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Newsletter 2016/12


Asia and International Law

Developments and news pertaining to Asia in various areas of IL

Human RightsMalaysia: Myanmar pursues ethnic cleansing of Rohingya (Al Jazeera, 4 December 2016)

Malaysia has accused Myanmar of engaging in "ethnic cleansing" of its Rohingya Muslim minority, as former UN chief Kofi Annan visits a burned-out village in violence-hit Rakhine state. Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled their homes since a bloody crackdown by the Myanmar army in Rakhine, sparked by a string of deadly attacks on police border posts in early October. "The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing," Malaysia's foreign ministry said in an unusually strongly-worded statement on Saturday. Myanmar has balked at such criticism, saying the Rakhine crisis is an internal issue. However, international pressure on the country is mounting. Malaysia's statement noted that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighbouring countries in recent years, including approximately 56,000 to Muslim-majority Malaysia. That, the statement said, "makes this matter no longer an internal matter, but an international matter".

International Criminal LawCambodian court upholds life sentences for Khmer Rouge leaders (Guardian, 23 November 2016)

Cambodia’s UN-backed court upheld life sentences for two top former Khmer Rouge leaders on Wednesday for crimes against humanity, delivering a blow to their hopes of release as they face a second trial for genocide. “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea, 90, and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 85, were in 2014 the first top leaders to be jailed from a regime responsible for the deaths of up to two million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979. They appealed against their convictions, accusing the court of a string of errors and the judges of failing to remain impartial due to their personal experiences under the regime. In a lengthy ruling on Wednesday after months of hearings, the bench upheld the bulk of the convictions and the jail terms, but accepted some legal errors had been made in the initial trial.

International Economic LawChina urges US to abide by WTO anti-dumping agreement (Channel News Asia, 2 December 2016)

When China joined the WTO in 2001, it agreed to let WTO members treat it as a non-market economy when assessing dumping duties for 15 years. That gave trade partners the advantage of using a third country's prices to gauge whether China was selling its goods below market value. But that clause is due to expire on Dec. 11, and China has demanded that countries abide by the agreement. U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in November the time was "not ripe" for the United States to change the way it evaluates whether China has achieved market economy status, and there was no international trade rules requiring changes in the way U.S. anti-dumping duties are calculated. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said the United States should stop using its own market economy evaluations to deny China's "rights".

EU blames China for WTO environmental trade talks collapse (Channel News Asia, 5 December 2016)

Europe's trade negotiator Cecilia Malmstrom has blamed China on Sunday for scuppering a global environmental trade deal by submitting impossible late demands at World Trade Organization talks aimed at scrapping import tariffs on exports worth more than US$1 trillion. "China came in with their list, bringing in totally new elements of perspective, which was very late in the process," Malmstrom told Reuters. The change of U.S. president also puts a big question mark over the future prospects for a deal. European resistance to Chinese bicycle imports has also been a stumbling block, although Malmstrom said bicycles had become totemic for China and nobody else, and the agreement went far wider, adding that the EU had "quite cheap bicycles already".

ASEAN a 'more open market' than EU, US: World Economic Forum (Channel News Asia, 1 December 2016)

ASEAN, the 10-state Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a more open market for international trade than either the European Union or the United States, according to a World Economic Forum report released on Wednesday (Nov 30).

The WEF hailed the "increased integration into the global economy" of ASEAN members, which comprise Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. "ASEAN's progress as an economic power comes at a time when the United States and European Union are becoming less open," it said in a key finding of the 2016 Global Enabling Trade Report. The scorecard, which comes out every two years, measures the overall capacity of 136 economies to enable the flow of goods across borders.

