Thursday, March 26, 2009

New periodical: Journal of International Peacekeeping

The first issue of the Journal of International Peacekeeping has just been published, and the full text of all the articles are available online.

The Journal of International Peacekeeping is devoted to reporting upon and analyzing international peacekeeping with an emphasis upon legal and policy issues, but is not limited to these issues. Topics include inter alia peacekeeping, peace, war, conflict resolution, diplomacy, international law, international security, humanitarian relief, humanitarian law, and terrorism. The journal is of scholarly quality but is not narrowly theoretical. It provides the interested public - diplomats, civil servants, politicians, the military, academics, journalists, and NGO employees - with an up-to-date source of information on peacekeeping, enabling them to keep abreast of the most important developments in the field. Peacekeeping is treated in a pragmatic light, seen as a form of international military cooperation for the preservation or restoration of international peace and security. Attention is focused not only on UN peacekeeping operations, but other missions as well.

The Journal of International Peacekeeping is the continuation of the journal and yearbook International Peacekeeping, founded in 1994.

Of course, from our perspective, the most interesting issues relate to the accountability of international organizations (and perhaps of private military companies) for the actions of their peacekeepers, whether taken out in furtherence of their mandate, or in blatant abuse of their position. This is a range of topics on which I have blogged a couple of times before. I've only had time for a quick look, but there are a range of articles in the first volume of the Journal of International Peacekeeping that are of interest (and will have to be added to the GAL Bbiliography): One on the role of the UN in promoting the rule of law in post-conflict societies; on the ECtHR's Behrami decision; another on the House of Lords' Al Jedda judgment; and another on the immunity of the UN over Srebrenica before a Dutch court. There are also some relevant reviews of books on UN peacekeeping in Lebanon, Somalia and Kosovo, legal implications of peacekeeping, on international territorial administration, and on the "unintended consequences" of peacekeeping missions.

That's a lot of GAL for the first issue of a journal. Definitely one worth keeping an eye on...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Call for papers: GAL syposium at Edinburgh University

The events are coming thick and fast these days, but this one I find particularly interesting, for at least three reasons: 1) it's at Edinburgh University, my alma mater; 2) I've been asked to give the keynote address; and 3) most importantly, by far, this to my knowledge is the first GAL event to be organized that has not involved the participation of the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) and/or the Institute for Research on Public Administration (IRPA) in Rome.

The event will be held on Tuesday the 16th of June 2009, is being run "by PhD students for PhD students" from the Edinburgh University International Law Discussion Group, and is sponsored by the Edinburgh Law School Postdoctoral Research Committee and the Scottish Centre for International Law. The idea is to give doctoral researchers an opportunity to present short (20 minute) papers on anything GAL-related, and is not limkited to those working in the legal field, but is expressly extended to those working on philosophy, history, sociology, etc. ; anyone who would like to present a paper is invited to submit a 250 word abstract by the 20th of April 2009 to More information is available here. It should, I think, be an very worthwhile event.

If anyone is interested, below is an abstract of the paper that I am planning to present (although it may of course change between now and then):

Globalising the Discourse of Public Law: Constitutionalism, Democracy and the "Emergence" of Global Administrative Law:

The central purpose of this paper is to discuss the rhetoric of "emergence" within the field of global administrative law (GAL). The GAL Project has arisen out of – indeed largely in response to – the conditions of radical plurality and fragmentation that currently characterise the field of global regulatory governance. At the same time, however, the goals of the project have long been framed in terms of unity, as is illustrated by the rhetoric not simply of the singular form of the term “law”, but also of a unitary “global administrative space” within which it is to be applicable. This fundamental unity is at once affirmed and deferred, however, in the basic claim GAL is as yet only “emerging”; which, of course, begs the question of precisely what will have come into being when we can properly say that GAL has “emerged”. This is the issue that I seek to address in this paper.

