By Simon Pelsmakher, University of Windsor

shutterstock_318715832On January 6, 2017, a horrific shooting attack occurred at Ft. Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport, which left 5 people dead and 42 injured. Unfortunately, this incident was not a one-off event, and the US has been plagued with many such shooting attacks in recent years. As former President Obama has argued: legally, it is all too simple for these individuals to acquire the necessary weapons to carry out such attacks. The law should therefore be amended and reformed to address these challenges. Continue Reading Amending US Gun Laws – an Outsider’s Perspective

By Nadir Pracha, McGill Faculty of Law

Pracha - Emergency ArbitratorThe Emergency Arbitrator is a relatively new development under several international arbitration regimes. Before these rules were introduced, national courts were the only mechanism for provisional measures before the arbitral tribunal was constituted. Arbitration agreements are contractual and consensual, and the parties choose to be bound by a particular regime. Amongst the available regimes are the Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (Stockholm Rules).

The three regimes have broadly similar provisions that allow the concurrent jurisdiction of courts for provisional measures until an arbitral tribunal is formed. Under all three sets of rules, the full tribunal also has the power to set-aside the decision of the Emergency Arbitrator. The ICC and LCIA Rules explicitly allow parties to exclude the Emergency Arbitrator provisions but the Stockholm Rules do not. Continue Reading Emergency Arbitrator: Status, Power, Prospects

By Alexei Paish, Peter A. Allard School of Law (University of British Columbia)

Paish - Customary International Law and TreatiesThe distinction between customary international law and treaties is a useful and necessary part of our international legal system. Below, I explore the utility of this distinction for the developers of and claimants in international law, as well as its necessary function in enforcing state accountability, creating specific responsibilities, and propelling the synergetic creation of international law.

The distinction between these two legal sources provides developers of international law with choices in the nature and structure of the laws.  Developers, for example, may choose to conclude a treaty if they wish to create a law that confers specific benefits or responsibilities.  The treaty development process has been transformed by international organizations, which have provided a democratized venue for negotiation that has increased the amount of information available to state actors and created efficiency in treaty creation[1]Continue Reading The Useful and Necessary Distinction Between Customary International Law and Treaties