Vivian reiterates S'pore's firm belief in ASEAN integration (Business Times, 30 November 2016)

Speaking to some 350 guests at the Straits Times Global Outlook Forum event at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel, Dr Balakrishnan urged ASEAN to stay united in the face of global challenges. He stressed that Singapore is a "staunch believer" in the need for ASEAN integration. "If we can maintain ASEAN as a neutral, open and inclusive platform, to engage and cooperate with the other big players, then we are in the game. We will have bright prospects," he said. He added that the benefits of achieving the vision of a united ASEAN will go beyond just economics.



AsianSIL Announcements and Events

Save the date – AsianSIL Sixth Biennial Conference 2017
Seoul, Korea
25-26 August 2017

The 6th Biennial Asian Society of International Law Conference will be held in Seoul from 25 to 26 August 2017. The Call for Papers and other details of the conference will be forthcoming. Please watch this space – we hope to see as many of you in Seoul next year!

CIL Conference: “The South China Sea Award: The Legal Dimension”
Regent Hotel, Singapore
5-6 January 2017

The Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is organizing a 1.5 day Conference on "The South China Sea Award: The Legal Dimension" on 5 and 6 January 2017 (Thursday and Friday) at the Regent Hotel, Singapore. The Conference will bring together legal academics and experts to discuss the key legal findings in the Award and examine its implications for the development of the law of the sea and dispute resolution. The Conference is limited to invited guests and held under the Chatham House Rule. More details can be found at https://cil.nus.edu.sg/.

Call for Papers – International Junior Faculty Forum 2017
Stanford Law School, October 2017
Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday, January 16, 2017

Sponsored by Stanford Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the International Junior Faculty Forum (IJFF) was established to stimulate the exchange of ideas and research among younger legal scholars from around the world. Those who would like to participate in the IJFF must first submit an abstract of the proposed paper to both ijff@law.stanford.edu and ijff@law.upenn.edu. Please click here for further information.

Call for Papers – ESIL Annual Conference
Naples, 7-9 September 2017
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 January 2017

The 13th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law will take place in Naples, Italy, on 7-9 September 2017. The conference will be hosted by the University of Naples Federico II, the oldest public university in the world. The theme of the conference is ''Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values: The Responses of International Law''. The Call for Papers is now open. Further information is available on ESIL website.

Save The Date: International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators (ICMA XX) 2017
Copenhagen, Denmark
September 25-29, 2017

An important event in every maritime and commercial arbitrator's calendar, the International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators (ICMA) is a forum for maritime arbitrators, lawyers and for the shipping industry from around the world in which to deliberate on and exchange views and news of professional interest. It is a series of conferences which are held every 2 or 3 years in the spirit of a joint effort to promote maritime arbitration all over the world. For more information, please click here.

Call for Applications: Fellowships with the Berlin Potsdam Research Group "The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?"
Position: 3 Fellowships in International Law or International Relations
Duration: 12-24 months fellowship starting from 1 September 2017
Deadline for Applications: 31 January 2017

The Berlin Potsdam Research Group “The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?“ invites applications for three Fellowships from 1 September 2017. This is a fixed-term position for a period of 12 months which may be extended by up to a further year. Fellows will work at Humboldt University Berlin. They will co-operate with the group’s senior researchers and participate in the academic ex-change of the Research Group. They are expected to complete a peer-reviewed publication project during their fellowship. For further details on the application and eligibility, please click here.

Call for Submissions – Asian Journal of International Law

The Society’s Journal is soliciting submissions for future issues. Articles should be between 8,000 and 12,000 words (excluding footnotes) and be submitted exclusively to the AsianJIL, with publication subject to double-blind peer-review and editorial discretion. For details on style and the submission process, as well as information on how to subscribe, visit www.AsianJIL.org. For enquiries, please email AsianJIL@nus.edu.sg. Many articles are available FREE for download at www.AsianJIL.org. We encourage readers to make full use of this opportunity to access the latest international law scholarship. Please also visit our Facebook page and recommend AsianJIL to your friends and colleagues.

NUS 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. About than 600 selected ASEAN documents and 260 International Law documents are now included in the database. Please click here to access the database.

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