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    Archive for the 'Events' Category

    International law: Recent and upcoming events and initiatives at UCL Laws

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 9 June 2017

    This post covers several events and initiatives at UCL Laws concerning international law.

    Book launch: ‘Domestic Law in International Investment Arbitration’

    On 1 June 2017 UCL Laws and the UCL Workshop Series on Investment Law and Policy (ILAP), in conjunction with Investment Arbitration Reporter held an event for the launch of the book ‘Domestic Law in International Investment Arbitration‘ by Dr Jarrod Hepburn.

    Domestic Law in International Investment Arbitration: About the book

    Although domestic law plays an important role in investment treaty arbitration, this issue is little discussed or analysed. When should investment treaty tribunals engage with domestic law? How should investment treaty tribunals resolve matters of domestic law? These questions have significant ramifications for both the legitimacy of the investment treaty system and the arbitral mandate of the tribunal members. Drawing on case law, international law principles, and comparative analysis, this book addresses these important issues.

    Part I of the book examines three areas of investment law-the ‘fair and equitable treatment’ standard, expropriation, and remedies-in which the role of domestic law has so far been under-appreciated. It argues that tribunals are justified in drawing on domestic law as a relevant factor in their rulings on these three issues. Part II of the book examines how questions of domestic law should be resolved in investment arbitration. It proposes a normative framework for use by tribunals in ascertaining the contents of the domestic law to be applied. It then considers counter-arguments, exemptions, and exceptions to applying this framework, and it evaluates how tribunals have ruled on questions of domestic law to date.

    Investment treaty arbitration has endured much criticism in recent times, partly over fears of its encroachment on sovereignty. The book ultimately contends that closer attention by tribunals to one of the principal expressions of a state’s sovereignty-the elaboration of its domestic law-will reduce criticism of the field

    Martins Paparinskis (UCL Laws) and Alison Macdonald (Matrix Chambers) served as discussants; the event was chaired by Lauge Poulsen (UCL Political Science).

    Current Legal Problems lecture: ‘The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World’

    On 8 June 2017, the Current Legal Problems lecture series hosted Professor Scott Shapiro, who presented his book project (co-authored with  Professor Oona Hathaway), ‘The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World‘. The event was chaired by Professor George Letsas (UCL Laws).

    The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World: About the book

    On a hot summer afternoon in 1928, the leaders of the world assembled in Paris to outlaw war. Within the year, the treaty signed that day, known as the Peace Pact, had been ratified by nearly every state in the world. War, for the first time in history, had become illegal the world over. But the promise of that summer day was fleeting. Within a decade of its signing, each state that had gathered in Paris to renounce war was at war. And in the century that followed, the Peace Pact was dismissed as an act of folly and an unmistakable failure. This book argues that that understanding is inaccurate, and that the Peace Pact ushered in a sustained march toward peace that lasts to this day.

    The InternationalistIMG_20170609_113132s tells the story of the Peace Pact by placing it in the long history of international law from the seventeenth century through the present, tracing this rich history through a fascinating and diverse array of lawyers, politicians and intellectuals—Hugo Grotius, Nishi Amane, Salmon Levinson, James Shotwell, Sumner Welles, Carl Schmitt, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Sayyid Qutb. It tells of a centuries-long struggle of ideas over the role of war in a just world order. It details the brutal world of conflict the Peace Pact helped extinguish, and the subsequent era where tariffs and sanctions take the place of tanks and gunships.

    The Internationalists examines with renewed appreciation an international system that has outlawed wars of aggression and brought unprecedented stability to the world map. Accessible and gripping, this book will change the way we view the history of the twentieth century—and how we must work together to protect the global order the internationalists fought to make possible.

     

    Launch of a new journal: ‘Europe and the World: A Law Review’

    On Monday, 19 June 2017, UCL Laws will hold an event to launch a new Journal, ‘Europe and the World – A Law Review’.

    Prof. Miguel Poiares Maduro (EUI) will give the keynote speech and Caroline Wilson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) will chair the event. For more details and registration, see here.

    About the journal

    Europe and the World – A Law Review aims to contribute to legal scholarship on the place of Europe in the world, with a particular but by no means exclusive focus on the EU’s external relations law.

     The Journal serves as a forum where the national, international and EU perspectives meet and engage. The journal is therefore irreverent of traditional distinctions between EU, international, and national law. While primarily offering legal doctrinal and theoretical analyses, the journal also publishes multi-disciplinary work and political science and international relations contributions with an external perspective on the law of EU’s external relations.

    The Journal includes 4 articles  and 1 editorial:

    • ‘Making Transnational Markets: The institutional politics behind the TTIP’, Marija Bartl.
    • ‘The EU and International Dispute Settlement’, Allan Rosas.
    • ‘Of Presidents, High Representatives and European Commissioners: The external representation of the European Union seven years after Lisbon’, Frank Hoffmeister.
    • ‘(Not) Losing Out from Brexit’, Annette Schrauwen.
    • Editorial

    Europe-and-the-World_WEB-610x340

     

    History of International Law as History of International Power: Sovereignty and Property

    By Gaiane Nuridzhanian, on 24 March 2017

    Event summary

    On 22 March Professor Martti Koskenniemi delivered a talk at International Law Association (British Branch) event at UCL Laws. Martti Koskenniemi is Academy Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. He is currently leading a research project on ‘The History of International law: Empire and Religion’.

    At UCL Laws, Professor Koskenniemi spoke about history of international law as history of international power focusing on the relationship between sovereignty and property. He examined in particular how the legal language was used to buttress state power and property rights in the period between XIV and late XIX century when the Institut de Droit International was established and, in Koskenniemi’s opinion, the history of international law began.

    Professor Koskenniemi first discussed the concept of dominium, ownership granted to mankind by God, and development of thinking about natural law by the School of Salamanca and Francisco de Vitoria. The notion of dominium jurisdictionis et proprietatis was used to explain the God-given right to exercise power and ownership over property. However, it was jus gentium that governed the division of the property. The idea of interrelation of natural law and jus gentium was reflected in the works of Hugo Grotius (De Jure Belli ac Pacis) who believed that defense or restitution of property could serve as one of the reasons for just war (jus ad bellum). The ideas of natural law and law of nations were further developed by Samuel von Pufendorf who believed that, because of their nature, humans were rationally compelled to cooperate with each other and that the state was a means to achieve common good and salus populi.

    The relationship between sovereignty and property was also one of the aspects of the discourse on European balance of powers in the course of XVIII century. Johann Justi, in his treatise The Chimera of the Balance of Europe, argued that the concept of balance of powers was an arrangement suitable for political affairs but not for the trade relationships that were regulated by their own rules. Around the same time Francois Quesnay argued for deregulation of trade and free competition as means of achieving salus populi.

    Professor Koskenniemi quoted some further examples of interconnectedness of sovereignty and property from XIX century. One of them was Lord Palmerston’s statement in Don Pacifico Affair to the effect that a British subject (and as consequence his property) was protected anywhere in the world from injustice and wrong by ‘the watchful eye and the strong arm of England’. Another example was the establishment of the US-Mexico Claims Commission to settle the claims by citizens of both states in relation to damages inflicted by one government on the nationals of the other. A more modern example is the existing system of the investor-state settlement of disputes system.

