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Since arriving at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2011, I have had the very great honor of holding the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law – a chair established decades ago to welcome the renowned international lawyer and academic, Louis B. Sohn (prior posts). Professor Sohn’s record of achievement as an author and teacher, and his public service as well, is an inspiration. Indeed, his oil portrait greets me whenever I step a few doors from my office and into the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations, both situated in our law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center.

Peter Trooboff, Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C., and former President of the American Society of International Law, speaks at the ceremony unveiling Sohn’s plaque, affixed to a building in Lviv where Sohn once lived. Thanks for this photo due to ASIL President-Elect Sean Murphy, who attended the ceremony along with Trooboff and another former ASIL President, Lori Fisler Damrosch.

I was thus very pleased to contribute, along with many others (including some of my Georgia Law colleagues), to the recent commemoration of Professor Sohn in the city of his birth: Lviv, Ukraine, known as Lwów, or Lemberg, and located in Poland, when he was born there on March 1, 1914. As detailed in Philippe Sands‘ masterful 2016 book, East West Street, the city was home not only to Sohn, but also to two other 20th C. giants of international law, Hersh Lauterpacht (1897-1960) and Raphael Lemkin (1914-2006).

The commemoration took place last November in Lviv. Featured were a workshop and conference, a multimedia art performance, and the unveiling of 3 plaques, each honoring one of these sons of Lviv.

Sohn’s plaque, depicted below, includes a photo, short bio, and 1981 quote of Sohn, in two languages/alphabets. The English version says:

Louis B. Sohn

1914-2006 Lemberg/Lwów-Washington, D.C.

graduate of law faculty and diplomatic science of Jan Kazimierz University (now Lviv University); renowned international lawer, professor at Harvard University, University of Georgia and George Washington University; President, American Society of International Law (1988-1990); participant in drafting the United Nations Charter and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

To deny the existence of an international law of human rights at this time is no longer defensible (1981)

1932-1935 Lived in this building

This plaque has been made possible with the support of the City of Lviv, the Center for Urban History, family, friends and colleagues

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, a moment recorded in this New York Times front page:

at0070_7s

The judgment established that humans, and not only states, may be held responsible for violations of international law – a principle that the General Assembly endorsed in 1950. Recognition that individual acts mattered in the international law soon opened the way for recognition that acts committed against individuals also mattered. The Nuremberg Judgment thus stands as a foundational moment in the international human rights movement, as was recognized inter alia in a 1982 article by Georgia Law Professor Louis B. Sohn, when he was Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, a position I am now honored to hold.

Another Georgia Law professor who’s written about Nuremberg is my colleague Harlan Grant Cohen; these works include: ‘Undead’ Wartime Cases: Stare Decisis and the Lessons of History (2010); Historical American Perspectives on International Law (2009); The American Challenge to International Law: A Tentative Framework for Debate (2003).

My own writings, available here, include studies of the meaning of genocide and essays on women who worked as prosecutors, defense lawyers, and staff (no judges) at postwar trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo. “Women at Nuremberg” is a subject that many IntLawGrrls have addressed, not to mention many more posts on all aspects of international criminal law and international human rights law.

(Cross-posted from Exchange of Notes blog)

Delighted to share the news that we at the University of Georgia School of Law welcome nominations for the inaugural holder of a newly established professorship in international law.

wilner_gabrielCalled the Gabriel N. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professorship in International Law, it honors Professor Wilner (1938-2010), pictured at left. A Beirut-born scholar, he was an advisor to U.N. agencies and active in organizations like the American Society of International Law throughout the many decades that he studied, practiced, and taught international law. Essential to the growth of our LLM and Belgium summer study abroad offerings, Wilner inspired many others to enter our field; indeed, it is the generosity of one such Georgia Law alumnus that makes this new professorship possible.

The inaugural holder will join Georgia Law’s long tradition of excellence in international law. The tradition began in 1940, when Sigmund Cohn, a German-Jewish judge who had fled to Nazism, taught our first international law class. It was nurtured by Georgia Law professors – among them, Professor Wilner and Professor Louis B. Sohn and, of course, Dean Rusk, namesake of our vibrant, 38-year-old Dean Rusk International Law Center. The tradition continues today through the endeavors of faculty like Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, Professor Harlan G. Cohen, and yours truly.

