Newsletter 2010/6 (Jun)
News & Events
Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) and Indonesian Society of International Law (ISIL) Conference: International Law as a Political Instrument?
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta
10 June 2010
The Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) and Indonesian Society of International Law (ISIL) are pleased to announce the joint inaugural conference of the Societies on 10 June 2010 at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta. The theme of the Conference is “International Law as a Political Instrument”. For further details, click here for the e-flyer or email email@example.com.
Call for Papers
1st CILS Conference 2010: Progressive Development of International Law
Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia
4-5 October 2010
The Center for International Law Studies (CILS) of the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia is holding its 1st Conference on the theme - Progressive Development of International Law – in Depok, Indonesia on 4th and 5th October 2010. The deadline for submission is 5 July 2010. Please click here for more details.
Call for Paper
1st International Conference on Human Rights in Southeast Asia
Organized by the Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network and Center for Human Rights Studies and Social Development, Mahidol University
Bangkok , Thailand
14-15 October 2010
Those who wish to present a paper at the conference are invited to submit an abstract of 300-350 words and a short biographical paragraph of 150 words in English by 30 June 2010 to Ms. Saksinee Emasiri at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please click here for more details.
Call for Papers
1st Global International Conference on Innovation in Marine Technology and Future of Maritime Transportation
Istanbul Technical University, Maslak Campus, Istanbul, Turkey
24-26 November 2010
The Istanbul Technical University-Maritime Faculty (ITU-MF) is calling for papers for “The First Global International Conference on Innovation in Marine Technology and Future of Maritime Transportation” in November 2010. The academic sessions of the conference include Environmental Protection and the Maritime Sector and the Legal Framework for the Seas and International Maritime Conventions. All abstracts should be submitted through the Conference Website by 15 June 2010. Please click here for more details and submission of abstract.
Centre for International Law (CIL) ASEAN Documents Database
The ASEAN Documents Database is a free, user-friendly, internet resource of selected ASEAN and International Law Documents. More than 200 selected ASEAN documents and 170 International Law documents are now included in the database. Please click here to access the database.
Directory of International Law Practitioners in Asia
AsianSIL members who would like to be listed on the directory of international lawyers in Asia for networking opportunities and possible project collaborations among AsianSIL members should denote their areas of interest and email email@example.com .
Membership of the AsianSIL is open to any person or institution that has an interest in and respect for international law and supports the objectives of the Society.
Please click here to join the Society. To update membership particulars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asia and International Law
Developments and news pertaining to Asia in various areas of IL
Law of the Sea – Pirates rule on high seas as international law lacks clarity (RT, 7 May 2010)
Pirate attacks have plagued the international community and the gaps in the international law are making it even more difficult to tackle the problem. Most of the time foreign navies have to disarm and release pirates. Just recently the Russian Navy had to set free 10 Somali pirates who were captured in the rescue operation of tanker “Moskovsky Universitet” seized off the Somali coast. According to the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Colonel Aleksey Kuznetsov, the move is a result of “the imperfection” of international law. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the lack of an international legal agreement on how to prosecute Somali pirates has undermined the effort to eradicate piracy in the region. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has repeatedly urged greater action against piracy especially in the Gulf of Aden.
Australia institutes proceedings against Japan for alleged breach of international obligations concerning whaling (ICJ Press Release 2010/16, 1 June 2010)
Australia has instituted proceedings before the International Court of Justice against the Government of Japan, alleging that “Japan’s continued pursuit of a large scale programme of whaling under the Second Phase of its Japanese Whale Research Programme under Special Permit in the Antarctic (“JARPA II”) [is] in breach of obligations assumed by Japan under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (“ICRW”), as well as its other international obligations for the preservation of marine mammals and marine environment”.
International Humanitarian Law, Peace and Security – UN urges end to CIA drone attacks (Al Jazeera, 3 June 2010)
Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, has issued a report which concludes that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not provide enough transparency or accountability for the programme on drone strikes, and urges the United States (US) government to put the military in charge of the programme as it is more accountable than the CIA and better trained in the laws of war. Bill Burton, the White House deputy press secretary, has responded to Alston's report by saying that US President Barack Obama is doing "everything that he can to protect Americans [and] to advance [US] strategic interests". The CIA has also refuted Alston’s report, saying that all its actions are “within a framework of law and close government oversight”.
Gaza fleet raid raises questions over legality of Israel’s blockade (Times, 1 June 2010)
The incident surrounding Mavi Marmara, one of three ships sent by an Islamic aid group from Turkey, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief, onboard which Israeli commandos clashed with the protestors of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip has raised an international outcry against Israel’s alleged illegal use of force. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the use of force and the Human Rights Council has voted to despatch an independent, international probe into violations of international law.
World powers condemn North Korea over warship sinking (Channel News Asia, 20 May 2010)
Following the investigation report which found conclusively that a North Korean torpedo sank the South Korean naval warship, Cheonan, on 26 March, the international community has strongly denounced North Korea. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has stated that the “United States strongly condemns the act of aggression” that led to the deaths of 46 crew members, and that the “act of aggression is one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law… [it] constitutes a challenge to international peace and security”. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said, “This hostile and unprovoked act represents a flagrant violation by North Korea of the United Nations Charter and the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement.” South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has vowed “resolute countermeasures” and is currently finalising its sanctions package for North Korea.
Environment – RI asks for 2nd developed nations’ emission reduction commitment (Antara, 3 June 2010)
As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) talks get underway in Bonn, Indonesia has urged the developed countries to make a second commitment on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions after their first Kyoto Protocol commitment ends in 2012. Indonesia’s request was voiced by the chairman of the Indonesian delegation, Rachmat Witoelar, at the Climate Change Ad-Hoc Plenary working group session on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). Indonesia has also initiated a regional plan on climate change among its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbours.
Human rights and Development – Thai PM pledges to honour investigation into crackdown (AFP, 1 June 2010)
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has reiterated that he would accept and “not interfere” in the findings of an independent investigation into a deadly army crackdown on anti-government "Red Shirt" protesters. PM Abhisit has been accused by his political opponents of violating human rights in the tense standoff between the demonstrators and armed troops when the latter fired live rounds during several confrontations in the capital. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has stressed the need for an independent probe into the recent deadly violence in Thailand such that “all those found responsible for human rights violations are held to account”.
Trade and Investment – Modalities on Doha Round to complete this year: WTO (Moneycontrol, 3 June 2010)
The long-drawn Doha Round of talks may finally be sorted out soon. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Deputy Director-General Harsha Vardhan Singh has said that 90% of the issues in the Doha Round are resolved, and that although the last mile negotiations may be difficult, the WTO is expecting to complete modalities on the Doha talks this year. However, the Doha Round is unlikely to be completed fully in 2010.
See also WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy’s recommendations in moving the Doha process forward.
International Organizations – World Bank Group President Zoellick Appoints Indonesian Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as Managing Director, World Bank Group (World Bank Press Release, 4 May 2010)
As of 1 June, Sri Mulyani Indrawati begins her position as Managing Director of the World Bank Group. As Indonesia’s Minister of Finance since 2005, Ms. Indrawati guided economic policy for one of the largest countries in Southeast Asia, and one of the biggest states in the world, navigating successfully in the midst of the global economic crisis, implementing key reforms, and earning the respect of her peers across the world. Prior to her position as Indonesian Finance Minister, Ms. Indrawati also held positions as the State Minister and Chair of the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, and an Executive Director on the Board of the International Monetary Fund. She has been on the faculty of the University of Indonesia and was a visiting professor at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University. In her new role Ms. Indrawati will supervise three regions: Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and Pacific. She will also oversee the Information Systems Group.