Friday, August 31, 2012

Women in robes

In an article entitled "Women in Robes" appearing in the most recent issue of the Americas Quarterly, a policy journal, I present statistics on the number of women in the judiciary around the world and argue for gender parity to further equality, enhance courts' legitimacy, and strengthen the rule of law. (A popular Venezuelan blog has written about the article here.)
I am not the first to present such arguments. IntLawGrrls contributor Judge Patricia M. Wald, among others, has made the case that the contribution of women judges on international criminal tribunals was essential to prosecutions of rape as a crime against humanity. In a recent article in the Chicago Journal of International Law, IntLawGrrls contributor Nienke Grossman contended that sex representation is important for the legitimacy of international tribunals.  
In arguing for increased gender parity in courts, Wald and Grossman, among others, claim that women may reach different (and presumably better) decisions than men. Scores of empirical studies have attempted to determine whether the gender of a judge makes a difference to his or her decisions. Consider the findings of a 2010 American Journal of Political Science article, "Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging", by Professors Christina L. Boyd (SUNY Buffalo Department of Political Science), Lee Epstein (now at the University of Southern California School of Law), and Andrew Martin (Washington University School of Law).
These co-authors reviewed over 30 empirical studies that had been designed to determine whether the gender of a judge influences the decision he or she makes. Depending on the methods employed and proxies and data used, the studies reached divergent conclusions. About one-third showed that women judges come to different conclusions than male judges. About one-third had mixed results. And the final third found no sex-based differences whatsoever. 
In their own study on the topic, Boyd, Epstein, and Martin analyzed 13 areas of decisions handed down by U.S. appellate courts, courts in which judges hear and decide cases in panels of three. They found that in cases implicating sex discrimination in employment, the probability of a judge deciding in favor of the party alleging discrimination decreased by 10% when the judge was a male. Conversely, when a woman was on such a panel, the likelihood of a male judge ruling in favor of the plaintiff increased from 2% to 14%. 
In my own experience with working with judges, as the Faculty Director of Cornell Law’s Avon Global Center for Women & Justice, I have found that women judges can have broad impact in the courts over which they preside and countries in which they work. 

Write On! African international economic law

(Write On! is an occasional item about notable calls for papers)

Papers are welcomed by organizers of Trade Governance: Integrating Africa Into The World Economy Through International Economic Law, the 2d conference of the African International Economic Law Network, to be held March 7 and 8, 2013, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Topics that may be covered include:
► Trade in goods and agriculture
► Trade in services
► Foreign investment
► International finance and monetary policy
► Governance
► Competition law and policy
► Intellectual property rights and technology acquisition
► Infrastructure development and economic integration
► Dispute settlement
► Multilateral economic governance and African economic integration
Deadline for abstracts is September 7, 2012. Details here.

On August 31

On this day in ...
...1987 (25 years ago today), in Manila, the Philippines, editor-publisher Diane Yun-Peng Ying (left) received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts. The award ("known colloquially as the Asian Nobel Prizes") was given in recognition of Ying's establishment in 1981 of Tien Sia, or CommonWealth, a Taiwan-based periodical focused on business news. (It's one of several awards the magazine's won over the years.) Ying, who had emigrated from mainland China as a child, earned her bachelor's degree in Taiwan and a master's in journalism from the University of Iowa. She worked in Pennsvylania at the Philadelphia Inquirer before returning to Asia, where she worked for a number of publications before co-founding her own. In accepting her award, Ying posed a timeless question about journalism:
'Must we be nothing more than a commercial tool where news is regarded as a product for sale, a source of entertainment, and a journalist's ultimate goal is to seek personal gain, fame, money and power?
'Or can we, and should we, become a positive force in society, helping to build better understanding between the government and the people, to form consensus in a nation, and to foster hope among fellow human beings?'

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In passing: Chuck Siegal

Chuck Siegal
It's with great sadness that we mark the passing of Charles D. Siegal, a mainstay of the international law community – particularly on the West Coast, where he lived and worked, and where he was a founder of International Law Weekend-West, a biennial event about which we've frequented posted.
Chuck's leadership in ABILA, American Branch of the International Law Association that sponsors ILW-W, included service as Executive Committee member, Human Rights Committee member, and Honorary Vice President. He'd also served as a member of the American Society of International Law Executive Council.
For ABILA, he took part in preparation of amicus briefs in a number of U.S. Supreme Court cases, including Paraguay v. Gilmore, concerning the application of the Vienna Convention on the Consular Relations, and United States v. Alvarez-Machain, brought under the U.S.-Mexico Extradition Treaty.
As noted at the obituary posted by Munger, Tolles & Olson, the Los Angeles-based law firm where he was a litigation partner, Chuck was particularly known for his advocacy of the rights of disabled persons. He was a past President of the Disabilities Rights Legal Center, and an author of the West casebook Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy. Just a few months ago he spoke in Vienna, Austria, at the International Conference on Good Policies for Persons with Disabilities, a meeting aimed at promoting full accessibility.
Chuck, who died this past Sunday, was 66. We will miss him.

