Director's Notes

Recently I was asked to prepare a paper, for consideration by a government, on how I thought that the international legal system is likely to develop in the next decade. These matters are never easy to predict and so I focused my ideas on the likely ways in which international law will be made, who will make it, and how compliance will be monitored.

A few key issues seemed to me to be potentially likely to happen, especially with the increased role of the industrialized developing States such as Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa, which may be less affected by the views of economically powerful industrialized States. In relation to international law-making, there might be fewer multilateral treaties and some areas may be developed through treaty interpretation or State practice, such as the international law of State responsibility, rather than by new multilateral treaties. At the same time, bilateral treaty making, especially in the commercial and trade areas should grow, and the difficulties of ensuring linkages across international legal regimes, such as trade and human rights, may continue. The Security Council's powers will continue, perhaps extending to decisions on piracy, capacity building of States whose governance is weak, and terrorism, as all of them have impacts on the security of permanent members of the Council. However, there may be increasing constraints on the use of these powers by other areas of the international legal system and a desire to ensure that Council resolutions have a clear end date. In relation to European States, I think that the EU and its areas of competence will continue to expand, including into private law matters, with its role in negotiating treaties and engaging with international law more generally having an impact on both EU and non-EU States.

While States will continue to be the primary makers of international law, the next decade may see a greater acknowledgement of the reality of the law-making powers of non-State participants, such as international organisations, corporations, and non-governmental organisations. With this acknowledgement, there may also be international regulation of their activities and accountability for their actions (both by States and by the participant itself), including extra-territorially. There is also a need for international law to be flexible in its treatment of entities that are not States, to provide them with some effective international legal personality short of Statehood.

These changes will also be reflected in the role of the many international dispute resolution bodies, from the international criminal courts and tribunals, to trade law. In the area of bilateral investment treaties, there may be a move to have an appellate system, much like the WTO appellate body, and the impact of the human rights treaty bodies, including the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review, which covers more than a State's treaty obligations, may be broader than expected. Above all, the national court's role in the application and enforcement of international law will increase and become more important. National courts will use international and comparative law more and more frequently to ensure that the rule of law is upheld both nationally and internationally.

Indeed, the important role of these national courts shows the need for high quality research, education and training of national courts and national lawyers in international and comparative law. This is where the role of the Institute is so essential. There is a need, as well, to encourage and inform national lawyers of the many careers in international law, which is why we have just published A Guide to International Law Careers.

While my predictions may not prove correct, the reality is that international and comparative law will be even more vital areas of law in the next decade both nationally and internationally. I am sure that the Institute will continue to ensure that it is a part of all developments.

Professor Robert McCorquodale
Institute Director

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Development News

The Institute's development income has increased significantly since our last newsletter. We continue to focus our fundraising efforts on the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the Sir Arthur Watts Fellowship in Public International Law.

We are pleased to welcome Keith Ruddock, Shell International BV and Dame Juliet Wheldon DCB, QC onto the Appeal Board for the Bingham Centre. Due to the combined efforts of the Appeal Board nearly £850,000 has been raised to date. The most notable recent development is that the Vivmar Foundation has agreed to fund, for five years, a Research Fellowship in European Law to work within the centre. Interviews for this post are to take place soon.

In relation to the Watts Appeal, Cecilia Gillett has made a generous contribution to the fund, bringing our total raised to date to over £160,000. We have a number of leads we are currently following and hope to be able to report more good news soon.

Some of you will know that Sir Arthur Watts was a keen cricketer; 25 years ago, during an international mineral rights conference in Antarctica, Sir Arthur organized the most southerly cricket match ever played - 400 miles from the South Pole.For those who may be interested, there was an excellent retrospective piece on this published in January by ESPN which can be found here.

For further information on any development ideas or support, please go to or contact:

Diane Denny, Development Director. tel 020 7664 4871 email or
Orsi Deak, Development Administrator tel 020 7862 5151 email

Staff News
  • The Institute welcomes back Development Director Diane Denny, after the birth of her son, Oliver.

  • Peter Whelan will be leaving the Institute on 28 February to commence as a lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where he now lives. His unstinting support to the Competition Law Forum and to Philip Marsden has been impressive, as well as his original and high quality research on a range of competition law matters.