    Professor Koskenniemi concluded by emphasising the inherently intertwined nature of sovereignty and property – beneath the surface of government by sovereignty always lie property and contractual relations, and vice versa. Modern legal education should not therefore draw a sharp distinction between private and public law spheres.

     

    2017 UCL Laws Post Graduate and Early Career Conference

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 28 February 2017

    We are pleased to publish the program for the 2017 UCL Laws Postgraduate and Early Career Conference.

    The Conference theme is ‘Art of Balancing: The Role of Law in Reconciling Competing Interests’. The event will take place at UCL main campus on 30-31 March 2017.

    The program of the event is provided below. The full Conference booklet, including abstracts and presenters is available here.

    Please note: The event is free and open to the public, however registration is mandatory.

    30 March 2017

    Main Quad Pavilion Wilkins Building (Main Building)

     

    08:30 – 09:15 Registration and breakfast

    09:15 – 9:45 Opening remarks (Prof Richard Moorhead, Vice Dean of Research, UCL)

    09:45 – 11:45 Panel 1

    Human Rights and the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

    • John Dingfelder Stone (Rhein-Wall University of Applied Sciences) ‘Undervaluing the Right to an Interpreter: How Societal and Judicial Interests Threaten the Fairness of Multilingual Criminal Proceedings’
    • Juha Tuovinen (European University Institute) ‘Balancing, the Margin of Appreciation and European Consensus: Why the European Court of Human Rights Does Not Rely on European Consensus in Article 8-11, Why It Should, and How To Fix the Situation’
    • Tara Beattie (Durham University) ‘Porn, Privacy and Public Morals Re-Dressed’
    • Rose Ireland (UCL) ‘Human rights and modern slavery: the obligations of states and corporations in relation to forced labour in global supply chains’
    • Discussants: Dr Ronan McCrea (UCL) and Dr Inga Thiemann (UCL)
    • Secondary Commentators: Zdeněk Červínek, Giulia Frosecchi

    12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break

     

    13:00 – 14:15 Panel 2

    Jurisprudence and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Law

    • Pieter Augustijn Van Malleghem (Harvard University) ‘Proportionality and the Erosion of Formalism’
    • Federica Coppola (European University Institute) ‘Mapping criminal brains to predict criminal behavior: New frontiers in neurocriminology, new challenges for the law’
    • Maytal Gilboa and Omer Pelled (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) ‘A Welfarist Perspective on Autonomy’
    • Discussants: Paul Troop (UCL) and Simon Palmer (UCL)
    • Secondary Commentators: Maytal Gilboa, Donald Bello Hutt

    14:15 – 14:30 Break

     

    14:30 – 16:15 Panel 3

    EU Law and IP Law

    • Auke Willems (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) ‘Reconciling competing interests in EU criminal law: the principle of mutual trust’
    • Desmond Johnson (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) ‘Institutional Balance as Constitutional Dialogue: A Republican Balancing Act for the EU Constitutional Order?’
    • Eduardo Álvarez Armas (Université Catholique De Louvain) ‘Accommodating diverging international environmental obligations: the ECJ’s approach to avoiding legal conflict in the Commune de Mesquer case
    • Pinar Oruc (Queen Mary University of London) ‘Competing Interests in the Orphan Works Problem’

    16:15 – 16:30 Break

     

    16:30-18:00 Panel 4

    States, Groups, and the International Community

    • Aikaterini Christina Koula (Durham University) ‘The definition of Human Rights Defenders’
    • Boshko Stankovski (University of Cambridge) ‘Which law, whose standards? The role of international law in resolving competing claims and ensuring securitisation and democratisation of new states’         
    • Iryna Bogdanova (University of Bern) ‘United Nations “targeted” economic sanctions and individual human rights of their “targets”: what is the role of Article 103 of the UN Charter?’
    • Discussant: Dr Ruvi Ziegler (University of Reading)
    • Secondary Commentators: Juha Tuovinen, Johannes Hendrik Fahner

     

     

    31 March 2017

    Main Quad Pavilion Wilkins Building (Main Building)

    9:30 – 11:00 Panel 5

    Environmental law

    • Stavros Pantazopoulos (European University Institute) ‘The Protection and Restoration of the Environment in the post-conflict phase: An assessment of the legal framework and the way forward’
    • Anne-Claire Bernard-Tomasi (University of Westminster) ‘The Interplay between Environmental Protection and the Market through the lens of Disclosure and Confidentiality of Information: Pragmatism over Dogmatism’
    • Discussant:  Chiara Armeni (UCL, Sussex University)
    • Secondary commentator: Johannes Hendrik Fahner, Iryna Bogdanova

    11:00 – 11:30 Break

     

    11:30 – 13:15 Panel 6

    Labor Law and Socio-Economic Rights

    • Emily Hancox (University of Edinburgh) ‘Equal Access to Social Benefits or Preventing an Unreasonable Burden: Reconciling Overlapping Secondary Legislation’
    • Zdeněk Červínek (Palacký University, Olomouc) ‘Proportionality or Rationality? Assessing Reasonableness in Socio-Economic Rights Cases: A Study of Constitutional Review Standards of Czech Constitutional Court’
    • Ksenia Mikhailichenko (National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’, Moscow) ‘The Right of Freedom of Association: Role of International Labor Standards in Russian Practice’;
    • Discussant: June Namgoong
    • Secondary commentators: Tara Beattie, Rose Ireland

    13:15 – 14:30 Lunch Break

     

    14:30 – 16:00 Panel 7

    Proportionality and Political Considerations in Adjudication

    • Donald Bello Hutt (Kings College London) ‘Constitutional interpretation and institutional perspective: a deliberative proposal’
    • Araceli Turmo (Université Panthéon-Assas) ‘Procedural Law as an Exercise in Reconciling Public Interest and Individual Rights: The Example of Res Judicata’
    • Discussant: Dr Jeff King (UCL)
    • Secondary Commentators: Desmond Johnson, Emily Hancox

    16:00 – 16:30 Break

     

    16:30 – 18:00 Panel 8

    Investment, Energy, and Trade

    • Otabek Ismailov (University of Ottawa) ‘Reconciling Public and Private Interests in Investor-State Arbitration Cases Involving Argentina: Necessity, Proportionality or Margin of Appreciation?’
      Johannes Hendrik Fahner (University of Luxembourg/University of Amsterdam) ‘Intensity of Judicial Review in International Adjudication: Balancing State Sovereignty against Regime Effectiveness’
    • Michael Imran Kanu (Central European University) ‘Towards Scaling the Energy Financing Predicament in Sub-Saharan Africa: Stating a Case for Legal and Regulatory Reforms’

    18:00-18:15 Closing Remarks

     

    Understanding Security Council Authority

    By Gaiane Nuridzhanian, on 30 November 2016

    Event summary

    On 22 November 2016 Devika Hovell, Associate Professor in Public International Law at LSE, spoke at UCL. She discussed the authority of the UN Security Council (UNSC), and its nature. At the outset, the speaker observed that there was little interest among international lawyers, and even less so among the international organisation lawyers, in adopting theoretical approach to international law. Instead, the law of international organisations was developed by practitioners, often in a patchy manner and in response to specific practical challenges. In this process of development, it were the positivism and realism that guided and controlled the development of this legal discipline. In this regard, the speaker referred to Dworkin’s advice to lawyers and philosophers to improve ‘the jurisprudential discussion of international law’.

