Georgia Law Professor Durkee talks on business, global governance at ILW 2020

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, was among the scholars and practitioners who took part in a panel entitled “Business Engagement in Global Governance” during International Law Weekend, the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Typically held in New York City, because of the coronavirus pandemic this year’s ILW took place online.

Here’s the panel description:

Many international organizations are now partnering with business groups, seeking expertise, corporate engagement with important issues, and funds. While public-private partnerships can seem indispensable, the danger of undue influence is real. This roundtable will discuss cutting-edge efforts by international organizations to capture benefits of business participation while restraining harms, and how past experience may offer lessons for future challenges.

Joining Durkee in discussing these issues were Igor da Silva Barbosa, First-Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations Office in Geneva; Professor Kristina Daugirdas, University of Michigan Law School; and Nancy Thevenin, General Counsel of the United States Council for International Business. Dr. Ayelet Berman, Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore, served as moderator.

Prospective LLM students in Latin America, Europe: Learn about Georgia Law at EducationUSA virtual tours

In the coming weeks, the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center will be reaching out to law students and lawyers in Latin America and Europe who are interested in pursuing a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

Dr. Laura Kagel, the Center’s Associate Director for International Professional Education, will participate in the EducationUSA LL.M. Info Webinar Series in the Americas, sponsored by EducationUSA, a State Department-supported global network, at 6 p.m. EDT this Monday, October 26. Prospective applicants from Latin America can register here.

Kagel also will share an overview of Georgia Law’s LL.M. curriculum, admissions process, and scholarship funding at the 2020 Education USA European LL.M. Virtual Tour. Registration for the virtual LL.M. fairs takes place at the European LL.M. Virtual Tour website. The dates and times for specific countries and regions are below:

  • Germany and Norway: 17:00 CET, November 2
  • Turkey and Hungary: 16:30-19:00 CET, November 10
  • Croatia, Italy and Spain: 18:00-20:30 CET, November 11
  • Open Session (Europe & Eurasia): 18:00-20:00 CET, November 12

The University of Georgia School of Law LL.M. application is available online at LSAC.

For more information about the Georgia Law LL.M. curriculum, interested graduates may contact Dr. Kagel at LLM@uga.edu.

Georgia Law alumna Lauren Brown publishes on “Legal Answer to the China Question” in NATO Legal Gazette

“Partnership, Not Pivot: NATO’s Legal Answer to the China Question” is the title of an article by Georgia Law alumna Lauren Brown, just published at 41 NATO Legal Gazette 27-45 (2020). The essay appears in an issue devoted to the subject of “Legal Aspects of Innovation.”

Brown wrote the article while serving in Spring 2019 as a full-semester NATO Legal Extern in Mons, Belgium, an experience she described in a prior post.

With reference to NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Brown’s Legal Gazette essay asserts:

“[T]he Organization is falling behind in addressing the multipolar reality that has defined the geopolitical landscape since the early twenty-first century. This multipolar world features as primary influencers the United States, the Russian Federation, and the People’s Republic of China. And it requires NATO to undertake innovation in its strategy; in particular, to broaden its partnership initiatives formally to include China.”

The essay proceeds to outline multiple ways by which such a partnership might be forged, and concludes that “NATO’s future relevance is contingent upon its ability to directly and formally engage China in a meaningful cooperative partnership.”

Brown earned her Georgia Law J.D. degree magna cum laude in 2019. Since then, she has practiced as an Associate in the International Trade Practice at the Washington, D.C., office of the global law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

She also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and B.A. in International Studies, with highest distinction, from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Before beginning her legal studies, she had worked as a news analyst in the Washington area. Her activities at law school included: Articles Editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law; Research Assistant to Professor Harlan G. Cohen, our Center’s Faculty Co-Director; and Summer 2017 Global Extern at War Child Holland in Amsterdam.

Brown was Georgia Law’s inaugural NATO Legal Extern, thanks to a partnership between our Center and NATO Allied Command Transformation. That initiative is ongoing, as indicated by 3L Miles Porter’s recent post on his experience at NATO HQ SACT in Norfolk, Virginia.

Georgia Law Prof. Cohen presents on “Future of Trade” in webinar hosted by CAROLA/Georgetown Law

Harlan Cohen, the 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, recently joined a quartet of scholars and practitioners in presenting a webinar on “The Future of Trade,” hosted by CAROLA, the Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas at Georgetown Law.

Topics discussed included the World Trade Organization, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, increasing U.S. use of national security measures to pursue trade objectives, and trade wars between the United States and China.

