Georgia Law students take part in ASIL annual meeting through Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellowships

Still holding warm memories of this year’s American Society of International Law Annual Meeting are the four University of Georgia School of Law students who volunteered at last month’s gathering of international lawyers in Washington, D.C. Pictured above, they are, from left, LL.M. candidates Agustina Figueroa Imfeld and Veronika Grubenko, along with 1Ls Jack Schlafly and John Carter.

Once again this year, Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellowships, awarded by the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, supported the students’ travel to the April 2022 conference. (Prior posts here, here, and here.)

Meeting students and professionals from many locales was rewarding, Grubenko said. “Each of them shared their knowledge of preparing and sitting for various bar exams, job search, and university experiences.” For those students who had never visited Washington before, the opportunity to visit historical landmarks, at a time when the famed cherry blossoms still were in bloom, was most welcome.

In addition to assisting with annual meeting logistics, all four attended “Privatizing International Governance,” a session chaired by Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at Georgia Law.

Many other sessions also were of interest, on issues ranging from transnational discovery of e-evidence to international criminal law. In the words of Figueroa Imfeld:

“There were so many pressing issues being discussed: climate change, shareholder activism, migration, war, sanctions, digital privacy, etc. It was particularly interesting to hear from lawyers on the opposite sides of those issues, which made me rethink a lot of my own opinions about them.”

Citing in particular remarks delivered by Chile Eboe-Osuji, former President of the International Criminal Court, on the ICC’s jurisdiction over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Carter described the annual meeting as “highly engaging” and “intellectually stimulating,” adding that it “helped expose me to career paths that I can model as I move forward in law school.” Echoing him was Schlafly, who said: “Attending the ASIL conference further confirmed my desire to work in international law.”

In D.C. during ASIL Annual Meeting this week, Georgia Law scholars on panels at ASIL and at Brookings Institution

Scholars at the University of Georgia School of Law are taking part on panels during this week’s 116th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, the theme of which is “Privatizing International Governance.”

The annual meeting opened yesterday and runs through Saturday – in person, in Washington, D.C., for the first time in a couple years. Indeed, the meeting is hybrid, with registration available for online viewers – including, at ASIL Academic Partners like Georgia Law, free registration for students.

Georgia Law representation includes these panels:

10:30-11:30 a.m., Friday, April 8: Privatizing International Governance

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor (pictured above left), will serve as moderator for a panel entitled “Privatizing International Governance,” part of the meeting’s International Law Beyond the State track.

Here’s the panel description:

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights both encourage engaging business groups as partners in developing global governance agendas. Such multi-stakeholder and public-private partnerships are increasingly common and seen as essential to the future of international business regulation. The participation of affected groups brings expertise, promotes engagement and buy-in, and secures funding. At the same time, critics have raised alarms about industry capture of the UN climate change bodies, global financial governance institutions, and international public health standard-setting efforts. In response, institutions like the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization are implementing reforms to prevent mission-distortion by business groups. At a time when multilateral cooperation is at an ebb, public-private partnerships are indispensable, and yet the danger of undue influence is real. The time is therefore ripe to consider how to productively engage business groups in global governance. This roundtable of experts will discuss cutting-edge efforts by international organizations to capture the benefits of business participation while reducing the harms. The roundtable will consider access rules, existing and proposed reforms, and how past experience may offer lessons for future challenges.”

Panelists will be: Patricia Kameri-Mbote, United Nations Environment Programme; Nora Mardirossian, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment; Suzy Nikièma, Lead, Sustainable Investment, International Institute for Sustainable Development; and Nancy Thevenin, United States Council for International Business.

3-4:30 p.m., Friday, April 8: Fourth Annual International Law Review Editors-in-Chief Roundtable

Harlan G. Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law (above right), will serve as a panelist in the “Fourth Annual International Law Review Editors-in-Chief Roundtable,” an online session that is part of the meeting’s Professional and Academic Development track.

