Professor MJ Durkee publishes essay on legacy of 1972 Stockholm Declaration in special issue of Georgia Journal of Comparative and International Law

Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, published “International Environmental Law at Its Semicentennial: The Stockholm Legacy” in 50 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 748 (2022), available at the journal’s website as well as SSRN.

The publication reflects upon issues raised at, the journal’s October 2021 conference, “The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law.” (Prior posts and links to panel videos here)

Here’s the SSRN abstract of Professor Durkee’s essay:

“The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment produced the Stockholm Declaration, an environmental manifesto that forcefully declared a human right to environmental health and birthed the field of modern international environmental law. The historic event powerfully “dramatized . . . the unity and fragility of the biosphere,” sparking a remarkable period of international legal innovation and cooperation on environmental protection in the decades to come.

“The Stockholm Declaration can be rightly celebrated for putting environmental issues on the international legal agenda and driving the development of environmental law at the domestic level around the world. At the same time, the Declaration’s distinctive framing of environmental problems and solutions deeply influenced these abundant subsequent laws, and here its legacy is mixed. This special issue, in celebration of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law’s 50th anniversary volume, evaluates the legacy of the Stockholm Declaration and the legal movement it launched.”

Published in the same journal issue were: “‘In Countless Ways and On an Unprecedented Scale’: Reflections on the Stockholm Declaration at 50” by Rebecca Bratspies, Professor of Law and founding Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform at CUNY School of Law; and “Legal Rights for Rivers” by Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer and Member of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, at Monash University in Australia.

Consul General’s talk on Mexico’s federal lawsuit against arms makers opens 2022-2023 events calendar at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center

Our schedule of 2022-2023 events here at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center opened yesterday with a compelling presentation by the Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta.

In a talk entitled “Institutional Structure of the U.S.-Mexico Relations and Key Bilateral Issues: Mexico’s Legal Case Against U.S. Gun Manufacturers,” Ambassador Javier Díaz de León began by outlining ways that Mexico and the United States – often along with their neighbor to the north, Canada – discuss and seek solutions to common problems.

One concern, of course, is security; in Mexico’s case, the southward flow of firearms and money that enable drug cartels to operate. After providing statistics on the high proportion of weapons confiscated in Mexico that have been manufactured or distributed in the United States, Ambassador Díaz turned to what he rightly called the “landmark” step that his government took on August 4, 2021, when it filed Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson Brands et al. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. That civil tort suit alleges that Smith & Wesson and 10 other firearms manufacturers or distributors unlawfully permitted U.S. weapons to enter Mexico, where firearms are, for the most part, prohibited. According to Ambassador Díaz, a federal judge heard argument on defendants’ motion to dismiss last spring, but has not yet ruled on that motion, and discovery is under way.

Following his presentation, Georgia Law Regents’ Professor Diane Marie Amann, one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, moderated questions from the audience, composed mostly of students.

This marked the ambassador’s second visit to our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center; in 2018, also as part of our Consular Series, he spoke on “Mexico’s Relation with Georgia: Connecting Paths.”

Cosponsoring yesterday’s event with our Center were the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute at the University of Georgia, as well as two Georgia Law student groups, the Hispanic Law Students Association and the International Law Society.

Follow this webpage or our Twitter feed to learn about upcoming events.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee takes part in Global Meeting on Law and Society

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, participated in last week’s 7th Global Meeting on Law and Society in Portugal.

“The Pledging World Order,” Durkee’s article that is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of International Law, was discussed at a panel on “Transnational Orders of Finance, Trade and Investment.” Session Chair was Gregory Shaffer, who is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California-Irvine School of Law and the President of the American Society of International Law. Sonia Rolland, Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, served as Discussant.

The Global Meeting, a quinquennial gathering of the Law & Society Association and other sociolegal organizations from around the world, was held at ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, with organizational support from DINÂMIA’CET and CIES at ISCTE.

Georgia Law’s Community HeLP Clinic assists client in winning bid for asylum

A client of the Community Health Law Partnership Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law was recently granted asylum, a status that provides permanent protection to noncitizens fleeing persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in particular social groups. 

The Clinic’s client had fled to the United States alone as a 16-year-old, after facing death threats and physical violence in Guatemala, and had requested asylum at the U.S. border. The Asylum Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services initially interviewed the client in 2018. (photo credit) However, a torrent of subsequent administrative decisions upended longstanding asylum policies, leaving his fate in limbo. 

