Friday, December 1, 2017

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty today to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. about conversations he had last December with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. According to a report in the New York Times, Mr. Flynn acknowledged that he was cooperating with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election in the United States. (mew)

December 1, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Be a Jessup Judge in Ukraine

If your schedule and personal travel budget allow, please consider being a Judge in the 2018 Ukrainian Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The competition will be held in Ukraine from 9-11 February, 2018. Register at before 10 December 2017.

The 2017-2018 season marks the 59th year of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 645 law schools in at least 95 countries (and this year, maybe more than 100 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 other information about the Jessup competition, visit the Jessup Page on the website of the International Law Students Association by clicking here.

And yes, judges are also needed in at least 94 other countries, so please visit the Jessup Page to register as a judge.


November 29, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Job Opening for a Russian-Speaking Staff Attorney with the ABA Center for Human Rights – Justice Defenders

The American Bar Association Center for Human Rights is seeking an experienced staff attorney to join its Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience living and working in Eurasia are encouraged to apply. All applicants must have authorization to work in the United States. The ABA does not sponsor visas. Russian fluency is required.

The Justice Defenders Program provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by: advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases; connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing analysis of those trials. The Justice Defenders Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in virtually any country. Contact the ABA Center for Human Rights for more information about this job position.

November 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, November 20, 2017, is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson issued the following statement:
On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States honors the memory of the many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence.
Transgender individuals and their advocates, along with lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex persons, are facing increasing physical attacks and arbitrary arrests in many parts of the world. Often these attacks are perpetrated by government officials, undermining the rule of law.
Transgender persons should not be subjected to violence or discrimination, and the human rights they share with all persons should be respected.
On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons. These principles are inherent in our own Constitution and drive the diplomacy of the United States.

November 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Investment Dispute Settlement in the Americas

Investment Arbitration ABA-SIL MiamiThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law concludes today in Miami, finishing a week of outstanding substantive panels on various aspects of transnational business, foreign investment, and international law, and with a special focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of the final panels was on investment dispute settlement in the Americas, including disputes under bilateral and multilateral treaties applicable in the Americas:

  • NAFTA (Canada and Mexico, 1994, currently being renegotiated)
  • Chile (2004)
  • Colombia (2012)
  • DR CAFTA (the Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement, with the United States and the nations of Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, with different dates of entry into force)
  • Panama (2012)
  • Peru (2009)

The panel also considered other bilateral treaties that the United States has with various nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, including:

  • Argentina (1994)
  • Bolivia (2001, terminated in 2012)
  • Ecuador (1994)
  • Grenada (1989)
  • Honduras (2001)
  • Panama (2001)
  • Trinidad & Tobago (1996)
  • Uruguay (2006)

The panel moderator was Viren Mascarenhas (King & Spalding LLP). Other speakers were Laura Sinisterra (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP) and Shane Spelliscy (Trade Law Bureau, Government of Canada). The panel chair was Paula Henin (Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP) who was also a speaker on the panel.

The panel discussed new developments and trends in international investment arbitration, including the "Mauritius Convention on Transparency," formally known as the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration. The Mauritius Convention entered into effect just 10 days ago, on October 18, 2017. It is an instrument by which Parties to investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014 agree to apply the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration,  a set of procedural rules to make information publicly available on investor-State arbitrations under investment treaties. Although it has been signed by a number of countries (including the United States), so far only Canada, Mauritius, and Switzerland have ratified that treaty (and that was enough to bring the treaty into effect 10 days ago).



October 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ethics of Client Communication with New Media in a Global Pracitce

The American Bar Association Section of International Law continues today in Miami. One of the CLE panels is on the ethics of client communications with new media in a global practice.

The panel moderator was Alexandra Darraby (The Art Law Firm, Los Angeles), co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law International Legal Ethics Committee and co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law New Media and Innovation Committee. The panelists were David M. Levine (Carey Rodriguez Milian Gonya LLP, Miami) and Ekaterina Schoenefeld (Schoenefeld Law Firm LLC, Princeton, New Jersey).

