New International Judicial Training session under way at Georgia Law

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Our University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center is pleased to welcome a delegation of 45 judges and court personnel from Brazil for a two-week judicial training course here in Athens. Organized in partnership with the University of Georgia Institute of Continuing Judicial Education and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the training is designed to introduce participants to the U.S. judicial system.

For more than two decades, the Dean Rusk International Law Center has conducted International Judicial Trainings, particularly for the Brazilian judiciary. Over the years, the trainings have provided a comparative perspective on legal initiatives such as drug and other specialty courts, domestic violence programs, and continuing judicial education.

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Justice Fernando Cerqueira Norberto dos Santos, who has been involved in the International Judicial Training partnership with the Center since its inception, leads the current delegation.

The course, which began on Sunday, focuses on judicial administration. It features speakers from Georgia Law as well as area practitioners and court personnel. The training includes a trip to the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center, and participants also will learn about the appellate courts and programs of the State Bar of Georgia in Atlanta.

Scholarly achievements, thriving initiatives featured in newsletter of Dean Rusk International Law Center

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For a recap of the year’s global law-and-practice accomplishments here at the University of Georgia School of Law, have a look at the just-published annual newsletter of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Features include:

► Celebrating the scholarly achievements of our many other globally minded faculty and staff, including Diane Marie Amann, Christopher Bruner, Thomas V. Burch, Anne Burnett, Jason A. Cade, Nathan S. Chapman, Harlan G. Cohen, Kathleen A. Doty, Melissa J. Durkee, Walter Hellerstein, Lori Ringhand, Usha Rodrigues, and Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge.

► Events past and future, including day-long conferences cosponsored with the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, public lectures and our Consular Series of lunch talks with Atlanta-based diplomats, cosponsorship of panels at regional and national international law meetings, and the upcoming International Law Colloquium Series.

► Initiatives aimed at preparing our J.D. and LL.M. students for global legal practice, including our Global Externships and our Global Governance Summer School, plus support for students’ organizations and international advocacy teams.

The full newsletter is here.

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!

Global Governance Summer School visits the Hague Conference on Private International Law & museum

THE HAGUE — Students spent their second day in The Hague engaged in a mix of legal and cultural excursions.

Students spent the morning meeting with lawyers from the Hague Conference on Private International Law. There, they were treated to an overview of the world organization responsible for cross-border cooperation in civil and commercial matters. Students met with Laura Martinez-Mora, Secretary of the Permanent Bureau, and Frédéric Breger, Legal Officer (left). They provided an introduction to the history and structure of the HCCH, and provided a detailed overview of some of its many conventions, which cover topics including: family law matters such as child abduction, intercountry adoption, child protection, and maintenance obligations; forum selection as other procedural issues such as choice of court, taking evidence abroad, service abroad, and apostille. Finally, they touched upon the newly concluded Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters, which Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, raised during his session on international dispute resolution in Leuven last week. Students were interested to hear about the treaty-making process, as well as the aspects of the treaties, particularly those covering family law, that reinforced human rights treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

From left, Ayman Tartir, Steven Miller, Gamble Baffert, Charles Wells, Emily Snow, Holly Stephens, Lauren Taylor, Briana Blakely, Jessica Parker, and Kathleen Doty.

 

In the afternoon, the group visited Escher in Het Paleis, the museum dedicated to M.C. Escher, set in Queen Emma’s winter palace. There, students took in masterpieces, and thoroughly enjoyed the interactive top floor of the museum. Everyone’s inner child came out to play!

Tomorrow, students will visit the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court before concluding the 2019 Global Governance Summer School.

 

Global Governance Summer School: after travel day and World Cup match, Special Tribunal for Lebanon kicks off The Hague briefings

From left, Gamble Baffert, Charles Wells, Lauren Taylor, Emily Snow, Emily Doumar, Leila Knox, Amanda Shaw, Alicia Millspaugh, Briana Blakely, Jessica Parker, Steven Miller, Ayman Tartir

LEUVEN & THE HAGUE — Yesterday, Georgia Law students participating in the Global Governance Summer School left Leuven, Belgium, where they had been in residence for classroom sessions and professional development opportunities. They traveled by train to The Hague, Netherlands, and arrived just in time to watch the U.S. – Netherlands Women’s World Cup match. What a place to watch!