With ear to Global South, Georgia Law Professor Thomas Kadri discusses his “Networks of Empathy” in podcast

University of Georgia School of Law Professor Thomas Kadri joined a recent episode of the “Talking Research” podcast to talk about his research on digital abuse and his article “Networks of Empathy,” just published at Utah Law Review.

The podcast, hosted by India-based Asmita Sood, features interviews with researchers from around the world who study sexual violence across disciplines, with the aim of making academic knowledge more accessible to the public.

Kadri’s interview focused on the challenges of digital abuse and how people are increasingly using networked technologies to engage in harassment, stalking, privacy invasions, and surveillance. He discussed how technology companies should be more mindful of how their platforms facilitate digital abuse, urging decisionmakers at these companies to exhibit empathy toward abuse victims through design and policy choices.

With digital abuse on the rise globally, Kadri’s research explores how extralegal efforts can supplement laws and encourage their enforcement. In his article and this podcast, Kadri embraces a feminist perspective that urges people, and especially men, to speak out against digital abuse in an effort to shift social norms, challenge pernicious stereotypes, and help victims across gender and sexuality spectrums. In this same spirit, Kadri has also encouraged technology companies to hire and consult diversely, including by listening to voices from marginalized groups and people in the Global South who have often been ignored or undervalued by those with power in Silicon Valley.

The podcast episode is available here; Kadri’s article here.

Georgia Law Appellate Litigation Clinic students invoke Convention Against Torture in 9th Circuit oral argument

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments last week in an immigration case involving the Convention against Torture – a case prepared by a team of students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Georgia Law 3L Jason N. Sigalos argued on behalf of client Graciela Arellano Herrera in Case No. 19-72750, Arellano Herrera v. Barr. On account of the covid-19 pandemic, Sigalos’ argument was delivered virtually (video here), to a panel composed of Ninth Circuit Judges Margaret M. McKeown and Lawrence James Christopher VanDyke, along with U.S. District Judge Virginia Mary Kendall, sitting by designation. (Sigalos, who spoke from Georgia Law’s Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, is pictured above at bottom right.)

Joining Sigalos on the briefs were his classmates in the Appellate Litigation Clinic (prior posts), 3L Mollie M. Fiero and John Lex Kenerly IV, who earned his J.D. earlier this year.

Together they represent appellant Arellano Herrera, the mother of seven children and grandmother of another seven, all U.S.-born citizens. The client herself has lived in this country since her parents brought her to the United States three days after her birth in Mexico.

Her appeal seeks reversal of a Board of Immigration Appeals order that she be removed from the United States. Relying on non-refoulement (non-return) obligations the United States took on when it ratified the 1984 Convention Against Torture, she argues that prior forced involvement with a drug cartel makes it unsafe for her to relocate anywhere in Mexico. She contends that if she were she to be sent back, it is more likely than not that cartel members would torture her, with the acquiescence of one or more public officials.

The Ninth Circuit panel is now deliberating.

Georgia Law Dean Bo Rutledge, 2L student Emina Sadic Herzberger publish on circuit split regarding discovery before arbitral tribunals

A federal judicial disagreement on the extent to which a discovery statute applies to private arbitration is the subject of a new commentary by the dean and a student researcher here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Coauthoring the Daily Report article, entitled “Circuit Split Deepened by Second Circuit’s ‘Functional’ Test Application in Recent Section 1782 Ruling,” were international business law expert Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Dean and Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law at Georgia  Law, along with 2L Emina Sadic Herzberger.

The article concerns whether 28 U.S.C. § 1782 – which authorizes discovery for use in proceedings before a “foreign or international tribunal” – extends to proceedings before private arbitral tribunals. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits generally say yes; for the 2d and 5th Circuits, no. The doctrine is uncertain, the authors point out, in the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit.

Their full commentary is here.

Georgia Law 3L Devon Pawloski reflects on significance of her Global Externship at DC-Cam in Phnom Penh


Today we welcome a guest post by Devon E. Pawloski, a member of the University of Georgia School of Law Class of 2021 who is enrolled in the JD/MHP, or Juris Doctor and Master of Historic Preservation dual degree curriculum. The summer after her first year of law school, Devon benefited from a GEO – a Global Externship Overseas, administered by Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center. Her post describes that experience and then reflects on how it helped guide her career preparation.

