Author Archives: Trey Childress

Roundup of Recent Alien Tort Statute Cases Post-Kiobel

For those interested in the impact that Kiobel is having on Alien Tort Statute litigation, John Bellinger of Arnold & Porter (who was the Legal Advisor at the US State Department) has an interesting post here.  After reviewing the cases, John concludes

It is clear from these decisions that the courts remain uncertain about what domestic conduct is necessary to “touch and concern” the territory of the United States and whether the conduct of corporate defendants inside the United States must itself violate the law of nations. In particular, there already appears to be a circuit split between the 9th and 11th circuits regarding whether the Supreme Court intended lower courts to apply to ATS cases the “focus” test in Morrison v. Australian National Bank, where the Supreme Court concluded that, in considering whether conduct that occurs both inside and outside the United States violates a statute without extraterritorial application, the courts should determine whether the conduct that is the “focus of congressional concern” occurred inside or outside the United States.  I discuss the decisions in more detail below.

The whole piece is definitely worth a read.

 

 

Is an International Arbitral Tribunal the Answer to International Human Rights Litigation?

I just was alerted to a proposal that was put forward to create an International Arbitral Tribunal on business and human rights.  The authors of the proposal are Claes Cronstedt, Robert C Thompson, Rachel Chambers, Adrienne Margolis, David Rönnegard and Katherine Tyler, all (save for Ms Margolis, a journalist, and Dr Rönnegard, a philosopher and economist) one-time or current private practice lawyers with a background and/or practice in human rights and CSR.

The initiative seeks to respond, in part, to the US Supreme Court’s decisions in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum and Daimler AG v Bauman.  In short, it is now difficult to plead international human rights violations against corporations in U.S. courts.  As I discuss in a forthcoming article, foreign courts may move in to fill the gap.  This proposal raises another question:  Are international tribunals the right forum for such cases?

 

 

New Issue of Revue Hellénique de Droit International

The new issue of Revue Hellénique de Droit International 2/2013 [Vol. 66] was published earlier this month.

Table des matières

Première Partie - Articles

Dossier spécial

La Proposition de Règlement du Conseil du 16 mars 2011 relatif à la compétence, la loi applicable, la reconnaissance et l’exécution des décisions en matière de régimes matrimoniaux

Partie II

Chryssa Tsouca – Le droit applicable aux régimes matrimoniaux à défaut de choix des époux                         249

Nikolaos Davrados – Jurisdictional issues concerning matrimonial property regimes                        259

Deuxième Partie - Études

Evangelos Vassilakakis – International jurisdiction in insurance matters under Regulation Brussels I            …………………………………………………………………………. 273

Anthi Pelleni – Obligation to assess the creditworthiness of the consumer and the responsibility of banks       …………………………………………………………………………. 295

Nicholas M. Poulantzas – The European Union and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Mediterranean States: Does a duty to cooperate exist? ………………………………………………………   311

 

Troisième Partie - Jurisprudence

Georgios Panopoulos – La jurisprudence grecque de droit international privé en 2012                      319

Ioannis Prezas, Lisa Böhmer & Inès el Hayek – Centre International pour le Règlement des Différends relatifs aux investissements (CIRDI). Chronique du contentieux 2012 ………   335

 

Quatrième Partie - Législation et documents

International agreements ratified by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 …..   379

 

Cinquième Partie - Varia

Antoine Maniatis – Approche syncrétiste du droit para la sociologie du droit et l’anthropologie du droit        …………………………………………………………………………. 385

Fethullah Bayraktar – La question du drone en droit international ….   399

Jaques Bipele Kemfouedio – L’impact juridique du financement international des élections en Afrique : réflexions sur le cas de l’élection présidentielle ivoirienne de 2010 …………….   417

Pallavi Kishore – Le tribunal international de Tokyo pour les crimes de guerre commis sur des femmes : jugement de l’esclavage sexuel organisé par l’armée japonaise ………………..   447

Haroune Ould Ahmed – Les réserves à caractère religieux ……………..   461

Stefanos Vlachopoulos – The translation of legal texts: To what extent can functionality be creative?            …………………………………………………………………………. 471

 

Sixième Partie - Notes bibliographiques

Kalliopi Makridou & Georgios Diamantopoulos (eds), Issues of Estoppel and Res Judicata in Anglo-American and Greek Law (Tonia Korka) ……………………………………………..   487

Ingrid Rossi, Legal Status of Non-governmental Organizations in International Law (Tonia Korka)                489

Ouvrages reçus ……………………………………………………………………   493

RHDI 66 (2013)

Another Opinion Limiting the Alien Tort Statute

 

Today, Judge Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a case filed by a class of South Africans against Ford Motor Company and IBM (see here SDNY SAAL.  Those companies had been sued under the Alien Tort Statute for allegedly aiding and abetting human rights violations during the Apartheid regime.  Put simply, the plaintiffs alleged that Ford and IBM oversaw operations of a subsidiary in South Africa that led to human rights violations in South Africa.  Given that the plaintiffs were unable to plead relevant conduct in the United States that would give rise to a violation of customary international law, the case was dismissed.  According to Judge Scheindlin, “That these plaintiffs are left without relief in an American court is regrettable.  But I am bound to follow Kiobel II and Balintulo, no matter what my personal view of the law may be.”

