Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen publishes chapter on “Fragmentation”

“Fragmentation” is the title of a just-published book chapter by Harlan Cohen, 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.

The chapter appears in  Concepts for International Law: Contributions to Disciplinary Thought (Edward Elgar Publishing 2019), a 60-essay collection edited by scholars Jean d’Aspremont, of Sciences Po in Paris and the University of Manchester, and Sahib Singh, of the University of Helsinki.

Here’s the chapter abstract:

A danger, an opportunity, passé, a cliché, destabilizing, empowering, destructive, creative: depending on whom you ask, fragmentation has meant any and all of these for international law. The concept of fragmentation has been a mirror reflecting international lawyers’ perception of themselves, their field and its prospects for the future. This chapter chronicles fragmentation’s meanings over the past few decades. In particular, it focuses on the spreading fears of fragmentation around the turn of the millennium; how those fears were eventually repurposed; where, speculatively, those fears may have gone; and how and to what extent faith in international law was restored.

The book is available here; a version of Cohen’s contribution also is available at SSRN.

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’s 2019 Jessup International Law Moot team competes in New Orleans

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The 2019 Georgia Law Jessup Team, from left: Hanna Karimipour, Sam Hatcher, Lyddy O’Brien, and Drew Hedin

Members of our University of Georgia School of Law team are competing this week in the New Orleans regional rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. They’re part of a 60-year-old tradition, in which law students enact the presentation of arguments before the International Court of Justice, the Hague-based judicial organ of the United Nations.

Jessup2019_HiRes_PDF_300dpiIn New Orleans and in cities across the globe, teams from more than 680 law schools, representing 100 countries and jurisdictions, are arguing this year’s Jessup dispute, Case Concerning the Kayleff Yak (State of Aurok v. Republic of Rakkab).

We at Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center have enjoyed working with this talented team of students throughout this academic year, and we wish them the best of luck in this year’s contest.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents on “Precedent” at University of Vienna

Earlier this month, Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen presented his scholarship at “Opening the Black Box of Precedent and Case-based Reasoning,” a 2-day workshop at Universität Wien/the University of Vienna in Austria.

Cohen, who is the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and serves as the Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented a work in progress entitled “The Sociology of International Precedent.” He spoke as part of a panel on “Constructing Authority of Precedent,” along with scholars based in Austria and in Denmark. The workshop also included scholars from Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, and Italy.

Georgia Law Professors Cohen and Durkee present at 2018 International Business Law Scholars Roundtable

The University of Georgia School of Law was well represented at IBL 2018, this year’s International Business Law Scholars Roundtable.

The event, held last Friday and Saturday at Brooklyn Law School, opened with a panel on “Corporate and Private Law Governance Issues in the International Sphere.” Among the speakers was Georgia Law Professor Melissa J. Durkee (above right), who presented “The New Functional Sovereignty: Private Authority in Global Governance.”

The gathering concluded with a panel on “International Economic Law,” at which Harlan G. Cohen (above left), Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and our Center’s Faculty Co-Director, presented “What is International Trade Law For?”

They joined dozens of scholars, from law faculties at Harvard, NYU, Peking University, Sweden’s Orebo University, and elsewhere.

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.

Visiting Scholar Piotr Uhma Delivers Lecture on International Law and Democracy

IMG_2095Last week, Georgia law faculty, students, and friends from other departments were treated to a lecture by Dr. Piotr Uhma, Visiting Research Scholar at the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Uhma presented his new paper, completed while in residence at the Center, What democracy is the value of international law? In it, he focuses on the linkages between democracy and international law, explores the shape of democracy in the context of a changing international order, and the issue of non-liberal democracy. In particular, he discussed Poland’s recent political changes and what they mean for democracy and the rule of law.

Uhma serves as a lecturer in international law and postdoctoral researcher at the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University, located in Kraków, Poland. He formerly held multiple posts with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and worked as Director of the Legal and Corporate Communications Office of the Polish Electric Power Grid company, PSE Operator S.A. He has been visiting at the Center during the spring 2018 semester.

Georgia Law’s Chanel Chauvet, ILSA Student President, on 2018 Jessup moot

auChanel Chauvet, a member of the University of Georgia School of Law Class of 2018, Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador, and outgoing President of the International Law Students Association, reflects on the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C., below (cross-posted from her website).

Congratulations to the team pictured above, from the University of Queensland, Australia, for winning the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition!  This is the third time the University of Queensland has won the international competition. National Law School of India University (NLSIU) followed in second place. Program listed here.

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Notably, Isha Jain of NLSIU received the best oralist award (pictured second from left).

The 2017-2018 season marked the 59th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Jessup is the world’s largest and most prestigious moot court competition, with participants from over 645 law schools in 95 countries. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations.

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This year’s Jessup problem involved interpretation of a fictional bilateral treaty and raised legal questions about the meaning and application of customary international law, the law of the sea and use of force. Teams prepared oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.