I spent my 1L summer working at the Documentation Center of Cambodia, or DC-Cam, in Phnom Penh as a Georgia Law Global Extern Overseas. DC-Cam is a nongovernmental organization that archives documents and objections for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and also creates educational materials, curates historic exhibits, and builds programming to promote reconciliation regarding the Khmer Rouge genocide.

My main project connected Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage to DC-Cam’s education and reconciliation goals. Destruction of cultural heritage is often not acknowledged as a significant part of war and genocide. But throughout its history Cambodia’s heritage has been plundered, under French colonization, the Lon Nol civil war, the Khmer Rouge genocide, Vietnamese occupation, and even today. My research focused on the prevention of looting and the incorporation of cultural heritage education in schools, with the ultimate goal of helping Cambodia to heal from the Khmer Rouge atrocities by rallying around Cambodia’s heritage.

Under the guidance of American attorney-advisors, I worked with the DC-Cam staff and a Tulane Law student, Ben Evans, to document the state of cultural heritage looting in Cambodia. Ben and I first researched international heritage conventions and Cambodia’s cultural heritage laws from the French colonial period (1863 to 1953) to the present. We then selected two sites to use as case studies, in which we interviewed government officials, police officers, soldiers, museum curators, teachers, students, and other locals about their personal experiences with looting and their knowledge of cultural heritage laws. The sites were:

  • Angkor Borei, the location of the ancient Funan Empire capital. Looting of Angkor Borei dates to the French colonial period, when French scholars and others took decorative elements and statuary from Phnom Da, a nearby temple that, along with Angkor Borei, has been tentatively nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The French made meaningful attempts to restore portions of the temple, but the damage was done. The temple’s remaining statuary was removed for safekeeping in the 1990s. However, villagers still find remnants of the ancient kingdom in their backyards. Until recently, it was common for villagers to dig for beads, pots, statues, and other small items to sell for food and clothing. Local middlemen approached the villagers to request items, which were then smuggled across the border. In 2011, looting slowed down after an information campaign about cultural heritage laws. (pictured at top left, Devon, as part of her field research, interviews a nun in Wat Kamnou, Angkor Borei) 
  • Ta Moan, an 11th century temple which sits on the contested border between Cambodia and Thailand. Smugglers toted off almost all of Ta Moan’s statuary to Thailand during the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia in the 1980s and 1990s. Between 2009 and 2011, fighting broke out between Cambodia and Thailand along the border, including within the temple complex itself. In 2011, the countries reached a ceasefire, but armed Khmer and Thai soldiers still occupy the site. (pictured at top right, part of Ta Moan)

This field research led to a paper, “Protecting Cambodia’s Heritage: An Exploration of International and Domestic Law,” which described the current legal historic preservation framework in Cambodia and the lack of enforcement of these laws, then suggested mechanisms for looting prevention. Suggestions includes local cultural heritage education in secondary schools and  heritage protection education for soldiers, by means of DC-Cam’s genocide education program. To help DC-Cam implement this, I drafted a cultural heritage education syllabus with reading materials and activity suggestions that can be added as a final chapter to future editions of DC-Cam’s genocide education textbook.

In addition to this work, I was able to explore many beautiful places throughout Cambodia, including Siem Reap, famous for its Angkor Wat temple complex, and Kep, a beach town with French colonial architecture. When I finished my GEO, I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I even gained a few new skills in Khmer and Vietnamese cooking classes, which have been fun to brush up in these recent months of quarantine.

* * * *

The highlight of my law school experience, my Summer 2018 GEO in Cambodia has since influenced my educational and professional path. When I returned from Cambodia, I dove into international law to contextualize my summer experience. I took courses in international law, including International Human Rights with Professor Diane Marie Amann and International Legal Research with Professor Anne Burnett, and I worked with Professor Kate Doty on the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.

When I applied for the University of Georgia Master of Historic Preservation degree program later that year, I wrote about my international heritage law research in Cambodia. Once I was admitted to the program, I wrote about international heritage law and repatriation of Native American artifacts. Although a master’s thesis about international heritage law is not feasible during this pandemic, the skills that I gained during my GEO, including research and communication across cultural boundaries, will be fundamental to my research.

My GEO is also provided an excellent foundation for the beginning of my legal career. I have been asked about my GEO in every job interview I have had since my 1L summer. Interviewers can easily understand my passion for cultural heritage, international law, and even environmental law when I am asked about my incredible experience in Cambodia. I am not sure where my post-law school career will take me, but I know that I will continue to volunteer with my friends and colleagues at the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

Georgia Law Appellate Clinic secures at-risk client’s release from immigration detention center

The Appellate Litigation Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law has secured the release from immigration detention of a Cuban client who suffers from asthma and a history of cancer.

