Judge Joan Donoghue, Sibley Lecturer at Georgia Law, elected President of International Court of Justice

The Honorable Joan E. Donoghue, the American judge on the International Court of Justice, today was elected President of the International Court of Justice, the Hague-based institution known colloquially as the World Court.

She is the 3d American to serve a term as President, following Green H. Hackworth (1955-58) and Stephen M. Schwebel (1997-2000), and also the 2d woman, following Dame Rosalyn Higgins of the United Kingdom (2006-09).

We at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center are pleased to welcome this news, not least because of Judge Donoghue’s generosity over the years toward our law school community:

  • In April 2012, a little more than a year before her initial election to the ICJ, Donoghue visited Georgia Law’s Athens campus to deliver our 108th Sibley Lecture. Her talk, entitled “The Role of the World Court Today,” (video) outlined the court’s history as the judicial organ of the United Nations, as well as the nature and evolution of its jurisdiction over disputes between nation-states and certain advisory matters. The text was published at 47 Georgia Law Review 181 (2012).
  • On occasions thereafter, as part of our Global Governance Summer School, the judge and her staff kindly hosted our students as they received a tour of the court’s seat, the Peace Palace, as well as a briefing on the court’s work.

As explained at the ICJ website:

“The President presides at all meetings of the Court; he/she directs its work and supervises its administration, with the assistance of a Budgetary and Administrative Committee and various other committees, all composed of Members of the Court. During judicial deliberations, the President has a casting vote in the event of votes being equally tied.”

Before joining the ICJ, Donoghue was Principal Deputy Legal Adviser in the U.S. Department of State, a position in which her duties included advising the Secretary of State and other officials on all aspects of international law. She’d practiced at State since 1984, with a few breaks to serve as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and General Counsel for Freddie Mac. She holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the Santa Cruz and Berkeley campuses, respectively, of the University of California.

Having been elected President by a vote of her peers on the court, Judge Donoghue will serve a 3-year term – as will her colleague who was elected Vice-President, Judge Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation.

Georgia Law Professor Amann marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with talk on women at Nuremberg trials

Women at the Nuremberg Trials was the title of a lecture delivered last week by Professor Diane Marie Amann, the 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.

Occurring on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wednesday’s talk focused on several of the many women who took part in the Nuremberg proceedings, as lawyers and legal professionals, translators and interpreters, witnesses and journalists – in short, in nearly every post except judge.

Sponsor of the event was the Center on National Security and Human Rights Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Georgia Law Professor Amann takes part in launch of NGO report documenting crimes against children in Syria

Professor Diane Marie Amann, the 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, took part last Friday in the launch of a report on crimes against and affecting children in Syria.

“Children of Syria – The Lost Hope,” was hosted by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that monitors, documents, and maintains a database of human rights violations in Syria, the site of a nearly ten-year-old conflict. The organization issued its Ninth Annual Report on Violations against Children in Syria (above left) on World’s Children Day, the day in November that marks the anniversary the adoptions by the UN General Assembly of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Participants in last week’s event discussed the Ninth Report, which stated that the Syrian conflict had claimed nearly 30,000 children between March 2011 and January 2021 – nearly 200 of them as a result of torture. Additional harms, many of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, documented include arrest and detention of children, forcible disappearance, attacks on schools and deprivation of education, and recruitment and use by armed forces.

Professor Amann, an expert in international criminal law and child rights, joined a panel discussing these findings, their impact on children and society at large, and avenues for redress and accountability. Amann said that the Ninth Report described conduct

“that constitutes both systematic violations of human rights in many different sectors as well as international crimes as articulated in the statutes of multiple tribunals and recognized as customary international law.”

She further outlined treaties and forums through which such conduct might be addressed.

Also speaking at the event, which is archived and available for viewing here, were: Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights; Martin Leeser, a member of the Syria team at the German Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; Dr. Troels Gauslå Engell, Senior Stabilisation Advisor on Syria to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Paula Sastrowijoto, Deputy Syria Envoy at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lina Biscaia, Senior Legal Officer, Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes and Crimes against Children Unit of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL; Javier Perez Salmeron of the Justice Rapid Response Child Rights Expert Roster; and Valentina Falco, Team Leader-Child Protection, UN Department of Peace Operations.

Georgia Law alumna Chanel Chauvet publishes at Opinio Juris on POW remittances, in blog symposium on 2020 GCIII Commentary directed by alumnus Jean-Marie Henckaerts

Pleased to note the publication last Thursday by a recent graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, as part of an ongoing joint symposium sponsored by Opinio Juris and by the Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Author of the contribution entitled “Prisoners of War Remittances – Financial Challenges of Sanctions and Conversion Rates” is Chanel Chauvet, who earned her J.D. degree from Georgia Law in 2018, and also, just last year, her LL.M. degree cum laude in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland.