From left, Emily Doumar, Jessica Parker, Briana Blakely, Lauren Taylor, Kathleen Doty, Charles Wells, Emily Snow, Gamble Baffert, Holly Stephens, Leila Knox, Steven Miller, Alicia Millspaugh, Ayman Tartir, Amanda Shaw.

Students spent this morning in briefings at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Established in 2009, the STL’s mandate is to hold trials for the people accused of carrying out the February 14, 2005 attack in Beirut that killed the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, and twenty-two others.

Representatives from all four of the court organs presented to the students. They included: Romy Batrouny, Assistant Legal Officer in Chambers, who gave an overview of the tribunal’s history, mandate, and structure and an introduction to the work of lawyers in Chambers; Edel Regan, Associate Legal Officer with the Registry Legal Office, who explained the various legal issues encountered in the administration of the court, ranging from immunities to the protection of victims and witnesses to procurement; Matthias Neuner, Trial Counsel in the Office of the Prosecutor, who challenged students to think about the purpose of international criminal tribunals and the development of the law in the fight against impunity for terrorism; anPaula Lynch, Associate Legal Officer in the tribunal’s Defence Office, who discussed the unique position of defense counsel in the STL structure, and the challenges of representing the defendants in absentia.

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From left, Lauren Taylor, Briana Blakely, and Jessica Parker.

In the afternoon, students enjoyed a cultural excursion to the Mauritshuis museum, home to masterpieces from Dutch and Flemish artists, including Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicoleas Tulp, and Potter’s The Bull.

Tomorrow, the group will continue with a briefing at the Hague Conference on Private International Law where they will learn about the operation of private law in the global arena.

GGSS Professional development briefings in Brussels

BRUSSELS – Students taking part in the Global Governance Summer School went to Brussels today for professional development briefings. They were exposed to a range of practice areas, from non-governmental organization advocacy, to intergovernmental work, to private law practice.

The day began with a visit to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). There, students were treated to a dialogue on human rights lawyering with Ralph J. Bunche (left), UNPO General Secretary and Professor Diane Marie Amann. They discussed the work of the organization — advocating for the self-determination of unrepresented peoples and nations — and the day-to-day work of advocacy in a human rights organization.

Next, the group traveled to the new headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Steven Hill (fifth from the right, at right), Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, took students on a tour of the facility and provided an overview of the work of the Legal Office at NATO. He particularly focused on the text of the North Atlantic Treaty, emerging technologies, and contemporary challenges to the NATO alliance.

Finally, students heard from David Hull (JD ’83) and Porter Elliot (JD ’96) (left), partners at Van Bael & Bellis about private law practice in Brussels. They discussed the practice areas of the firm – primarily European Union competition law and trade law. They shared candid career advice with students, including their personal stories of going from law school in Athens, Georgia to law practice in Brussels.

The day concluded with a reception, graciously hosted by Van Bael & Bellis. The second annual Friends of the Dean Rusk International Law Center Reception, we were pleased to reconnect with alumni/ae and other European partners of the Center.

Tomorrow, the students will return to the classroom, and celebrate the 4th of July deepening their understanding of international law.

Bon voyage to students taking part in Georgia Law global summer initiatives

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L to r, back row: students Marc Bennett, Steven Miller, Gi Jeong, Lukas Goettke, Spencer Price, Charles Wells, Gamble Baffert; front row, Amanda J. Shaw, an associate director at our Center, with students Emily Snow, Yuke Qiu, Leila Knox, Emily Doumar, Jessica Parker, Briana Blakley, Holly Stephens, Lauren Taylor, Alicia Millspaugh, and Anré Washington.

Fifteen rising 2L and 3L students at the University of Georgia School of Law have set out for summer destinations all across the world as part of our Global Externship Overseas (GEO). Administered by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, the GEO initiative places Georgia Law students in externships lasting from four to twelve weeks, and offers students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a variety of legal settings worldwide.