Social Media Ethics ABA-SIL MiamiThe panel discussed ethical issues and recent U.S. federal and state court decisions involving a large number of social media and electronic communication platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Google Translate
  • Instagram
  • Kik
  • LinkedIn
  • MeetMe (a social networking service)
  • MocoSpace (a mobile gaming community)
  • MySpace
  • Snapchat
  • Tagged (a social networking service)
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Yik Yak (a social media smartphone application)

The panel raised a number of practical tips, such as a warning on using Google Translate with discovery documents (because the service is not confidential and searches done using Google Translate are discoverable).

The panel did not mention any active litigation matters involving the International Law Prof Blog.

One new resource for attorneys interested in these issues is the Handbook of Global Social Media Law for Business Lawyers, edited by John Isaza and Valerie Surgenor and published by the ABA Business Law Section. The book covers employees and social media, social media as evidence, cybersecurity, electronic defamation, and specific social media legislation for a number of countries including Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.


October 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Latin American Leadership in Gender Equality

Women in Latin AmericaThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law continues today in Miami with CLE panels, a luncheon, and a closing reception. One CLE program held today considers the advances Latin America has made in gender equality. The program noted that a 2016 study of 583 companies in 42 countries worldwide documented that although gender diversity was expected to generally stagnate in the next decade, women in Latin America are expected to hold 45 to 50% of all executive positions in corporations by 2025.

The panel, titled "Deconstructing the Myth of Machismo: Latin America's Leadership in Gender Equality," was moderated by the nationally-renowned journalist Eleanor Clift (former Newsweek correspondent, panelist on the McLaughlin Group, and author of books such as Madam President and Founding States and the Nineteenth Amendment). The speakers were:

  • Brigida Benitez (Steptoe & Johnson LLP), a past president of the District of Columbia Bar (the second largest unified bar in the country, with more than 100,000 members worldwide) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She has been recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as a “Woman of the Year” and one of the “100 most influential US Hispanics,” and by Latino Leaders magazine as one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanic Lawyers.”
  • Juliana van Waveren, a senior consultant at Mercer LLC, who spoke on the comprehensive research study called "When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive." That is also the name of Mercer's global research and solution platform designed to help organizations drive growth through the active and productive participation of their female workforce.
  • Judith I. Lichtman (National Partnership for Women & Families), a guiding and influential force in the women's movement for more than 40 years, and a former president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The panel chair was the Honorable Delissa A. Ridgeway, a judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade who has helped the ABA Section of International Law create some of its most interesting and engaging CLE panels.


October 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Ethics as Shown in Movies and Television Shows

Legal Ethics Panel ABA-SIL MiamiThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law concludes today in Miami. Panels on this last day included a popular legal ethics program. Using short video clips from a variety of movies and television shows, the panel discussed how particular ethical situations would be handled under the ethics rules of the United States, Mexico, and Peru. The speakers were Robert A. Anguiera (Robert A. Anguira P.A., Miami); Eduardo Benevides (Berninzon & Benavides Abogados, Lima Peru); and Andres Nieto (Van Wobeser y Sierra S.C., Mexico City); and Robert J. Misey, Jr. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C., Chicago and Milwaukee).

Movie and television clips included:

