Dr Hofmann on the Legal Framework of Space Resources

Dr Hofmann on the Legal Framework of Space Resources

Prof Dr Mahulena Hofmann of the University of Luxembourg will be opening the new year with a talk on the Legal Framework of Space Resources. The talk with questions and answers will be this Friday 18 January at 11.30am to 1pm in the Carnegie LT with light refreshments afterwards.


Prof. Dr. Mahulena Hofmann is the holder of the SES Chair on Space, Satellite Communication and Media Law at the University of Luxembourg.

In 2016, the Government of Luxembourg launched its initiative to explore the possibilities for an exploitation and use mineral resources on celestial bodies. Several specialised companies have registered in Luxembourg and concluded respective MoUs with the Government. This step was followed by an elaboration of a specific legislation on space resources, inspired by the 2015 US Act, as well as by drafting a new, general space law.

The lecture shall analyse these steps on the basis of the public international law, especially the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. It shall conclude by presenting several models for the future international regime of space resources.


Talk by Sir Iain MacLeod -“International Law Under Pressure”

Talk by Sir Iain MacLeod -“International Law Under Pressure”

The University of Glasgow School of Law (Research Group on International Law, Conflict and Security) in collaboration with the International Law Working Group of the British International Studies Association, theForeign and Commonwealth Office, and the Glasgow Global Security Network is pleased to invite you to a public lecture by:

Sir Iain MacLeod, FCO Legal Adviser


“International Law Under Pressure”

at 6.30 pm on Monday 19th November,

Senate Room, Gilmorehill Campus

Sir Iain Macleod KCMG  graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Glasgow in 1983 and completed the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University in 1985, before qualifying as a solicitor with Dundas and Wilson in 1987. He joined HM Diplomatic Service the same year, and since then has held positions in a number of Government departments.  At the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he worked at the UK Representation to the then-EC and at the UK Mission to the UN, and was seconded to the Attorney General’s Office.  He was also appointed as the FCO’s first Gaelic spokesman in 2001. Subsequently, he was Deputy Legal Adviser at the Home Office and then Legal Adviser, Central Advisory Division, Treasury Solicitor’s Department, before taking up his present post as Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2011.

The lecture follows a one-day workshop on the same topic, which is also open to the public.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

All are welcome to attend. As places at both the lecture and workshop are limited, however, please register at the following Eventbrite links:-

Lecture by Sir Iain MacLeod

·  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-lecture-international-law-under-pressure-by-sir-iain-macleod-tickets-50688167674

Workshop on “International Law Under Pressure”

·  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bisa-ilaw-workshop-international-law-under-pressure-tickets-50688395355?aff=ebapi

For further information about these events, see: https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/law/research/groups/international-law/events/bisa/.

DILS Talk: Simon Crabb on Colombia: A post talk breakdown

DILS Talk: Simon Crabb on Colombia: A post talk breakdown

Original talk 16/10/18

Advocate Simon Crabb of Arnot Manderson delivered an excellent talk on his work in Colombia with Peace Brigade International and Lawyers Without Borders Canada.

The talk began with a potted history of modern Colombia, a feat Simon pulled off in under fifteen slides. After covering the demographics and geography of Colombia the talk looked at the civil war which has been raging for fifty years. Simon discussed the relationships between the three main groups fighting in the country: the army; guerrilla groups such as the FARC-EP and ELN; and paramilitary groups such as the USDA. The army has been accused of using paramilitary groups to conduct activities and all three have dealings with drugs, illegal mining and gangs operating across Colombia.

The UN has described the conflict as a dead end with none of the groups making significant headway in achieving their goals. Simon then went over the estimates of crime committed by each force, highlighting the fact that there was not one group that has fought a “clean” war, with atrocities found in every corner of the conflict. There has been an incredibly high level of impunity in the country with 95% of sexual offences going untried. Due to this high impunity rate there has been a large number of human rights defenders working in the country. However, this has brought its own problems, with 609 human rights defenders being murdered in Colombia since 2010.

The situation has become so bad that the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC has been investigating the civil war since 2005. This investigation focused on prosecution of the leadership of these groups and ensuring a peaceful transition for the country. Colombia has come closer to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in recent years with a peace accord being signed with the FARC-EP in 2016. After four years of negotiations the guaranteed rural land reform and more political participation, allowing the FARC-EP to reform as a political party. The accords created three transitional justice systems including a truth commission with the goals of truth, reparations and non-recurrence. Sadly, however, there has been little success in peace talks with other guerrilla groups like the ELN.

