Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen presents paper on trade-security measures at Temple Law-ASIL workshop

Harlan Grant Cohen, who is 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, took part earlier this month in a workshop at Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.

Cohen presented “Toward Best Practices for Trade-Security Measures” at the workshop, which waswhich was organized by Temple Law Professor J. Benton Heath and hosted by Temple Law’s Institute for International Law and Public Policy, in coordination with the American Society of International Law International Legal Theory Interest Group.

Within the overall theme of “The Concept of Security in International Law,” the workshop brought together scholars from a range of fields in order to address shifting understandings of security in international law and foreign affairs, as well as how law can respond to these developments.

Late addition to Georgia Law’s Space Law Speaker Series: Cris van Eijk on “Space Law’s Past and Future,” tomorrow

Pleased to announce a late addition to the Space Law Speaker Series we’ve been hosting this semester here at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center: Cris van Eijk, International Legal Researcher and Legal Advisor for Jus Ad Astra, will present at 12 noon this Friday, February 10, in Room J-347 Hirsch Hall.

Jus Ad Astra – a Latinism for “law (or rights) to the stars” – is, according to its website, “a legal project aimed at developing an authoritative international treatise clarifying the fundamental legal principles and human rights applicable to current and future human activities across outer space.”

In addition to advising for Jus Ad Astra, van Eijk is the author of thought-provoking publications on space law. He holds degrees from University of Cambridge, where he was a Senior Associate Editor for the Cambridge University Human Rights Law Journal, and Leiden University.

His presentation Friday substitutes for a scheduled speaker who was unable to take part. It will mark the third of four presentations in the Space Law Speaker Series, which, as detailed here, is part of a Spring Semester course led by our Center’s Director, Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is also Georgia Law’s Associate Dean for International Programs and Allen Post Professor.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee presents at University of Pennsylvania symposium on “Commercial Space Age”

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, presented her scholarship Friday at “The Emerging Commercial Space Age: Legal and Policy Implications,” a symposium co-hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition and its Journal of Law & Innovation.

Her talk, “Space Law as Twenty-first Century International Law,” will be published in that journal.

Host of the symposium in Philadelphia was the Center’s Founding Director, Christopher S. Yoo, who is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Commentator for Durkee’s presentation was Professor Rebecca Crootof, University of Richmond School of Law.

Georgia Law Professor Usha Rodrigues quoted in Agence France-Presse article on challenge to “empire of Indian tycoon”

Georgia Law Professor Usha Rodrigues was quoted in an Agence France-Presse article about claims levied against against the Adani Group, led by Gautam Adani of India.

Author of the article, entitled “A US corporate scourge deflates the empire of Indian tycoon Adani,” is AFP’s Thomas Urbain. Published on January 31, the item was reprinted in several global media.

Rodrigues, a corporate law expert who is University Professor and M.E. Kilpatrick Chair of Corporate Finance & Securities Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, is also serving as our university’s Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Georgia Law Professor Walter Hellerstein presents on tax obligations on digital platforms at conference in Vienna

Walter Hellerstein, Distinguished Research Professor & Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law Emeritus here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented in Vienna, Austria, as part of a panel entitled “Obligations Imposed on Digital Platforms Regarding VAT/GST,” concerning tax obligations imposed on digital platforms.

His presentation formed part of “Court of Justice of the European Union: Recent VAT Case Law,” a 3-day conference at the Institute for Austrian & International Tax Law, Vienna University of Economics & Business.

In addition to Austria and the United States, the conference included judges, academics, and practitioners from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee presents “Pledging World Order” in Brooklyn Law School colloquium

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, presented her scholarship online Monday as part of the Brooklyn Colloquium on International Economic Law sponsored by the Block Center for International Business Law at New York’s Brooklyn Law School. Hosts were Brooklyn Law faculty members Stephen Dean and Irene Ten Cate.

Durkee presented “Pledging World Order,” forthcoming soon in volume 48, issue 1, of the Yale Journal of International of Law.

Climate change innovation to be explored February 10 at Georgia Law’s 35th annual Red Clay Conference

“Climate Change Innovation: Stakeholders and Tools” is the title of the Red Clay Conference to be held Friday, February 10, 2023, here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

This will mark the 35th annual edition of the student-run conference, which was established to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Cosponsoring the event are the law school and its students’ Environmental Law Association, led this year by 2L Hannah Jellema and 3L Anna Scartz, president and vice president, respectively.

