Georgia Law Professor Brown authors biography of internationally known rights lawyer, Ramsey Clark

The work of an internationally known civil rights and criminal defense lawyer is the subject of a new Stanford University Press biography by Professor Lonnie T. Brown Jr., who holds the A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism and is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Defending the Public’s Enemy: The Life and Times of Ramsey Clark examines the life of a man – due to celebrate his 92d birthday later this month – who followed his 2 years of service as Attorney General, the United States’ top law enforcement officer, with decades as the legal representative of a range of individuals and groups at odds with US policies. His foreign clients included the Palestine Liberation Organization, Qaddafi’s Libya, an accused Rwandan génocidaire, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević – and as detailed in Chapter 11, Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq for nearly a quarter-century before he was deposed, captured, convicted by a tribunal, and executed.

Professor Brown’s book details these cases and others, and explores – in chapters enriched by interviews with Clark and his colleagues – what has motivated Clark to pursue this career path.

Georgia Law Dean Bo Rutledge, students Katherine Larsen and Miles Porter publish on Cuba sanctions

Recent change in US policy toward Cuba is the subject of a new commentary by the dean and 2 student researchers here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Coauthoring the Daily Report article, entitled “Lawyers Should Keep Their Eyes on Cuba Sanctions Cases,” were international business law expert Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Dean and Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law at Georgia  Law, along with 3L Katherine M. Larsen and 2L Miles S. Porter.

The article examines the potentially “broad implications for entities that conduct business in or with Cuba” that may follow from the announcement earlier this year that a portion of the mid-1990s “Helms-Burton Act would no longer be suspended, thereby allowing U.S. nationals to file lawsuits against any individual or entity that ‘traffics in property expropriated by the Cuban government.”

The full commentary is here.

Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes in AJIL on ICJ advisory opinion on Chagos Archipelago

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: Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965,” it may be found at 113 AJIL 784 (2019).

The essay sets forth key aspects of the advisory opinion (available here) that the International Court of Justice issued this past February respecting the Chagos Archipelago, a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean. The archipelago was considered part of Mauritius when both comprised a British colony. But after Mauritius won independence in the mid-1960s, Britain kept the archipelago, ejected its inhabitants, and leased it for a US military base, still there today. The legality and effects of this withholding, or detachment, were at the core of the ICJ proceedings.

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. (Editor of AJIL’s International Decisions section is our Center’s other Faculty Co-Director, Georgia Law Professor Harlan Grant Cohen.)

Amann’s article, which also forms part of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be accessed at this SSRN link or at the AJIL website. (She surveyed more recent developments related to this issue at her personal blog, in a post yesterday entitled “Chagos islands, at International Court of Justice and on to UK campaign trail.”)

Here’s the AJIL abstract:

“Decolonization and its quite valid discontents lay at the center of the recent International Court of Justice advisory opinion regarding the territory and populations of the Chagos Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean. Answering questions posed by the UN General Assembly, the concluded that because these islands were detached from Mauritius as a condition of independence, the decolonization of Mauritius had not been completed in accordance with international law. The Court further ruled unlawful the United Kingdom’s continued administration of the Chagos Archipelago and called upon all UN member states to aid completion of the decolonization process. As detailed in this essay, the advisory opinion contained significant pronouncements on decolonization, on the right of all peoples to self-determination, and on the formation of customary rules respecting both.”

New International Judicial Training session under way at Georgia Law

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Our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center is pleased to welcome a delegation of 45 judges and court personnel from Brazil for a two-week judicial training course here in Athens. Organized in partnership with the University of Georgia Institute of Continuing Judicial Education and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the training is designed to introduce participants to the U.S. judicial system.

For more than two decades, the Dean Rusk International Law Center has conducted International Judicial Trainings, particularly for the Brazilian judiciary. Over the years, the trainings have provided a comparative perspective on legal initiatives such as drug and other specialty courts, domestic violence programs, and continuing judicial education.

