Georgia Law scholars MJ Durkee and Harlan Cohen to take part next week in International Law Weekend, annual meeting of American Branch of International Law Association

Two scholars on the international law faculty here at the University of Georgia School of Law will take part next week in International Law Weekend 2021, the annual meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association. Typically held in New York, the meeting, for which Georgia Law is proud to be a Gold-Level Sponsor, will take place online this year on account of the pandemic. This year’s theme is “Reinvesting in International Law.” Registration is now open here.

Both professors will be featured on Friday, October 29 – as follows:

9-10:15 a.m. Outsourcing International Responsibility

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, will moderate and contribute to this panel, which will consider how attribution is handled in the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts issued twenty years ago by the United Nations’ International Law Commission. Durkee and other panelists – Kristen Boon of Seton Hall Law, Chimène Keitner of California-Hastings Law, and Alex Mills of the Faculty of Laws at University College London – will consider the following question:

When the state outsources public functions to private actors and holds stock in private companies, when should it be responsible for environmental disasters, military activities, cyber-attacks, and other violations of international law?

10:30-11:45 a.m. The Geopolitics of Economic Competition

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, will moderate this panel, which will map the new terrain of global competitive anxiety. Panelists Lauren Brown (Georgia Law JD’19) of Squire Patton Boggs, Sarah Bauerle Danzman of Indiana University Bloomington, Margaret Lewis of Seton Hall Law, and Henrique Choer Moraes of the Embassy of Brazil in New Zealand, will lay out various state policies being adopted, explores the choices facing those caught in the potential crosshairs, and further consider the ways in which international law and its regimes are being challenged, restructured, and reformed. The discussion promises to tell a story of flux and change from the viewpoint of the globe, the state, and the individual.

The full ILW program, which includes keynote addresses by many dignitaries, is here. Registration, which is free for students, is here.

Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen awarded Jackson Prize for his JIEL article “Nations and Markets”

The world’s leading international economic law publication has awarded its top scholarship honor to Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Cohen is the winner of the 2020 John H. Jackson Prize, bestowed by the Board of Editors of the Journal of International Economic Law, for his article “Nations and Markets” (prior posts).

As stated on the website of this Oxford University Press journal, the prize is named after its founding editor, John Howard Jackson (1932-2015), who, in the course of his career teaching law at Georgetown, Michigan, and Berkeley, kept “a keen eye on new developments and novel systemic interactions in the field beyond the four corners” of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization. With an aim to “underlining the importance of construing international economic law in this broader, ever changing perspective,” the Jackson Prize “is awarded annually to the article or other contribution in the JIEL that most significantly breaks new ground and adds new insights to the study and understanding of international economic law, especially in fields beyond a self-contained analysis of WTO law.”

Published in December 2020, Cohen’s “Nations and Markets” appears in volume 23, issue 4, of the peer-reviewed journal, at pages 793-815, and is available online here. Here’s the abstract:

Economics and security seem increasingly intertwined. Citing national security, states subject foreign investments to new scrutiny, even unwinding mergers. The provision of 5G has become a diplomatic battleground—Huawei at its center. Meanwhile, states invoke national security to excuse trade wars. The USA invoked the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade national security exception to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, threatening more on automotive parts. Russia invoked that provision to justify its blockade of Ukraine, as did Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to excuse theirs of Qatar. And with the spread of COVID-19, states are invoking national security to scrutinize supply lines. Multiplying daily, such stories have led some observers to dub the era one of geoeconomics. Nonetheless, these developments remain difficult to judge, and the relationship between economics and national security remains confused and slippery. The essay seeks clarity in the deeper logic of these labels, revealing a fundamental choice between the logics of markets and the logics of state. Whether invoked to ‘secure’ borders, privacy, health, the environment, or jobs, ‘national security’ is a claim about the proper location of policymaking. Appeals to economics, with their emphasis on global welfare and global person-to-person relationships, are such claims as well. Resolving disputes, this essay argues, requires recognizing these root choices.

Associate Dean MJ Durkee’s “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” in Virginia Law Review

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs and Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” in 107 Virginia Law Review 431 (2021).

Here’s the abstract of this latest publication by Durkee, who also holds the title of Allen Post Professor of Law:

Private actors interpret legal norms, a phenomenon I call “interpretive entrepreneurship.” The phenomenon is particularly significant in the international context, where many disputes are not subject to judicial resolution, and there is no official system of precedent. Interpretation can affect the meaning of laws over time. For this reason, it can be a form of “post hoc” international lawmaking, worth studying alongside other forms of international lobbying and norm entrepreneurship by private actors. The Article identifies and describes the phenomenon through a series of case studies that show how, why, and by whom it unfolds. The examples focus on entrepreneurial activity by business actors and cast a wide net, examining aircraft finance, space mining, modern slavery, and investment law. As a matter of theory, this process-based account suggests that international legal interpretation involves contests for meaning among diverse groups of actors, giving credence to critical and constructivist views of international legal interpretation. As a practical matter, the case studies show that interpretive entrepreneurship is an influence tool and a driver of legal change.

The article is available both at SSRN and at the Virginia Law Review website.

Georgia Law Professor Durkee presents “Interpretive Entrepeneurs” at annual meeting of Law and Society Association

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented her scholarship at the 2021 annual meeting of the Law and Society Association.