    In pursuing her goal to develop a concept of the UNSC’s authority, Devika Hovell challenged two orthodoxies. The first orthodoxy, from the domain of international law, reflects the idea of State consent as a source of the UNSC authority. According to this positivist approach, the authority emanated from Articles 25 and 103 of the UN Charter that imposed on the States an obligation to comply with the UNSC decisions and established the primacy of the States’ obligations under the UN Charter. In the opinion of the speaker, the State consent based on a singular act of the State’s consent to the UN Charter, was not sufficient of a basis for the UNSC authority. The justification of such authority had to be more complex.

    The second conventional wisdom that Dr Hovell sought to deconstruct concerned the jurisprudential domain. Under this orthodoxy, individual autonomy constitutes the ultimate source of the authority of international law, and thus it is the objective of safeguarding the individual autonomy that endowed international law with authority and State autonomy with value. However, in her opinion, this approach does not fully reflect the place of the State and the State interests in international law. It also does not take into account that international law commands authority over States, and not individuals. The individual autonomy-based approach can also be said to be unsuitable for explaining the authority of the UNSC since the latter is primarily focused on the collective responsibility in the face of common threats rather than on promotion of individual interests.

    The authority of international law rests primarily on the belief and conviction of those to whom its rules are directed, that they have a role to play in the rule of law itself. Dr Hovell noted the view expressed by Sir Michael Wood in the course of the Iraq Inquiry. Addressing the comment that the absence of a court meant essentially that states could interpret Security Council resolutions as they wished, Sir Michael Wood replied that; “[T]he absence of a court, I think, is a reason for being more scrupulous […].

    It is one thing for a lawyer to say, “Well, there is an argument here. Have a go. A court, a judge, will decide in the end”. It is quite different in the international system, where that’s usually not the case. You have a duty to the law, a duty to the system. You are setting precedents by the very fact of saying things and doing things.”

    Dr Hovell proposed a grundnorm for the authority of the UNSC that would be based neither on State consent nor on individual authority, but will be grounded in the idea of ‘shared responsibility’. In this regard it is necessary to consider two aspects of the UN Security Council authority: ‘representativeness’ and ‘purposiveness’.

    UN Security Council has often been criticised as being unrepresentative. Legitimising its authority would entail the idea that this authority is ‘shared’ with others. Although most theoretical accounts focus on authority held by a single actor, in contemporary international society there are multiple locations and levels of public authority and individuals are increasingly subjected to various overlapping authorities. There is thus a need to separate the authority from sovereignty as well as from the notion of exclusivity. Quoting the writings by Nicole Roughan, Dr Hovell referred to the concept of ‘relative authority’ which reflects the idea of isolation of authority from sovereign power ‘in order to consider its operation in circumstances of plurality’.

    Dr Hovell concluded by noting that some have argued that the main problem with the UN Security Council does not lie in its lack of resources or unrepresentativeness, but rather in the lack of any agreement as to its purpose. In the speaker’s opinion, the purpose of the Security Council could not be spelled out in a document of a constitutional nature. Instead, Dr Hovell proposed a procedural and responsibility-based approach to the question of the legitimacy of the UNSC.

     

    Call for Papers: UCL Post Graduate and Early Careers Conference 2017

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 18 November 2016

    The Art of Balancing: The Role of Law in Reconciling Competing Interests

     

    University College London Faculty of Laws is pleased to invite submissions for its 2017 Postgraduate and Early Careers Conference to be held on 30-31 March 2017, at University College London, London, UK.

    The conference is designed to provide current doctoral students and recent PhD graduates with a forum to present and discuss their work among academic peers from different backgrounds and legal disciplines. The conference aims to promote fruitful research collaboration between its participants, and to encourage their integration in a community of legal scholars.

    *

    Conference Theme

    The Conference theme is “The Role of Law in Reconciling Competing Interests”.

    Contemporary legal problems create the need to balance competing interests, values, rights, obligations, and freedoms. This Conference will explore the response of the law and legal actors to modern challenges, be it in the context of domestic law and national jurisdictions or in the framework of international law.

    The increasing criticism against the fragmentation of legal fields have brought about the need to reconcile public, individual, and international interests. Additionally, the growing focus on States’ obligations to respect and protect human rights and freedoms has too led to a shift in the manner States conduct themselves both in the domestic and international arenas. Yet, given the ever increasing extent of international regulation and concomitant demands on limited financial, technical and human resources, it is not at all clear how these competing rights and obligations ought to be balanced. Furthermore, the mounting pressure on the States to ensure the security of their population brings about the debate over States’ ability to limit other rights and freedoms on behalf of security interests, legitimate as may be.

    *

    Relevant papers may concern any field of law.

    Examples of issues addressed by relevant papers may include (but are not limited to):

    • Human rights and public interest;
    • Necessity and proportionality and other multi-sourced equivalent norms;
    • Constitutional rights and terrorism;
    • Protection of public health and environment in trade and investment agreements;
    • Sustainable development and climate change and commercial activity;
    • Copyrights, trademarks and patent protection;
    • lex specialis and competing domestic or international law norms;
    • Legal theory’s approach to conflicting rights and freedoms;
    • Constitutional rights and the protection of rights absent a written constitution;
    • Balancing of competing interest by adjudicative bodies.

    *

    We welcome applications from current doctoral students, both in law and law-related disciplines, and from recent graduates of doctoral programs up to five years since the completion of their PhD. We encourage submissions engaging all disciplines of law.

    Selection will be based on the quality of the proposal, as well as its capacity to engage with other proposals in a collaborative dialogue.

    *

    The UCL Laws 2017 Postgraduate and Early Careers Conference will select a number of papers presented at the Conference for publication in a special issue of the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.

    All the participants will be offered an opportunity to publish a blog post based on their papers at the UCL Law Journal Blog.

    Accordingly, an invitation to participate in this conference will be issued to a participant on the following conditions:

    (1) The participant agrees to submit an original, unpublished paper between 8,000 words and 12,000 words consistent with submission guidelines issued by the conference conveners;

    (2) The participant agrees to submit a full pre-conference draft by 10 March 2017;

    (3) The deadline for submitting papers selected for publication is 15 May 2017.

    *

    Interested scholars should email an abstract of up to 750 words along with a short bio in no more than two paragraphs by 25 December 2016 to the following address: PGC2017@ucl.ac.uk.

    Abstracts should reflect papers that have not been published nor submitted elsewhere for consideration for publication.

    Successful applicants will be selected by an Organizing Committee and notified no later than 15 January 2017.

     

    The artefact of international jurisdiction: concept, history and reality

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 8 November 2016

    Event Summary (the full lecture was published on TDM)

    On 26 October 2016 Dr Veijo Heiskanen gave a lecture at UCL on “the Artefact of International Jurisdiction: Concept, History and Reality”. The panel was chaired by Dr Martins Paparinskis (UCL); Alison Macdonald (Matrix Chambers) and Dr Gleider Hernandez (Durham) served as commentators.