It does so by comparing the development of two other - related but distinct - projects that seek to "globalise" public law discourses: constitutionalism and democracy. I identify three analytic "coordinates" in each project - the domestic, the extranational, and the global - and argue that the first two interact dialectically in the production of the third, thus justifying the use of the term "global". I illustrate some of the ways in which this is happening in GAL, leading to a relative homogenisation that speaks to the unitary rhetoric employed within the project; and argue that GAL remains a more realistic proposition than either global constitutionalism or global democracy precisely because the latter two project lack any sort of developed extranational coordinate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forthcoming event on GAL in International Organizations in Geneva

A quick post to highlight the fact that this week (Friday and Saturday to be precise) a major GAL event will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Practical Problems of International Organizations: A Global Administrative Law Perspective on Public/Private Partnerships, Accountability, and Human Rights. The conference will feature Panels on the increasing use of public-private partnerships by international organizations; legal process and mandate issues; accountability and immunities; and human rights issues in field operations. There will also be a general round table discussion, involving the chief legal officers of a number of important organizations. A detailed overview and programme of the event is available here.

The conference is jointly organized and sponsored by the Department of Public International Law and International Organization (and in particular by Professor Laurence Boisson de Chazournes) at the University of Geneva Law School and NYU's Institute for International Law and Justice (where the GAL project, led by Professors Benedict Kingsbury and Richard Stewart, is based). The event is also sponsored by the Institute for Research on Public Administration of Rome (led by Professor Sabino Cassese), the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Special mention must also go to my friend and colleague Lorenzo Casini, who has written more emails in this regard than I even knew existed.

The purpose of the meeting is to raise, analyze, and discuss important operational issues that confront major international organizations (IOs) that may not as yet have been sufficiently addressed in systematic fashion. In order to do so, the conference will bring together leading experts – both practitioners and academics – in the field.

Unfortunately, the meeting is by invitation only. The various contributions will, however, be collected into a volume for publication after the conference; and I will post some reflections on the event here at some point early next week.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on IOs, Peacekeeping and Attribution...

Just to keep things ticking over on here, I wanted to post a quick link to this interesting and detailed analysis by Antonios Tzanakopoulos over at the EJIL:Talk! blog on the vexed issues of attribution of the conduct of peacekeeping forces to the international organizations that have instigated or approved their presence. He focuses in particular on the issues surrounding the use of private military companies (PMCs), and concludes that here, at least where they are employed by IOs directly, attribution of their conduct is pretty much automatic. If, that is, the ILC´s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations have called it right. Draft Article 4(1) states:

The conduct of an organ or agent of an international organization in the performance of functions of that organ or agent shall be considered as an act of that organization under international law whatever position the organ or agent holds in respect of the organization.

As Tzanakopoulos notes, any PMC hired by an IO would automatically become an agent of the latter, and thus attribution of their conduct to the IO in question would be similarly automatic. Which makes it significantly easier to attribute the conduct of PMCs to IOs than it does that of national forces used in peacekeeping missions (where "effective control" must be demonstrated), and - perhaps more surprsingly - the conduct of PMCs to States that employ their services (in which case, according to Tzanakopoulos, "one would have to argue basically either that the PMSC exercises elements of governmental authority or that it is directed or (effectively) controlled by that State). He then goes on to examine in more detail this difference, and other aspects of the issues surrounding attribution of peacekeepers´ conduct to IOs. Well worth a read.


... for the lack of activity on here during the past little while. I have just left NYU, and am currently sojourning in the Low Tatras in Slovakia, and trying to get to grips with the relative difference in internet access between then and now (Slovakia, of course, has plenty; it is just my house that doesn´t...). Normal service will be resumed in about a week or so.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Call for papers on Sovereign Wealth Funds

Just a quick note to flag a call for papers that is being circulated for a conference in Singapore in September this year on Sovereign Wealth Funds. Much of interest from a global administrative law perspective, in particular relating to transparency and accountability requirements for the management of such funds. Anyone wanting an introduction to the issues involved could do much worse than read this excellent IILJ Working Paper by Simon Chesterman on this very topic. Anyway, here's the conference blurb:

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) are pleased to invite applications to attend the NUS Law School-AsianSIL Conference on Sovereign Wealth Funds: Governance and Regulation. This will be held at the NUS Law School in Singapore from Wednesday to Friday, 9-11 September 2009. Paper-givers who are selected through a competitive process will have their reasonable expenses covered.

