In addition to leading the Dean Rusk International Law Center, Durkee is Associate Dean for International Programs and the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law. She is on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and is the supervising editor of AJIL Unbound. Both are publications of the American Society of International Law, for which Durkee serves as an Executive Council member and Vice Chair of the International Legal Theory Interest Group.
The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment produced the “Stockholm Declaration,” an environmental manifesto that forcefully declared a human right to environmental health and birthed the field of modern international environmental law. In celebration of its 50th anniversary volume, the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law is convening a symposium to reflect on the first 50 years of international environmental law and the lessons this history may hold for the future.
The symposium will include a keynote address by Dinah L. Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law Emeritus at George Washington University School of Law whose distinguished service in areas of human rights and environmental law includes President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Also featured will be scholars and practitioners from around the world, taking part in panel discussions and breakout sessions: on the rights-based approach to environmental protection; on anti-racism, decolonization, and environmental protection; and on the future of international environmental law. As indicated in the schedule below, the panels reflect themes in Principle 1 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, which states in full:
“Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. In this respect, policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated.”
The conference will take place on Zoom, though students and a limited number of registrants may attend in person. Details and registration here. The full schedule follows:
Welcome and Introduction by Georgia Law’s Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Dean, MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, 9 a.m.
Panel 1: The Rights-Based Approach to Environmental Protection, 9:10 a.m. (followed by breakout session at 10:25 a.m.)
Recalling Principle 1’s statement that humankind “has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being,” the following panelists will explore how and in what contexts the Stockholm Declaration’s rights-based approach to environmental protection is useful, as well as limitations of this approach:
Moderating will be Diane Marie Amann, Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law
Panel 2: Anti-Racism, Decolonization, and Environmental Protection, 10:50 a.m. (followed by breakout session at 12:05 p.m.)
Recalling Principle 1’s statement that “policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated,” the following panelists will explore how international environmental law addresses, or fails to address, environmental racism:
Moderating will be Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at Georgia Law
Panel 3: International Environmental Law’s Future, 1 p.m. (followed by breakout session at 2:15 p.m.)
Recalling Principle 1’s statement that humankind “bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations,” the following panelists will explore what are the successes and failures of the last 50 years of environmental law, as well as the key international environmental law challenges for the next 50 years:
Rebecca M. Bratspies, Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform at CUNY 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
Moderating will be MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law
Introduction of keynote by Adam D. Orford, Assistant Professor at Georgia Law, followed by keynote address, entitled “Stockholm Plus 50: Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or Shattered?” and delivered by Dinah L. Shelton, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law Emeritus at George Washington University School of Law, 2:40 p.m.
Closing remarks by Kimberlee Styple, Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 3:15 p.m.
Besides ASIL, many units of the University of Georgia are cosponsoring this event. They include the International Law Society, Environmental Law Association, Georgia Initiative for Climate & Society, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, School of Public & International Affairs, Center for International Trade & Security, Global Health Institute of the College of Public Health, School of Social Work, and College of Environment & Design.
Registration and details on the program and accommodations here.
The group of 16 hail from 12 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela. Among them are judges, government attorneys, public interest lawyers, corporate attorneys, and seasoned litigators. Some of them are pictured above; from left, Franzisca Heinze, Julieta Sánchez Flor, Veronika Grubenko, Supreme Unukegwo, Agustina Figueroa Imfeld, and Ciro Pazmino.
This Class of 2022 joins a tradition that began at the University of Georgia School of Law in the early 1970s, when a Belgian lawyer became the first foreign-trained practitioner to earn a Georgia Law LL.M. degree. In the ensuing four decades, the law school and its Dean Rusk International Law Center have produced nearly 600 LL.M. graduates, with ties to nearly 100 countries and every continent in the world.
Side by side with J.D. candidates, LL.M.s follow a flexible curriculum tailored to their own career goals – goals that may include preparation to sit for a U.S. bar examination, or pursuit of a concentration affording advancement in their home country’s legal profession or academic institutions.