These Global Externs will enhance their legal education through summer placements in law firms, in-house legal departments, nongovernmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations, across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Practice areas include: dispute resolution, corporate law, international trade law, intellectual property law, international human rights law, refugee law, and international environmental law.

This year’s GEO class includes these placements in private law settings:

  • Gamble Baffert (2L) – PwC, Turin, Italy
  • Briana Blakley ­(2L) – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
  • Emily Doumar (2L) – Araoz y Rueda, Madrid, Spain
  • Lukas Goettke (3L) – DLA Piper, Moscow, Russia
  • Gi Jeong (3L) – Al Tamimi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Steven Miller (2L) – GÖRG, Cologne, Germany
  • Spencer Price (2L) – Buse Heberer Fromm, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Yuke Qiu (2L) – Hankun Law, Beijing, China
  • Emily Snow (2L) – Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels, Belgium
  • Holly Stephens (2L) – Maples Teesdale, London, UK
  • Anré Washington (2L) – Ferrero S.A., Luxembourg

Additionally, the following students will work in public law placements:

  • Leila Knox (2L) – No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium
  • Bailey Meyne (2L) – Open Society Justice Initiative, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jessica Parker (2L) – Boat People SOS, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Charles Wells (2L) – No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium

In addition to the GEO initiative, thirteen Georgia Law students will take part in our Center’s long-standing summer program in Belgium. During the first week of July, students will gather in Belgium for the Global Governance Summer School, which the Center again co-presents with the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. Students will spend several days in classroom sessions at the University of Leuven, and then spend two days in Brussels: one to attend a high-level policymaking event, and the other on professional development visits at a law firm, a nongovernmental organization, and an intergovernmental organization.  The group will then proceed to The Hague, Netherlands, for briefings at international courts and tribunals and other cultural excursions.

Join us in wishing these students an unforgettable summer, and stay tuned for travel updates in the coming months!

Celebrating graduation and another great international law year

Just before University of Georgia School of Law students entered the Spring 2019 exam period, we at the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center took a moment to thank and congratulate the many students with whom we work.

As listed below, more than 50 of them will earn JD or LLM  degrees later this month. We were delighted to celebrate their achievements.

Among those thanked were our Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassadors, of the 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM classes who assist the Center with administrative duties, events, and research.

Also recognized were the many students who have taken part in initiatives like the Global Externship At-Home or Overseas, the Global Governance Summer School, NATO Externship, the Women, Peace & Security Project, Southeast Model African Union, the Legal Spanish Study Group, Louis B. Sohn Professional Development fellowships, Atlanta International Arbitration Society reporting, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, and leadership in the International Law Society and in Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law conferences.

Thanks and congratulations to all!

Class of 2019

Michael Ackerman Vis Moot
Saif-Ullah Ahmed Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador
Marc Bennett LLM’19 transferring to JD’21 curriculum, summer 2019 Global Extern
Lauren Brown Global Extern, NATO Externship, Women, Peace & Security Project
Casey Callahan Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador
Shummi Chowdhury Student Ambassador, Southeast Model African Union
Jennifer Cotton Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Jessup Moot
James Cox Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Edward Mills Culver Global Governance Summer School
Cristina De Aguiar Martins LLM
Jerry Dei LLM
Erin Doyle Women, Peace & Security Project, Student Ambassador
Garret Drogosch Vis Moot
Nicholas Duffey Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Linda Emanor LLM
Sarah Flanders Vis Moot
Brad Gerke Global Extern
Maximilian Goos LLM
Allison Gowens Jessup Moot
Roger Grantham Jr. Jessup Moot
Brian Griffin Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Legal Spanish Study Group, AtlAS Rapporteur
Kathryn Hagerman Women, Peace & Security Project
Wade Herring III Global Extern, Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador, Sohn Professional Development Fellow
Amanda Hoefer Southeast Model African Union
Evans Horsley Global Governance Summer School
Bailey Hutchison Student Ambassador
Trung Khuat LLM
Kristopher Kolb Global Governance Summer School, Student Ambassador
George Ligon Global Extern
Zachariah Lindsey Global Extern
Ning “Hannah” Ma LLM
Darshini Nair LLM’19 transferring to JD’21 curriculum, Student Ambassador
Philicia Nlandu LLM’17 transfer to JD’19
Teresa Fariña Núñez LLM
Lyddy O’Brien Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Sohn Professional Development Fellow, Jessup Moot, Executive Conference Editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law
Nils Okeson Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern, Student Ambassador, Vice President of the International Law Society
Gilbert Oladeinbo LLM’17 transfer to JD’19
Paolo Cariello Perez LLM
Anh Pham LLM
Matthew Poletti Global Extern, Legal Spanish Study Group
Taylor Samuels Women, Peace & Security Project
Rosari Sarasvaty LLM, AtlAS Rapporteur
Miles Skedsvold Legal Spanish Study Group
Whayoon Song LLM
Nicholas Steinheimer Global Extern, Dean Rusk International Law Center
Amir Tanhaei LLM, AtlAS Rapporteur, Vis Moot coach
Morgan Renee Thomas Editor in Chief of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law
Ezra Thompson Global Governance Summer School, Global Extern
Benjamin Torres Jessup Moot
John James Van Why Senior Conference Editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law
Rebecca Wackym GEO, Southeast Model African Union
Eric Wilder Women, Peace & Security Project

