Online Publication:Human Rights and Climate Change

This month, the Commonwealth Secretariat published a short discussion paper on climate change and human rights. It is available online for free, although registration is required.

Human Rights and Climate Change: An Approach that Puts People in the Forefront of the Debate. July 2009

From the introduction:

A human rights model shifts the paradigm from

one that identifies ‘victims’ (who are most often

perceived as passive) to one acknowledging affected

groups as active stakeholders and critical voices.

Indeed, a rights-based approach frames the terms of

engagement and lays the basis for claims to be made

by ensuring affected populations are given the space

to speak, be heard, take action and influence


Perilous state of free resources: HuriDocs & HuriSearch

The extremely useful HuriSearch human rights search engine has placed the following annoucement on their home page:

As of 1 July, the costs of providing the present HuriSearch on the FAST-Microsoft platform increased with about 500%. Unfortunately, HURIDOCS cannot cover these costs. We are looking for alternative ways to set up a human rights search engine which will also be accessible through this page. 

Hurisearch is maintained by the Human Rights Information and Documentation System (HURIDOCS).

HuriSearch allows one to search for human rights publications and Web sites by language, country and organization. As of this morning (July 15th) the site was still working. It would be a shame to lose this resource since subject searching of international law is always troublesome. 


Online Book Beyond Market Forces Regulating the Global Security Industry

The International Peace Institute has published a study on the regulation of private security firms and private militias.

Beyond Market Forces Regulating the Global Security Industry

James Cockayne with Emily Speers Mears, Iveta Cherneva, Alison Gurin, Sheila Oviedo, and Dylan Yaeger

Private military and security companies play an increasingly visible role in conflict and post-conflict situations. Properly regulated, they may offer efficient and responsive means for governments to deliver security in insecure environments. But well-publicized abuses suggest that an adequate regulatory framework is urgently needed.

Beyond Market Forces surveys the existing state of national, international, and corporate-level regulation of this industry, including more than forty Codes of Conduct. It provides thirty case studies looking at frameworks for implementing and enforcing industry standards in other global industries such as the extractive, textile and apparel, toy, toxic waste, financial, sporting, chemical, and even veterinary industries. And it draws lessons from these industries specifically for the global security industry, identifying five different types of implementation and enforcement framework that the industry could consider: a watchdog, an accreditation scheme, an arbitral tribunal, a harmonization scheme, and a ‘club’

Report on Climate Change and Migration

The UN University, Care International, and Columbia University have published the following report online:

In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement


Unless aggressive measures are taken to halt global warming, the consequences for human migration and displacement could reach a scope and scale that vastly exceed anything that has occurred before. Climate change is already contributing to migration and displacement. All major estimates project that the trend will rise to tens of millions of migrants in coming years. Within the next few decades, the consequences of climate change for human security efforts could be devastating. These are amongst the key findings of a new report entitled, “In Search of Shelter: Mapping the effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement”. The report was authored by UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), CARE International and Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). It was released to the media today during the Bonn Climate Change Talks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The exact number of people that will be on the move by mid-century is uncertain. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that there may be 200 million environmentally-induced migrants by 2050. “While human migration and displacement is usually the result of multiple factors, the influence of climate change in people’s decision to give up their livelihoods and leave their homes is growing” says Dr. Charles Ehrhart, CARE International’s Climate Change Coordinator and one of the report’s authors.

ICTY Manual on Developed Practices

The United Nations has published the “International Criminal Trinunal for the Former Yugoslavia Manual on Developed Practices.”  The manual is a synthesis of best practices for prosecuting individuals for human rights violations.  The text includes the following chapters: 



Arrest Warrants


Trial Managementl

Trial Judgement Drafting


Enforcement of Sentences

Referral of Cases to Domestic Jurisdictions

Judicial Support Services

Legal Aid and Defence Counsel Issues


ICTY Manual on Developed Practices

From the Introduction to the Manual:

As the ICTY proceedings draw to a close, it has become increasingly important to emphasize the shared responsibility of international and national jurisdictions in the prosecution and prevention of war crimes, and crimes against humanity and genocide. The close cooperation between international and domestic courts is essential to maintaining the radical departure from a culture of impunity and to fostering a culture of accountability. In this perspective, one should view the completion of the ICTY’s mandate as a strategy devised to allow the continuation by domestic actors of the activities that were initiated by the ICTY. The ICTY’s pioneering role and its unprecedented body of practice and case law will be its most significant achievement, and the continuation of its work through the local prosecution of war crimes by courts in the region its real legacy.

However, criminal proceedings for violations of IHL at the domestic level will only succeed if domestic institutions have sufficient resources and adequate capacity to handle complex criminal trials of this nature. The purpose of this Manual is to contribute to this process of capacity-building by sharing the ICTY experiences and established practices in the prosecution and adjudication of complex cases. Other international and mixed jurisdictions will also benefit from this work, so that the know-how developed by the ICTY may provide some guidance on the challenges of delivering justice.

The Swine Flu Outbreak and International Law

American Society of International Law has released an ASIL Insight on the Swine Flu, which includes a handy description of WHO pandemic phases.


