Dean Rusk International Law Center hosts “International Law and the Ukraine-Russia Conflict,” featuring Georgia Law Professors Amann, Cohen, and Durkee

Nearly a hundred members of the University of Georgia School of Law community took part Wednesday in “International Law and the Ukraine-Russia Conflict,” a forum hosted by our Dean Rusk International Law Center and presented by three international law experts on the law school’s faculty.

The armed conflict began on February 24, 2022, when Russian military troops invaded the neighboring state of Ukraine, entering the latter country at points on its northern, eastern, and southern borders. At this writing just a week later, thousands of persons, civilians and combatants alike, reportedly had been killed, and, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, more than a million Ukrainians had been forcibly displaced.

At Wednesday’s forum, each of the three Georgia Law professors first offered a brief overview of a particular aspect of the armed conflict:

  • Our Center’s Director, Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, who is also Associate Dean for International Programs and Allen Post Professor, began by outlining the international rules that have outlawed aggressive war – that is, one country’s unjustified invasion of another – since the adoption of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations. She explained why reasons that Russia has put forward do not constitute legally valid justifications for the invasion, and further emphasized the threat that Russia’s actions place on the international rules-based order that came into being after the Allied victory in World War II. In so doing, Durkee cited a UN General Assembly resolution, adopted Wednesday by a huge majority of votes, which condemned Russia’s actions as violative of this order.
  • Next came Harlan Grant Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and one of our Center’s 2 Faculty Co-Directors. Cohen focused on economic sanctions that have been levied against Russia in the last week, by individual countries including the United States and also by international organizations including the European Union. While noting that these types of economic actions had been developed in response to Iran’s nuclear program, Cohen stressed that the extent and impact of the sanctions already imposed against Russia is unprecedented.
  • Then followed our Center’s other Faculty Co-Director, Diane Marie Amann, who is also Regents’ Professor of International Law and Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. She addressed international humanitarian law, the body of law concerned with the ways that armies and armed groups actually conduct the war. She underscored that this body of law concerns itself with all sides of the conflict, regardless of who started the conflict: fighters on either side may be found liable for violations, and thus charged with war crimes. Amann concluded with a look at forums already engaged to review legal issues arising out of the war, among them the European Court of Human Rights, International Criminal Court, and International Court of Justice.

The forum concluded with a lively and wide-ranging question-and-answer period.

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.

Georgia Law Professor Amann publishes “On Command” in Temple Law journal

Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Dean Rusk International Law Center Faculty Co-Director here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published “On Command,” her contribution to a Temple International and Comparative Law Journal symposium issue.

The symposium took place in February 2020, just before the coronavirus lockdown, at Philadelphia’s Temple University Beasley School of Law. It brought together a dozen experts to comment on galley proofs of Justice in Extreme Cases: Criminal Law Theory Meets International Criminal Law, a book written by Darryl Robinson, Professor at Queen’s University in Canada, and issued later that year Cambridge University Press.

Amann took up the question of command responsibility, an issue on which she also has published at EJIL: Talk! and ICC Forum. The SSRN abstract for this essay states, in relevant part:

By reference to the Lieber Code and other sources, this essay emphasizes the history of responsibility underlying the doctrine of command responsibility, and further criticizes developments that seem to have intermingled that doctrine with what are called “modes of liability. The essay urges that consideration of commander responsibility stand apart from other such “modes,” and cautions against a jurisprudence that raises the risk that, before fora like the International Criminal Court, no one can be held to account.

The “On Command” essay is available here; the full symposium issue, also featuring contributions from Robinson himself, as well as Elena Baylis, Alejandro Chehtman, Caroline Davidson, Randle DeFalco, Margaret M. deGuzman, Alexander K.A. Greenawalt, Adil Ahmad Haque, Neha Jain, Mark Kersten Jens David Ohlin, Milena Sterio, and James G. Stewart, is available here.

Georgia Law Professor Amann in roundtable on international criminal justice at GW Law journal conference

Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Dean Rusk International Law Center Faculty Co-Director here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently took part in an online panel entitled “International Courts and Their Role in Cross-Border Criminal Prosecutions.”