Go On! ICRC teaching IHL workshop at Emory Law

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest)

I'm delighted to announce a terrific event this fall at Emory Law School for all of you who teach or are interested in international humanitarian law.
On November 2-3, 2012, the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross will convene the next Teaching International Humanitarian Law Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Workshop is targeted at law professors in the United States and Canada who are interested in: teaching a course in IHL (otherwise known as the Law of Armed Conflict) for the first time; integrating IHL modules into their current courses; and/or rethinking their current teaching of this important subject.
Topics covered will include:
► Defining the scope and content of an IHL class;
► Exploring the intersection between international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law;
► Incorporating IHL modules into the teaching of classes such as public international law, national security law, immigration law, constitutional law, administrative law and more;
► Identifying strategies for developing curricula, responding to current events, and gaining support from school administrations for the teaching of IHL.
The Workshop provides an opportunity for law faculty to think creatively about their teaching of IHL and to network with others to support and expand their teaching of these topics.
The cost of the two-day seminar is $250 per person and includes breakfast and lunch for both days, dinner Friday night, as well as all materials.  Information about the Workshop and registration is available here, or contact me, Laurie Blank, Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic, at lblank@emory.edu.
Hope to see you there!

On August 30

On this day in ...
Nancy Wake
... 1912 (100 years ago today), Nancy Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand. She, her parents, and her five siblings moved to Sydney, Australia; soon after, their journalist father left them. Wake herself left home as a teenager, eventually traveling to New York and London and settling in Paris, where she was a free-lance writer said to be fond of the French city's nightlife. By the time Nazi Germany occupied France, she was living in Marseilles, the wife of a wealthy French industrialist who would be executed on account of the couple's work for the Resistance. Wake herself went to England and joined the Special Operations Executive, a British spy agency about which we've frequently posted here, here, and here. Parachuted with into France in 1944, Wake worked behind the enemy lines as a spy. The Germans nicknamed her la Souris blanche because she could not be captured. After the war her efforts were recognized with Britain's George Medal, the U.S. Medal of Freedom, and the French Legion d’Honneur. Wake, who published her memoirs, The White Mouse, in 1997, died in London a year ago this month.

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

6th Chautauqua Declaration










Adopted August 28, 2011, at the 6th Annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs: 

In the spirit of humanity and peace the assembled current and former international prosecutors and their representatives here at the Chautauqua Institution...

Recognizing the continuing need for justice and the rule of law as the foundation to international peace and security, and cognizant of the legacy of all those who preceded us at Nuremberg and elsewhere:
Welcome the establishment of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals by the UN Security Council and the commencement of its operations on 4 July 2012;
Note, while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the issuance of the first guilty verdict in the trial against Thomas Lubanga, the first trial of the International Criminal Court, as well as the first decision on sentencing and reparations for victims;
Note, while celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the obtaining of a guilty verdict against Charles Taylor, the first former head of state indicated whilst in office, and recognizing that this is the first such verdict since Nuremberg;
Note the decision by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to try the indicted individuals in absentia;
Note the commencement of the trial against the senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia;
Note the commencement of the trial against General Ratko Mladic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, one year after his arrest;
Note the judicial achievements of the courts and tribunals in the last year, in particular regarding the completion of the trial phase of the mandates of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the conclusion of the Prosecution case presentations, and the arrest and surrender of suspects;
Note the increasing importance of the role of international criminal justice in preventing future crimes and ensuring peace and security;
Further note with continued concern the outstanding arrest warrants issued by international courts and tribunals, requiring the cooperation of all states and the international community as a whole for their enforcement;
Now do solemnly declare and call upon the international community to keep the spirit of the Nuremberg Principles alive by:
Cooperating with efforts to locate, arrest, and hand over to the various international courts and tribunals those individuals who have been indicted for crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the international courts and tribunals, wherever found;
Ending impunity for the gravest of crimes by refusing to include or accept amnesty or immunity clauses for such crimes in peace agreements, and calling on mediators and peace negotiators to integrate the international criminal justice dimension in their activities;
Ensuring adequate resourcing of all courts and tribunals, despite the difficult world economic situation, to enable them to fulfill their mandates effectively, including the ability to meet their obligation to protect witnesses;
Recognizing and supporting the independence of Prosecutors of international criminal courts as essential to the exercise of their mandates and the furtherance of international criminal justice;
Providing strong and consistent diplomatic and public support for the work of the courts and tribunals;
Emphasizing the need to ensure effective complementarity between national jurisdictions and international courts and tribunals by ensuring that national laws encompass international crimes;
Ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of all crimes and recognizing the victims, in particular women and children.

