Georgia Law Professor Amann joins panel on paths to accountability in conference cosponsored by law schools at Notre Dame and Ukrainian Catholic universities

Diane Marie 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, spoke yesterday at “Legal Challenges Posed by the Large-Scale Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” a conference cosponsored by the University of Notre Dame Law School and the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School.

The latter university is located in Lviv, Ukraine – also the birthplace of the late Louis B. Sohn, who was the inaugural holder of Georgia Law’s Woodruff Chair in International Law.

Professor Amann took part in a panel entitled “Prosecution,” along with Marko Milanovic, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham School of Law in the United Kingdom and Oleksandr Komarov of the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School. Moderating was Tamás Ádány, Fulbright Visiting Professor at Notre Dame Law this semester, and also Head of the Department of International Law at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary.

Discussed in their panel were legal frameworks and forums that hold potential for providing measures of accountability for violations of international law reported since Russia’s February 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine. These include the illegal resort to armed force – that is, the crime of aggression – as well as atrocity crimes committed once the armed conflict had begun. (Related prior posts here, here, here, and here.)

Participants in the online conference’s two other panels examined additional aspects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict; namely, challenges to the collective security structure, and the use of economic sanctions by states and international organizations.

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann keynotes 2022 ESIL Research Forum in Glasgow, Scotland

No Exit at Nuremberg: The Postwar Order as Stage for 21st-Century Global Insecurity” is the title of the keynote address that University of Georgia School of Law Professor Diane Marie Amann delivered Thursday at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, thus opening the 2022 Research Forum of the European Society of International Law. Her topic dovetailed with the forum’s overall theme, “International Law an Global Security: Regulating an Illusion?”

Introducing 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 – was Glasgow Law Professor Christian J. Tams, Director of the Glasgow Centre for International Law & Security.

Amann framed her talk around two artefacts of the period immediately after World War II, when the 1945-46 Trial of Major War Criminals was unfolding before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany: the play that Jean-Paul Sartre entitled Huis Clos but that is known in English as Vicious Circle or No Exit; and the front page of a French newspaper that referred not only to that play, but also to food shortages, the East-West threat spurred by the advent of nuclear weapons, and the IMT trial. She then linked the military, economic, political, and human security threads these artefacts raised to current events including conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Georgia Law Professor Amann post proposes considering new war crimes commission to investigate in Ukraine

Referring to Russia’s invasion last month of Ukraine, as well as the brutal attacks that followed, Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann published “Time for a New War Crimes Commission?” Friday at Articles of War, the blog of the Lieber Institute for Law & Warfare, U.S. Military Academy West Point.

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, began by outlining the limitation that international law rules place on existing tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, and European Court of Human Rights, as well as a proposed special tribunal on the crime of aggression. Having thus identified gaps in accountability, she wrote:

“Now and going forward, accountability could be enhanced by setting up a clearinghouse for gathering, cataloging, and preserving evidence, with an aim to eventual prosecutions in multiple national, regional, and international systems. The idea is not new; indeed, a useful model may be found in a Second World War-era institution known as the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC).”

Her post proceeded to sketch the history of this 1943-1948 commission, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. She concluded by calling for a body that would be empowered to carry out the UNWCC’s “core function”:

“specifically, the conduct of investigations aimed at preserving evidence and facilitating criminal prosecutions of suspects at all levels, for all potential offenses, and before any number of national, regional, and international systems willing and able to afford the persons they accuse a full and fair trial.”

The full Articles of War post is here.

Georgia Law’s Community HeLP Clinic and Project South release report on harms from spike in state-federal jailhouse immigration enforcement

Negative effects of three Southern states’ collaboration with federal immigration officials are detailed in a report just published by the Community Health Law Partnership here at the University of Georgia School of Law and Project South, a 35-year-old, Atlanta-based nongovernmental organization.

Entitled Escalating Jailhouse Immigration Enforcement, the 52-page report focuses on “ICE holds” – the nonbinding request, placed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that local jails detain certain detainees. Based on records obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, the report reveals that between fiscal years 2016 and 2018:

  • The number of ICE holds nearly quadrupled in Georgia, nearly tripled in South Carolina, and doubled in North Carolina.
  • On average, persons subject to ICE holds were held more than two weeks in Georgia, about three weeks in South Carolina, and more than a month in North Carolina.
  • In at least half of these more than 18,000 detainer cases, the person named was taken into ICE custody.
  • At least 189 persons, including at least 29 U.S. citizens, were erroneously detained.