  • Events and Conference Organiser, Mandy Bouw, will be leaving the Institute on 1 April to return to her family in The Netherlands. She has been a key part of the Events team and provided invaluable assistance to the Institute for its many events.

  • Nisrine Abiad, Research Fellow and Director of the Iran project, will be leaving on 8 April to go to Dubai, as her husband's company has moved him there. Her research, energy and innovative ideas have made the Institute now a vital participant in the area of international and comparative law in Islamic states.
Research News

Cross-border Disaster Relief: the United Kingdom Framework

On 7 December 2009, the Institute organized a workshop, co-hosted by the UK Cabinet Office and the British Red Cross, in connection with the Institute's study on International Disaster Relief Preparedness. The workshop brought together stakeholders from national, regional and local government offices, statutory bodies, academic institutions and the charity sector. It provided a forum for discussion of various issues concerning the capacity of the United Kingdom to respond to possible legal, technical and practical problems potentially arising from the receipt of international relief assistance in the event of a serious disaster within its territory.

The purpose of the workshop was to assist the Institute in drafting a national case study, which examines the current domestic legal framework for disaster response within the UK, and attempts to identify to what extent this framework provides for rules or procedures which would facilitate the possible provision of assistance from abroad. The information considered at the Workshop and the input of the participants has greatly assisted the Institute's research and will be included in the report's findings, as far as possible. The report is scheduled for completion in April of this year, following which it will be made available on the Institute's website.

The national case study was commissioned by the British Red Cross.

European Study on Disaster Assistance

The Institute has also recently completed its report on the legal framework for disaster assistance within the European Union. The report was commissioned by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and is funded in substantial part by the European Commission. The report constitutes another aspect of the overall study on International Disaster Relief Preparedness. The EU report considers the Community mechanism for disaster assistance, as well as several technical rules that are necessarily involved in the provision of cross-border assistance, such as law relating to customs, immigration, and food safety. The report also briefly considers other international obligations that Member States may have regarding co-operation during a natural or technological disaster. Once published, the report will be made available on the project website. Both the European Study and the UK national study form part of a wider project, which will evaluate the civil protection framework of the EU and six member states.

Information on the IFRC's International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles programme is available here.

For further information concerning the Institute's study on International Disaster Relief Preparedness, please contact Justine Stefanelli (

Herbert Smith Private International Law Research Fellow publishes article on Pre-Contractual Responsibilities in Comparative Law

Eva Lein published an article called ‘Liberté, Loyauté et Convergence—La responsabilité précontractuelle en droit comparé and has been published in CENTRE DE DROIT ECONOMIQUE D'UNIVERSITE AIX MARSEILLE III (ed), Regards comparatistes sur le phénomène contractuel, PUAM 2009, 17–38 (with the collaboration of B VOLDERS, University of Antwerp).

Competition Law Forum

A legal article entitled 'Selective Distribution in the Age of Online Retail', co-authored by Dr Philip Marsden and Peter Whelan of the Institute, was recently published in the European Competition Law Review: (2010) 31(1) ECLR 26. This article analyses two important issues: (i) the legality of imposing restrictions on the use of the Internet within an otherwise legitimate selective distribution system; and (ii) the legality of selective distribution per se in the age of online retail. In doing so, it examines the effectiveness of the current law in responding to both of these challenging issues and considers whether reform is needed in this area of EC competition law. 

Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights

Robert McCorquodale published an article called ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights' in the Journal of Business Ethics (2009).

This articles comments on the activites of the United Nations Special Representative on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, John Ruggie, has adopted a new framework for considering this issue within the international legal system. This article examines this framework in terms of its coherence, its consistency with international human rights law and how it can be ‘operationalized' (which is required by the United Nations). In regard to the States legal obligation to protect human rights, it is considered whether this obligation is broader and deeper than is envisaged in the framework, especially if it can include the extra-territorial activities of corporations. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights is examined in terms of its conceptual and definitional problems, and the article also questions whether there will be sufficient legal remedies available to victims under the framework.

Interns Board

Matthias Hieber

There are many good reasons to apply for an internship position at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Below I will explain my personal motivation and why everybody interested in doing high-class research should take this opportunity.

Personally, I was attracted by the Institute's recent research project, ATLAS (Armed Conflict, Peacekeeping, Transitional Justice: Law as Solution). This project perfectly fits my academic background. As a political scientist focusing on (European) Security Politics with expertise in International Humanitarian and International Criminal Law, I felt I could be of help to the research team. Sarah Williams offered me the opportunity to prove myself by participating in the daily academic work.

