Georgia Law Professor Christopher Bruner presents on corporate sustainability disclosure in joint Minnesota-Dublin seminar

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently took part in a seminar session on corporate sustainability disclosures, presented online for students at the University of Minnesota Law School and University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law.

“Sustainability Disclosure Around the World” was the title of the presentation by Bruner, a scholar of corporate law, corporate governance, comparative law, and sustainability, whose most recent book is The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future (OUP 2022) (prior posts).

Joining Bruner in presenting the seminar were Professor Brett McDonnell, Dorsey & Whitney Chair in Law at Minnesota Law, and Xiaoyu Gu, who is a Managing Director at AB CarVal, a global alternative investment management firm. Professor Claire Hill, who is James L. Krusemark Chair in Law at Minnesota Law, and Professor Joe McGrath, of University College Dublin Law, convened the event.

Welcoming newest class of Master of Laws (LL.M.) students to Georgia Law

With the Fall 2022 semester in full swing, we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center are proud to welcome another class of talented lawyers, now studying for our University of Georgia School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

The group of 23 hail from 15 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, India, Iran, Nigeria, Panama, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Among them are a judge and lawyers specializing in a wide range of fields, including corporate transactional law, employment law, international trade, arbitration, antitrust law, and information privacy.

Some of them are pictured above, standing on the steps of Dean Rusk Hall. Left to right, they are: top row, Vladyslav Rudzinskyi, John Omotunde, Jasur Ziyautdinov, Abdulganiyu Mustapha; middle row, Tatyana Popovkina, Ngoc Quynh Vu, Anastasia Popkova, Alexandra Lampe, Khatia Zukhubaia, Rawdha Hidri, Sarthak Goel; and bottom, Saideh Ghasemi Moghadam, Manaswini Reddy Mogiligundla, Gloria Correa, Oleksandra Iordanova, Olha Kaliuzhna, Rocío Buosi, Jeremias Brusau, Mahmoud Mohamed, and Binh Nguyen. LL.M. students not pictured are Divine Atsegbua, Alexandre Laranjeira, and Abdullah Talha Tosun.

This Class of 2023 joins a tradition that began at the University of Georgia School of Law in the early 1970s, when a Belgian lawyer became the first foreign-trained practitioner to earn a Georgia Law LL.M. degree. In the ensuing four decades, the law school and its Dean Rusk International Law Center have produced nearly 600 LL.M. graduates, with ties to nearly 100 countries and every continent in the world.

Side by side with J.D. candidates, LL.M.s follow a flexible curriculum tailored to their own career goals – goals that may include preparation to sit for a U.S. bar examination, or pursuit of a concentration affording advancement in their home country’s legal profession or academic institutions.

The application for the LL.M. Class of 2024 is now open; for information or to apply for LL.M. studies, see here.

Oxford University Press publishes book on corporate governance, sustainability by Georgia Law Prof Christopher Bruner

A new book entitled The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future and written by Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has been released today by Oxford University Press.

Here’s OUP’s description:

“Recent decades have witnessed environmental, social, and economic upheaval, with major corporations contributing to a host of interconnected crises. The Corporation as Technology examines the dynamics of the corporate form and corporate law that incentivize harmful excesses and presents an alternative vision to render corporate activities more sustainable.

“The corporate form is commonly described as a set of fixed characteristics that strongly prioritize shareholders’ interests. This book subverts this widely held belief, suggesting that such rigid depictions reinforce harmful corporate pathologies, including excessive risk-taking and lack of regard for environmental and social impacts. Instead, corporations are presented as a dynamic legal technology that policymakers can re-calibrate over time in response to changing landscapes.

“This book explores the theoretical and practical ramifications of this alternative vision, focusing on how the corporate form can help secure an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future.”

Drawing upon corporate governance structures and reform efforts from around the world, Professor Bruner studies these issues in three parts, entitled, respectively, “The Dynamism of the Corporation,” “Re-Conceptualizing the Corporation,” and “Harnessing the Corporation.” Further details here.

Center celebration of 113th birthday of namesake to launch Dean Rusk exhibit

An open house and commemorative exhibit will celebrate the 113th birthday of Dean Rusk, namesake of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Rusk was born February 9, 1909, in Cherokee, a Georgia county about 40 miles north of Atlanta, to parents who were schoolteachers. He would go on to be the second-longest-serving U.S. Secretary of State, in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He then would return to Georgia to take up a position as our law school’s Samuel A. Sibley Professor of International Law. Following his death in 1994 at age 85, Rusk was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens – 100 miles from his birthplace and just steps away from Sanford Stadium, where he spent many a Saturday afternoon watching his beloved Bulldogs play football.