Applicants must be eligible for hire at the rank of full professor, and international applicants are welcome. We welcome a pool of highly qualified candidates for this position, for which the official job notice reads as follows:

The University of Georgia School of Law invites applications for a full endowed professorship in international law beginning August of 2016. Applicants should be able to join the faculty at the rank of full professor. They should have a J.D. from an accredited university or its foreign equivalent, superior academic credentials and demonstrated excellence in scholarship and teaching. Applications received by February 1, 2016 are assured of consideration. All interested persons should submit a curriculum vitae, including scholarly publications, with a letter of interest at http://facultyjobs.uga.edu/postings/527

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or protected veteran status.

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)

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.

mixer3 - CopyA highlight of every new school year is acquainting students with opportunities in international, comparative, and transnational law. An early chance came yesterday, when well over a hundred members of the Georgia Law deborah - Copycommunity networked at a mixer cosponsored by our student organization, the Georgia Society of International & Comparative Law, and our Dean Rusk International Law Center, which will celebrate its 38th birthday with a major event next month.

Yesterday we:

mixer4 - Copy► Thanked the Center’s Fall 2015 Student Ambassadors, Taryn L. Arbeiter, Chanel Chauvet, Jennifer J. Cross, Ruibo Dong, Pedro Dorado (our Dean Rusk International Law Center Fellow), Ashley Ferrelli, Danielle Glover, Deborah Nogueira-Yates, Kevin Parker, Alyssa A. Pickett, Eric A. Sterling, Ximena Vasquez, Bo Uuganbayar, and Sarah Willis; international law experts like Professor Harlan Cohen; our staffers, Laura Tate Kagel and Kiz Adams, respectively, the Center’s Director and Associate Director of International Professional Education; and Lisa Mathis, events coordinator extraordinaire;

chanel_lisa - Copy► Invited all in attendance to visit the Louis B. Sohn Library on International Relations and to explore Georgia Law’s many Global Practice Preparation offerings (including our new Atlanta Semester in Practice and its older sibling, our D.C. Semester in Practice, as well as courses, the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law, Jessup and Vis teams, Global Externships, Brussels and Oxford study abroad);

amann_mixer_crop► Urged everyone to follow us on Twitter (@DeanRuskIntLaw), LinkedIn, and Facebook;

► Looked forward to a year of exciting events. Stay tuned!

(photos by Student Ambassador Chanel Chauvet, pictured immediately above with Lisa Mathis. Other photos, from top: welcome by GSICL President Kelly Sullivan; Miguel Cordoba, Deborah Nogueira-Yates, and Kiz Adams; Tingting Tang, Xiao Zhang, and Huajin Tang; and Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann chats with Ron Chicken)

PrintRather than approve as comment a recent IntLawGrrls post, I wish to thank Karen Hoffman and other ‘Grrls for their good wishes, apparent in the title of that post: You go ‘Grrl! Diane Marie Amann named Georgia Law Associate Dean for International Programs and Strategic Initiatives. It recounts what for me is most welcome news: Our new Georgia Law Dean, Bo Rutledge, has appointed me to the Associate Deanship described in the post’s title.

My deep thanks to the post’s author, Karen Hoffman, and from the many IntLawGrrls and others who’ve sent congratulations. I look forward to drawing on your support and good counsel as we work to continue Georgia Law’s international law tradition, which began in 1940, when Sigmund Cohn, a Berlin judge driven out of his homeland by Nazi policies, joined the faculty and began teaching international law. Other landmarks included the establishment in 1977 of the Dean Rusk Center for International Law & Policy – named, of course, after the former U.S. Secretary of State who taught here after retiring from government service – and the arrival of the 1st holder of my Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, Louis B. Sohn. These are but 2 of the brilliant international lawyers who’ve taught here (today’s cohort includes Dean Rutledge and my colleagues Harlan Cohen and Tim Meyer).

They’ve prepared students for brilliant careers. Alums include: Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme; Luis A. Aguilar, a member of the Securities & Exchange Commission; Federal Trial Judge Valerie Caproni, former Chief Counsel of the FBI; William V. Roebuck, U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain; U.S. Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, who represents one of the five 9/11 defendants before the Guantanamo military commissions; Kit Traub, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs (Acting), U.S. Embassy, London; Kannan Rajarathinam, Political Affairs Officer at UN Assistance Mission for Iraq; Charles A. Allen, Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross.

I look forward to contributing to this grand tradition.