Recently, I helped Sarah with updating chapters for Professor Robert McCorquodale's Case Book on International Law. This required deep knowledge on recent jurisprudence. Many cases were new to me. Therefore I had to progress step-by-step to achieve good results. At the same time, it was a great opportunity for me to study international law cases in depth. I realized, however, that I am still far from being adept in International Law. So there is still a long way to go.

As in many international institutions, internships at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law are unpaid. Nevertheless, the profit you gain from represents a valuable asset. The Institute benefits from one's academic input. At the same time, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law offers its interns the opportunity of doing outstanding professional research on a high international level. Internships are proposed part-time or full-time. This demands, however, a strong sense of duty from interns to accomplish their daily tasks on time. Additionally, interns can benefit from attending a remarkable number of conferences and seminars hosted by the institute. This offers great opportunities to meet well-known and highly qualified theorists and practitioners in the area of international law. During the internship, nearly all conferences are free of charge and the Institute offers all interns a one year membership.

I can definitely recommend an internship at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. It will be a gainful experience for everyone who wishes to perfect one's knowledge in international law and to improve one's research skills


    Recent Institute Events

  • Human Rights and the Global Economy

On 14 January 2010, Professor David Kinley, Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Sydney, visited the Institute to present his views on the inextricable link between human rights and the world economy, on which he had elaborated in his most recent publication Civilising Globalisation: Human Rights and the Global Economy. The event took the form of an interview, during which Professor Robert McCorquodale, the Institute's Director, asked Professor Kinley a series of questions about the impact of international trade, aid and commerce (especially corporations) on human rights. Professor Kinley highlighted a number of valuable points stemming from his research, and also from his personal experience, and engaged in an interesting discussion with the audience. Among other issues, he raised the possible complications associated with any increase in legal regulation of corporations, as States remain both the drafters of the treaties and the primary holders of international obligations. He expressed his concerns regarding the ostracizing of States where human rights abuses occur as this has so far not proven effective, and he felt a better way to foster a change of attitude may be to work with the governments in question. Finally, a topic discussed in length was the issue of the lack of legal authority obliging the corporate world to take ethical decisions, in particular when such corporate entities do not have a significant public image which may suffer from a damaged reputation. In that regard, presenting the legal risks to corporate leaders and holding financial institutions accountable remain the most effective means.

Summary by Kristin Hausler and Florence Jones


  • EC Competition Law: Is there a Gap in the Enforcement of Article 102?

On 18 January 2010, Dr Ioannis Kokkoris, a Visiting Professor of Bocconi University, visited the British Institute put forward the ideas in his book, A Gap in the enforcement of Article 82 (now article 102), and to officially launch the book, which is published by the Institute. It was a lively event with audience contribution and strong academic debate.

Dr Kokkoris proposed that although the article deals successfully with the misconduct of dominant firms, there is currently no way to deal with similar misbehaviour of non-dominant firms. He suggested that the gap is sufficiently harmful to consumers that there needs to be a change in the way the article is implemented. One idea he discussed was a change in the interpretation of the definition of the word ‘dominant'; perhaps to mean ‘potential to behave dominantly', as opposed to simply relying on market control figures.

His ideas were debated by Professor Richard Whish of King's College London and Dr Jorge Padilla, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, LECG. Dr Padilla highlighted that increasing regulation of non-dominant firms could potentially harm the market and discourage company growth. Professor Whish suggested that even if there technically is a gap in the article, in reality the bureaucracy and over-regulation that would be created by the change would outweigh the consumer benefits. He also stressed the potential problems of re-defining the definition ‘dominant'.

Summary by Florence Jones

  • Quantifying Antitrust Damages—Towards Non-Binding Guidance for Courts

On 1 February 2010, Dr Gunnar Niels from Oxera visited the Institute to discuss the Oxera report. The report is part of the European Commission's project to provide non-binding guidance for courts with respect to quantifying damages from competition law offences. The report was discussed by Rob Murray, from Crowell & Moring, and Jon Lawrence, from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Among the issues raised was the question of how the ommission will eventually provide succinct and helpful guidance to judges, in an area which necessarily involves complex economic analysis and differing opinions. Inevitably much will depend on the facts of each case, and the judgement of the court as to which theories are most plausible.