Signed in Mutual Witness:

Fatou Bensouda
International Criminal Court

Serge Brammertz
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

H.W. William Caming
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg

[William Smith for] Andrew T. Cayley
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

David M. Crane
Special Court for Sierra Leone

Sir Desmond de Silva, QC
Special Court for Sierra Leone

[Ekkehard Withopf for] Norman Farrell
Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Brenda J. Hollis
Special Court for Sierra Leone

Hassan B. Jallow
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

Look On! Judgment at Nuremberg

(Look On! takes occasional note of noteworthy productions)

Stanley Kramer (who also made Inherit the Wind (1960), the subject of an earlier post) assembled an all-star cast for the 1961 movie Judgment at Nuremberg. Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, William Shatner, and Montgomery Clift are just some of the actors in this movie about the American prosecution of members of the judiciary in Nazi Germany.
(credit)
A lot of academic writing on law and film, and more specifically on international law and film, has focused on this movie:
Anthony Chase talks about the film in detail in the 'international law' section of his book Movies on Trial: The Legal System on the Silver Screen (2002).
► Amherst Professor Lawrence Douglas also refers to it in his 2006 article, "The Didactic Trial: Filtering History and Memory into the Courtroom". Douglas makes the point that many people (at least in the United States) erroneously believe that this movie was about the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, when in fact, the Justice Trial took place three years after, as one of several trials before American tribunals at Nuremberg. (Last year, Kevin Jon Heller of Melbourne Law School published a definitive account of the latter group of trials, in his book The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law.)
The film fictionalises and focuses on those trials, in particular the examination in postwar Nuremberg of the 'Katzenberger trial' that had taken place during the Nazi regime. Judgment thus looks at the responsibility of the judges for the case in which an elderly Jewish man was sentenced to death under Nazi Germany's Nuremberg laws for his relationship with an Aryan German woman. (There are also echoes of this case in the musical Cabaret, made into a movie in 1972, as a romance blossoms between Fraulein Schneider and her suitor, Herr Schultz, a Jewish man.)
The movie is a marathon at 186 minutes long. But it's worth every minute. A classic Hollywood movie that was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 2, it is definitely one of the most famous law and international criminal justice movies out there.

(Cross-posted at Human Rights Film Diary blog)

On August 29

(credit)
On this day in ...
... 1833, Parliament passed An Act to regulate the Labor of Children and Young Persons in the Mills and Factories of the United Kingdom. Also known as the Factory Act, it was "[t]he first significant legislation passed anywhere in the world to attempt to deal with the appalling conditions faced by workers laboring in factories." Its principal concern was labor by children; the statute, excerpted here, limited to 48 the hours that children could work in mills or factories in a given week, and it further guaranteed them 2 full and 8 half-day holidays a year.

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Go On! London investment forum on regional pacts

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest)

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law will host the Nineteenth Investment Treaty Forum Public Conference on Friday, September 14, 2012, at London House, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury, London. 
This year's theme is The Regionalization of Investment Treaty Arrangements: Developments and Implications 
States are increasingly framing their international investment treaties within multilateral, regional arrangements. The purpose of the conference is to explore the nature of these arrangements, examine the motivations behind their development, and inquire about their implications for the field of international investment law generally. More broadly, the conference will ask whether regionalization portends a move towards greater global harmonization or whether it suggests a new balkanization of the investment treaty regime. Among the regional arrangements to be examined at this conference are: 
2012 China-Japan-Korea Trilateral Investment Treaty (previous post)
2009 ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement 
2009 ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement 
2007 Investment Agreement for the COMESA Common Investment Area 
2006 Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America Peoples' Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) 
2004 Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) 
Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (previous post)
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) negotiations (previous post)
The keynote speaker will be Hi-Taek Shin of Seoul National University, Korea. Participants will include scholars and practitioners from around the world. 
Details and registration are here

On August 28

On this day in ...
... 1867 (145 years ago today), a Navy captain "formally took possession," on behalf of the United States, of a 2.4-square-mile coral atoll comprising several islands in the North Pacific, a third of the distance from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Tokyo, Japan. "The atoll became the first Pacific islands annexed by the U.S. government, as the Unincorporated Territory of Midway Island, and administered by the United States Navy. Though considered part of the Hawaiian archipelago, it is a separate territory and not part of the State of Hawaii. It is, however, part of a U.S. wildlife preserve known as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. (credit for photo by Suzanne Canja of so-called gooney birds; Midway is home to the world's largest population of these Laysan Albatross) Midway's bounty and history are described here.

