The Center in the Media
Mainstreaming Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): Constitutional and Legal Reforms, an article on ConstitutionNet by PhD fellow Muhammad Zubair
The proposed reforms seek to extricate the FATA from the legal black hole they currently occupy and to integrate them into the formal Pakistani constitutional, human rights, and legal framework, while allowing limited autonomy in dispute resolution through traditional systems. Nevertheless, despite improving the status quo, the reform process has not been inclusive of FATA and overrides some crucial aspects of indigenous mechanisms – writes Muhammad Zubair
Sikander Shah writes on whether or not India’s attempt to stay the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav through the International Court of Justice is appropriate, considering the ICJ’s limited jurisdiction under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
A Modest Proposal to End Death in the Mediterranean, an op-ed in the New York Times by CCD Associate Director Timothy Waters
Professor Waters writes on the crisis in the Mediterranean, positing that migrants are effectively paying to be rescued. The rescue is the route to Europe, but it is not guaranteed, and thus many are dying during their attempt to cross the Mediterranean. Waters explores what would happen if we were to send migrants back to their point of departure, dissuading people from attempting this method of crossing, rather than automatically granting them asylum.
Coups have consequences — including making more room for Islam, an op-ed in LA Times by CCD Associate Director Timothy Waters
In Turkey, secularism has never been genuinely democratic; behind Turkish secularism is the logic of the coup.
Another solution?: A diplomatic settlement of the Kashmir issue is needed, article in Dawn by CCD PhD student Sikander Ahmed Shah
Today, a diplomatic and negotiated settlement rather than a legal solution for resolving the Kashmir dispute appears more viable. What can be an alternative solution to the Kashmir dispute which would be acceptable to all parties? One possible option would be to recognise the Muslims of India-held Kashmir as one group of people.
Yezidis vs ISIS at the ICC: Why the fight for genocide charges is an uphill battle, by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
Calling the ISIS massacre of Yezidi ‘genocide’ is sensible and humane, but troubling for two reasons: Expectations for what this will achieve wildly overstate what the law can do; and the grim apotheosis of genocide actually debases our willingness to act in the shadow of evil.
The little genocide: A Karadzic conviction in The Hague that will satisfy no one, by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on Thursday issued its judgment against Radovan Karadzic, the president of the Serb Republic during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Karadzic was convicted of various crimes, including genocide. But only a little.
Adrift, Permanently: When It Comes to Refugees, the Crisis is Normal, by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
At the end of this essay, you won’t find a handy list of three things we can all do to fix the refugee problem. It’s not a problem we can fix, because the problem is the system. It is predicated on proximity, self-defined obligations, and self-interest; we are simply seeing it work.
PhD Fellow Sikander Ahmed Shah was invited as an international law expert to participate at the “Expert Meeting on the Duty to Investigate in Situations of Armed Conflict.” The event was hosted by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and was held from September 7-8, 2015 in Divonne-les-Bains, France. The meeting was attended by leading experts on International law and armed conflict, senior governmental officials and United Nations officers. Prof. Shah was the only expert from Asia to participate in this meeting.
CCD Executive Director David Williams was featured on Profiles, a weekly one-hour radio program produced by WFIU Public Radio featuring interviews with local and national figures affecting the local community
“Many Americans think that we’re all alike. . . . We’re all fundamentally the same under the skin. . . . The rest of the world isn’t like that. . . . For them, differences do matter. So for a place like Burma, your ethnicity is significant, because they think it tells you something about yourself. And they therefore want to have those differences supported by or incorporated into the law.”
Why ‘they’ left and ‘we’ fought, a guest column for the Clarion Ledger by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
After Charleston, we are called to be better about race. But also the other thing we fought the war over: to remember that a nation is an ongoing conversation, that ending it is not treason, that the truly dangerous thing is the word treason itself — the resort to the language of nationalism to explain away the complexities of political desire. Patriotism is an intellectually wasting disease, making the state our moral reference instead of subjecting it to moral critique.
Professor Sikander Ahmed Shah was invited as a legal expert to present at the “International Seminar on Improving Transparency, Oversight and Accountability for Any Use of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Outside Areas of Active Hostilities.”
Losing Ramadi to ISIL again and what it means for the U.S. and Iraq, an interview with CCD Associate Director Feisal Istrabadi for Al Jazeera America
Drone strikes raise specter of lives we grieve and lives we don’t, an op-ed for San Francisco Chronicle by CCD PhD Fellow Sikander Shah
President Obama announced last month that a drone strike in Pakistan in January killed two Western hostages: Warren Weinstein, an American, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian. The White House promised compensation to their families.
People’s Court? The Palestinian Authority Joins the ICC, an article for Foreign Affairs by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
Today, Palestine accepts the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court—or, put another way, the ICC accepts that Palestine accepts its jurisdiction. This more awkward formulation is more accurate, since what matters is not Palestine’s quixotic quest to join The Hague Court, but the ICC’s acknowledgement that it can.
The Limits of Legality, an article for Maryland Journal of International Law by CCD Associate Director Feisal Istrabadi
In the current international system, Realpolitik considerations often trump legal ones, and constitute the true limit on state action. Legal considerations, then, frequently take on a secondary importance.
CCD PhD Fellow Col. Rick Welch was interviewed by the National Journal for an article about the assassination in Baghdad of influential Sunni leader Sheikh Qassem al-Janabi Death of American Ally a Potential Nail in Iraq’s Coffin
When the history of the second Iraq civil war is written, the death of Sheikh Qassem al-Janabi may prove notable for what it said about the rapidly closing window for Iraqi reconciliation.