The 26 year old client, who has no criminal history, had come to the United States to avoid repeated police beatings for his protests against the government in Cuba. He had been held for nineteen months without a bond hearing at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, where as of mid-August 2 inmates had died from COVID-19 and more than 150 had been infected.

Students working through the clinic contended that their client’s medical condition increased the risk that while in detention during the present pandemic, he too would contract the novel coronavirus disease. They litigated his case in many administrative and judicial forums: a hearing on a motion for bond in Stewart Immigration Court; multiple parole requests to ICE, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency; a habeas petition before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia; and an opening brief and motion to expedite before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Working on the case were Addison Smith and Spencer D. Woody, both of whom earned their Juris Doctor degrees this past spring, along with 3L Steven L. Miller and 2Ls Christopher O. Brock, Destiny J. Burch and Maria C. “Mia” Hughes.

The merits appeal and detention appeal both continue even though the client has been released from ICE custody. Under the supervision of Thomas V. Burch and Anna White Howard, who direct Georgia Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic, students will continue to pursue an Eleventh Circuit judgment in their client’s favor.

(Credit for photo of the Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse in Atlanta, home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit)

Georgia Law, ASIL to cosponsor conference on legal responsibility of corporations and nation-states

  • When private companies perform governmental functions and governments own companies, which acts should be attributed to the state?
  • Which should be attributed to the corporation?
  • And whose religious beliefs, speech rights, and moral standing can those entities claim?

These questions and more will be explored in The Law and Logics of Attribution: Constructing the Identity and Responsibility of States and Firms, a 2-day online conference that our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, will cohost next month.

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, is leading the event, which will bring together a multinational group of scholars in law and social sciences. It’s cosponsored by the American Society of International Law and ASIL’s Interest Group on International Legal Theory. Durkee serves as Vice Chair of that interest group; Chair is her Georgia Law colleague Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Center. Registration is available here.

Scheduled to speak at the conference, which will take place 1-5 p.m. Friday, September 11, and Friday, September 18:

Olabisi Akinkugbe, Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada

William C. Banks, Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University College of Law, New York

Joshua Barkan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia

Kristen Boon, Miriam T. Rooney Professor of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, New Jersey

Rachel Brewster, Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professor of Law, Duke Law School, North Carolina

David Ciepley, Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, California

Laura Dickinson, Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington School of Law, District of Columbia

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor, University of Georgia School of Law

Benjamin Edwards, Associate Professor of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

James Gathii, Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Illinois

Sarah Haan, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee School of Law, Virginia

Catherine Hardee, Associate Professor of Law, California Western School of Law

Doreen Lustig, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Israel

Kish Parella, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Virginia

Dalia Palombo, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Mikko Rajavuori, Academy of Finland Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Eastern Finland Law School

Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, Vanderbilt School of Law, Tennessee

 

They’ll be examining aspects of the conference’s concept note:

“In international law, scholars and practitioners struggle to attribute rights and responsibilities between state and private entities in areas as diverse as military contracting, environmental accountability, human rights, international investment, and cyber espionage and warfare. In the corporate governance realm, attributing responsibility to entities is increasingly challenging in the context of globally dispersed corporate families with intricate parent-subsidiary structures; identity attribution has also produced headlining debates.

“While attribution questions fuel important conversations in both corporate and international law, the two literatures are not often in conversation. Questions of attribution in both domains nevertheless are becoming more complex and urgent, and the fields increasingly intersect: In some areas of law, attribution doctrines must determine the dividing line between states and firms. Doctrines of attribution construct the public domain, and thereby also the private. Attribution questions in both domains reinvigorate classic inquiries about the nature of a corporation, the relationship between private entities and the state, and the proper function of the law in mediating between the two.

“This conference will draw together corporate and international legal scholars, as well as thinkers outside the law, in order to cross-pollinate these two fields and the questions at their intersection, and to unearth promising theoretical tools. It will consider theoretical and doctrinal approaches to attribution, potential consequences of these approaches, and whether they may reconcile the ambiguities and deficiencies that drive current debates. The project aims to offer a new point of entry to enduring theoretical and doctrinal questions about the nature of corporations, of states, and of the relationship between them. It is particularly relevant at a time where corporations are ‘jurisdictionally ambiguous and spatially diffuse,’ states are deferential, dependent or outflanked, and multilateralism is at an ebb.”

Full details, including registration for this online event, are available here.