    Dr Heiskanen addressed the provenance of the concept of international jurisdiction, which generated the development of preliminary objections. On this point, he referred to the Jay Treaty arbitrations, and explained that the commissions created by the Jay Treaties were the first international tribunals operating on the international plane. At the wake of these arbitrations, several other international arbitrations were conducted in the course of the 19th and the early 20th century. The tribunals that were created to deal with these claims were usually based on a compromis, a submission agreement that referred to international arbitration a dispute that had already arisen.

    The fact that these tribunals’ jurisdiction was based on a compromis meant that it was difficult to challenge their jurisdiction by way of a preliminary objection. The sole objection the respondent State could raise to the jurisdiction of the tribunal was to challenge its jurisdiction to decide on its own jurisdiction – its “competence – competence.” However, while it was difficult to challenge the jurisdiction of an ad hoc tribunal operating under a compromis, the admissibility of the claims could still be challenged: whether the claim was really an international claim. Resultantly, a sophisticated set of rules of admissibility were developed by these early courts and tribunals to deal with such objections, and these were subsequently ratified by the Permanent Court of International Justice and became part of the corpus of international law.

    Under these rules, in order to be admissible before an international court or tribunal, a claim had to be admissible ratione temporis, ratione personae and ratione materiae – it had to be an international claim in all of these three aspects. It had to be admissible ratione temporis, that is, it had to be ripe for international jurisdiction in the sense that local remedies had been exhausted. It had to be admissible ratione personae in the sense that that the claim espoused by the claimant State had to be owned by a national of that State and not by a national of the respondent State, and it had to be admissible ratione materiae in the sense that it had to be based on a prima facie breach of an international legal obligation and not on an alleged breach of municipal law. Only if these criteria – these tests of admissibility – were met, one could say that one was dealing with an international claim.

    Thus, Dr Heiskanen explained that the rules of admissibility are, historically, about the criteria that a claim must meet, in order to be admissible as an international claim.

    Having established the above, Dr Heiskanen moved to address the distinction between jurisdiction and admissibility. According to him, this distinction emerged when ad hoc arbitration was replaced by the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), and when the exercise of international jurisdiction was first institutionalized. The PCIJ, and the other international tribunals that followed in the course of the 20th century, were not ad hoc fora. These adjudicative bodies were rather meant to firmly stand on the international plane, as a permanent presence. For Dr Heiskanen, the creation of these adjudicative bodies also brought about a new category of jurisdiction: the jurisdiction of a particular court.

    Furthermore, the emergence of these permanent bodies also introduced a new, positivist concept of jurisdiction. International jurisdiction was no longer a potentiality that would occasionally become an actuality in the form of an ad hoc arbitral tribunal; it became a permanent actuality within the limits defined in the relevant treaty. Dr Heiskanen explained that these limits could be conceptualized, and were in fact conceptualized, in the very same terms as the admissibility of claims before ad hoc arbitral tribunals, that is, in the three familiar dimensions – in terms of time (ratione temporis), person (ratione personae) and subject matter (ratione materiae).

    Dr Heiskanen then proceeded to delineate these concepts: Jurisdiction ratione temporis, he explained, is not about whether the claim is international in terms of time; it is about whether the claim arose during the time period when the treaty was in force. Jurisdiction ratione personae is not about whether the claim is international in terms of person (i.e., who owns it); it is about whether the claimant falls within the category of the subjects of law governed by the treaty; whether the claimant is among those entitled to appear before the court. Jurisdiction ratione materiae is not about whether the claim is international in terms of subject matter; it is about whether the claim relates to a subject matter that the treaty in question regulates.

    Finally, Dr Heiskanen addressed the notion of “competence”. He elucidated that while the distinction between jurisdiction and competence was initially seen mainly as a matter of legal terminology, the two concepts gradually came to be seen as different or at least potentially different concepts. On this point he stressed that the question of what “competence” really means, in concrete legal terms, and whether it really is a distinct or independent concept, has not been effectively addressed.

    He illustrated the meaning and application of these concepts. Accordingly, he maintained that objections to competence, in a technical (rather than substantive) sense of this term, may be said to relate to the question of whether a particular dispute falls within the scope of the arbitration agreement, in terms of time, person and subject matter. Thus, for instance, the question of whether the dispute resolution clause in an investment treaty covers pre-existing disputes, i.e., disputes that had arisen before the treaty entered into force, could be characterized as an issue of competence ratione temporis rather than jurisdiction ratione temporis; this latter issue is about whether the treaty covers pre-existing investments, or investments made prior to the entry into force of the treaty. Similarly, the question of whether the alleged breach is attributable to the respondent State may be said to be an issue of competence ratione personae rather than jurisdiction as it is about whether the respondent State is a proper party to the dispute; this issue may arise even if there is no dispute that the respondent State has given its consent to arbitration in the treaty.

    On a similar vein, the question of whether the claim is based on the treaty or another legal basis (say, ac contract) should arguably be characterized as an issue of competence ratione materiae rather than jurisdiction ratione materiae; in the context of investment arbitration, for instance, this latter issue is about whether the claim arises out of a “covered investment”. Like objections to admissibility, objections to competence therefore tend to be more closely related to the merits than objections to jurisdiction and often they cannot be decided separately from the merits. However, unlike objections to admissibility, which relate to the claim, objections to competence rather relate to the dispute. In other words, they are about whether the dispute is really covered by the treaty in terms of time, whether the State is really a party to the dispute, or whether the claim is really, in substance, a treaty claim.

    He stressed that this classification may have legal consequences. If an objection to jurisdiction in the strict sense of the term is upheld, the arbitral tribunal has no discretion and the claim must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The same is true for objections to competence. However, because objections to procedural admissibility relate to the claim rather than the scope of the treaty or of the arbitration agreement, arbitral tribunals have a measure of discretion to determine whether to admit or dismiss the claim in the circumstances of the case.

    Building on Dr Heiskanen lecture, Ms Macdonald and Dr Hernandez offered some observations, referring to recent international jurisprudence.

    Ms Macdonald referred in her comments to the matter of Mauritius v UK. She explained the significance of the concept of “jurisdiction” by referring to the role it played in the case and the Tribunal’s rather unusual decision to join the jurisdiction objections with the merits of the case, as it forced the UK to advance, for the first time, its arguments on the merits of the case and what happened in the 1960s; from this perspective it was a victory for Mauritius. The Tribunal’s decision to join the preliminary objections with the merits affected the hearings and the way the parties litigated the case, and more importantly it facilitated the discussion of Mauritius’s sovereignty as the dissenting arbitrators upheld the Tribunal’s jurisdiction over some of the Claimant’s submissions and found that Mauritius’s sovereignty was violated by the UK.

    Dr Hernandez noted that linguistic nuances may offer an additional complexity to the discussion of the distinction between jurisdiction and competence. Thus, the English term “jurisdiction” is not synonymous with the French “juridiction”, while “compétence” in French is not the same as “competence” in English, but rather reflects a broader term, more aligned with the English use of “jurisdiction”. Thus, the distinction between the concepts may also be informed by linguistic subtleties. On this point, Dr Hernandez relied on ICJ case-law, noting that the Court does not use the concept of “competence” (let alone as a separate concept, which is distinct from that of jurisdiction and admissibility). Further, the ICJ usually juxtaposes jurisdiction with “compétence” (the French term).

