Georgia Law Professor Amann marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with talk on women at Nuremberg trials

Women at the Nuremberg Trials was the title of a lecture delivered last week by Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Occurring on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wednesday’s talk focused on several of the many women who took part in the Nuremberg proceedings, as lawyers and legal professionals, translators and interpreters, witnesses and journalists – in short, in nearly every post except judge.

Sponsor of the event was the Center on National Security and Human Rights Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Georgia Law Professor Amann takes part in launch of NGO report documenting crimes against children in Syria

Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, took part last Friday in the launch of a report on crimes against and affecting children in Syria.

“Children of Syria – The Lost Hope,” was hosted by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that monitors, documents, and maintains a database of human rights violations in Syria, the site of a nearly ten-year-old conflict. The organization issued its Ninth Annual Report on Violations against Children in Syria (above left) on World’s Children Day, the day in November that marks the anniversary the adoptions by the UN General Assembly of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Participants in last week’s event discussed the Ninth Report, which stated that the Syrian conflict had claimed nearly 30,000 children between March 2011 and January 2021 – nearly 200 of them as a result of torture. Additional harms, many of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, documented include arrest and detention of children, forcible disappearance, attacks on schools and deprivation of education, and recruitment and use by armed forces.

Professor Amann, an expert in international criminal law and child rights, joined a panel discussing these findings, their impact on children and society at large, and avenues for redress and accountability. Amann said that the Ninth Report described conduct

“that constitutes both systematic violations of human rights in many different sectors as well as international crimes as articulated in the statutes of multiple tribunals and recognized as customary international law.”

She further outlined treaties and forums through which such conduct might be addressed.

Also speaking at the event, which is archived and available for viewing here, were: Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights; Martin Leeser, a member of the Syria team at the German Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; Dr. Troels Gauslå Engell, Senior Stabilisation Advisor on Syria to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Paula Sastrowijoto, Deputy Syria Envoy at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lina Biscaia, Senior Legal Officer, Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes and Crimes against Children Unit of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL; Javier Perez Salmeron of the Justice Rapid Response Child Rights Expert Roster; and Valentina Falco, Team Leader-Child Protection, UN Department of Peace Operations.

Georgia Law alumna Chanel Chauvet publishes at Opinio Juris on POW remittances, in blog symposium on 2020 GCIII Commentary directed by alumnus Jean-Marie Henckaerts

Pleased to note the publication last Thursday by a recent graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, as part of an ongoing joint symposium sponsored by Opinio Juris and by the Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Author of the contribution entitled “Prisoners of War Remittances – Financial Challenges of Sanctions and Conversion Rates” is Chanel Chauvet, who earned her J.D. degree from Georgia Law in 2018, and also, just last year, her LL.M. degree cum laude in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland.

Applying a case study of relations between Iran and the United States, Chauvet’s post details the obstacles faced by a prisoner of war, or POW, in securing remittances – funds that family members send “in an effort to contribute to the POW’s financial welfare” – on account of financial sanctions regimes and currency conversion rates. She concludes with recommendations that would remove remittances from the effects of these regimes, writing:

“The legal landscape governing POW remittances is insufficient, and as such, states should collectively address the obstacles that damage the financial health of POWs by incorporating specific protections for POWs (e.g., a legal exclusion for POW payments and remittances) from the effects of the banking sanctions that are in place in their Power of Origin.”

While a J.D. student, Chauvet served as a Dean Rusk International Law Center Student Ambassador and a research assistant to the Center’s Faculty Co-Directors, Professors Harlan Cohen and Diane Marie Amann. She completed the Grotius Centre Summer School on Humanitarian Law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands, competed on a winning Model African Union team, served as worldwide student president of the International Law Students Association, and was the recipient of the Blacks of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting Scholarship.

Chauvet is a member of the Bars of the State of Georgia and of the District of Columbia.

At the Geneva Academy, she was elected the Student Council LL.M. Representative and was the student commencement speaker. She served as a Legal Intern in the International Law & Policy Department at the ICRC, and also made presentations at meetings of the UN Human Rights Council in her capacity as the Permanent Representative in Geneva for the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

Chauvet’s LL.M. thesis, from which the Opinio Juris post draws, was supervised by a Geneva Academy professor who is himself earned his LL.M. at Georgia Law in 1990: Dr. Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Legal Adviser in the ICRC’s Legal Division and a member of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Council.