(Prior August 28 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Newcomer to prosecutors' walk of fame

JAMESTOWN, New York –  The name of Fatou Bensouda is now part of a prosecutors' walk of fame.
As depicted in the photo above, Bensouda, who was sworn in as chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court this past June, yesterday placed a brick bearing her name in the pathway leading to the steps of the Robert H. Jackson Center here.
Thus opened the 6th annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, which runs through tomorrow and live webcasts of which are available here.
A brick also was placed in the name of another prosecutor whose mandate began earlier this year, Norman Farrell of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; as Farrell could not attend, IHL Dialogs organizer David Crane did the honor.
Bensouda and Farrell thus joined a host of esteemed prosecutors, including officers of all the post-Cold War tribunals, as well as some persons who prosecuted at Nuremberg.Two of them also are depicted above: next to Bensouda is James Johnson, formerly the Deputy Prosecutor at the Sierra Leone court and now the head of the Jackson Center; behind her is H.W. William Caming, lead prosecutor in the Ministries Case litigated in the subsequent Nuremberg trials.
The location for this walk of fame is apt, for Jackson, as blogreaders well know, took leave from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1945 to serve for a year as Chief U.S. Prosecutor before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
Following the ceremony, attendees were treated to a discussion of the Charles Taylor case, conducted by the four persons who led the investigation and prosecution of that case when they were, in turn, Prosecutor of the Sierra Leone court: Crane, Sir Desmond de Silva, Stephen Rapp, and Brenda Hollis. Keep watch at the Jackson Center website for the video of this event; it was fascinating, and will make a great teaching tool.

Welcoming Stephanie Ortoleva

It's IntLawGrrls' great pleasure to welcome Stephanie Ortoleva (right) as an IntLawGrrls contributor.
Stephanie, about whom we've previously posted, is the Founder and President of WomenEnabled, a D.C.-based organization that advocates for women's rights, with focus on women disabilities. She's an international human rights lawyer and consultant on issues such as disability rights, women's rights, rule of law, and human rights education. Among her many activities, Stephanie is Co-Leader of the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development’s Community of Practice for Persons with Disabilities, and she has written scholarly publications on these issues.
After earning her law degree with outstanding honors from Hofstra University School of Law in New York,she served as an Attorney and Disability Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, where she participated in the negotiations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other aspects of multilateral diplomacy.
With IntLawGrrl Hope Lewis, Professor at Northeastern University School of Law, Stephanie co-founded the American Society of International Law International Disability Rights Interest Group.
Today Hope and Stephanie contribute the co-authored post below, which describes their just-published report on violence against women with disabilities.
Heartfelt welcome!

Read On! Violence Against Women with Disabilities

(Our thanks to IntLawGrrls for the opportunity to contribute this post)

As members of  a Working Group on Violence against Women with Disabilities, the two of us, Hope Lewis and Stephanie Ortoleva, are pleased to announce the release this month of a report entitled Forgotten Sisters: a Report on Violence Against Women with Disabilities—an Overview on its Nature, Scope, Causes, and Consequences. An abstract and the report are now available for download on SSRN here, and the 228-page report is also available here via the website of WomenEnabled, the education and advocacy project that Stephanie founded. In this post, we summarize some of the points explored in our report.

A Global Issue
IntLawGrrls readers know that the problem of violence against women is global (on violence against women with disabilities, see paragraph232(p) of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, available here, and paragraph 69(j) of the “Beijing + 5” document on "Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action," summarized here.
Violence against women is pervasive; it shows no respect for class, disability, race, ethnicity, or religion.
There are more than 1 billion persons with disabilities worldwide. Many of them are women or girls, according to recent World Bank and World Health Organization reports linked here. Gender-based violence is an international and transnational issue. In response to increasing activism, advocacy, legislation, and judicial recognition, the international community and UN mechanisms should take additional note as well.
According to our report:
'The Working Group recognizes the need to ensure that women and girls with disabilities are included as full participants in data-gathering, analysis, and proposed solutions as the mandates of Ms. Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, and Mr. Shuaib Chalklen, the Special Rapporteur on Disability, move forward. Additionally, the Working Group calls on international organizations, especially those focused on women’s rights such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women (which will consider as its priority thematic issue violence against women at its 57th session in March 2013) and UN Women, and the international community, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to join us in the effort to highlight these critical issues.
'Because women with disabilities make up a significant part of the world’s population, principles of fairness and equality require that the world engage in a vigorous discussion on how to end violence against them.'
Violence against women and girls with disabilities takes many forms. Women with disabilities experience violence in armed conflict situations, violence in the home from partners, other family members or caregivers, as well as inadequate or non-existent access to justice when they report such violations. They may be denied treatment for physical harms or literally and figuratively shut out from domestic violence shelters, police stations, courthouses, or doctors’ offices. The violence and isolation they experience may be exacerbated by poverty, employment or housing discrimination and social exclusion.

An Intersectionality Approach to Women with Disabilities
Although violence against women with disabilities occurs among every class, racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural category, such social and class distinctions make a difference when analyzing specific responses to violence as well as its nature, causes, and consequences in context.
Our report argues that effective responses will require multilayered local as well as global approaches:

On August 27

On this day in ...
... 1979, Judge Anna Moscowitz Kross died at a hospital in the Bronx, 88 years after her birth in Neshves, Russia, and 80 after she and her family immigrated to the United States. She won a scholarship to study law at New York University, and after being admitted to the bar she built up a law practice and was active in women's suffrage and other causes. Kross had an illustrious career in law. Serving as the 1st woman New York City Commissioner of Correction, she was "responsible for wiping out many of the dungeon-like features of the prison system," according to her New York Times obituary. (credit for 1958 photo of Kross, at right, listening as Eleanor Roosevelt talks to inmates at Women's House of Detention in New York) Kross had also been the city's 1st woman assistant corporation counsel and among the 1st women to serve as a city magistrate, holding the latter job for 20 years.
This 'Grrl recently heard about Kross and her feminist colleagues in a fascinating presentation by Mae C. Quinn (left), Professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and the author of numerous articles that build on her examination of Kross' papers. (prior post) The most recent is "Feminist Legal Realism," published this year in the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender.