    Dr Hernandez also referred to the recent Marshall Islands cases, which illustrate the difference between jurisdiction and admissibility. These cases turned on the existence of a “dispute” between the parties; professedly this constitutes an “admissibility” objection. As the Court asserted that as there is no dispute between the parties, it did not proceed to the merits stage. If so, and given the practical outcomes of this preliminary objection, it is not abundantly clear that this was in fact an “admissibility” objection. This recent jurisprudence challenges our current understanding of the concepts of jurisdiction and admissibility.

     

    Identifying Customary International Law: From the International Law Association’s Principles of 2000 to the International Law Commission’s 2016 draft

    By Gaiane Nuridzhanian, on 24 October 2016

    Identifying Customary International Law, Event Summary

    On 19 October 2016, Professor Maurice Mendelson QC, the former Chair of Public International Law at UCL and former Rapporteur and Chairman of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on Formation of Customary (General) International Law spoke at UCL. Professor Mendelson discussed the work of the ILA and International Law Commission (ILC) on the formation and identification of customary international law. At the outset he stressed that, the task of setting out the principles on the formation of customary law was not an easy one, but very much needed. This is because, apart from the academic interest in the elucidation of the issue, it possesses the potential to assist domestic courts and practitioners in municipal jurisdictions when faced with questions relating to customary international law, as well as to those who wished to study international law.

    The speaker drew comparisons between the Statement of Principles Applicable to the Formation of General Customary International Law adopted by the ILA in 2000 and ILC’s Report on Identification of Customary International Law issued earlier this year.

    Professor Mendelson observed that the ILC’s Report was closely modelled on the ILA’s work, thus there are indeed great many similarities between the two. Both institutions drew largely on the same sources, mainly but not exclusively ICJ decisions, and adopted the same technique of stating a “principle” (ILA) or a “conclusion” (ILC) accompanied by a commentary. He noted that, whilst the ILA reports spoke of “formation” of customary law, the ILC spoke of “identification”. The title of the ILA committee had not been his choice, and overall he preferred the ILC’s term; however, it was to be appreciated that this did not, in many cases, enable the issue of an alleged rule’s pedigree to be sidestepped.

    There was no substantial disagreement between the ILC and ILA with regard to issue of state practice as an element of a customary international law rule, although slightly different terms were used to describe any such state practice. According to the ILA, for instance, it had to be ‘virtually uniform’ (Principle 13). The ILC, conversely, referred to ‘sufficiently widespread and representative, as well as consistent’ practice (Draft conclusion 8).

    According to Professor Mendelson, the reports take similar approaches to the ‘persistent objector’. The ILC report contained a short section on particular customary law (including but not limited to local and regional); the remit of the ILA Committee had precluded examination of this topic, but he had gone into it in some detail in his lectures to the Hague Academy of International Law, and he gave some examples of particular customary law where the criterion was not geographical.

    Where the ILA and ILC palpably disagreed was the role of the opinio juris, what is usually said to be the second element of a rule of customary international law. The ILC Report espoused the more orthodox view that both state practice and opinion juris were necessary conditions for a rule to be considered as customary international law. Professor Mendelson believed that, although opinio juris had a role to play in certain circumstances, it was not always necessary to prove its existence in order to show that a rule amounts to customary international law. Presence of widespread and representative state practice could be sufficient indication of existence of customary international law. He also rejected the argument that opinion juris was necessary in order to distinguish customary international law from comity. It was usually the context in which the state practice occurred that allowed to make the distinction. Finally, the ILC’s use of term ‘accepted as law’ so as to indicate the subjective or psychological element, superficially circumvents some of the problematic aspects of opinion juris. ‘Accepted as law’ does not necessarily mean that states believed something to be law. It could also mean that states wanted it to be law or accepted it without holding a belief that it was an existing rule of law.

    The ILC and ILA concurred on the point that resolutions of the UN General Assembly as a general rule and of itself did not create a rule of customary international law (Principle 28 of the ILA Statement of Principles and Draft conclusion 12 of the ILC Report). However, in its Principle 32, the ILA proposed an exception: ‘Resolutions accepted unanimously or almost unanimously, and which evince a clear intention on the part of their supporters to lay down a rule of international law, are capable, very exceptionally, of creating general customary law by the mere fact of their adoption.’ Professor Mendelson emphasised that this reflects very exceptional and extreme circumstances in which all the states had to be united in the face of a common challenge.

    Finally, Professor Mendelson concluded that it could hardly be expected that the product of the ILC’s work on customary international law could become a treaty but it may gain clout as an important source of guidance and reference on the issue.

    Launch of the Oct 2016 New Issue of the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 4 October 2016

    Last night (3 Oct 2016), the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence launched its latest issue, Issue 5(2). The launch event was held at the offices of Slaughter & May, one of the Journal’s sponsors. Some 50 practitioners, students, academics, UCL graduates, editors, and authors have attended the event.

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    The new issue, which is fully available (open access) here, is a themed “City Issue” which address various legal aspects relevant to the commercial prevalent reality and the City. The academic and managing editors (Sara Razai Chris O’Meara, and Ira Ryk-Lakhman), who have concluded the role yesterday, wrote the following preface, which offers a taste of the contributions of this recent issue:

    Dear Reader, This October issue of the UCLJLJ reflects our commitment to evolve and adapt while upholding the tradition of a biannual publication. The edition you are holding in your hands – or perhaps reading on your screen – continues the tradition of having a themed issue of the UCLJLJ. We have named it the ‘City Issue’. The idea of this theme is to reflect and celebrate the world-class reputation of legal practice in the City of London and the range of legal disciplines that are practised there. Our choice of theme was intentionally broad and left scope for any area of law and jurisprudence. Whether domestic, regional or international, the papers assembled here are a true expression of City legal practice and thought. Equally diverse and broad, the five papers offer an original and topical contribution from both academics and practitioners.

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    The issue begins in the sphere of European Union law, with an analysis of the effects of mandatory bail-in on creditors’ property rights. Tracy Maguze considers whether bail-in rules interfere with the right to property of bank creditors and if such interference is justified. With particular emphasis on European human rights, she argues that bail-in rules do in fact infringe creditors’ rights to property on the basis of legality and legitimacy. The issue continues with an inquiry into domestic law, being the bookbuilding regime in the UK. Tong Jing Lim examines the UK IPO and price formation process and argues that, despite its flaws, the current bookbuilding regime has significant advantages. Instead of replacing it with an auction system, as proposed by the 2014 Myners Report, the author instead suggests a number of ways to improve the existing process.

    The third paper considers the doctrine of relief of forfeiture in the context of international, national and regional loan agreements. Analysing the material adverse change clause in light of recent case law, Michael Kokkinoftas argues that relief of forfeiture could be used by the borrower as a remedy for mitigating the severity of punitive clauses when an event of default is triggered.

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    The paper that follows addresses short-termism in relation to listed companies in the UK. With emphasis on market behavior and the UK’s legal landscape, Andrea Bowdren argues that short-termism in listed companies should affect regulatory and legislative proposals and that breaking transmission mechanisms is crucial to prevent short-termism in corporate ix decision-making. She offers solutions to combat managerial myopia and to re-focus executive attention on long-term value creation.