The Community HeLP Clinic reactivated the case early this year. It successfully argued that the Guatemalan government was unable or unwilling to control persecution against the client by private actors. As a result of the asylum grant, the client no longer faces deportation and can focus on rebuilding his life in the United States.

The Clinic’s Staff Attorney, Kristen Shepherd, handled the initial presentation of the case before the Asylum Office. Navroz N. Tharani, who completed his Georgia Law JD in May 2022, wrote the brief, supervised by Shepherd and by Clinic Director Jason Cade, who is Associate Dean for Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning and J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law. Eddy Atallah, a member of the JD Class of 2021, assisted with earlier research.

In Lisbon, Georgia Law Professor Bruner takes part in roundtable on corporations at Global Meeting on Law and Society

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, participated in a roundtable discussion titled “Present and Future of Corporations in Society” at last week’s 7th Global Meeting on Law and Society in Portugal.

The Global Meeting, a quinquennial gathering of the Law & Society Association and other sociolegal organizations from around the world, was held at ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, with organizational support from DINÂMIA’CET and CIES at ISCTE.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee presents at ComplianceNet 2022, interdisciplinary conference at University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented Friday at the 3-day ComplianceNet 2022 conference at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

Durkee’s presentation, entitled “Interpretive Entrepreneurship: How firms use international legal interpretation to modify their compliance obligations,” formed part of a panel on “Legal Interpretation and Ambiguity.” Also on her panel were professors Jennifer Arlen, New York University School of Law, and J.S. Nelson, Harvard Business School.

This was the 3d ComplianceNet conference – an interdisciplinary gathering designed to bring together scholars to study the interaction between rules and human behavior.

Georgia Law Professor Bruner presents in Pisa, Italy, on his new corporate governance and sustainability book

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented Friday at “The Corporate Form and Society,” a seminar at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy.

Bruner presented his new book, The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future (Oxford University Press 2022).

Also speaking at the panel, which was chaired by Sant’Anna Professor Giuseppe Martinico, were legal scholars from the University of Parma in Italy and Washington and Lee University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Louisiana State University in the United States.

Professor MJ Durkee, Georgia Law Associate Dean and our Center’s Director, presents “The Pledging World Order” at ICON•S annual conference

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, spoke Monday at the 2022 Annual Conference of ICON•S, the International Society of Public Law.

As part of a panel entitled “International law, Global and Regional Communities,” Durkee gave an online presentation of “The Pledging World Order,” her article that is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of International Law. The in-person component of 3-day hybrid conference took place at the University of Wrocław, Poland.

Georgia Law Professor Bruner presents on corporate governance and sustainability at seminar in Milan, Italy

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented Wednesday at “Corporate Law, Society, and the Planet,” a seminar at Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Bruner’s presentation was entitled “The Corporation as Technology: Re-Calibrating Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future,” and drew upon his new book of the same name. Also speaking were Bocconi Law Professor Giovanni Strampelli, as well as legal scholars from New York University and Washington and Lee University.

As part of Cambridge project, Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes options for including children in eventual Ukraine-Russia peace process and agreement

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann has contributed an analysis of international child law to the Ukraine Peace Settlement Project of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The paper itself, entitled “Ukraine Settlement Options Paper: Children,” relies on syntheses of international legal frameworks involving children and armed conflict; in particular, the 2016 Policy on Children of the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor and the United Nations’ agenda that monitors and publicizes data on what the UN Security Council has identified as the Six Grave Violations against Children During Armed Conflict. The paper looks as well to two peace agreements – the 1999 Lomé Agreement on Sierra Leone and the 2016 Colombia peace agreement – to propose ways by which any ppeace negotiations and eventual settlement of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict could pay due regard to children’s experiences, rights, needs, and capacities.

A summary of the paper appeared Friday, under the title “Options for a Peace Settlement in Ukraine: Options Paper IX – Children,” at Opinio Juris blog.

The paper’s Appendix comprises tables that map the adherence – or not – of Ukraine and Russia to the international law treaty regimes and soft law instruments discussed in the body of the paper.

Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, is a Visiting Academic this summer at University College London. She served from 2012 to 2021 as the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

In addition to SSRN, Amann’s 34-page paper is available here at the Lauterpacht Centre site, which serves as a depository for dozens papers by an array of international law and international relations experts, on topics ranging from use of force and weapons of mass destruction to land claims, asset sanctions, and detainee release and exchange.