Georgia Law’s annual Advocate magazine features our Center

SAs_Spr16

This Spring 2016 photo depicts Pedro Dorado, our Center Fellow, who earned his LLM in 2015 and is a candidate for the Georgia Law JD degree in 2017, and 4 of our Student Ambassadors. At left are Danielle Glover and Taryn Arbeiter, both now 2Ls; at right are Chanel Chauvet, now a 2L, and Olga Gambini, who earned her Georgia Law LLM in 2014 and JD in 2016.

Very pleased that our Dean Rusk International Law Center is featured in the just-released Advocate, the annual magazine of the University of Georgia School of Law. Highlights of the volume include the May 2016 commencement address of alumna Sally Yates, now Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and much more. The article recounting our 2015-16 achievements – “Center undergoes exciting changes” – appears at page 24, along with a version of the photo above. It’s reprinted here in full.

Georgia Law’s 38-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center continues to expand its collaborative efforts and increase opportunities for both students and faculty to focus on global legal issues.

Led by Associate Dean for International Programs and Strategic Initiatives & Woodruff Chair in International Law Diane Marie Amann, the center itself has a new, modernized look that also acknowledges the rich history of international scholars who have greatly influenced the direction of the law school. Artwork is a focal point, including portraits of former U.S. Secretary of State and Sibley Professor of International Law Emeritus Dean Rusk, the center’s namesake, and the inaugural holder of the Woodruff Chair in International Law, Louis B. Sohn, namesake of the center’s Sohn Library on International Relations.
At an October rededication ceremony, Kannan Rajarathinam (LL.M.’88), who serves as head of office for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, delivered a keynote address titled “The United Nations at 70: Pursuing Peace in the 21st Century.”

New to the center this year are Director of Global Practice Preparation Kathleen A. Doty, Administrative Assistant Martica Marín and Executive Administrator Elena Williams. They join Amann and Director of International Professional Education Laura Tate Kagel (J.D.’06). Assisting them are second-year student Pedro Dorado, the Dean Rusk International Law Center Fellow, and about one dozen other student ambassadors, who provide research and other support.

In addition to hiring new staff, the center broadened its adviser base. The Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, comprising faculty, alumni/alumnae and counselors, includes lawyers practicing in a variety of international and transnational law subfields throughout the world.
Center initiatives include study abroad in Europe and opportunities to obtain practice experience through the Global Externship At-Home and Global Externship Overseas. GEA offers placements within the United States in legal departments, government offices and nongovernmental organizations, while GEO offers summer placements in a variety of law-office settings around the world.

Numerous events are planned for the 2016–17 academic year. Among them is a Sept. 23 conference – sponsored by the center, the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross – at which experts will examine the new Geneva Convention Commentary edited by ICRC Legal Advisor Jean-Marie Henckaerts (LL.M.’90).

Dean Rusk and the dissent channel

March 18, 1967. Afternoon. Secretary of State Dean Rusk conducts a briefing on Vietnam for state governors in the Fish Room of the White House.

At the White House, with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance, US Secretary of State Dean Rusk briefs US governors on the US-Vietnam War. The briefing took place March 18, 1967, not long before Rusk set up a “dissent channel” for State Department diplomats frustrated by US foreign policy. (photo credit)

In my current role as leader of the 38-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, I tend to take a close look at any reference to our Center’s namesake, Dean Rusk, who served as the only Secretary of State to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

And so it is with the US diplomatic topic du mois, the “dissent channel” at the Department of State.

This channel is much in the news these days, on account of a Page 1 New York Times story leaking a dissent-channel letter by 51 diplomats at State who want more use of force in Syria than President Barack Obama to date has authorized. (Worth-reading questions about the “leak” here.) And then there was yesterday’s Times story by Ellen Barry, about a dissent-channel “Blood Letter” that forestalled career advancement for the eponymous letter-writing diplomat.

Quite a surprise, amid all this, to read this explanation of the dissent channel, in a transcript of the June 17 Daily Press Briefing by a State Department spokesperson:

“This procedure, this vehicle has been in place since Secretary of State Dean Rusk was in office in 1971.”

Why a surprise? Because by 1971, Rusk was regaling Georgia Law students as the revered Sibley Professor of International Law.

At the briefing, an unnamed reporter took immediate issue with the spokesperson’s account:

QUESTION: And just – can we be clear about when it actually began? Because Rusk, I think, was gone by ’69 when the Nixon Administration came in. So I don’t think he was Secretary of State in 1971, but I could certainly be mistaken.

[ANSWER]: I think it was 1971 and —

QUESTION: Okay.

[ANSWER]: — my reading of the history said that Rusk had something to do with it. But I’m not going to quibble with you —

QUESTION: No, no.

[ANSWER]: — over the history of the program.

Uncharacteristic of these kind of transcripts, the spokesperson’s assertion is supported by a footnote [1]. It says only “William P. Rogers.” That’s the name of the man who became Secretary of State in 1969, after Rusk left government service for the last time. But a quick look at Rusk’s bio on the Department’s site would have confirmed the premise of the reporter’s question.

So what’s right, and wrong?

On the small point of timing, the spokesperson is wrong. But on the larger point of establishing a channel for dissent, unique among the world’s diplomatic services, the account is spot on. To quote a memorial published the year that Rusk died, in the Department’s own publication, Dispatch:

Dean Rusk left his mark not only on the nation and the world, but also on the Department of State as an institution. At a time of tremendous domestic social change, he encouraged minorities and women to enter the Foreign Service. He established the Dissent Channel and the Open Forum to give members of the Department alternative ways to make their foreign policy views known.

Exchange of Notes débuts

We at the Dean Rusk International Law Center are very pleased to announce the début of Exchange of Notes.

With this web platform, we look forward to giving news of events and initiatives at the Center, which has served since 1977 as the nucleus for global research, education, and service at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Exchange of Notes also will provide brief accounts – drafted by our community of faculty, staff, and students – of developments in international law, research, and policy.

Picture1As international lawyers well know, “exchange of notes / échanges des notes” refers to a series of documents, signed by diplomats or similar high-ranking officials, by which countries may enter into agreements. (image credit) The term bears special meaning for us, given that our namesake is former Georgia Law Professor Dean Rusk, whose role in the Cabinets of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson ranks him as the 2d-longest serving Secretary of State.

We look forward to our own long run.