    The final paper is a unique contribution to this City Issue and reflects the diversity and scope of law in thought and action. It presents a view from practice. Tolek Petch, Associate at Slaughter and May, considers case law in relation to asymmetric jurisdiction clauses in financial contracts. The author offers a comparative analysis of the differences in approach and construction taken by the French and English courts. He concludes that the doubts expressed by the French courts are unwarranted given the good commercial and legal reasons to uphold such clauses.

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    This short overview shows the range of City-related issues covered in this issue. True to its founding objectives, UCLJLJ remains a journal dedicated to producing high quality papers in the field of law and jurisprudence. We hope therefore that this themed edition offers some useful insights, both theoretical and practical, into law as practised in the City.

    Finally, a few last words. After the publication of this issue, we will be handing over to a new editorial team. We have had a great year and are proud of our contribution to this Journal. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of everyone who helped in the formation and publication of this issue. First, thank you to the members of the Editorial Board who have each devoted significant time and energy to reviewing and editing these papers. Without their dedication, this issue would not have been possible. A warm thank you is also due to our Copy Editor, Dr Aislinn O’Connell, who is sadly leaving us. Her help and dedication over a number of years have been invaluable and she will be missed. We are grateful for our long-standing sponsors, Blackstone Chambers and Slaughter and May, and their continuing generous contributions to the Journal. In particular, thanks go to Tom Vickers and Grace Parkinson at Slaughter and May for their collaboration on this issue. Last, but not least, we are thankful for the support of the UCL Faculty of Laws and our Faculty Editor, Dr Daniela Simone.

    We hope that you enjoy the read, and wish the 2016/17 board the best of luck!

    us

    25 Reasons Why All Law Students Should Participate in the Jessup Competition

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 30 September 2016

    By: Asaf Lubin (JSD candidate, Yale Law School and Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellow with Privacy International) and Ira Ryk-Lakhman (PhD student and teaching fellow, UCL).    

    Us and Jessup: Asaf and Ira participated in Jessup as competitors for the same team (2010/11); we coached several teams (Asaf, Yale and Hebrew University teams in 2012 and 2015 respectively; Ira, UCL for 2014-16); Asaf also served as the Israeli national administrator of the Jessup in 2014, and he is the author of the 2016 Jessup problem; we both have been judging national and international Jessup rounds for some years.

    September 12, 2016 marked a long anticipated day that will forever change the law school experience for scores of students worldwide. With no exaggeration, it was a day when thousands of law students, practitioners, and academics all looked to one place: the website of the International Law Student Association (ILSA). This is because it was the day ILSA, who organizes the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, released the 2016/17 Jessup problem, also known as the Compromis.

    For readers who have been living under a rock, a quick recap of the competition might be in order. The Jessup Competition, often addressed by this mononym, much like Plato or Madonna, is actually named after former ICJ judge (1960-1969), diplomat, and scholar, Philip Caryl Jessup. The competition offers a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries as it unfolds in a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Very few people know that Jessup actually first originated as a friendly advocacy competition between the American JD and foreign LLM students at Harvard Law School in 1960. The competition then expended to other American schools in 1963, eventually opening its doors to foreign teams in 1968. Today more than 550 law schools worldwide participate in the Jessup, representing more than 87 countries. Each team is comprised of between 2-5 participants, with flocks more faculty, practitioners, and alumni providing additional support. These tireless FoJs (Friends of the Jessup) as they are called, take the roles of coaches, advisors, judges, and administrators, and truly are the heart of what makes the Jessup a community. The authors of this post wish to clarify, at this time, that they are lucky enough to be part of this community, and while biased, consider it to be one of their most prized achievements.

    Jessup has truly become a brand in and of itself, and the mere title of a “Jessup competitor” probably gleams more about a person than what may be learned from just going over his or her CV. Nonetheless, as the new academic year just welcomed thousands of new law students, many of whom have probably never heard of the Jessup, we thought it would be useful to provide a more extended explanation as to why we feel everyone should get involved with the Jessup at some point in his or her legal education or later career. This is especially important for us to share, given the concern many students have raised in the past, that Jessup involves an exorbitant commitment of time, and might be difficult to do while maintaining good standing in one’s general law school course work. We thus developed this list which we call the “25 Reasons Why All Law Students Should Participate in the Jessup Competition” and we hope that by the end of it, you too will become Jessup enthusiasts.

    1. Starting from the Compromis. Each year the Jessup problem puts forth cutting edge, avant-garde and mostly unresolved legal challenges to its participants. More often than not, the legal questions presented by the Jessup case involve issues that had never been adjudicated by the ICJ. In certain scenarios, the case precedes the actual adjudication of an innovative and largely contested legal issue. In other times, it gives an opportunity to test out what such adjudication might look like, surrounding issues that due to their political volatility, might never find their way to the halls of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

    To illustrate, recent Jessup cases addressed competing sovereignty claims over islands (2009/10), the legality of targeted killings and limitations on the right to wear religious head-scarves (2010/11), recognition of governments and the protection of cultural heritage sites in times of war (2011/2012), the legal status of climate refugees (2012/2013), use of force in the EEZ and the status of artificial islands (2013/2014), the contested annexation of territory à la the Crimean peninsula (2014/15), and the international law surrounding espionage and low level cyber-attacks (2015/16). This year is no exception as it remains as topical, focusing on such issues as illicit transfer of cultural property, transboundary aquifers, the law surrounding the right to water, and what happens when arguable violations of this right generate refugee outflows.

    1. The Jessup case normally comprises several interwoven fields of international law, thus allowing participants to broaden their knowledge and research and familiarize themselves with materials that very well may not be taught in their law faculties or offered as part of their regular curriculum. Previous Jessup problems presented a complex mix of sub-fields of international law including admissibility, standing, and jurisdiction issues before international fora; the treatment of evidence and questions of burden of proof at the ICJ; the interrelationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law; investment law; environmental law; the law of the sea; international criminal law; treaty law; state responsibility; and many, many, many more.
    1. Thus, Jessup is not just a good practice for properly analyzing and applying lex lata sources and well-established principles and rules; it rather requires participants to apply public international law theories to real life fact patterns. It forces a large number of talented scholars to tackle head-on politically charged issues through legal reasoning. In that regard Jessup plays its own unique role in further developing international law, through the cultivation of a legal discourse where one was perhaps missing. Many participants and faculty rely on their experiences and research during the Jessup year to then produce notes, articles, and blog posts, that further broaden the academic literature surrounding the topics covered in the case. Indeed if you fact-check us, you would find that many doctrinal contributions originated during or developed subsequently to Jessup.
    1. Jessup is all about the research, with students spending months painstakingly perfecting their written briefs, mastering old case studies, and new legal theories. There is absolutely nothing quite like the Jessup, in terms of allowing students to develop their legal research and analytical skills. The Jessup Bench Memorandum (an addendum, never shared with participants, which provides judges with a basic core “check-list” of the legal answers to the case) often reflects just a mere fraction of the knowledge and research conducted by the participants. In fact, the Bench Memorandum doesn’t begin to touch the surface of what students come up with in their independent research. Judges are often amazed at the level of in-depth analysis and archival work that certain teams produce. Accordingly, Jessup offers knowledge that no classroom experience, in any taught degree, is ever capable of guaranteeing.
    1. The Competition is built so as to enable participants to dedicate a substantive amount of time for such autodidactic research. From the moment the case was released on September 12th, until 13 January 2017, when the written memorials will be due (and thereafter until the regional and national rounds), teams and competitors will work thoroughly and mostly independently on mastering the law. You will discover by the end of the Jessup that you have learned incredibly more about the law, from researching it on your own and teaching it to your colleagues, than you would ever do from reading another textbook in a black-letter class.
    1. Importantly, because Jessup is the most prestigious international law moot court competition today, it truly is the best place to study public international law. Where else will you learn how to identify a customary rule, or carefully interpret and parcel together treaty provisions? Where else will you be called to memorize entire sections of the U.N. Charter, or cite minority opinions of ICJ judges? In fact, Jessup is the only place where students are called to examine the lax lata in view of the lex feranda, to engage both the law as it stands with the law as it ought to be. Students are called to apply not only black letter law but also advocate for a position based on policy considerations and their extrinsic rationales. A Jessup competitor thus learns not only to think like a lawyer, but to think like a policy maker – taking into account the ramifications of his argument on the public world order. The student thus learns how to plead for a State, and not just a client.