  • The Rainmaker, where Matt Damon plays Rudy Baylor, a rookie lawyer in over his head on a high-profile case. Rule 1.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct requires a lawyer to "provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation."
  • Primal Fear, in which Richard Gear plays an attorney who changes the label on a VHS tape that has potential use as evidence in the case he's working on. Rule 3.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provides that a lawyer "shall not alter or conceal material having evidentiary value."
  • Suits, a television show in which Lewis, a junior partner, is caught by opposing counsel attempting to bribe a potential witness. Opposing counsel then uses this attempted bribe to force a favorable settlement for his client. The senior partners appear to condone the proposed settlement. The clip of the television show considered ethical responsibilities to partners, managers, and supervisory lawyers. The applicable rules from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct included: (1) Rule 5.1(a), which provides that "A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct."; (2) Rule 5.2(a), which provides  that "A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the direction of another person."; and (3) Rule 8.3(a), which provides that "A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority."
  • Crazy Like a Fox, a show involving a man wrongly accused of murdering his wife (who had not actually been killed). Because he served 12 years for his time for that crime, the man goes to a lawyer to ask whether he would get a "freebie" on a future crime (killing his wife for real this time).  Applicable rules from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduce included Rule 1.6(b), which provides in part that "A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary: (1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm; or (2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services."
  • L.A. Law, in an episode where a murderer confesses to an attorney while confirming the existence of attorney-client privilege so that the attorney would be unable to testify against him, and Anatomy of a Murder, his which a lawyer coaches a defendant on the testimony he should give to excuse a murder. Rule 3.4(b) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provides in part that a lawyer shall not "counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely" and Rule 3.3(a)(3) provides in part that a lawyer shall not knowingly "offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false."
  • The Client, in which a young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney (Susan Sarandon) to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mafia family. The boy only has a dollar to pay his lawyer. Rule 1.5(a) of the Model Rule provides in part that a fee has to be reasonable: "A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses." The discussion question was whether a small fee could be an unreasonable fee.
  • The Verdict, in which a lawyer (Paul Newman) fails to inform his client of a settlement offer (and violated Rule 1.4 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct).
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret of Your Eyes), a movie from Argentina, in which a retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases.

After presenting each clip and the applicable U.S. Model Rule, lawyers from Mexico and Peru compared the situation under the ethical rules in their countries. Watching the clips was an enjoyable way to consider the ethical rules applicable to each situation presented.


October 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

International Law and International Litigation in U.S. Domestic Courts

Judicial Panel ABA MiamiThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law continues this week in Miami, Florida. One showcase panel considered how U.S. judges view international litigation and international law. The speakers were a federal district court judge (the Honorable Ursula Ungaro, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) and a Florida State Court judge (the Honorable John Thornton, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida). The moderator was Steven Richman, Chair of the ABA Section of International Law. The panel discussed a variety of issues that arise in international litigation, including:

  • serving process on defendants who reside in other countries, using the Hague Service Convention and by other methods of actual service (including service by Facebook and other social media), and issues that arise with establishing personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants; 
  • the adequacy of alternative forums when arguing a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens, or whether forum non conveniens can be a defense to enforcement of a foreign arbitral award under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcemnt of Foreign Arbitral Awards, or in an action under the Montreal Convention (the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 28 May 1999);
  • problems that arise when a state constitution or state statute purports to prohibit courts from considering international and foreign law, because eleven states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington) have enacted legislation restricting the application of foreign or religious law in state courts. Click here to read more about state restrictions on using foreign or religious law.
  • blocking enforcement of foreign defamation judgments in U.S. courts unless the party seeking enforcement complies with the federal statute called the "Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage" Act (the "SPEECH Act");
  • different rules for attorney-client privilege in different jurisdictions and other issues that arise when seeking discovery.


October 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

International Arbitration and Litigation as Mechanisms to Protect Investments in Latin America

ABA-SIL ArbitrationThe Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law is continuing in Miami with a number of substantive panels. One panel was on international arbitration and litigation as mechanisms to protect investments in Latin America.

The panel moderator was Ricardo Henrique Safini Gama (Veirano Advogados, Brazil). Panelists included: William D. Wood (Norton Rose Fulbright, Houston), who spoke on U.S. litigation arising out of corruption scandals in Latin America; Nicole Duclos (Covington & Burling, New York), who discussed issues relating to corruption in international commercial arbitration and the interaction of criminal investigations with international commercial arbitration proceedings; Barry Appleton (Managing Partner at Appleton & Associates International, Toronto and Washington, D.C.), who spoke about investment treaty arbitration as another route to combat corruption; and Rachel Giesber Clingman (Vice Presidentl for Petroleum and Minerals Americas at BHP Billiton), who described the role of in-house counsel in avoiding and reporting corruption.