Here’s the panel description:

“In recognition of the important role that student-edited international law journals play in the dissemination of international legal scholarship, the Society hosts an annual International Law Review Editor Roundtable. This Roundtable will discuss key issues around legal scholarship, including: selecting great topics that might be more relevant to the various audiences of law journals, including scholars and practitioners; how international law journals can be more effective at soliciting and/or selecting relevant pieces of international legal scholarship; and how to work with authors (who may have different cultural perspectives) to successfully publish their pieces. The Roundtable will be facilitated by international law experts as well as sitting editors-in-chief of law student-run international law journals. The Society invites current students and recent graduates interested in the process of scholarship and publication in international law to connect with their peers and distinguished scholars and practitioners.”

Joining Professor Cohen on the panel will be Colorado Law Professor James Anaya and Vanderbilt Law Professor Ingrid Wuerth.

Additionally:

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, April 8: Eighth Annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture on International Law, Brookings Institution

Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of our Center (above second from left), will serve on a panel to be held after Philippe Sands, a barrister and University College London law professor now visiting at Harvard Law, delivers a lecture entitled “Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide, and Ecocide: of Rights, Responsibilities, and International Order.” Other panelists will be Georgetown Law Professor Jane Stromseth and George Washington University Law Professor Sean D. Murphy. Online registration is still available here for this event.

Georgia Law professors also are taking part in ASIL leadership meetings during the annual conference, which is supported by four volunteer Georgia Law students: 1Ls John Carter and Jack Schlafly and LLMs Veronika Grubenko and Agustina Figueroa Imfeld.

Georgia Law Associate Dean MJ Durkee, our Center’s Director, gives online webinar to law students in Bangladesh

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor here at Georgia Law, gave an online presentation on Friday, entitled “International Lobbying by Industry and Trade Groups: Context, Laws, Reforms,” to students at the Department of Law of North South University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

She delivered the webinar by invitation of North South Law Professor Md. Rizwanul Islam, whose own scholarship includes examinations of the operation of international economic law in South Asia.

In her presentation, Durkee observed that COP26, the 2-week international climate change conference just concluded in Glasgow, Scotland, spotlighted difficulties in designing rules and processes that welcome nongovernmental organizations and business groups into global governance. She explored the adequacy vel non of conceptualizations of this challenge, and further considered possible designs for reform.

The webinar built on “Welcoming Participation, Avoiding Capture: A Five-Point Framework,” remarks that Durkee published in the Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting of 2020, available here.

Video of last Friday’s webinar may be found here.

Scholarly achievements, vibrant initiatives highlighted in newsletter of Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law

For a recap of the year’s research and global practice accomplishments, have a look at the just-published newsletter of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law. Features include:

► Welcome to our new professor, Zohra Ahmed, as well as scholarly achievements of our Center Director, Melissa J. Durkee, and our many other globally minded faculty, including Diane Marie Amann, Christopher Bruner, Jason Cade, Harlan G. Cohen, Walter Hellerstein, Thomas Kadri, Jonathan Peters, Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, and Laura Phillips Sawyer.

► The return of our International Law Colloquium in Spring 2022, a course featuring works-in-progress conversations with authors; this year’s edition will include international law scholars based in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

► Recent events, including our day-long conferences on international environmental law and on global healthcare governance cosponsored with the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, our Consular Series of talks with diplomats, presentations by Visiting Scholars and other distinguished lawyers, our cohosting of International Law Weekend South with the American Branch of the International Law Association, and participation in panels at the American Society of International Law and other global meetings, as well as academic and civil-society roundtables.

Initiatives aimed at preparing our J.D. and LL.M. students for global legal practice, including our NATO Externship, our Global Externships, and the Global Governance Summer School we host in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at Belgium’s University of Leuven, plus support for internationally minded students’ organizations, journal, and advocacy teams.

The full newsletter is here.