After this whirlwind tour of Colombia Simon opened to the floor for questions. There was one insightful question about why the Colombian public had initially rejected the FARC-EP peace accords in a referendum in 2016. Simon went over why many Colombians had been unhappy with the deal. There were complaints about increased impunity got the guerrilla fighters, many people thought that there should be more punitive measures against them. The president at the the time, Juan Manuel Santos, was also very unpopular and so his involvement with the accords tarnished them. Finally, the government had failed to conduct the peace education which the UN had recommended. Peace education involves the government going to communities and explaining to them the accords and the peace process. It is intended to help create grass roots support for the peace process to the help the transition succeed.

The first organisation Simon talked about was Peace Brigade International. They have been working in Colombia for three years through three main avenues: protective accompaniment; political advocacy; and reconstruction of the social fabric. Simon shared his experiences focusing mainly on the protective accompaniment of local lawyer Carlos Morales. The group Simon was working in had to accompany Carlos over 150 miles from Bogotá to a remote region of the Antioquia known for its gold mines and large number of armed groups. There was a nine step process for the trip including risk assessments, notification of national and international bodies, creation of security protocols and debriefing with civil society and the PBI. The trip was successful but due to the wet weather the trip

took over 12 hours with the group often having to drag their vehicle though mud. The PBI’s mandate is non-violence, non-interference assistance so these missions were conducted without any armed guard, relying only on their reputation as an international organisation as their protection from armed groups.

Lawyers Without Borders Canada works with local lawyers as well as providing research and legal reports. Simon’s involvement was with the promotion of the Rome Statute and the ICC, focusing on extrajudicial killings, forced displacement and sexual offences. This involved writing a baseline study on the effects of the Rome Statute in Colombia and supporting local human rights lawyers, helping the, build their capacity to take on more cases and deal with more complicated legal issues. Simon helped write an important publication on international criminal law during his time with LWBC.

The talk was incredibly interesting about the alternative international law career options for lawyers and how individuals can impact the international criminal law process. DILS would like to thank Simon Crabb for this wonderful talk and plan to invite him back later in the year to allow more students to attend the talk.

Lecture: Legitimising Government Responses to Unilateral Changes by Companies: Resource Nationalism Debunked

Dr Howard Mann, Senior International Law Advisor, IISD and Intergovernmental Forum on Mining is visiting Dundee this Wednesday.

You are cordially invited to attend his lecture which will focus on Legitimising Government Responses to Unilateral Changes by Companies: Resource Nationalism Debunked.

Abstract:  Mining companies are often engaged in unilateral decision-making that impacts the fundamental underpinnings of the grand bargain between governments and companies: tax revenues and jobs. This guest lecture will explore the legal consequences of these actions from the perspective of creating a legitimate right to states to respond in manners that at a minimum restore the expected economic equilibrium, and in some cases may rise to the level of vitiating the initial mining contract or licence as a legitimate response to unilateral measures by companies that alter the fundamental bargain. Rather than a rush to demonise governments with labels such as resource nationalism or political populism, it is important to look carefully at the actions of companies that often trigger government responses. Are those responses legitimate? Are they legally founded under international law? At what levels are such responses legitimate as opposed to illegitimate? It has become all too easy to target government measures as resource nationalism. It is time to debunk the rhetoric and return to well-grounded legal principles.

WHEN: WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 4.30pm to 6pm Carnegie LT. 

Bio: Howard Mann is the Senior International Law Adviser for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining and Sustainable Development. He has worked with colleagues in advising government officials from over 80 developing countries and multiple regional organisations on international investment law issues, investment treaty negotiations, investment contract negotiations in mining and agriculture, and the development of sound domestic investment laws and policies from a sustainable development perspective. Howard was a leading participant in the preparation and drafting of the first internationally recognised model contract on mining from a sustainable development perspective, the Model Mine Development Agreement of the International Bar Association. He has also served on Government of Canada advisory committees on international trade and investment law, a special expert panel for the International Commission of Jurists on business and human rights, and advised on the work of the UN Special representative on Business and Human Rights.

Howard received his law degree from McGill University, and his LL.M. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Talk by Zoran Oklopcic on federalism, urban democracy and popular sovereignty

Talk by Zoran Oklopcic on federalism, urban democracy and popular sovereignty

You are warmly invited to attend and below you will find below the title and abstract of the lecture, Zoran’s bio and a link to his most recent book: Beyond the People (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Dejan Stjepanovic will introduce a guest lecture by Zoran Oklopcic of Carleton University on Wednesday 24 October to held in Dalhousie, 2S13, commencing at 4.30 pm and completing by 6.00 pm.