(Prior August 27 posts  are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

As prosecutors gather, thought on ICC & Arab world

The 6th International Humanitarian Law Dialogs, the annual gathering of international prosecutors and others that IntLawGrrls is proud to cosponsor,  kicks off today at the Chautaqua Institution in upstate New York.  A screening of IntLawGrrl Pamela Yates' Granito is the 1st event; rich dialogs with a host of prosecutors begins tomorrow, as detailed in the IHL Dialogs program.
Happy to announce that even if you can't make it to lovely Lake Chautauqua, you can watch many events tomorrow and Tuesday live via webcast here.
This year's theme is "Hybrid International Courts: A Tenth Anniversary Retrospective on the Special
Court for Sierra Leone." Nevertheless, many other issues swirling about the field of international criminal justice are sure to be discussed – among them, ongoing violence in Syria and repeated calls for an calls for an International Criminal Court-Syria referral, most recently from French President  François Hollande, just 2 days ago.
It's in that context that this passage jumped out:
'While the Arab countries are going through internal political and social upheavals and, in some cases, brutal armed conflicts, it is to be hoped that the ICC will reconsider its policy and put in place a clear strategy in relation to national judicial capacity building, an undertaking which is not currently a component of its work. This strategy should also contain an element that would lead the court to be perceived as a deterrent to stop the waves of bloodshed that have occurred so far in certain countries.
'The new emerging regimes and all others in the Arab countries witnessing political changes should consider ratifying the Rome Statute and building professional relationships between their representatives and the staff of the court. As we all know, international justice is costly. Through their contribution to the court’s budget and their use of the ICC national judicial capacity building project, Arab governments would be able to assist in the development of their own independent judicial capacities.'
So wrote Mohamed A. Lejmi, Senior Diplomatic Advisor for the Office of the Prosecutor at the Hague-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in an August 17 Tunisia Live op-ed entitled "A New Generation of International Prosecutors Brings New Challenges."
Lejmi began by making the important point that post-Cold War international criminal justice has matured to the extent that the Prosecutor of nearly every tribunal is now a person with significant international as well as national criminal justice experience – as he puts it, a person who has
'learned to function effectively within the blended common law/civil law regime that is characteristic of the international criminal justice system.'
(As detailed in the IHL Dialogs program, among the "new generation" of chief prosecutors named in Lejmi's op-ed and scheduled to take part in this week's IHL Dialogs are: Fatou Bensouda of the ICC, Serge Brammertz of the ICTY, and Brenda J. Hollis of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. They'll be joined by 2 others in this "generation," Robert Petit, formerly of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and now at the Canadian Department of Justice, and Stephen Rapp, formerly of the Sierra Leone special court and now U.S. Ambassador for Global Justice, along with many other practitioners and academics. IntLawGrrls' own Leila Nadya Sadat will deliver the 2d Annual Katherine B. Fite Lecture.)
Lejmi's op-ed views this transformation in prosecutorial staffing, coupled with ongoing political change in the Arab world, as an opening for an effort to re-engage that region.

On August 26

On this day in ...
... 1962 (50 years ago today), the BBC reported: "Abortion mother returns home." Thus began a story about "Miss Sherri," the host of the Phoenix edition of the then-popular children's TV show, Romper Room. She was Sherri Chessen Finkbine, 30, who "decided to terminate her fifth pregnancy after discovering that tranquilizers she had taken in the first few weeks of her pregnancy contained the drug Thalidomide," a demonstrated cause of birth defects. Finkbine's decision, The New York Times recalled in a 1992 article, "sparked such intense public condemnation that the Federal Bureau of Investigation stationed agents at her home." The highest court ruled against her in her home state of Arizona, where the law forbade abortion for any reason other than saving the mother's life. (It would be another decade before criminal abortion statutes were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (1973).) She and her husband, a high school teacher, thus flew to Sweden, where, after mental health testing, she obtained a legal abortion (the fetus was determined to have just one arm and no legs). (credit for image from Connecticut newspaper depicting the couple in Sweden, amid news of Soviet bomb tests and Marilyn Monroe's death) They began their return trip on this day a half-century ago. Subsequently, according to the BBC, the couple's other 4 children were harassed, and both of them were removed from their jobs. After having another 2 children, they eventually divorced.

