Professor Mike Schmitt on international security law issues

In September, Professor Mike Schmitt engaged three times with members of the armed forces on international security law issues. He first addressed military legal advisers from around the world attending the Legal Aspects of Maritime Security Operations Workshop that was sponsored by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS). Professor Schmitt spoke on remotely-conducted offensive cyber operations into other countries, focusing on the US cyber strategy of “Defending Forward.”  DIILS is the US government agency responsible for defence cooperation and education programs for foreign military lawyers.

Professor Schmitt next addressed US Naval War College (NWC) students on the international law governing targeting during armed conflict.  NWC is a post-graduate institution that hand-picked senior US and international military officers attend to study national security matters for a year. In 1996, while serving in the United States Air Force, Professor Schmitt graduated first in his class from the institution and before joining the University of Reading he was Chairman of the NWC’s Stockton Center for International Law. Finally, Professor Schmitt returned to the subject of cyber affairs when he served as the closing speaker for NATO officers attending the International Cyber Law Seminar at NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, where he is presently a Senior Fellow. His topic was the future of international cyber law.

Professor James Green on Russia’s controversial claim to Venus

Professor James Green has been quoted numerous times by the Daily Express in its article on Russia controversial claim to Venus. Professor Green’s contribution to the article includes an explanation of how the Outer Space Treaty works: “Russia cannot claim sovereignty over Venus as a matter of international law. The Outer Space Treaty is clear, in Article 2, that ‘outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.’ Admittedly, the OST doesn’t define what a ‘celestial body’ is exactly, and there has been some debate as to whether, for example, asteroids would qualify, but there is no doubt that a planet – such as Venus – would.”

You can read the article and more on what Professor Green had to say on the subject here.

Report on the 2020 Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference

Members of the School of Law were out in force at the 2020 Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference, which was hosted by the University of Exeter, and took place virtually in September. The work presented by our colleagues reflect the wide variety of impactful and important research that is being undertaken across the School.

Dr Charlotte Smith gave the key note speech for the Legal History subject section. Her paper was entitled ‘Legal Biography and Religion: Some Reflections’.

Professor Paul Almond presented a paper entitled ‘Smoked Kippers and Red Herrings: ‘Euromyths’ and the UK Regulatory Environment’.

Dr Rachel Horton presented her research on ‘Assisted Dying and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.’

Dr Ruvi Ziegler was the co-convenor for the Migration & Asylum subject section, and he gave a paper on the ‘Political rights of aliens’ in the Civil Liberties & Human Rights subject section.

Professor Gerard McMeel QC gave the keynote speech at the Contract, Commercial and Consumer Law subject section. His paper was entitled ‘An English Commercial Code’, and is based on his project to restate the key principles of English commercial law.

Finally, Dr Peter Coe, who is taking over the Convenorship of the Media & Communications Law subject section from this year, gave a paper in that stream entitled ‘The Internet, social media, citizen journalism and increased access to the public sphere: a new reality for free speech or just an illusion?

Professor Chris Hilson discusses two papers at the virtual IPSA 2020 panel on climate litigation

In September 2020, Professor Chris Hilson was a discussant for two papers at the virtual IPSA 2020 panel on climate litigation, which was meant to be taking place in Lisbon, but which was reconvened and hosted virtually by the London School of Economics. The papers were interdisciplinary, across Politics, Anthropology, Law, and Geography and covered a wide range of topics within – and approaches to – climate change litigation, including misleading information, human and nature-based rights challenges, Latin America, and public participation.

Listen to Ruvi Ziegler on CBC radio talking about his EU Passport project & the new Austrian citizenship law

Ruvi was interviewed on CBC radio’s ‘As It Happens’ programme about the new changes to Austrian law enabling applications for restoration of citizenship from victims of national socialism and their descendants.

See the article in the Observer, that also references our EU passport project.

The interview is available (by clicking on ‘listen to the full episode’) between minutes 26:20-33:20.