Multinational federalism, urban democracy, and the meaning of popular sovereignty (in Canada and beyond)


Over the last two decades, the most thought-provoking debates in constitutional theory revolved around a seemingly innocent question: Who is a sovereign people–the bearer of constituent power, and the holder of the right to self-determination? Provoked by the troubling circularity at the root of foundational constitutionalism, this question is particularly salient in the conflicts over ultimate political authority and territorial sovereignty in multinational federations, such as Canada. The 1998  Reference re Secession of Quebec, is probably the most important jurisprudential attempt to address this question constructively. Adopted in 1998 by the Supreme Court of Canada,this widely discussed judicial opinion sets the conditions under which the Canadian constitutional order won’t be able to “remain indifferent” to the “desire of the Quebeckers” to secede from Canada.  In short, a constitutional duty to negotiate secession in good faith arises from the interplay of four unwritten principles (democracy, federalism, constitutionalism, and the protection of minorities imposes). What triggers it is a clear majority within a federal unit, voting in favour of secession, on the basis of a clearly-worded referendum question. Having taken the multinational and federal context of such votes for granted, scholars have remained indifferent to the ironic consequence of this line of reasoning in other environments, however:


One referendum majority (in Quebec) can force constitutional negotiations on secession (something that would  be highly politically destabilising and which would inevitably sever the bonds of solidarity among different parts of the Canadian populations foreverbut another, comparable referendum majority (in Greater Toronto Area, for example), can safely be ignored (even though its demand for more autonomy would in all likelihood be far less destabilising, and even though it would not destroy, but only transform the bonds of socioeconomic solidarity among the Canadians, or even end up being be beneficial to them allThis ironic implication of the Secession Reference will be easily set aside by all those who are willing to uphold ethical and political distinctions on the basis of taken-for-granted assumptions (in this case about the meaning of (multinational) federalism, and (national) self-determination). The time has come to re-examine them–not only theoretically, but also with an eye to the political effects of their acceptance. The most recent bout of autonomist sentiment in GTA provoked by the decision of the new Ontario government to dramatically reduce the number of councillors in Toronto’s municipal assembly suggests that much. Before we commit to the theoretical visions shaped by the existential crises that periodically recur in a deeply divided multinational polities, we should pause to consider the costs and benefits of those vision from the more quotidian perspectives of urban democracy.


Zoran Oklopcic, Associate Professor, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University

Zoran Oklopcic is an associate professor at the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. He earned his SJD from the University of Toronto. He has been a MacCormick Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; a member of the junior faculty at Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy in Doha, Qatar; and a Hauser Global Research Fellow at NYU School of Law.

Beyond the People: Social Imaginary and Constituent Imagination (OUP, 2018)  


History, Memory, Diplomacy: Slovakia 100 years after the end of the First World War

History, Memory, Diplomacy: Slovakia 100 years after the end of the First World War

Public Lecture by HE Ľubomír Rehák, Ambassador of Slovakia to the United Kingdom

Time: 13 November 2018, 2-3pm

Venue: University of Stirling, Cottrell Building, Lecture Theatre A6

Please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-lecture-by-he-lubomir-rehak-ambassador-of-slovakia-to-the-united-kingdom-tickets-51137927919

Slovakia is celebrating a series of remarkable anniversaries in 2018. 25 years ago the Slovak Republic was established, a centenary ago the common state of the Czechs and Slovaks was proclaimed. Ľubomír Rehák, Ambassador of Slovakia to the UK, will recall these and other historical moments of Slovak history (many of those, coincidentally happened in years ending with 8 – like the Munich Agreement of 1938, the Communist putsch of 1948 or the Soviet invasion of 1968) in his talk at the University of Stirling on 13 November 2018. On the occasion of centenary of the Armistice Day Slovak Ambassador will also make a presentation of a new English translation of The Bloody Sonnets, strong anti-war poetry written in 1914 by great Slovak poet Pavol Orsagh Hviezdoslav. 


Ľubomír Rehák was born in 1970 in Topoľčany, Slovakia. In 1992, he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MA, PhD in 1997) and started his professional carrier at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.

His first 5-year diplomatic posting abroad was in Moscow as the Private Secretary to the Ambassador and Political Officer for Central Asia (1993-1998). He then went for 4 years to the Embassy at Lisbon as Deputy Head of Mission (1999-2003). After that he became the European Correspondent of the Foreign Ministry – co-ordinator for the area of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (2004-2006).

His next posting was to Belarus as Chargé d´affaires at the embassy at Minsk (2006-2008). While there he also undertook the duties of the EU Local Presidency in Belarus in 2nd semester 2007. He then moved to Brussels as Ambassador – Representative of Slovakia to the EU Political and Security Committee (2008-2010) and on returning to Bratislava he was appointed a Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010-2011).

In 2011, the President of the Republic appointed him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic and he began his duties at the Embassy in Astana in June 2011.
As of October 2012 he was again appointed a Political Director (Director-General for Political Affairs) at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava.

In 2015, the President of Slovakia appointed him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Court of St. James´s (Royal Court for the Souvereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and he arrived in London on 10 August 2015.

