Georgia Law Professor Amann speaks on accountability at Save the Children-Chatham House London conference

“Justice for Children in Conflict” is the title of a panel on which Professor Diane Marie Amann spoke last week in London, England, as part of a centenary symposium on children and armed conflict cosponsored by Save the Children and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the latter more commonly known as Chatham House.

Amann (2d from left above) is the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law. Since 2012, she has served as the Special Adviser to International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict – service that included assisting in the research and drafting of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor Policy on Children (2016).

Aspects of the Policy were a focus of Amann’s talk in London last Tuesday. Asked by moderator Veronique Aubert, Senior Conflict & Humanitarian Policy & Research Advisor for Save the Children (at left above), to name the root causes of the deficit in accountability for international crimes against and affecting children, Amann cited matters like evidence-gathering and witness protections, but stressed absence of political will to prevent and punish such crimes.

Other speakers included (from center to right) Shaheed Fatima QC, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, Jessica Gladstone, a partner at Clifford Chance LLP, and Salah Uddin, International Campaign Officer for the British Rohingya Community. The panel was one of several throughout the day’s events, held at Church House, Westminster.

 

Georgia Law Community HeLP Clinic students aid clients’ citizenship bid

Students in the University of Georgia School of Law Community Health Law Partnership Clinic recently succeeded in assisting 2 clients from Egypt who were seeking to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Working this year to prepare the clients for interviews and their 2019 naturalization ceremony were 3L Amy E. Buice, above center, and 2L William D. Ortiz, above left. Also working on the case were 3L Sarah A. Mirza and Onur Yildirim (JD’18), who last year helped prepare the clients’ naturalization applications.

The students were supervised by Professor Jason A. Cade, Director of Georgia Law’s Community HeLP Clinic, which assists low-income persons with immigration, benefits, and other health-harming legal needs.

Georgia Law professors Harlan Cohen, Melissa J. Durkee featured in latest AJIL

Scholarship by 2 members of the international law faculty here at the University of Georgia School of Law is featured in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed American Journal of International Law, the premier publication of the century-old American Society of International Law. Specifically, volume 113, issue 2 includes works by:

Harlan 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 and a member of the AJIL Board of Editors. He published a an Editorial Comment featured on the issue’s cover and entitled “What is International Trade Law For?” (pp. 326-46), as well as a review of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World, a 2018 Harvard University Press book by Samuel Moyn (pp. 415-19).

Melissa J. Durkee, a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law. She too published a book review, of Lawmakers: International Organizations in the Crafting of World Markets, a 2017 Cambridge University Press volume by Susan Block-Lieb and Terence C. Halliday (pp. 422-28).

Georgia Law students compete in Vis arbitration moot in Vienna, Austria

A team of students once again represented the University of Georgia School of Law at the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria. (prior posts)

From left, this year’s team comprised Thomas Paris, Gretchen Edelman, Savannah Jane Story, and Graham Goldberg. Among those who supported their efforts were numerous coaches: 3L Michael Ackerman, LLM candidate Amirhossein Tanhaei, Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Christopher Smith (Georgia Law JD’13) and Sara Sargeantson Burns, both attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

Goldberg reflected on his Vis experience, which included not only the team’s competition in Vienna but also its runner-up finish in the Vis Pre-Moot that the Atlanta International Arbitration Society (AtlAS) sponsored in March:

“Over this past year, I’ve sharpened my oral and written advocacy skills more than I thought possible, and broadened my legal horizons to the world of international arbitration.”

The spurning of Adam Smith: Center Director Emeritus Johnson op-ed on international trade in The Hill

C. Donald Johnson, Director Emeritus of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, just published an op-ed in The Hill, a publication based in Washington, D.C.

Entitled “Trump team spurns Adam Smith with its trade stance”, the op-ed recounts Johnson’s meetings with colleagues in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the World Trade Organization, and elsewhere in Europe. Johnson writes:

“Common questions discussed at each meeting involved whether the WTO can continue to function if the United States clogs the dispute settlement system, refuses to comply with its rules or simply withdraws from participation.”

He characterizes the current U.S. administration’s approach as “a complete reversal of American policy since the 1930s of promoting the free-market policies of Adam Smith,” pointing to U.S. disputes with China and others as examples.

The full op-ed by Johnson – who served as Ambassador, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 1998-2000, and who is the author of The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America (Oxford University Press 2018) (prior posts) – is available here.

Georgia Law 3L Lauren Brown on her NATO externship in Belgium: “a full appreciation for the privileges we enjoy and the responsibilities we bear”

Pleased today to welcome this post by University of Georgia School of Law student Lauren Brown, working this Spring 2019 semester in Mons, Belgium, in the legal department of a leading unit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Pictured above right, she is the inaugural holder of this externship, administered by our law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center in partnership with NATO Allied Command Transformation. Lauren arrived at Georgia Law with considerable background in security policy, and her experiences here have included a Summer 2017 Global Externship Overseas at the nongovernmental organization War Child Holland. She is due to receive her J.D. degree this May, and thereafter to become an Associate at the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. Lauren recounts her ongoing NATO experience below.

The opportunity to work with the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Legal Advisor’s Office at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Staff Element Europe (SEE) has been a unique and exciting experience. At this halfway mark, I am very pleased with what I have been able to experience thus far, and I look forward to the coming weeks as the externship continues.

