Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee presents “Pledging World Order” in Brooklyn Law School colloquium

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, presented her scholarship online Monday as part of the Brooklyn Colloquium on International Economic Law sponsored by the Block Center for International Business Law at New York’s Brooklyn Law School. Hosts were Brooklyn Law faculty members Stephen Dean and Irene Ten Cate.

Durkee presented “Pledging World Order,” forthcoming soon in volume 48, issue 1, of the Yale Journal of International of Law.

Climate change innovation to be explored February 10 at Georgia Law’s 35th annual Red Clay Conference

“Climate Change Innovation: Stakeholders and Tools” is the title of the Red Clay Conference to be held Friday, February 10, 2023, here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

This will mark the 35th annual edition of the student-run conference, which was established to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Cosponsoring the event are the law school and its students’ Environmental Law Association, led this year by 2L Hannah Jellema and 3L Anna Scartz, president and vice president, respectively.

Here’s the program for the conference, which will take place in the Larry Walker Room on the 4th floor of Dean Rusk Hall:

➣ 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks

Opening the conference will be Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law.

➣ 9:10 a.m. Panel 1, Roles of Humans

Addressing the impact of climate change on agriculture, urban environments, and environmental justice communities will be: Pam Knox, Director of the UGA Weather Network and an agricultural climatologist within the university’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Tawana Mattox, Director of Community Education & Empowerment and Neighborhood Sustainability Project Manager at the Athens Land Trust; and Professor J. Marshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. Shana Jones, Assistant Director of Strategic Operations & Planning Assistance at the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government, will moderate.

➣ 10:55 a.m. Panel 2, Rights of Nature

Examining how the rights-of-nature doctrine can be used to combat climate change will be: Chuck O’Neal, Speak Up Wekiva, Florida; Eduardo Salazar-Ortuño, Associate Professor of Law, University of Murcia, Spain (via Zoom); and Kekek Stark, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law, University of Montana. Georgia Law Associate Professor Christian Turner will moderate.

➣ 12:55 p.m. Peter Appel Honorary Keynote

Marilyn A. Brown, Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech, will discuss her experience in policy work aimed at acceleration the implementation of sustainable energy sources and technology.

➣ 2:10 p.m. Panel 3, Responsibilities of Corporations

Exploring how corporate governance can reduce environmental externalities will be: Christopher M. Bruner, Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law at Georgia Law; Kelly Rondinelli, Associate – Environmental & Natural Resources at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Washington, D.C.; and Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law and Director of the Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law School. Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, will moderate.

➣ 3:25 p.m. Closing Remarks

Closing the conference will be Adam D. Orford, Assistant Professor of Law and Faculty Advisor of the Environmental Law Association at Georgia Law.

Attorneys licensed in Georgia can earn 4 CLE credits by attending the conference (pending approval by the state bar’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education).

Details and conference registration here.

Georgia Law 3L Collin Douglas on his D.C. Semester externship at NATO HQ SACT: “unique law school experience”

Pleased today to welcome this post by University of Georgia School of Law student Collin Douglas, who described his recently completed Fall 2022 externship in Norfolk, Virginia, in the legal department of HQ SACT, a leading unit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This externship forms part of Georgia Law’s D.C. Semester in Practice initiative, in partnership with NATO Allied Command Transformation. Collin arrived at Georgia Law with a background in international affairs, having earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in that field from the University of Oklahoma. His law school experiences have included service as Executive Articles Editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, internships at USAID and the Documentation Center of Cambodia, and work as a research assistant for a climate and security institute. Collin is due to receive his J.D. degree this May.

My time at the NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation Office of the Legal Advisor was an incredibly rewarding and valuable experience. It was a completely unique law school experience, and allowed me to do work I could not do elsewhere.

In the wake of the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mission of NATO has felt that much more vital. The invasion of Ukraine gave NATO a renewed focus and drive, and that fact was clear from the ever-quickening pace of work around NATO SACT. The Legal Advisor performs a wide variety of legal roles within NATO SACT to support the mission, and I was able to interact with all of those roles.

As soon as I began working, I was treated as an equal member of the team and trusted with important work. One of the responsibilities of the Office of the Legal Advisor is to provide legal aid support to the international military staff of NATO SACT. This support ranges from advising on how to handle speeding tickets to coordinating with the State Department on visa issues. Within a few weeks of starting work, I was the first person who greeted any legal assistance client who walked in the door, of which there were 10-20 every day. Talking with NATO personnel from 32+ different countries exposed me to 32+ different legal perspectives and cultures. This fact gave the legal assistance portion of the work its own international perspective, as we often had to anticipate things like the Norwegian perspective on landlord-tenant issues, the German perspective on automobile sales, Albanian frustration with the visa process, or simply whether someone fully grasped the legal aspects of something they were involved with.