There were also ample opportunities for the students to interact with each other during various Jessup events, including the National Dress Ball, Announcement parties, and the Closing Gala (see pictures below). Students also took time in between rounds to explore the District of Columbia, including Capitol Hill, which was a short walk away from the venue.

“Arms Sales in Conflict: Examining the Impact on Yemen,” session April 4 during ASIL Annual Meeting in D.C.

Arms sales and the conflict in Yemen will be the focus of a panel at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. from 2:30-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

The panel will examine why some states halt arms sales to countries in conflict, while others do not. Using Saudi Arabia’s support for the Yemeni government as a case study, this session will focus on why the United States has continued (and, in fact, increased) arms sales to Saudi Arabia while some European governments have halted such sales pending further review. The panel will examine the changes to US policy and regulations under the Trump administration, focusing on the use and development of international standards related to arms sales, in particular whether the Arms Trade Treaty has been an effective tool in stopping irresponsible arms sales.

 

 

Panelists will include: Brittany Benowitz, Chief Counsel at the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights (left); Dafna H. Rand, former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of State Bureau of  Democracy, Human Rights & Labor (center left); and Rachel Stohl, Managing Director of the Stimson Center, and Director of the Conventional Defense Program (center right). Moderating the panel will be our Center’s Director, Kathleen A. Doty (right).

The panel is presented jointly by two ASIL interest groups, the Nonproliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Interest Group and the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict. The session is also co-sponsored by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, CIVIC, and the Stimson Center.

ASIL attendees and others in Washington are most welcome to join us and take part in the April 4 conversation, to be held in the Lexington Room of the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW. Please join us if you will be in Washington; light refreshments will be served.

 

 

Pride of place: Georgia Law’s international law curriculum and initiatives rank No. 15 in US News

Delighted to share the news that the just-released 2019 US News rankings place our international law curriculum here at the University of Georgia School of Law at No. 15 in the United States.

We’re situated just below UCLA and Stanford, just above Northwestern and the University of Texas, and 3 slots higher than last year. By our count, this marks the 4th time in recent years we’ve been among the top 20 or so US law schools for international law.

The achievement is due in no small part to the enthusiastic support and hard work of everyone affiliated with Georgia Law’s 40-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. To name a few:

► Stellar members of the law faculty, including: Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, an international arbitration expert; Associate Dean Lori A. Ringhand, a scholar of comparative constitutional law; our Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, Professors Diane Marie Amann, currently at the University of Oxford, as a Research Visitor at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Visiting Fellow at Mansfield College, and Professor Harlan G. Cohen, an expert in global governance and foreign relations law; Professors Christopher M. Bruner, a comparative corporate governance scholar, Jason A. Cade, an immigration expert, Sonja West and Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, who have presented on media law and civil procedure, respectively, in Budapest and Tel Aviv, Walter Hellerstein, a world-renowned tax specialist, Nathan S. Chapman, a scholar of due process and extraterritoriality, and Michael L. Wells, a European Union scholar; and our Center’s Director, Kathleen A. Doty, an arms control specialist;

► Talented students pursuing JD, MSL, and LLM degrees, including: the dozen or so who work with us as Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassadors; the staffers and editors of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law who produce one of the country’s oldest student journals, and who led our Fall 2017 conference on international trade; the advocates on our Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot and Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court teams; participants in our Global Externships and our Global Governance Summer School; the leaders of our International Law Society and, this year, of the worldwide International Law Students Association; and the students who take part each week in our Legal Spanish Study Group;

► Superb Center staff like Laura Tate Kagel, Christine Keller, Britney Hardweare, and Mandy Dixon;

► Visiting scholars like Professor Yanying Zhang of Shandong University, China, and Dr. Piotr Uhma of Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University, Poland;

► Academics, practitioners, and policymakers, from all over the world, who have contributed to our events – conferences and lectures, as well as our International Law Colloquium Series;

Graduates who excel as partners in international commercial law firms, as directors of public law entities like the United Nations World Food Programme, as in-house counsel at leading multinational enterprises, and as diplomats and public servants – and who give back through mentoring and other support;

► Our valued partnerships, with Georgia Law student organizations; with institutions like the Leuven Centre for Global Governance at Belgium’s University of Leuven; with organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the American Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, IntLawGrrls blog, Global Atlanta, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, and the Planethood Foundation; with professional groups including the Georgia Asian and Pacific American Bar Association and the Vietnamese American Bar Association; with university units like the School of Public & International Affairs, the Department of Comparative Literature, the African Studies Institute, the Institute for Native American Studies, the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute, and the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.

With thanks to all, we look forward to continue strengthening our initiatives in international, comparative, transnational, and foreign relations law – not least, in the preparation of Georgia Law students to practice in our 21st C. globalized legal profession.