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Introduction
Our January newsletter coincides with UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The news items, the forthcoming training programmes and expert debates, our ambition to do more cutting edge work in Europe and across the world, the monitoring of adherence with the rule of law and the promotion of rule of law values to younger, non legal, audiences, and our engagement with the legal and policy communities in challenging international and comparative law themes reinforce BIICL’s role in the 2020s.
Research
BIICL contributes to international efforts on strengthening asset recovery to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In December 2019, the Conference of the States Parties to the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNODC) in Abu Dhabi adopted a resolution requesting the UNODC Secretariat to further examine the extent of corruption and transfer of proceeds of crime in the context of international investments. During the conference BIICL and the UNODC organised a side event on this topic, which featured representatives of ICSID, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and major law firms.
 
This bi-annual Conference gathers representatives of over 180 States parties to the Convention to discuss various aspects of the implementation of the Convention, asset recovery, international cooperation, prevention and technical assistance. The organisers hope to continue examining the effects of corruption on international investment law and how to make the UN Convention against Corruption an effective instrument in this context.


Read more and listen to the event podcast: Yarik Kryvoi, UN Convention Against Corruption and Investor-State Disputes: Two Parallel Universes?  

 

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the Rule of Law
Oliver Garner and Jack Simson Caird


The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (WAB) is a Bill of paramount constitutional importance. A new report by the Bingham Centre examines a number of Rule of Law issues raised by the WAB.
The report uses the Rule of Law checklist adopted by the Venice Commission in 2016 to inform its analysis of the WAB. These Rule of Law standards provide a guide to the core elements of the Rule of Law, for which consensus can be found amongst the 47 States of the Council of Europe. The Venice Commission's Rule of Law checklist contains standards on:
a. Legality;
b. The legislative process;
c. Legal certainty;
d. Access to justice;
e. Human rights; and
f. Equality before the law.

Protecting Education in Insecurity and Armed Conflict 
We are pleased to announce the release of the second edition of Protecting Education in Insecurity and Armed Conflict: An International Law Handbook. The publication is the result of the collaborative project between BIICL and Education Above All Foundation (EAA) through its Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) programme. The second edition, fully updated with the recent legal developments and relevant case-law, provides a comprehensive overview of current status and explains how key international legal regimes, such as international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law protect education, students, teachers and schools in times of war or instability. The BIICL-EAA International Law Handbook also examines the mechanisms that can be used to obtain reparation for education-related violations of international law.

Read more about the project 

 
Training

Launch of an exciting new course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law'
On January 13th the Bingham Centre convened an event, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law: Five Years of Public Legal Education'. The event served two purposes. The first was a celebration of our trailblazing 'Rule of Law for Citizenship Education' teaching programme that has enabled approximately 40,000 students in schools across England to understand democracy, human rights and the Rule of Law. The second purpose was to whet the appetites of major stakeholders in the education and justice sectors at the prospect of our new online course, 'Citizenship and the Rule of Law' which will launch on 3rd February 2020.  
Speakers included Liz Moorse, CEO, Association for Citizenship Teaching; Professor Hugh Starkey, Professor of Citizenship and Human Rights Education, UCL Institute of Education; Professor Maggie Atkinson, Former Children's Commissioner for England; and Amanda Pinto QC, Chair, The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales.
The event was convened and chaired by Michael Abiodun Olatokun, Research Fellow in Citizenship and Rule of Law/Head of Public and Youth Engagement. The Centre is grateful to Travers Smith LLP for hosting the event and their continued financial support of our Citizenship and Rule of Law area of focus, and in particular to Chris Hale, Chair Emeritus.


