Georgia Law dean, alumnus co-author essay on human rights lawsuits in US

Alien Tort Cases Will Survive Supreme Court Trim,” predicts an essay published Monday in the Daily Report. Co-authoring the essay were Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Herman Talmadge Chair and Dean at the University of Georgia School of Law, and Michael Baker (JD’18), a Law Clerk for Superior Court Judge Ron Mullins, Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. (Among other achievements, Baker served last year as Executive Conference Editor for the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.)

In their essay, Rutledge and Baker noted that in the last several decades federal courts have adjudicated many lawsuits testing the scope of the Alien Tort Statute of 1789, which states:

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.

Most recently, that litigation gave rise to the April 2018 decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the statute does not permit suits against foreign corporations.

Taking issue with commentators who have viewed Jesner as “a blow … to the cause of human rights,” the essay outlined, with references to other federal cases, “three anticipated battlegrounds in future ATS litigation.” Specifically, the decision in Jesner leaves open:

  1. Whether the statute precludes suits against all corporate defendants, or just against foreign corporations.
  2. Whether corporate officers remain liable even if lawsuits may not proceed against the corporation with which they are affiliated.
  3. What is the “degree of domestic conduct necessary for the ATS to have effect.”

The authors thus conclude:

“[T]he only certainty is that ATS litigation remains a ripe area for international human rights litigation.”

Their full essay is here.

International Law Society hosts gathering of globally minded students

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International Law Society leadership, from left: Hanna Karimipour, President; Sam Hatcher, Treasurer; and Caitlin Felt, Social Chair

The International Law Society, the University of Georgia School of Law chapter of the worldwide International Law Students Association, hosted a mixer at the end of last week to welcome new globally minded students to their community.

3Co-sponsored by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the mixer took place last Thursday in the law school’s Eversheds Sutherland Courtyard. This much-anticipated event afforded JD, LLM, and MSL students the chance to relax and learn from each other’s interests and experiences.

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Several faculty members, including Professors Diane Marie Amann, Christopher Bruner (near right), Rob McNiff (far right), and Dan Coenen, dropped by to learn about students’ international ambitions and share their own unique advice and experiences. Staff of the Dean Rusk International Law Center was also on hand to discuss the Center’s international initiatives such as Global Externships Overseas, the Global Governance Summer School, and upcoming events.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Hanna Karimipour, International Law Society President. She gave an overview of the chapter and of opportunities afforded to its members. Kathleen A. Doty, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, then provided information about upcoming events and initiatives at the Center.

 

A warm thank you to all who were able to attend.

Human rights, criminal justice, NATO, business practice, reception with Georgia Law alums: Global Governance Summer School day 3, Brussels

Professor Amann, Ana Sofie Silveira, Lucia Hakala, Eunjun Kim, Bryant Oliver, Professor Doty, NATO Legal Adviser Steven Hill, Hanna Karimipour, Maddie Neel, Julian Skoruppa, Brooke Carrington, Saif Ahmed, Caroline Harvey, Mills Culver, and Frances Plunkett

BRUSSELS – A variety of briefings in this Belgium capital, and home of many European Union institutions, highlighted day 3 of the Global Governance School that our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center offers with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven, one of Europe’s premier research institutions.

Our cohort of students from Georgia Law and multiple European universities first traveled to the Brussels office of No Peace Without Justice (left), a nongovernmental organization founded a quarter-century ago to promote “the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice.” There Alison A. Smith (left), Legal Counsel and Director of the organization’s International Criminal Justice Program, took part in a dialogue on “International Human Rights Lawyering” with Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors. Then the organization’s Secretary-General, Niccolò A. Figà-Talamanca, described the Rome diplomatic conference that led to adoption in 1998 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Next, Steven Hill, Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, outlined the work of his office, where an 8-lawyer team serves as counsel to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenburg and further liaises with NATO lawyers throughout the world. He then discussed key issues likely to be discussed at next week’s NATO Summit. (Preparations for that meeting of member states’ heads of state and government precluded a visit to the new NATO headquarters; we are grateful to the Brussels law firm Van Bael & Bellis for providing the lovely conference room, pictured above, where our students met with Hill.)

Finally, we made our way to the Brussels office of Sidley Austin LLP. There Stephen Spinks (Georgia Law JD’76), a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council, led a presentation on key areas of global business practice at his office. Spinks is the immediate past managing partner of that office, and a well-known lawyer expert in matters related to EU competition (in effect, antitrust) law and trade law. Assisting in the presentation by Spinks (standing, at left) were 4 additional Sidley lawyers. From left: Dr. Michele Boggiani, who spoke on anti-corruption and life sciences law, Paul Greaves, on data privacy law, Anne Robert, on competition law, and Dr. Bregt Natens, on trade law.

