law: for Professor Goler Teal Butcher, 37 Howard Law Journal 21 (1994) and Hope Lewis, ed., Blacks in U.S. Foreign Policy: A Retrospective (TransAfrica Forum, 1987).
Still, we “have promises to keep,/And miles to go before (we) sleep.”
I will likely inadvertently omit some obvious names, but one must begin somewhere...So, here’s a start. I hope that readers will add names in the comment section or contact me directly with updates so that there can be a “part II” (and, someday, an impossibly long list).
Special thanks to Dr. Jeremy Levitt, who organized a roundtable: “Toward an International Law of Black Women: New Theory, New Praxis” co-sponsored by ASIL and the Florida A & M University College of Law in March. Thanks as well to members of the Association of American Law Schools Minority Law Professors’ List-serv for their suggestions. Of course, this list does not include non-Global Law fields in which these scholars teach, so I've linked to their bio pages for the full story.
Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, (photo, right) Associate Professor of Law, William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas, Little Rock (International Human Rights Law, Reparations)
Michele Alexandre (photo, left), Associate Professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law (International Human Rights Law)
Rachel J. Anderson (photo, left), Associate Professor of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (International Law, International Human Rights, International Business Transactions), an IntLawGrrls guest/alumna.
Penelope E. Andrews (photo, below right), Professor of Law and incoming Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law (International Human Rights Law (including critical approaches to gender and race/intersectionality)) (Her IntLawGrrls guest posts are here.)
Angela M. Banks (photo, right), Assistant Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School (International Law, Immigration Law, Human Rights Law, Gender and Human Rights)
Taunya Lovell Banks (photo, left), Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence and Francis & Harriet Iglehart Research Professor of Law (Race, Subordination, and Citizenship)
IntLawGrrl Karen E. Bravo (photo right), Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis (International Law, International Business Transactions, International Trade Law, Illicit International Markets) (Her posts are here.)
Eleanor M. Brown (photo right), Associate Professor, George Washington University School of Law (U.S. Immigration and Global Development Policy)
Margaret A. Burnham (photo, below center), Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law (International Criminal Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, International Human Rights Law)

Danielle Conway (formerly Conway-Jones) (photo, left), Professor of Law, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii (International Intellectual Property Law, Comparative Intellectual Property)
Lisa A. Crooms (photo, left), Professor of Law, Howard University Law School (International Human Rights, Human Rights and Gender, Human Rights in the U.S.)
Marcella David (Photo, right), Professor of Law, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law, University of Iowa College of Law (Public International Law, U.S. Foreign Relations Law, International Organizations, Human Rights)
Marsha A. Echols (photo, right), Professor of Law, Howard University Law School (International Law, International Business Transactions, International Sales, International Economic Law)
IntLawGrrl Marjorie Florestal (photo, left), Associate Professor of Law, Pacific McGeorge School of Law (European Union Law, International Trade and Development) (See IntLawGrrls posts here.)
Erika R. George (photo, right), Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah (Internaitonal Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law)
Ruth Gordon (photo, right), Professor of Law, Villanova Law School (International Law, International Trade and Investment, International Environmental Law
Linda S. Greene (photo, left), Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Law (Sports Law (comparative and international), former member, U.S. Olympics Committee)
Tanya Kateri Hernandez (photo, right), Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law (Comparative Law (civil rights, race relations, and inheritance law), Latin American Studies, Latinos and the Law)
Lolita K. Buckner Inniss (photo, right), Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University (Comparative Racism & the Law--U.S./Canada, Immigration Law)
Sylvia Kang'ara (photo, right) , Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law (International Law, Comparative Private Law)
Deana E. Lewis (photo, left), Adjunct Professor of Law, Florida A & M University College of Law (International Law and the Human Rights of Women)
Hope Lewis (photo, left), Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law (International Law, International Human Rights and the Global Economy, Transnational Dimensions of Race, Gender, and Culture) (See my IntLawGrrls posts here.)
Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald (photo above, top), President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1997-1999) (has taught at several law schools, including St. Mary’s University, the University of Texas and Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law).
Gay J. McDougall (photo, left), Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Washington College of Law, American University (2006-2008), UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues (International Human Rights Law, Comparative Race Relations, U.S. Foreign Relations Law) (see IntLawGrrls posts here.)
Michelle McKinley (photo, right), Assistant Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law (Public International Law, Immigration Law, Refugee & Asylum Law)
Odeana R. Neal (photo, below center), Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law (Law and Human Rights)

Camille A. Nelson, Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School (Comparative Criminal Law, Transnational Law)
Leslye Obiora (photo, left), Professor of Law, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona (Public International Law, International Human Rights Law)
Catherine Powell (photo, right), Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School (on leave at U.S. Department of State) (International Law, Human Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law
Chantal Thomas (photo, left), Professor of Law, Cornell Law School (International Law and Developing Countries, International Trade Law, Globalization and the Law)
Adrien Katherine Wing (photo, right), Bessie Dutton Murray Professor, College of Law, University of Iowa (International Human Rights Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, U.S. Foreign Relations)
Jeanne M. Woods (photo, left), Henry F. Bonura Distinguished Professor, Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans (Public International Law, International Trade Law, International Human Rights Law) More than I thought, fewer than I hoped for, but what an inspiring enterprise researching this post has been!

