Georgia Law Professor Cade and attorney Mary Honeychurch (JD18) coauthor immigration essay

The U visa – a visa set aside for nonimmigrant victims of certain crimes who have endured mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement – is the subject of a new essay co-authored by scholars here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The essay, “Restoring the Statutory Safety-Valve for Immigrant Crime Victims: Premium Processing for Interim U Visa Benefits,” appears at 113 Northwestern University Law Review Online 120 (2019). It was written by Georgia Law Professor Jason A. Cade, whose teaching and scholarship focus on immigration law, and one of his former students, Mary Honeychurch (JD’18), who is now an immigration attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Atlanta.

Here’s the abstract:

“This Essay focuses on the U visa, a critical government program that has thus far failed to live up to its significant potential. Congress enacted the U visa to aid undocumented victims of serious crime and incentivize them to assist law enforcement without fear of deportation. The reality, however, is that noncitizens eligible for U status still languish in limbo for many years while remaining vulnerable to deportation and workplace exploitation. This is in large part due to the fact that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has never devoted sufficient resources to processing these cases. As a result, the potential benefits of the U visa remain underrealized and communities are left less safe. In an era of sustained focus on enforcement and increased instability within immigrant communities, the situation becomes ever more urgent. This Essay introduces and defends a simple administrative innovation that would dramatically improve the process: a premium processing route for interim approvals and employment authorization. Although our proposal cannot resolve all the underlying problems, it is pragmatic, easily implemented, and superior to the status quo.”

The full essay is available here.

Georgia Law’s Elizabeth Weeks on “Healthism,” her new co-authored book about health-status discrimination

Pleased today to welcome a contribution from Elizabeth Weeks, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law. Weeks concentrates her teaching and scholarship in fields of law related to health care. In the post below, she introduces her new co-authored book, which will be of great interest to all concerned about the human right to health. It will be the subject on Wednesday, February 27, of a Georgia Law book panel featuring Law Professors Jennifer Bennett Shinall of Vanderbilt, Stacey Tovino of Nevada-Las Vegas, Ani Satz of Emory, and Nicolas P. Terry of Indiana-Indianapolis.

I am delighted to announce the recent publication by Cambridge University Press of my book, Healthism: Health Status Discrimination & the Law, co-authored with Jessica L. Roberts, Alumnae College Professor in Law  and Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center.

Healthism proposes a new protected category – the unhealthy – and examines instances of discrimination against the unhealthy in multiple contexts:

Our book considers these and a host of other examples. It concludes that some operate as normatively wrong – or “healthist” – laws, policies, or practices. Others, however, are not only permissible, but also may be desirable, inasmuch as they encourage or support healthier lifestyles.

This book’s most important contributions are:

  • To introduce the concept of healthism into the lexicon; and
  • To invite ongoing dialogue about the merits and demerits of treating individuals differently based on their health status.

The genesis of our healthism project was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or ACA, which largely prohibits health status discrimination in health insurance in the United States.  Specifically, the ACA prohibits insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions or charging higher premiums based on individual risk factors.

In 2010, single-payer health system, or a national health system, or even “Medicare for All,” were (and likely remain) political nonstarters in the United States. President Barack Obama’s signature law, the ACA, instead effected a sort of mandatory mutual aid society, a compelled communitarian approach, to health care.  In order to ensure that coverage for the unhealthy remained affordable, the law required most Americans to obtain health insurance – whether through eligibility for a government program or employer-sponsored plan, or by purchasing on the individual and small-group market – with government subsidies for some.

As of January 1, 2019, however, a critical pillar of that legislative design has been removed:

According to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, a law enacted in November 2017 under President Donald J.  Trump, the tax penalty associated with the so-called individual mandate no longer applies.  Americans now again are free to “go bare,” without any health insurance, or to purchase short-term, catastrophic-only, or other high-deductible/low-premium, limited coverage.  Many plans on the market still operate with the antidiscrimination provisions and other protections required by the ACA; however, no one any longer is compelled to purchase them.

The effect may well be to make those plans less affordable for the unhealthy – those who most need comprehensive coverage.  TCJA is just one of several U.S. reforms that threaten to erode legal protections for the unhealthy and so to reintroduce legal and social acceptance of healthism.