University of Georgia School of Law, School of Public & International Affairs scholars on panels at annual ASIL Midyear Meeting Research Forum

Scholars at the University of Georgia School of Law, as well as the university’s School of Public & International Affairs, will take part next week in the Midyear Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

This year’s Midyear Meeting will be held online. As an ASIL Academic Partner, we at the University of Georgia Dean Rusk International Law Center are honored to have hosted this annual event in Athens and Atlanta in 2012.

The 2021 Midyear, to take place November 11 and 12, will include a Research Forum featuring discussions among more than 70 international law scholars and a Practitioners’ Forum.

University of Georgia representation at the Research Forum includes these panels:

4:45-6:15 p.m., Thursday, November 11: Climate Change

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor (pictured above left), will serve as discussant during this live panel for 2 papers:

  • “Climate Displacement: Revisions to the international legal framework to address refugees resulting from future climate crises,” by Christian Jorgensen and Eric Schmitz, American Red Cross
  • “A Parisian Consensus,” by Frederic Sourgens, Washburn University School of Law

4:45-6:15 p.m., Thursday, November 11: International Criminal Court

Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of our Center (above second from left), will serve as discussant during this prerecorded panel for 3 papers:

  • “The Use of African Law at the International Criminal Court,” by Stewart Manley, University of Malaya
  • “From Hadžihasanović to Bemba and Beyond: Revisiting the application of command responsibility to armed groups,” by Joshua Niyo, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • “Dominic Ongwen: Sentencing and mitigation at the ICC,” Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

2:45-4:15 p.m., Friday, November 12: Courts and Tribunals

Harlan G. Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law (above right), and who holds a courtesy appointment at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), will co-present a paper with a SPIA colleague, Professor Ryan Powers (above second from right), entitled “Judicialization and Public Support for Compliance with International Commitments.”

Mark Pollack, Temple University Beasley School of Law, will serve as discussant during this live panel for the Cohen-Powers paper and these 2 others:

  • “Does the Court Really Know the Law? The jura novit curia principle in fragmented international adjudication,” by Barbara Bazanth, New York University School of Law
  • “The Habre Effect? How An African Trial Shaped Justice Norms,” by Margaret deGuzman, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Georgia Law professors also are scheduled to take part in ASIL leadership meetings during the Midyear: Associate Dean Durkee in the meetings of the ASIL Executive Council and of the Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law; Professor Amann, an ASIL Counsellor, in the Executive Council meeting; and Professor Cohen in the meeting of the Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law.

Details, including the full ASIL Midyear program, and registration, which is free to students at Academic Partner schools like Georgia Law, are available here.

MJ Durkee, Georgia Law Associate Dean and our Center’s Director, contributes to AJIL Unbound symposium issue


Our Center’s Director, Associate Dean Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, has contributed an essay in the newest symposium issue, which she edited, of American Journal of International Law Unbound.

Entitled “Introduction to the Symposium on Frédéric Mégret, “Are There ‘Inherently Sovereign Functions’ in International Law?”, the essay appears at 115 American Journal of International Law Unbound 299 (2021) and is available online at the Cambridge University Press site. It opens a symposium exploring an article just published in the American Journal of International Law by McGill University Law Professor Frédéric Mégret. Also contributing to the symposium are Cambridge Law Professor Eyal Benvenisti, Collège de France Professor Samantha Besson, Columbia Political Science Professor Jean L. Cohen, Nottingham Law Professor Nigel D. White, and California-Berkeley Political Science Professor Daniel Lee.

In addition to leading the Dean Rusk International Law Center, Durkee is Associate Dean for International Programs and the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law. She is on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and is the supervising editor of AJIL Unbound. Both are publications of the American Society of International Law, for which Durkee serves as an Executive Council member and Vice Chair of the International Legal Theory Interest Group.

“Stockholm Declaration at 50,” October 8 Georgia Law journal conference, will feature experts in international environmental and human rights law

“The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law” is the title of the daylong conference to be hosted Friday, October 8, 2021, by the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, with additional cosponsors including the American Society of International Law.