Welcome to Valerie Oosterveld

It's our immense pleasure to announce that Valerie Oosterveld (left), a frequent contributor of guest posts, has joined us as a permanent IntLawGrrls voice! Valerie's an Assistant Professor and Director of the International Law Internship Program at the Faculty of Law of the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
Her 1st new post below previews the International Criminal Court conference beginning Monday, as well as a planned series by Our Women in Kampala.
Heartfelt welcome!

IntLawGrrls at ICC Review Conference

(1st in a series of IntLawGrrls' Kampala Conference posts)

The Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court will open in Kampala, Uganda, this Monday, May 31, and will run until June 11. This is the first Review Conference since the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998.
As detailed in the provisional work programme, the Review Conference will begin with a plenary, with statements by the current UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. The President of Uganda will also make a statement, as will the President of the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties, the President of the ICC and the ICC’s Prosecutor. These statements will be followed by country statements, including statements by many of the 111 States Parties.
On the evening of June 1, discussions on the subject of IntLawGrrls' year long series, the crime of aggression, begin. So do discussions on the Belgian proposal to amend the war crimes provision to prohibit the use during non-international armed conflict of certain weapons (poison or poisoned weapons; asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases; and bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body).
On June 2 and 3, there will be a series of stocktaking exercises, evaluating the ICC’s past, current and future impact on victims and affected communities, as well as peace and justice issues, and the application of the ICC’s complementarity and cooperation provisions.
The remainder of the Review Conference will be dedicated to discussions on the crime of aggression, the Belgian proposal, strengthening the enforcement of sentences, and the potential deletion of article 124 (a transitional provision permitting a State to make a declaration excluding the Court’s jurisdiction over war crimes for seven years).
In addition, civil society will hold a wide variety of side-events, taking place in the People’s Space. One that we are very excited about is the Women’s Court, to be held all day on June 1. It is being organized by the Hague-based nongovernmental organization Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. At this Court, women’s rights activists from Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan will speak. (image at right courtesy of the Women's Initiatives)
Approximately 2000 state representatives and representatives of nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations will be in attendance at the Review Conference, including a number of our very own IntLawGrrls. Beth Van Schaack will serve as an academic advisor on the U.S. delegation (her series posts here, here, and here), and yours truly will serve as an academic advisor on the Canadian delegation. A new guest, Pam Spees, and I will contribute a joint post (here) in honor of our recently departed friend and mentor, Rhonda Copelon, now an IntLawGrrls foremother. In addition to this and to my solo posts (here, here, here, here, and here), IntLawGrrls planning to post from Kampala include Susana SáCouto (here) and Kelly Askin. Another new guest, our colleague Leila Nadya Sadat, will contribute posts from Kampala (here and here). IntLawGrrls guests/alumnae will also contribute: Margaret deGuzman will post about the stocktaking complementarity discussion (here; additional post here), and Brigid Inder, Kate Orlovsky and Katrina Anderson will blog (here) about the Women’s Court and other Women’s Initiatives events. From elsewhere in our world, IntLawGrrl Diane Marie Amann will write "Against aggression" (here; additional posts here, here, here, here, here, and here), IntLawGrrl Kathleen A. Doty will discuss the ICC and Darfur (here), and IntLawGrrl Naomi Roht-Arriaza will examine a "positive complementarity" analogue in Guatemala (here). Guests/alumnae Pamela Yates will tell us about the work Skylight Pictures is doing in Kampala (here), and Carmen Márquez-Carrasco will provide a post (here) about the European Union and the ICC.
More soon from (and about) Kampala ...

Coming soon to the ICJ: Australia v. Japan over whaling

In a joint release, Australia's foreign and environmental ministers announced yesterday that early next week, "Australia will initiate legal action in the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Japanese 'scientific' whaling in the Southern Ocean."
The twin goals, they said, are:
► in the shorter term, "to bring to an end Japan's program of so-called 'scientific' whaling" (prior IntLawGrrls posts here and here), and
► in the longer term, "to do what it takes to end whaling globally."
The decision comes after the failure to date of diplomatic efforts, not only with Japan on a bilateral plane, but also, on a multistate level, with member states of the International Whaling Commission (logo above left). Yesterday's release was notably pointed in its criticism of some in the latter group:
Recent statements by whaling countries in the Commission have provided Australia
with little cause for hope that our serious commitment to conservation of the world's whales will be reflected in any potential IWC compromise agreement.
How will the decision affect bilateral relations? The Australians said:

Both Australia and Japan have agreed that, whatever our differences on whaling, this issue should not be allowed to jeopardise the strength and the growth of our bilateral relationship.
While a Japanese minister said upon hearing yesterday's announcement:

I do not wish to harm Japan-Australia relations over all, but I hope to assert that what’s wrong is wrong.

He did not mean to refer to his own country's practices.

On May 29

On this day in ...
... 1919, a group led by a former schoolmaster who'd fought in World War I invoked the self-determination provision in U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech, and declared the independent Republic of Prekmurje, the land (left) on which they lived, in southeastern Europe. (photo credit) Their effort was short-lived: within weeks the territory was "incorporated" into the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes created in the wake of the war. Later it was part of Yugoslavia. Today it's the eastermost tip of Slovenia.

(Prior May 29 posts are here, here, and here.)