Why every aspiring lawyer should study international law
Source: The Guardian
The emergence of Islamic State and the ever-present threat of terrorism has highlighted the role of international law.
And while some aspiring lawyers may dismiss the subject as outside the scope of the UK legal system and therefore irrelevant, the truth is, they’re missing the point.
Studying international law allows students to develop insights into the global legal system and its influence on both national and international policies.
Dr Michèle Olivier, a lecturer in international law at the University of Hull’s law school and one of eight experts who helped draft the 1993 South African constitution, says trainee lawyers must take into account what’s going on abroad.
“We have international controversies and are engaged in the war against terror.Students must also understand that we are part of Nato and, even if you practice in the UK, you will be confronted with international law,” says Olivier.
The world is interconnected as never before, says Robert Volterra, partner and principal of public international law firm Volterra Fietta. “Everyone is affected by war in the Middle East, the transmission of Russian gas to western Europe, and piracy in the South China Sea.
“There are treaties regulating almost every human activity, including child custody, the content of breakfast cereals, and what compensation travellers receive if an airline loses luggage,” says Volterra.
“Can a lawyer in the 21st century have a proper legal education that omits the one area of law to which she and her clients will be subject on a daily basis?”
Whether you hope to pursue a career solely in the UK or internationally, knowledge of international law will be useful because of the globalisation of legal practice.
For Samuel Feldman, a second-year law student at the London School of Economics, studying public international law as an optional module has helped him build useful contacts with experts in international law – from professors to practitioners.
“International law professors have usually worked in the field, and having experienced professionals teach you is very beneficial,” he says.
Deborah Matthews at James Legal Solicitors in Hull, who worked as a family lawyer for many years before obtaining a master’s in international law, says studying the subject has been hugely beneficial.
“During my first law degree I developed a real interest in European Union competition law and trade, and its impact on national law, and I wanted to explore this area further. I also became interested in international criminal law and national security,” she says.
“These interests led me to study international law. I obtained a master’s in areas that interested me and gained specialist knowledge that has enhanced my career prospects,” she says.
International institutions, such as the International Court of Justice, have many opportunities for young lawyers in the field of international law. But studying it can boost your prospects in related areas of interest too, such as human rights.
Studying international law can also give you a leg up when applying for non-legal internships or work placements at the United Nations or the European Union, including at the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
These institutions are renowned for providing opportunities for those who specialise in international law. Michael Greenfield, an international law student at the University of Southampton, received an offer of an internship at the UN’s New York headquarters.
“International law has opened up exciting opportunities for me,” he says. “I have developed knowledge of key concepts and structures, which I will be putting into practice this summer at the UN.
“This doesn’t mean that my career path has narrowed down – in fact, it has opened up an array of opportunities that I wouldn’t have known about if I was not studying international law.”
In an era of tighter legal budgets and government cuts, specialist knowledge and flexibility are increasingly demanded of lawyers. An awareness of international law is a strong advantage in today’s globalised world.
Call for Papers: Institutional Change and the Inter-American Human Rights System
Source: Interamerican Human Rights
The IAHRN is inviting submissions for papers to be presented at a two-day workshop entitled “The Inter-American Human Rights System: The Law and Politics of Institutional Change“. The workshop is due to be held at University College London’s Institute of the Americas on 9th and 10th October 2015.
Papers and presentations will examine the political factors that have shaped the institutional development of the Inter-American Human Rights System, the normative and legal transformation the IAHRS has experienced, and the effect of these changes on the impact, broadly defined, of the inter-American system.
The network is calling for submissions related to any of the three key themes to be discussed during the event:
1) The politics of institutional change;
2) Patterns of normative and legal change;
3) The impact of these institutional and/or normative and legal changes.
The deadline for the submission of titles and abstracts is Monday 1st June 2015. For more information on topic areas and submission guidelines please see the attached Call for Papers.
3. Vacancy at The Hague Conference on Private International Law SI
The Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is seeking a
LEGAL OFFICER (full-time)
to support ongoing work in relation to the “Judgments Project”.