The panel was one of several at the 2021 symposium of the George Washington University International Law Review, which considered international law and policy challenges created by global technological and physical shifts.

Joining Amann, who is also the Special Adviser to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict, in the roundtable discussion were: Olympia Bekou, Professor of Public International Law and Head of the University of Nottingham School of Law; and Patricia Viseur Sellers, Special Advisor for Gender for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, University of Oxford, and Practicing Professor, London School of Economics. Moderator was Michael J. Matheson, Adjunct Professor at GW Law.

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 in symposium on next Prosecutor of International Criminal Court

In this post Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, discusses her recent international law commentary.

Caution in giving too much credit, or blame, to one individual formed the focus of my contribution to last week’s symposium on “The Next ICC Prosecutor.”

Entitled “Placing the Prosecutor within the International Criminal Justice Project,” my post appeared Friday at Opinio Juris, cosponsor along with Justice in Conflict of the online symposium.

My post began by welcoming the rich dialogue – in anticipation of December’s election of the 3d Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court – that had unfolded all week. Fueling that discussion were contributions from a couple dozen commentators on international criminal law: Ewan Brown, Danya Chaikel, David Crane, Geoff Dancy, Tom Dannenbaum, Christian De Vos, Elizabeth Evenson, Kate Gibson, James Goldston, Douglas Guilfoyle, Kevin Jon Heller, Mark Kersten, Patryk Labuda, Stephen Lamony, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Jonathan O’Donohue, Mariana Pena, Priya Pillai, William Schabas, Melinda Taylor, Valerie Oosterveld, Beth Van Schaack, and Kate Vigneswaran, Alex Whiting, and William H. Wiley.

My post then pointed to risks involved in “placing too much weight on the person and position of Prosecutor.” These included:

  • the risk of generating expectations, “inevitably doomed to disappoint”; and
  • the risk that “the very association of a complex project with a lone person or position” obscures the myriad ways that many other actors “play roles, in helping to construct perceptions of the project and in contributing, or not, to the project.”

My contribution is available in full here. For additional posts in the symposium, see list here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann blog)

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann on her article, in International Review of the Red Cross, on ICC OTP Policy on Children, accountability for conflict-related crimes against children

In this post Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, discusses her most recent article related to the effects on children of armed conflict and similar extreme violence.

Very pleased to announce the publication of my new article, “The Policy on Children of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor: Toward greater accountability for crimes against and affecting children.”

As indicated in the just-before-publication version that I’ve posted at SSRN, the International Review of the Red Cross placed this article online last month, on February 21. Currently, that published version is available to Cambridge Core subscribers at a First View page; once it appears in print, in a special issue on “Children and War,” it will be freely accessible at the Review‘s website.

Here’s the abstract:

The Policy on Children published by the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor in 2016 represents a significant step toward accountability for harms to children in armed conflict and similar extreme violence. This article describes the process that led to the Policy and outlines the Policy’s contents. It then surveys relevant ICC practice and related developments, concluding that despite some salutary efforts, much remains to be done to recognize, prevent and punish the spectrum of conflicted-related crimes against or affecting children.

This article represents my latest effort to assist in raising awareness and developing strategies respecting children and conflict (prior posts). It’s an effort in which I’ve been deeply involved since my 2012 appointment as the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict.

Central to this effort was the multiyear process of researching and drafting, along with an Office of the Prosecutor working group and in consultation with others, of the document published in 5 languages and launched in November 2016 as the Policy on Children. Other aspects have included:

Happy to provide further details. And as always, comments welcome.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann blog)

Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann presents at ESIL and ICC on Dr. Aline Chalufour, lawyer on French prosecution team at Nuremberg

Earlier this month, in Europe, 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, presented her research respecting the only French woman lawyer on Nuremberg.

Amann gave a paper entitled “Intersectional Sovereignties: Dr. Aline Chalufour, Woman at Nuremberg – and at Paris, Ottawa, and Dalat” at “New Histories of Sovereigns and Sovereignties,” a daylong workshop sponsored by the European Society of International Law Interest Group on the History of International Law. The workshop also featured scholars from Stanford University, the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and Oxford University in England. It took place at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, the day before the start of ESIL’s annual conference held at the same university.