The Office of the Legal Advisor also performs the more typical general counsel duties of any other large organization, but with the added (and interesting) layer of being an international organization. This work covers contracting, employment intellectual property issues, and much more. This work does not differ significantly from that of a general counsel’s office in a large corporation. Where it does differ is the immunity that NATO receives under the treaties that make up the NATO system. I was able to support this work by researching and helping to articulate NATO’s view on its own immunity. Doing work of this kind for an international organization is such a rare opportunity, and I jumped on the chance to contribute to it.

My externship at NATO was part of the UGA Law Semester in D.C. program, led by Professor Jessica Heywood, so I took part in two classes that greatly contributed to my time at NATO. As part of this program we heard each week from a different lawyer working in Washington, D.C. This provided an excellent opportunity to learn about the many career paths available to attorneys who want to work in the nation’s capital. I also had a weekly class session with other students doing similar externship experiences; this allowed me to better understand my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace and to grow as an individual.

I am extremely grateful for my time at NATO SACT. There is no other law school experience that compares to it. I want to thank my amazing colleagues Monte DeBoer, Mette Hartov, Theresa Donahue, Kathy Hansen-Nord, Vincent Grassin, Butch Bracknell, Madeleine Goddrie, and Galateia Gialitaki.

Georgia Law Professor Louis B. Sohn (1914-2006), noted international law expert, featured as “Groundbreaker”

A renowned member of the University of Georgia School of Law faculty, Louis B. Sohn (1914-2006), is the latest subject in the university’s “Georgia Groundbreaker” news series.

Author Robin Lally starts her article, “Louis B. Sohn: An international legal scholar,” with these apt words:

“Louis B. Sohn spent his life promoting international law and peace.”

The article proceeds to discuss his birth in the city now known as Lviv, Ukraine, and his move to the United States in 1939, just weeks before the Nazi invasion. Installed at Harvard, he helped to draft the United Nations Charter, wrote many books, including the co-authored World Peace through World Law.

As a Georgia Law professor teaching human rights law and law of the sea from 1981 to 1991, Sohn mentored a generation of students. Lally’s article quotes several such Georgia Law alums: Jean-Marie Henckaerts (prior posts), who is a Legal Adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland; Susan Timberlake, a former United Nations lawyer; former U.S. diplomat Kit Traub (prior post); and Paige Otwell (prior posts), an Assistant District Attorney in Athens-Clarke County.

The article features many photographs of Sohn, and pays tribute to his donation of 5,000 volumes from his personal collection, now formed the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations. Housed in the Dean Rusk International Law Center, it is a branch of Alexander Campbell King Law Library at Georgia Law

Also quoted is Regents’ Professor Diane Marie Amann, who holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, which Sohn had inaugurated upon his arrival at Georgia Law. Amann said:

“‘Professor Sohn was a path breaker in international human rights law, the law of peace, and international environmental law, fields of keen interest to our students, important to our world …'”

India trip launches partnership with Georgia Law, Jindal Global Law School

A University of Georgia School of Law journey abroad has cemented a partnership – launching a student exchange and planning a range of other collaborative initiatives – with India’s top-ranked private law school.

Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Sarah Quinn, Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, traveled in December to O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed to be University) Law School in Sonipat, a city about 40 miles north of India’s capital, New Delhi.

While there, Rutledge and the Vice Chancellor of Jindal Global University, Professor C. Raj Kumar, signed a memorandum of understanding (at a ceremony pictured above right). The agreement establishes the semester-long exchange of the two law schools’ students, and further plans for faculty exchanges, research collaborations, seminars and workshops, and outreach. Dual-degree offerings also are being discussed. As previously posted, at Georgia Law all these initiatives will be administered by the Dean Rusk International Law Center.

During their visit Rutledge and Quinn also took part in a campus tour and met with several law school and university professors, deans, and administrators, including Malvika Seth, Sahibnoor Singh Sidhu, S.G. Sreejith, Arpita Gupta, Indranath Gupta, and Atharva Sontakke. (Above left, Sarah Quinn, Sahibnoor Singh Sidhu, and Bo Rutledge at Humayan’s Tomb, Delhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Launched in 2009, O.P. Jindal Global University is a nonprofit global university established by the government of the Indian State of Haryana, and recognized by India’s University Grants Commission. The QS World University Rankings has named it India’s top private university.

This initiative joins Georgia Law’s ongoing partnership with institutions including Bar-Ilan University in Israel (prior posts), and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven University in Belgium (prior posts).