Some points from the presentation:

  • Corruption is pernicious and stifles development.
  • Remember that a foreign state will not have immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) when a suit is based on commercial activities in the United States (such as trading U.S. securities) or when property is taken in violation of international law (28 U.S.C. sec. 1605). When basing a suit on securities or investor agreements, look for contractual consent to U.S. jurisdiction.
  • Of the 87 companies whose 2016 public filings disclosed that they were the subject of ongoing and unresolved investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, 26 companies are in Latin America.
  • Arbitrators will always be concerned about allegations of corruption in an arbitration proceeding because they want their arbitral decisions to be enforceable, and an allegation of corruption may derail enforcement.
  • If a country raises corruption on the part of the claimant as an issue in an investment-state arbitration, the tribunal will usually dismiss the proceeding. But if the claimant raises corruption on the part of the government, the tribunal will investigate that claim.

Click here to read more about anti-corruption trends across Latin America.


October 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

CISG Veterans and Newcomers: Brazil, Cuba, and CISG Latin American Countries

CISG Panel ABA-SIL MiamiThe U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) has been ratified by a number of countries in Latin America, including Argentina (1988), Mexico (1989), Cuba (1994), and, most recently, Brazil (2014). Many attorneys routinely exclude application of the CISG, however, probably because they've never taken the time to learn about the CISG and advantages that attach to a contract governed by the CISG. Other countries, such as Panama, are still not parties to the CISG, but operate under its own commercial law and perhaps bilateral commercial treaties. Countries that have ratified the CISG also have their own commercial domestic laws, including the Brazilian Commercial Code (first promulgated in 1850, revised in 2002 and still under review since 2011), the Commercial Code of Cuba (first promulgated in 1886, and re-enacted in 2012), and the Commercial Code of Mexico (dating back to 1889, revised as recently at 2014).

A CLE panel at the Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law explored the CISG in terms of countries that are long-time parties to the Convention, newcomers to the Convention (most notably Brazil, where the CISG entered into effect three years ago on October 16, 2014), countries (like Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama) that are still not parties to the CISG, and a country (Costa Rica) that will join the CISG next year. The panel was sponsored by the International Transportation Committee of the ABA Section of International Law and co-sponsored by the International Trade Committee; the Committee on International Commercial Transactions, Franchising, and Distribution; the Latin American and Caribbean Committee of the ABA Section of International Law; and the Cuban Law Subcommittee of the Florida Bar Association Section of International Law.

The Panel Chair was Attilio Costabel of Costabel P.A. in Miami. Panel speakers included: James M. Meyer (Harper Meyer, Miami); Ivette Martinez Saenz (IMS Legal); Henry Rodriquez (Nassar Abogdos, San Jose, Costa Rica), Victor Fernandes (Basch & Rameh, Sao Paolo Brazil); and Pedro A. Freyre (Akerman, LLC, Miami, who presented on behalf of Professor C. Narciso Cobo Roura from the Cuban Commercial Arbitration Court, who had been denied a visa to present at the ABA conference in Miami).

Here are some nuggets from the panel:

  • Where a contract is governed by the CISG, a federal court in the United States would have federal question jurisdiction (because the CISG is an international treaty to which the United States is a party).
  • State courts in Brazil have jurisdiction with respect to claims involving the international sale of goods.
  • The first court decision in Brazil directly applying the CISG was Noridane v. Anexo (14 Feb. 2017, Appellate Court of the State of Rio Grande do Sol), popularly known as "the Chicken Feet Case."
  • Panama's failure to join the CISG has not severely affected import-export in Panama, but ratification of the CISG may increase international business opportunities for Panama.
  • Central America is not integrated economically or legally -- important differences exist in each country in Central America. For example, while El Salvador and Honduras are parties to the CISG; there is no movement in Guatemala or Nicaragua to join the CISG.
  • Even though El Salvador and Honduras are parties to the CISG, courts in those countries are likely to apply local commercial law rather than the CISG (because courts may not know about the CISG, because materials on the CISG are not available in Spanish, or because it may simply be easier for judges in those countries to apply local commercial law).
  • The CISG is expected to enter into effect for Costa Rica in August 2018 (Statute No. 9421).
  • Legal provisions in forms that are valid in the United States may not necessarily work in other countries.
  • A Cuban Commercial Court has ruled that the CISG is part of the law of Cuba. Laudio No. 19/2013, Emiat v. Agrapisa.