Update from Nigeria: attorney Chukwudi Ofili, LLM Class of 2018, reflects on his post-graduation year

This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law LLM students, writing on their participation in our LLM degree and about their post-graduate experiences. Author of this post is alumnus Chukwudi Ofili, a member of the Class of 2018.

Chudi photoIt has been an eventful year for me. In January 2018, during my last semester at the University of Georgia, I began a corporate in-house counsel externship – an experiential learning opportunity open to qualified Georgia Law LLM students – at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta There, I had the opportunity to work on issues such as cybersecurity, imports, and Office of Foreign Assets Control compliance.

Following graduation, I took the New York bar examination in July.  When I learned that I had passed, I was in London, participating in the highly selective International Lawyers For Africa (ILFA) 2018 Flagship Secondment Programme (IFSP), which each year places lawyers from various African jurisdictions at highly reputed international law firms and corporations for a period of three months. I was placed with Trinity International LLP, a niche project and corporate finance firm focusing on energy, infrastructure, resources, and industry. During my secondment, I worked on some international transactions, with focus on financing power and infrastructure projects across the African continent.

Chudi speechIFSP was an enriching and exciting experience. It included training programs and networking events that introduced the participants to some of the brightest minds in the international legal market, in diverse practice areas. In particular, the networking opportunities were immense and may not be replicated in our lives on such a scale. I was pleased to selected to deliver the valedictory address for the London IFSP cohort at the ILFA Gala Night, which marked the end of the program.

I am now happy to be back in Nigeria at Bloomfield Law Practice, in the Corporate, Securities, and Finance practice group. I was recently interviewed for an article in THISDAY Newspaper Nigeria Legal Personality of the Week. In the interview, I expressed my hopes for good prospects in 2019. The year is already off to a good start: I’ve just completed a co-authored article,  Recognition and Enforcement of Cross-Border Insolvency; Nigeria in Perspective.

I came to Georgia Law after working with my firm, Bloomfield Law Practice, having graduated with first-class honors from Babcock University in Nigeria. At Georgia Law, I was the recipient of a prestigious graduate research assistantship, and participated in the Business Law Society.

I will always recommend the Georgia Law LLM curriculum, as it is tailored to each student’s career goals; for example, preparing to sit for a U.S. bar exam, or pursuing a concentration. Plus, students come to find out that Athens (which is just about an hour away from Atlanta) is a lovely place for studies, with friendly people.

“Excited to pursue the conservation of biodiversity around the world”: Andrew Hedin on his Global Externship at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

This is one in a series of posts by University of Georgia School of Law students, writing on their participation in our Global Governance Summer School or Global Externship Overseas initiative. Author of this post is Andrew Hedin, a member of the Class of 2020 who spent his 1L summer as a GEO, or Global Extern Overseas.