Tomorrow’s 10 a.m.-4 p.m. open house at the Dean Rusk International Law Center will feature a collection of archival items about Rusk’s life and work. Portions of the display and of the accompanying Dean Rusk Digital Exhibit were made possible through a recent grant from the Digital Library of Georgia awarded to the Alexander Campbell King Law Library, in collaboration with the Georgia Law’s Office of Public Relations and Communications.

Georgia Law Community HeLP Clinic reaches successful settlement of lawsuit challenging DHS immigration practices

The University of Georgia School of Law Community Health Law Partnership Clinic recently secured significant immigration relief for its clients, by means of an agreement settling a lawsuit that it filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The settlement concluded Oviedo de la Cruz et. al. v. Mayorkas et. al., Case No. 3:21-CV-00077, which had been prepared by the Clinic’s lawyers and law students and filed last June in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. (credit for M.D. Ga. courthouse photo) The lawsuit alleged that the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act had been violated by several practices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; for example, unreasonable delays in DHS processing of benefits for immigrant survivors of crime who assisted law enforcement.

Twenty Clinic clients benefited from the settlement. Seventeen clients received favorable agency determinations resulting in deferred action and employment authorization pending final adjudication. Three family members residing abroad also were granted relief; this will, among other things, help one of the individual plaintiffs reunite her family. The lawsuit’s success also will benefit 24 minor U.S. citizen children in the plaintiffs’ families.

The Oviedo de la Cruz litigation’s success is due to the hard work, on this lawsuit and the underlying immigration cases, of many students and staff at the Clinic. Primary drafter of the complaint was M. Paige Finley (JD’21), under the supervision of Clinic Director Jason A. Cade and Staff Attorney Kristen E. Shepherd, with administrative and interpretive support from Sarah Ehlers. Other Clinic students involved included 3Ls Navroz Tharani, Thomas Evans, Luis Gomez, and Paige Medley, as well as 2Ls M. Kaitlin Hocker and Victoria M. Hiten. Several who have since completed their JD studies also contributed, including: from the Georgia Law Class of 2021, Ansley Whiten; Class of 2020, Caitlin Felt and Christopher Larsen; Class of 2019, Gabriel A. Justus, Sarah Mirza, and Megan Alpert; Class of 2018, Alina Venick, Michael D. Aune, and Onur Yildirim; and Class of 2017, Ashley A. Rudolph and Alessandro Raimondo.

Georgia Law coursework begins for inaugural class of students seeking Graduate Certificate in International Law

Graduate Certificate in International Law students tour Hirsch Hall at the University of Georgia School of Law Friday, in anticipation of the new semester beginning this week.

This New Year marks the arrival of the inaugural class of Graduate Certificate in International Law students here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Through the initiative of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, postgraduate students from other disciplines within the university will earn this academic certificate following their successful completion, in classes alongside J.D., LL.M., and M.L.S. students, of fifteen credit hours chosen from among the law school’s rich comparative, transnational, and international law curriculum; courses include Public International Law, International Human Rights, International Trade Law, Immigration Law, International Law Colloquium, and Global Governance.

The seven students comprising the first class include:

  • Four doctoral students: from the School of Public and International Affairs, Alma Bajramović, a Ph.D. candidate who is researching conflict and conflict resolution, with a focus on the Balkans; from the Mary Frances Early College of Education, Leslyn Beckles, candidate for a Ph.D. in Learning, Leading, and Organization Development, whose research concentrates on women political leaders in the Caribbean; and from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Isaac Torres, a Ph.D. candidate in Bioinformatics who examines artificial intelligence and statistical models to address complex biology problems, and Jasmine Underwood, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology interested in gender, development and social change, and political sociology.
  • Three master’s students, all from the School of Public and International Affairs: Megan Gerken and Nelson Millan Nales, both pursuing Master of Public Administration degrees, and Michael Sway, a candidate for the Master of International Policy degree.

Details on application of and matriculation toward the Graduate Certificate in International Law are available here and by contacting the initiative’s administrator, Sarah Quinn, Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, squinn[at]

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents “Court-Custom Paradox” in conference on customary international law

“Coherence in the interpretation of CIL is a process, not an outcome!” Professor Cohen stated, as reported in a TRICI-Law live tweet.

Harlan 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, presented Friday on “The Court-Custom Paradox” as part of “Interpretation of CIL: Methods, Interpretative Choices and the Role of Coherence,” a 2-day global conference.

Hosting the online gathering was TRICI-Law (“The Rules of Interpretation of Customary International Law”), a 5-year European Research Council Starting Grant project. Co-organizers were the PluriCourts-Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order at the University of Oslo, Norway, and the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

In addition to Professor Cohen, the conference featured Judge Liu Daqun of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals as well as scholars based in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Georgia Law 3L Davis Wright on his externship in Virginia: “My time at NATO helped me grow as an aspiring lawyer, law student, and person.”