In addition to this case, the Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a case against Chiquita for similar reasons.

Besides these two cases, the Fourth Circuit permitted a case to go forward against CACI Premier Technology for alleged abuse and torture occurring at Abu Gharib.  See here for a roundup on the Chiquita and CACI cases.

Recent PIL Scholarship

See here for a list of abstracts on SSRN of recent PIL scholarship.  Please consider subscribing to and posting PIL scholarship with this eJournal, as it will help create a central location for PIL scholarship.

New SSRN eJournal on Private International Law

We are pleased to announce a new Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) Subject Matter eJournal – Transnational Litigation/Arbitration, Private International Law, & Conflict of Laws eJournal.

TRANSNATIONAL LITIGATION/ARBITRATION, PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW, & CONFLICT OF LAWS eJOURNAL
View Papers: http://ssrn.com/link/Transnational-Litigation-Arbitration.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Transnational-Litigation-Arbitration

Editors: Donald Earl Childress III, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law, and Linda Silberman, Martin Lipton Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law, New York University School of Law

Description: This eJournal includes working and accepted paper abstracts dealing with private international law, transnational litigation, and arbitration. The topics include private international law (conflict of laws), extraterritoriality, jurisdictional issues, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards, international commercial arbitration, and investor-state arbitration.

We hope our readers will find this eJournal useful.

In Memoriam: Professor Andreas Lowenfeld

For those who have not heard, we have lost a giant in our field.  Professor Andreas Lowenfeld has passed away.  The New York University School of Law website has information here about Professor Lowenfeld’s extraordinarily rich life and legacy.  We shall not see his like again.

Call for Papers for the Third Annual ASIL-ESIL-MPIL Workshop on Transnational Legal Theory

See here for a call for papers for the Third Annual ASIL-ESIL-MPIL Workshop on International Legal Theory being held September 8, 2014 at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Abstract submissions should be sent to asil.esil.mpil@gmail.com by June 22, 2014. Short papers (5000 words max.) must be delivered by August 25, 2014.

Questions regarding the workshop may be directed to:

Evan Criddle ejcriddle@wm.edu
Jörg Kammerhofer joerg.kammerhofer@jura.uni-freiburg.de
Alexandra Kemmerer kemmerer@mpil.de

Professor Paul Stephan on Court on Court Encounters

Professor Paul Stephan (the University of Virginia School of Law) recently published “Courts on Courts:  Contracting for Engagement and Indifference in International Judicial Encounters” in the Virginia Law Review.  This is an important new article on the question of transjudicial communication and global governance, especially as it challenges the predominant scholarly position.  From the Introduction:

The Article proceeds in five Parts. It first describes the various contexts in which court-on-court encounters take place and the analytic choices that confront the courts. It then reviews work by scholars who believe engagement and dialogue among courts motivated by collective promotion of the global rule of law explain what courts do. Third, it offers, as an alternative model of judicial encounters, a contract theory that emphasizes the choices made by actors within an exchange context.  These actors include both private persons (firms as well as individuals and states (which can contract directly with private persons or enter into a kind of contract through international agreements, express and implicit). Fourth, it reviews the evidence of judicial behavior, looking mostly at U.S. practice but also considering other national courts in both common-and civil-law jurisdictions, as well as international tribunals—both permanent and ad hoc. This evidence indicates that contract theory provides a more robust explanation for judicial practice, especially by national courts, than does the dialogue theory described in the second Part. The Article also explains why contract theory provides a normatively more appealing justification for judicial choices than do the rival theories. A conclusion identifies broader implications.

Job Opening: American Society of International Law Executive Director

ASIL Executive Director Job Opening

The American Society of International Law is looking for a new Executive Director.  The dealine for applicaitons is June 15, 2014.  See this page for more information.  From the job posting:

The American Society of International Law (“ASIL” or “the Society”) seeks an accomplished leader with vision, proficiency in international law, and proven management abilities to serve as its next Executive Director, starting in the second half of 2014.

To receive appropriate consideration, applications should be received by June 15, 2014.  All applications will be acknowledged, but only finalists will be contacted further.  The identity of applicants will be held on a strictly confidential basis. No phone calls please.