The following week, Amann presented on Dr. Chalufour (pictured above at far right) as a guest lecturer in the series presented by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The first talk explored the life of Dr. Chalufour, who was born in 1899 in Dieppe and lived at least until the early 1980s, through 3 theorizations of sovereignty: 1st, shared sovereignties theories developed alongside the 1920 establishment of the League of Nations; 2d, theories on the interrelation of international law with colonialism and imperialism; and 3d, feminist theorizations of human sovereignties. Amann’s second talk explored Dr. Chalufour’s work at Nuremberg as an example of a cross-cutting history from below.

This work in progress is part of Amann’s ongoing research into the roles that women played at post-World War II trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo.

2019 Global Governance Summer School concludes with briefings at the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court

THE HAGUE – On this final day of the 2019 Global Governance Summer School, students visited two preeminent international tribunals — the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court — for high level briefings. They were also treated to a visit from Dr. Kaitlin Ball (JD ’14), a Georgia Law alumna who recently finished a PhD at Cambridge and is living in Europe.

The group started the day at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an audience with Hendrik Denys, law clerk to the Honorable Joan Donoghue, the American judge on the International Court of Justice. Mr. Denys, an alumnus of our partner school, KU Leuven, spoke with students about the history of the Peace Palace, the structure and procedure of the Court, and several representative decisions of the ICJ’s jurisprudence. He also provided advice for preparing a career in international law.

In the afternoon, the group visited the International Criminal Court (ICC), located on the dunes near The Hague’s North Sea coast. Student first had a meeting with Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, for whom our summer school’s co-director, Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, serves as Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict. Bensouda described her own path to practicing international criminal law. While acknowledging the barriers to achieving justice, she expressed the urgency of continuing the effort, on behalf of global society as well as the victims of international crimes.

The second audience at the ICC was with the Honorable Kimberly Prost of Canada, who serves as a Judge in the Trial Division. Judge Prost discussed the history of the Court and the many of the challenges facing it. She also emphasized the important concept of complementarity in regards to the ICC’s relationship to national courts.

Students also had the opportunity to view the confirmation of charges against Al Hassan, who is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in 2012 and 2013 in Timbuktu, Mali. During the portion of the hearing that time permitted the group to observe, students heard from one of the Legal Representatives of the Victims, who emphasized the impact of the alleged crimes.

All in all, it was a great day, a successful trip, and we look forward to returning next year!

Command responsibility in 2018 judgment, topic of Georgia Law Professor Amann’s ICC Forum essay

Honored to have contributed on the doctrine of command responsibility to the newest edition of ICC Forum, an online publisher of essays on human rights and international criminal law. My essay was one of several responding to this question, posed by the editors:

“What does the Bemba Appeal Judgment say about superior responsibility under Article 28 of the Rome Statute?”

My own response, entitled “In Bemba, Command Responsibility Doctrine Ordered to Stand Down,” amplified an argument I’d made in an EJIL: Talk! contribution last year (prior post).

Specifically, it traced the development of the international-humanitarian- law/law-of-armed-conflict-doctrine that places on military commanders a burden greater than that shouldered by other combatants. It then turned to the International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber’s 2018 judgment in Bemba. The majority’s interpretation of the ICC Statute’s command-responsibility provision, my essay argued, risks tolerating “derelictions of duty” so as “to condone indiscipline,” and thus “to increase the risks of the very harms that the doctrine of command responsibility is intended to dispel.” As a result, perhaps “no one can be held to account.”

Other invited experts who contributed essays were: Miles Jackson, Associate Professor of Law, Jesus College, University of Oxford; Michael A. Newton, Professor of the Practice of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University Law School; Nadia Carine Fornel Poutou, Executive President Association of Women Lawyers of Central African Republic; and Leila Nadya Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University School of Law.

ICC Forum is supported by the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law; UCLA Law Professor Richard H. Steinberg serves as Editor-in-Chief.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)