Here’s the program for the conference, which will take place in the Larry Walker Room on the 4th floor of Dean Rusk Hall:

➣ 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks

Opening the conference will be Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law.

➣ 9:10 a.m. Panel 1, Roles of Humans

Addressing the impact of climate change on agriculture, urban environments, and environmental justice communities will be: Pam Knox, Director of the UGA Weather Network and an agricultural climatologist within the university’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Tawana Mattox, Director of Community Education & Empowerment and Neighborhood Sustainability Project Manager at the Athens Land Trust; and Professor J. Marshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. Shana Jones, Assistant Director of Strategic Operations & Planning Assistance at the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government, will moderate.

➣ 10:55 a.m. Panel 2, Rights of Nature

Examining how the rights-of-nature doctrine can be used to combat climate change will be: Chuck O’Neal, Speak Up Wekiva, Florida; Eduardo Salazar-Ortuño, Associate Professor of Law, University of Murcia, Spain (via Zoom); and Kekek Stark, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law, University of Montana. Georgia Law Associate Professor Christian Turner will moderate.

➣ 12:55 p.m. Peter Appel Honorary Keynote

Marilyn A. Brown, Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech, will discuss her experience in policy work aimed at acceleration the implementation of sustainable energy sources and technology.

➣ 2:10 p.m. Panel 3, Responsibilities of Corporations

Exploring how corporate governance can reduce environmental externalities will be: Christopher M. Bruner, Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law at Georgia Law; Kelly Rondinelli, Associate – Environmental & Natural Resources at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Washington, D.C.; and Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law and Director of the Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law School. Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, will moderate.

➣ 3:25 p.m. Closing Remarks

Closing the conference will be Adam D. Orford, Assistant Professor of Law and Faculty Advisor of the Environmental Law Association at Georgia Law.

Attorneys licensed in Georgia can earn 4 CLE credits by attending the conference (pending approval by the state bar’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education).

Details and conference registration here.

Georgia Law 3L Collin Douglas on his D.C. Semester externship at NATO HQ SACT: “unique law school experience”

Pleased today to welcome this post by University of Georgia School of Law student Collin Douglas, who described his recently completed Fall 2022 externship in Norfolk, Virginia, in the legal department of HQ SACT, a leading unit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This externship forms part of Georgia Law’s D.C. Semester in Practice initiative, in partnership with NATO Allied Command Transformation. Collin arrived at Georgia Law with a background in international affairs, having earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in that field from the University of Oklahoma. His law school experiences have included service as Executive Articles Editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, internships at USAID and the Documentation Center of Cambodia, and work as a research assistant for a climate and security institute. Collin is due to receive his J.D. degree this May.

My time at the NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation Office of the Legal Advisor was an incredibly rewarding and valuable experience. It was a completely unique law school experience, and allowed me to do work I could not do elsewhere.

In the wake of the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mission of NATO has felt that much more vital. The invasion of Ukraine gave NATO a renewed focus and drive, and that fact was clear from the ever-quickening pace of work around NATO SACT. The Legal Advisor performs a wide variety of legal roles within NATO SACT to support the mission, and I was able to interact with all of those roles.

As soon as I began working, I was treated as an equal member of the team and trusted with important work. One of the responsibilities of the Office of the Legal Advisor is to provide legal aid support to the international military staff of NATO SACT. This support ranges from advising on how to handle speeding tickets to coordinating with the State Department on visa issues. Within a few weeks of starting work, I was the first person who greeted any legal assistance client who walked in the door, of which there were 10-20 every day. Talking with NATO personnel from 32+ different countries exposed me to 32+ different legal perspectives and cultures. This fact gave the legal assistance portion of the work its own international perspective, as we often had to anticipate things like the Norwegian perspective on landlord-tenant issues, the German perspective on automobile sales, Albanian frustration with the visa process, or simply whether someone fully grasped the legal aspects of something they were involved with.

