Georgia Law Professor Cohen discusses developments in international trade law as part of plenary opening ASIL interest group conference at Texas A&M Law

Harlan Grant Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, took part in last Thursday’s opening plenary of the Biennial Conference of the American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group.

On the opening plenary panel entitled “Sustainable Development and the Multiple Aims of Trade Law,” Cohen (above, 2d from left) primarily discussed the new competition to define international trade’s purpose, as well as the increasing enmeshments of trade and national security.

Organizer of the plenary was Nicolas Lamp, Queen’s University, Ontario (above, with Cohen to his left). Other panelists included (l to r): Ernesto Fernández Monge, Pew Charitable Trusts; Olabisi Akinkugbe, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University; Kathleen Claussen, University of Miami School of Law; Tony VanDuzer, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law; and Maria Panezi, University of New Brunswick School of Law. (photo credit)

The overall theme of the conference, which took place September 22 to 24 at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, was “Energy, Sustainability, and International Economic Law.”

Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes “International Child Law and the Settlement of Ukraine-Russia and Other Conflicts” in International Law Studies

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann has published, in the century-old, peer-reviewed international law journal of the U.S. Naval War College, an article analyzed international child law in order to imagine ways that peace processes may engage with children and ensure that children’s issues are addressed in future peace agreements.

Entitled “International Child Law and the Settlement of Ukraine-Russia and Other Conflicts,” the article appears at 99 International Law Studies 559-601 (2022) and is available here.

Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, she served from 2012 to 2021 as the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

She undertook research on this topic while a Visiting Academic at University College London this past summer. An earlier version of her research forms part of the Ukraine Peace Settlement Project of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. (prior post)

Here’s the abstract for Amann’s just-published article:

The Ukraine-Russia conflict has wreaked disproportionate harms upon children. Hundreds reportedly were killed or wounded within the opening months of the conflict, thousands lost loved ones, and millions left their homes, their schools, and their communities. Yet public discussions of how to settle the conflict contain very little at all about children. This article seeks to change that dynamic. It builds on a relatively recent trend, one that situates human rights within the structure of peace negotiations, to push for particularized treatment of children’s experiences, needs, rights, and capacities in eventual negotiations. The article draws upon twenty-first century projects that examine the lives of children in armed conflict by synthesizing international child law. The projects’ syntheses have influenced the work of certain international organizations bodies but not, to date, the work of peace settlements.

To demonstrate their relevance to conflict resolution, the article first outlines two syntheses by the United Nations and by the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor. After mapping child rights and conflict harms, it examines the treatment of children in Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement and a 1999 agreement related to Sierra Leone. The article concludes by proposing child-inclusive options for peace processes and eventual peace agreements.

Georgia Law Appellate Clinic team briefs, argues, wins Convention Against Torture case before Second Circuit in New York

One week after oral arguments put forward by students in the University of Georgia School of Law Appellate Litigation Clinic, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today ruled on behalf of a Clinic client, whose immigration case involved the 1984 Convention Against Torture, an international treaty that the United States joined in 1994.

The client, a gay transgender rights advocate from the state of Guerrero, Mexico, and the petitioner in Case No. 20-1693, Santiaguez v. Garland, seeks deferral of removal pursuant to the treaty’s provisions respecting non-refoulement, or non-return. Specifically, the client asks not to be sent back to his home country, where his brother, also gay, recently was killed due to sexual orientation.

Georgia Law 3L Noah Nix (pictured above) argued on behalf of the client last week at the Second Circuit’s New York courthouse. He challenged prior rulings in the case, in which both the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals had agreed that no Mexican public official would likely acquiesce to the Clinic’s client being tortured if he returned. The Board of Immigration Appeals also had found that the Immigration Judge did not violate the client’s due process rights when refusing to allow a country conditions expert to testify at the client’s merits hearing.