Durkee’s presentation, “Interpretive Entrepreneurs: Business, Interpretive Lobbying, and International Legal Change,” drew from her paper available here.

Her talk formed part of a panel on “Global Legal Pluralism: Perspectives on International, Transnational, and Multilevel Governance.” Chaired by George Washington Law Professor Paul Schiff Berman, the panel also included Law Professors Elies van Sliedregt of the University of Leeds, England, Frédéric Mégret of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and Erin Ryan of Florida State University, Tallahassee.

Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen presents “Nations and Markets” to University of Trento, Italy

Harlan Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently gave an online presentation of his new article “Nations and Markets” at Italy’s University of Trento School of International Studies.

Available at SSRN, “Nations and Markets” was published in December in the peer-reviewed Journal of International Economic Law.

Its description:

“Economics and security seem increasingly intertwined. Citing national security, states subject foreign investments to new scrutiny, even unwinding mergers. The provision of 5G has become a diplomatic battleground—Huawei at its center. Meanwhile, states invoke national security to excuse trade wars. The USA invoked the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade national security exception to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, threatening more on automotive parts. Russia invoked that provision to justify its blockade of Ukraine, as did Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to excuse theirs of Qatar. And with the spread of COVID-19, states are invoking national security to scrutinize supply lines. Multiplying daily, such stories have led some observers to dub the era one of geoeconomics.

“Nonetheless, these developments remain difficult to judge, and the relationship between economics and national security remains confused and slippery. The essay seeks clarity in the deeper logic of these labels, revealing a fundamental choice between the logics of markets and the logics of state. Whether invoked to ‘secure’ borders, privacy, health, the environment, or jobs, ‘national security’ is a claim about the proper location of policymaking. Appeals to economics, with their emphasis on global welfare and global person-to-person relationships, are such claims as well. Resolving disputes, this essay argues, requires recognizing these root choices.”

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee discusses “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” at St. John’s international law colloquium

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” as part of the annual colloquium at the Center for International and Comparative Law, St. John’s University School of Law, New York.

Durkee’s article on the subject is forthcoming in the Virginia Law Review

Georgia Law Prof. Cohen presents “Nations and Markets” at International Economic Law and Policy seminar

Harlan Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented his paper, “Nations and Markets,” in the International Economic Law and Policy work-in-progress seminar.

IELAP is a London-based series (currently online) convened by: Dr. Federico Ortino, Reader of International Economic Law, King’s College London; Dr. Lauge Poulsen, Associate Professor in International Political Economy and Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science, University College London; and Dr. Mona Pinchis-Paulsen , Assistant Professor at the Department of Law, London School of Economics.

Georgia Law Professor Bruner presents on corporations and sustainability in University of Oslo Law forum

Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented yesterday in Company Law Forum, a video-seminar offered by Research Group Companies, Markets and Sustainability, a unit within the University of Oslo Faculty of Law.

The Research Group described Bruner’s presentation, “Private Power and Public Good: Harnessing the Corporation for a Sustainable Future”, as follows:

The corporate form is widely described, and on some accounts defined, by reference to a core set of purportedly fixed, intrinsic attributes. Such depictions of the corporate form typically reflect strong assumptions about which corporate constituencies should be regarded as internal participants in the corporation, and go hand-in-glove with strong theoretical claims about the corporation’s core utility and corporate law’s correlative content. Christopher Bruner argues, however, that such rigid and static depictions of the corporate form and corporate law have fundamentally misconstrued the nature of the entity, giving rise to a host of corporate pathologies that include excessive risk-taking and cost externalization without regard for environmental and social impacts.

Such hidebound conceptions of the corporation have effectively sacrificed the flexibility and dynamism of the corporate form, thereby obscuring potential governance-related regulatory options that could offer promising solutions to a host of vexing problems. In his new book project, tentatively titled Private Power and Public Good: Harnessing the Corporation for a Sustainable Future, Bruner will re-conceptualize the corporation, not as a fixed and rigid set of legal characteristics but rather as a dynamic legal technology that can be calibrated and re-calibrated in varying contexts, and over time, in response to a dynamic landscape. He will then build upon that framework to explore the corporation’s potential to contribute to environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Georgia Law Professors Cohen, Durkee present at Miami Law for ASIL international economic law biennial

Two international law experts here at the University of Georgia School of Law presented their scholarship and took part in panel discussions at “Designing International Economic Law: Challenges and Opportunities,” an American Society of International Law biennial conference held last week at the University of Miami School of Law.

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center, presented “Nations and Markets,” and also participated in a roundtable on “Critical Perspectives on International Economic Law.”

Professor Melissa J. Durkee, J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law, presented “Interpretive Entrepreneurs and the Re-Design of International Economic Law.”

The 2-day conference included scholars and practitioners from Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey, as well as the United States.

(photo credits here and here)

Cohen presents “Nations and Markets” at Michigan Law workshop

Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of Dean Rusk International Law Center, recently presented “Nations and Markets” at the International Law Workshop at the University of Michigan Law School.

Led by Michigan Law Professor Monica Hakimi, this course features presentations and discussions of works in progress by leading international legal scholars. In addition to Professor Cohen, the Spring 2020 course will include presentations by professors from Cornell Law, Max Planck-Hamburg, Temple Law, University College London, Northwestern Law, California-Berkeley Law, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.