October 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting in Miami

PlenaryThe American Bar Association Section of International Law holds its Fall Meeting this week in Miami. The opening Power Plenary focused on Women Entrepreneurs in the International Arena.

Speakers included Maria Cardenas (Reed Smith), Melissa Medina (eMerge Americas), Constance Collins (Sundari Foundation), Lisette Calderon (Calderon Holdings of Florida), and Meeting Co-Chair Melissa Pallett-Vasquez (Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP of Miami).

The Fall Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law continues through Friday at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Miami.


October 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 9, 2017

International Law Weekend 2017 - Program and Registration Information

Fordham Law SchoolThe American Branch of the International Law Association (AmBranch or ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA) are about to host yet another edition of the popular and well-worth-your-time International Law Weekend from October 19-21, 2017 in New York City. The theme of the 2017 meeting -- the 96th ABILA Annual Meeting -- is "International Law in Challenging Times."

A link to the program is here. As with other conferences, check for updates and changes to the program.

The International Law Weekend begins Thursday evening, October 19, 2017 with a distinguished opening panel at the New York City Bar (42 W. 44th

Street). The panel will include Prof. Martin Flaherty, Co-Director of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice; Ambassador Elinor Hammarskjöld, Director General for Legal Affairs of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm; Lucinda A. Low, Partner at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, and President of the American Society of International Law; and D. Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations for Legal Affairs (and head of the Office of the Legal Counsel). ABILA President David P. Stewart will moderate. A reception will follow.

The conference continues Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Fordham University School of Law (150 West 62nd Street). Friday’s activities feature a keynote address by Sir Christopher Greenwood, a Judge on the International Court of Justice. On Friday evening, a reception will be generously hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations. You must register in advance for that reception, and usually it’s a sellout.

The registration link is at  The event is free for law students. General registration is just $50.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew).

October 9, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cherif Bassiouni, a Giant in the Field of International Criminal Law, has Died at Age 79

Cherif BassiouniWe are still stunned by the sad news of the passing of Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.

Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1937, M. Cherif Bassiouni immigrated to the United States in 1962. He was an Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law where he had taught from 1964-2009. He was a founding member of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University, which was established in 1990. He served as President from 1990-2008 and then President Emeritus. In 1972, he was one of the founders of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) located in Siracusa (Sicily), Italy, where he served as General-Secretary from 1972-74, Dean from 1974-88, and then as President. He also served as the Secretary General of the International Association of Penal Law from 1974-89 and as President for three five-year terms from 1989-2004 when he was elected Honorary President. Professor Bassiouni is often referred to by the media as “the Godfather of International Criminal Law” and a “war crimes expert.”

Professor Bassiouni was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. in 1972; Visiting Professor of Law, New York University Law School in 1971; Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law, University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970; non-resident Professor of Criminal Law at University of Cairo from 1997-2007. He also lectured at various universities in the United States and around the world. He was an engaging speaker and teacher who captivated his audiences with the deep importance of his words.

Since 1975, Professor Bassiouni has been appointed to 22 United Nations positions, including these:

  • Chair of the Commission of Inquiry for Libya (2011-12);
  • Independent Expert on Human Rights for Afghanistan (2004-06);
  • Independent Expert on the Rights to Restitution, Compensation, and Rehabilitation for Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1998-2000);
  • Chair, Drafting Committee of the Diplomatic Conference on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1998);
  • Vice-Chair of the General Assembly’s Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1996-98);
  • Vice-Chair of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court (1995);
  • Chair of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council 780 to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia (1993-94) and the Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Gathering and Analysis of the Facts (1992-93);
  • Consultant to the Sixth and Seventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1983 and 1985);
  • Consultant to the Committee on Southern African of the Commission on Human Rights (1980-81);
  • Co-chair of the Independent Committee of Experts Drafting the Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture (1978);
  • Honorary Vice-President at the Fifth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention (1975).

