Reforming Laws on Sexual Violence: International Perspectives

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University College of Cork is hosting the third Annual Criminal Law Conference with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is the first event of Ireland’s chair of the Human Security Network 2008-2009.
The aims of this international conference are to assess international criminal law developments on crimes of secual violence, to inform law and policy debates to strengthen responses to sexual violence and to promote awareness of sexual violence as a human rights violation. The conference programme comprises International and Irish speakers. Academics and practitioners from all over the world (including Australia, Canada, the US, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Europe) as well as from Ireland will present on and discuss trends in the prosecution of sexual violence with particular focus on International law developments.
The sessions will be summarised and posted on the blog.

Irish Yearbook of International Law 2006

This week saw the publication of the first volume of the Irish Yearbook of International Law (2006), published by Hart Publications and edited by Co-Director of the CCJHR Dr. Siobhán Mullally and Dr. Jean Allain of Queen’s University Belfast. The Yearbook can be purchased here.

The Yearbook contains a mixture of pieces – articles, reports, book reviews, and documents. Yearbooks of this nature are vital tools for a nation’s diplomatic personnel as well as for the development of an understanding of a country’s international involvement for the purposes of academic work.

The IYIL 2007 is currently in preparation. Details of submission guidelines etc… are available here.

The main articles in the IYIL 2006 are:

  • David M. Ong, “International Environmental Law’s ‘Customary’ Dilemna: Betwixt General Principles and Treaty Rules”
  • Alexander Orakhelashvili, “The Power of the UN Security Council to Determine the Existence of a ‘Threat to the Peace’”
  • J. Paul McCutcheon & Gerard Coffey, “Life Sentences in Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights”
  • Maria Walls (PhD Candidate, NUI Galway) and Augustina Palacios (University Carlos III, Madrid), “Changing the Paradigm – The Potential Impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”
  • Peter Hulsroj (Legal Adviser, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
  • Organization), “To the Rescue, All Hands: The Good Neighbour Principle in International Law”
  • Getahun Seifu (Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia), “The Interplay of the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements and the Rules of the World Trade Organisation: ‘Double Jeopardy’ in Africa”
  • Leopold von Carlowitz, “The Right of Property for Refugees and Displaced Persons? On the Progressive Development of Customary Law by the International Administrations in the Balkans”

New International Law Blog: Invisible College Blog

The Invisible College – a new international law blog set in Europe – has just launched. An extract from the site description is below, and the blog promises to be an excellent addition to the daily reading of anyone interested in international law and politics. Welcome to the blogosphere!

The Invisible College is the result of the joining of forces of two earlier weblogs, the 1948 blog started in January 2007 by Otto, Richard and Nicholas, and The Core, started in February 2006 by Nicki, Tobias and Björn

The blog’s title refers to an 1977 article by Oscar Schachter (“The Invisible College of International Lawyers”, 72 Northwestern University Law Review (1977) 217-226), in which he speaks of the “professional community of international lawyers” forming an “invisible college dedicated to a common intellectual enterprise”. While Schachter mostly concerns himself with international lawyers who are government officials and/or career acedemics, it seems that the “invisible college” he speaks of has grown substantially in the 30 years since then; it now includes undergraduate and graduate students, interns with various international organisations, University researchers, attorneys working in international practice areas, NGO lawyers and many more.

It is our hope that our blog can become not only an interesting read, but an actual community resource for this diverse group. We plan to publish, besides commentaries on international developments, posts on Master and Doctoral programs, summer schools, job opportunities in the field, web ressources for scientific research, etc. etc.

Habeas Corpus Discussion

Regular readers may be interested in a discussion currently ongoing on IntLawGrrls between Naomi Norberg (U de Paris I), Diane Amann (UC Davis), Michelle Leighton (U San Fransisco) and Fiona de Londras (UCC) on habeas corpus in international human rights law. The discussion arose out President Musharraf’s invocation of Abraham Lincoln this weekend when he imposed emergency rule and suspended the constitution. The conversation considers the status of habeas corpus in international human rights law as an implicitly non-derogable right and considers what this means for both categories of human rights norms and for attempts to detain suspected terrorists without chare or trial or with significant delays between the time of arrest and the time of trial. The posts are numbered here sequentially – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Trafficking of Women and Children in Ireland

A report prepared by a research team from NUI Galway and released today includes findings that human trafficking is a more significant problem in Ireland than sometimes intimated by the Government (RTÉ News).

The timing of the report, which is available here, is interesting coming as it does just a week after the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform commenced the long-awaited Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Bill 2007 and only a few weeks after the Gardaí began work on Pantameter 2 (considered here).

The Bill incorporates the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in part and takes into the EU Council Framework Decision on combating trafficking in persons, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill explains its purpose thus:

The primary purpose of the Bill is to create offences criminalising trafficking in persons for the specific purposes of their sexual or labour exploitation or the removal of their organs and to provide severe penalties for anyone found guilty of committing the offences. The offences are in line with international norms….It also criminalises the selling or purchasing of human beings, both children and adults, for any purpose. The sale of children for the purpose of exploitation is a requirement of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

In relation to children, the Bill complements the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 which already criminalises the trafficking (and organisation of trafficking) of children for the purposes of sexual exploitation.