“International Law and Global Governance in a Turbulent World” to be explored at Georgia Law-Leuven Centre conference, June 29 in Belgium

“International Law and Global Governance in a Turbulent World” is the title of the daylong conference we’ll be co-presenting later this month at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Set for Thursday, June 29, 2017, the conference will be held in Auditorium Zeger Van Hee at Leuven’s College De Valk (Law School, pictured below), Tiensestraat 41, Leuven. It is free and open to the public; register no later than June 27 here.

The conference also is a component of the Global Governance Summer School that we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, are presenting in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven. Co-Directors are Georgia Law Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann and the Leuven Centre’s Director, Law Professor Jan Wouters. (prior post) Applications for the summer school are still being accepted here.

Here’s the June 29 conference concept:

“This conference aims to discuss some of the main challenges faced by contemporary international law and global governance in a time of crises. The conference starts with an exploration of the main challenges inherent to the enforcement of universal values such as human rights. Unlike in many other fields, legal standards are well-established and are the object of a broad, sometimes even universal consensus. Yet, not a single day passes without more of less grave violations of such standards in one or the other part of the world. The conference will then also focus on the difficulties to come up with a consensus on the rule of law at the global level. Starting from an analysis of the diversity in the ways the rule of law has been understood across time and geography, the conference will address some of the main challenges to the rule of law within the European Union and at the United Nations level. Finally the conference will also address the risks for the emergence of trade wars in a context of rising protectionism. Questions such as the future of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements will be discussed in light of the changes in the US foreign trade policy and the rising skepticism of citizens vis-à-vis further liberalization of international trade.”

These issues will be explored within the following framework:

  • Panel 1: Global Governance of Human Rights. How to enforce universal values in contested world?
  • Panel 2: Global Governance of Democracy and Rule of Law in international perspective.
  • Panel 3: Global Economic and Trade Governance in Protectionist Times. Will we see the emergence of trade wars in the coming years?

A transatlantic array of speakers will take part. Confirmed so far are Georgia Law Professors Diane Marie Amann and Harlan G. Cohen, and from Leuven, Anna-Luise Chané and Dr. Matthieu Burnay, along with scholars from numerous other institutions: Dr. Tom Pegram, University College London, England; Dr. Katrien Meuwissen, European Association of National Human Rights Institutions; Professor Daniela Piana, University of Bologna, Italy; Professor Petra Bard, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; Professor Laurent Pech, Middlesex University, London, England; Professor Miles Kahler, American University School of International Service, Washington, D.C.; Professor John Kirton, University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs, Canada; and Mr. Tomas Baert, Head of Unit, Trade Strategy, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

We hope to see you there; more information here and here.

Cohen publishes article on political question doctrine in wake of Zivotofsky

Harlan Grant Cohen, the Gabriel N. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an article examining the U.S. political question doctrine in light of recent Supreme Court litigation in Zivotofsky, which arose out of the request by U.S. citizens that their child, born in Jerusalem, be issued a passport designating “Israel” as the child’s birthplace. Entitled “A Politics-Reinforcing Political Question Doctrine,” Professor Cohen’s article appears at 49 Arizona State Law Journal 1 (2017).

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:

“The modern political question doctrine has long been criticized for shielding the political branches from proper judicial scrutiny and allowing the courts to abdicate their responsibilities. Critics of the doctrine thus cheered when the Supreme Court, in Zivotofsky I, announced a narrowing of the doctrine. Their joy though may have been short-lived. Almost immediately, Zivotofsky II demonstrated the dark side of judicial review of the separation of powers between Congress and the President: deciding separations of powers cases may permanently cut one of the political branches out of certain debates. Judicial scrutiny in a particular case could eliminate political scrutiny in many future ones.

“A return to the old political question doctrine, with its obsequious deference to political branch decisions, is not the answer. Instead, what is needed is a politics-reinforcing political question doctrine that can balance the need for robust review with the desire for robust debate. The uncertain boundaries between the political branches’ overlapping powers create space for political debate. Their overlapping powers allow different groups to access the political system and have a voice on policy. Deciding separation of powers questions once-and-for-all can shut off those access points, shutting down political debate. A politics-reinforcing political question doctrine preserves the space in the political system for those debates by turning the pre-Zivotofsky political question doctrine on its head. Whereas the pre-Zivotofsky political question suggested abstention when the branches were in agreement and scrutiny when they were opposed, a politics-reinforcing political question doctrine suggests the opposite, allowing live debates to continue while scrutinizing political settlements. In so doing, it brings pluralism and politics back into the political question analysis, encouraging democracy rather than deference.”