Bassiouni at JMLSHe also served as Chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was established in 2011.

Between 1973-2003, Professor Bassiouni served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and Department of Justice on many projects, including projects relating to:

  • international traffic of drugs (1973),
  • international control of terrorism (1975 and 1978-79),
  • the defense of the U.S. hostages in Iran (1979-1980),
  • governance and democracy projects in the Middle East and North Africa (1991-92), and
  • the future of the Iraqi justice system (2002-03).

Among the many distinctions and awards he has received are:

  • Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize (1999);
  • Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award of Columbia University (2012);
  • Cook County Bar Association Lincoln Award (2012);
  • Dominican University’s Bradford O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice (2011);
  • George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award, Washington DC (2010-2011);
  • Washington University School of Law, World Peace Through Law Award (2010);
  • DePaul University Via Sapientiae Award (2009);
  • Hague Prize for International Law (2007);
  • Cesare Beccaria Justice Medal of the International Society for Social Defense (2007);
  • The Medal of the Commission de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Mexico (2006); DePaul University St. Vincent DePaul Society’s Humanitarian Award (2000); 
  • International Association of Penal Law- V.V. Pella, Champion of International Criminal Justice Award (1999);
  • The John Marshall Law School-Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award (1999);
  • Defender of Democracy Award from Parliamentarians for Global Action (1998); U
  • nited Nations Association’s Adlai E. Stevenson Award (1993);
  • The Special Award of the Council of Europe (1990); and
  • The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe’s Award (1984).

He was awarded the following medals:

  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Cavaliere di Gran Croce), Italy (2006);
  • Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Commander), France (2006);
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Germany (2003);
  • Legion d’Honneur (Officier), France (2003);
  • Order of Lincoln, Illinois, United States (2001);
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Austrian Republic (1990); Order of Scientific Merit (First Class), Egypt (1984);
  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Grand’Ufficiale), Italy (1977);
  • Order of Merit of the Republic (Commendatore), Italy (1976); and
  • Order of Military Valor, Egypt (1956).

He received several honorary degrees, including:

  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Salzburg (2013);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Tirana, Albania (2013);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, University of Ghent, Belgium (2011);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, Case Western Reserve University, United States (2010);
  • Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa, Catholic Theological Union, United States (2009);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, National University of Ireland, Galway (2001);
  • Doctor of Law Honoris Causa, Niagara University, United States (1997);
  • Docteur d’Etat en Droit Honoris Causa, University de Pau, France (1986); and
  • Dottore in Giurisprudenza Honoris Causa, Università di Torino, Italy (1981).

Bassiouni TextProfessor Bassiouni authored 24 books and co-authored four more, edited 46 books, testified before the U.S. Congress 18 times, and authored at least 256 articles on International Criminal Law, Comparative Criminal Law, Human Rights, and U.S. Criminal Law that have been published in various law journals and books. He has written 14 Monographs on such subjects as history, politics, and religion. His publications have been cited by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the European Court of Human Rights, and the highest courts of: Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa (Supreme Court and Constitutional Court) and United Kingdom (House of Lords, Court of Appeals, High Court and Divisional Court of England & Wales, and Scottish High Court of the Judiciary), and New Zealand. In the United States, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit and District courts, as well as various State Supreme Courts have repeatedly cited his works. Of course, many academic authors reading this blog post will also remember citing his groundbreaking work in their own scholarship.

Several of his books and articles have been written in and translated into: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Bassiouni Judging JessupProfessor Bassiouni began his education in Egypt where he obtained an LLB from the University of Cairo. He also pursued his legal education in France, Switzerland, and the United States where he earned a J.D. from Indiana University; an LL.M. from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago; and an S.J.D. George Washington University.

He was such a kind, magnificent person. He worked at the highest levels of international law but always also took time to help law students around the world. Many students had the honor of having him judge their rounds in regional and international finals of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. He was a great mentor and friend. And his passing is a tragic loss for the world of international law.