The application for the LL.M. Class of 2023 is now open; for information or to apply for LL.M. studies, see here.
University of Georgia School of Law Professor Thomas Kadri (above left) and McGill University Faculty of Law Professor Ignacio Cofone (above right) have published a chapter exploring a controversial procedural mechanism in privacy class actions.
Here’s the abstract for this chapter by Kadri and Cofone, as set out at SSRN:
This essay considers the potential for using cy près settlements in privacy class actions. These settlements are a procedural mechanism to overcome distribution challenges in class actions. When it is too burdensome to prove individual claims or too costly to distribute damages to class members, courts on occasions award damages to a charity or non-profit organization involved in work serving the class members’ interests. These controversial settlements have been gaining attention in various legal systems. The U.S. Supreme Court recently considered their propriety in Frank v. Gaos, while courts in Canada and several Latin American countries have been experimenting with cy près as well. The essay uses these cases to explore how this procedural mechanism can be particularly useful in privacy class actions. While cy près settlements require proper judicial supervision to prevent abuse, the chapter concludes that they can help to deter privacy invasions, enforce privacy laws, and provide plaintiffs with some measure of indirect relief when those laws are violated.
These Global Externs are enhancing their legal education through placements – remote this summer, on account of the pandemic – in law firms, in-house legal departments, and nongovernmental organizations based in Asia, Europe, and South America. Practice areas include dispute resolution, corporate law, refugee law, and international human rights law.
This year’s GEO class includes these placements in private law settings:
Ben Bacia (3L) – PSA India, New Delhi, India
Starlyn Endres (3L) – Orange, Brussels, Belgium
Savannah Grant (2L) – Araoz y Rueda, Madrid, Spain
Nishka Malik (2L) – Orange, Brussels, Belgium
Alina Salgado (2L) – MV Kini & Co., New Delhi, India
Maha Toor (2L) – Syngenta AG, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Additionally, the following students are working in public law placements:
Collin Douglas (2L) – Documentation Center of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Caleb Grant (2L) – Documentation Center of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
Savannah Grant (2L) – No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium
Bradford Lorenz (3L) – Boat People SOS, Center for Asylum Protection, Bangkok, Thailand
She becomes the third law professor and seventh woman to have earned this honor since it was instituted in 1947. In the words of the university:
“Regents’ Professorships are bestowed by the Board of Regents on truly distinguished faculty of the University of Georgia whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized both nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-setting.”
Amann (prior posts) joined the faculty at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2011, taking up the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law previously by Professor Louis B. Sohn and Professor Daniel Bodansky. From 2015 to 2017 she was the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives, a position that included directing the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and she has served since 2017 as a Faculty Co-Director of the Center. She is also a Professor (by courtesy) of International Affairs, University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs, and an Affiliated Faculty Member of the University of Georgia African Studies Institute.
Under contract with Oxford University Press, Amann is writing what will be the first book on the roles of women professionals at the 1945-46 war crimes trial before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. As depicted above and available in full on YouTube (59:10), she presented on this research in “Nuremberg Women,” one of the four University of Georgia Charter Lectures that the 2020-21 Regents’ Professors delivered online this past April.
Amann’s expertise in international law includes, as indicated by her more than eighty publications, not only international legal history but also international criminal law and child rights. She served as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict from December 2012 to June 2021, assisting in the preparation, publication, and dissemination of the 2016 ICC OTP Policy on Children.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Counsellor and former Vice President of the American Society of International Law, Amann was Professor of Law, Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, and Director of the California International Law Center at the University of California-Davis, School of Law. She has been a Visiting Professor, Professeur invitée, or Fellow at Northwestern Pritzker University School of Law, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, Irish Centre for Human Rights at National University of Ireland-Galway, Université de Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, and University of Southern California Shoah Foundation.
In assuming leadership of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, Durkee succeeds Professor Lori A. Ringhand, who has served as the Center’s Interim Director for the past year and a half. The law school’s most recent Associate Dean for International Programs was Professor Diane Marie Amann, who served in that post from 2015-2017 and who since then has been a Faculty Co-Director of the Center along with Professor Harlan G. Cohen.