The day concluded with a lively reception that Sidley kindly hosted. Participants included our students, firm attorneys, Center Director Kathleen A. Doty and myself, Sidley attorneys including Wim Nauwelaerts (LLM’94), an alumnus and head of the firm’s data privacy group, plus other Georgia Law graduates. These included: Johan De Bruycker (LLM’90), General Counsel, Ageas, Brussels; Porter Elliott (JD’96), the Van Bael & Bellis partner who helped secure a room for the morning NATO presentation; Daniel J. Felz (JD’09), an associate at Alston & Bird LLP; Professor Erik Franckxx (LLM’83), Professor of Law Director of the Department of International and European Law at Vrije Universiteit Brussel; and Dr. Christof Siefarth (LLM’86), a partner at GÖRG law firm in Cologne, Germany, and member of our Center’s Council.

Our group returns to Brussels tomorrow, to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, to take part in Reconnect: Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law, a conference kicking off a 4-year-research project among 18 partners, including our partner institution, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven.

Contemporary challenges to global trade and sustainable development the focus of 2018 Georgia Law-Leuven Centre Global Governance Summer School day 2

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Global Governance Summer School students and faculty at the Central Library at Leuven. From Left: Professor Doty, Lucia Halala, Ana Sofia Silveira, Sarah Brugger, Hanna Karimipour, Caroline Harvey, Saif-Ullah Ahmed, Frances Plunkett, Brooke Carrington, Julian Skoruppa, Maddie Neel, Bryant Oliver, Mills Culver, Professor Cohen.

LEUVEN – Fresh from a walking tour of this centuries-old university city (top), not to mention last night’s celebrations in the Oude Markt plaza of Belgium’s breathtaking World Cup win, students in our 2018 Georgia Law-Leuven Centre Global Governance Summer School returned to the classroom today to explore contemporary challenges in the areas of global trade and sustainable development.

They took part in four lectures on the subject:IMG_2537 (1)

1st, Dr. Jan Van Hove (left), Professor of European and International Economics at KU Leuven, presented “A Political Economic Perspective on Global Economic and Trade Governance,” focusing on the changing landscape of global trade, including disruptions to traditional trade regimes.

IMG_25492d, Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen (right), Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, lectured on “Global Economic and Trade Law.” His lecture highlighted the issue of governance choice in the areas of trade, finance, and international business transactions.

IMG_2558 (1)3d, Leuven Law Professor Geert Van Calster (left) spoke on “Trade Policy and Sustainable Development.” Concepts like regulatory harmonization and risk management design informed his lecture.

IMG_25654th, Dr. Axel Marx (right) concluded the day with a lecture on “Challenges of the Post-Westphalian Order.” Among the challenges to traditional public international law he discussed were non-state actors and the effectiveness of international rules and standards.

Tomorrow, students will travel to Belgium’s nearby capital, Brussels, for a day of professional development briefings at a variety of law offices.

On Belgium World Cup day, 2018 Georgia Law-Leuven Centre Global Governance Summer School begins

LEUVEN – Our 2018 Global Governance School has just begun in this centuries-old university city, where sidewalks cafes are awash in outdoor plasma screens and bedecked with Belgian flags, all in anticipation of the Red Devils’ knockout World Cup match this evening against Japan.

This is the 2d year that our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center has presented this summer school in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven, one of Europe’s premier research institutions. It continues a 4-decades-old Georgia Law tradition of summer international education in Belgium.

Today, students from Georgia Law and a range of European universities came together for three lectures designed to introduce them to the concept and practice of global governance:

1st, yours truly, Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann (left), Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, presented a classical account of international law. Using the example of the ongoing controversy over the Chagos Islands, I then raised questions of the challenges posed by the state-centric system at the core of that account.

2d, Dr. Leonie Reins (below), an Assistant Professor in Law at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, focused on issues related to climate change as a way to explore challenges of international environment law governance.

3d, Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen (top), Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, answered the question “Why Global Governance?” Concepts like the tragedy of the commons and game theory informed his presentation.

The week’s coursework resumes tomorrow, when a quartet of American and European experts will deliver lectures on trade and sustainable development.

Professor Bruner publishes chapter on “How Small Jurisdictions Compete in International Financial Services”

Christopher M. Bruner, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has just published “How Small Jurisdictions Compete in International Financial Services.”

This chapter appears in Integration and International Dispute Resolution in Small States, a 2018 Springer volume edited by Petra Butler (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Eva Lein (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), and Salim Rhonson (Open University).

Bruner’s contribution is a revised version of his keynote address at a conference on “International Financial Services and Small States,” held in London in 2017.

Professors Hall and Turner present in Netherlands, at Association for Law, Property and Society annual meeting


Professors Matthew I. Hall and Christian Turner, both members of the University of Georgia School of Law faculty, recently presented at the annual meeting of the annual conference of the Association for Law, Property & Society, held this year at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Hall (pictured top left) and Turner delivered their presentation, entitled “The Judicial Agenda and Angry Neighbors,” as part of a 5-paper panel on “Designing Optimal Rules, Markets, and Registries in Property Law.”

Known by its acronym ALPS, the Association for Law, Property & Society “brings together scholars from different disciplines to discuss their work and to foster dialogue among those working in property law, policy, planning, social scientific field studies, modeling, and theory.”