The Identity and Continuity of Personal Status in Contemporary Private International Law, by
Francesco Salerno, Professor at the University of Ferrara
The course is concerned with the personal statuses of individuals and their regulation in cross-border situations. Human rights considerations, the substantive policies of States and the increasing weight accorded to self-determination are crucial to understanding the way in which contemporary private international law deals with matters related to status. The fundamental principles of the forum State, particularly those resulting from its Constitution and its international obligations, shape the approach of that State to personal statuses created abroad or in accordance with foreign rules. The purpose of those principles is two-fold. On the one hand, they set a minimum threshold for the acceptance of foreign personal statuses, and thus work as an obstacle to the recognition of statuses that fall short of meeting the relevant local standards. On the other hand, where recognition is a means of promoting the fundamental values of the forum State, the principles in question facilitate the recognition of foreign statuses, and may in fact ensure that a status can be relied upon in the forum in situations where the ordinary rules of private international law would provide otherwise.
United Nations Accountability for Violations of International Human Rights Law, by
Christine M. Chinkin, Professor at the University of Michigan
The course examines UN accountability for human rights violations, drawing on my experience as a member of the Human Rights Advisory Panel (HRAP) that advised UNMIK on its compliance with international human rights standards. It outlines the contexts in which alleged human rights violations attributable to the UN arise, with examples taken especially from the HRAP case law; the concepts of responsibility and accountability of international organisations; the obstacles facing an individual seeking redress against the UN in national courts; and mechanisms adopted by the UN for determining accountability, including the HRAP. UNMIK's failure to respond to the HRAP’s recommendations for redress leads to consideration of what a future UN accountability mechanism might look like. The central proposition is that when the UN exercises power and control over individuals, it should be subject to the same human rights constraints in the exercise of those powers as states and be held accountable when it falls short.