The Office of the Legal Advisor also performs the more typical general counsel duties of any other large organization, but with the added (and interesting) layer of being an international organization. This work covers contracting, employment intellectual property issues, and much more. This work does not differ significantly from that of a general counsel’s office in a large corporation. Where it does differ is the immunity that NATO receives under the treaties that make up the NATO system. I was able to support this work by researching and helping to articulate NATO’s view on its own immunity. Doing work of this kind for an international organization is such a rare opportunity, and I jumped on the chance to contribute to it.

My externship at NATO was part of the UGA Law Semester in D.C. program, led by Professor Jessica Heywood, so I took part in two classes that greatly contributed to my time at NATO. As part of this program we heard each week from a different lawyer working in Washington, D.C. This provided an excellent opportunity to learn about the many career paths available to attorneys who want to work in the nation’s capital. I also had a weekly class session with other students doing similar externship experiences; this allowed me to better understand my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace and to grow as an individual.

I am extremely grateful for my time at NATO SACT. There is no other law school experience that compares to it. I want to thank my amazing colleagues Monte DeBoer, Mette Hartov, Theresa Donahue, Kathy Hansen-Nord, Vincent Grassin, Butch Bracknell, Madeleine Goddrie, and Galateia Gialitaki.

Georgia Law Professor Louis B. Sohn (1914-2006), noted international law expert, featured as “Groundbreaker”

A renowned member of the University of Georgia School of Law faculty, Louis B. Sohn (1914-2006), is the latest subject in the university’s “Georgia Groundbreaker” news series.

Author Robin Lally starts her article, “Louis B. Sohn: An international legal scholar,” with these apt words:

“Louis B. Sohn spent his life promoting international law and peace.”

The article proceeds to discuss his birth in the city now known as Lviv, Ukraine, and his move to the United States in 1939, just weeks before the Nazi invasion. Installed at Harvard, he helped to draft the United Nations Charter, wrote many books, including the co-authored World Peace through World Law.

As a Georgia Law professor teaching human rights law and law of the sea from 1981 to 1991, Sohn mentored a generation of students. Lally’s article quotes several such Georgia Law alums: Jean-Marie Henckaerts (prior posts), who is a Legal Adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland; Susan Timberlake, a former United Nations lawyer; former U.S. diplomat Kit Traub (prior post); and Paige Otwell (prior posts), an Assistant District Attorney in Athens-Clarke County.

The article features many photographs of Sohn, and pays tribute to his donation of 5,000 volumes from his personal collection, now formed the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations. Housed in the Dean Rusk International Law Center, it is a branch of Alexander Campbell King Law Library at Georgia Law

Also quoted is Regents’ Professor Diane Marie Amann, who holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, which Sohn had inaugurated upon his arrival at Georgia Law. Amann said:

“‘Professor Sohn was a path breaker in international human rights law, the law of peace, and international environmental law, fields of keen interest to our students, important to our world …'”

India trip launches partnership with Georgia Law, Jindal Global Law School

A University of Georgia School of Law journey abroad has cemented a partnership – launching a student exchange and planning a range of other collaborative initiatives – with India’s top-ranked private law school.

Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Sarah Quinn, Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, traveled in December to O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed to be University) Law School in Sonipat, a city about 40 miles north of India’s capital, New Delhi.

While there, Rutledge and the Vice Chancellor of Jindal Global University, Professor C. Raj Kumar, signed a memorandum of understanding (at a ceremony pictured above right). The agreement establishes the semester-long exchange of the two law schools’ students, and further plans for faculty exchanges, research collaborations, seminars and workshops, and outreach. Dual-degree offerings also are being discussed. As previously posted, at Georgia Law all these initiatives will be administered by the Dean Rusk International Law Center.

During their visit Rutledge and Quinn also took part in a campus tour and met with several law school and university professors, deans, and administrators, including Malvika Seth, Sahibnoor Singh Sidhu, S.G. Sreejith, Arpita Gupta, Indranath Gupta, and Atharva Sontakke. (Above left, Sarah Quinn, Sahibnoor Singh Sidhu, and Bo Rutledge at Humayan’s Tomb, Delhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Launched in 2009, O.P. Jindal Global University is a nonprofit global university established by the government of the Indian State of Haryana, and recognized by India’s University Grants Commission. The QS World University Rankings has named it India’s top private university.

This initiative joins Georgia Law’s ongoing partnership with institutions including Bar-Ilan University in Israel (prior posts), and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven University in Belgium (prior posts).