My observations can be broadly divided into three categories, legal experience, professional experience, and practical experience, each of which I discuss below.

Legal Experience

It is important to note that I have carefully crafted much of my previous and future working life to avoid two things: complex math and regulatory work. Accordingly, my hopes were somewhat dashed when I received my first assignment: Draft a data protection and privacy regulation.

The actual work, however, was absolutely fascinating. The ultimate challenge was to create a directive that provided sufficient data protection and privacy standards and that struck a balance among the disparate domestic standards. The work also involved coordination with existing data protection and privacy directives within other NATO bodies, in order to ensure the provisions allowed for a workable level of cohesion across policies.

The resulting effort felt very much like a logic puzzle, with each component capable of fitting, and the task being to figure out how to make it fit. The assignment was a tremendous introduction to the legal experience within the externship. It demonstrated that although focus and ambition are important, flexibility and an open mind are also critical. Without them, I would have missed an opportunity to participate in a fascinating project and expand my interests—even to include regulatory work.

Professional Experience

Before arriving at NATO, I had been extremely fortunate in that I’d had opportunities to work in several different cities, in several different professional environments. But I had never before experienced the working life of a military base. The primary adjustment has been the strictness of the adherence to decorum and hierarchy—and the impressive bureaucracy that accompanies such practice. In my time here, I have learned that even when the waters seem murky and the process opaque, there are always channels that move a little more swiftly, and success in such an organization appears to be directly related to one’s ability to identify and utilize such avenues.

Practical Experience

I have also enjoyed experiences that resonate beyond the professional sphere. Two such instances were particularly impactful:

  • The first occurred during a training on rules of engagement at NATO Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum in the Netherlands (site of the photos accompanying this post). By the time of this training, I had become accustomed to the presence of uniforms and their associated patches, which usually denote membership in a division or the service member’s assigned NATO unit. On the last day of the training, however, a new patch caught my eye: a large square stating the bearer’s blood type. The realization of when such a patch would be useful, and its place as a standardized part of the uniform, reminded me of a fact I had clearly forgotten: this exercise was not just theoretical. The reliance these men and women have on laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement dictate life and death choices in very real, and very dangerous, situations.
  • The second served largely the same realization; that is, it reinforced my understanding of the scale at which laws, and their functioning or not, can impact people. I met a friend in Paris for a weekend, and through a course of events that can sometimes happen during travel, we found ourselves marching with the so-called Yellow Vests calling for action against climate change. The group with which we marched was peaceful and numbered very close to 10,000. But a few hours later, we encountered the other group of Yellow Vests, the militant wing of violent rioters who burned or broke almost every structure they encountered. For me, the experience reiterated the idea that when laws or policies fail people, people may react. The rules that govern our social existence must be crafted and interpreted with care, and without negligence toward the future or the marginalized.

The patches and the protests were powerful reminders, both on an intimate and broader level, that what attorneys do matters. We cannot undertake our work with anything but a full appreciation for the privileges we enjoy and the responsibilities we bear.

I feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity to have such an experience while in law school, and I want to especially thank the NATO personnel with whom I have interacted in Belgium, including attorneys Lewis Bumgardner, Galateia Gialitaki, and Steven Hill, as well as Georgia Law professors Kathleen Doty and Diane Marie Amann, for making this externship possible.

Delivering prestigious Gresham College Fulbright Lecture in London, Georgia Law Professor Lori Ringhand analyzes laws regulating online election campaign spending in US and UK

Pleased today to welcome back Lori A. Ringhand, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, and, this Spring 2019 semester, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In connection with her US-UK Fulbright award, Professor Ringhand gave a prestigious lecture this past Tuesday, April 2, in London. Her account of that lecture – available on video – is below.

I recently had the pleasure of delivering the Gresham College Fulbright Lecture at the Museum of London. Gresham College has been offering free public lectures to residents of London for more than 400 years, and has been offering Fulbright lectures in partnership with the US/UK Fulbright Commission for decades.  Recent Gresham lecturers include eminent public law scholar Vernon Bogdanor,  historian and author Timothy Garton Ash, and current Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

My lecture focused on the challenges faced by lawmakers in the United States and the United Kingdom as they try to ensure that campaign finance laws remain relevant in the age of widespread online electioneering. As both nations have discovered, our existing regimes are not built for a world in which political advertising spreads, rapidly, organically, and often anonymously, through online social media platforms.

Regulators in the US and the UK nonetheless rarely look to each other’s experiences to inform their own thinking in this complex area. The election law systems of each country are seen as so fundamentally different that comparative consideration seems pointless.

As I explained in my Gresham Lecture, I disagree.

The differences in regulatory approaches certainly are real, and significant:

  • In the UK, political spending is limited, and most of it runs through political parties and regulated third-party campaigners, with outside or unregulated groups historically playing little role.
  • In the US, in contrast, political spending is increasingly dominated by outside groups, which can both raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, often entirely outside of the federal regulatory system.

But in regard to regulating online election activity, the similarities between the two nations are much more meaningful than the differences. As I laid out in the talk, the regulatory challenges presented by online electioneering difficult in both principle and practice, but they are fundamentally the same in each country. Consequently, there is a great deal we can learn from each other in this area.

I hope my lecture helps us take a necessary first step in that direction.