Summary by Florence Jones

  • Climate Change after Copenhagen

On 2 February, to follow on the United Nations Conference which took place in Copenhagen last December (COP15), the Institute gathered a panel of experts to discuss climate change.

Professor Philippe Sands first offered an insight into the context behind the accord of which delegates took note last December. His view is that the positions and issues have not changed much in the last 20 years. He deemed Copenhagen a failure, adding that the inability of States to agree to a meaningful legal instrument in this instance actually questions the international legal order. David Kennedy of the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the government, was rather positive with regard to the progress made in Copenhagen.

Our last speaker, Farhana Yamin, who attended Copenhagen on behalf of small island States, shared Mr Kennedy's perspective to a certain extent, as she highlighted some of the positive aspects of the Copenhagen Accord—for example the fact that it covers 50 countries responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions, twice the amount falling under the Kyoto Protocol, or that both developed and developing countries now appear ready to implement domestic measures. However, she also pointed out the uncertainties associated with the outcome of COP15, such as the exact destination of the pledged financing. The seminar ended with an animated debate between the panelists and the large attendance. Given the interest drawn from this event, Professor Catherine Redgwell, the evening's Chair, mentioned the need for a similar seminar at the Institute after the upcoming Mexico conference, where it is hoped that a more significant document will be signed by the parties.

Summary by Florence Jones

    Forthcoming Institute Events

The Annual Grotius Lecture
Transnational Corporations: National Regulation, International Cooperation and International Judicial Assistance

The 1st Event in the 10th Anniversary Series for the Trans-Atlantic Antitrust Dialogue

Tuesday 16 March 2010 18:00 to 19:30

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL


Judge Diane P. Wood
"Kingman Brewster's Jurisdictional Rule of Reason, Fifty Years Later"

In 1958, Professor Kingman Brewster published his pathbreaking book on Antitrust and American Business Abroad. This was a time when conflicts among nations over authority to prescribe rules of law for business arrangements were common. The United States stood almost alone in its commitment to strong antitrust enforcement, and it followed similar policies with respect to securities regulation and export regulation. Professor Brewster proposed a "jurisdictional rule of reason" to ameliorate, or perhaps even eliminate, these kinds of conflicts. His approach was later adopted in the United States by some courts and by the American Law Institute, in its Restatement of the Law of Foreign Relations of the United States (Third), which was published in 1987. The talk will consider how well the jurisdictional rule of reason functioned in its heyday; whether it was better suited to executive branch decisionmaking or if it was something that judges were capable of applying; whether such a rule was necessary to prevent transnational corporations from slipping between the cracks of national regulatory systems; and finally whether better devices exist today, in 2009, that allocate jurisdictional competence among nations, facilitate cooperation where it is possible, and manage conflicts when they arise.

Sponsored by:

Non-Member Member
Individual: £50.00 £0.00
Full-Time Academic: £40.00 £0.00
Full-time Student £20.00 £0.00

    To book and for more information click here

The Annual Grotius Dinner

Tuesday 16 March 2010 20:00 to 22:30

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL


After-dinner speaker:

The Rt Hon. Lord Justice Rix, Royal Courts of Justice

Dress code: Lounge suit

Cost: £65.00

To book and for more information click here

Costs in lookalike cases - Is Europe a level playing field?

Tuesday 30 March 2010 17:00 to 19:00

British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP


Chair: The Hon. Mr Justice Arnold, Royal Courts of Justice

Speakers include:

Paul Leonard/Robert Pitkethly, Intellectual Property Institute
Garry Mills, Innovate Legal
Daniele Lingua, Ferrero Group

The aim of the seminar is to examine the imbalances in trade mark and brand protection in the EU, with particular reference to procedural barriers and costs.

This event is co-organized with the Intellectual Property Institute


This event is kindly supported by Procter & Gamble.


Non-Member Member
Individual: £125.00 £75.00
Full-Time Academic: £75.00 £35.00
Full-time Student £25.00 £15.00

For more information and to book please click here

Terrorism, Fair Trials and the Role of the Courts
Wednesday 28 April 2010 17:00 to 19:00

For more information and to book click here.

The Fourteenth Investment Treaty Forum Public Conference
Do not pass Go: Jurisdictional and other objections available to respondent State

Friday 7 May 2010 09:00 to 16:30

For more information and to book click here.

