ASIL

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.

dotyDelighted to announce that Kathleen A. Doty has taken up the post of Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law. Having worked with Kate both when she was a law student and in the years that she’s practiced as an international lawyer, I’m confident she’ll do wonders with her portfolio, which includes administration of: Global Externships; the Brussels Seminar on Global Governance; a four-decades-old summer study abroad offering; exchanges with law faculties overseas; international advocacy; and other academic and research initiatives.

She joins Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Director of International Professional Education (in charge of our LLM program and our trainings of judges and other practitioners), and me, as core staff. For nearly 4 decades the Center – named after the former U.S. Secretary of State and longtime member of GeorgiaRUSK_LOGO_MAIN Law’s faculty – has been a global nucleus of education, service, and scholarship in international, transnational, comparative, and foreign affairs law and policy.

Kate arrived in Athens from Washington, D.C., where she’d been practicing treaty law as Assistant Counsel for Arms Control and International Law at the Office of the General Counsel, Strategic Systems Programs, U.S. Department of the Navy. Before that, she was Attorney-Editor at the American Society of International Law, where her duties included managing the American Journal of International Law and editing publications like ASIL Insights, International Law in Brief, International Legal Materials, and the Benchbook on International Law. Her own writings include a note in ILM and a chapter in the Benchbook, as well as a study of transitional justice in Darfur, published in the UC Davis Journal of International Law & Policy, and an analysis of a European Court of Human Rights adoption decision, published in the Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality.

Doty earned her Juris Doctor degree and a Public Interest Certificate in 2008 from the University of California-Davis School of Law, where I was honored to be one of her professors. Then she was a law clerk on the Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals. She returned to California-Davis to serve for two years as the inaugural Fellow of a unit I founded, the California International Law Center. During that time, she was principal author of CILC’s 2011 report, Towards Peace With Justice in Darfur: A Framework for Accountability, and co-instructor of the law school’s Appellate Advocacy course. Her achievements as a law student included competition in the international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court and the national rounds of the National Moot Court, winner of the Best Brief Award at the National Moot Court, and service as a Moot Court Board officer. She is an inductee of the Order of Barristers.

Currently, Doty chairs the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. In 2013, she was an NGO observer on behalf of ASIL at the U.N. High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, and in 2012, on behalf of the National Institute of Military Justice, she observed Guantánamo military commissions proceedings in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Her observations were published online at Jurist and at IntLawGrrls, the blog she co-edited for several years.

She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College with a major in Latin American Studies and a minor in Film Studies, and she worked for Engel Entertainment as a production assistant and sound recordist for documentaries before pursuing her career in international law. Fluent in Spanish and proficient in French, Doty has worked with community organizations in the Hispanic and French Caribbean and studied abroad at La Universidad de la Habana in Cuba.

Welcome!

asil_logoThe American Society for International Law is accepting applications for its 2015 Helton Fellowships. The Helton Fellowship Program, established in 2004, recognizes the legacy of Arthur C. Helton, an ASIL member who died in the August 19, 2003, bombing of the UN mission in Baghdad. Helton Fellowships provide financial assistance in the form of “micro-grants” for law students and young professionals to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas.
Applications are due this Monday, January 19, 2015, and only the first 50, fully complete applications will be considered. This is a fantastic opportunity for students and new  professionals to further their career in international law.
Details here or by e-mailing fellowship@asil.org.

fergusonCHICAGO – Within the rich program of the just-concluded American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting was a discovery. A discovery for me, at least, regarding an important milestone in ASIL’s century-plus history.

I have written before about women who blazed trails in the Society since its founding in 1906. Among several notables is Dr. Alona Evans, the Wellesley political science professor (and mentor of then-student Hillary Rodham) who was elected ASIL’s first woman president in 1980. Evans, who died in office the same year, would be followed by other women: Georgetown Law professor Edith Brown Weiss (1994-1996) Anne-Marie Slaughter (2002-2004), now president of the New America thinktank, Freshfields partner Lucy Reed (2008-2010), and, since the spring of this year, Columbia Law Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch.

I’ve also written about Goler Teal Butcher, Howard Law professor, U.S. State Department diplomat, and Amnesty International activist. Butcher, an African American woman, was friend, mentor, and inspiration to many; indeed, the Society named its human rights medal after her. (See here and here.)

I have not written about the Society’s first (and only) African American president, however. There is a simple reason for that omission: though I have seen the full list of past ASIL presidents, I did not learn until this ASIL’s Midyear that one of them, C. Clyde Ferguson Jr., was a person of African American heritage. He is pictured at top; photo credit.