Applying a case study of relations between Iran and the United States, Chauvet’s post details the obstacles faced by a prisoner of war, or POW, in securing remittances – funds that family members send “in an effort to contribute to the POW’s financial welfare” – on account of financial sanctions regimes and currency conversion rates. She concludes with recommendations that would remove remittances from the effects of these regimes, writing:

“The legal landscape governing POW remittances is insufficient, and as such, states should collectively address the obstacles that damage the financial health of POWs by incorporating specific protections for POWs (e.g., a legal exclusion for POW payments and remittances) from the effects of the banking sanctions that are in place in their Power of Origin.”

While a J.D. student, Chauvet served as a Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador and a research assistant to the Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, Professors Harlan Cohen and Diane Marie Amann. She completed the Grotius Centre Summer School on Humanitarian Law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands, competed on a winning Model African Union team, served as worldwide student president of the International Law Students Association, and was the recipient of the Blacks of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting Scholarship.

Chauvet is a member of the Bars of the State of Georgia and of the District of Columbia.

At the Geneva Academy, she was elected the Student Council LL.M. Representative and was the student commencement speaker. She served as a Legal Intern in the International Law & Policy Department at the ICRC, and also made presentations at meetings of the UN Human Rights Council in her capacity as the Permanent Representative in Geneva for the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

Chauvet’s LL.M. thesis, from which the Opinio Juris post draws, was supervised by a Geneva Academy professor who is himself earned his LL.M. at Georgia Law in 1990: Dr. Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Legal Adviser in the ICRC’s Legal Division and a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council.

Chauvet’s post forms part of a symposium of articles analyzing aspects of Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949. Commentary of 2020. Known colloquially as GCIII, that commentary is the third published under Dr. Henckaerts’ directorship. Indeed, we at the Center were honored to host a daylong conference marking the issuance of the initial volume, the Commentary on First Geneva Convention, with papers published in the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.

“Future of Global Health Governance” topic of Monday’s Georgia Law international journal conference

Global Healthcare Governance Conference Header

“The Future of Global Healthcare Governance” is the topic of the annual Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law daylong symposium, to be held this Monday, January 25.

We at the Dean Rusk International Law Center of the University of Georgia School of Law are cosponsoring this online conference along with GJICL and the law school’s Health Law Society and International Law Society, as well as the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Public & International Affairs, and School of Social Work.

Taking into account the effects of globalization and climate change on the spread of historically localized pathogens — among them, H1N1, Zika, Ebola, and COVID-19 — the conference will re-examine legal and other frameworks designed to respond to global pandemics. The roles to be played by stated and by international entities like the World Health Organization will be explored. To quote the concept note:

“This conference will address three crucial questions of global health governance. It will consider, first, whether and how the ailing global public health infrastructure might be reinvigorated; second, how the pandemic has threatened and exposed limitations of the social safety net in the United States and other economies around the world; and, finally, the phenomenon of vaccine refusal and what national and international legal institutions might do to curb it.”

Delivering opening remarks will be Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Elizabeth Weeks, the University of Georgia Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Charles H. Kirbo Chair in Law. A keynote address, panel presentations, and breakout sessions will follow. These include (all times Eastern):

10:30-11:30 a.m. The Role of International Organizations in Global Health Governance, moderated by Georgia Law Professor Fazal Khan. Speakers: Thomas J. Bollyky, Council on Foreign Relations; Benjamin Mason Meier, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Alexandra Phelan, Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science & Security; Pedro Villarreal, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law; and Alicia Yamin, Harvard Law.

12:45-1:45 p.m. The Role of Federal Governments in Pandemics, moderated by Elizabeth Weeks, the University of Georgia Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Charles H. Kirbo Chair in Law. Speakers: Christina S. Ho, Rutgers Law; Renée M. Landers, Suffolk Law; Gwendolyn Roberts Majette, Cleveland-Marshall Law; and Wendy Parmet, Northeastern Law.

2-3 p.m. The Global Campaign for the Collective Good, moderated by Hillel Y. Levin, Alex W. Smith Professor of Law at Georgia Law and Director of UGA Law in Atlanta. Speakers: Shawn Harmon, Dalhousie University; Glen Nowak, University of Georgia; Saad Omer, Yale School of Medicine; and Dorit Reiss, California-Hastings Law.

3:30-4 p.m. Keynote Address by Marice Ashe, ChangeLab Solutions, and Elsie E. Hayford, Lamèsè.

Papers will be published in a forthcoming GJICL issue. The full program, with registration information, is available here.

Georgia Law Associate Dean Cade on US-Mexico migration, enforcement, activism

Two works concerning migration, enforcement, and activism along the Southern border between United States and Mexico have just been published by Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning and Hosch Associate Professor here at the University of Georgia.

