Friday, May 12, 2017

Save the Date: December 2018 Global Legal Skills Conference in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Law School Melbourne Law School (Building)It's 18 months away, so you can block out the days on your calendar and start saving your frequent flier miles for a trip to Australia for the next Global Legal Skills Conference.

The 13th Global Legal Skills Conference will be held at Melbourne Law School from December 10-12, 2018.

JMLS LogoThe Conference will be co-sponsored by The John Marshall Law School of Chicago (where the conference series was founded). The Conference Co-Chairs will be Chantal Morton (Director of the Legal Academic Skills Centre and Director of Teaching at Melbourne Law School) and Mark E. Wojcik (Professor at The John Marshall Law School and founder of the Global Legal Skills Conference Series).

Previous Global Legal Skills Conferences have been held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, Mexico, and, most recently, Italy. The conference is the leading global conference dedicated to legal skills education, and participants come from around the world to attend the conference. Participants include law professors, professors of English as Second Language, lawyers, judges, court interpreters, law students, language students, and other academics.

The GLS-13 Conference is being presented in cooperation with a number of international organizations, including these organizations already confirmed:

  • Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers
  • The Teaching International Law Interest Group of the American Branch of the International Law Association

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which the Melbourne Law School is situated.


May 12, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Save the Dates! Upcoming ABA International Conferences

The American Bar Association Section of International Law, with more than 20,000 members around the world, has some of the most interesting and productive conferences you'll find. Here's a list of upcoming events. Visit the ABA Section of International Law website for more information on any particular conference or forum.

June 11-13, 2017: Europe Forum (Barcelona, Spain)
Oct 20-22, 2017: Pre-Fall Conference Module (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Oct 24-28, 2017: Section of International Law Fall Conference (Miami, Florida)
Jan 31-Feb 6, 2018: ABA/Section Midyear Meeting (Vancouver, Canada)
April 17-21, 2018: Section of International Law Annual Conference (New York City)
June 10-12, 2018: Europe Forum (Copenhagen, Denmark)


May 11, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cleveland-Marshall Announces New Dean

The Cleveland State University Board of Trustees announced that the next dean of the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law will be the current interim dean, former Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher.  Dean Fisher is described as a Clevelander who has dedicated his life to public service and social justice, and that he is coming to the law school with the intent of collaboratively running an institution dedicated to preparing its students to make this world a better place. Congratulations, Cleveland-Marshall and Dean Fisher.

Hat tip to km.


May 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Justice Samuel Alito at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law

Justice AlitoRonald A. Cass interviewed U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito during a luncheon at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law, in a discussion that ranged from the dynamics of the U.S. Supreme Court to Justice Alito's opinions on baseball.

Ronald A. Cass is President of Cass & Associates, PC, a legal consultancy in Great Falls, Virginia, specializing in international trade, intellectual property, anti-trust law, administrative law, and regulation. He also is an international arbitrator in NAFTA, ICSID, UNCITRAL and AAA cases. He served Presidents Reagan and Bush as Vice Chairman and Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission, and is Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law, where he served as Dean from 1990-2004. He is also the Section of International Law's liaison to the World Trade Organization.


April 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two Lawyers from Goldman Sachs Japan Win Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Awards

20170427_082412The 2017 Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Award was presented this morning at the ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting to Naosuke Fujita and Hiroki Inaba of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. They were recognized for their pioneering work on behalf of the LGBT community in Japan and for their advocacy on behalf of same-sex marriage in Japan. 

The Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Award is given to a member of the Section of International Law who is a practicing attorney employed by a company or other entity as an in-house counsel and who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the legal profession and the furtherance of the practice of law in an international context (but not a government or international organization). 

20170427_082520The two individuals recognized today in Washington, D.C. are Naosuke Fujita, Managing Director and General Counsel of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. and Hiroki Inaba, Vice President and Senior Counsel in the Goldman Sachs Legal Department. Both men work in Tokyo.

