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.

Georgia Law, ASIL to cosponsor conference on legal responsibility of corporations and nation-states

  • When private companies perform governmental functions and governments own companies, which acts should be attributed to the state?
  • Which should be attributed to the corporation?
  • And whose religious beliefs, speech rights, and moral standing can those entities claim?

These questions and more will be explored in The Law and Logics of Attribution: Constructing the Identity and Responsibility of States and Firms, a 2-day online conference that our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, will cohost next month.

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, is leading the event, which will bring together a multinational group of scholars in law and social sciences. It’s cosponsored by the American Society of International Law and ASIL’s Interest Group on International Legal Theory. Durkee serves as Vice Chair of that interest group; Chair is her Georgia Law colleague Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Center. Registration is available here.

Scheduled to speak at the conference, which will take place 1-5 p.m. Friday, September 11, and Friday, September 18:

Olabisi Akinkugbe, Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada

William C. Banks, Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University College of Law, New York

Joshua Barkan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia

Kristen Boon, Miriam T. Rooney Professor of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, New Jersey

Rachel Brewster, Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professor of Law, Duke Law School, North Carolina

David Ciepley, Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, California

Laura Dickinson, Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington School of Law, District of Columbia

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor, University of Georgia School of Law

Benjamin Edwards, Associate Professor of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

James Gathii, Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Illinois

Sarah Haan, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee School of Law, Virginia

Catherine Hardee, Associate Professor of Law, California Western School of Law

Doreen Lustig, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Israel

Kish Parella, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Virginia

Dalia Palombo, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Mikko Rajavuori, Academy of Finland Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Eastern Finland Law School

Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, Vanderbilt School of Law, Tennessee

 

They’ll be examining aspects of the conference’s concept note:

“In international law, scholars and practitioners struggle to attribute rights and responsibilities between state and private entities in areas as diverse as military contracting, environmental accountability, human rights, international investment, and cyber espionage and warfare. In the corporate governance realm, attributing responsibility to entities is increasingly challenging in the context of globally dispersed corporate families with intricate parent-subsidiary structures; identity attribution has also produced headlining debates.

“While attribution questions fuel important conversations in both corporate and international law, the two literatures are not often in conversation. Questions of attribution in both domains nevertheless are becoming more complex and urgent, and the fields increasingly intersect: In some areas of law, attribution doctrines must determine the dividing line between states and firms. Doctrines of attribution construct the public domain, and thereby also the private. Attribution questions in both domains reinvigorate classic inquiries about the nature of a corporation, the relationship between private entities and the state, and the proper function of the law in mediating between the two.

“This conference will draw together corporate and international legal scholars, as well as thinkers outside the law, in order to cross-pollinate these two fields and the questions at their intersection, and to unearth promising theoretical tools. It will consider theoretical and doctrinal approaches to attribution, potential consequences of these approaches, and whether they may reconcile the ambiguities and deficiencies that drive current debates. The project aims to offer a new point of entry to enduring theoretical and doctrinal questions about the nature of corporations, of states, and of the relationship between them. It is particularly relevant at a time where corporations are ‘jurisdictionally ambiguous and spatially diffuse,’ states are deferential, dependent or outflanked, and multilateralism is at an ebb.”

Full details, including registration for this online event, are available here.

Georgia Law faculty present and comment on international law papers at annual ASIL Southeast workshop

University of Georgia School of Law faculty were well represented at the  annual American Society of International Law Southeast scholarly workshop, held this year at Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.

Kathleen A. Doty, Director of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center (above, 2d from left), presented on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) initiative established by the UN Security Council. Commenting on her paper, entitled “Rethinking the WPS Agenda in Light of International Relations Studies of Women in Conflict,” was Washington & Lee Law Professor Mark Drumbl.

Serving as commentators during the daylong workshop were 2 additional Georgia Law faculty: Professor Melissa J. Durkee, J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law (above right), was the discussant for “The Corporate Keepers of International Law” by William & Mary Law Professor Jay Butler; and Christopher Bruner (above, 2d from right), Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law, commented on “The Pendulum of International Financial Regulation” by George Mason Law Professor Paolo Saguato.

Georgia Law student Hanna Karimipour elected to International Law Students Association board

Congratulations to Hanna Karimipour, member of the Georgia Law Class of 2020, who has just been elected to serve during her 3L year as a worldwide Student Director of the International Law Students Association.