(Prior August 26 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Look On! Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Killing Fields

(Look On! takes occasional note of noteworthy productions)

The Killing Fields (1984) is set in Year Zero of Pol Pot's genocidal cleansing campaign in Cambodia.
The movie tells the story of an American reporter for The New York Times, Sydney Schanberg (played by Sam Waterson), who travels to Cambodia in the early 1970s to report on the effects of the Vietnam War and US military action in the country. In the capital city of Phnom Penh, Sydney is helped by his translator, the Cambodian journalist, Dith Pran (played by Haing S. Ngor). The journalists realise too late that Cambodia is on the brink of a 'bloodbath'. In the end, Pol Pot's regime would kill 1.5 to 2 million people; as detailed in IntLawGrrls' Khmer Rouge accountability series, efforts to bring surviving leaders of that regime continue to this day.
(credit)
The first half of the movie (at 141 minutes' running time, it is long) centres on the build-up to the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in the capital and the evacuation of civilians. During this time, Sydney ensures that Pran's family are flown to safety by the US military, but convinces Pran to stay. Pran, however, is not allowed to remain with the foreign journalists and is consequently captured by the Khmer Rouge.
The second half the movie revolves around Pran's resolve to escape from a Khmer Rouge labour camp. After Pran escapes, he literally stumbles upon the killing fields of Cambodia. Surrounded by the skeletons and dead bodies, Pran continues on his journey in an attempt to flee the atrocity and find his family. Through Pran's experience, we witness the 'reeducation' of the Cambodian people – much like that which had taken place a decade earlier in the Cultural Revolution in China. (IntLawGrrls posts on the latter here, here, here, and here.)
Notably, the film depicts child soldiers, used as lookouts and killers. We see the children's indoctrination in classes where they are taught that children are separate from their parents and that their only loyalty is to the party.
Directed by Roland Joffé, the British film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, and Cinematography. It won three – the last two, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Haing S. Ngor. The actor Ngor was, in fact, a doctor who had been held in labour camps for four years in parallel time to his character. This role was his first.
Killing Fields is an informative film on the run-up to the Cambodian genocide. The movie clearly highlights US involvement in the region; in particular, the role of then-President Richard M. Nixon in bombing Cambodia and so causing civilian casualties.

(Cross-posted at Human Rights Film Diary blog)

On August 25

On this day in ...
Republic of China flag 1912-28
... 1912 (100 years ago today), the 1st-ever meeting of the Kuomintang, China's Nationalist Party, was held in Beijing. Selected as the party's chairman was Sun Yat-sen, leader of the revolution of the year before and soon to become the husband of Soong Ching Ling, the subject of a recent IntLawGrrls post. Sun's party would govern the Republic of China on the mainland even after his death in 1925 – to be precise, till 1949 when, in advance of Communist victory, the Nationalists fled to the island of Formosa. Today the Kuomintang is the ruling political party in Taiwan, as that island is now known.

(Prior August 25 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Welcoming Kellie Toole

It's our great pleasure to welcome Kellie Toole (left) as an IntLawGrrls contributor.
An Associate Lecturer at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, Kellie teaches criminal law and procedure, as well as the law of evidence.
She is admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of South Australia and the High Court of Australia. She practiced criminal law defence law with disadvantaged clients through Australia's legal aid system before joining the faculty at Adelaide Law in 2011. She has a special interest in the death penalty; in 2006, she was an intern at GRACE, the Gulf Region Advocacy Center in Houston, Texas, where she assisted with the representation of poor Americans facing capital punishment.
Kellie's research interests lie at the intersection of human rights law and criminal law. She has written on the topics of marital rape and defenses to homicide, with particular regard to women who kill abusive partners. In her introductory post below, Kellie draws upon this research to discuss a current Australian case that prompted judges to consider the reach of the abolition of marital rape immunity.
Kellie dedicates her post to Dame Roma Mitchell (1913-2000), a former Justice of the South Australian Supreme Court. Kellie writes:
Roma Mitchell
'Dame Roma Mitchell was a prominent South Australian legal professional. Among numerous pioneering achievements, she was the first woman to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in Australia, the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of any Australian state, the founding Chair of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the first woman Governor of an Australian state, and the first female chancellor of an Australian university.
'Roma was raised by a single mother, as her father was killed in World War I when she was 4 years old. The struggle to raise her daughters on a war widow’s pension motivated Roma’s mother to her ensure her daughters received a quality education. These early experiences showed Roma the power of education and provided the foundation for a life-long passion for social justice issues. This passion was fuelled by the poverty she saw as a University student during the Great Depression, and the disadvantage she witnessed through her work as a matrimonial lawyer.
'She led campaigns to allow women to serve as jurors, for equal pay for women, and for flexibility to allow female lawyers to return to the profession after having children. In the 1970s, she convened the Criminal Law and Penal Methods Reform Committee of South Australia, which recommended progressive changes to the law regarding the death penalty, sentencing and prison reform, and Aboriginal welfare. On a personal level she was much loved for her sense of humour, warm and down-to-earth manner, genuine interest in people, and sociability and quick wit.'
Today Mitchell joins other inspiring women on IntLawGrrls' foremothers' page.
Heartfelt welcome!