Today the Second Circuit panel, composed of Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston, Judge Barrington D. Parker Jr., and Judge Eunice C. Lee, ruled on behalf of the Clinic’s client. Specifically, reasoning that the agency had not properly considered the client’s evidence, the panel issued an order vacating the agency’s decision and remanding the case for further proceedings.

Assisting in brief-writing in the case were two Georgia Law students who have since graduated, Jared Allen and Olivia Hunter. The team worked under the supervision of Thomas V. Burch, the Clinic’s Director.

Five University of Georgia-based scholars present at 2022 annual conference of the European Society of International Law

Well represented at last week’s annual conference of the European Society of International Law were scholars from the University of Georgia.

Presenting at the conference were 4 professors affiliated with the University of Georgia School of Law – along with one researcher at the University of Georgia Digital Humanities Lab, sponsored by the Willson Center for the Humanities, and two scholars who earned their first degrees at the University of Georgia.

The 2022 ESIL conference took place at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, home institution of a recent Visiting Researcher at the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at Georgia Law, Professor Brianne McGonigle Leyh. Designed to explore the theme “In/Ex-clusiveness of International Law,” the conference began with Interest Group workshops on Wednesday. It concluded on Saturday

University of Georgia scholars’ presentations were as follows:

► Professor Diane Marie Amann (pictured above left) gave an online talk entitled “Absent at the Creation? Women and International Criminal Justice” as part of a Saturday hybrid session exploring “In/Ex-clusiveness of the Legal Construction of Justice.” The presentation drew on her research into the experiences of women professionals at post-World War II international criminal trials. Amann is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law; additionally, she serves on the Coordinating Committee of ESIL’s Interest Group on International Criminal Justice. Also participating on this agora session were scholars from the Netherlands’ University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University, and also from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland-Galway.

► Professor Harlan Grant Cohen (second from left), who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented twice:

► Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee (center), who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, likewise gave two presentations at the ESIL conference:

  • She presented “The Technology of Inclusion in International Climate Law,” a talk that drew from her forthcoming Yale Journal of International Law article The Pledging World Order, at a Wednesday workshop session entitled “Just Energy Transition – the International Human Rights Law Perspective.” The workshop’s overall title was “In/Ex-clusiveness in the Energy Transition and Climate Action”; host was the ESIL Interest Group on International Environmental Law. Also on Durkee’s panel were scholars from Leiden University in the Netherlands and from the China Institute of Boundary & Ocean Studies and Research Institute of Environmental Law of Wuhan University, China.
  • Durkee explored “The Logics of Inclusion and Exclusion in International Participatory Structures,” at a Thursday workshop entitled “International Organizations, Elites, and Masses: Perspectives on In/Exclusion,” and sponsored by the ESIL Interest Group on International Organizations. Her talk concerned an early-stage project that organizes perspectives on the inclusion and exclusion of nonstate actors in the activities of international organizations. Presenting other papers were scholars from the University of Hong Kong, the University of Melbourne in Australia, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law in Germany the University of Hamburg in Germany, and the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China.

Meanwhile, Professor Tim R Samples (second from right), Associate Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business who has a courtesy appointment at Georgia Law, took part in three presentations.

  • Professor Samples and Dr. Katie Ireland (right), who recently joined the university’s DigiLab, spoke at two ESIL workshops along with their co-author, Caroline Kraczon, a Georgetown University Law Center 3L who earned her first degrees at the University of Georgia. Their paper, “Terms of Use Agreements and Social Platforms,” discusses their interdisciplinary project based on an original dataset of 75 digital platforms’ terms-of-use and core policies. The trio presented this research at the Wednesday workshop of the International Law & Technology Interest Group, on “Algorithmic and Technological Modes of In-/Exclusion: International Legal Method and Critique,” and also at “‘In/Ex-clusiveness through the Lens of International Business and Human Rights’” the Thursday workshop of the International Business & Human Rights Interest Group.
  • In addition, Samples co-presented Investment Law’s Transparency Gap, an article forthcoming in Cornell International Law Journal, with co-author Sebastian Puerta, a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of California-Berkeley who earned his first degrees at the University of Georgia. Their work uses predictive modeling to estimate missing claims and awards in investment treaty arbitration. They spoke at a session of ESIL’s International Economic Law Interest Group, “In/ex-cluding Civil Society in Investment Law-making and Arbitration.” Also taking part in this session were scholars from the Institute of International Relations in Czechoslovakia, Ghent University and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, University of Vienna in Austria, University of Trento in Italy, and Carleton University in Canada.