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Malo! (“Hi” in Samoan.) This summer I lived in the tropical paradise of Samoa, working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). During my externship, I worked on environmental law issues and had the opportunity to attend a major conference in Fiji. Following my internship, I was invited to observe the first United Nations conference to work towards a treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity on the high seas.

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SPREP is an international governmental organization serving the fourteen island nations of the South Pacific, as well as five states with territories in the region, including the United States. Headquartered in Apia, the capital city of Samoa, SREP addresses environmental issues ranging from waste disposal to climate change to biodiversity. It also serves a data collection function, which facilitates identification and monitoring of environmental issues. The work of the organization is critical because the Pacific Island states encompass over fifteen million kilometers of marine territory, and are considered to be the largest source of marine biodiversity in the world. However, these ecosystems are fragile and have faced significant reduction due to increased human activity both within and outside the region.

20180724_123546During my externship, I worked closely with SPREP’s legal counsel, and participated in various projects on topics like preventing the practice of shark finning and banning the use of non-reusable plastics. My most extensive assignment related to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Protocol seeks to ensure that there are predictable conditions for access to genetic material, and that the benefits of genetic resource research are shared with the country of origin. Thus, the Protocol requires parties to enter into a contract that obtains prior informed consent of the resource provider, clearly lays out the benefits to the providing community, and defines the scope of access for the user of the genetic resource. The Protocol also creates intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge associated with genetic material in order to protect indigenous communities’ use of local resources. I had the opportunity to assist in the drafting of model implementing legislation and contract templates, and to conduct an analyses of implementation issues in the Cook Islands and Tonga.

I was fortunate to travel with the access and benefits sharing team to Fiji to attend a conference on this topic hosted by the International Development Law Organization and the ABS Initiative. This provided a global context for my work; I learned about how the Nagoya Protocol was being implemented in other regions. It was also a tremendous opportunity to meet practitioners working in this area.

Faga-Loa BayThe opportunity to work on biodiversity was amplified by the chance to do so in Samoa. When I wasn’t working, I spent the summer exploring the natural wonders of the small island nation. Consisting of two main islands – Upolu and Savai’i – and eight small inlets, Samoa boasts an extensive coral reef ecosystem, pristine beaches, massive waterfalls, and miles upon miles of coconut trees. It is also home to 200,000 people, who keep alive one of the world’s oldest cultures. Family and community are integral to the Samoan way of life, and Samoans take great pride in maintaining traditions that have been passed down for thousands of years. One of these, familiar around the world, is the Samoan art of tatau, or tattooing. Practiced for more than 3000 years, the art involves tattooing from the waist to the knees, entirely by hand. The traditional tattoo is highly respected, symbolizing an individual’s determination, endurance, and ability to assume responsibility. While I did not get any tattoos, having the opportunity to see the incredible natural world of the Pacific renewed my resolve to forge a career in international environmental law to protect these valuable resources.

Hedin_UNAfter completing my internship with SPREP and returning to campus this fall, I was pleased to be selected by the American Society of International Law, of which the University of Georgia School of Law is an Academic Partner, to serve as an NGO observer at the United Nations. As noted in the most recent edition of the ASIL Newsletter, I attended the first Intergovernmental Conference for an international legally binding instrument, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea, on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

At the conference, I watched as state delegates, and representatives of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations debated the four foundational pillars of the potential agreement:

  • accessing marine genetic resources and sharing in their benefits;
  • area-based management tools;
  • environmental impact assessments; and
  • capacity building with associated marine technology sharing.

This experience was incredible because I observed firsthand how treaty negotiations begin. Although representatives discussed an array of issues and expressed many concerns, there was near-consensus on the importance of protecting the genetic diversity in our oceans. While this is no small task and there is a significant amount of work to be done, after observing the proceedings, I am optimistic that reaching an agreement is possible.

Tu Soa 4x5While I knew that I was interested in international environmental law, before this summer I had never heard of the Nagoya Protocol. Now, I have an understanding of the contracts that govern access to genetic resources, and of their value to indigenous communities. I also built a network of professionals doing great work to advance this initiative. I am incredibly grateful for my time in Samoa and at the UN, and am excited to build on these experiences to pursue the conservation of biodiversity around the world for the benefit of generations to come.