News from International Law at Westminster, academic year 2014-15

6 July 2015

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The academic year 2014-15 was very active and successful for the International Law at Westminster Team.

Throughout the year the Group organized and hosted a number of public events relating to some of the most currently topical issues and developments in international law.

To begin with, a panel discussion chaired by Dr Marco Roscini on the Legality of Nuclear Weapons under different international regimes was organized in October 2014 to launch the newly created International Law at Westminster initiative. This proved to be very well attended, with a lot of interest from a wide range of participants including academics, members of the press, non-governmental and governmental organisations and students.

The second event, titled Citizenship Deprivation and the Privilege to Have Rights held in December 2014, was a public lecture hosted by Professor Hélène Lambert. The speaker, Professor Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto, former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board), delivered an insightful paper on the recent legislative and executive endeavours in the United Kingdom and Canada aimed at ‘stripping’ citizenship from those suspected of committing terrorist offences. This event also attracted a large audience of academics, students and stakeholders and was followed by lively discussion.

The last in the series for the academic year was a February 2015 seminar organized and chaired by Dr Emma McClean and Ruth Mackenzie regarding the US Senate Report on Torture: Prevention, Accountability and Transparency. The discussants- Professor Philippe Sands QC, Carla Ferstman (REDRESS) and Andy Worthington- highlighted some of the most pressing issues relating to the use of torture, which sparked an active polemic from both the audience and the participants.

Individual members of the group have been active in their respective areas of expertise too. Professor Hélène Lambert wrote an article for The Guardian in November 2014, titled Statelessness Is An Evil That Has Been Hidden For Too Long. She has also made numerous contributions in the field of refugee law, including 'Causation in International Protection From Armed Conflicts' in Refuge from Inhumanity. War Refugees and International Humanitarian Law, (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publisher, 2014); ‘Transnational Law and Refugee Identity: The Worldwide Effect of European Norms’ in Conflicting Identities: Refugee Protection and the Role of Law, (London/New York: Routledge, 2014) and ‘Comparative Perspectives on Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality and Refugee Status' in International and Comparative Law Quarterly Vol. 64(1) 2015. In April 2015 she spent time at the University of Melbourne Law School, as a Dyason Fellow to write a book on Statelessness in International Refugee Law with Professor Michelle Foster, a fellow Melbourne academic. Among many other activities, Professor Lambert presented a seminar paper to Melbourne Law School on the topic of 'Statelessness, Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality and Refugee Status'. Furthermore, Professor Lambert participated in the Seventh Colloquium organized by the University of Michigan and the drafting of the Michigan Guidelines on Risk for Reasons of Political Opinion.

In July 2015 Dr Marco Roscini has been awarded the title of Professor of International Law in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of his field and his outstanding record of research, scholarly activity and academic leadership. As Dr Roscini, among other contributions, he published Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). This well received and authoritative book on the subject was reviewed, inter alia, by James A. Green for the Journal on the Use of Force in International Law (University of Reading) and Dr Russell Buchan (Sheffield University) for the British Yearbook of International Law.

Porfessor Roscini’s most recent publication is titled Evidentiary Issues in International Disputes Related to State Responsibility for Cyber Operations, 50 Texas International Law Journal (2015), 233-273. This article examines the burden, standards and methods of proof in relation to claims before the International Court of Justice seeking remedies for damage caused by cyber operations. The article has also been reprinted in C. Finkelstein, J.D. Ohlin, and K. Govern (eds.), Cyber War – Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts (OUP, 2015), 215-248. In June 2015 Professor Roscini has also published ‘Cyber Operations as a Use of Force’, in Nicholas Tsagourias and Russell Buchan (eds.), Research Handbook on International Law and Cyberspace, (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015), 233-254. His chapter discusses if and when cyber operations can amount to a ‘use of force’ under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

Ruth Mackenzie’s recent publications include ‘The Selection of International Judges’ in The Oxford Handbook of International Adjudication (OUP, 2014). On 11 and 12 June 2015 Ms Mackenzie and Professor Philippe Sands QC (University College London) gave a presentation on 'Conciliation in Environment-related Disputes' at an international colloquium on Conciliation in the Globalized World of Today organized by the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in Vienna.

Dr Emma McClean has contributed a chapter ‘The Responsibility to Protect: the Role of International Human Rights Law’ to the book titled United Nations System for Protecting Human Rights (Farham: Ashgate 2014).

Dr Paresh Kathrani continues with his management of and involvement in the EU Tempus founded project Rights Based Approach to Higher Education in the Maghreb. Together with Ms Margherita Blandini, he has successfully completed the project’s first phase, which resulted in a 25-page report of their research findings. Dr Kathrani represented Westminster Law School during two international conferences, the first in Algeria and subsequently a multi-partner conference in Madrid, Spain both relating to the Maghreb Project.

The year has culminated in International Law at Westminster welcoming a new team member, Dr Ioannis Glinavos, Senior Law Lecturer. On 1 July 2015 Dr Glinavos has shared to a wide audiences his expertise on the subject of the Greece Referendum during a Sky News interview, titled Should a Greece Referendum Go Ahead. His recent article on The Greek Bond Haircut and his popular blog also offer a valuable expert insight into the Greek economic situation.

Finally, Sherif Elgebeily was awarded the degree of PhD (supervisors: Dr Roscini, Professor Lambert and Ms Mackenzie), and moved straight into a Faculty position at the University of Hong Kong, Centre for Comparative and Public Law.

We look forward to reporting on exciting news from the Group at International Law at Westminster in the new academic year commencing in October and wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer.


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