Scholarly achievements, vibrant initiatives highlighted in newsletter of Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law

For a recap of the year’s research and global practice accomplishments, have a look at the just-published newsletter of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law. Features include:

► Welcome to our new professor, Zohra Ahmed, as well as scholarly achievements of our Center Director, Melissa J. Durkee, and our many other globally minded faculty, including Diane Marie Amann, Christopher Bruner, Jason Cade, Harlan G. Cohen, Walter Hellerstein, Thomas Kadri, Jonathan Peters, Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, and Laura Phillips Sawyer.

► The return of our International Law Colloquium in Spring 2022, a course featuring works-in-progress conversations with authors; this year’s edition will include international law scholars based in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

► Recent events, including our day-long conferences on international environmental law and on global healthcare governance cosponsored with the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, our Consular Series of talks with diplomats, presentations by Visiting Scholars and other distinguished lawyers, our cohosting of International Law Weekend South with the American Branch of the International Law Association, and participation in panels at the American Society of International Law and other global meetings, as well as academic and civil-society roundtables.

Initiatives aimed at preparing our J.D. and LL.M. students for global legal practice, including our NATO Externship, our Global Externships, and the Global Governance Summer School we host in partnership with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at Belgium’s University of Leuven, plus support for internationally minded students’ organizations, journal, and advocacy teams.

The full newsletter is here.

University of Georgia School of Law, School of Public & International Affairs scholars on panels at annual ASIL Midyear Meeting Research Forum

Scholars at the University of Georgia School of Law, as well as the university’s School of Public & International Affairs, will take part next week in the Midyear Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

This year’s Midyear Meeting will be held online. As an ASIL Academic Partner, we at the University of Georgia Dean Rusk International Law Center are honored to have hosted this annual event in Athens and Atlanta in 2012.

The 2021 Midyear, to take place November 11 and 12, will include a Research Forum featuring discussions among more than 70 international law scholars and a Practitioners’ Forum.

University of Georgia representation at the Research Forum includes these panels:

4:45-6:15 p.m., Thursday, November 11: Climate Change

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor (pictured above left), will serve as discussant during this live panel for 2 papers:

  • “Climate Displacement: Revisions to the international legal framework to address refugees resulting from future climate crises,” by Christian Jorgensen and Eric Schmitz, American Red Cross
  • “A Parisian Consensus,” by Frederic Sourgens, Washburn University School of Law

4:45-6:15 p.m., Thursday, November 11: International Criminal Court

Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and Faculty Co-Director of our Center (above second from left), will serve as discussant during this prerecorded panel for 3 papers:

  • “The Use of African Law at the International Criminal Court,” by Stewart Manley, University of Malaya
  • “From Hadžihasanović to Bemba and Beyond: Revisiting the application of command responsibility to armed groups,” by Joshua Niyo, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • “Dominic Ongwen: Sentencing and mitigation at the ICC,” Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

2:45-4:15 p.m., Friday, November 12: Courts and Tribunals

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 (above right), and who holds a courtesy appointment at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), will co-present a paper with a SPIA colleague, Professor Ryan Powers (above second from right), entitled “Judicialization and Public Support for Compliance with International Commitments.”

Mark Pollack, Temple University Beasley School of Law, will serve as discussant during this live panel for the Cohen-Powers paper and these 2 others:

  • “Does the Court Really Know the Law? The jura novit curia principle in fragmented international adjudication,” by Barbara Bazanth, New York University School of Law
  • “The Habre Effect? How An African Trial Shaped Justice Norms,” by Margaret deGuzman, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Georgia Law professors also are scheduled to take part in ASIL leadership meetings during the Midyear: Associate Dean Durkee in the meetings of the ASIL Executive Council and of the Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law; Professor Amann, an ASIL Counsellor, in the Executive Council meeting; and Professor Cohen in the meeting of the Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law.

Details, including the full ASIL Midyear program, and registration, which is free to students at Academic Partner schools like Georgia Law, are available here.

Stockholm Declaration conference: link for “Anti-Racism, Decolonization, Environmental Protection” panel video

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High-level speeches and other events at COP26, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties now under way in Glasgow, Scotland, underscores the timeliness of “The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law” conference that we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law at the University of Georgia School of Law hosted on October 8.

And so, following on last week’s post outlining the first part of our daylong conference, we’re pleased in this post to recap the second segment, video of which is available here. (The full series, meanwhile, is available here.)