(Pictured here from left to right are: Deniz Sadan Tamer (Co-Chair of the International Corporate Counsel Forum of the ABA Section of International Law); Hiroki Inaba of Goldman Sachs Japan; Sara Sandford (Chair of the ABA Section of International Law); Naosuke Fujita of Goldman Sachs Japan; and Peggy Kubicz Hall of Greene Espel PLLP in Minneapolis (Co-Chair of the International Corporate Counsel Forum of the ABA Section of International Law).

20170427_082916Messrs. Fujita and Inaba were recognized for their pioneering work on behalf of the LGBT community in Japan and for their advocacy on behalf of same-sex marriage in Japan. They created several research and policy documents on LGBT rights and marriage equality, including a survey of same-sex marriage. They were also responsible for drafting a request to the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations (日本弁護士連合会) asking that this important and influential association of lawyers make a statement in support of marriage equality in Japan.

More than 800 lawyers from around the world are attending this week's Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. Messrs. Fujita and Inaba received a standing ovation from the audience of global lawyers for their work on LGBT rights and marriage equality in Japan.

This was the first time that the award was presented to two individuals. Previous winners of the Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award are: Christine M. Castellano (2011); M. Catherine Vernon (2012); Ingrid Busson-Hall (2013); Alan Crain (2014); and Getchen Bellamy (2015).



April 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alternative Careers in International Law

Paul Johnson Career PanelPaul Johnson of the Career Services Office at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago was the moderator of a panel on Alternative Careers in International Law at the 2017 Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. Speakers on the panel were Brent Finnell (Bank of America, North Carolina); Elizabeth Fitzgerald (Department of State Health Services, Texas); and Grace Rodden (U.S. House of Representatives); and panel co-chairs Theresa Forbes (U.S. Department of the Treasury) and Khaliunaa Garamgaibaatar (The World Bank). The panel explored alternative career opportunities for international lawyers and the skill sets important for law students and new lawyers.


April 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Creating "Practice Ready" International Lawyers - Part 2

Carole SilverA second panel at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law is continuing the discussion on how to create "practice ready" international lawyers. Pictured here with the Panel Co-Chair and Moderator Professor Carole Silver of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law are: the Honorable Gregory E. Mize (Judicial Fellow, National Center for State Courts); Wendy Collins Perdue (Dean of the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia); Khary Hornsby (Director of International and Graduate Programs and an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School); Darrell G. Mottley (a principal shareholder of the D.C. law firm Banner & Witcoff, and the past president of the D.C. Bar); and Stephen Denyer (The Law Society of England and Wales).


April 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Creating "Practice Ready" International Lawyers

20170427_101647A two-part program at the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law focused on legal practice and professional competence in the global legal marketplace. The panelists are discussing how to train lawyers in problem solving, legal analysis and reasoning, legal research and writing, document drafting, negotiation skills, factual investigation, and other lawyering skills necessary for successful practice.

Pictured here in the first of the two panels are: Professor Diane Penneys Edelman (Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law); Professor Bob Lutz (Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and Former Chair of the ABA Section of International Law); Steven M. Schneebaum (Immediate Past President of the International Law Students' Association, organizers of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition); Melanie Frank (The Global Trade Group PLLC of Washington, D.C.); and Jayanth K. Krishnan (Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington).


April 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Myanmar and the Threat of 21st Century Genocide

20170426_112329The ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting is in full swing at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.  Among the panels being offered is one on the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma), the Muslim minority group described as "the most persecuted minority in the world."

The panel moderator is Professor Jonathan Turley (George Washington University School of Law). The speakers are: Tasnim Motola (Clifford Chance LLP, New York); Prof. James Silk (Yale Law School); John Sifton (Human Rights Watch); and Jillian Tuck (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Rights at Risk Program). The panel chair is the Honorable Delissa Ridgeway (U.S. Court of International Trade).

One of the topics involved an issue whether the abuses against the Rohingya rise to the level of  genocide under Genocide Convention or whether they should be treated as crimes against humanity, an easier offense to prove because of the mental state required for a conviction. The abuses against the Rohingya include a lack of citizenship rights, forced displacement, religious persecution, and marriage restrictions.