In 2020, the migrant death toll exceeded a ten-year high following a summer of record-setting heat, while at the same time, criminal prosecutions of humanitarian activists reached unprecedented levels. Cade has addressed this situation in:

“‘Water is Life!’ (and Speech!): Death, Dissent and Democracy in the Borderlands”, an article published at 96 Indiana Law Journal 261 (2020) (SSRN). Cade explored the communicative conduct of activists such as No More Deaths, whose work along the southern border aims not only to save lives but also to convey the message that all lives—including those of unauthorized migrants—are worth saving. Cade argued that the context around this expressive dissent necessitates First Amendment scrutiny of government attempts to suppress or punish it, and he further explained the broader implications for debate about the ethics of border policies.

“All the Border’s a Stage: Humanitarian Aid as Expressive Dissent”, in 84 Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Special Issue: Law and the Citizen 110 (Austin Sarat ed., 2020). In this related book chapter, Cade examined the conduct of border policy dissenters through the lens of competing narratives, advancing the claim that tolerance of disparate viewpoints—especially those that peacefully challenge the status quo—can be crucial for both the generation of democratic knowledge and coexistence in a diverse society.

Both works comprise part of a larger research project, in which Cade is advancing a framework for more ethical border policies.

Georgia Law Appellate Litigation Clinic students win victory for client in 9th Circuit immigration case invoking Convention Against Torture

A woman seeking withholding of removal from the United States has won her challenge to an adverse ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals – a challenge briefed and argued by students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

By a 2-1 decision issued Tuesday in Case No. 19-72750, Arellano Herrera v. Barr a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded to the BIA.

The panel majority in Case No. 19-72750, Arellano Herrera v. Barr, comprised Ninth Circuit Judge Margaret M. McKeown and U.S. District Judge Virginia Mary Kendall, sitting by designation. Its opinion effectively reinstated the first decision in the case, in which an Immigration Judge had ruled for the Clinic’s client, Graciela Arellano Herrera, whose parents brought her to the United States three days after her birth.

In oral arguments conducted online this past September (prior post), Georgia Law 3L Jason N. Sigalos argued that if Arellano Herrera were sent back to her native Mexico it was more likely than not that member of a drug cartel would torture her, with the acquiescence of one or more public officials. To permit such a risk, the Clinic team contended, would violate non-refoulement (non-return) obligations that the United States took on when it ratified the 1984 Convention Against Torture. The panel majority agreed.

The panel’s third member, Ninth Circuit Judge Lawrence James Christopher VanDyke, agreed that the BIA had erred on one challenged ground, but in his view the BIA was correct in finding that Arellano Herrera could safely relocate in Mexico. He thus dissented, reasoning that the latter finding alone supported affirmation of the BIA ruling.

The Clinic team included Sigalos and his classmates, 3L Mollie M. Fiero and John Lex Kenerly IV, who earned his J.D. earlier this year. They worked under the supervision of Thomas V. Burch, the Clinic’s Director, and Anna White Howard, the Clinic’s Counselor in Residence. (prior posts)

Georgia Law Professor Amann on depicting Nuremberg artist Laura Knight for symposium on Carsten Stahn’s new Oxford monograph, “Justice as Message”

In this post Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, discusses her most recent publication.

Among the more captivating women who worked at the 1st Nuremberg trial – women whose stories I’m now researching – was Dame Laura Knight. Already celebrated as the 1st woman in over 150 years to win election to Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, Knight, then 68, arrived in January 1946, about a third of the way before the year-long proceedings before the International Military Tribunal. Soon after her departure 4 months later she unveiled a 5-foot by 6-foot oil painting, “The Nuremberg Trial,” at a London exhibition.

That work forms the centerpiece of “What We See When We See Law … Through the Eyes of Dame Laura Knight,” my contribution Monday to an ongoing Opinio Juris symposium on Justice as Message: Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice, a new Oxford University Press book by Carsten Stahn, an international criminal law professor at Leiden Law School and Queen’s University Belfast.

My post began by discussing Stahn’s 2020 book in light of my own 2002 article about expressivist theories and international criminal law. The focus was Nuremberg: not only is it much-discussed in Stahn’s book, but the book’s cover features her 1946 painting, pictured above. Those facts launched my post’s cameo about Knight-as-messenger, available here.

Contributors of other posts in the book series include Marina Aksenova, Mark A. Drumbl, Angela Mudukuti, Darryl Robinson, Priya Urs, and Stahn himself.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee discusses “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” at St. John’s international law colloquium

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” as part of the annual colloquium at the Center for International and Comparative Law, St. John’s University School of Law, New York.

Durkee’s article on the subject is forthcoming in the Virginia Law Review