Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen talks “Sources of International Law” in Borderline Justice podcast

Harlan Cohen, who is 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, discusses “Sources of International Law” in a podcast released this month.

He appeared on Borderline Jurisprudence, a podcast devoted to “philosophy and jurisprudence of international law,” in the words of its founders, Başak Etkin, Teaching and Research Fellow at Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, France, and Kostia Gorobets, Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

The conversation with Cohen covered an array of issues, including sources of international law, precedent, opinio juris, fragmentation, pluralism, and behavioral approaches to international law. Writings by Cohen and others, detailed in a bibliography available here, formed a foundation for the talk.

The 53-minute podcast may be accessed at Anchor FM, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Georgia Law Professor Laura Phillips Sawyer gives talk at Justice Department on antitrust law and extraterritoriality

Dr. Laura Phillips Sawyer, Associate Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, earlier this month presented her most recent scholarship, related to law and extraterritoriality, at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Phillips Sawyer’s research paper, entitled “Jurisdiction Beyond Our Borders: United States v. Alcoa and the Extraterritorial Reach of American Antitrust, 1909–1945,” offers a historical explanation for the origins of antitrust extraterritoriality.

The 1945 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Alcoa is famous in antitrust law for several reasons. To be precise, it:

  • Narrowly defined market share in favor of the federal government;
  • Expanded the category of impermissible dominant firm conduct;
  • Interpreted congressional intent as protecting an egalitarian business environment; and
  • Established the extraterritorial reach of U.S. antitrust laws.

Although each of those contributions has incited legal commentary and critique, Judge Learned Hand’s decision to redraw the territorial application of U.S. antitrust has remained largely unexamined.

The essay that Professor Phillips Sawyer presented advances two arguments:

  • First, right before and during the interwar years, the antitrust doctrine of strict territoriality had been eroded through a series of distinguishing cases and contradictory congressional policies.
  • Second, the well-documented connection between European fascism and cartelization provided strong external pressures to extend American antitrust law and policy abroad and to redouble anticartel and antimonopoly provisions at home. By 1945 extraterritorial antitrust emerged as an acceptable means of governance to curtail international cartel behavior, discipline monopolies at home, and impose an American-led liberal—and hegemonic—internationalism on much of the rest of the world.

The essay will appear in American Democracy and Antimonopoly, a Tobin Project publication, edited by Professors William Novak and Daniel Crane. Additionally, it will play a major role in the first chapter of Phillips Sawyer’s next book, which explores the macroeconomic pressures on American antitrust law and policy. Her first book, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the ‘New Competition,’ 1890-1940, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen publishes “Thoughts on the Concepts of International and Rabbinic Laws”

Harlan Cohen, who is 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, has published “The Primitive Lawyer Speaks!: Thoughts on the Concepts of International and Rabbinic Laws” in 64 Villanova Law Review 665 (2019).

The publication arose out of a symposium, held last year at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University School of Law, which explored explored implications of a 2018 Princeton University Press book by Villanova Law Professor Chaim Saiman. (prior post)

Here’s the abstract for Professor Cohen’s article, as set out at SSRN:

“Inspired by Chaim Saiman’s brilliant book, Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law, this essay draws connections between the lived experiences of international law and Jewish law, focusing in particular on (1) the centrality of practice, (2) the search for and construction of authority in communities of practice (the “invisible college”), (3) the challenges and opportunities of fragmentation and pluralism, and (4) the difficulty translating their methods to more state-like institutions, like courts and legislation. The hope is that this testimony of one of H.L.A. Hart’s primitive lawyers can provide a fuller, more textured picture of how law might operate or be experienced.”

Georgia Law Professor Cohen speaks at “Rabbinic Idea of Law” conference

Interrelations of jurisprudence and Jewish law were the focus of a daylong conference whose speakers included Harlan Cohen, who is 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. (photo credit)

Held last week at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University School of Law, the annual Norman J. Shachoy Symposium explored implications of Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law, a 2018 Princeton University Press book by Villanova Law Professor Chaim Saiman.

Cohen spoke on a panel entitled “The Rabbinic Idea of Law in Conversation with Movements in Legal Theory.” The gathering brought together scholars of legal theory, law and literature, religious law and theology, and religious studies, from institutions including the University of Chicago, New York University, and the University of Texas.