DILS Talk – Simon Crabb on Human Rights in Colombia

DILS Talk – Simon Crabb on Human Rights in Colombia
Tuesday 16th October 5:30pm – Dalhousie 2G12
Advocate Simon Crabb will talk about his time working in Colombia. Simon worked protecting human rights defenders and with the NGO Lawyers Without Borders on a project encompassing international criminal justice and the ICC.
Since calling to the bar, Simon has built up a busy civil practice focused on personal injury, professional negligence and public law. He is a temporary Standing Junior to the Office of the Advocate General for immigration work.
Simon has a keen interest and experience of Fatal Accident Inquiries, including representing a care home in a recent inquiry.
As a procurator fiscal depute, Simon prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases and was a sitting manager for the High Court. He continues to receive instructions in criminal cases both at first instance and appeal.
Simon has considerable experience in human rights. Between 2012 and 2016, he worked in conflict zones in Colombia. He undertook advocacy work before the Colombian Constitutional Court, United Nations, and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague and New York. He continues to advise on issues of international law and transitional justice.
Please feel free to join us for drinks after the talk.

Professor Tina Hunter Talk on Arctic Oil Spills

Professor Tina Hunter Talk on Arctic Oil Spills
Professor Tina Hunter, of the University of Aberdeen, will be visiting Dundee next week. All are welcome to attend her lecture: A truly interdisciplinary approach to addressing new horizons in Arctic oil spills: the example of the Russo-Norwegian Arctic.
THURSDAY 27 Sept 4:30 to 7:00 Carnegie LT
Professor Tina Hunter is the Director of the Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law (AUCEL) and the Professor in Petroleum Law at the University of Aberdeen. She teaches and researches in the area of petroleum law (offshore), Arctic resources law and shale gas law. She has received academic qualifications in marine sediments and geology, political science, applied science, and law, completing her PhD at the University of Bergen, Norway. She presently is an Honorary Professor at the University of Eastern Finland and Murdoch University.

She has undertaken teaching and research in numerous countries including the UK, Australia, Norway, Canada, Iceland, Greece, Finland, Russia, the USA and the Philippines. Her expertise in regulating petroleum activities has been sought worldwide, undertaking activities such as analysing petroleum laws, drafting legislation and advising governments, industry groups and NGO’s worldwide.

Professor Hunter is presently the leader of the UK-Russian Consortium of Researchers and Experts in North and Arctic Marine Ecosystems Oil Contamination, a multi-disciplinary research team of researchers from Tomsk, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Universities, investigating seabed sediment contamination arising from oil spills and its implication for legal reform. She has published four books and over one hundred articles, book chapters and conference papers. Professor Hunter recently completed a book on shale gas and agriculture co-existence with Dr Madeline Taylor, which is due for publication in November 2018. She is currently completing a book on Russian petroleum, the first of its kind in English.

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Focus on Scotland

On 23 March 2018, UN House Scotland will be hosting a conference and a series of workshops as a part of their ‘See me, free me” efforts. The conference, entitled ‘Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Scotland: Raising Awareness – Strengthening Collaboration – Breaking the Chains’ is open to the public, and will focus on the impacts, causes, and prevention of human trafficking and modern slavery in Scotland.

The conference and workshops will be attended and will feature experts, MSPs, NGOs and private sector advocates, among others. The conference and workshops will occur at Scottish Parliament with the sponsorship of MSP Christina McKelvie.

Tickets for this event are currently sold out. To be added to the waitlist, please email UN Scotland at hello@unhscotland.org.uk

Alternatively the event can be watched live on Facebook.

Dynamics of Africa and the Int’l Criminal Court

Start: 15 Nov 4:30PM End: 15 Nov 6:00PM

Location: Dalhouise Building, 2G12

Cost: Free

Organiser: Dundee Africa Research Network (DARN) darn@dundee.ac.uk

Understanding the Dynamics of the Africa–International Criminal Court Relationship

Although African countries were some of the strongest supporters of the creation of the International Criminal Court, the relationship between Africa and the ICC has become increasingly fractious, resulting in the withdrawal from the Court of one African country, and threats from others to withdraw. What are the dynamics of this relationship? This talk will examine the strategic and tactical forms of resistance used by African states against the ICC.

Kurt Mills is Professor of International Relations and Human Rights at the University of Dundee. He has previously taught at the University of Glasgow, Gettysburg College, James Madison University, Mount Holyoke College, and the American University in Cairo, and served as the Assistant Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College. He has held visiting positions at Addis Ababa University, the School of Advanced Studies University of London, and the University of Queensland. His research focuses on the development of international norms and institutions related to human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal justice, and the responsibility to protect, particularly in the context of sub-Saharan Africa.