Professor Cohen’s AJIL essay on “Multilateralism’s Life-Cycle” at SSRN

Harlan Grant Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, has posted a chapter entitled “Multilateralism’s Life-Cycle,” which will appear in a forthcoming issue of volume 112 of the American Journal of International Law.

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 for this essay by Professor Cohen, an expert in global governance and member of the AJIL Board of Editors:

Does multilateralism have a life-cycle? Perhaps paradoxically, this essay suggests that current pressures on multilateralism and multilateral institutions, including threatened withdrawals by the United Kingdom from the European Union, the United States from the Paris climate change agreement, South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia from the International Criminal Court, and others, may be natural symptoms of those institutions’ relative success. Successful multilateralism and multilateral institutions, this essay argues, has four intertwined effects, which together, make continued multilateralism more difficult: (1) the wider dispersion of wealth or power among members, (2) the decreasing value for members of issue linkages, (3) changing assessment of multilateral institutions’ value in the face of increased effectiveness, and (4) members’ increased focus on relative or positional gains over absolute ones. Exploring how each of these manifests in the world today, this essay suggests that current stresses on multilateralism may best be understood as the natural growing pains of an increasingly mature set of institutions. The open question going forward is what form the next stage of development will take. Will strategies of multilateralism continue or will they be replaced by smaller clubs and more local approaches?

Fitting tribute for Georgia Law Prof. Louis B. Sohn (1914-2006): conference and plaque in Lviv, city of his birth

Since arriving at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2011, I have had the very great honor of holding the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law – a chair established decades ago to welcome the renowned international lawyer and academic, Louis B. Sohn (prior posts). Professor Sohn’s record of achievement as an author and teacher, and his public service as well, is an inspiration. Indeed, his oil portrait greets me whenever I step a few doors from my office and into the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations, both situated in our law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center.

Peter Trooboff, Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., and former President of the American Society of International Law, speaks at the ceremony unveiling Sohn’s plaque, affixed to a building in Lviv where Sohn once lived. Thanks for this photo are due to ASIL President-Elect Sean Murphy, who attended the ceremony along with Trooboff and another former ASIL President, Lori Fisler Damrosch.

I was thus very pleased to contribute, along with many others (including some of my Georgia Law colleagues), to the recent commemoration of Professor Sohn in the city of his birth: Lviv, Ukraine, known as Lwów, or Lemberg, and located in Poland, when he was born there on March 1, 1914. As detailed in Philippe Sands‘ masterful 2016 book, East West Street, the city was home not only to Sohn, but also to two other 20th C. giants of international law, Hersh Lauterpacht (1897-1960) and Raphael Lemkin (1914-2006).

The commemoration took place last November in Lviv. Featured were a workshop and conference, a multimedia art performance, and the unveiling of 3 plaques, each honoring one of these sons of Lviv.

Sohn’s plaque, depicted below, includes a photo, short bio, and 1981 quote of Sohn, in two languages/alphabets. The English version says:

Louis B. Sohn

1914-2006 Lemberg/Lwów-Washington, D.C.

graduate of law faculty and diplomatic science of Jan Kazimierz University (now Lviv University); renowned international lawer, professor at Harvard University, University of Georgia and George Washington University; President, American Society of International Law (1988-1990); participant in drafting the United Nations Charter and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

To deny the existence of an international law of human rights at this time is no longer defensible (1981)

1932-1935 Lived in this building

This plaque has been made possible with the support of the City of Lviv, the Center for Urban History, family, friends and colleagues

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Thoughts on ASIL annual meeting, by Sohn Fellow Johann Ebongom

Johann Ebongom, one of several Georgia Law students who traveled to Washington last month as Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellows, reflects below on that experience. This Saturday Ebongom, a lawyer from Cameroon, will receive his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree at our commencement ceremony.

From April 12-15, I, along with University of Georgia School of Law classmates, volunteered at the 111th annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C. What a great networking occasion for young students interested in the legal management of international affairs and the development of a stronger and more efficient international rule of law.