Co-authors of the report were our Clinic’s Director, Georgia Law Professor Jason A. Cade, (pictured above), along with Priya Sreenivasan and Azadeh Shahshahani of Project South. Cade said:

“The findings in Escalating Jailhouse Immigration Enforcement should encourage state and local governments to take their own steps to disentangle local policing from immigration policy. Enacting laws and practices that decrease the fiscal and human costs of lengthy incarcerations that rip families apart – usually just following minor traffic violations – will also go a long towards reducing immigrant communities’ fear of interaction with law enforcement in these southern states.”

Numerous Georgia Law students enrolled in the Clinic made important contributions to various stages of this project, including initial data collection, legal research, and data analytics: Onur Yildirin, Sarah Mirza and Michael Aune in Spring 2018; Caitlin Felt, Carter Thomas and Roger Grantham in Spring 2019; and Andrea Aldana, Stroud Baker, Lisa Garcia, and Farishtay Yamin in Spring 2020.

The full report is available here.

“Stockholm Declaration at 50,” October 8 Georgia Law journal conference, will feature experts in international environmental and human rights law

“The 1972 Stockholm Declaration at 50: Reflecting on a Half-Century of International Environmental Law” is the title of the daylong conference to be hosted Friday, October 8, 2021, by the Dean Rusk International Law Center and the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, with additional cosponsors including the American Society of International Law.

As described in the concept note:

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:

  • Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation
  • Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law
  • Kate Mackintosh, Executive Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA Law
  • Katie O’Bryan, Lecturer, Monash University, Australia
  • 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:

  • Sumudu Anopama Atapattu, Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer at Wisconsin Law
  • Robin Bronen, Executive Director of the Alaska Institute for Justice
  • Sarah Riley Case, Boulton Junior Fellow at McGill University Faculty of Law in Canada
  • Usha Natarajan, Edward W. Said Fellow at Columbia University
  • 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
  • Lakshman D. Guruswamy, Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at Colorado Law
  • 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.

Welcoming Visiting Scholar Brianne McGonigle Leyh, Associate Professor at Netherlands’ Utrecht University

We at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center are pleased to welcome Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh, a widely published expert in human rights law and global justice, with a focus on victims’ rights, transitional justice, social justice, and the documentation of serious crimes, as a Visiting Scholar. She joins us from Utrecht University School of Law in the Netherlands, where she is an Associate Professor. At Utrecht she is also a member of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, from which earned her Ph.D. in Law in 2011, the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law & Administration of Justice, and the Utrecht Youth Academy, as well as Education Coordinator of the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges.

Serving as her Georgia Law faculty sponsor is Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and a Faculty Co-Director of our Center.

On August 23, as part of her monthlong visit, Professor McGonigle Leyh will give a presentation on her current research, “The Avengers of International Criminal Law: The Role of Civil Society Actors in Advancing Accountability Efforts for Serious International Crimes.” Her focus is on the effect that strategic litigation – that is, universal jurisdiction cases under way in national systems in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, and France – will have on international criminal justice. The research forms part of a larger project entitled “Networking Justice: Strengthening Accountability for Serious International Crimes.”

In addition to her doctorate, she holds a J.D. cum laude and an M.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C., as well as a B.A. magna cum laude in Genocide Studies & Human Rights from Boston University. Her many publications include a monograph, Procedural Justice? Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings (Intersentia 2011), several edited volumes, and dozens of law review articles. Among her professional affiliations, she is a Senior Peace Fellow with the Public International Law & Policy Group, sits on the advisory boards of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Pro Bono Connect, and is an Executive Editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights.

Professor McGonigle Leyh’s visit continues our Center’s long tradition of hosting, for brief or extended stays, scholars and researchers whose work touches on issues of international, comparative, or transnational law. Details and an online application to become a visiting scholar here.

Georgia Law students earn international practice experience as Global Externs

Ten rising 2L and 3L students at the University of Georgia School of Law are taking part in Global Externships Overseas this summer. Administered by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the GEO initiative places Georgia Law students in externships lasting from four to twelve weeks, and offers students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a variety of legal settings worldwide.

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

Georgia Law Professor Amann takes part in launch of NGO report documenting crimes against children in Syria

Professor Diane Marie Amann, 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, took part last Friday in the launch of a report on crimes against and affecting children in Syria.

