Georgia Law Professor Durkee presents space law paper at British Columbia

Georgia Law Professor Melissa J. Durkee recently presented her scholarship at the University of British Columbia Allard School of Law as part of the school’s faculty colloquium series.

Durkee, who is a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law, researches new forms of global governance, particularly interactions between government and business actors that affect the content and success of international legal rules. Her paper, “Interstitial Space Law,” explores these topics in the context of space. Here’s the abstract:

Private space companies have begun to stake massive investments on the prospect of deriving commercial value from objects in outer space. The multinational asteroid-mining company Planetary Resources recently explained to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee that it will “conduct a historic and unprecedented mission to. . . . prospect several near-Earth asteroids.” Amazon’s Blue Origin just launched a collaboration with German space companies to start a “permanent presence on the moon.” Elon Musk’s SpaceX intends to “focus all its engineering talent on building its Mars rocket.” Yet it is unclear whether these companies have a legal right to appropriate outer space materials for private commercial use. The controlling international law is a cluster of 1960s-era treaties, designed for the realities of cold war space exploration. The centerpiece of the early treaties, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, clearly specifies that materials cannot be appropriated for national use, but the treaty is silent on private commercial use. Exploiting the opportunity this silence affords, private companies have begun to advance their own interpretation of the treaty in addresses to lawmakers, press releases, and corporate disclosures. They have also acted as though their interpretation were law, pressing forward with plans to commercialize space, and seemingly content to gamble on the possibility that international law will develop in their favor. The paper argues that this practice merits our attention as one of the diverse ways private companies take roles in international lawmaking. Here, private companies are working on two levels. First, they are shaping the development of international customary law by exploiting the failure of nation-states to shut down their activities. Second, they are creating a body of practice that would constitute the building blocks for customary international lawmaking, if the private companies were governmental actors, raising the possibility of a private common law for space.

 

Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen Fall 2018 Senior Fellow at NYU Law Institute for International Law &Justice

cohen2017New York University School of Law is hosting University of Georgia School of Law professor Harlan Grant Cohen (right) during the Fall 2018 semester. He serves as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ).

A member of our Georgia Law faculty since 2007, Cohen (right) publishes and teaches in a range of international law areas, including trade, foreign affairs, global governance, and human rights. He is the inaugural holder of the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professorship in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center.

logos combinedWhile at IILJ, Cohen will work on projects reconsidering the normative narratives underpinning the global trading system and exploring and mapping international law’s various communities of practice. He will also be involved in Institute programs on History and Theory of International Law, Global Governance, and Infrastructure as Regulation (InfraReg).

The IILJ organizes research projects with academic and policy institutions, and conducts academic and practical training initiatives.

Belgium week of our Global Governance Summer School concludes on a (World Cup) celebratory note

LEUVEN – Final sessions of our 2018 Global Governance Summer School‘s Belgium leg came to an end yesterday, even as the country’s national team vaulted into the final four of the World Cup.

Day 5 of the summer school, devoted to Global Security Governance,  began with a lecture by Dr. Nicolas Hachez. He is a Fellow at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, with which we at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, partner to present the Global Governance Summer School. Hachez’ lecture began with an historical account dating to Aristotle, and ended with a survey of contemporary challenges to rule of law and democracy. (Just below, he listens to a response from Georgia Law student Brooke Carrington.) The presentation provided a valuable recap of many issues raised at the high-level RECONNECT conference our students attended earlier in the week.

Next, yours truly, Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, one of our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, and a founding Co-Director of the Global Governance Summer School. I introduced the concept of Global Security Governance, which incorporates within its analysis of human, national, and collective security insights from traditional international law subfields like human rights, the laws of war, and development law.

Our Center’s Director, Kathleen A. Doty, offered an overview of legal regimes related to disarmament and weapons control, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Then, as pictured at top, she led our summer school students – variously educated at Georgia Law, Leuven, and several other European institutions – in a spirited, simulated, multilateral negotiation for a new treaty to curb an imagined new development in weapons technology.