I was so excited to be offered an opportunity to be a privileged observer of one the world’s biggest and most prestigious international law gatherings, particularly in a time when most nations have adopted new policies towards the protection of their interests and the security of their citizens. With the Brexit in Europe, the Syrian crisis in Middle East, the North Korean nuclear tests, the relationship between African countries and the International Criminal Court, and the recent foreign-policy-related decisions of the current President of the United States of America, no need to say that this year’s ASIL meeting was a decisive one! As an LL.M. student at Georgia Law who has a keen interest in global affairs, I could not ask for a better way to strengthen my analysis and understanding for future research.

For three days, I had the great fortune to listen and interact with experts, scholars, judges, and practitioners coming from various institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, and the U.S. Department of State, among others. Several people shared with me valuable career advice. This experience was further highlighted by an in-depth exchange with Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC, on the inevitable collaboration between the ICC and the soon-to-be-established African Court of Justice, which will lead to a reform of the current hierarchical organization of the international criminal justice system. Also, I enjoyed meeting Georgia Law alums – whom I’ve found always willing to assist.

The conference principally questioned the values of international law at a time when the world is subject to several events that might well compromise the value of international frameworks most nations had once believed in. The main highlighted issue seems to reside in the application or implementation of international law principles. Nations usually sign and ratify international conventions; however, these are far from being implemented, precisely in countries that are powerful enough to bypass the international order to preserve their interests.

It was an honor and privilege to represent Georgia Law as an LL.M. student. Being present for this year’s annual meeting was an inspiration for me, to one day enter the conversation in the hopes of creating a more just, more livable, and more connected world. I am very grateful to the Dean Rusk International Law Center for all its efforts and support in ensuring we have an unforgettable and fruitful time at the University of Georgia School of Law.

For other international law-minded Georgia Law students: Participating in an ASIL annual meeting is a good start to meet the international law community and benefit from invaluable advice! Do not hesitate to join next time.

(Cross-posted); prior Exchanges of Notes posts for which Johann Ebongom was a co-author here and here)

 

Washington week: Our Louis B. Sohn Fellows’ tour of D.C. monuments

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Gathering before the D.C. memorial to Atlanta-based Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: from left, Lyddy O’Brien, Chanel Chauvet, Nelly Sandra Ndounteng, Taryn Arbeiter, Kathleen A. Doty, Johann Ebongom, and Eric Health

During the 2017 American Society of International Law Annual Meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C., members of our University of Georgia School of Law community took a break from volunteering to spend an evening touring the monuments on the National Mall.

On the tour were Georgia Law students who traveled from our Athens campus thanks to Louis B. Sohn Professional Development Fellowship grants awarded by the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center; they are: 1L Lyddy O’Brien, 2L Chanel Chauvet, and LLM candidates Johann Ebongom and Nelly Sandra Ndounteng. Chanel took part in the Annual Meeting as the recipient of a scholarship from the Blacks in ASIL Task Force, and the other Sohn Fellows volunteered at the annual meeting. They were joined in D.C. by another Annual Meeting volunteer, 2L Taryn Arbeiter, who is completing a full-time externship at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as part of Georgia Law’s D.C. Semester in Practice initiative.

Pick 2.jpgLeading the monuments tour were Kathleen A. Doty, Director of Global Practice Preparation at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Eric Heath, who earned his Georgia Law J.D. degree in 2015 and now practices in D.C. as a Legislative Staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to MLK, the group visited the Lincoln, Korean War, and Roosevelt memorials. Afterwards, they shared a meal before returning to the ASIL events.

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Amann elected Counselor of the American Society of International Law

Delighted to congratulate our own Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann on her election as Counselor of the American Society of International Law.

Founded in 1907, ASIL is the foremost learned society in the international law field. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., ASIL fosters dialogue, hosts and cosponsors conferences, and produces the American Journal of International Law and other publications, on behalf of its thousands of members throughout the world.