Chauvet’s post forms part of a symposium of articles analyzing aspects of Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949. Commentary of 2020. Known colloquially as GCIII, that commentary is the third published under Dr. Henckaerts’ directorship. Indeed, we at the Center were honored to host a daylong conference marking the issuance of the initial volume, the Commentary on First Geneva Convention, with papers published in the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law.

Georgia Law Associate Dean Cade on US-Mexico migration, enforcement, activism

Two works concerning migration, enforcement, and activism along the Southern border between United States and Mexico have just been published by Jason A. Cade, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning and Hosch Associate Professor here at the University of Georgia.

In 2020, the migrant death toll exceeded a ten-year high following a summer of record-setting heat, while at the same time, criminal prosecutions of humanitarian activists reached unprecedented levels. Cade has addressed this situation in:

“‘Water is Life!’ (and Speech!): Death, Dissent and Democracy in the Borderlands”, an article published at 96 Indiana Law Journal 261 (2020) (SSRN). Cade explored the communicative conduct of activists such as No More Deaths, whose work along the southern border aims not only to save lives but also to convey the message that all lives—including those of unauthorized migrants—are worth saving. Cade argued that the context around this expressive dissent necessitates First Amendment scrutiny of government attempts to suppress or punish it, and he further explained the broader implications for debate about the ethics of border policies.

“All the Border’s a Stage: Humanitarian Aid as Expressive Dissent”, in 84 Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Special Issue: Law and the Citizen 110 (Austin Sarat ed., 2020). In this related book chapter, Cade examined the conduct of border policy dissenters through the lens of competing narratives, advancing the claim that tolerance of disparate viewpoints—especially those that peacefully challenge the status quo—can be crucial for both the generation of democratic knowledge and coexistence in a diverse society.

Both works comprise part of a larger research project, in which Cade is advancing a framework for more ethical border policies.

Georgia Law Professor Amann on depicting Nuremberg artist Laura Knight for symposium on Carsten Stahn’s new Oxford monograph, “Justice as Message”

In this post Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, discusses her most recent publication.

Among the more captivating women who worked at the 1st Nuremberg trial – women whose stories I’m now researching – was Dame Laura Knight. Already celebrated as the 1st woman in over 150 years to win election to Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, Knight, then 68, arrived in January 1946, about a third of the way before the year-long proceedings before the International Military Tribunal. Soon after her departure 4 months later she unveiled a 5-foot by 6-foot oil painting, “The Nuremberg Trial,” at a London exhibition.

That work forms the centerpiece of “What We See When We See Law … Through the Eyes of Dame Laura Knight,” my contribution Monday to an ongoing Opinio Juris symposium on Justice as Message: Expressivist Foundations of International Criminal Justice, a new Oxford University Press book by Carsten Stahn, an international criminal law professor at Leiden Law School and Queen’s University Belfast.

My post began by discussing Stahn’s 2020 book in light of my own 2002 article about expressivist theories and international criminal law. The focus was Nuremberg: not only is it much-discussed in Stahn’s book, but the book’s cover features her 1946 painting, pictured above. Those facts launched my post’s cameo about Knight-as-messenger, available here.

Contributors of other posts in the book series include Marina Aksenova, Mark A. Drumbl, Angela Mudukuti, Darryl Robinson, Priya Urs, and Stahn himself.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Georgia Law Professor MJ Durkee discusses “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” at St. John’s international law colloquium

Melissa J. “MJ” Durkee, the Allen Post Professor here at the University of Georgia School of Law, recently presented “Interpretive Entrepreneurs” as part of the annual colloquium at the Center for International and Comparative Law, St. John’s University School of Law, New York.

Durkee’s article on the subject is forthcoming in the Virginia Law Review

University of Georgia Professor Jonathan Peters, of Grady College and School of Law, presents on press freedom to court personnel and journalists in Uzbekistan

Pleased today to welcome a contribution from Jonathan Peters, an associate professor who has faculty appointments in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Law here at the University of Georgia. Professor Peters teaches and researches in the area of media law and policy, and his post here discusses his participation December 3 in an online training event hosted in Uzbekistan.