The European Society’s 2023 annual conference, themed “Is International Law Fair?,” will begin with Interest Group workshops on August 30, and run through September 2, in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Welcoming newest class of Master of Laws (LL.M.) students to Georgia Law

With the Fall 2022 semester in full swing, we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center are proud to welcome another class of talented lawyers, now studying for our University of Georgia School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

The group of 23 hail from 15 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, India, Iran, Nigeria, Panama, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Among them are a judge and lawyers specializing in a wide range of fields, including corporate transactional law, employment law, international trade, arbitration, antitrust law, and information privacy.

Some of them are pictured above, standing on the steps of Dean Rusk Hall. Left to right, they are: top row, Vladyslav Rudzinskyi, John Omotunde, Jasur Ziyautdinov, Abdulganiyu Mustapha; middle row, Tatyana Popovkina, Ngoc Quynh Vu, Anastasia Popkova, Alexandra Lampe, Khatia Zukhubaia, Rawdha Hidri, Sarthak Goel; and bottom, Saideh Ghasemi Moghadam, Manaswini Reddy Mogiligundla, Gloria Correa, Oleksandra Iordanova, Olha Kaliuzhna, Rocío Buosi, Jeremias Brusau, Mahmoud Mohamed, and Binh Nguyen. LL.M. students not pictured are Divine Atsegbua, Alexandre Laranjeira, and Abdullah Talha Tosun.

This Class of 2023 joins a tradition that began at the University of Georgia School of Law in the early 1970s, when a Belgian lawyer became the first foreign-trained practitioner to earn a Georgia Law LL.M. degree. In the ensuing four decades, the law school and its Dean Rusk International Law Center have produced nearly 600 LL.M. graduates, with ties to nearly 100 countries and every continent in the world.

Side by side with J.D. candidates, LL.M.s follow a flexible curriculum tailored to their own career goals – goals that may include preparation to sit for a U.S. bar examination, or pursuit of a concentration affording advancement in their home country’s legal profession or academic institutions.

The application for the LL.M. Class of 2024 is now open; for information or to apply for LL.M. studies, see here.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee moderates online ASIL discussion of book on globalization of legal education

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, moderated an online book discussion sponsored by the American Society of International Law.

Discussion centered on The Globalization of Legal Education: A Critical Perspective, published last month as an open access Oxford University Press title. Featured speakers were the co-editors, Bryant Garth (pictured above, upper right) and Gregory Shaffer (lower right), along with Swethaa Ballakrishnan (lower left), all of them professors at University of California-Irvine School of Law. Md. Rizwanul Islam (upper left), a professor at North South University Bangladesh, was the discussant.

Cohosting the event were ASIL’s Teaching International Law Interest Group and also its International Legal Theory Interest Group, of which Durkee (top, center) is Vice-Chair and another Georgia Law professor, Harlan G. Cohen, is Chair.

Video of the book discussion is available here and on YouTube.

Georgia Law Professor Usha Rodrigues in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article on special purpose acquisition companies

Usha Rodrigues, University Professor and M.E. Kilpatrick Chair of Corporate Finance & Securities Law and the University of Georgia School of Law, serving currently as the University of Georgia Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, recently was featured the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The article by reporter Von Roland Linder was entitled “Für hunderte Spacs tickt die Uhr,” or “The clock is ticking for hundreds of spacs” – the last term an acronym for “special purpose acquisition companies,” a corporate law phenomenon about which Rodrigues has written and frequently is quoted.