Pleased today to welcome this post by University of Georgia School of Law student Davis Wright, who describes his just-completed his Fall 2021 externship in Norfolk, Virginia, in the legal department of HQ SACT, a leading unit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This externship is administered by our law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center in partnership with NATO Allied Command Transformation. Davis arrived at Georgia Law with a background in international relations and politics, having competed in Model United Nations and worked for a member of the Dáil Éireann. His experiences at Georgia Law have included service as a Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador and J.D.-to-LL.M. liaison. He is due to receive his J.D. degree this May, and then to begin practice as an Associate at the Atlanta office of Jones Day.

Working in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, was an exciting and rewarding experience. In the time I was at HQ SACT I grew substantially, in personal, academic, and professional aspects.

Personal growth

During the time I spent at HQ SACT, I was exposed to a diverse range of ideas and people. While the Chief Legal Advisor at HQ SACT is American, there is a French Legal Advisor, a Dutch Legal Advisor, and a Turkish intern. All of these interactions were valuable to me as I was exposed to cultural and legal perspectives from their home nations. 

My interactions at the office likewise gave me exposure to a diverse set of views on a variety of topics, ranging from the insignificant, such as musical preferences, to the significant, such as views on the war in Afghanistan and NATO’s involvement in it. These new friendships, and sometimes deep discussions, helped me grow as a person and challenged my views and perspective of the world.

Academic growth

As one part of my externship at HQ SACT, I participated in a once-a-week seminar course with Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, who is a Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. We discussed a variety of topics through weekly readings on different areas of international law. Highlights included the role of the legal advisor in armed conflict, rules of engagement, and immunities of international organizations in domestic courts. Most of these subjects were new to me, and the weekly seminar helped build my knowledge and challenge my perspective on different international legal issues.

I am especially pleased that I was encouraged to lead the discussions in this seminar and to select readings for subjects that I find of interest. This encouragement to be curious and take a leading role also helped me grow academically.

Professional growth

The experience at HQ SACT was completely new for me as I had never before worked in the national security sector or for an international organization. My time in the legal office was largely split into two categories, as follows:

  • Legal assistance: During the mornings I was assigned to legal assistance work. This is essentially all the support elements that the office provides to both civilian and military personnel at HQ SACT. This work varies depending on who walks through the door, but includes a large amount of immigration work.  These experiences provided me an appreciation of the multitude of legal issues that foreign personnel face during their time in the United States. Additionally, these experiences provided me valuable client interaction that will assist my future career.
  • Legal projects: In the afternoons I worked on projects for the legal advisors. These projects varied considerably. For example, I had the opportunity to work on an overhaul to the general terms and conditions throughout HQ SACT and its subordinate commands, and to research whether NATO information is protected under U.S. laws against espionage. These projects all challenged me and provided an opportunity to make a substantial impact during my time at HQ SACT.  

In short, my time at NATO helped me grow as an aspiring lawyer, law student, and person. I am sure I will use the experiences I have gained so far at NATO in my future career.

I am extremely grateful that the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the University of Georgia School of Law allowed me to partake in this unique experience. Specifically, I would like to thank the Center’s Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation, Sarah Quinn, and Professor Amann, for their valuable guidance. I would also like to thank everyone at HQ SACT, especially Theresa Donahue, Kathy Hansen-Nord, Monte DeBoer, Butch Bracknell, Mette Hartov, Vincent Grassin, and Muge Karatas.

Georgia Law Professor Zohra Ahmed publishes on Pakistan, United States & global war on terror at LPE Blog

Zohra Ahmed, who is an Assistant Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, posted “Towards a Law and Political Economy Approach to the Global War on Terror” at the LPE Blog published by The Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project, housed at Yale Law School.

Here’s the abstract:

“To ensure support for its Global War on Terror, the United States has exploited the Pakistani government’s reliance on foreign credit to guarantee cooperation in US counterinsurgency operations. In leveraging its role as a lender to provide Pakistan with short-term financial relief, the United States has deepened Pakistan’s economic dependency, undermined the nation’s chance for a more equal domestic political and economic arrangement, and consolidated the power of its domestic military elite.”

Professor Ahmed’s full essay, posted last Wednesday, is available here.

Georgia Law Professor Walter Hellerstein presents on value added tax in International Monetary Fund webinar

Walter Hellerstein, Distinguished Research Professor & Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law Emeritus here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented last Tuesday in a webinar entitled “VAT and the Digital Economy,” organized by the International Monetary Fund as part of its ongoing VAT Webinar Series. More than 500 participants from countries around the world attended.

Hellerstein spoke on “Taxing digital economy: VAT vs. CIT and DST,” as part of a panel moderated by Katherine Baer of the IMF. Also on the panel were experts based in Australia, Panama, and South Africa.

The webinar program is here.