National politics and sovereignty are topics of two International Law events

Professor José AlvarezOn October 26, the Institute for International Law and Justice sponsored, "The Responsibility of International Organizations and the International Law Commission: A Conversation between Professors Georg Nolte and José Alvarez." The conversation followed recent events such as the 2011 adoption by the International Law Commission of the “Draft Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations,” which will be debated in the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, and cases before the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights (in particular Kadi/Behrami/Al-Skeini/Al-Jedda) that have raised significant questions about the human rights obligations of the United Nations as well as member states cooperating with UN actions. Such questions have arisen in the course of implementing UN sanctions or undertaking UN peacekeeping operations.

Nolte, member of the International Law Commission, and Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, addressed questions such as, Have the ILC and international judges asked the right questions and reached the right answers with respect to allocating responsibility on the UN? What is the International Law Commission's role in resolving such issues?

Earlier that week, members of the NYU School of Law faculty were a large and influential presence at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association, also known as International Law Weekend.

Presented by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association, the New York City conference, on October 20-22, brought together hundreds of practitioners, members of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and students around the theme, "International Law and National Politics.”

More than 30 expert panels examined how—and to what extent—international standards influence the application and interpretation of national law, touching upon such diverse areas as human rights and humanitarian intervention, national security, immigration, trade, labor, and the environment. NYU Law faculty who participated, and the topic of their panel, included:

Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law; UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:“Fair and Balanced: The Ethics of International Human Rights Fact Finding”
José Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law: “The Death of Sovereignty?”
Jerome Cohen, Professor of Law; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations: “Promoting Independence for Human Rights Lawyers Worldwide: The Role of American Lawyers and Law Firms”
Rochelle Dreyfuss, Pauline Newman Professor of Law; Member, Committee on Intellectual Property and Private International Law, International Law Association:“Intellectual Property Law in National Politics and International Relations Roundtable”
Eleanor Fox '61, Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation: “The European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon and its Impact on National Politics and Policies”
Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law; United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries: “Whither the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies?” 

Many of the papers presented at International Law Weekend will be published in a forthcoming issue of the ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law.

Watch the full video of the October 26 IILJ conversation between Georg Nolte and José Alvarez (1 h 34 min):