Devotion to international law has been a hallmark of Hanna’s career here at the University of Georgia School of Law. In spring 2018, the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center awarded her a Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellowship to volunteer at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C.; that summer, she took part in our Global Governance Summer School and externed at the nongovernmental organization No Peace Without Justice in Brussels, Belgium. During the academic year, she competed on Georgia Law’s Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court team, was a student in a special minicourse on Executive Branch Lawyering, and served as President of the International Law Society, Georgia Law’s ILSA chapter. She soon will begin a position as a Summer Associate at a law firm in Tallahassee, Florida.

Hanna’s election to this position follows a long-standing Georgia Law tradition. Previous worldwide ILSA student officers have included Chanel Chauvet (JD’18), who this fall will begin LLM studies in International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland; Kaitlin Ball (JD’14), who this year earned her PhD in the Department of Politics & International Studies at the University of Cambridge, England; Stephany Sherriff (JD’15), Legal Advisor and Agency Policy Chairwoman at Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency in Atlanta; and another Atlanta attorney, Richard Alembik (JD’91).

Georgia Law scholars head to D.C. for this week’s American Society of International Law Annual Meeting

The University of Georgia School of Law and its Dean Rusk International Law Center will be well-represented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, to be held March 27-30 at the Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.

In addition to the book award for C. Donald Johnson, our Center’s Director Emeritus, on which we posted yesterday, participation will be wide-ranging. Once again, a Georgia Law student will volunteer at the meeting, supported by our Center’s Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellowship. This year’s Sohn Fellow will be 1L Joshua Jones. Furthermore:

Diane Marie Amann, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and the Center’s Faculty Co-Director, will lead a roundtable entitled Challenges and Prospects for International Peace and Security: UN Peacekeeping, NATO, and the UDHR at 70. To be held 9-10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28, the session also will feature Michael W. Doyle, University Professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs; Steven Hill, Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at NATO Headquarters in Brussels; Bruce Oswald, Professor and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law in the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne; and Rita Siemion, International Legal Counsel at Human Rights First.

After noting that UN Peacekeeping, NATO, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all are marking their 70th anniversaries, the roundtable description asks:

“Have they failed to deliver on their original promise or have they adapted effectively to contemporary global realities? Is their future dependent on the continuation of Western hegemony and unity? Can they adapt to the changing nature of security threats, rising powers and a waning commitment to multilateralism? Are they instruments for peace, security and the promotion of international law? What challenges and opportunities lie ahead?”

Amann also will present a tribute to Judge Patricia Wald (1928-2019) at the ASIL Women in International Law Interest Group luncheon on Friday, March 29.

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and the Center’s Faculty Co-Director, will, in his capacity as Vice Chair of ASIL’s International Legal Theory Interest Group, co-convene a workshop entitled New Perspectives in International Legal Theory. To be held 9-10:30 a.m. Friday, March 29, the workshop will feature 4 junior scholars: David Hughes, University of Michigan; Karin Loevy, New York University; Valentina Vadi, Lancaster University; and Ka Lok Yip, Hong Kong University. Commentators will be Janne Nijman, University of Amsterdam, and Greg Shaffer, University of California-Irvine.

Georgia Law faculty also will take part in ASIL side meetings: Amann, an ASIL Counsellor, will participate in the Executive Council session; Melissa J. Durkee, J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law, is Vice Chair of the Membership Committee; and Cohen is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of International Law.

Full Annual Meeting program here.

Center’s Director Emeritus, C. Donald Johnson, to receive book award Thursday at ASIL Annual Meeting

C. Donald Johnson, Director Emeritus of our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, will receive a top honor this week in recognition of his 2018 Oxford University Press book,  The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America.

The 2019 Certificate of Merit for High Technical Craftsmanship and Utility to Lawyers and Scholars (Honorable Mention) will be presented to Johnson during the 113th American Society of International Law Annual Meeting, occurring this week at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. The presentation will take place during the Assembly of the Society – of which Georgia Law is an Academic Partner – at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, March 28.

In the words of the Society:

“This honor is awarded annually, based on the recommendation of a committee of Society members, to a recent work that represents a distinguished contribution to the field.”

In his book Johnson, our Center’s Director from 2004 to 2015, traces the history of trade politics in order o explore whether the United States is better served by a free trade agenda or protectionist measures. His expertise on these issues includes prior service as Ambassador in the Office of the United States Trade Representative and as a U.S. Representative, as well as his international trade law practice as a partner at the Washington law firm Patton Boggs. Johnson earned his Georgia Law J.D. in 1973, serving as Articles Editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, and then earned an LL.M. degree in International Economic Law and International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Johnson serves on our Center’s Council, and recently visited us for a launch of his book and to present at a GJICL conference. We look forward to joining others Thursday at ASIL in celebrating his well-deserved honor.