     

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    enough said

     

    1. The result is that students participating in the Jessup become some of the more well-versed scholars on the law in their respected research area. Trust us, if you compete in the Jessup this year, there will be very few people on the planet that will know the law and practice surrounding UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger or the Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, better than you will come April. Sounds hard to believe? Try it and see for yourself.

    It often happened, in fact, that government ministries sought to reach out to Jessup students precisely due to their newfound expertise. The authors of this blog can attest to this. Following our completion of the Jessup, with the case that year involving the IHL obligation to investigate and compensate for violations, we were approached by a Commission of Inquiry which was working in Israel on drafting a report surrounding the same exact issues. Jessup fiction and real-life events intertwined once more, and we as former participants were better off for it.

    1. Of course, working for the Government is not the only venue by which participants can put their Jessup research into good use. Many Jessup participants have proceeded to engage with the legal issues posed by the Compromis as LLM, PhD, and JSD students, writing their master’s thesis and dissertations on the very questions they have encountered in the long months of the Jessup. Others proceeded to practice international law in various prestigious law firms or international organizations and some became academics who research international law. And there are those who have done all the above.
    1. The structure of the Competition requires each team to submit very detailed written arguments (the Memorials) for both the Applicant and Respondent. These written briefs are limited in terms of their space, given strict word count requirements, as well as in terms of their timeframe, with students being required to submit them by early January. It is the nature of the Jessup that each issue can be argued a hundred different ways, yet a written memorial only allows for so many words, and so teams debate each other in an attempt to sharpen their briefs and reach an agreed upon structure. Accordingly, law students have the opportunity to practice some of the most important lawyering skills – meeting deadlines, developing concise legal writing, and choosing between various authorities and legal arguments.

    To be sure, these briefs are worth 3 round points (out of a maximum 9), and on many occasions can determine the faith of a round. Notably, technical mistakes, in terms of style and structure, can result in penalties, forcing students to be extremely diligent in their drafting and editing. Law students thus learn the importance of the written pleadings, by putting an emphasis not only on substance, but also on procedural requirements.

    1. At the regional, national, and international rounds, students are required to develop a 45 minutes oral presentation of their claims. Teams are asked to argue their issues in a crisp, structured, and persuasive manner, while citing authorities for each of their points. You can wake up any past Jessup participant in the middle of the night and he will be able to read to you, out of memory, not only the opening and closing of his oral argument but also the wording of Article 38 of the ICJ Statute. And as the old saying goes – “the paper does not refuse the ink” (but an oral argument at the Jessup might). Indeed, once teams delve into their briefs and commence preparations for the oral rounds, they quickly identify the weaker points of their argumentation and come up with ways to sharpen their contentions. Thus, while many moots emphasize advocacy, debating, or writing skills, Jessup stresses all and more while teaching participants the fine arts of litigation.
    1. In fact, there is no other international moot that teaches students the difficult skills of oral advocacy. Teams are required to make their legal claims under strict time restrictions (with a bailiff raising time cards and imposing the time limitations), while answering questions being fired at them by feisty benches of Jessup judges (in fact, it is a trademark of Jessup, which the authors of this post are proud to have in common). Students learn how to eloquently answer legal questions, how to roadmap their arguments, and how to properly address the Court.
    1. Jessup is not only about law and legal pleadings; it is also about tactics and strategy which are very much embedded in litigation work. Competitors learn how to politely correct a Judge who got a fact wrong (and when for strategic reasons choose not to correct him). They learn when it is better to take a question and address it on the spot, or when to ask the bench to hold with you as you are “just getting there.” Students learn when to skip an issue, or concede a point, and how to quickly bounce between alternative arguments. More importantly they learn how to read a bench of judges and develop tools to get the bench to empathize with them as advocates. All in all, Jessup offers participants the opportunity to master an expanded list of priceless oratory skills, which are useful for law students both during their studies and in their later practice.
    1. To win the Jessup it is not enough to just ‘know the law and facts and apply the former to the latter in an accurate way’. After all, law is not an exact science, and the work of trial attorneys is different than that of a laboratory technician or a mathematician. Indeed scientists rely on postulations and previous theories. Jessup competitors, on the contrary, often have little-to-nothing to go on. Put differently, a team may discover that no exact specific case ever touched upon the issue they’re researching, and that no particular treaty administers the remedy sought after, and that merely a handful of papers were ever written on their question (and even they don’t agree on a single point). And yet… it is in this vacuum that best legal analysis develops. The fact that there is not enough black-letter law on many of the Jessup issues, forces students to rely heavily on legal rationales and policy considerations to support their claims. Participants are pressured to learn how to derive rules from divergent cases and how to distinguish authorities by their unique particularities. Students in the process draw inspiration from historical examples, academic theories, general principles of law, the values of the international community, the writings of legal philosophers, and the memoires of international jurists and scholars. This kind of creative critical thinking is absolutely invaluable.

     

    (H.E. Hishashi Owada – Judge, ICJ; H.E. Sir Christopher Greenwood – Judge, ICJ; and, H.E. Bruno Simma – Former Judge, ICJ)

    The Championship Round Judges (2015/16)

     