Georgia Law Professor Larry D. Thompson, Independent Compliance Monitor in VW fuel emissions matter

A University of Georgia School of Law professor is overseeing compliance reforms by Volkswagen AG, following the global automaker’s recent sentencing in a criminal case arising out of its fuel emissions tests.

The professor is Larry D. Thompson, holder of the  John A. Sibley Chair of Corporate and Business Law and a member of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, teaches Corporate Responsibility, White Collar Crime Business Crimes. He is also Counsel at Finch McCranie LLP in Atlanta. His distinguished career includes service as Deputy Attorney General of the United States, as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and as General Counsel of PepsiCo.

Thompson was named Independent Compliance Monitor in the VW matter in April, pursuant to a settlement by which a U.S. District Court judge in Detroit accepted VW’s plea to three felony counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States by engaging in wire fraud and violating the Clean Air Act; obstruction of justice; and importing merchandise via false statements. VW agreed to a fine exceeding $4 billion, and also to oversight by the Independent Compliance Monitor.

At the time, the company issued the following statement, by Hiltrud Werner, Board Member of Integrity and Legal Affairs, from its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany:

“Volkswagen welcomes the appointment of Larry D. Thompson to this new position, and we intend to cooperate fully with his important work.”

Since then, Thompson has assembled the team of lawyers he will lead in this work.

Georgia Law alumnus Robert Dilworth co-authors article on SEC rules

Developments at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission are the focus of a lead article that a distinguished University of Georgia School of Law alumnus has co-authored for a leading securities law journal.

The alum, Robert J. Dilworth (JD 1982), is Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in New York at Bank of America / Merrill Lynch, representing the firm’s global over-the-counter equity derivatives business. His co-authors on the SEC article are two attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP: Julian E. Hammar, Of Counsel in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, and David B. Lichtstein, Associate in New York.

Their article is entitled “The SEC’s Long-Awaited Security-Based Swaps Rules May Be Approaching,” appears (behind paywall) in vol. 50, no. 7 of The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation. The article concerns timing and sequencing related to anticipated SEC rules pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Referring as well to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, the abstract states:

“The SEC has proposed all of its major Title VII rules regulating the security-based swaps market. The authors discuss the current status of this and related rulemakings, the relief the SEC has granted, and the provisions of the rules. They then turn to the timeline for implementation in view of the new administration, preparation for required registration of security-based swap entities, and business conduct standards for registered entities. At each point, they compare the SEC’s approach with that of the CFTC.”

Un petit part de la part de la planète

This essay, reflecting on yesterday’s presidential announcement of intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change,  is cross-posted from the website of Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann)

Do Your Part,” Allied posters proclaimed during World War II. Women were urged to join the U.S. Army Auxiliary to work at defense plants, families were pressed to keep farms producing, and all were advised to keep their mouths shut. This coming-together defeated Axis enemies and gave rise to unprecedented postwar intergovernmental cooperation.

That 72-year-old global infrastructure is under threat. Last week saw fractious meetings at NATO headquarters (where I’m due to bring students later this month) and Taormina (just 75 miles north of the Siracusa summer school where I was then teaching). Today it’s the President’s invocation of the provision permitting U.S. withdrawal, in about 4 years, from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, to which 195 – nearly all – the countries in the world have agreed.

The news spurs reflection on the very small part I played in the development of the Paris Agreement.

As with most international accords, this one did not happen on the spur of the moment. Rather, countries had engaged in consultations and negotiations for years before the summit. France was especially active, eager to accomplish something significant in October-November 2015, when it would host COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Thus in June 2015 I joined French and American colleagues at a symposium entitled “Le Changement climatique, miroir de la globalisation (Climate Change, Mirror of Globalization),” a pre-summit preparatory meeting whose cosponsors included the Collège de France and Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’Homme. Our interventions aided thinking about the impending summit.