Citizenship and the Rule of Law
Citizenship and the Rule of Law' is an initiative aimed at lawyers, campaigners and students interested in learning more about the practical requirements of the Rule of Law and its application to everyday situations. 2020 is a turbulent time for the Rule of Law; the institutions of justice face considerable and sustained attacks by public and private actors across the world, and this programme will help us to democratise the Rule of Law across the world. The course takes place over six weeks and comprises the following elements:
  • An introduction to the Rule of Law
  • Judicial independence
  • Equality
  • Access to justice
  • International law and remedies
  • Business, human rights and the Rule of Law

Short Course: Law of the Sea 24th April
This new course offers an informative overview of the international law of the sea and current challenges facing the world's oceans and seas. Bringing together a distinguished cohort of law of the sea scholars, the workshop is designed to provide participants with a working knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory framework and to enhance and broaden their understanding on a wide spectrum of law of the sea topics such as deep seabed mining, maritime migration and unregulated fishing.
By the end of the course participants will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework for governance of the world's oceans, the main sources of the law of the sea, including treaties and custom, and how these elements are put to the test in different contexts, from protecting the environment, to regulating deep sea mining and dispute settlement.
Course available to book now
International and Comparative Law Quarterly

ICLQ Announces 2020 Annual Lecture and Young Scholar Prize Winner

Each year the Editorial Board of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly selects one of the best papers of the previous 12 months for presentation at BIICL in London as a lecture.
We are delighted to announce that the Annual ICLQ Lecture this year will be given by Professor Philippa Webb and Dr Rosana Garciandia, both of King's College London, based on their article published in Vol 68(3) "State Responsibility for Modern Slavery: Uncovering and Bridging the Gap".
The article examines the phenomenon of slavery - prohibited by international law for more than a century, yet contemporary forms currently affect more than 40 million people - from the perspective of the responsibility of the State which has been largely overlooked as a perpetrator in modern analysis.
The event, chaired by ICLQ Editor in Chief, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans OBE KCMG, will also provide the opportunity to present the 2020 Young Scholar Award to Dr Benoit Mayer of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, for his article "Climate Assessment as an Emerging Obligation Under Customary International Law" in Vol 68(2). Dr Mayer will present his article and his wider research in conversation with Professor Evans, and will be given a certificate along with £250 worth of Cambridge University Press titles of his choice.

Book now for the ICLQ Annual lecture on 2nd March 

 
Keep up with the ICLQ through our twitter profile @ICLQ_jnl 

Event Highlights
International Commercial Arbitration - The View from the Commonwealth Ecosystem
4 December

Two panels discussed a major new study on international commercial arbitration produced by the Commonwealth office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform. the study recognises numerous challenges in the widespread use of international commercial arbitration, such as the need to build capacity, keeping costs down and increasing businesses’ understanding. 
Further details about the study

 
Climate Change Litigation: Comparative and International Perspectives

16 January
On 16 January, we hosted a half day seminar on Climate Change Litigation. The event, which brought together 13 panellists and over 100 participants, engaged with legal developments in the field of climate change litigation from a comparative and international perspective focusing both on developments before national courts and before regional courts and international human rights monitoring bodies.
The panellists included practitioners, NGO representatives and academics. They discussed the range of judicial decisions and pending cases in the global arena, spanning from the Netherlands to Pakistan, and highlighting recent developments in diverse legal systems such as the United States, France, India and Brazil. Moreover, panellists also engaged with the opportunities and constraints at the regional and international levels, focusing on the Inter-American and the African systems of Human Rights,  the European courts, the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
 


In his introductory remarks, Lord Carnwath, Justice of the Supreme Court, emphasised "the urgency of this work in the run-up to the UNFCCC COP26 meeting”, which will take place from 9-19 November in Glasgow. This conference, he noted “could provide an ideal opportunity to advance the case for effective legal remedies” in order to fight against climate change, both at the national and international level.
This event was the first activity within a programme of work on climate change and environmental law being developed by BIICL. A detailed report of the deliberations during the event will be published on the BIICL website in the coming weeks.
Law, Culture and Human Rights in Asia and the Middle East

 
Full calendar
Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Where are we and where to next?
 
UK Investment Protection Policy Post-Brexit


 
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