Credit for my discovery belongs to Blacks in the American Society of International Law – BASIL – a task force that held its formative session at the Chicago meeting. The first component of President Damrosch’s inclusion initiative, BASIL is designed to affirm and expand the tradition of black international lawyers, jurists and academics in the United States. It is co-chaired by ASIL Honorary President Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, whose career includes service as a judge on the U.S. District Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, along with Adrien K. Wing, the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. I’m honored to serve as a member of this task force, along with Elizabeth “Betsy” Andersen, Angela Banks, Bartram Brown, Donald Francis Donovan, Jeremy Levitt, Makau Mutua, Natalie Reid, Henry Richardson, and Edith Brown Weiss.

As preparation for our inaugural session, BASIL co-chairs distributed, among other things, a 1994 essay written in memory of Ferguson. Born to a pastor’s family during the Depression, he was barred from attending college in his home state on account of race. Ferguson was graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and hired as that school’s first African American law professor – for a long time, according to the essay, he was Harvard Law’s “only full-time minority professor.” A human rights scholar, activist, and diplomat, Ferguson served inter alia as dean of Howard University School of Law and as U.S. Ambassador to Uganda. Professor Butcher and he frequently collaborated on issues related to southern Africa.

Elected ASIL’s president in 1978, Ferguson was succeeded two years later by Professor Evans. The fact that the Society chose two pathbreaking leaders in a row is noteworthy. Indeed, it calls out for a legal historian to asil_logoplumb this pivotal moment in ASIL’s history. One hopes that BASIL, alone or in conjunction with WILIG, the Society’s Women in International Law Interest Group, will answer that call.

Kudos to my Georgia Law colleague Harlan G. Cohen for organizing what promises to be a superb conference on “International Law as Behavior,” a daylong presentation of papers that will lead to a same-named essay volume. Convened by the University of Georgia School of Law and the International Legal Theory Interest Group of the American Society of International Law, this book workshop will be held November 13, 2014, at Tillar House, the ASIL headquarters at 2223 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.

PrintHere’s the description:

[T]he workshop will bring together scholars working at the cutting edge in a variety of different fields, including constructivist international relations theory, anthropology, behavioral law and economics, organizations theory, social psychology, and sociology to discuss how these approaches can best be applied to the study of international law, how these approaches can complement both each other and positivist and rationalist accounts, the opportunities and challenges of working across these fields, and the development of a common language and tools to study how international actors actually behave, how their rationality is bounded by psychology, how they operate as members of groups and recipients of culture, and how they write and follow organizational scripts.

The conference has a stellar lineup. Set to take part, in addition to Harlan and another Georgia Law colleague, Timothy L. Meyer, are: Elena Baylis, University of Pittsburgh; Tomer Broude, Hebrew University; Adam Chilton, University of Chicago; Sungjoon Cho, Chicago-Kent; Martha Finnemore, George Washington University; Jean Galbraith, University of Pennsylvania; Derek Jinks, University of Texas; Ron Levi, University of Toronto; Galit Sarfaty, University of British Columbia; and Kathryn Sikkink, Harvard University.cd3fd-asil_logo

Details here.

AJIL_COVERThe American Journal of International Law, the quarterly journal published by the American Society of International Law since 1907, welcomes applications and nominations for new members of its Board of Editors, to be elected by the existing board in Spring 2015. AJIL‘s leadership writes:

Nominations are based primarily on scholarship and creativity, as demonstrated in books, articles, and other written work appearing over a period of years.

Suggestions, along with supporting statements and information, such as a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and, if possible, copies of significant publications, should be sent to the journal’s co-editors-in-chief, New York University Law Professors José Alvarez and Benedict Kingsbury, at law.ajil.admin@nyu.edu by December 1, 2014.

In addition to seeking new leaders, as described in a post last week, the American Society of International Law welcomes nominees for various ASIL honors:
Manley O. Hudson Medal, given in recognition of scholarship and achievement in international law.
Goler T. Butcher Medal, given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law. (As blogreaders well know, IntLawGrrls honors Butcher as a transnational foremother, and one recent medalist, Gay McDougall, is an IntLawGrrls contributor.)
ASIL Honorary Member, an award given in recognition of a non-U.S. citizen who has rendered distinguished contributions or service in the field of international law. (Last year’s recipient was International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, another person who has contributed to IntLawGrrls blog.)

These honors will be awarded at the Society’s 109th Annual Meeting, to be held April 8 to 11, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Recipients will be selected by the Society’s Executive Council, on the nomination of the 2013-14 Honors Committee, wich is composed of chair Meg Kinnear (Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) and members Joel Hernández (Ambassador; member of Inter-American Juridical Committee), James Leitner (President, Falcon Management Corporation), Michael Posner (New York University), Lucy Reed (Partner, Freshfields, and past ASIL President), and Peter Tomka (President, International Court of Justice).

Questions may be directed to ASIL’s Honors Committee via the Office of the Executive Director of the Society, by contacting Lara Townzen at awardsandhonors@asil.org.

Nominations should be submitted via the online form available here. Deadline is August 15, 2014.