KU Leuven Professor Jan Wouters to speak on “European Union as Global Actor” this Thursday at Georgia Law

Professor Jan Wouters, international law scholar and Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at Belgium’s KU Leuven, will give a lecture entitled “The European Union as a Global Actor: Potential and Challenges” at 1 p.m. this Thursday, January 26, in the Sanders Boardroom at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Academic partners since 2015, the Leuven Centre and Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center co-present a Global Governance Summer School, among other collaborations. (prior posts)

Wouters is Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam EU and Global Governance, and founding Director of the Institute for International Law at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, an interdisciplinary research unit that holds the status within its university of both a Jean Monnet and KU Leuven Centre of Excellence. Additionally, Wouters is a visiting professor at Sciences Po and Paris-2 (Panthéon-Assas) in France, LUISS University in Italy, and the College of Europe in Belgium, as well as an adjunct professor of EU and human rights law Columbia University in New York. His most recent publications, all of them 2022 volumes which he co-edited, are: EU Industrial Policy in the Multipolar Economy; The G20, Development and the UN 2030 Agenda; Research Handbook on Global Governance, Business and Human Rights; and The Nexus Between Organized Crime and Terrorism.

Event details here.

University of Georgia Professor Peters, of Grady College and School of Law, appointed to OSCE-ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Jonathan Peters, an associate professor who is the Head of the Department of Journalism at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and has a courtesy appointment here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has been appointed to the Panel of Experts on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association of the OSCE-ODIHR; that is, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Organization for Security & Co-Operation in Europe.

The 16-member panel helps advise the OSCE and its members – 57 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America – in developing and maintaining legislation regarding the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association.

Countries with experts on the panel include, in addition to the United States, Germany, Poland, Spain, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.

Among other areas, Peters (prior posts) is a scholar of international and comparative media law. As detailed here, he has published articles and served as a consultant to numerous international organizations on issues of global free expression and European press regulation.

Scholars and practitioners of space law to speak at Georgia Law as part of new international law course led by Center’s Director, Professor MJ Durkee

Leading scholars and practitioners of space law will speak here at the University of Georgia School of Law as part of a new semester-long course in international law taught by Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor.

The Spring 2023 Space Law Speaker Series will feature (pictured above, left to right):

January 20, “Space Law Fundamentals”: Christopher Johnson, Space Law Advisor for the Secure World Foundation, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and member of the Paris-based International Institute of Space Law

January 25, “Contemporary Space Governance”: Tanja Masson-Zwaan, Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and President Emerita of the International Institute of Space Law

February 10, “Customary Law Principles in Space Law”: Timiebi Aganaba, Assistant Professor of Space and Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, also affiliated with ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative, Global Futures Lab, and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

February 17, “Regulating Space Junk”: Kathleen Doty, Advisor for Non-Proliferation Treaties & Agreements in the Global Security, Technology, and Policy group at the Seattle-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and former Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center

Presentations will be open to all at Georgia Law. Students enrolled in the for-credit course will draw from knowledge gained during the speaker series to pitch solutions to a space law problem – the issue of debris in space, known colloquially as “space junk.” Working with them will be Professor Durkee. She too is a scholar in this area, having published “Interstitial Space Law” and “The Future of Space Governance,” the latter an essay in a Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law symposium issue on the subject.

Supporting the speaker series as part of their work on Georgia Law’s Graduate Certificate in International Law – for which this is a required course – are the staff members of the Center’s Global Practice Preparation portfolio, Sarah Quinn and Catrina Martin.

Georgia Law Professor Kadri presents on digital evidence and security in law conference at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University

University of Georgia School of Law Professor Thomas E. Kadri presented at a three-day Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation, held last month at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law.

Kadri (prior posts) presented “A Socio-Technical Framework for Handling Digital Evidence with Security and Privacy Assurances,” as part of a panel on “Digitalization in the Courts.”

The conference, entitled “Smart Compliance Systems in the AI Era: Combining Criminal and Administrative Measures,” brought together scholars from Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland as well as Israel and the United States.

The University of Georgia School of Law has a longstanding partnership with the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, focused on faculty exchange.

Georgia Law Professor Christopher Bruner appointed Research Member of European Corporate Governance Institute

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has been appointed a Research Member of the prestigious European Corporate Governance Institute, known as ECGI.

As described on its website, the Brussels-based “ECGI is an international scientific non-profit association providing a forum for debate and dialogue between academics, legislators and practitioners, focusing on major corporate governance issues.” Its “global network of practitioner, academic and institutional members” is “appointed on the basis of their significant contribution to the field of corporate governance study.” EGCI’s press release on today’s new appointments is available here.

In addition to fostering research collaboration among its members, ECGI disseminates scholarship, hosts international events, and spearheads initiatives, including its ongoing project on “Responsible Capitalism.”

Bruner (prior posts) is a scholar of corporate law, corporate governance, comparative law, and sustainability. His books include The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future (OUP 2022), The Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability (co-edited with Beate Sjåfjell) (CUP 2019), Re-Imagining Offshore Finance: Market-Dominant Small Jurisdictions in a Globalizing Financial World (OUP 2016), and Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power (CUP 2013).