Tenth Annual WTO Conference
Wednesday 19 May 2010 09:00 to
Thursday 20 May 2010 16:30

For more information and to book click here.

Annual Conference 2010

Friday 11 June 2010 09:30 to 17:30

For more information and to book click here.

International Legal News in Brief


Gillan & Quinton v United Kingdom (Eur Ct HR January 12, 2010)
Click here for document (31 pages)

In January 2010 the European Court of Human Rights (Court) issued a judgment holding that the random stop and search of two British citizens amounted to a violation of Article 8 (right to privacy) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention). The Court noted that the ‘concept of ‘private life' is a broad term not susceptible to exhaustive definition' and that the Court must examine ‘a number of elements'—including the person's reasonable expectations of privacy —in order to determine whether an article 8 violation has occurred. Second, the Court reviewed the authority given to police officers in effectuating random searches, holding that ‘the use of the coercive powers conferred by legislation to require an individual to submit to a detailed search of his person, his clothing and his personal belongings amounts to a clear interference with the right to respect for private life.'

Having determined that the forced stop and search amounted to violation of article 8, the Court turned to the question of whether the government measure was ‘in accordance with law.' The Court concluded that ‘the powers of authorisation and confirmation as well as those of stop and search under sections 44 and 45 of the 2000 Act are neither sufficiently circumscribed nor subject to adequate legal safeguards against abuse.' As a result, there had been a violation of article 8.

Rantsev v Cyprus & Russia (Eur Ct HR January 7, 2010)
Click here for document (59 pages)

In January 2010 European Court of Human Rights (Court) ruled that Cyprus and Russia violated article 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labor) of the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) through its failure to prevent or investigate the illegal trafficking of Oxana Rantseva to Cyprus. The Court held that Cyprus had violated article 4 for failing to implement ‘appropriate legal and administrative framework to combat trafficking' and that Russia had violated the same provision for its failure to investigate Rantseva's move from Russia.

The Court noted that trafficking in human beings is not expressly mentioned in article 4, but concluded that:
There can be no doubt that trafficking threatens the human dignity and fundamental freedoms of its victims and cannot be considered compatible with a democratic society and the values expounded in the Convention. In view of its obligation to interpret the Convention in light of present-day conditions, the Court considers it unnecessary to identify whether the treatment about which the applicant complains constitutes ‘slavery,' ‘servitude' or ‘forced and compulsory labour.' Instead, the Court concludes that trafficking itself, within the meaning of Article 3(a) of the Palermo Protocol and Article 4(a) of the Anti-Trafficking Convention, falls within the scope of Article 4 of the Convention.

Sejdic & Finci v Bosnia and Herzegovina (Eur Ct HR December 22, 2009)
Click here for document (42 pages)

In December 2009 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (Court) held that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which allows only the three Bosnian ethnic majorities to run for the House of Peoples and the presidency, was in violation of articles 3 and 14 (non-discrimination), article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections), and article 1 of Protocol No. 12 (non-discrimination) to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court concluded that ‘by becoming a member of the Council of Europe in 2002 and by ratifying the Convention and the Protocols thereto without reservation, the respondent state has voluntarily agreed to meet the relevant standards.'

Judges Ljiljana Mijovic and Khanlar Hajiyev partly concurred and partly dissented with the majority. Judge Giovanni Bonello strongly dissented against the Court's reasoning, declaring that the present judgment ‘has divorced Bosnia and Herzegovina from the realities of its own recent past.

Michelot Yogogombaye v Republic of Senegal (December 15, 2009)
Click here for document (11 pages)

In December 2009 the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights issued its first decision. The Court dismissed Michelot Yogogombaye's application against the Republic of Senegal for lack of jurisdiction. The Court examined Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which established the Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, and concluded that it had jurisdiction to review applications against states that had made the appropriate declaration. The Court found, however, that Senegal had not made the necessary declaration, and thus jurisdiction was lacking.

China—Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products—Appellate Body Report (WTO December 21, 2009)
Click here for Appellate Body Report (195 pages); click here for summary of the Report (4 pages)

In December 2009 the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its report in China - Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products. The Appellate Body generally agreed with an August 2009 WTO panel conclusion that China had acted inconsistently with the provisions of GATS, GATT 1994, and the Protocol of Accession. The Appellate Body recommended that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) request that China to bring measures found to be inconsistent with China's Accession Protocol, China's Accession Working Party Report, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) in conformity with China's obligation under these instruments.