CCD PhD Fellow Col. Rick Welch was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled U.S. Sued by Its Iraqi Helpers Over Visa Delays
When Army Col. Richard Welch sought to build local support for the U.S. mission to uproot al Qaeda in Baghdad, he relied on several Iraqis. But he credits one community leader with being particularly instrumental in helping stabilize the city’s Ghazaliya district.
CCD PhD Fellow Col. Rick Welch was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer in an article entitled Continued US policy muddle aid efforts of the Islamic State
“The Shia militias are as brutal as the Islamic State, which keeps Iraqi tribal leaders from rising against the Islamic State,” said Rick Welch, a retired colonel and Green Beret who served several tours in Iraq and is known for his expertise on Sunni tribes. The militias are often as keen to kill Sunni villagers as they are to fight the Islamic State.
CCD Associate Director Feisal Istrabadi says: Murder of Jordanian pilot will Backfire on ISIS
The video of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive in a cage by the terror group ISIS is causing outrage around the world, including in the Middle East.
CCD Visiting Scholar Abdulaziz al-Hussan was interviewed by ABC News in an article entitled Saudi Arabia’s Rights Crackdown Linked to War on Terror
Saudi lawyers say Sharia law is far from absolute on free-speech issues. There is no written law, for example, on what constitutes insulting Islam or what the punishment should be in cases of political dissent, said Saudi rights lawyer Abdulaziz AlHussan. He said some judges are issuing “extreme punishment, without limitation, without accountability.”
Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, a book review for Journal of Strategic Studies by CCD PhD Fellow Muhammad Zubair
Pakistan’s perceptions of its internal and external threats are inherently intertwined, and the Army manages these threats by arrogating to itself the role of defending Pakistan’s ideology. To counter India’s alleged designs, the Pakistan Army uses Islam as a unifying ideology in order to dampen the divisive potential of Pakistan’s ethnic and sectarian diversity, while also rallying the citizens in times of war, preparing them for adversity, and acclimatizing them to the Army’s own continued domination of national affairs.
India and the state of Palestine, an op-ed for The Asian Age by CCD Associate Director Feisal Istrabadi
India has a representative mission but not a formal embassy in Ramallah. It should now raise the status of the office to an embassy. Such a move would be entirely in keeping with the country’s long-standing support for the Palestinian cause.
CCD Executive Director David Williams was interviewed by Awena, a Kurdish newspaper, in an article entitled “Constitution, Democracy, and Citizenship” which discusses (in Kurdish) Kurdistan’s current political situation and prospects for constitutional reform
Printable PDF Version Constitution, Democracy, and Citizenship
CCD Visiting Scholar Abdulaziz al-Hussan discusses the case of his client, Saudi human rights activist Mohammad al-Qahtani (Amnesty International Interview, October 13, 2014)
Iraqi PM opposes Arab Air Strikes, an interview with CCD PhD Fellow Rick Welch on the 2007 Iraqi tribal awakening
How To Handle Secession: What Spain Can Learn From Scotland’s Referendum, an Op-Ed for the New York Times by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
We reflexively fear secession because we believe it incites nationalist demons, destabilizing nations and drowning them in bloody factionalism. That’s what’s driving resistance to 2014’s next secession challenge — in Spain, where the region of Catalonia is pushing ahead with plans to hold its own referendum on Nov. 9. But as the Scottish case shows, our fears aren’t necessarily right — and the key variable is not a minority’s desire for independence, but the majority’s reaction.
The Kurdish option: An independent state for the Kurds, an ally for the U.S. in Iraq, an Op-Ed for the LA Times by CCD Associate Director Timothy William Waters
Independence carries risks, but there are no options that don’t. Objecting to recognition because of the risk utterly ignores the very real and rising tide of bloodshed that our present policy of a unified Iraq entails.
CCD Associate Director Amb Feisal Istrabadi on the crisis in Iraq (PBS NewsHour video, June 12, 2014)
The formative refugee experiences of Mahja Zeon, of Liberia, and Eldin Hasic, of Bosnia, led both to study at the IU Maurer School of Law — each with a passionate focus on human rights issues. Both also work as affiliates with the Center for Constitutional Democracy.
Instead of waiting to face imprisonment for tweeting about government abuses, Al Hussan moved to Bloomington, where he is now a visiting scholar at the IU Maurer School of Law Center for Constitutional Democracy.
Center for Constitutional Democracy Appointed Official Advisor to Liberian Constitutional Review Process
The Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law has been chosen to advise the Constitutional Review Committee of the Government of Liberia on the review and design of amendments to the country’s 1986 constitution. This is the first time an academic research center has been asked to complete such an assignment
U.S. trade deal with Burma could open door for constitutional change, an Op Ed for the Washington Post co-authored by CCD Executive Director David Williams with US Representative Lee Hamilton
The recently signed trade and investment framework agreement between the United States and Burma gives the Obama administration tools to push President Thein Sein’s government toward greater reform.
Sectarian War a Two-Way Street For Iraq and Syria, an Op Ed for Al Monitor by CCD Associate Director Feisal Istrabadi
There is much wringing of hands by officials in Washington and Baghdad over the influence that the civil war in Syria is supposedly having over Iraq’s own fractious politics.