My own contribution, “Le changement climatique et la sécurité humaine,” reprised a chapter published in Regards croisés sur l’internationalisation du droit : France-États-Unis (Mireille Delmas-Marty & Stephen Breyer eds., 2009). As indicated in the English version, “Climate Change and Human Security,” the essay demonstrated that litigation would not proved a fruitful method for combatting climate change. It thus advocated a human security approach, one drawn from U.S. legal traditions like the 1941 Four Freedoms speech of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the 1945 Statement of Essential Human Rights of the American Law Institute.

The essay concludes:

“Emphasis on state duty carries with it an assumption that legislative and executive officials will assume their obligation to avoid harm from occurring. Such officials may not assume, as seems the wont of some who operate under a litigation model, that they may act as they wish unless and until a court steps in to order some belated and imperfect sanction for the wrongs they have committed. A state that endeavors to achieve human security, moreover, is likely to fashion comprehensive, before-the-fact remedies. That is preferable even in isolated cases; in other words, we would rather have an agent of the state eschewed torture than have to compensate a victim after she has suffered state torture. This comprehensive, before-the-fact framework is even more preferable with regard to human insecurities that have communitywide, even planetary consequences – to name one, the threat to human security posed by climate change.”

Theories like these undergird the agreement reached in fall 2015. They yet may maintain a firm hold in these next 4 years.

Celebrating grads & another great year

Urvashi Jain, Chanel Chauvet, and Alessandra Cunha enjoy refreshments while Winston, our cookie-jar-bulldog mascot, looks on

Just before University of Georgia School of Law students entered the Spring 2017 exam period, we at the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center took a moment to thank and congratulate the many students with whom we work.

As listed below, nearly 50 of them will earn JD or LLM  degrees later this month. We were delighted to celebrate their achievements.

The reception also recognized our Center Fellow and our many Student Ambassadors. Members of the 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM classes, they assist with administrative duties, events, and research. Indeed, they act as true ambassadors by spreading the word about Center’s activities throughout the year.

Graduating Student Ambassador Alessandro Raimondo receives Center mug from Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann

Also recognized were the many students who have taken part in initiatives like the Global Externship, summer study abroad, the Legal Spanish Study Group, Southeast Model African Union, Louis B. Sohn Professional Development fellowships, Atlanta International Arbitration Society reporting, the March 2017 IntLawGrrls conference, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, and the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

Thanks and congratulations to all!

Class of 2017

Caitlin Amick Jessup moot
Philicia Armbrister LLM
Tomiisin Atewologun LLM
Reed Bennett Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Chad Berger Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Rachel Bishop Jessup moot
Nicholas Booth Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Ann Carroll GIP/GEO externship
Emily Cox Vis moot
Jennifer Cross Student Ambassador
Alessandra Cunha Student Ambassador, Legal Spanish Study Group
Janis Dabbs GIP/GEO externship
Tiffany Donohue GIP/GEO externship
Pedro Dorado Dean Rusk International Law Center Fellow, leader of Legal Spanish Study Group
Brad Dumbacher GIP/GEO externship
Johann Ebongom LLM, Southeast Model African Union, Sohn Professional Development Fellow, AtlAS rapporteur
Ronald Fields Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Javier Gonzalez LLM
Katie Griffis GIP/GEO externship
Cassidy Grunninger GIP/GEO externship, Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Ahsan Habib LLM
Adrian Hanea LLM
Urvashi Jain LLM, IntLawGrrls conference presenter
Morgan Johnson GIP/GEO externship
Faith Khalik Student Ambassador
Carson Masters GIP/GEO externship
Valerie Mills LLM, Student Ambassador
Hamed Moradi Roodposhti LLM
Kristin Murphey Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Nelly Ndounteng LLM, Southeast Model African Union, Sohn Professional Development Fellow
Brenny Nguyen GIP/GEO externship
Amber O’Connell GIP/GEO externship, Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Lawrence Oise LLM
Gilbert Oladeinbo LLM
Noj Oyeyipo LLM
Waltrice Patterson GIP/GEO externship
Alyssa Pickett GIP/GEO externship, Student Ambassador
Robert Poole Jessup moot
Alessandro Raimondo Student Ambassador
Hannah Sells GIP/GEO externship, Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Emily Shannon Brussels-Geneva study abroad
Richie Steinberg GIP/GEO externship
Eric Sterling Student Ambassador
Ximena Vasquez Student Ambassador
Sarah Willis Student Ambassador
Jonah Zhang Student Ambassador, GIP/GEO externship

