Un petit part de la part de la planète

This essay, reflecting on yesterday’s presidential announcement of intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change,  is cross-posted from the website of Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann)

Do Your Part,” Allied posters proclaimed during World War II. Women were urged to join the U.S. Army Auxiliary to work at defense plants, families were pressed to keep farms producing, and all were advised to keep their mouths shut. This coming-together defeated Axis enemies and gave rise to unprecedented postwar intergovernmental cooperation.

That 72-year-old global infrastructure is under threat. Last week saw fractious meetings at NATO headquarters (where I’m due to bring students later this month) and Taormina (just 75 miles north of the Siracusa summer school where I was then teaching). Today it’s the President’s invocation of the provision permitting U.S. withdrawal, in about 4 years, from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, to which 195 – nearly all – the countries in the world have agreed.

The news spurs reflection on the very small part I played in the development of the Paris Agreement.

As with most international accords, this one did not happen on the spur of the moment. Rather, countries had engaged in consultations and negotiations for years before the summit. France was especially active, eager to accomplish something significant in October-November 2015, when it would host COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Thus in June 2015 I joined French and American colleagues at a symposium entitled “Le Changement climatique, miroir de la globalisation (Climate Change, Mirror of Globalization),” a pre-summit preparatory meeting whose cosponsors included the Collège de France and Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’Homme. Our interventions aided thinking about the impending summit.

My own contribution, “Le changement climatique et la sécurité humaine,” reprised a chapter published in Regards croisés sur l’internationalisation du droit : France-États-Unis (Mireille Delmas-Marty & Stephen Breyer eds., 2009). As indicated in the English version, “Climate Change and Human Security,” the essay demonstrated that litigation would not proved a fruitful method for combatting climate change. It thus advocated a human security approach, one drawn from U.S. legal traditions like the 1941 Four Freedoms speech of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the 1945 Statement of Essential Human Rights of the American Law Institute.

The essay concludes:

“Emphasis on state duty carries with it an assumption that legislative and executive officials will assume their obligation to avoid harm from occurring. Such officials may not assume, as seems the wont of some who operate under a litigation model, that they may act as they wish unless and until a court steps in to order some belated and imperfect sanction for the wrongs they have committed. A state that endeavors to achieve human security, moreover, is likely to fashion comprehensive, before-the-fact remedies. That is preferable even in isolated cases; in other words, we would rather have an agent of the state eschewed torture than have to compensate a victim after she has suffered state torture. This comprehensive, before-the-fact framework is even more preferable with regard to human insecurities that have communitywide, even planetary consequences – to name one, the threat to human security posed by climate change.”

Theories like these undergird the agreement reached in fall 2015. They yet may maintain a firm hold in these next 4 years.

Associate Dean Amann named Spring 2018 Research Visitor and Visiting Fellow at University of Oxford, England

The University of Oxford, England, will host Georgia Law Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann during her research-intensive Spring 2018 semester. In the Hilary and Trinity Terms – March through June – she will be a Research Visitor at Oxford’s Bonavero Institute of Human Rights hosted by the Faculty of Law and a Visiting Fellow at its Mansfield College, where the Institute is based.

Amann joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in 2011, taking up the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. She also has served, since 2015, as the law school’s Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives.

While at Oxford, Amann (right) plans to continue her research on “Women at Nuremberg,” which explores the many roles women played in post-World War II international criminal trials in Europe, as prosecutors, defense counsel, journalists, witnesses, staffers, and defendants.

As a Research Visitor, she also will have the opportunity to take part in Bonavero Institute activities, and will benefit from Oxford’s libraries, seminars and lectures, and other offerings.

The Bonavero Institute was founded in 2016 as a unit of the Oxford Faculty of Law, under the direction of Professor Kate O’Regan, a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Construction of the institute building, located at Mansfield College, is expected to be completed in early autumn.

Amann’s research visit in England will follow a January 2018 stint as the inaugural Breslauer, Rutman and Anderson Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles.

Georgia Law profs Cohen and Cade win interdisciplinary research seed grants

Two University of Georgia School of Law professors will take part in transnationally focused research projects, recent winners in a universitywide funding competition.

The 2 projects were among a dozen funded by the University of Georgia  Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program. More than 150 faculty teams submitted proposals.

The Georgia Law award-winners are:

Harlan G. Cohen, who holds the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law, will take part in research on “Forecasting the threat of cyber attacks, nation by nation.” Also on the team for this project are faculty from the university’s Franklin College of Arts & Sciences and School of Public & International Affairs, plus a political scientist from the State University of New York-Albany.

Jason A. Cade, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the law school’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic. He will collaborate on “Building a network of cultural liaisons to improve the health and well-being of Athens-area Latinos.” The research project’s team also includes faculty from the university’s College of Education, College of Family & Consumer Sciences, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, School of Social Work, Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute, and J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.

