Georgia Law, ASIL to cosponsor conference on legal responsibility of corporations and nation-states

  • When private companies perform governmental functions and governments own companies, which acts should be attributed to the state?
  • Which should be attributed to the corporation?
  • And whose religious beliefs, speech rights, and moral standing can those entities claim?

These questions and more will be explored in The Law and Logics of Attribution: Constructing the Identity and Responsibility of States and Firms, a 2-day online conference that our Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law, will cohost next month.

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor at Georgia Law, is leading the event, which will bring together a multinational group of scholars in law and social sciences. It’s cosponsored by the American Society of International Law and ASIL’s Interest Group on International Legal Theory. Durkee serves as Vice Chair of that interest group; Chair is her Georgia Law colleague Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Center. Registration is available here.

Scheduled to speak at the conference, which will take place 1-5 p.m. Friday, September 11, and Friday, September 18:

Olabisi Akinkugbe, Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Canada

William C. Banks, Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University College of Law, New York

Joshua Barkan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia

Kristen Boon, Miriam T. Rooney Professor of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, New Jersey

Rachel Brewster, Jeffrey and Bettysue Hughes Professor of Law, Duke Law School, North Carolina

David Ciepley, Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, California

Laura Dickinson, Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington School of Law, District of Columbia

Melissa “MJ” Durkee, Allen Post Professor, University of Georgia School of Law

Benjamin Edwards, Associate Professor of Law, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

James Gathii, Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Illinois

Sarah Haan, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee School of Law, Virginia

Catherine Hardee, Associate Professor of Law, California Western School of Law

Doreen Lustig, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Israel

Kish Parella, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Virginia

Dalia Palombo, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Mikko Rajavuori, Academy of Finland Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Eastern Finland Law School

Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, Vanderbilt School of Law, Tennessee

 

They’ll be examining aspects of the conference’s concept note:

“In international law, scholars and practitioners struggle to attribute rights and responsibilities between state and private entities in areas as diverse as military contracting, environmental accountability, human rights, international investment, and cyber espionage and warfare. In the corporate governance realm, attributing responsibility to entities is increasingly challenging in the context of globally dispersed corporate families with intricate parent-subsidiary structures; identity attribution has also produced headlining debates.

“While attribution questions fuel important conversations in both corporate and international law, the two literatures are not often in conversation. Questions of attribution in both domains nevertheless are becoming more complex and urgent, and the fields increasingly intersect: In some areas of law, attribution doctrines must determine the dividing line between states and firms. Doctrines of attribution construct the public domain, and thereby also the private. Attribution questions in both domains reinvigorate classic inquiries about the nature of a corporation, the relationship between private entities and the state, and the proper function of the law in mediating between the two.

“This conference will draw together corporate and international legal scholars, as well as thinkers outside the law, in order to cross-pollinate these two fields and the questions at their intersection, and to unearth promising theoretical tools. It will consider theoretical and doctrinal approaches to attribution, potential consequences of these approaches, and whether they may reconcile the ambiguities and deficiencies that drive current debates. The project aims to offer a new point of entry to enduring theoretical and doctrinal questions about the nature of corporations, of states, and of the relationship between them. It is particularly relevant at a time where corporations are ‘jurisdictionally ambiguous and spatially diffuse,’ states are deferential, dependent or outflanked, and multilateralism is at an ebb.”

Full details, including registration for this online event, are available here.

Georgia Law Professor Cade presents at Immigration Theory Workshop at University of Houston Law Center

Jason A. Cade, J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Community Health Law Partnership Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented on a panel, entitled “Where are We Now? Unpacking Migration’s Present,” at the inaugural interdisciplinary Immigration Theory Workshop: “Imagining Migration After Populism,” held recently at the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas.

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 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 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.