Protecting Human Rights through Int'l Adjudication: Reflections on Recent Cases and Developments

The Society's 114th Annual Meeting—and first Virtual Annual Meeting—took place June 25–26, 2020. The 2020 Annual Meeting theme, "The Promise of International Law," was an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of international law, while reaffirming our commitment to achieving its promise of a more just and peaceful world.

Sponsored by Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP--Organized by the Dispute Resolution Interest Group

As human rights considerations permeate into various areas of international law, the role of international adjudication in protecting human rights has also been growing. This area has both private and public dimensions. The International Court of Justice has been recently presented with a number of inter-State disputes related to human rights abuses, including a historic lawsuit brought by The Gambia on behalf of the States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, seeking to hold Myanmar accountable under international law for State-sponsored genocide against the Rohingya. An investment arbitration tribunal in Urbaser v. Argentina for the first time accepted jurisdiction over the State’s counterclaim based on human rights, confirming that the “right to water” was a human right. This past year has also seen the publication of the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration, which are heralded as an important development for future adjudication of human rights disputes involving private parties. This panel will address the promise of international courts and tribunals in adjudication of human rights issues and suitability of international arbitration for resolving human rights disputes that arise in connection with transnational business.

Ursula Kriebaum, University of Vienna, Department of International Law
Toby Landau, Essex Court Chambers
Jennifer Permesly, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Moderator)
Bruno Simma, University of Michigan School of Law
Diana Tsutieva, Foley Hoag LLP (Moderator)
Penny Venetis, Rutgers Law School

(Speaker organizations are shown as of June 2020)