Best of luck to Georgia Law’s 2018 Jessup International Law Moot team

The 2018 Georgia Law Jessup team, from left: Roger Grantham, Lyddy O’Brien, Allie Gowens, Jennifer Cotton, and Ben Torres

Members of our University of Georgia School of Law team are competing this week in New Orleans regional rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. They’re part of a 59-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.

In New Orleans and in cities across the globe, teams from more than 645 law schools, representing 95 countries, are arguing this year’s Jessup dispute, Case Concerning the Egart and the Ibra (People’s Democratic Republic of Anduchenca v. Federal Republic of Rukaruku).

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.

Learn about Georgia Law LL.M. degree at Atlanta info session Tuesday, Feb. 13

Photo for Global Flash

Persons who’ve completed law 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 Georgia Law’s Atlanta campus, located in the Buckhead area.

The session will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, in Room 119 of the Terry Executive Education Center, Live Oak Square, 3475 Lenox Road, N.E. (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 159-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 LL.M. alumnus Javier A. Gonzalez, 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!

Professor Cohen’s AJIL essay on “Multilateralism’s Life-Cycle” at SSRN

Harlan Grant Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, has posted a chapter entitled “Multilateralism’s Life-Cycle,” which will appear in a forthcoming issue of volume 112 of the American Journal of International Law.

The manuscript, which forms part of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract for this essay by Professor Cohen, an expert in global governance and member of the AJIL Board of Editors:

Does multilateralism have a life-cycle? Perhaps paradoxically, this essay suggests that current pressures on multilateralism and multilateral institutions, including threatened withdrawals by the United Kingdom from the European Union, the United States from the Paris climate change agreement, South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia from the International Criminal Court, and others, may be natural symptoms of those institutions’ relative success. Successful multilateralism and multilateral institutions, this essay argues, has four intertwined effects, which together, make continued multilateralism more difficult: (1) the wider dispersion of wealth or power among members, (2) the decreasing value for members of issue linkages, (3) changing assessment of multilateral institutions’ value in the face of increased effectiveness, and (4) members’ increased focus on relative or positional gains over absolute ones. Exploring how each of these manifests in the world today, this essay suggests that current stresses on multilateralism may best be understood as the natural growing pains of an increasingly mature set of institutions. The open question going forward is what form the next stage of development will take. Will strategies of multilateralism continue or will they be replaced by smaller clubs and more local approaches?

Professor Bruner presents on corporate law and corporate governance at international conference in England

“Contextual Corporate Governance: Tailoring Board Independence Rules by Industry” is the title of the presentation that our Christopher Bruner, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law at the University of Georgia School of Law, delivered Monday at the annual International Corporate Governance and Law Forum, held this year in England.

Hosted by the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the University of Leeds School of Law and cosponsored by Deakin Law School of Australia and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the 2-day event brought together law and business scholars from around the world to discuss corporate board composition and process.

Bruner, a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, was among the 20 or so scholars who presented, from Australia, China, England, France, Japan, Norway, and the United States. Here’s the description of his paper:

Over recent decades, several commercially prominent jurisdictions have increasingly required that listed company boards, and certain committees, consist primarily of ‘independent’ (i.e. non-executive) directors. In the United States, for example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act respectively require that a listed company’s audit and compensation committees be entirely independent. NYSE and NASDAQ rules go further, requiring that a majority of the whole board be independent. Such requirements reflect the prevailing view that independent directors protect minority shareholder interests through greater objectivity and practical capacity to monitor and resist domineering CEOs. That such benefits outweigh the costs – notably, limited information (relative to executive directors) – is assumed.

Recent empirical work, however, increasingly casts doubt on this assumption – at least in certain contexts. While empirical studies initially found little evidence that director independence rules impact corporate performance at all, more recent studies focusing on the cost of acquiring company-specific information suggest that the impacts of such rules are far from uniform. Indeed, mounting evidence suggests that such rules may improve performance where company-specific information can be acquired at low cost, yet harm performance where the cost of information acquisition is high. These findings – commending sensitivity to industry context – dovetail with a parallel body of post-crisis studies associating board independence (and other shareholder-centric governance structures) with potentially undesirable risk-taking incentives in certain industries – notably, finance.

These perspectives offer much-needed nuance to our thinking about corporate governance reform, strongly suggesting that one-size-fits-all rules mandating uniform board structures across the universe of listed companies may widely miss the mark in important contexts. This paper will discuss the history of such reforms, canvass relevant legal and financial literatures, and explore regulatory strategies for more targeted reforms on an industry-by-industry basis.

International lawyer Christine Keller, our Center’s new Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation

KellerWe’ve just welcomed a new international lawyer to the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law: Christine Keller, our new Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation.

In that position, she’ll enhance our 40-year-old Center’s mission by developing and administering global practice preparation initiatives,  including: the Global Governance Summer School we host in the Netherlands and Belgium, in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven; our Global Externships Overseas and At-Home; academic-year events programming and support; communications; and research initiatives.

It’s a bit of a homecoming for Christine, who was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia – she earned her A.B. in Political Science with honors, and was a member of the university’s NCAA champion women’s swim team. She also holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School (with a focus on international criminal law), a J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law (where she was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court team and a Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellow), and an M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University.

She comes to us from The Hague in the Netherlands, where for the last decade she has practiced international criminal law. At the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, her positions included: Associate Legal Officer and then a Legal Officer in Chambers, working on the Tolimir and Karadžić cases and leading a team of attorneys on an aspect of the Prlić appeal. Before that, she worked as an Assistant Legal Officer to two successive judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court. She also provided research and drafting assistance in the Office of the Prosecutor, on cases including Al Bashir and issues including victim participation. She also has worked at a San Francisco nongovernmental organization, the Center for Justice and Accountability, on topics such as European universal jurisdiction, human rights violations in Guatemala and Somalia, and the Alien Tort Statute.

Christine has studied abroad in Germany and El Salvador, is proficient in French, and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

We’re delighted to welcome her!

Season’s greetings

Wishing good cheer to all friends of our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, and looking forward to exchanges and collaborations in the coming New Year!

Professor Amann publishes AJIL essay on ICJ’s nuclear weapons rulings

Professor Diane Marie Amann‘s most recent publication appears in the latest print edition of the American Journal of International Law, in the section that analyzes recent judgments. Entitled “International Decisions: Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament,” it may be found at 111 AJIL 439 (2017).

The essay sets forth key aspects of 3 judgments (available here) that the International Court of Justice issued in October 2016 – as well as the response to those rulings by one party, the United Kingdom. It offers thoughts on potential future nuclear disarmament efforts. (It went to press before adoption of one such effort, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which at this writing has 3 states parties and 53 signatories, none of them nuclear weapons states.)

Here at the University of Georgia School of Law, Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and serves as Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Her article, which also forms part of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

“In a trio of decisions, the International Court of Justice rejected the applications in which the Republic of the Marshall Islands claimed that three large states known to possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, had breached their international obligations to undertake and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. This essay discusses those decisions, as well as the United Kingdom’s subsequent limitation of the circumstances under which it will accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction over such complaints. This development, coupled with the Court’s own narrowing of circumstances in which such an application will be accepted, make the likelihood of an eventual ruling on the nuclear disarmament issue quite remote.”