events

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Humanity’s Common Heritage – norms codified in international humanitarian law treaties to which all countries of the world belong – will be the topic of a conference this Friday, September 23, at the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia.

The conference title derives from this observation about those treaties, the four 1949 Geneva Conventions, by Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross:

“We know that the values that found expression in the Geneva Conventions have become an essential part of our common heritage of humanity, as growing numbers of people around the world share a moral and legal conviction in them. These contradicting realities challenge us to act: to react to the suffering and violations of the law, and to prevent them from occurring in the first place.”

At the core of this daylong event will be the Commentaries on which the ICRC is now working. Published online earlier this year was the initial Commentary, covering the Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, as well as the articles common to all 4 Conventions. (Prior posts here, here, and here.) Experts will examine this 2016 Commentary and its role in the development, promotion, and implementation of contemporary international humanitarian law.

thumbnail_p1130913We’re honored that the Georgia Law alumnus leading that project, Geneva-based ICRC legal adviser Jean-Marie Henckaerts (LLM 1990), will keynote our conference, and also that the ICRC is cosponsoring the conference, along with our Center and our Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law. This student-run review, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, will publish papers by the assembled experts and Georgia Law student rapporteurs.

akandeDr. Henckaerts will be part of a public panel from 9:15 a.m.-12 noon in Georgia Law’s Hatton Lovejoy 0042401-14ABCourtroom. Speaking in that morning session will be: Oxford Law Professor Dapo Akande; Emory Law Professor Laurie R. Blank, an IntLawGrrls contributor; Major-General Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces; New York University Law Professor Ryan Goodman; and the cathcartmoderator, yours truly, Diane Marie ryan_goodman_photo_horizontalAmann, Associate Dean for International Programs & Strategic Initiatives and Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at Georgia Law, and also the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict.

Joining them in closed sessions during the afternoon will be additional international humanitarian law experts experts: Georgia Law Professor Harlan G. Cohen; Houston College of Law Professor Geoffrey S. Corn; American University Law Professor Jennifer Daskal; Jonathan Davis, a University of Georgia international affairs graduates and U.S. Department of State Attorney-Advisor; IntLawGrrl Kathleen A. Doty, our Center’s Director of Global Practice Preparation; Julia Grignon, Université Laval Law; Rutgers Law Professor Adil Haque; Christopher Harland, Legal Adviser at the ICRC’s Washington, D.C., office; Eric Jensen, U.S. Department of Defense; Michael Meier, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps; Naz K. Modirzadeh, Harvard Law; Nicholas W. Mull, U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate General Corps (ret.); Vanderbilt Law Professor Michael A. Newton; Sasha Radin, U.S. Naval War College; Professor James K. Reap (JD 1976) of the University of Georgia, who’s just been named to the State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee; IntLawGrrl and Georgia State Law Professor Shana Tabak; and Creighton Law Professor Sean Watts.

Full description and details about the conference here.

(Cross-posted from Exchange of Notes, the Dean Rusk International Law Center blog)

untitledIssues of foreign policy and national security remain foremost in many voters’ minds as the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has entered its final, post-Labor Day lap. We’re thus delighted to be welcoming an expert in this areas to our Athens campus next week:

Fresh from recent lectures in Oxford, Auckland, and Berlin, Ambassador Derek Shearer will deliver a public talk entitled “The Whole World Is Waching: Foreign Policy & the U.S. Presidential Election” at 12:30 p.m. this Tuesday, September 13, at the University of Georgia School of Law. Sponsoring the talk is Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center; cosponsors are the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and the University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs.

Shearer, whom I’ve long been privileged to call a colleague, is Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles who served as an economics official in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and then as U.S. Ambassador to Finland from 1994 to 1997. He’s the author of several books and a frequent writer on and contributor to public policy discussions;  his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune.