    1. As any litigator will tell you, even more important than the legal rationales, is an overarching narrative that the advocate is trying to get across to the Judges. Jessup participants learn that in order to argue their case effectively, they must also learn how to convincingly frame the factual-matrix. Participants in the Jessup become story-tellers and truly develop the skills of weaving facts and law to form a persuading account backed by proper legal authorities. This type of skill is extremely useful for anyone who later engages in public speaking, legal or otherwise.
    1. The final element of the oral rounds is the rebuttal and surrebuttal. Most teams would agree that this is the hardest piece to master. No one rebuttal is like the other, and respondent teams get between one and three minutes to figure out how to rebut the rebuttal as they are literally listening to it for the very first time. You may call it “thinking on your feet”, we consider it to be the epitome of legal advocacy; and the winner takes it all. The authors of this post have seen many rounds that were won solely on the basis of a powerful rebuttal or surrebuttal.
    1. You can’t do Jessup alone. There is a reason why the Jessup rules do not permit a one-man-show whereby a single team-member comprises of the team. In fact, even teams of two members are extremely rear. Most times teams will be composed of four and five members, forcing students to work together. Whether you’re good at it or not, you are required to learn how to be “a team player”, as a successful Jessup team is as good as its weakest link. Teams eat together, sleep together, research together, argue together, strategize together, fight together, and make up together. The number of romantic relationships that were launched thanks to the Jessup is matched only by the number of romantic relationships that ended as a result of it. Whether you may like them on a given day or not, as a participant in Jessup, you will soon learn that your best friends from law school are those who have shared Jessup with you. Two examples come to mind: there is the case of the two members that literally became one (Grigory Vaypan & Aleksandra Ivlieva, who got married shortly after they won the Jessup together); and there is the case of the two Jessup authors who became three, giving birth to their child, who was born, of course, during the international rounds. Overall Jessup is a bit like Nokia, connecting people, in various aspects.
    1. But to achieve success, it is not only about working with your cohort of people. Jessup also stands for continuously opening doors for new members and new interactions. First, Jessup will help you to get to know your colleagues, from your own law school. The Competition is open to law students (JD and LLB) as well as to graduate and post graduate law students (LLM, MSL, PhD, and JSD), as long as the specific competitor in question has not engaged in legal practice (see 2017 rules on eligibility). Thus, a team may well comprise a combination of JD, LLM, and PhD students who do not study together, or a team of law students from different years at the same law school. In many respects “seniority” in law school, does not play a role in Jessup; for example a first-year law student may very well do better than an LLM candidate.
    1. Second, Jessup continuously expands its arms to include new teams from different parts of the world. This particularly concerns areas of the world where there might not exist sufficient opportunities for legal writing and research. Last year involved teams from such a diverse list of countries as Afghanistan, Palestine, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Macau, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, and Gambia, just to name a few.
    1. The competition not only brings teams and universities from all over the world to the same place, it actually brings people together. It is in the Jessup international rounds where you may see teams from two States who do not share diplomatic relations, or even may not recognize each other, working side by side in a pleasant open and friendly all-welcoming environment. For some teams, Jessup may be the first time they left their home town, their country, or met someone who speaks a different language. Awards such as the “spirit of the Jessup” which was created in 1996 “to recognize the Team that best exemplifies the Jessup spirit of camaraderie, academic excellence, competitiveness, and appreciation of fellow competitors,” and is selected by a vote of the Teams participating at the international rounds – has been a visible way of acknowledging the competition’s commitment to these values. To learn more about the tolerance and acceptance Jessup stands for and witness the battle of some Jessup teams at the international rounds, we urge you to watch “All Rise”, an award winning documentary filmed during the 2013/14 Jessup rounds. We guarantee that the trailer alone is enough to make you want to watch the rest, let alone participate in the competition for yourself.
    1. More so, as a truly international competition, the state of origin of the competitors is truly hidden from the Judges and ILSA tries to promote an equality of arms amongst teams, who obviously come from different jurisdictions and have diverging levels of access to academic resources. As Judges in the competition, both authors of this post can attest that we never really know who argues before us. We sometime attempt to guess based on accents or certain court mannerisms, but we know that we are doomed to fail. Similarly, all teams are subjected to the same rules and deadlines. All of them receive the Comprimis at the same date and submit their written memorials by exactly the same time. They are all privy to certain batches of resources provided by the compromis authors to assist researching teams, and may be further assisted by ILSA in cases where their library has limited resources available. They engage the same legal questions, are prohibited from sharing or discussing their research with other teams, and are called to abide by the same rules of anonymity (see rule 2.17 of the rules of the competition). It is thus not surprising, that non-English speaking countries hold some of the more impressive track-records in Jessup, and one can only turn to last year’s champions, the team members of the Universidad de Buenos Aires of Argentina.

     

    Jessup World Cup Champions: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)

     

    1. Due to the diverse nature of the competition, Jessup also offers a unique chance to interact and network with law students, practitioners, and academics from all over the world. In other words, Jessup enables law students to meet their future colleagues and learn from them about possible career and educational paths and opportunities. The most incredible thing at the Jessup is to see a participant engaging in a conversation with the very scholars whom they have cited in their briefs. Let’s just say that a full blown international law nerdapalooza soon ensues.
    1. The fact that Jessup has been sponsored by some of the biggest law firms in the world (Shearman & Sterling and White & Case to name a few) as well as by top Chambers and practices in each of the various participating jurisdictions, who seek to recruit successful participants – is highly indicative of the skills required for the competition and its perceived status.
    1. If your law school days are long behind you, and you did not participate in the Jessup when you could, please don’t get disheartned – that absolutely does not mean that you can’t get involved now. Every year ILSA looks for new members to join its ranks as advisors, coaches, administrators, volunteers, memorial graders, Compromis authors, and round judges. You will grow through the process, learning the materials with the students you coach or advise and shaping the future of the international legal profession. In fact, one of the authors of this post changed her career completely after judging the DC international rounds. Careful now, Jessup makes you rethink things.
    1. Combined together Jessup helps form a community of international legal scholars who share a vision for the world and an interest in its further development. This group of exceptional individuals, whom you gain the privilege of calling your colleagues, friends, mentors, and drinking buddies, all continue on to do incredible work worldwide.
    1. Jessup has a history that spans nearly 60 years, which means that thousands of highly qualified lawyers and academics are amongst its alumni. It is thus not surprising that many current and former judges and justices on national and international instances have been involved in Jessup. It is also not surprising that some of the leading partners at law firms and other leading practitioners competed in Jessup at one point or another. Similarly you will find former Jessup participants as politicians and businesspeople, and in your law school at least one of your lecturers (probably your favorite one) will too hold fond memories of his or her Jessup glory days.

    So please get involved with the Jessup, find out whether your school already has an established team and see what you need to do to join it ranks. If it doesn’t – start one on your own with the assistance of ILSA. If you are already a lawyer or scholar, get involved with the competition as a coach, advisor, judge, or administrator. This competition can only grow on the basis of the commitment, dedication, and hard work of those who support it and its values. It falls on all of us to do just that.

    UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence – Launch Event for the October Themed “City Issue” (Vol 5 (2))

    By Ira Ryk-Lakhman, on 6 September 2016

    Please join us at the Launch Event of the new City Issue of UCLJLJ on Oct 3, 2016

    Slaughter and May, 1 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8YY

    Admission: Free
    Academic Editors: Chris O’Meara and Sara Razai
    Managing Editor: Ira Lakhman

    The UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence aims to make a high-quality contribution to current debates on local and global issues of law and jurisprudence. We have made significant advances this year, now launching two issues per year, implementing an online submission system, expanding to open access and many more exciting changes.

    The launch is an opportunity to recognise our authors and celebrate the contribution the Journal makes to the vibrant intellectual life of the UCL Faculty of Laws. It is also a great opportunity for those looking to get involved in 2016 to find out more. Students interested in joining the Journal Board are recommended to attend the event and express their interest towards the Academic and Managing Editors for 2016/17.

    The launch will be followed by drinks and a chance to meet our editors, authors and reviewers.

    This is a free event and copies of the Journal can be pre-ordered here or available for purchase on the day. Please note that our stock is limited therefore it is best to pre-order.

    Please register here