In Australia, reconsidering ‘marital rape immunity’

(My thanks to IntLawGrrls for the opportunity to contribute this introductory post, which builds on my research)

When the colony of Australia was first settled, it received the English law common law, which became the Australian common law. This law included the 18th century proposition that a ‘marital rape immunity’ prevented a man from being convicted of the rape of his wife, because she was presumed to have given general consent to sexual intercourse with him upon marriage. This proposition of ‘marital rape immunity’ may be traced to Sir Matthew Hale's The History of the Pleas of the Crown.
Hale's proposition was relatively uncontroversial throughout the Commonwealth for several centuries, although several English judges did express some reservations about it over the years; for instance, in R v Clarence (1889) 22 QBD 23.
 In 1976,  by means of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act Amendment Act 1976, South Australia became the first jurisdiction in the common law world to abolish the presumption that a wife gave such consent. This statutory amendment enabled the conviction of men for the rape of their wives, although, until 1992, the rape had to be accompanied by threats or violence for the offence to be prosecuted.
In 1991, in its judgment in R v L, the High Court of Australia made a declaration that the ‘marital rape immunity’ was no longer part of the common law of Australia. The combined judicial and Parliamentary decisions seemed to have resolved the law of rape in marriage in Australia, and, indeed, the matter was not raised in court for two decades.
However, in 2010, the state of South Australia sought to prosecute ‘Mr P’ for two rapes of his then wife in 1963 (R v P, GA (2010) 109 SASR 1).
Mr P’s case is controversial because the alleged rapes occurred before the immunity was abolished by either the South Australian Parliament or the High Court:
If the abolition of the marital rape immunity had only prospective effect, it stopped being available to a defendant from the time it was formally abolished. In this situation the abolition of the immunity would not apply to Mr P, and he might have a defence to the rape charges.
However, if the abolition also applies to actions that occurred before the changes in the law, then he faces conviction for rape. This latter possibility raises the principle against retrospective application of criminal laws, which holds that conduct should be judged by the law in place at the time it occurs, rather than years later by laws that have changed with social attitudes.
South Australian Supreme Court, Adelaide
Mr P argued before the Supreme Court of South Australia that prosecuting him for his actions in 1963 breached the fundamental human right, expressed in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, that no one should be found guilty of a crime for action that was legal when it occurred.
The prosecution argued that Mr P raped his wife and should not “escape the consequences because of outdated, outmoded and long-rejected views about the subservience of married women”. It argued that, at least, the 1991 declaration by the High Court, and possibly the statutory abolition by the South Australian Parliament, had retrospective effect, so that the immunity had no application in 1963.
The South Australian Supreme Court was persuaded by the prosecution.

On August 24

On this day in ...
... 1821, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O'Donojú signs the Treaty of Córdoba, the terms of which ceded Spanish control of its North American colony, Mexico. (image credit) This ended the 11-year Mexican War of Independence, which had begun when "Napoleon's occupation of Spain led to the outbreak of revolts all across Spanish America." After a brief dalliance with monarchy, Mexico, which then spanned not only the Mexico of today, but much of the south/west quadrant of what's now the United States, would become a republic by 1823. Meanwhile, back in Madrid, "King Fernando VII did not recognize the Treaty of Córdoba, and Spain withheld official recognition of its former colony until 1836. In fact, the last remaining Spanish troops, in San Juan de Ulua, did not surrender until four years later, and there was an attempt to reconquer Mexico in 1829."

(Prior August 24 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inspiring SportsGrrl Mo Isom

Mo Isom (photo from her Facebook page with her permission)
Mo Isam (full name, Mary Morlan Isom), a former star member of the Louisiana State University (my alma mater) women's soccer team, is defying naysayers and trying out for a walk-on kicker position on the championship LSU football team. If Isom makes the team, she will be the second female kicker, after Kate Hnida of the University of New Mexico, to play NCAA Division 1 football. LSU football coach Les Miles says Isom is a "good athlete and very strong applicant." If LSU welcomes her onto the team, Louisiana will have made another great stride away from its ugly history of discrimination. It might just surprise itself and the rest of the country, as it did by electing Bobby Jindal as the first Indian-American governor in the United States despite Louisiana's reputation as a place where, as the New York Times put it, "race is inseparable from politics."
This is Isom's second attempt to join the team. She's been invited to retry after missing the cut in March. Her efforts have garnered a wave of national attention, both positive and negative. Despite her sterling athletic career and LSU football coaches and athletes' public acknowledgment of her talent and support of her candidacy, critics question whether she truly wants to be a contributor to the team. They accuse her of pulling a publicity stunt. Others object outright to the presence of a woman on the team, either insisting that football is a man's sport or, patronizingly, fearing for her safety. (At 6 feet 1 and nearly 200 pounds, Isom would not be the smallest kicker in NCAA football. Also, she wouldn't even be involved in full contact situations.) Isom has also had to respond to claims that her presence would be a distraction from and to the team. Serious media outlets report that she "dresses modestly during practice, always in an oversized T-shirt and shorts and often with her hair pinned up," and that "[f]rom a distance, her size allows her to blend in easily with the rest of the players." Isom has had to reassure inquiring reporters that the team will never have to endure a workout alongside her "in short shorts or a sports bra."
(credit) 
Undeterred by all the denigrating questioning and criticism, Isom has spent the months since her first tryout intensively honing her skills. While it remains to be seen whether she'll make the cut this time, her training has certainly made her a fierce contender. The Times Picayune reports that in practice last week she kicked a 53 yard field goal, 9 yards farther than the career record of LSU starting kicker Drew Alleman. While recognizing that it would be "naïve . . . not to realize the odds are stacked against" her, Isom refuses to be bullied by sexism. Her words to live by:
“The only thing more dangerous than allowing others to put limitations on what you can achieve is allowing yourself to believe them.” 