Our book stops short of proposing a model law or draft constitutional provision to comprehensively address this problem. Instead, it offers readers a workable rubric to navigating the shifting landscape of permissible and impermissible health-status discrimination.

Georgia Law’s 2019 Jessup International Law Moot team competes in New Orleans

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The 2019 Georgia Law Jessup Team, from left: Hanna Karimipour, Sam Hatcher, Lyddy O’Brien, and Drew Hedin

Members of our University of Georgia School of Law team are competing this week in the New Orleans regional rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. They’re part of a 60-year-old tradition, in which law students enact the presentation of arguments before the International Court of Justice, the Hague-based judicial organ of the United Nations.

Jessup2019_HiRes_PDF_300dpiIn New Orleans and in cities across the globe, teams from more than 680 law schools, representing 100 countries and jurisdictions, are arguing this year’s Jessup dispute, Case Concerning the Kayleff Yak (State of Aurok v. Republic of Rakkab).

We at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center have enjoyed working with this talented team of students throughout this academic year, and we wish them the best of luck in this year’s contest.

Experts to gather March 8 for journal conference, “International Criminal Court and the Community of Nations”

This International Women’s Day, Friday, March 8, 2019, experts will gather here in Athens for a conference entitled “The International Criminal Court and the Community of Nations.”  Featured will be panels on the ICC’s relation to various constituent communities, as well as a video message from the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

Principal sponsors of this University of Georgia School of Law conference are the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law and the Dean Rusk International Law Center, which I am honored to serve as a Faculty Co-Director. I’m pleased to serve as faculty adviser for this conference, given my ongoing role as Special Adviser to Prosecutor Bensouda on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict, and also to be joined at this conference by her Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity, Leila Nadya Sadat.

The conference concept note begins with a quote from the Preamble of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, whose Hague headquarters of which are depicted above. In it, states parties “[r]esolved to guarantee lasting respect for and the enforcement of international justice.” The concept note continues:

“Across the globe, resurgent nationalisms place stress on institutions designed to promote human and collective security through international cooperation. Critiques – even, at times, outright denunciations – compel such institutions to re-examine, in a process that poses challenges yet also portends opportunities for renewal. The dynamic surely affects the International Criminal Court. In the last several months alone, states as varied as Burundi, the Philippines, and the United States have levied harsh criticism against this twenty-year-old justice institution, established in recognition that “children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities” that “threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world.” In the same time frame, the ICC Prosecutor welcomed a multistate referral of alleged crimes in Venezuela and launched a preliminary examination into alleged forced deportation in Myanmar, and the Court as a whole continued complementary efforts to strengthen national and regional prevention and accountability. It did so within legal, geopolitical, and budgetary constraints imposed by a trio of stakeholder communities.

“Experts from academia and the practice will cast a critical eye on ‘The International Criminal Court and the Community of Nations’; that is, on the place of the ICC vis-à-vis communities of states parties, nonparty states, and nonstate stakeholders, as well as inherited communities. Presentations will be published in the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law.”

Here’s the schedule:

8:45-9:00 Welcome

Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge University of Georgia School of Law

9:00-10:30  Community of States Parties

Diane Desierto University of Notre Dame Keogh School of Global Affairs ǀ The Philippines and the International Criminal Court: Withdrawal from the Rome Statute and the War on Drugs

Mark Kersten Wayamo Foundation, University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs ǀ On the Road to Compromise? African States and the International Criminal Court

Naomi Roht-Arriaza University of California Hastings College of the Law ǀ The Role of the Court in Latin America

Leila Nadya Sadat Washington University School of Law ǀ States Parties and the Shifting Sands of the Court’s Jurisprudence

David Tolbert Duke University Sanford School of Policy ǀ A Look Back, Learning from the Experiences of the Ad Hoc Tribunals: What Lessons for the ICC?

Moderator ǀ Kathleen A. Doty University of Georgia School of Law

11:00-12:30  Community of Nonstate Stakeholders

Tess Davis Antiquities Coalition ǀ Cultural Heritage as an International Criminal Court Stakeholder

Christopher Engels Commission for International Justice & Accountability ǀ Private Investigations, Public Partnerships—Supporting International Criminal Prosecutions through Nongovernmental Organizations

Megan A. Fairlie Florida International University School of Law ǀ The International Criminal Court and the Community of Nonstate Stakeholders: Defense Issues

Valerie Oosterveld University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law ǀ Victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence as Stakeholders in the International Criminal Court: An Assessment

Peter Robinson Defense Counsel before International Criminal Court ǀ How the Defense Can Support the ICC

Moderator ǀ Melissa J. Durkee University of Georgia School of Law 

1:45-2:00  Video Remarks

Fatou Bensouda International Criminal Court Prosecutor

2:00-2:35  Inherited Communities

Diane Marie Amann University of Georgia School of Law ǀ What Would Maître Chalufour Say Today?