The week’s classroom component concluded with a lecture on “Global Governance, International Law and Informal Lawmaking in Times of Antiglobalism and Populism” by Leuven Professor Jan Wouters (right), Jean Monnet Chair ad personam EU and Global Governance, Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, and founding Co-Director of our summer school. Touching on concepts and issues introduced throughout the week, Wouters exposed shortcomings of classic international law. He further urged greater acceptance of the significance of informal lawmaking actors, norms, and processes, which form the core of global governance studies.

Leuven and Georgia Law students, faculty, staff, and friends then enjoyed a conference dinner, plus a live, and lively, screening of the Belgium Red Devils’ 2-1 World Cup victory over Brazil – then headed to Oude Markt to celebrate with other denizens of this lovely city.

Global Governance Summer School students at high-level conference on project aiming to RECONNECT Europe

Yesterday’s sessions of our Georgia Law-Leuven Centre Global Governance Summer School were devoted to a new, 4-year research project aimed at reinvigorating core values of the European Union.

Called RECONNECT: Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law and supported by funds from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme, the project has just been established by KU Leuven’s Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and 17 partner institutions.

Our summer school’s morning began at a classroom in Leuven, where Michal Ovádek (left), a Leuven Centre PhD candidate and research fellow,  provided an introduction to the structure of, and contemporary challenges, to European Union integration. Among them are the efforts of recently elected governments to undermine judicial independence, free press, and other democratic institutions in Poland and Hungary, as well as the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which a slight majority in the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU.

We then traveled to Brussels’ neoclassical Academy Palace, home to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts and the site of an afternoon conference launching the RECONNECT project.

Leuven Law Professor Jan Wouters, whose many titles include Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Co-Director of our summer school, opened the conference (top photo). Stating that “the EU and its members are confronted with an existential crisis,” Wouters explained how “RECONNECT will intervene in the public discourse, to build a new narrative for Europe.” The EU can “regain authority and legitimacy through democracy and the rule of law,” he said, “provided citizens’ views taken into account.”

Delivering keynotes were H.E. Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs & European Affairs – who urged, as a way to reconnect, emphasizing that the EU is not just an economic project, but also based on values and principles – and Dr. Adam Bodnar, Ombudsman of the Republic of Poland.

Two policy roundtables followed:

► “Strengthening Democracy in the European Union,” chaired by Julie Smith and featuring Alberto Alemanno, Richard Youngs, Zselyke Csaky, Vivien Schmidt, Carlos Closa Montero, and Amichai Magen.

► “Addressing Rule of Law Challenges in the EU,” chaired by Laurent Pech and including Tamas Lukacsi, Philip Bittner, Peter Claes, Lotte Leicht, Petra Bárd, and Dimitry Kochenov.

Many speakers revisited developments in countries like Hungary, Poland, and post-Brexit UK, touching on issues ranging from freedom of speech to social media, economic anxiety and political processes. Europe’s responses to global migration both within and outside its borders, was another topic frequently mentioned.

In a particularly moving presentation, Lotte Leicht (3d from right), EU Director for Human Rights Watch, told of seeing, at a middle school where she recently spoke, signs saying “Be Kind” and “Treat One Another as You Want to Be Treated.” Commenting that youths “get it,” she proceeded to outline problems and to welcome innovative solutions.  Yet Leicht cautioned against adopting perceived solutions that would have negative effects:

“It is a redline when we start undermining the rule of law and our obligations under international law.”

Our stay in Leuven concludes tomorrow, after sessions on related to human rights and security governance – and, fittingly, after tomorrow night’s World Cup contest between Belgium and Brazil.

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

IMG_2511

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.

Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen presents “Multilateralism’s Life Cycle” in visit at University College London

Harlan Grant Cohen, the 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, spent the last two weeks as a visitor of University College London (UCL) Faculty of Laws newly renovated building, Bentham House.

As part of Cohen’s visit, UCL’s Global Governance Institute invited him to give a public keynote lecture on “Multilateralism’s Life Cycle.” As previously posted, that is the topic of his forthcoming article for the American Journal of International Law.

Cohen is a member of AJIL’s Board of Editors, and serves as Editor of the journal’s International Decisions section.