Climate change innovation to be explored February 10 at Georgia Law’s 35th annual Red Clay Conference

“Climate Change Innovation: Stakeholders and Tools” is the title of the Red Clay Conference to be held Friday, February 10, 2023, here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

This will mark the 35th annual edition of the student-run conference, which was established to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Cosponsoring the event are the law school and its students’ Environmental Law Association, led this year by 2L Hannah Jellema and 3L Anna Scartz, president and vice president, respectively.

Here’s the program for the conference, which will take place in the Larry Walker Room on the 4th floor of Dean Rusk Hall:

➣ 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks

Opening the conference will be Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law.

➣ 9:10 a.m. Panel 1, Roles of Humans

Addressing the impact of climate change on agriculture, urban environments, and environmental justice communities will be: Pam Knox, Director of the UGA Weather Network and an agricultural climatologist within the university’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Tawana Mattox, Director of Community Education & Empowerment and Neighborhood Sustainability Project Manager at the Athens Land Trust; and Professor J. Marshall Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. Shana Jones, Assistant Director of Strategic Operations & Planning Assistance at the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government, will moderate.

➣ 10:55 a.m. Panel 2, Rights of Nature

Examining how the rights-of-nature doctrine can be used to combat climate change will be: Chuck O’Neal, Speak Up Wekiva, Florida; Eduardo Salazar-Ortuño, Associate Professor of Law, University of Murcia, Spain (via Zoom); and Kekek Stark, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law, University of Montana. Georgia Law Associate Professor Christian Turner will moderate.

➣ 12:55 p.m. Peter Appel Honorary Keynote

Marilyn A. Brown, Regents’ and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech, will discuss her experience in policy work aimed at acceleration the implementation of sustainable energy sources and technology.

➣ 2:10 p.m. Panel 3, Responsibilities of Corporations

Exploring how corporate governance can reduce environmental externalities will be: Christopher M. Bruner, Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law at Georgia Law; Kelly Rondinelli, Associate – Environmental & Natural Resources at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Washington, D.C.; and Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law and Director of the Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law School. Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, will moderate.

➣ 3:25 p.m. Closing Remarks

Closing the conference will be Adam D. Orford, Assistant Professor of Law and Faculty Advisor of the Environmental Law Association at Georgia Law.

Attorneys licensed in Georgia can earn 4 CLE credits by attending the conference (pending approval by the state bar’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education).

Details and conference registration here.

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.

Stockholm Declaration conference: link to video of Shelton keynote and panel on international environmental law’s future

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A superb third panel and keynote speech concluded “The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law” conference that we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law at the University of Georgia School of Law hosted on October 8.

Following on our prior posts outlining the first and second parts of our daylong conference, we’re pleased in this post to recap the final segment, video of which is available here. (The full series, meanwhile, is available here.)

It begins with the third panel of the conference, entitled “International Environmental Law’s Future,” and moderated by MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law (pictured above, middle right). Joining her were 4 panelists (pictured clockwise from bottom center): Lakshman D. Guruswamy, Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at Colorado Law; Jutta Brunnée, Dean, University Professor, and James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in Canada; Cymie Payne, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Ecology and the School of Law, Rutgers University; and Rebecca M. Bratspies, Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform at CUNY Law.

Together, they consider the part of Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration that declares:

“[Humankind] bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.”

In light of that statement, panelists examined the major successes and failures of the last half-century of international environmental law, and, imagining a “2022 Stockholm Declaration,” they considered how to prioritize environmental protection efforts going forward.

Then follows “Stockholm Plus 50: Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or Shattered?,” the keynote address by Dinah L. Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law Emeritus at George Washington University School of Law. In it, Shelton sounds an urgent call to action to ensure protection from the worst effects of climate change, especially for the most vulnerable populations.

Kimberlee Styple, GJICL Editor-in-Chief, then delivers closing remarks.

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.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen takes part in AALS roundtable on law, international economic security

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of Dean Rusk International Law Center, participated in a roundtable on “Changing Concepts of International Economic Security & the Law” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.

Organized by Kathleen Claussen (University of Miami School of Law), other participants in the AALS roundtable included: Anupam Chander (Georgetown University Law Center), Jennifer Daskal (American University, Washington College of Law), Kristen Eichensehr (University of California, Los Angeles School of Law), J. Benton Heath (New York University School of Law), Jide O. Nzelibe (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law), Aaron D. Simowitz (Willamette University College of Law), Anna Spain Bradley (University of Colorado Law School), and Edward T. Swaine (The George Washington University Law School). (credit for photos)

Participants convened to discuss emergent global tensions between economics and national security and how the relevant legal regimes – trade, investment, development, finance, and national security – might respond. Among the topics of discussion were two papers by Professor Cohen:

one that discusses domestic national security delegations to the Executive Branch in the United States; and

another, “Nations and Markets,” that attempts to diagnose the causes of current global conflicts over jobs, data, climate change, and beyond (prior post).

Global Governance Summer School explores developments in climate change and international commerce

LEUVEN – After a full day of professional development briefings yesterday, students at the Georgia Law-Leuven Global Governance School returned to the classroom today. They took part in four lectures exploring developments in climate change and international commerce:

First, Professor Katja Biedenkopf (right), Assistant Professor at Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) at KU Leuven and an expert in European Union environmental and climate policy, addressed climate change. She focused on the international instruments at play, in particular the Paris Agreement. Professor Biedenkopf also highlighted challenges to climate change governance and encouraged students to consider international, regional, and local solutions.

Second, Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge (left), Dean of the University of Georgia School of Law, provided an introduction to international dispute resolution. He led students through a hypothetical cross-border dispute, thereby introducing the architecture of the international dispute resolution framework. He highlighted the differences between arbitration, mediation, and litigation.

Georgia Law professor Usha Rodrigues (right), provided the final two lectures of the day. A corporate governance scholar, she first provided an overview of international economic law and trade, and covered topics such as finance, international monetary policy, investment, tax, and transnational business transactions. She closed the afternoon with an exploration of comparative corporate governance, including how rules have developed across states, and how conflicts between management and shareholders or between majority and minority shareholders are resolved in different contexts.

Tomorrow, students will participate in an international conference on democracy and the rule of law in the European Union, as part of the RECONNECT project. In the meantime, they’ll spend the evening celebrating the 4th of July as expats in Belgium.

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?