“Judicial Federalism in the European Union,” new article by Professor Wells

Professor Michael Lewis Wells, who holds the Marion and W. Colquitt Carter Chair in Tort and Insurance Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published an article comparing judicial practice in Europe and the United States. Entitled “Judicial Federalism in the European Union,” it appears at 54 Houston Law Review Winter ​697 (2017).

The manuscript, which forms part of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

This article compares European Union judicial federalism with the American version. Its thesis is that the European Union’s long-term goal of political integration probably cannot be achieved without strengthening its rudimentary judicial institutions. On the one hand, the EU is a federal system in which judicial power is divided between EU courts, of which there are only three, and the well-entrenched and longstanding member state court systems. On the other hand, both the preamble and Article 1 of the Treaty of Europe state that an aim of the European Union is “creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” The article argues that central government courts and member state courts are not fungible. In close cases, the latter are more likely than the former to favor the member state’s interests. The EU’s approach to judicial federalism, with its heavy reliance on member state courts, will retard the political integration envisioned by the Treaty. The article develops this thesis by comparing EU judicial federalism with the American variant, which differs from the EU system in two key respects: First, most issues of EU law are adjudicated in the member state courts. In the U.S., a network of lower federal courts adjudicates many federal law issues. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court reviews state court judgments that turn on issues of federal law. The Court of Justice of the European Union does not review member state judgments, even on issues of EU law. The article argues that these aspects of the federal system in the U.S. were indispensable to achieving and maintaining national unity. If the EU aspires to a similar level of political integration, their absence may prove to be a significant obstacle.

Professor Cade publishes in Georgia Bar Journal special immigration issue

Jason A. Cade, Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, has just published “Proportionality Lost? The Rise of Enforcement-Based Equity in the Deportation System and Its Limitations,” at 22 Georgia Bar Journal 16 (2017).

Cade teaches Immigration Law and directs the law school’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic. His scholarship explores intersections between immigration enforcement and criminal law, the role of prosecutorial discretion in the modern immigration system, and judicial review of deportation procedures.

His latest article, featured in a GBJ special issue entitled “Public Interest Immigration Update,” may be downloaded at SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

This article briefly explains and critiques the legal framework that has made enforcement discretion the primary means of injecting proportionality and fairness into the modern deportation system. The article provides an overview of shifting approaches to this enforcement discretion under the Obama and Trump administrations, and describes some of the key Supreme Court jurisprudence interpreting this framework.

Professor Hellerstein panelist at OECD value-added tax policy conference

Professor Walter Hellerstein served as panelist at a high-level meeting on tax policy in Paris, France, earlier this month.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Fourth Meeting of the Global Forum on VAT (value-added tax, known in some countries as goods and services tax, or GST), took place April 12-14 at the OECD’s conference center.

Participating in the Global Forum were senior tax officials, representatives of international organizations and business enterprises, and academics from around the world. Professor Hellerstein took part in two plenary panels, on “VAT/GST Design and Operations in the Digital Age: Lessons Learned,” and on “Addressing New VAT/GST Challenges and Increasing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of VAT Administration: Lessons Learned and Future Action.”

Hellerstein is Distinguished Research Professor & Francis Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law Emeritus here at the University of Georgia School of Law. He is widely published on issues related to taxation in a global context, and last spring was a guest professor at the Vienna University of Economics & Business.

Amann elected Counselor of the American Society of International Law

Delighted to congratulate our own Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann on her election as Counselor of the American Society of International Law.

Founded in 1907, ASIL is the foremost learned society in the international law field. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., ASIL fosters dialogue, hosts and cosponsors conferences, and produces the American Journal of International Law and other publications, on behalf of its thousands of members throughout the world.

ASIL’s governing board is the Executive Council. Advising and serving as nonvoting members of the Council are Counselors, senior ASIL members who have made significant contributions to the Society and to the study and development of international law. Amann was elected to the position at ASIL’s Annual Meeting earlier this month.

Amann’s election followed her service in many ASIL leadership positions: Vice President; Co-Chair of the 2012 ASIL Annual Meeting in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia; voting member of the Executive Council and its Executive Committee; Grotius Lecture Distinguished Discussant; and member of the ABA-ASIL Joint Task Force on Treaties in U.S. Law,  the Blacks in ASIL Task Force, the ASIL Judicial Advisory Board, and Program Committees for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington and for the 2007 ASIL-AALS Midyear Meeting in Vancouver. She is Editor-in-Chief of the ASIL Benchbook on International Law, and also has published in the American Journal of International Law, ASIL Annual Meeting Proceedings, and the ASIL-produced Proceedings of the International Humanitarian Law Dialogs.

In 2013, Amann received the Prominent Woman in International Law Award from ASIL’s Women in International Law Interest Group. Above, she delivers her award speech at the Annual Meeting while a cutout of Eleanor Roosevelt looks on.

At the University of Georgia School of Law – an ASIL Academic Partner – Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law. Since 2015, she also has served as Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives; her duties include directing the law school’s 40-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. She teaches and publishes widely on issues related to public international law, international and transnational criminal law, the laws of war, international human rights law, and children & international law. She has served since 2012 as the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.