Professor MJ Durkee publishes essay on legacy of 1972 Stockholm Declaration in special issue of Georgia Journal of Comparative and International Law

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, published “International Environmental Law at Its Semicentennial: The Stockholm Legacy” in 50 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 748 (2022), available at the journal’s website as well as SSRN.

The publication reflects upon issues raised at, the journal’s October 2021 conference, “The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law.” (Prior posts and links to panel videos here)

Here’s the SSRN abstract of Professor Durkee’s essay:

“The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment produced the Stockholm Declaration, an environmental manifesto that forcefully declared a human right to environmental health and birthed the field of modern international environmental law. The historic event powerfully “dramatized . . . the unity and fragility of the biosphere,” sparking a remarkable period of international legal innovation and cooperation on environmental protection in the decades to come.

“The Stockholm Declaration can be rightly celebrated for putting environmental issues on the international legal agenda and driving the development of environmental law at the domestic level around the world. At the same time, the Declaration’s distinctive framing of environmental problems and solutions deeply influenced these abundant subsequent laws, and here its legacy is mixed. This special issue, in celebration of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law’s 50th anniversary volume, evaluates the legacy of the Stockholm Declaration and the legal movement it launched.”

Published in the same journal issue were: “‘In Countless Ways and On an Unprecedented Scale’: Reflections on the Stockholm Declaration at 50” by Rebecca Bratspies, Professor of Law and founding Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform at CUNY School of Law; and “Legal Rights for Rivers” by Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer and Member of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, at Monash University in Australia.

Consul General’s talk on Mexico’s federal lawsuit against arms makers opens 2022-2023 events calendar at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center

Our schedule of 2022-2023 events here at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center opened yesterday with a compelling presentation by the Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta.

In a talk entitled “Institutional Structure of the U.S.-Mexico Relations and Key Bilateral Issues: Mexico’s Legal Case Against U.S. Gun Manufacturers,” Ambassador Javier Díaz de León began by outlining ways that Mexico and the United States – often along with their neighbor to the north, Canada – discuss and seek solutions to common problems.

One concern, of course, is security; in Mexico’s case, the southward flow of firearms and money that enable drug cartels to operate. After providing statistics on the high proportion of weapons confiscated in Mexico that have been manufactured or distributed in the United States, Ambassador Díaz turned to what he rightly called the “landmark” step that his government took on August 4, 2021, when it filed Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson Brands et al. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. That civil tort suit alleges that Smith & Wesson and 10 other firearms manufacturers or distributors unlawfully permitted U.S. weapons to enter Mexico, where firearms are, for the most part, prohibited. According to Ambassador Díaz, a federal judge heard argument on defendants’ motion to dismiss last spring, but has not yet ruled on that motion, and discovery is under way.

Following his presentation, Georgia Law Regents’ Professor Diane Marie Amann, one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, moderated questions from the audience, composed mostly of students.

This marked the ambassador’s second visit to our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center; in 2018, also as part of our Consular Series, he spoke on “Mexico’s Relation with Georgia: Connecting Paths.”

Cosponsoring yesterday’s event with our Center were the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute at the University of Georgia, as well as two Georgia Law student groups, the Hispanic Law Students Association and the International Law Society.

Follow this webpage or our Twitter feed to learn about upcoming events.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee takes part in Global Meeting on Law and Society

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, participated in last week’s 7th Global Meeting on Law and Society in Portugal.

“The Pledging World Order,” Durkee’s article that is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of International Law, was discussed at a panel on “Transnational Orders of Finance, Trade and Investment.” Session Chair was Gregory Shaffer, who is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California-Irvine School of Law and the President of the American Society of International Law. Sonia Rolland, Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, served as Discussant.

The Global Meeting, a quinquennial gathering of the Law & Society Association and other sociolegal organizations from around the world, was held at ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, with organizational support from DINÂMIA’CET and CIES at ISCTE.