LEUVEN and BRUSSELS, Belgium – The 2017 Global Governance Summer School may have ended, but memories linger of a brilliant week in these 2 Belgian cities.
The 2017 GGSS marked the 1st summer school collaboration between our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, and our Belgium partner, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven, one of Europe’s premier institutions of higher education since its founding in 1425.
At the same time, it contributed to Georgia Law’s long tradition of summer study in Belgium – a tradition that began in 1973 as the Brussels Seminar led by the late Professor Gabriel N. Wilner and supported by another Georgia Law professor, our Center’s namesake, Dean Rusk. Over the years hundreds of U.S. and European law students took part, sometimes launching careers in global practice. We’re proud to have continued the tradition with this year’s GGSS.
As previously posted, our 2017 GGSS journey began at The Hague, political capital of the Netherlands, where students received professional development briefings at the International Criminal Court, the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, and the International Court of Justice.
We then moved to Leuven, a centuries-old Flanders city about 15 miles west of Brussels. The lovely Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe was our home base for the week of June 25. Days were intense, while summery weather, late-evening sunsets, and endless lanes of historic buildings and convivial sidewalk cafes made for relaxing evenings.
The week began with students taking part in classroom seminars:
Day 1 focused on “Global Governance and International Law: Concepts, Norms, Actors, and Processes,” and featured 4 lectures: “Global Governance: An Introduction” by Leuven Law Professor Jan Wouters, GGSS Co-Director and Leuven Centre Director; “A Classic Account of International Law” by Professor Diane Marie Amann, GGSS Co-Director; “International Organizations as Rulemakers” by Dr. Philip De Man, Leuven Centre Senior Researcher; “Why Global Governance?” by Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen.
Day 2 covered “Global Economic and Trade Governance,” with these lectures: “Concepts, Principles, and Issues: Global Economic and Trade Law” by Georgia Law Professor Cohen; “A Legal Perspective on Global Economic and Trade Law” by Leuven Law Professor Geert Van Calster; “International Commercial Responsibility” by Georgia Law Professor Amann; and “A Political Economic Perspective on Global Economic and Trade Governance” by Dean Bart Kerremans, head of Leuven’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
Day 3 shifted to “Global Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Security Governance.” Leiden Law Professor Horst Fischer began with a lecture on “Human Rights Governance”; then followed a lecture on “Rule of Law Governance” by as Dr. Nicolas Hachez, Leuven Centre Senior Researcher. The afternoon kicked off with a conversation on the practice of human rights law between Alison A. Smith, Legal Counsel at the Brussels NGO No Peace Without Justice, and Georgia Law Professor Amann.
Our Center’s Interim Director, Kathleen A. Doty, then led the GGSS students’ simulated negotiation of a treaty aimed at controlling the use of drones. The day concluded with a dialogue between Leuven Law Professor Dominik Steiger and Georgia Law Professor Cohen on “Withdrawal from International Organizations and Global Governance.”
These classroom sessions prepared students for Day 4, an expert conference on “International Law and Global Governance in Turbulent Times.”
Taking part in the 1st conference panel, “Global Governance of Human Rights,” were: Georgia Law Professor Amann; Leuven Centre researcher Anna-Luise Chané; Mercedes García Pérez, Head of Division-Human Rights, European External Action Service; Dr. Tom Pegram, Senior Lecturer, University College London; and Katrien Meuwissen, Development Officer, European Network of National Human Rights Institutions.
Speaking at the conference panel on “Global Governance of Democracy and Rule of Law” were: Bologna Political Science Professor Daniela Piana; Leuven Researcher Dr. Mattieu Burnay; Professor Laurent Pech, Middlesex University London; Leuven researcher Tim Courthaut; and Dr. Petra Bard of the Central European University-Budapest.
Closing the conference was a panel on “Global Economic and Trade Governance in Protectionist Times,” featuring Professor Miles Kahler, American University; Professor John Kirton, University of Toronto; Georgia Law Professor Cohen; Tomas Baert, European Commission, Head of Unit Trade Strategy; Professor Jean-Christophe Defraigne, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles; and Professor Pieter de Wilde, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
GGSS concluded with a day in Brussels, capital of Belgium and home to many European and international legal institutions.
Students took a morning tour of the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There they learned about the work of NATO’s lawyers from member of the NATO Office of Legal Affairs, headed by Steven Hill. They lunched among NATO staffers and uniformed personnel from NATO’s 29 member states.
In Brussels’ “European quarter,” students stopped at the European Parliamentarium and then took part in a briefing at Sidley Austin LLP, a global law firm whose law practice all manner of global law fields, including trade, environment, life sciences, data privacy, and dispute settlement. Leading the briefing (right) was the managing partner of Sidley’s Brussels office, Stephen O. Spinks, who is a Georgia Law alumnus and member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council. As Spinks told student, he himself had studied in GGSS’ forerunner, the Brussels Seminar. He returned after receiving his J.D. degree, earned a master’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and began his career as a specialist in trade and competition/antitrust, law. Sprinks’ inspiring story capped a great week for students, many of whom are spending the balance of summer at Global Externships.