In addition to the talk, Shearer will speak to students in Election Law and Strategic Intelligence courses.

toigoWe’re also very pleased to welcome Sue Toigo (left), Chairman of Fitzgibbon Toigo Associates and Shearer’s wife. She’ll discuss corporate responsibility with Georgia Law Business Ethics students.

For additional details, e-mail ruskintlaw@uga.edu.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands – International Criminal Justice Day isn’t till next Sunday, but The Hague is ready. Flags like the one depicted above greet visitors throughout city center.

Occurring every July 17, the Day coincides with the signing in 1998 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – a landmark moment in the movement to call perpetrators of international crimes to account. The court began operating on July 1, 2002, and since then has examined, investigated, prosecuted, or adjudicated cases arising in nearly 19 countries, from Afghanistan to Ukraine.

To mark this 18th anniversary of the Rome Diplomatic Conference, the ICC welcomes photos from around the world. The idea’s to create an image of the scales of justice and show its presence throughout the world by posting on social media with hashtags #JusticeMatters, #17July, and #ICC. Details here.

Further to that effort, yours truly looks forward to today’s roundtable consultation on the draft Policy on Children, opened for public comment last month by the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor.

Honored to be part of the International Committee of the Red Cross launch of its new Commentary on the First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in the Field, a volume due for release next Tuesday, March 22.

commentaryMy role begins a week later, with a panel discussion of the new Commentary at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, and will continue later in the year with an anticipated Georgia Law conference on the same subject (stay tuned).

The March 30 panel discussion will take place in the Columbia Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave N.W., Washington, D.C. That’s the same hotel hosting the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law from March 30 to April 2. This is a side event, though ASIL and its international humanitarian law interest group, the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict,  are cosponsors of this event, hosted by the ICRC’s D.C.-based Regional Delegation for the US and Canada.

The Commentary is the 1st in a series of volumes intended to update earlier versions, some of which are pictured above: 4 circa-1952 volumes on the 4 Geneva Conventions of 1949, edited by Jean S. Pictet, plus a circa-1987 volume on Additional Protocols I & II of 1977, produced by multiple editors. In the words of the ICRC:

“Since their adoption, the Conventions and Protocols have been put to the test, and there have been significant developments in how they are applied and interpreted. The new Commentaries seek to incorporate these developments and provide an up-to-date interpretation of the law.”

This initial update carries particular significance because it contains commentary on Articles 1, 2, and 3 Common to all 4 Geneva Conventions. Common Article 2 and Common Article 3 have endured significant re-examination in the counterterrorism climate that’s prevailed since the attacks of September 11, 2001, readers of decisions such as Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and a plethora of academic literature well know (and as I’ve written here and elsewhere).

The discussion at the March 30 launch in D.C. will feature:

henckaerts► Dr. Jean-Marie Henckaerts (left), Head of the Commentaries Update Unit at ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland – and, I’m proud to add, a 1990 LLM alumnus of Georgia Law

► Yours truly, Diane Marie Amann (right), Associate Dean and Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at Georgia Law, and the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in & affected by Armed Conflict

jackson► Colonel (ret.) Dick Jackson, Special Assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law

mathesonMichael Matheson, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School, and former member of the U.N. International Law Commission

RSVPs for March 30 welcome; for that and any other information on that event, contact Tracey Begley, trbegley@icrc.org.

logo2“The Gendered Imaginaries of Crisis in International Law” is the provocative title of a panel for which the Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law is seeking papers. Papers selected will form part of the Interest Group’s proposal for a panel at the next ESIL annual meeting, set for Sept. 8-10, 2016, in Riga, Latvia. Organizers Loveday Hodson (Leicester Law), Troy Lavers (Surrey Law), Gina Heathcote (SOAS), Emily Jones, and Bérénice K. Schramm (SOAS) describe the panel as follows:

Set up as a roundtable rather than a traditional panel, the agora aims at providing an interactive platform for feminist and/or gender-related engagement with the past, present and future of international law within and without its recurrent crises.

Full call for papers here. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2016.

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.