Class of 2018

Jeremy Akin Student Ambassador
Megan Alpert GEO externship, AtlAS rapporteur
Taryn Arbeiter Student Ambassador, Legal Spanish Study Group
Victoria Barker Student Ambassador, Vis moot, GEO externship, Sohn Professional Development Fellow, IntLawGrrls conference presenter (also, incoming Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law)
Danielle Berenson Student Ambassador, Legal Spanish Study Group
Holly Boggs Jessup moot
Chanel Chauvet Student Ambassador, IntLawGrrls conference presenter, Southeast Model African Union, Sohn Professional Development Fellow
Margaret Christie Legal Spanish Study Group
Preston Cox GEO externship
Davon Dennis Student Ambassador
Ruibo Dong Student Ambassador
Danielle Glover Student Ambassador
Karen Hays Student Ambassador
Maria Kachniarz Student Ambassador, Vis moot
Jared Magnuson Vis moot
Decker McMorris GEO externship
Deborah Nogueira Yates Student Ambassador, Sohn Professional Development Fellow, Legal Spanish Study Group
Claire Provano Student Ambassador, GEO externship
Elizabeth Rawlings Legal Spanish Study Group
Caroline Savini Jessup moot
Carson Stepanek GEO externship
Jamila Toussaint Student Ambassador
Wheaton Webb Vis moot
Hannah Williams Sohn Professional Development Fellow, GEO externship, IntLawGrrls conference presenter (also, International Law Society President)
Yun Yang Student Ambassador

Class of 2019

Shummi Chowdhury Student Ambassador, Southeast Model African Union
Brian Griffin Student Ambassador, AtlAS rapporteur, Legal Spanish Study Group
Amanda Hoefer Southeast Model African Union
Bailey Hutchison Student Ambassador
Lyddy O’Brien Sohn Professional Development Fellow
Matthew Poletti Legal Spanish Study Group
Rebecca Wackym Southeast Model African Union

From left, Laura Kagel, Britney Hardweare, Mandy Dixon, Valerie Mills, Hamed Moradi Roodposhti, Urvashi Jain, Noj Oyeyipo, Javier Gonzalez, Kathleen Doty, Ahsan Habib, Diane Marie Amann, Adrian Hanea

“Judicial Federalism in the European Union,” new article by Professor Wells

Professor Michael Lewis Wells, who holds the Marion and W. Colquitt Carter Chair in Tort and Insurance Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an article comparing judicial practice in Europe and the United States. Entitled “Judicial Federalism in the European Union,” it appears at 54 Houston Law Review Winter ​697 (2017).

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:

This article compares European Union judicial federalism with the American version. Its thesis is that the European Union’s long-term goal of political integration probably cannot be achieved without strengthening its rudimentary judicial institutions. On the one hand, the EU is a federal system in which judicial power is divided between EU courts, of which there are only three, and the well-entrenched and longstanding member state court systems. On the other hand, both the preamble and Article 1 of the Treaty of Europe state that an aim of the European Union is “creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” The article argues that central government courts and member state courts are not fungible. In close cases, the latter are more likely than the former to favor the member state’s interests. The EU’s approach to judicial federalism, with its heavy reliance on member state courts, will retard the political integration envisioned by the Treaty. The article develops this thesis by comparing EU judicial federalism with the American variant, which differs from the EU system in two key respects: First, most issues of EU law are adjudicated in the member state courts. In the U.S., a network of lower federal courts adjudicates many federal law issues. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court reviews state court judgments that turn on issues of federal law. The Court of Justice of the European Union does not review member state judgments, even on issues of EU law. The article argues that these aspects of the federal system in the U.S. were indispensable to achieving and maintaining national unity. If the EU aspires to a similar level of political integration, their absence may prove to be a significant obstacle.