United Nations Security Council Resolution 1904—Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts (December 17, 2009)
Click here for document (approximately 15 pages)

Resolution 1904 is intended to improve the sanctions regime instituted pursuant to Resolution 1267. It establishes new listing and delisting procedures, including the creation of the Office of the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will be ‘an imminent individual of high moral character, impartiality and integrity with high qualifications and experience in relevant fields' and will be appointed by the United Nations Secretary General in consultation with the Sanctions Committee.

United Nations Secretary-General's Briefing to the General Assembly on the Emergency in Haiti (January 13, 2010) and Security Council Resolution 1908 (January 19, 2010)
Click here for Secretary-General Briefing (approximately 3 pages); click here for Resolution 1908 (Jan. 19, 2009)

On January 13, 2010, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the General Assembly on Haiti, describing the crisis faced by the people of Haiti and appealed to both UN humanitarian agencies and key world leaders for aid.

On January 19, 2010, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1908, which ‘increas[ed] the overall force levels of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti [MINUSTAH] to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts.'

For more information on the relief efforts in Haiti, visit the MINUSTAH website at


Sacirbey v Guccione (2nd Circuit)
Click here for document (27 pages)

On December 9, 2009 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted Muhamed Sacirbey's petition for writ of habeas corpus and ordered that he not be extradited pursuant to a request by Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia). It is a requirement of the extradition treaty between Bosnia and the US that an individual be ‘charged' with a crime. The Court noted that the Bosnian Court that had issued the arrest warrant against Sacirbey had its authority stripped during Bosnia's 2003 justice system reforms, and held that a warrant of arrest issued by a court that lacked jurisdiction to enforce it amounts to a legally void ‘dead letter.'

The dissent would have honored Bosnia's request, and noted that the judicial reform in 2003 did not cancel pending criminal investigations.

Al-Bihani v Obama (DC Circuit)
Click here for document (34 pages)

On January 5, 2009 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the district court's order denying Ghaleb Nassar Al-Bihani's (Al-Bihani) petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Al-Bihani was captured in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance and transferred to US Authorities. In early 2002 he was then sent to Guantánamo Bay.

Al-Bihani filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his detention, arguing in part that his ongoing detention was in violation of laws of war. The Court of Appeals rejected his position, noting that international laws of war ‘have not been implemented domestically by Congress and are therefore not a source of authority for US Courts' and that, as a result, Al-Bihani's reliance on international law was ‘both inapposite and inadvisable.' The Court also noted that international laws of war are not binding or authoritative, but ‘are helpful to courts when identifying the general set of war powers.'

With Thanks To Benjamin Brockman-Hawe


New Title: A Guide to International Law Careers

Published January 2010
ISBN 978-1-905221-14-1
Price: £25 (members £15)

The experience of many students studying public international law at university is, ‘This is fascinating, but what can I do with it?' While this Guide in no way detracts from the more intangible reasons to study international law, it is practically focused and explores the options available to law graduates beyond traditional or domestic law career paths.

The range of possible international law careers is vast—from human rights to investment law and from the courtroom or boardroom to the refugee camp—and the Guide offers a step-by-step approach to considering whether and how to pursue a career in one of these areas. The essential message is that international law jobs are out there and attainable if approached strategically and with perseverance.

The text—written as a series of questions and answers—is supplemented by practitioners' views and experiences, and appendices containing concrete infrmation on the most useful internships, short courses and Master's programmes.

Professor Christopher Waters is the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada, where he teaches Public International Law and International Humanitarian Law. He previously taught at the University of Reading and has addressed military audiences in both the UK and Canada. Dr Waters has extensive field experience in the Caucasus and Balkan regions with NGOs and international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Professor Anneke Smit is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada. Dr Smit is a former Lecturer at the University of Reading and legal counsel of the Canadian Department of Justice, where she practised immigration and refugee law. She has also worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Mission in Kosovo, the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

To order this book, please email or visit

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The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) is a registered charity and an independent research institute committed to supporting high standards of scholarship in all aspects of international and comparative law. The views expressed at its events and in its publications are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of BIICL.