As described in the concept note:

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. In celebration of its 50th anniversary volume, the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law is convening a symposium to reflect on the first 50 years of international environmental law and the lessons this history may hold for the future.

The symposium will include a keynote address by Dinah L. Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law Emeritus at George Washington University School of Law whose distinguished service in areas of human rights and environmental law includes President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Also featured will be scholars and practitioners from around the world, taking part in panel discussions and breakout sessions: on the rights-based approach to environmental protection; on anti-racism, decolonization, and environmental protection; and on the future of international environmental law. As indicated in the schedule below, the panels reflect themes in Principle 1 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, which states in full:

“Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. In this respect, policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated.”

The conference will take place on Zoom, though students and a limited number of registrants may attend in person. Details and registration here. The full schedule follows:

Welcome and Introduction by Georgia Law’s Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Dean, MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, 9 a.m.

Panel 1: The Rights-Based Approach to Environmental Protection, 9:10 a.m. (followed by breakout session at 10:25 a.m.)

Recalling Principle 1’s statement that humankind “has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being,” the following panelists will explore how and in what contexts the Stockholm Declaration’s rights-based approach to environmental protection is useful, as well as limitations of this approach:

  • Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation
  • Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law
  • Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA Law
  • Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer, Monash University, Australia
  • Moderating will be Diane Marie Amann, Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law

Panel 2: Anti-Racism, Decolonization, and Environmental Protection, 10:50 a.m. (followed by breakout session at 12:05 p.m.)

Recalling Principle 1’s statement that “policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated,” the following panelists will explore how international environmental law addresses, or fails to address, environmental racism:

  • Sumudu Anopama Atapattu, Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer at Wisconsin Law
  • Robin Bronen, Executive Director of the Alaska Institute for Justice
  • Sarah Riley Case, Boulton Junior Fellow at McGill University Faculty of Law in Canada
  • Usha Natarajan, Edward W. Said Fellow at Columbia University
  • Moderating will be Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law

Panel 3: International Environmental Law’s Future, 1 p.m. (followed by breakout session at 2:15 p.m.)

Recalling Principle 1’s statement that humankind “bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations,” the following panelists will explore what are the successes and failures of the last 50 years of environmental law, as well as the key international environmental law challenges for the next 50 years:

  • Rebecca M. Bratspies, Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform at CUNY Law
  • Jutta Brunnée, Dean, University Professor, and James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in Canada
  • Lakshman D. Guruswamy, Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at Colorado Law
  • Cymie Payne, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Ecology and the School of Law, Rutgers University
  • Moderating will be MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law

Introduction of keynote by Adam D. Orford, Assistant Professor at Georgia Law, followed by keynote address, entitled “Stockholm Plus 50: Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or Shattered?” and delivered by Dinah L. Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law Emeritus at George Washington University School of Law, 2:40 p.m.

Closing remarks by Kimberlee Styple, Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 3:15 p.m.

Besides ASIL, many units of the University of Georgia are cosponsoring this event. They include the International Law Society, Environmental Law Association, Georgia Initiative for Climate & Society, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, School of Public & International Affairs, Center for International Trade & Security, Global Health Institute of the College of Public Health, School of Social Work, and College of Environment & Design.

Registration and details on the program and accommodations here.

Professor Melissa “MJ” Durkee named Georgia Law Associate Dean for International Programs and Director of Dean Rusk International Law Center

We at the Dean Rusk International Law Center of the University of Georgia School of Law are delighted to announce that Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee will be the law school’s next Associate Dean for International Programs, a position that includes service as our Center’s Director. The appointment will take effect this Thursday, July 1.

In assuming leadership of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, Durkee succeeds Professor Lori A. Ringhand, who has served as the Center’s Interim Director for the past year and a half. The law school’s most recent Associate Dean for International Programs was Professor Diane Marie Amann, who served in that post from 2015-2017 and who since then has been a Faculty Co-Director of the Center along with Professor Harlan G. Cohen.

