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books-441866_1280Now hiring: Assistant in Private International Law in Freiburg (Germany) 
Source: Conflict of Laws 
At the Institute for Foreign and Private International Law of the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), a vacancy has to be filled at the chair for private law, private international law and comparative law (chairholder: Prof. Dr. Jan von Hein), from 1 January, 2016 with a legal research assistant (salary scale E 13 TV-L, personnel quota 50%)  limited for 2 years.

The assistant is supposed to support the organizational and educational work of the chairholder, to participate in research projects of the chair as well as to teach his or her own courses (students’ exercise). Applicants are offered the opportunity to obtain a doctorate.
Applicants are expected to be interested in the chair’s main areas of research. They should possess an above-average German First State Examination (at least “vollbefriedigend”) or a foreign equivalent degree and be fluent in German. In addition, a thorough knowledge of German civil law as well as conflict of laws, comparative law and/or international procedural law is a necessity. Severely handicapped persons will be preferred provided that their qualification is equal.
Please send your application (curriculum vitae, certificates and, if available, further proofs of talent) to Prof. Dr. Jan von Hein, Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Abt. III, Peterhof, Niemensstr. 10, D-79098 Freiburg (Germany) no later than 30 November, 2015.
As the application documents will not be returned, applicants are kindly requested to submit only unauthenticated copies. Alternatively, the documents may be sent as a pdf-file via e-mail to

IMG_0787Workshop: International Organizations and the Rule of Law: Perils and Promise
Source: International Law Reporter 
On December 7-8, 2015, the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and the International Law Association (New Zealand Branch) will hold a workshop on “International Organisations and the Rule of Law: Perils and Promise” at the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law. The program is here. Here’s the idea:
International organisations have represented some of humanity’s highest hopes for a more just and peaceful world order. In recent years, however, they have also been beset by serious problems and criticisms. Internationalists once believed that apolitical, technical international agencies would bring about ‘peace by pieces’, but some organisations such as the World Bank and IMF now face the contrary charge of advancing a particular brand of neoliberal economics and in the process undermining public goods and political legitimacy in their member states. Observers have noted the irony that the United Nations promulgates a “rule of law” paradigm to its member states, while it is not at all clear that the organization itself meets the requirements of that ideal. The Security Council is regarded alternately as a tool of ‘hegemonic international law’ and lamentably ineffectual where the interests of its permanent members are directly or indirectly concerned. And whereas the international community once saw the blue helmets of UN peacekeepers as symbols of international peace and security, that hopeful promise has been undercut by the tragedies in Rwanda and Srebrenica, allegations of sexual misconduct and, more recently, the catastrophic cholera outbreak in Haiti.
These problems raise a series of important theoretical and practical policy questions that demand attention from international lawyers. On the one hand, classical international organisations law, such as the doctrine of implied powers, has legitimised the continuous ‘mission creep’ of organisations well beyond what their founders originally intended, while failing to develop an adequate and enforceable doctrine of ultra vires. On the other hand, international organisations’ immunities are interpreted in an exceedingly broad, functionalist manner, making their officials and experts, as well as the organisations themselves, effectively unaccountable for a wide range of civil and criminal wrongs. Efforts to extend the international law of responsibility to international organisations have been roundly criticised on both doctrinal and practical grounds, and are unlikely to provide recourse to individuals and groups most negatively impacted by IO activities. The internal accountability mechanisms of international organisations, such as the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, may not address the root of the problems.
This workshop will take a fresh look at the resources that international law possesses to ensure that international organisations are held accountable for their errors and excesses, while remaining relevant and effective in the face of ever growing global challenges. How can international law develop in a way that preserves and enhances the dynamic possibilities of international organisations and their ability to contribute to the development of international law while making sure that the organisations themselves comply with the rule of law? Can international law offer solutions, or is it part of the problem? The workshop organisers welcome papers that present original legal or empirical research; theoretical reflections; case studies from practice; and critical and historical perspectives.
The workshop will be held in a roundtable format, focused on the discussion of draft papers. To enable all participants to benefit from the workshop, all will be expected to have read, and be prepared to comment on, each other’s papers.

file0001117035713Call for Papers: Global Constitutionalism without Global Democracy
Source: International Law Reporter 
A call for papers has been issued for a workshop on “Global Constitutionalism without Global Democracy,” to take place January 14-15, 2016, in Florence. Here’s the call:

Global Constitutionalism without Global Democracy
EUI, Florence 14-15 January 2016
International law is undergoing several profound transformations. New sectors develop as with the consolidation of the regime of Investment Arbitration or with the advancement of already existing areas as with the WTO. At the same time, claims about the “judicialization” of international law and processes of “global constitution” call for more precise definitions of terms such as ‘constitutionalism’, ‘constitution’ and ‘constitutionalisation’.
The starting assumption of the workshop is that domestic and global constitutionalism have in common several structural features but not that of democracy and legitimacy. Should global constitutionalism incorporate mechanisms and standards of democratic rule? If so how?
Legitimate democratic rule might only occur within a constitutional system, but does legitimate global constitutionalism — or alternatively a global constitution — need democratic legitimacy? Is the “we the people” the same constituent source of legitimacy for both domestic and global constitutionalism? And at the institutional level, is the implication to democratize and strengthen centralized bodies, such as reforming the UN General Assembly as well as fostering the role of global governance institutions such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank? Or can incorporation of international law within domestic democratic contexts render international law under sufficient democratic control?
These themes of the workshop are both descriptive and normative. It starts with a mapping of proposed models for global constitutionalism, and subsequent discussions will examine possible democratic deficits and their possible resolutions within specialized regimes.
Philosophical and legal contributions which address the general topic of the democratic deficit of global constitutionalism and regimes are welcomed. Below are some topics for papers to be presented on.
Security – which role in global constitutionalism?
Environmental Law – a case of failed or stalled constitutionalization?
Internet governance – is this form of multistakeholder engagement the way forward?
Human Rights Constitutionalism – a metaconstitutional framework in theory? In practice? What room does it leave for democratic governance?
What is Economic Constitutionalism?
Is a global government desirable in light of judicialization and global constitutionalism? How to increase the legitimacy standards in the absence of a global demos(oi)?
Confirmed speakers include: Cristina Lafont, Mattias Kumm , Andreas Føllesdal, Giovanni Sartor, Claudio Corradetti, Richard Bellamy, Dennis Patterson, Martin Scheinin
If interested, please send an abstract of max 500 words to and before December 15, 2015.

file0001011985902Call for Papers: Inequality and Human Rights
Source: International Law Reporter 
The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law has issued a call for papers for a conference on “Inequality and Human Rights,” to be held April 7–8, 2016. Here’s the call:
Call for Papers
The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law invites submissions for an interdisciplinary conference on the theme “Inequality and Human Rights,” to be held April 7-8, 2016.
Since the current global financial crisis began in 2008, income and wealth inequality both within and between countries has come under attack from multiple perspectives. While there is much methodological debate about how best to measure economic inequality globally, many of the figures are alarming. According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, half the world’s wealth is now owned by just 1% of the population, while the least well-off 50% own just 1% of global wealth.
Poverty, wealth and economic inequality are neither natural nor innate. Processes of impoverishment and uneven accumulation are produced, stabilized and sometimes challenged through legal and institutional arrangements, market competition, and social struggles. To date, human rights approaches to social and economic rights have primarily focused on poverty alleviation and the guarantee of basic rights. While not insignificant, these approaches have rarely attended to issues of extreme wealth or the social distribution of wealth.
We invite papers from any discipline that consider whether international human rights law, movements, and discourses have, could or should engage with the problem of economic inequality nationally or internationally. Are human rights frameworks equipped to address economic inequality? Might their promotion foreclose other, more effective, vocabularies and strategies aimed at economic justice? How might human rights frameworks need to change to contribute to a more egalitarian world?
We particularly encourage papers that consider these questions through contextualized examination of key sites of struggles over the distribution of income, benefits, access, decision-making power, and risk exposure. Such sites might include policies and practices around taxation, money and finance, debt (both sovereign and personal), development, natural resources and the environment, education, intellectual property, borders and migration, labor, housing, land ownership, and military intervention. Although our focus is on economic inequality, we also encourage papers that attend to the ways in which it interacts with other forms of inequality, such as those based on gender, race, nationality and physical and mental ability.
Please send an abstract of under 600 words to Julia Dehm ( by December 1, 2015. A limited number of travel grants are available to support travel costs for selected participants who are unable to receive financial support from their home institutions. If you wish to apply for a travel grant, please complete an application form.

file000921074758ECHR Articles in New Issue of NQHR 
Source: ECHR 
The newest edition of the SIM-based Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (NQHR, No. 3, 2015)) features two articles on the European Convention:
* Janneke Gerards, ‘The ECtHR’s Response to Fundamental Rights Issues Related to Financial and Economic Difficulties: The Problem of Compartmentalisation’
This paper presents an analysis of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on fundamental rights limitations for which the States have advanced ‘economic’ or financial justifications. The analysis discloses important differences in the ECtHR’s approach to such cases, which depend on the way they are framed and on which Convention articles they are based. It is submitted that such differences are difficult to maintain if they are not based on the substance and importance of the interests at stake. This paper therefore argues that the Court should develop a more uniform, ‘core rights’ based approach towards all rights claims which are related to the use of resources by States.
* Laurens Lavrysen, ‘Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights of Persons Living in Poverty under the ECHR’
In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a significant jurisprudence which illustrates the added value of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the field of poverty. Building on the findings of Amartya Sen’s “capability approach”, the article examines the extent to which the Court has grasped the nature of poverty as “capability deprivation”. It is argued that, due to polycentric concerns and a reluctance to overcome the negative / positive obligations and civil and political / social and economic rights dichotomies, the Court has only, to a limited extent, done so. Subsequently, three approaches are examined that could allow it to better take into account the findings of the “capability approach” and that could allow for enhanced protection of the human rights of persons living in poverty under the ECHR: endorsing a more complex perspective on the responsibility of the state; analysing poverty as a failure to provide substantive equality; and recognising the vulnerability of persons living in poverty.



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