ASIL’s governing board is the Executive Council. Advising and serving as nonvoting members of the Council are Counselors, senior ASIL members who have made significant contributions to the Society and to the study and development of international law. Amann was elected to the position at ASIL’s Annual Meeting earlier this month.

Amann’s election followed her service in many ASIL leadership positions: Vice President; Co-Chair of the 2012 ASIL Annual Meeting in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia; voting member of the Executive Council and its Executive Committee; Grotius Lecture Distinguished Discussant; and member of the ABA-ASIL Joint Task Force on Treaties in U.S. Law,  the Blacks in ASIL Task Force, the ASIL Judicial Advisory Board, and Program Committees for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington and for the 2007 ASIL-AALS Midyear Meeting in Vancouver. She is Editor-in-Chief of the ASIL Benchbook on International Law, and also has published in the American Journal of International Law, ASIL Annual Meeting Proceedings, and the ASIL-produced Proceedings of the International Humanitarian Law Dialogs.

In 2013, Amann received the Prominent Woman in International Law Award from ASIL’s Women in International Law Interest Group. Above, she delivers her award speech at the Annual Meeting while a cutout of Eleanor Roosevelt looks on.

At the University of Georgia School of Law – an ASIL Academic Partner – Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. Since 2015, she also has served as Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives; her duties include directing the law school’s 40-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. She teaches and publishes widely on issues related to public international law, international and transnational criminal law, the laws of war, international human rights law, and children & international law. She has served since 2012 as the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

Cohen elected to American Journal of International Law Board of Editors

Delighted to congratulate our own Professor Harlan G. Cohen on his election to the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law.

AJIL, as it’s known, is the flagship publication of the Washington, D.C.-based American Society of International Law. Both were founded in 1907, with U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root serving as ASIL’s 1st President, and scholar-diplomat James Brown Scott serving as AJIL‘s 1st top editor. Today, the quarterly Journal feature articles, editorials, and notes and comments by pre-eminent scholars. It’s not only one of the oldest, but also one of the most-cited peer-reviewed journals in international law and international relations.

Cohen’s election came earlier this month, when the AJIL Board met during ASIL’s Annual Meeting. It’s a well deserved honor for Cohen, who’s served for a number of years as Managing Editor of AJIL Unbound, the journal’s online platform, and held several ASIL leadership positions.

A member of our University of Georgia School of Law faculty since 2007, Cohen publishes and teaches in a range of international law areas, including trade, foreign affairs, global governance, and human rights. He is the inaugural holder of the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professorship in International Law.

He contributes immensely to the initiatives of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, serving, among other things, as faculty advisor to our Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law (he was a principal organizer this academic year of the Georgia Law-International Committee of the Red Cross conference on the ICRC’s 2016 Commentary) and leader of our 10th International Law Colloquium series.

Alums Kaitlin Ball and Eric Heath publish in International Legal Materials

Delighted to see the bylines of 2 recent graduates of the University of Georgia School of Law in the newest edition of International Legal Materials.

An American Society of International Law publication, ILM reprints decisions, treaties, and other newly issued documents reflecting important developments in international law. Each is preceded by an Introductory Note which explains and analyzes the document. Contributing such Notes to Volume 56, Issue 1, of ILM –  available online via open access for a limited period – are:

Kaitlin M. Ball (J.D. 2014), who is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics & International Studies, University of Cambridge, England. While at Georgia Law, Kaitlin served as Student President of the worldwide International Law Students Association, and was a Global Extern at the U.S. Department of State Office of Legal Adviser for Private International Law, at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and at the nongovernmental organization Human Rights League in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her ILM Introductory Note is entitled “African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection.”

Eric A. Heath (J.D. 2015), who serves on the Legislative Staff of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pennsylvania) in Washington, D.C. Immediately before taking that position, Eric served as an ASIL Fellow and also earned his LL.M. degree in International Economic Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. While at Georgia Law, he was a Global Extern at UNESCO, in Paris, France, and published in our Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law. His ILM Introductory Note is entitled “Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Kigali Amendment).”