Mark A. Drumbl Washington & Lee University School of Law ǀ What Would Justice Pal Say Today?

2:45-3:45  Community of Nonparty States

Chimène Keitner University of California Hastings College of the Law ǀ International Institutions and the “Ideology of Patriotism”

Jane E. Stromseth Georgetown University Law Center ǀ The United States and the ICC: Why John Bolton’s Attack on the ICC Is Not in U.S. Interests

Saira Mohamed University of California Berkeley School of Law ǀ States Parties, Non-States Parties, and the Idea of International Community

Moderator ǀ Harlan G. Cohen University of Georgia School of Law

3:50-4:00  Closing Remarks

Morgan Renee Thomas Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law

Registration, for CLE credit, and other details here. Additional cosponsors include the International Law Society, Georgia Law’s chapter of the the International Law Students Association, along with SPIA, the University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs.

UK Consul General Andrew Staunton to speak on Brexit at Georgia Law

The Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law will welcome Consul General Andrew Staunton to campus on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. He will give a lecture, “Leaving the EU: Impact on UK-US Relations.”

Andrew Staunton Pic

Staunton is the United Kingdom’s Consul General in Atlanta. He took up the position in June 2018, after serving for four years as the Deputy Head of Mission and Economic Counselor at the British Embassy in Athens, Greece. He also served as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Dublin from 2009 to 2013. His time in Greece and Ireland coincided with critical points in each countries respective economies.

A career diplomat since 1987, Staunton has also held posts in China, France, Romania and Canada.

This event is presented as part of the Dean Rusk International Law Center’s Consular Series, which brings to campus perspectives on international trade, development, policy, and cooperation during the 2018-2019 academic year. The Consular Series is co-sponsored by the International Law Society, Georgia Law’s chapter of the International Law Students Association.

This installment of the Series coincides with the Center’s long-standing tradition of celebrating the birthday of another career diplomat – former Secretary of State and our Center’s namesake, Dean Rusk. In honor of Dean Rusk’s 110th birthday, lunch and celebratory cupcakes will be served.

Details here.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents on “Precedent” at University of Vienna

Earlier this month, Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen presented his scholarship at “Opening the Black Box of Precedent and Case-based Reasoning,” a 2-day workshop at Universität Wien/the University of Vienna in Austria.

Cohen, who is the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and serves as the Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented a work in progress entitled “The Sociology of International Precedent.” He spoke as part of a panel on “Constructing Authority of Precedent,” along with scholars based in Austria and in Denmark. The workshop also included scholars from Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, and Italy.

Learn about Georgia Law LL.M. degree at Atlanta info session Tuesday, Feb. 5

llm ad_Persons who have completed legal studies overseas are invited to learn about earning a University of Georgia School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at a free information session this month at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

The session will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, and hosted at the offices of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, 171 17th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30363 (click here for directions).

The LL.M. is a one-year, full-time degree designed for lawyers who trained in countries outside the United States and wish to study at the University of Georgia School of Law, a 160-year-old institution that is consistently ranked among the country’s top law schools.

Georgia Law LL.M. candidates study alongside J.D. candidates. Each LL.M. student pursues a flexible curriculum tailored to his or her career goals, including preparation to be eligible to sit for the Georgia or other U.S. bar examination. Details about this decades-old initiative may be found at our website and in posts at this blog of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the law school unit that administers the LL.M. degree.

Among those speaking at the information session will be our Center’s Associate Director for International Professional Education, Dr. Laura Kagel, as well as graduates of the LL.M. degree, who will talk about the student experience at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Other topics to be discussed at the information session include:

  • benefits of obtaining an LL.M.
  • putting together a strong application
  • costs and financial aid
  • career options for LL.M. graduates
  • steps toward preparing to take a U.S. bar examination

Interested persons are invited to register at no cost. Light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions there!