Featured in this segment is the day’s second panel, “Anti-Racism, Decolonization and Environmental Protection,” moderated by 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 (pictured above, top right). Joining him were 4 panelists (pictured clockwise from middle right): Sumudu Anopama Atapattu, Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer at Wisconsin Law; Robin Bronen, Executive Director of the Alaska Institute for Justice; Usha Natarajan, Edward W. Said Fellow at Columbia University; and Sarah Riley Case, Boulton Junior Fellow at McGill University Faculty of Law in Canada.

Together, they consider the part of Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration that declares:

“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.”

In view of that statement, panelists ask inter alia: whether and to what extent the substantive protections of international environmental law addresses environmental racism; whether and to what extent indigenous peoples, racial and ethnic minorities, or formerly colonized peoples can access, use, or affect the development of international environmental law; and whether and to what extent international environmental law has incorporated the concept of consent by affected communities.

Stay tuned for our video recap of the final conference segment.

Georgia Law Professor Bruner presents “Comparative Analysis of Common-Law Countries” in University of Oslo PhD Seminar on Companies and Markets

Christopher M. Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, co-presented a seminar entitled “Comparative Analysis of Common-Law Countries” as part of the PhD Seminar on Company and Markets that was hosted online in October by the Research Group on Companies, Markets and Sustainability, a unit of the Faculty of Law, Department of Private Law, at the University of Oslo in Norway.

Joining Bruner in presenting the seminar was Professor Carol Liao, Director of the Centre for Business Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Scholars from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom also presented in the course of the weeklong University of Oslo event.

Stockholm Declaration conference: link available to video of conference start, including panel on rights-based approach

Miss the opportunity to see our “The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law” live on October 8?

No worries: We at the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, University of Georgia School of Law, are happy to provide videolinks.

This daylong conference addressed, in the words of MJ Durkee, the Georgia Law faculty member who conceptualized it,

“one of the foremost challenges of our time: What the international community can do about the crises facing our environment and the link between environmental health and human flourishing.”

Durkee, who is Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center, and Allen Post Professor, further noted the timeliness of the conference:


“The Stockholm Declaration, in addition to launching the field of international environmental law 50 years ago, was also among the first to articulate the idea of a human right to a healthy environment, and to elevate this as a matter of world concern. Just today, in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council has been deliberating over a resolution recognizing that this human right to a healthy environment has matured into an internationally recognized human right.”

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Also in this segment is the first of three panels, entitled “The Rights-Based Approach to Environmental Protection,” and featuring a global array of panelists: Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, pictured at bottom center; Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law, top right; Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA Law, middle left; Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer, Monash University, Australia, middle right; and moderator 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, top left.

Her welcome, as well as introductory remarks from Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge and Eva Hunnius Ohlin, Senior Advisor for Energy and Environment at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., appear in the first of three conference video segments, available here.

Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration begins:

“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 …”

Considering that claim in relation to “humankind,” panelists explored a range of issues, including: the utility, or not, of the rights-based approach; comparison of the rights-based approach with others, including the rights of nature and harmony with nature; and the recent civil-society promulgation of a definition of the international crime of ecocide, with the aim of amending the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include this crime.

Interested in other segments of our Stockholm conference? Stay tuned.

(Update: The full series of links is available here.)

Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen talks “Sources of International Law” in Borderline Justice podcast

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, discusses “Sources of International Law” in a podcast released this month.

He appeared on Borderline Jurisprudence, a podcast devoted to “philosophy and jurisprudence of international law,” in the words of its founders, Başak Etkin, Teaching and Research Fellow at Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, France, and Kostia Gorobets, Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

The conversation with Cohen covered an array of issues, including sources of international law, precedent, opinio juris, fragmentation, pluralism, and behavioral approaches to international law. Writings by Cohen and others, detailed in a bibliography available here, formed a foundation for the talk.

The 53-minute podcast may be accessed at Anchor FM, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

International Law Colloquium returns to Georgia Law in Spring 2022 semester

The International Law Colloquium, a time-honored tradition here at the University of Georgia School of Law, returns this spring semester with another great lineup of global legal experts.

This for-credit course consists of presentations of substantial works-in-progress on a variety of international law topics by prominent scholars from other law schools. In keeping with a tradition established when the series began in 2006, students will write reaction papers on the scholars’ manuscripts, and then discuss the papers with the authors in class. Leading the class 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. Other Georgia Law and university faculty will join in the dialogues.

Further supporting the colloquium are staff at our Center; in particular, the Center’s Global Practice Preparation team, which includes Sarah Quinn and Catrina Martin. The colloquium further benefits from generous support from the Kirbo Trust Endowed Faculty Enhancement Fund and the Talmadge Law Faculty Fund.