We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and the thousands upon thousands of people who were touched directly by his important work.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

Photos from The John Marshall Law School-Chicago:

  • First photo (left to right): Professors Gerald Berendt and Mark E. Wojcik, Former Nuremberg War Crimes Prosecutor Ben Ferencz, Professor Shahram Dana, Dean John Corkery, and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni.
  • Second photo: Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni on the final bench of a regional Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

September 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lawyers Can Help Puerto Rico and Other Places Hit by Hurricanes

The American Bar Association Section of International Law was scheduled to meet next month in San Juan in a pre-meeting module just prior to its Fall Meeting in Miami. That meeting in San Juan has been postponed because of the recent hurricanes. 
There are several initiatives regarding the different disaster relief efforts related to areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Here are two links for pages that show how lawyers can help out specifically. The first page is for the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness, which is committed to educating lawyers, bar associations, and the justice system to prepare for and respond to disasters. The second link is for the Young Lawyers' Division page on Disaster Legal Services.
Hat tips to Steve Richman and Max Trujillo.

September 27, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia Decides (Finally!) to Let Women Drive

The New York Times is reporting that Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive, reversing a  longstanding policy that symbolized the repression of women in Saudi Arabia. The new policy will take effect in June 2018. 


September 26, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 22, 2017

South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business

S.C. J. Int'l L. & Bus.The South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business wants you to know that they are still accepting articles for publication for the 2017-2018 academic year. If you are considering publishing an article in international law or business, they request that you consider their Journal. And if you are not currently looking to publish, please consider telling a colleague about them.

They recently implemented Author Spotlights on their website where they feature the authors who publish with them. Articles can be submitted by e-mail to the Editor in Chief or to the Senior Articles Editor, or through Scholastica or Expresso.

Hat tip to Alasen Schell, Senior Articles Editor of the South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business.


September 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

International Law Weekend 2017

Fordham Law SchoolFor readers of this blog, EVERY weekend should be an International Law Weekend, but the official "International Law Weekend" will be October 19-21, 2017 in New York City.  Registration is open and the program is available at the home page of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA or AmBranch) and the International Law Students' Association (ILSA). 

It's a great program, there's CLE for practitioners, and it's absolutely free for current students. There's also some good book displays and excellent networking opportunities. There's also a terrific opening panel Thursday evening at the New York City Bar Association. The sessions on Friday and Saturday are being held at Fordham University School of Law, which has done a great job hosting this conference for the past few years.  This is worth your time.

Hat tip to David P. Stewart President of the American Branch of the International Law Association and a Professor from Practice at the Georgetown University Law Center.


September 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Loyola-Chicago is Hiring

Loyola University Chicago School of Law is hiring for a newly created position: Director of Bar Success and Academic Support.  The job posting, which includes a detailed position description, qualifications for the position, and information about the application process, can be found at:

The Director of Bar Success and Academic Support will be responsible for developing and executing comprehensive programming to support student success throughout law school and the bar exam.  This position includes teaching classes and workshops, meeting individually with students, administering academic support programming, and tracking student performance and bar exam data to continually reassess the program and student needs. 

Loyola University Chicago School of Law is a student-focused law center inspired by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, intellectual openness, and service to others.  The Director of Bar Success and Academic Support will be a vital part of the School of Law's curriculum and mission.

Loyola University Chicago is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer with a strong commitment to hiring for our mission and diversifying our faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion (except where religion is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job), national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status or any other factor protected by law.

The position is not tenure-track and may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.  Additionally the person hired will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Becker.


September 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Legal Writing Institute will be another of the Cooperating Entities Supporting the 13th Global Legal Skills Conference in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Law School LogoThe Legal Writing Institute will be another of the cooperating entities supporting the 13th Global Legal Skills Conference, to be held in Melbourne, Australia from December 9-12, 2018 at Melbourne Law School. The Melbourne Conference is being jointly organized with The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where the GLS Conference Series was founded.

Other cooperating entities include the International Law Students Association (organizers of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition), the Teaching International Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers, and the American Bar Association Section of International Law.


September 19, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)