Named after former U.S. Secretary of State and Georgia Law Professor Dean Rusk, our Center has served since 1977 as the international law and policy nucleus for education, scholarship, and other collaborations among faculty and students, the law school community, and diverse local and global partners. As Director, Durkee will lead a Center staff that includes Laura Tate Kagel and Mandy Dixon, respectively the Associate Director and the Assistant for International Professional Education, and Sarah Quinn and Catrina Martin, respectively the Associate Director and the Assistant for Global Practice Preparation.
Durkee (prior posts, SSRN page) also holds the title at Georgia Law of Allen Post Professor, as well as a courtesy appointment in the university’s Terry College of Business. A highly regarded scholar, she teaches, writes, and presents on international law and corporate governance, with focus on international economic and environmental law, global governance, democratic participation, public-private partnerships, and legal theory. Her most recent article, “Interpretive Entrepreneurs,” has just been published at 107 Virginia Law Review 431 (2021).
Before joining the Georgia Law faculty in 2018, Durkee was a professor at the University of Washington School of Law. A graduate of Yale Law School, she practiced international litigation and arbitration at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York and was law clerk to Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Sidney H. Stein, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The earliest work with the client was undertaken by the Jane W. Wilson Family Justice Clinic, as at that time the client was facing severe domestic abuse. Working under the supervision of Clinical Assistant Professor Christine M. Scartz, then-student Eric Abney, a member of the Georgia Law Class of 2020, secured a 12-month family violence protective order and successfully negotiated a resolution that gave the client exclusive possession of the marital residence and a vehicle, sole child custody, and child support.
After the client had gained this measure of safety and stability, the client then was referred to Georgia Law’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic for further advocacy. Working under the supervision of Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning, Amy Buice and Carter A. Thomas, members of the Classes of 2019 and 2020, respectively, used the Violence Against Women Act to ensure the client retained permanent residency without having to rely on her abusive former-partner. Subsequently, 3L Ansley Whiten helped the client file an application for naturalization, while 2L Luis Gomez prepared her for the naturalization interview; both were supervised primarily by Kristen Shepherd, the Community HeLP Clinic’s Staff Attorney.
The client became a U.S. citizen in April 2021, on her birthday.
The clinics’ project confronted abuse of immigrant women while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Irwin Detention Center, a privately run facility in south Georgia. As previously posted, the women there were subjected to nonconsensual, medically unindicated, or invasive gynecological procedures. Those who spoke out about abuses faced accelerated deportation proceedings, solitary confinement, and other acts of retaliation. The project has pursued several administrative, judicial, and advocacy avenues, including ongoing litigation of Oldaker v. Giles, a consolidated habeas petition and class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
The Project’s efforts have resulted in the release of nearly all 80 women in ICDC, as well as over 200 men, and stays of deportation for most of the Oldaker plaintiffs.
► Talented students pursuing JD, MSL, and LLM degrees, including: the staffers and editors of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law who produce one of the country’s oldest student journals, and who led our January 2021 conference, “The Future of Global Healthcare Governance”; the advocates on our Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court teams; students in our Appellate Litigation Clinic who argue asylum cases before U.S. Courts of Appeals; participants in our full-semester NATO Externship and in our Global Externships; and the student leaders of our International Law Society.
► Academics, practitioners, and policymakers, from all over the world, who have contributed to our events – conferences, workshops, and lectures, as well as our International Law Colloquium and Consular Series.
► Graduates who excel as partners in international commercial law firms, as heads of nongovernmental organizations and international organizations, as in-house counsel at leading multinational enterprises, and as diplomats and public servants – and who give back through mentoring and other support.
With thanks to all, we look forward to continue strengthening our initiatives in international, comparative, transnational, and foreign relations law – not least, in the preparation of Georgia Law students to practice in our 21st C. globalized legal profession.