Click here to read a blog post from panel moderator Jonathan Turley about the panel. 

(mew and Eun Jung "Jenny" Lee)


April 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Topics for the 2018 Jessup Moot Court Competition

The International Law Students' Association announced that the topics for the 2018 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition will be the validity of interstate arbitral awards, the capture of a marine vessel, the breach of nuclear disarmament obligations, and the conduct of naval warfare. The problem itself will be released in September and memorials will be due in January. Qualifying national and regional rounds are held around the world before the international finals in Washington DC in April 2018.


April 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 21, 2017

ABA Section of International Law Europe Forum in Barcelona (June 2017)

American Bar Association.
ABA Section of International Law.


The ABA Section of International Law Europe Forum will address hot topics and recent developments in Europe and the United States.  Presentations will be relevant to practitioners who already work in an international environment and to those who want to enhance their cross-border exposure.  Programs will examine legal issues related to both cross-border transactions and international dispute resolution.  Participants will also enjoy valuable networking events in unique and memorable venues.

Agenda: Over the course of two days, this Forum will present ten panels with distinguished speakers who will discuss issues of importance to the European region and transatlantic relations. Panel topics include:

  • International Ethics
  • Cybersecurity in M&A Deals
  • Real Estate Development
  • Investor-State Disputes
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Gender Diversity in Arbitration
  • International Corruption
  • Third-Party Funding
  • Cross-Border Data Transfer
  • Directors’ and Officers’ Liability

Click Here to view full agenda.

Who Should Attend? Lawyers practicing in Europe or the United States; lawyers with a cross border practice or an interest in European affairs, in-house counsel handling matters in Europe, academics, regulators, and law students with a focus on Europe.


April 21, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Whittier Law School in California Decides to Close

Trustees of Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California announced plans this week to stop admitting new students. A report in today's New York Times said the school had said that it was committed to ensuring that current students would be able to graduate, but it would not admit any new students for the Fall. Elizabeth Olson, Whittier Law School Announces Plan to Close, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2017, at B4.

The New York Times reports that Whittier Law School, an ABA-accredited law school, currently has approximately 400 students. Its bar pass rate for the California Bar Exam last July was only 22 percent, and the employment rate for graduates was only 29.7 percent. The law school had opened in 1966 and was accredited in 1978.

Whittier will be the first ABA-accredited law school to close. Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, which will close in June, had only provisional ABA-accreditation. Two other schools in Minnesota merged (Hamline and William Mitchell). And the for=profit Charlotte Law School in North Carolina was put on probation and its students denied federal loan money.


April 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Australia Defeats Jamaica to Win the 2017 Jessup Cup

20170415_174213A team from the University of Sydney has won the 2017 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, defeating a team from the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The final panel was composed of two sitting judges of the International Court of Justice, Judge James Richard Crawford and Judge Patrick Lipton Robinson, and a former judge of the International Court of Justice, Judge Bruno Simma, who served on the ICJ from 2003-2012. It is rare that each of the competing teams had a judge of its own nationality on the final round bench -- Judge Robinson is from Jamaica and Judge Crawford is from Australia.

This year's competition was by all accounts one of the best run and most competitive years. The problem was authored by Professor Jeffrey Brooks of Louisiana State University.

Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 640 law schools in more than 95 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. One team is allowed to participate from every eligible school. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case. For more information about the Jessup competition, click here.

Many readers of this blog are Jessup alumni. Please do your part and make a small (or large) financial contribution to support the world's largest and most prestigious moot court competition.


April 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jessup Final Round is Jamaica v Australia

The final round of the 2017 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is about to start in Washington DC. It is being live streamed through the International Law Students Association (ILSA).


April 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) opens its 111th Annual Meeting today in Washington, D.C. under the theme, "What International Law Values." The meeting is being held at the Hyatt Regency Capital Hill from Wednesday to Saturday.

ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational membership organization founded in 1906 and chartered by Congress in 1950. ASIL's mission is to foster the study of international law and  to promote the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice. Its 3,500 members in more than a hundred countries include attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and nongovernmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law.

The ASIL meeting is known for its high-quality panels and the extraordinary lineup of international law experts who attend each year.


April 11, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

2017 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

The International Rounds of the 2017 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition are taking place this week in Washington D.C. Click here for the Jessup Program and Schedule.

Philip C. JessupWith more than 640 schools competing from 95 jurisdictions, the Jessup Competition is the world's largest and most prestigious moot court competition. The competition is organized by the International Law Students Association.

The competition is named for Dr. Philip C. Jessup, who served as the American Ambassador to the United Nations from 1948 to 1953. He was President of the American Society of International Law from 1954 to 1955. And he was a judge on the International Court of Justice from 1961 to 1970.

The final rounds, which are open to the public and are likely also to be webcast, will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.



April 11, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ICC Trust Fund for Victims

A Trust Fund for Victims, separate from the International Criminal Court, was created in 2004 by the Assembly of States Parties, in accordance with article 79 of the Rome Statute. The Trust Fund's mission is to support and implement programs that address harms resulting from genocide, crimes of humanity, and war crimes. To achieve this mission, the Trust Fund for Victims has a two-fold mandate: (i) to implement Court-Ordered reparations and (ii) to provide physical, psychological, and material support to victims and their families. By assisting victims to return to a dignified and contributory life within their communities, the TFV contributes to realizing sustainable and long-lasting peace by promoting restorative justice and reconciliation. You can learn more about the Trust Fund for Victims, including how to make an individual contribution to it, by clicking here.


April 5, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Britain Triggers Notice Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

Brexit LetterThe United Kingdom today gave notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that pursuant to a democratic vote, it was leaving the European Union.

Here's the text of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty:

Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
And just what would that procedure be under Article 49 to rejoin after it withdraws from the European Union?

Article 49

Any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union. The European Parliament and national Parliaments shall be notified of this application. The applicant State shall address its application to the Council, which shall act unanimously after consulting the Commission and after receiving the assent of the European Parliament, which shall act by an absolute majority of its component members. The conditions of admission and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the Union is founded, which such admission entails, shall be the subject of an agreement between the Member States and the applicant State. This agreement shall be submitted for ratification by all the contracting States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The conditions of eligibility agreed upon by the European Council shall be taken into account.

The British Ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft, made a statement confirming that although Britain was starting two years of negotiations to leave the EU, it would still be part of Europe and part of the UN Security Council.  Click here to see the video of Ambassador Rycroft.



March 29, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Save the Date: Annual CSLSA Conference

The annual conference of the Central States Law Schools Association (CSLSA) will be held at Southern Illinois University School of Law on October 6-7, 2017.  The keynote speaker for the conference will be Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.  Watch this space or the CSLSA website for the call for papers.


March 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 24, 2017

International Criminal Court Adds Another Year to Congolese Vice President Bemba's 18-Year Sentence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced the former Congolese Vice-President, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, to another year in prison and about $325,000 in fines for interfering with his trial.

Judges ordered the that the sentence be served consecutively to Mr. Bemba's existing 18-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003.

In their ruling, the judges ordered the fine to be paid within three months to the ICC and then transferred to the Trust Fund for Victims, according to a press release.

Mr. Bemba, along with two of the four other people accused, were found guilty in October “for having jointly committed the offences of intentionally corruptly influencing 14 defence witnesses, and presenting their false evidence to the court.”

Mr. Bemba was also found guilty of soliciting the giving of false testimony by the 14 defense witnesses and attempting to corruptly influence two defense witnesses.

These charges were in addition to the main ruling issued in March 2016, in which the ICC found Mr. Bemba guilty beyond reasonable doubt on two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging) committed in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

Mr. Bemba had been the commander-in-chief of the former Congolese rebel group, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, as well as a vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the 2003-2006 transition.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

March 24, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)