The Swine Flu Outbreak and International Law

April 27, 2009

by David P. Fidler

David P. Fidler, an ASIL member, is the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law and Director of the Center on American and Global Security at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington

Publicist: online supplement to Berkeley Journal of International Law

Last week Erika wrote about the Legal Workshop consortium of law reviews. This month also saw the launch of “Publicist,” the online companion to the Berkeley Journal of International Law. Volume 1 is devoted to the UN Law of the Sea Convention. It will also feature shorter articles less encumbered with citations.

Publicist: Berkeley Journal of International Law

From  Brian R. Israel & Louise S. Gibbons, announcing the launch of “Publicist”:

It is our great pleasure to introduce Publicist, an online publication of the Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL). Publicist supplements BJIL’s print journal with comparatively shorter and more frequent essays written by leading practitioners and scholars of international law. “The teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations” are identified as a subsidiary source of international law in the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Publicist is designed to facilitate the rapid, global dissemination of teachings of these contemporary “publicists.”

Publicist welcomes submissions analyzing current topics in public and private international law. Essays should be brief (around 3000) and more-lightly-footnoted than a traditional law review article. The concise format facilitates the rapid publication of essays. We aim to edit and publish submissions within weeks of acceptance.  In order to do this, BJIL editors will not verify each citation as we do for our print journal; ultimate responsibility for accuracy rests with authors.


Göttingen Journal of International Law

The University of Göttingen in Germany has published a new open access journal titled: Göttingen Journal of International Law. Contents include articles, recent developments, and book  reviews. Contenst are in English. . Vielen Dank to our friends in Germany. Hat tip to Jacob Katz Cogan.

Göttingen Journal of International Law


Nice to see some public international law research available for free. The December 12, 2008 issue of the Times Literary Supplement puts law book price increases in historical perspective. John Hudson’s review of “Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession” includes the folowing on page 28: “In Bologna, around 1300 AD, James Brundage tells us, a new law book cost on average 35 Bolognese pounds, more than some houses.”

EJIL Talk! – new blog from the European Journal of International Law

Earlier this week, the European Journal of International Law started their own blog: EJIL Talk!.  Interesting to note inthe third paragraph of the blog description below how the editors hope the blog and the journal will interact. EJIL Talk! will be devoted to current issues and the journal will focus on theoretical arguments and articles that will have a long-term resonance. With talk in the title, perhaps they will also include audio clips in the near future.  

Hat tip to Jacob Katz Cogan’s International LawReporter Blog.

EJIL Talk!

Description of the blog:

EJIL already has a homepage, the autonomous website of the European Journal of International Law. Our website was a pioneer long before publishers such as our current publisher, OUP, moved into digital journal publishing, and it is distinct from all other mainline journals of which we are aware. Not only is a sizeable portion of current content made free to the reader, but all content becomes free one year after publication – the scholarly world’s Napster! I say all this to indicate that we are not parvenus to the notion of digital internet publishing

The decision to experiment with a blog – and an experiment it is – was decidedly not a bandwagon effect – they all have it, so should we. It is the result of serious reflection of the Editorial Board, with our Scientific Advisory Board, on the evolving relationship between traditional and digital forms of scholarship and publishing. In its first twenty years, EJIL from time to time made huge efforts to provide ‘services’ e.g.  the now defunct service on decisions of the ECJ on matters of International Law or our running commentary on decisions of the WTO Appellate Body of importance to public international lawyers. That, for the most part, has become a redundant and futile exercise rendered such by the power of ‘search engines’ and the ubiquity of primary sources on the internet. EJIL also tried to be ‘topical’ by, e.g., trying to hold symposia on recent decisions of the ICJ, or an ILC Report, or certain ‘incidents’ as soon as possible after the event. In the old days a time lag of six to nine months was considered very topical. That has become laughable – our production process, even at its best, is a tortoise to the internet hare.

And yet, there is, we think, an EJIL sensibility – with, say, its panache for the theoretical article, for aggressively bringing in younger scholars, for its intellectually diverse modes of analysis, realism mixed with doctrine, a strong appeal to, and interest in, history, to mention but a few. (To some Europeans, too Americanized; to some Americans, too European – we take comfort in that debate…). If our new blog EJIL:Talk! is successful, it will continue to reflect those EJIL sensibilities on the internet but enable us to effect a certain mutation in the identity of EJIL itself: We will give increasing preference to articles which deal with the fundamentals, with First Things, which look at an ‘Incident’ or ‘decision of a Tribunal’ with a view to exploring wide systemic meaning; in short, to articles which we predict will have lasting value – that will be interesting four or five or more years after publication. EJIL:Talk! and EJIL may thus complement each other. Note – we hope it does not provoke just short off the cuff academic gossipmentary, but short, incisive, even well-researched pieces which should simply be thought of as a different genre of writing, not unlike the difference between an article and a book.

Going Global: Developing an Electronic Foreign and International Law Collections

Building on George’s post from Monday, Mary Rumsey has written a useful guide to databases and Web sites devoted to public international law research.  Looking forward to Part II in the near future.

Going Global: Developing an Electronic Foreign and International Law Collection Part I

Mary Rumsey

Trends in Law Library Management and Technology

Vol.18  pp.30-33. (2008)

Article is available on HeinOnline.  Hat Tip to Mary and the HeinOnline Newsletter.