I was delighted recently to deliver two virtual presentations to court personnel and journalists in Uzbekistan, as part of a project facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme and supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The purpose of the project, called the “Rule of Law Partnership in Uzbekistan,” is to strengthen public access to the nation’s judicial system as well as public trust in it. One related priority has been to improve citizen knowledge of the courts and to encourage collaboration between court personnel and journalists. This has enabled the local media to tour Uzbekistan’s regional courts and to learn about international practices in court-journalist relations.

To those ends, I delivered presentations to a group of journalists and court personnel, including members of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, on U.S. rights of access to courts and how American journalists cover legal issues. First, I discussed the tension between the First and Sixth Amendments and the various reasons that U.S. courts have generally protected media rights of access to judicial proceedings and records.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has observed repeatedly the historical importance of public trials and has reasoned that openness improves a trial’s functioning, that it has therapeutic value by “providing an outlet for community concern, hostility and emotion,” and that it enhances the public’s acceptance that justice is being done.

Moreover, in significant part, American journalists exercise their First Amendment rights as surrogates of the public when reporting on courts. As Justice Lewis F. Powell put it in Saxbe v. Washington Post Co., in his dissent: “For most citizens, the prospect of personal familiarity with newsworthy events is hopelessly unrealistic. In seeking out the news, the press therefore acts as an agent of the public at large. It is the means by which the people receive the … information and ideas essential to intelligent self-government.”

Then, in my second presentation, on how American journalists cover legal issues, I explored how the rule of law is preserved partly by public knowledge of court decisions and activities, and thus the media is a critical link between the judiciary and the public. So it is democratically important for journalists to explain what courts are doing and why—and to convey the implications (if any) for the public.

That means the journalists must be able to translate legal terms and concepts for a lay audience, and they must be able to distill into a short news story a complex legal action. It is also helpful for them to develop sources in the court system, while appreciating and respecting the ethical limits within which judges, lawyers, and court aides usually work.

After these remarks, the Q&A session opened up conversations among the journalists and court personnel in attendance, allowing us to have a dialogue on some of the issues most pressing for them. I hope the ultimate result is a more open judiciary and a freer press in Uzbekistan.

Georgia Law Professor Cohen presents “Sociology of WTO Precedent” at Leiden “Behavioral Approaches” workshop

Harlan Cohen, the 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, presented on “The Sociology of WTO Precedent” last month at a workshop entitled “Behavioral Approaches to International Law.”

It was sponsored online by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands, in partnership with the Institute of Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg in Germany, and iCourts at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Organizers were Leiden Professor Daniel Peat, Copenhagen Professor Veronika Fikfak, and Hamburg Professor Eva van der Zee.

Georgia Law Professor Christopher Bruner publishes on AI and corporations in Cambridge Law Journal

Professor Christopher Bruner, the Stembler Family Distinguished Professor in Business Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has published “Distributed Ledgers, Artificial Intelligence and the Purpose of the Corporation” in 79 Cambridge Law Journal 431 (2020).

Here’s the abstract:

“Distributed ledgers and blockchain technology are widely expected to promote more direct shareholder involvement in corporate governance by reducing costs of voting and trade clearance. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence may shrink the decision-making terrain where corporations rely on human management. This article analyses these technologies and concludes that, while such outcomes are plausible, their potential corporate governance impacts are likely more complex and contingent. Despite the implicit libertarianism that characterises much of the discourse, we in fact have choices to make about how such technologies are developed and deployed – and these policy decisions will have to be grounded in a normative conception of corporate purpose external to the technology itself.”

Bruner presented the work at a conference on “The Future of the Firm” held last year in London.

Professor Ringhand, Center’s Interim Director, takes part in University of Oxford panel on U.S. presidential election

Lori A. Ringhand, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Interim Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, took part earlier this month in a University of Oxford panel discussion on the American electoral process.

The panel, entitled “‘Our Character is on the Ballot’: Reflections on the US Presidential Election 2020,” was hosted by Jesus College at Oxford. Ringhand, an Election Law scholar and recent US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair, earned her B.C.L. degree at Oxford. (prior posts)