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Justice Fernando Cerqueira Norberto dos Santos, who has been involved in the International Judicial Training partnership with the Center since its inception, leads the current delegation.

The course, which began on Sunday, focuses on judicial administration. It features speakers from Georgia Law as well as area practitioners and court personnel. The training includes a trip to the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center, and participants also will learn about the appellate courts and programs of the State Bar of Georgia in Atlanta.

Georgia Law Professor Hellerstein publishes book and article exploring tax law and digital commerce

Walter Hellerstein, Distinguished Research Professor & Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law Emeritus here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has 2 new publications:

► The second edition of his book Taxing Global Digital Commerce has just been issued by Wolters Kluwer. It was co-authored with Professor Arthur Cockfield and Professor Marie Lamensch, of the law faculties of Queen’s University Law in Canada and Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, respectively. Here’s the publisher’s overview:

Taxing Global Digital Commerce studies the tax challenges presented by cross-border digital commerce and reports on the rapidly changing environment surrounding the challenges. Digital commerce – the use of computer networks to facilitate transactions involving the production, distribution, sale, and delivery of goods and services – has grown from merely streamlining relations between consumer and business to a much more robust phenomenon embracing efficient business processes within a firm and between firms. Inevitably, the related taxation issues have grown as well. This latest edition of the preeminent text on the taxation of digital transactions revises, updates and expands the book’s coverage that reflects the significant changes that had been made to the content of the earlier volumes. It includes a detailed and up-to-date analysis of income tax and VAT developments regarding digital commerce under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) reforms. It then explores the new EU VAT rules for both tangible and intangible Internet supplies and the implications of digital commerce for US state retail sales and use tax regimes, taking account of the significant developments resulting from the 2018 US Supreme Court decision in Wayfair.

► Also just published is a new article by Professor Hellerstein, entitled “Reflections on the Cross-Border Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy.” It appears at 96 Tax Notes International 671 and in 94 Tax Notes State 615.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents on “Nations and Markets” at Amsterdam ACIL-ESIL conference

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, was among more than 40 scholars from around the world who presented their scholarship earlier this month at at the International Economic Law and Security Interests Conference at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Cohen spoke on “Nations and Markets” as part of a plenary panel entitled “The Public and the Private: Security Concerns and the Future of International Economic Governance.”

Co-hosts of the 2-day conference were the university’s Amsterdam Center for International Law and the Interest Group on International Economic Law of the European Society of International Law.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee publishes “Interstitial Space Law” at Washington University Law Review

Professor Melissa J. Durkee, the J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published her article “Interstitial Space Law” in the latest issue of the Washington University Law Review.

Here’s the abstract:

“Conventionally, customary international law is developed through the actions and beliefs of nations. International treaties are interpreted, in part, by assessing how the parties to the treaty behave. This Article observes that these forms of uncodified international law—custom and subsequent treaty practice—are also developed through a nation’s reactions, or failures to react, to acts and beliefs that can be attributed to it. I call this ‘attributed lawmaking.’

“Consider the new commercial space race. Innovators like SpaceX and Blue Origin seek a permissive legal environment. A Cold-War-era treaty does not seem adequately to address contemporary plans for space. The treaty does, however, attribute private sector activity to nations. The theory of attributed lawmaking suggests that the attribution renders the activity of private actors in space relevant to the development of binding international legal rules. As a doctrinal matter, private activity that is attributed to the state becomes “state practice” for the purpose of treaty interpretation or customary international law formation. Moreover, as a matter of realpolitik, private actors standing in the shoes of the state can force states into a reactive posture, easing the commercially preferred rules into law through the power of inertia and changes to the status quo. Attributed lawmaking is not a new phenomenon but it may have increasing significance at a time when multilateral lawmaking is at an ebb, lines between public and private entities are blurring, and the question of attribution becomes both more complex and more urgent.”

The article’s also available at SSRN.