Write On! Call for Papers on International Arbitration

(Write On! is an occasional item about notable calls for papers)

The Institute for Transnational Arbitration, a division of the Center for American and International Law, is calling for papers to be presented at its second annual Winter Forum, which will take place in Miami, Florida, on January 24-25, 2013. Possible paper topics include: 
► Emerging issues of substantive law in international commercial arbitration or international investment law;
► Consideration of procedural issues, including issues related to arbitrator selection and challenge, evidentiary considerations, preliminary measures, concurrent proceedings, and enforcement and review;
► The relationship between international commercial arbitration and investment law, as well as between these two pillars and other branches of law, such as intellectual property and environmental law;
► The recent jurisprudence of national courts related to international arbitration, either domestic or comparative, and the implications for basic concepts of jurisdiction, arbitrator competence and independence;
► Innovative research methodologies for the exploration and consideration of international arbitration and transnational dispute resolution;
Center for American & International Law (ITA HQ,  Dallas)
► The interactions among arbitrators, scholars, practitioners, government officials and civil society groups active in international arbitration; and
► The consideration of international arbitration’s commercial impact, including implications of cost, the net value of arbitration and the opportunities to build sustainable dispute resolution into international business and investment.
Works-in-progress from both scholars and practitioners, whether established or emerging, are invited. Proposals must be submitted by September 1, 2012.  Details here.

On August 23

Juliette Adam, 1896
On this day in ...
... 1936, just months shy of her 100th birthday, Juliette Adam died in Callian, a village in southeastern France. The daughter of a physician, she'd become a published writer by her early 20s; her feminist work, Idées antiproudhoniennes sur l'amour, la femme et le mariage, defended 2 women who published under male pseudonyms (and also were known for carrying on love affairs), Marie D'Agoult/Daniel Stern and Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin/Baroness Dudevant/George Sand. Adam's career also included: as a writer, novels, gossipy memoirs, and essays on geopolitics; as an editor-publisher, the "influential" Nouvelle Revue; as a hostess, a salon populated by members of the republican movement of the 1870s.

(Prior August 23 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brigid Inder named ICC Special Gender Advisor

Brigid Inder
Delighted to report that IntLawGrrls contributor Brigid Inder of New Zealand has been appointed the Special Gender Advisor at the International Criminal Court.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced Brigid's appointment in a notice posted yesterday at the ICC website. Brigid is the 1st person to be named as a Special Advisor since Bensouda became the new Prosecutor this past June.
The founding Executive Director of the Hague-based nongovernmental organization Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, Brigid has long worked international in international politics and advocacy for women’s rights at the United Nations and elsewhere. She's also the immediate past President of AWID, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, previously served as Director of Community Legal Centres in New South Wales, Australia, and led HIV/AIDS health promotion, services, and anti-discrimination program at Australia's largest HIV/AIDS Council.
Bensouda said in her statement:
'Further integrating a gender perspective into all areas of our work and strengthening recognition of the gendered nature of sexual violence is a priority for my office. Ms. Inder is a renowned expert on gender issues and brings to this post a deep knowledge of the cases, policies and the institutional history of the ICC.'
The notice further stated that Brigid's "immediate priority will be to further strengthen the institutional approach" of the ICC "to a range of gender issues and support office-wide strategic responses to gender-based crimes."
She will succeed Michigan Law Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, who was appointed in 2008 as the 1st person to hold the position. Bensouda's statement called MacKinnon "a dedicated and tireless defender of gender justice whose work has contributed to the Office’ progressive gender policies."
Brigid's expertise is evident in her numerous IntLawGrrls posts, on gender-based violence and the ICC trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba (here), on the 2010 ICC Review Conference in Kampala (here), and on the Women's Initiatives' annual Gender Report Card on the ICC (here and here).
Heartfelt congratulations!