Named after former U.S. Secretary of State and Georgia Law Professor Dean Rusk, our Center has served since 1977 as the international law and policy nucleus for education, scholarship, and other collaborations among faculty and students, the law school community, and diverse local and global partners. As Director, Durkee will lead a Center staff that includes Laura Tate Kagel and Mandy Dixon, respectively the Associate Director and the Assistant for International Professional Education, and Sarah Quinn and Catrina Martin, respectively the Associate Director and the Assistant for Global Practice Preparation.

Durkee (prior posts, SSRN page) also holds the title at Georgia Law of Allen Post Professor, as well as a courtesy appointment in the university’s Terry College of Business. A highly regarded scholar, she teaches, writes, and presents on international law and corporate governance, with focus on international economic and environmental law, global governance, democratic participation, public-private partnerships, and legal theory. Her most recent article, “Interpretive Entrepreneurs,” has just been published at 107 Virginia Law Review 431 (2021).

Her leadership roles in the Washington, D.C.-based American Society of International Law include: Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law; Supervising Editor, AJIL Unbound; ASIL Executive Council; and Vice Chair, ASIL International Legal Theory Interest Group. Wearing that last hat, she organized “The Law and Logics of Attribution: Constructing the Identity and Responsibility of States and Firms,” a conference that our Center hosted online last September. Durkee has also served as faculty advisor to the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.

Before joining the Georgia Law faculty in 2018, Durkee was a professor at the University of Washington School of Law. A graduate of Yale Law School, she practiced international litigation and arbitration at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York and was law clerk to Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Sidney H. Stein, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee publishes in ASIL Proceedings on participation of nonstate actors

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an essay in the most recent volume of proceedings from an annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.

Her article, which appears in a section called “Between Participation and Capture: Non-state Actor Participation in International Rule-Making,” is entitled “Welcoming Participation, Avoiding Capture: A Five-Part Framework,” and may be found at 114 Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting 39-42 (2020). It’s also available at SSRN.

Here’s the abstract:

What role should non-state actors have in the work of international organizations? It is particularly fitting that this panel is titled “between participation and capture,” because the phrase calls up the conflicting values that animate this question. When we think of non-state actors “participating” in the work of international organizations, we think about open, transparent organizations that are receiving the benefit of diverse perspectives and expertise. We may associate this phrase with process, access, and legitimacy in governance. On the other hand, when we think about non-state actors “capturing” the agenda of international organizations, we have a conflicting set of mental images: we imagine corruption, mission-drift, and the erosion of legitimacy in global governance. Openness is both valuable and dangerous.

Georgia Law Professors Durkee, Cohen, and Amann present at annual ASIL Midyear Meeting and Research Forum

Last weekend marked the annual Midyear Meeting and Research Forum of the American Society of International Law, held online because of the ongoing pandemic. This year as in the past, University of Georgia School of Law faculty played key roles. They are:

► Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law. She participated in meetings of two key ASIL entities; that is, the Executive Council, on which she is serving a 3-year term, and the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, at whose meeting she presented on behalf of the publication’s online platform, AJIL Unbound, for which she serves as Supervising Editor. Additionally, during the Midyear Meeting’s Research Forum, Durkee gave a presentation on the topic of “Interpretive Entrepreneurs,” at a panel entitled “International Law in Theory.”

Harlan G. Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center. Also a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, Cohen gave a report at that board’s meeting on “International Decisions,” the AJIL section for which he has served as Editor. He also helped organize a keynote panel on “Multilateralism & International Institutions,” part of ASIL’s International Law and the 2020 Election Series.

Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and our Center’s other Faculty Co-Director. She continued a second term as an ASIL Counsellor. As part of a Research Forum panel entitled “Historic Roots of International Law,” Amann presented her work in progress, “Intersectional Sovereignties: Dr. Aline Chalufour, Woman at Nuremberg – and at Paris, Ottawa, and Dalat.”

Georgia Law is an Academic Partner of ASIL, for more than a century the United States’ premier learned society in international law.