Presenting at the Spring 2022 Colloquium (pictured above, clockwise from top left):

► January 21: Kristen Eichensehr, University of Virginia School of Law 

► January 28: Rebecca Hamilton, American University Washington College of Law 

► February 11: Asli Ü. Bâli, UCLA Law

► February 25: Rebecca Crootof, University of Richmond School of Law 

► March 4: Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg, Universidad del Pacífico, Perú  

► March 18: Sarah Nouwen, European University Institute, Italy, and University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

► April 1: Maggie Gardner, Cornell Law School

► April 15: Julian Arato, Brooklyn Law School 

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann gives talks on “Femmes d’exception au procès de Nuremberg” during journey to Lyon, France

Georgia Law’s Diane Marie Amann is back from France, where last week she presented, at three venues, her ongoing research regarding women who worked at first post-World War II international criminal trial in Nuremberg, Germany.

Her journey, which occurred at the invitation of and with support from the U.S. State Department’s Consulate General in Lyon, coincided with the 75th anniversary of the International Military Tribunal : on September 30-October 1, 1946, the yearlong IMT trial ended with the reading of a verdict that convicted most of the twenty-one Nazis on trial; some of them also were sentenced to die by hanging.

The talks by Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, 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, were as follows:

► At the Hôtel de Ville de Lyon, or Lyon City Hall, at a Thursday luncheon honoring the anniversary, she summarized her research (pictured above at upper right). It focuses on 6 women who worked at the IMT as lawyers or in other professional capacities, including analyst, translator, and interpreter. The group includes at least one woman from each of the Allied nations – from France, Great Britain, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States – that conducted the trial.

► At the Faculté de Droit Julie-Victoire Daubié, Université Lumière Lyon 2, she presented “Les femmes et le droit : l’exemple des procès internationaux de Nuremberg” (“Women and Law: The Example of the Nuremberg International Trials”) to a hundred or so law students (above at lower right), as part of the law faculty’s year-long celebration, including a “Pionnières : Les femmes et le droit” (“Pioneers: Women and Law”) lecture series, of its namesake Daubié, who, 160 years ago, was the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in law there. Amann’s talk linked the experiences of Nuremberg women to those of women and persons belonging to other underrepresented groups in the field of international law today.

► At Maison d’Izieu, the site of a onetime children’s home in a village located near the Alps, about 65 miles east of Lyon, Amann presented “Le rôle des avocates et autres femmes d’exception au procès de Nuremberg” (“The Role of Lawyers and Other Women of Exception at the Nuremberg Trial”) (above at left). Her talk formed part of a daylong conference entitled “Actualité du procès de Nuremberg, 75 ans après” (“News about the Nuremberg Trial 75 Years Later”). Her talk focused on the only woman lawyer in the French delegation, Docteur-Maître-Juge Aline Chalufour (video here, at 2:14:40). Other speakers, among them Stéphanie Boissard, Matthias Gemählich, Jean-Paul Jean, Xavier-Jean Keita, Michel Massé, Guillaume Mouralis, and Philippe Sands, discussed other members of the French delegation, the trial as a whole, and its impact on contemporary trials at the International Criminal Court and other forums.

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 Cohen publishes chapter on sociology of World Trade Organization precedents

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, has contributed a chapter entitled “Culture Clash: The Sociology of WTO Precedent” to a just-published essay collection.

The chapter appears in Precedents as Rules and Practice, a volume published by C.H.Beck/Hart/Nomos. Co-editors are Dr. Amalie Frese of European University Institute, Florence, Italy, and Julius Schumann of the University of Vienna.

Here’s the SSRN abstract for Professor Cohen’s chapter:

Thanks to the United States, the WTO Appellate Body can no longer hear appeals. Having blocked all appointments to the body, the United States has left its bench empty, with no members to fulfill its role. Among the United States’ justifications: The Appellate Body’s adoption of an apparent doctrine of precedent.

This chapter takes a deeper look at the fight over precedent at the WTO, both as a case study in the emergence and operation of precedent within international law and as a microcosm of the cultural conflicts playing out within the WTO. The chapter develops an account of precedent as a product of three overlapping, inter-dependent, and mutually constructed logics: (1) the jurisprudential, (2) the rational, and (3) the sociological. It then uses these three logics to retell the story of precedent at the WTO – the emerging patterns of argumentative practice, the Appellate Body’s adoption of a doctrinal test, and the escalating U.S. opposition to the “cogent reasons” standard that body applied. Seeing the fight over precedent as a function of all three logics reveals the real cultural fights for control of the WTO community of practice. Seeing that community of practice coalesce around and split over unwritten practices of precedent reveals how international law develops as much as a function of culture, training, and practice as of rules and power.