“Children of Syria – The Lost Hope,” was hosted by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that monitors, documents, and maintains a database of human rights violations in Syria, the site of a nearly ten-year-old conflict. The organization issued its Ninth Annual Report on Violations against Children in Syria (above left) on World’s Children Day, the day in November that marks the anniversary the adoptions by the UN General Assembly of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Participants in last week’s event discussed the Ninth Report, which stated that the Syrian conflict had claimed nearly 30,000 children between March 2011 and January 2021 – nearly 200 of them as a result of torture. Additional harms, many of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, documented include arrest and detention of children, forcible disappearance, attacks on schools and deprivation of education, and recruitment and use by armed forces.

Professor Amann, an expert in international criminal law and child rights, joined a panel discussing these findings, their impact on children and society at large, and avenues for redress and accountability. Amann said that the Ninth Report described conduct

“that constitutes both systematic violations of human rights in many different sectors as well as international crimes as articulated in the statutes of multiple tribunals and recognized as customary international law.”

She further outlined treaties and forums through which such conduct might be addressed.

Also speaking at the event, which is archived and available for viewing here, were: Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights; Martin Leeser, a member of the Syria team at the German Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; Dr. Troels Gauslå Engell, Senior Stabilisation Advisor on Syria to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Paula Sastrowijoto, Deputy Syria Envoy at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lina Biscaia, Senior Legal Officer, Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes and Crimes against Children Unit of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL; Javier Perez Salmeron of the Justice Rapid Response Child Rights Expert Roster; and Valentina Falco, Team Leader-Child Protection, UN Department of Peace Operations.

Georgia Law Professor Amann on “Children and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda,” at Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, seminar

“Children and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda” is the subject of a talk delivered today by Professor Diane Marie Amann, holder of the Emily & Ernest Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law. The talk was her online contribution to a year-long “WPS@20” seminar series hosted by the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster.

As its title indicates, the series, which began in February, has featured numerous speakers’ reflections on the WPS Agenda, which began with the passage on October 31, 2000, of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security. Since that date this agenda has inspired a range of activities, in the United Nations (as depicted in this UN Women 20-year  timeline) and other international organizations, and also in nongovernmental organizations and academia.

Amann’s contribution to the series benefited greatly from the team of Georgia Law student researchers with whom she worked this summer: Zoe Ferguson (JD’20), 3L Charles Wells, and 2Ls Courtney Hogan and Michael Ramirez.

This seminar focused not on women, but on an adjunct constituency cited in Resolution 1325; that is, on children. Here’s the abstract:

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security contains more than a dozen mentions of young people; to be precise, it refers twice to “women and children” and more than a dozen times to “women and girls.” Since the resolution’s adoption 20 years ago this week, many initiatives have arisen to combat conflict-related harms to children. These include the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda launched by Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) and other inter- and non-governmental efforts. This seminar will evaluate the WPS resolution, 20 years on, as a child-rights instrument. Consideration of the interim initiatives will help frame that assessment, as will evolving understandings of children’s sexual and gender identities, of children’s agency and children’s autonomy – all factors that may counsel against too-quick conjoinments of “children,” or “girls,” with “women.”

A rich set of questions followed the presentation. Moderating was Dr Catherine O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights/International Law at Ulster Law and TJI’s Gender Research Coordinator.

The seminar is available as a PowerPoint presentation and as an audio podcast at TJI’s Apple and Spotify accounts.

(cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

UGA Professor Jonathan Peters Participates in Expert Workshop on the ICCPR at Cambridge

JP headshot (1).jpgJonathan Peters, a media law professor with appointments in the School of Law and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, was among 34 scholars, policy leaders, and United Nations officials who participated in an expert workshop last week at the University of Cambridge on the right to peaceful assembly.

2019-12-04_11-36-49_243The workshop’s purpose was to support the U.N. Human Rights Committee by informing its drafting of General Comment No. 37 on Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 21 guarantees the right of peaceful assembly, and the General Comment will provide an authoritative interpretation of that right as well as substantive guidance to ensure its practical enjoyment.

One significant open question is whether General Comment No. 37 will recognize the Internet as a space where assemblies occur—on social media platforms and through other information and communication technologies. Participants exchanged ideas about whether and how Article 21 could be interpreted to protect virtual assemblies.

Peters, whose research explores digital media and the law, discussed the state action doctrine in U.S. law and how it distinguishes public and private action, along with the history and evolution of the public forum doctrine and its application to physical and virtual spaces.

Other workshop participants came from the U.N. Human Rights Committee, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Amnesty International, Article 19, and numerous universities.