The ideal candidate will answer to the following description:
– Excellent law school education (Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, J.D., or equivalent), preferably in the common law tradition;
– Good knowledge of private international law (conflict of laws) in general, and in particular of international civil procedure;
– Familiarity with comparative law (substantive and procedural law) and public international law;
– A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in practice of law, academia, or an international organisation is desirable;
– Excellent command, preferably as native language and both spoken and written, of English; working knowledge of French and / or of other languages desirable;
– Very good drafting capabilities (e.g., dissertation, law review or other publication experience will be taken into account);
– Personal qualities to work well in a small team and contribute to a good, pleasant and co-operative working atmosphere both within the Permanent Bureau and with outside experts.
The successful candidate will be working under the direction of the responsible First Secretary. Duties will mainly focus on the “Judgments Project”, which includes assistance with preparation of research papers and other documentation, organisation and preparation of presentations, attendance of relevant (experts) meetings, etc. Work may from time to time also relate to the follow-up and co-operation with States with regard to the implementation of the 2005 Hague Choice of Court Convention, assistance with promotional activities and training programmes, and other work as required by the Secretary General.
Type of appointment and duration: One-year contract as Legal Officer, funded by a special grant from the Attorney-General’s Department of Australia; any extension of the contract is subject to additional funding.
Preferable starting date: as soon as possible, taking into account the availability of the successful candidate.
Salary: Relevant A-grade of the Co-ordinated Organisations scale for the Netherlands, depending on qualifications and experience (the grade corresponding to the envisaged profile would most likely be A/1 of the Hague Conference adaptation of the Co-ordinated Organisations scale).
Place of work: The Hague, the Netherlands
Deadline for applications: 22 May 2015
Applications: Written applications including a curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, academic transcripts, one sample of written work (preferably in an area of international civil procedure), and at least two references, should be addressed to the Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, before 22 May 2015. Email address:email@example.com
Lectures: Decisions of the ICJ as Sources of International Law?
Source: International Law Reporter
On May 21-23, 2015, the Dipartimento di Scienze Giuridiche at the Facoltà di Giurisprudenza of the Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza” will host the second Gaetano Morelli Lectures. The topic is “Decisions of the ICJ as Sources of International Law?” The program is here.
Call for Submissions: Melbourne Journal of International Law
Source: International Law Reporter
The Melbourne Journal of International Law has issued a call for submissions for the second issue of its sixteenth volume. Here’s the call:
CALL FOR PAPERS
MELBOURNE JOURNAL of INTERNATIONAL LAW
The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’) invite submissions on areas of interest in international law for volume 16 issue two. MJIL will also consider submissions that do not necessarily fall neatly into the traditional public/private international law categories, including transnational law issues, domestic court interpretations of international law and submissions that adopt a comparative law approach to analyse international law. Issue 16(2) will be published in December 2015.
MJIL, Australia’s premier generalist international law journal, is a peer-reviewed academic journal run through the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne. MJIL’s objective is to facilitate scholarly research and critical discussion of private and public international law issues.
MJIL publishes articles, commentaries, case notes and book reviews. Articles for 16(2) should be in the vicinity of 10,000 to 15,000 words in length and be an original and detailed contribution to international and/or transnational law scholarship. Commentaries should explore recent developments in a specific field and their practical applications, and should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length. For more details, please visit our website.
All articles, case notes, commentaries and review essays published in MJIL are subjected to a double-blind refereeing process, involving at least two specialists in the field. Once accepted for publication, submissions will then be edited for compliance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Authors have an opportunity to review the final version of the piece prior to publication. Our publication policy can be accessed here.
All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word format, together with a signed publication policy.
The submission deadline for 16(2) is 1 July 2015.
Call for Tenders on Support to ECHR Effectiveness at National Level
Source: ECHR Blog
The Council of Europe has issued a call for tenders to evaluate the effectiveness of the Council of Europe support to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at the national level. The consultancy will focus on the following countries: Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’. Here is the announcement of the tender:
The Directorate of Internal Oversight is pleased to inform you that it intends to avail itself of consultants’ services for the evaluation of ‘effectiveness of the Council of Europe support to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national level for 2015 – 2016’.
We hereby invite you to submit a proposal within an open consultation procedure, respecting the tenders file. The deadline for sending the proposals to the Council of Europe office in Strasbourg is 27 May 2015. Failure to submit a proposal containing all the required information and documentation within the deadline specified shall lead to the rejection of the proposal.
Please note that all services, material and reports related to this contract will have to be provided in English. The deadline to submit has been extended to 27 May.
The full tender information can be found here.