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) played an important role in the economic crisis of 2007-2009, incidentally acquiring large stakes in some financial giants. Yet that role has also raised questions about the influence of these state-owned investment vehicles. The United States and the European Union have expressed concerns that SWFs — coming largely from developing nations such as China, Russia and the Gulf states — have more than commercial aims. In particular, there are concerns that SWFs seek political and strategic leverage on top of financial gain. Such anxieties have been exacerbated by the relative opacity of these large investors.

Current discussion about these issues tends to concentrate on policy and economic matters rather than law. The aim of this conference — Sovereign Wealth Funds: Governance and Regulation — is to clarify the role that norms and law may play in future governance and regulation, including analysis of the governance potential of self-regulation and voluntary regimes.

A variety of processes have been initiated by both investor and investee countries, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, intended to bring a measure of clarity to the situation. In particular, the International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IWG-SWF) has drafted a set of Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP) — the “Santiago Principles” — in the hope that this voluntary regime will help maintain the free flow of cross-border investment and open and stable financial systems.

The Santiago Principles define SWFs as “special purpose investment funds” owned and created by the general government for macroeconomic purposes. Generally established from the balance of payments surpluses, official foreign currency operations, proceeds of privatizations, fiscal surpluses, and/or receipts resulting from commodity exports, SWFs invest largely in foreign financial assets to achieve financial objectives.

Abstracts for new and unpublished papers are invited on these and related issues. All conference papers will be published as "working papers" on the AsianSIL website. A select number of accepted papers will subsequently be considered for formal publication in a special section of the Singapore Year Book of International Law.

The following subject areas are intended to be illustrative of possible topics that might be considered, but other approaches are welcome:

1. Regulation at home (for example, transparency and accountability requirements for SWFs; processes for determining appropriate allocation of assets)
2. Regulation abroad (for example, restriction on foreign SWF investment in “sensitive yet capital-intensive” industries)
3. Self-regulation and voluntary regimes (for example, the likely impact of the GAPP on SWF investment practices, corporate social responsibility)
4. SWFs and international trade (for example, the relationship between bilateral investment treaties and SWF capital investments, and the possibility of including regulatory clauses in future treaties)
5. Best practices in corporate governance (for example, emerging standards for risk management and rates of return on investment)
6. Avoiding conflicts of interest (for example, a government taking stakes in an entity that it is regulating)
7. Stakeholders and the lines of accountability (for example, who the stakeholders in such a fund are and to whom accountability for its activities should be directed)
8. The impact of the financial crisis on prospects for regulation of SWFs.
9. What is “sovereign wealth” anyway?

Proposals should be submitted on the attached Abstract Submission Form available here.

Please ensure that you include an abstract of not more than 250 words, indicating the relationship of the proposed paper to the conference theme and identifying one or more of the subject areas listed above to which the paper relates.

Completed forms must be emailed to by Friday, 24 April 2009. Those selected to participate in the conference will be notified by Friday, 1 May 2009. Further details about the conference will be made available at that time. Participation will be dependent on producing a draft of the paper (in the order of 8,000 words) by Friday, 31 July 2009.

For more details on the Conference, please refer to our conference website.

Best wishes,

Simon Chesterman
Global Professor and Director, NYU School of Law Singapore Programme Associate Professor, NUS Faculty of Law

Tan Hsien-Li
Asian Society of International Law Research Fellow, NUS Faculty of Law