Georgia Law’s United Nations tradition

UN 70th Anniversary logo_English_CMYKWhy are we at Georgia Law celebrating the UN’s birthday? Because its 70-year tradition is our own.

Our global tradition dates back at least 75 years, in fact. That’s when noted German-Jewish judge Sigmund Cohn, a refugee from Hitler’s Berlin and Mussolini’s Genoa, arrived at the University of Georgia and began teaching courses in international and comparative law.

Reinforcing the tradition Cohn established was the arrival of Dean Rusk, who returned to his native state of Georgia after serving as Secretary of State to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Rusk had stevebegun his diplomatic career as Assistant Secretary of State for Special Political Affairs (SPA), at age 38, right after the United Nations was established. In his autobiography, Rusk wrote:

Around Washington, SPA personnel were called those UN boys with some derision, but this only inspired us to work harder. In the aftermath of global war a special atmosphere surrounded the United Nations. The human race had paid fifty million lives to draft that Charter. Our minds and hearts had been purged in the fires of a great war, and the UN Charter represented the best that was in us at the time. We had a talented group, bound together by a sense of commitment, an exhilaration rare in government, a feeling that somehow the human race was off to a fresh start.

Eventually joining Rusk at Georgia Law was Louis B. Sohn, who came to Athens following mandatory retirement from Harvard Law. Like Cohn someone who suffered personally from the ravages of World War II, Sohn helped to draft the Charter of the United Nations. It was his effort in a lifelong career of working with the United Nations. Among many other roles, he served as chair of the conference that led to adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Our tradition is even richer, extending from these 3 to professors like Gabriel Wilner, himself a UN adviser, and including the international law service of my colleagues and me to this day. And so we will  mark the UN’s 70th birthday this Monday, Oct. 26, by rededicating our Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations and by celebrating the 38th birthday of our own Dean Rusk International Law Center.

(September 25, 1961, photo by Cecil W. Stoughton of US delegation–including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, US Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Rep. Marguerite Stitt Church (R-Ill.), and Arthur Dean, Chair, US delegation to Geneva Conference on Disarmament–listening to speech at UN General Assembly of the United Nations. Courtest of JFK Presidential Library)

Celebrating decades-old international law tradition – and UN Charter’s 70th birthday

Rusk Library Rededication PosterFINAL

The UN Charter turns 70 this week, and we at Georgia Law are honored to be joining in the global celebration – not least because it’s also the 38th birthday of our Dean Rusk International Law Center.

UN 70th Anniversary logo_English_CMYKOn Monday, October 26, from 4-6 p.m., we’ll rededicate the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations in its new home, our renovated Center unit. An alum, Dr. Kannan Rajarathinam (LLM88), Head of Office, UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, Basra, will speak on a critical topic: “The United Nations at 70: Pursuing Peace in the 21st Century.”

asil_logoAlso giving remarks – on Georgia Law luminaries like Professors Sohn, Professor and former U.S. Secretary of State Rusk, Professor Gabriel Wilner, and Professor Sigmund Cohn – will be Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Professor Harlan Cohen, alums Dorinda Dallmeyer and Ken Dious, and myself.

Our event is honored by multiple cosponsors: the American Bar Association Section of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, and the American Society of International Law, for which Professor Sohn served, respectively, as Chair, Vice President, and President. Those titles signal the influAbilaence of Professor Sohn, who, inter alia, helped draft the UN Charter, advised UN agencies, and chaired the conference that led to conclusion of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Sponsors among the Georgia Law community include the Alexander Campbell King Law Library, whose staff have contributed immensely to the move of Sohn’s 5,000-volume personal collection to its new space in our Center. Cosponsoring student organizations are the Asian Law Students Association, the Davenport-Benham Chapter of the Black Law Students Association, the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, the Georgia Society for International & abasectionintlawComparative Law, the Hispanic Law Students Association, the Jewish Law Students Association, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team (that’s Georgia Law’s 1990 Jessup world champions in the poster at top), and the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team.

Details here. If you are in our area on the day, please join us. If you can’t be there in person, feel free to watch the livestream.

Seeking great administrators: Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center

sign2We’re looking for a couple great administrators.

Having just about completed physical renovation of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, an office suite at the University of Georgia School of Law, we’re now focusing on building staff. To be precise, we’re looking for an Executive Administrator (aka Administrative Manager I) and an Administrative Assistant (aka Administrative Specialist I).

Together, they’ll be responsible for office management (financial and otherwise), secretarial support for Center staff (including our Director of International Professional Education, our Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation, and our Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives, aka me), and support for an array of Center programs (LLMs, conferences, lectures, and events, study abroad, Global Externships, faculty exchanges, visiting scholars, professional trainings, and research projects).

To skim the job notices, see here and here. To apply, click here and follow registration/application instructions, inserting the posting numbers indicated on the prior document(s) in order to reach the precise vacancy of interest to you.

We’d like to fill these positions asap, so if you’re interested, don’t delay!

(And if you’d just like to keep apprised of our activities, please follow us at Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook)

“Blood Antiquities”: cultural heritage seminar in New Orleans looks at ISIS

New Orleans will be the site of what looks to be a terrific event next Thursday: “Blood Antiquities,” the Annual Cultural Heritage Seminar, on October 15, 2015. Antiquities Coalition Executive Director Tess Davis, an alumna and member of the Dean Rusk International Law Council at Georgia Law, sends this information:

isis-destroy-palmyra-shrineWith the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the world rightfully asked how a militant faction too extreme for Al-Qaeda transformed itself into ‘the world’s richest terror group ever.’ How?
ISIS jihadists earn millions by looting the region’s archaeological sites, and then selling its ancient treasures to the highest bidder.
In the last year alone, we have lost some of the Cradle of Civilization’s most iconic masterpieces and sites, many of which had survived for millennia. This threatens us all: at this moment, ISIS is converting these “blood antiquities” into weapons and troops, which are seizing cities, slaughtering soldiers, and beheading civilians.
Join the Federal Bar Association and the Antiquities Coalition to explore this growing threat to our national security and the world’s cultural heritage. A distinguished panel of archaeologists, lawyers, journalists, and military officials will expose this illicit industry, tracing the path of looted masterpieces from the war zones of Mesopotamia to the very heights of the global market. They will also explore how United States and international law is seeking to cut off this key means of terrorist financing, including recent action by the U.S. Congress and United Nations Security Council.

Details here. (photo credit)