Briefings from eminent international law judges, plus meetings at Lebanon tribunal, conclude our 2018 Global Governance Summer School

From left, at the Peace Palace, Georgia Law’s Global Governance Summer School students Saif Ahmed, Mills Culver, Bryant Oliver, Maddie Neel, Frances Plunkett, Brooke Carrington, Hanna Karimipour, and Caroline Harvey

THE HAGUE – Briefings from two eminent international law judges anchored the conclusion of our 2018 Global Governance Summer School (prior posts).

This morning, students heard from Sir Christopher Greenwood, a Briton who serves as a member of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. Though a presentation accented by anecdotes, he explained the history of US-Iran relations that led to establishment of the tribunal in 1981, the work of the tribunal over the last several decades, and its pending cases.

The presentation by Judge Greenwood, who had served from 2009 until early this year on the International Court of Justice, followed presentations at the latter court yesterday afternoon.

Most notably, the Honorable Joan Donoghue of the United States, one of the ICJ’s 15 permanent judges, spoke yesterday with students, both about the melding of the common and civil law systems in the court’s procedures and about the challenges of judging in the international context.

Also at the ICJ, Julia Sherman, a Judicial Fellow who works with Judge Donoghue, provided a tour of the ICJ’s headquarters, the 105-year-old Peace Palace. Sherman led students through the life cycle of an ICJ case, and also gave overviews of some recently decided ICJ cases.

Our summer school had started yesterday at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, where representatives of the various court organs spoke to students. They included: Kirsten Calhoun, a Legal Officer in Chambers, who gave an overview of the tribunal’s history and mandate, as well as an introduction to the applicable law; Peter Koelling, Chief of the Registry’s Court Management Services Section; TJ Adhihetty, Trial Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor, who walked students through the prosecution’s case in Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al., focusing on call data records; and Marie-Pier Barbeau, Legal Officer in the Legal Advisory Section of the tribunal’s Defence Office, and Jason Antley, Associate Legal Officer representing the interests of defendant Salim Jamil Ayyash, who discussed the challenges of representing the named defendants in absentia.

The Global Governance Summer School having come to and end, some students began or continued Global Externships, while others traveled in Europe before returning to the United States.

Professor Amann publishes “Bemba and Beyond,” on accountability and command responsibility, at EJIL: Talk!

One week after the International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber acquitted a Congolese politician-warlord whom a Trial Chamber unanimously had convicted of rape, pillage, and other crimes, practitioners and scholars continue to debate the decision’s significance. Indeed, the case, Prosecutor v. Bemba, has been invoked in both the papers so far presented at the 2-day ICC Scholars Forum now under way at Leiden Law School’s Hague campus.

My own initial thoughts – concerned not about the decision’s fact-based details but rather to its refashioning of the legal doctrine of command responsibility – have been published at EJIL: Talk!, the blog of the European Journal of International Law. My post, entitled “In Bemba and Beyond,” discusses command responsibility as “a time-honored doctrine with roots in military justice and international humanitarian law.” Placing this appeals judgment in the context of other decisions, the post warns:

“Together, such rulings suggest a turn away from the goal of assigning responsibility at high levels, and toward a jurisprudence which acknowledges (with regret) the commission of crimes, yet holds no cognizable legal person responsible.”

Full post here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Professor Amann publishes AJIL essay on ICJ’s nuclear weapons rulings

Professor Diane Marie Amann‘s most recent publication appears in the latest print edition of the American Journal of International Law, in the section that analyzes recent judgments. Entitled “International Decisions: Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament,” it may be found at 111 AJIL 439 (2017).

The essay sets forth key aspects of 3 judgments (available here) that the International Court of Justice issued in October 2016 – as well as the response to those rulings by one party, the United Kingdom. It offers thoughts on potential future nuclear disarmament efforts. (It went to press before adoption of one such effort, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which at this writing has 3 states parties and 53 signatories, none of them nuclear weapons states.)

Here at the University of Georgia School of Law, Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and serves as Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Her article, which also forms part of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

“In a trio of decisions, the International Court of Justice rejected the applications in which the Republic of the Marshall Islands claimed that three large states known to possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, had breached their international obligations to undertake and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. This essay discusses those decisions, as well as the United Kingdom’s subsequent limitation of the circumstances under which it will accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction over such complaints. This development, coupled with the Court’s own narrowing of circumstances in which such an application will be accepted, make the likelihood of an eventual ruling on the nuclear disarmament issue quite remote.”

Hague briefings at ICC, Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal and ICJ launch 2017 Global Governance Summer School

At the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, front from left: Ana Morales Ramos, Legal Adviser; Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser; Kathleen A. Doty, Interim Director, Dean Rusk International Law Center; David Caron, Tribunal Member; and Georgia Law Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann. Back row, students Nicholas Duffey, Lyddy O’Brien, Brian Griffin, Wade Herring, Jennifer Cotton, Evans Horsley, Casey Callaghan, Kristopher Kolb, Nils Okeson, James Cox, and Ezra Thompson.

HAGUE – Briefings at key international law institutions here have highlighted the initial leg of the Global Governance Summer School led by the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center.

Our students’ journey began with a visit yesterday to the International Criminal Court Permanent Premises (left), a tile-and-ivy structure, located in dunelands not far from the North Sea, that opened just 18 months ago. Accompanying them were Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann and our Center’s Interim Director, Kathleen A. Doty, both of whom will lecture at the summer school next week.

Outlining the work of the Office of the Prosecutor were the Prosecutor’s Senior Legal Adviser, Shamila Batohi, and Legal Assistant, Annie O’Reilly (right), with whom Associate Dean Amann works in her capacity as the Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict. Topics included case selection and specific cases, complementarity and state cooperation, and the role of the prosecution in relation to other organs of the court.

Then Leiden Law Professor Dov Jacobs, a Legal Assistant in Defense at the ICC and member of the defense team for Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivoirian President now on trial before the court. Shifting from the theoretical to the practical and back again, he spoke about the nature and challenges of international criminal justice, particularly as it relates to the defense function before contemporary bodies like the ICC.

The journey continued today with a morning briefing at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, an international organization established by treaty 36 years ago as a means to settle disputes arising out of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It comprises 3 Americans, 3 Iranians, and three members from other countries. Offering a fascinating dialogue on the history and operations of the tribunal were Dr. David Caron, a U.S. member of the tribunaland an international law professor at Kings College London, and Dr. Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser at the tribunal.

(It was a treat to learn that one of Dr. Piran’s professors was the late Gabriel N. Wilner, who founded our European summer study abroad during his long tenure on the Georgia Law faculty. Holding the professorship named after Wilner is Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen, who will lecture in this summer school next week, along with Leuven Law Professor Jan Wouters and others.)

The afternoon brought us to the Hague’s Vredepalais (left), or Peace Palace, built in the early 1900s to house international institutions that would foster pacific, rather than warlike, settlements of disputes.

Leading discussion on one of those institutions, the International Court of Justice set up under the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, was Dr. Xavier-Baptiste Ruedin (right), Legal Adviser for Judge Joan E. Donoghue. Topics ranged from provisional measures, like those recently issued in a case involving India and Pakistan, to jurisdiction via advisory opinion (including one soon to arrive at the court, following yesterday’s U.N. General Assembly vote) or contentious case.

A question common to all 3 visits was the role of such institutions – and international law more generally – in the governance of global affairs. We’ll continue to seek answers next week, when our Global Governance Summer School moves to Belgium for classroom seminars and an experts conference with our partner institution, KU Leuven’s Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.