Georgia Law Professors Durkee, Amann in key roles at annual International Law Weekend conference in New York

Our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center was well-represented at last week’s International Law Weekend, the annual 3-day conference of the American Branch of the International Law Association held at multiple venues in New York City. Theme of this year’s conference, which marked the centennial anniversary of the American Branch, was “The Next 100 Years of International Law.”

Our Center’s Director, Professor Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is also Associate Dean for International Programs and Allen Post Professor here at Georgia Law, served as a Co-Chair of the ILW conference. She also chaired Friday’s keynote address, on “The Biden Administration’s Approach to International Justice,” delivered by Beth Van Schaack, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice.

On Saturday, 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, took part in exploration of “The Legitimacy and Fundamental Principles of International Human Rights Law.” Moderated by Mortimer Sellers (Maryland), the panel also featured as speakers Gloria Y.A. Ayee (Harvard), Hélène Ruiz Fabri (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg), and Aaron Xavier Fellmeth (Arizona State). In her own talk on legitimacy and human rights, Amann discussed her article on international child law and peace negotiations, which grew out of a University of Cambridge Lauterpacht Centre settlement options project. (Article available here; prior posts here and here.)

Georgia Law was honored to serve as a Gold Level cosponsor of this conference.

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann interviewed on international law and developments in Ukraine-Russia war

An international law analysis by Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann on recent developments in the Ukraine-Russia war is quoted in an article published Sunday by Voice of America Russian Service.

The Russian-language article, Юристы по международному праву: аннексия, проведенная Путиным, юридически ничтожна (that is, International Lawyers: The Annexation Carried out by Putin Is Legally Null and Void), was written by Evgenii Komarov. In addition to 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, Komarov interviewed international law professors Lea Brilmayer and Zakhar Tropin, from, respectively, Yale Law School and the Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The article related particularly to last week’s assertion by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country had annexed four regions of Ukraine that Russian troops had occupied in the months following their February 2022 invasion of the country.

Amann analyzed this development in light of international law norms set out in agreements to which Ukraine and Russia both belong, including the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and human rights treaties. She also discussed the potential for accountability and international pressure, through, for instance, economic sanctions and geopolitical isolation, UN treaty bodies on human rights and anti-discrimination, the International Criminal Court, and proposals for a special tribunal.

Komarov wrote:

“The effectiveness of international law ‘depends on political will, and I think that the countries that make these decisions weigh the benefits and costs,’ states Diane Marie Amann. This leads to the fact that justice is moving very slowly.”

Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes “International Child Law and the Settlement of Ukraine-Russia and Other Conflicts” in International Law Studies

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann has published, in the century-old, peer-reviewed international law journal of the U.S. Naval War College, an article analyzed international child law in order to imagine ways that peace processes may engage with children and ensure that children’s issues are addressed in future peace agreements.

Entitled “International Child Law and the Settlement of Ukraine-Russia and Other Conflicts,” the article appears at 99 International Law Studies 559-601 (2022) and is available here.

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, she served from 2012 to 2021 as the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

She undertook research on this topic while a Visiting Academic at University College London this past summer. An earlier version of her research forms part of the Ukraine Peace Settlement Project of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. (prior post)

Here’s the abstract for Amann’s just-published article:

The Ukraine-Russia conflict has wreaked disproportionate harms upon children. Hundreds reportedly were killed or wounded within the opening months of the conflict, thousands lost loved ones, and millions left their homes, their schools, and their communities. Yet public discussions of how to settle the conflict contain very little at all about children. This article seeks to change that dynamic. It builds on a relatively recent trend, one that situates human rights within the structure of peace negotiations, to push for particularized treatment of children’s experiences, needs, rights, and capacities in eventual negotiations. The article draws upon twenty-first century projects that examine the lives of children in armed conflict by synthesizing international child law. The projects’ syntheses have influenced the work of certain international organizations bodies but not, to date, the work of peace settlements.

To demonstrate their relevance to conflict resolution, the article first outlines two syntheses by the United Nations and by the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor. After mapping child rights and conflict harms, it examines the treatment of children in Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement and a 1999 agreement related to Sierra Leone. The article concludes by proposing child-inclusive options for peace processes and eventual peace agreements.

As part of Cambridge project, Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes options for including children in eventual Ukraine-Russia peace process and agreement

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann has contributed an analysis of international child law to the Ukraine Peace Settlement Project of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The paper itself, entitled “Ukraine Settlement Options Paper: Children,” relies on syntheses of international legal frameworks involving children and armed conflict; in particular, the 2016 Policy on Children of the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor and the United Nations’ agenda that monitors and publicizes data on what the UN Security Council has identified as the Six Grave Violations against Children During Armed Conflict. The paper looks as well to two peace agreements – the 1999 Lomé Agreement on Sierra Leone and the 2016 Colombia peace agreement – to propose ways by which any ppeace negotiations and eventual settlement of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict could pay due regard to children’s experiences, rights, needs, and capacities.

A summary of the paper appeared Friday, under the title “Options for a Peace Settlement in Ukraine: Options Paper IX – Children,” at Opinio Juris blog.

The paper’s Appendix comprises tables that map the adherence – or not – of Ukraine and Russia to the international law treaty regimes and soft law instruments discussed in the body of the paper.

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, is a Visiting Academic this summer at University College London. She served from 2012 to 2021 as the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

In addition to SSRN, Amann’s 34-page paper is available here at the Lauterpacht Centre site, which serves as a depository for dozens papers by an array of international law and international relations experts, on topics ranging from use of force and weapons of mass destruction to land claims, asset sanctions, and detainee release and exchange.

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.