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GW LAW BRIEFS: International Update

Claire Duggan

"Live From L"

Harold Koh, legal adviser, U.S. Department of State, leads "Live from L," a webcast featuring lawyers from the Office of the Legal Adviser with questions from around the world and from GW students and guests in person in the Burns Moot Court Room. The lawyers (right to left) are Keith Loken, Elizabeth Kiingi, Christina Sanford, and Evelyn Aswad. Associate Dean Susan Karamanian looks on.

Commissioner Shelton presides over hearings in March. Issues on the session's docket ranged from gender equality to environmental sustainability and indigenous rights.

Claire Duggan

Dinah Shelton Elected IACHR Chair

Dinah L. Shelton, GW's Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, was elected in March to be chair of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 

Professor Shelton has served as a commissioner of the IACHR since Jan. 1, 2010.

"This is an important responsibility and one that reflects highly on Dinah and her previous service to the commission," said then-Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs.

Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Susan Karamanian echoed that sentiment. "The abundant energy and intense focus that Dinah gives to any legal problem, coupled with her mastery of the relevant international legal principles, will make her a formidable leader of the commission."

Professor Shelton also received the good news this spring that she was selected to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Stockholm in recognition of her "emphatic contributions to the development of the legal protection of human rights and the environment."

Claire Duggan

GW Hosts Pakistani Supreme Court Justice

The Muslim Law Student Association hosted more than 100 people for a lecture on law, philosophy, and religion by renowned jurist and human rights advocate Pakistani Supreme Court Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday. MLSA President Talha M. Khan, JD '11, Justice Ramday, Associate Dean Susan L. Karamanian, and 2L students Nadia Patel and Anam Rahman before the lecture.

Claire Duggan

GW Law Honors Cherif Bassiouni

In May, Professor Cherif Bassiouni, SJD ' 73, of DePaul University College of Law received GW's Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. Professors Peter Raven-Hansen, Mike Matheson, and Thomas Schoenbaum look on.

Sean Murphy Appears Before International Court of Justice

Professor Murphy, third from the right, appearing as part of the Macedonian legal team before the International Court of Justice.

Sean Murphy, GW's Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law, appeared before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in March to argue on behalf of Macedonia, in a case to remove an objection by Greece that is blocking the country's bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Professor Murphy is part of a team of lawyers from Macedonia, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom that prepared written pleadings for the court and presented Macedonia's case at the oral hearing.

"It's a real honor to represent Macedonia in this proceeding, which relates Macedonia's effort to secure membership in one of the most important institutions for peace and security in Europe," says Professor Murphy.

When Macedonia emerged as an independent state, Greece opposed use of the name "Macedonia," asserting that it suggested a territorial claim to parts of northern Greece that fell within ancient Macedonia. When Macedonia sought admission to the United Nations in 1993, a compromise was reached whereby Macedonia would be provisionally referred to within the United Nations as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" until the difference over the name could be resolved.

In a 1995 treaty, known as the Interim Accord, the two countries agreed that Greece would not object to Macedonia's efforts to join other international organizations if it was referred to within those groups by the provisional reference.

Professor Murphy's argument focused on the facts of Greece's conduct in 2007–2008, why that conduct violated Article 11(1) of the Interim Accord, and why Greece's arguments to the contrary are not sustainable. Transcripts, videos, and photographs of the oral arguments, as well as the written pleadings, are available at the court's website:

Associate Dean Susan Karamanian discusses international criminal tribunals after the screening of the film. GW Law Professor Ralph Steinhardt, University Professor Walter Reich, and Dean Michael J. Feuer of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development were on the panel.

Claire Duggan

Nuremberg: Lessons for Today

GW hosted a screening of documentary producer Sandra Schulberg's restored film Nuremburg: Its Lessons for Today, which was originally written and directed in 1948 by her father, Stuart Schulberg. He was a veteran of the Office of Strategic Services Field Photographic Branch/War Crimes Unit that was charged in 1945 with locating Nazi film evidence to be shown in the courtroom at Nuremberg.

The film shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis' own films and records. The trial established the foundation for all subsequent trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Claire Duggan

The OECD Turns 50

Nicola Bonucci, director for legal affairs, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), celebrates 50 years of the OECD with his colleagues. The cake was presented at a conference titled Toward Coherence in International Economic Law: Perspectives at the 50th Anniversary of the OECD, which GW Law co-hosted with the OECD, the American Society of International Law, and the George Washington International Law Review.

Educating on Human Trafficking

Claire Duggan

GW Law hosted a session to discuss a new book by Anne Gallagher, The International Law of Human Trafficking (Oxford University Press, 2010). Gallagher is speaking; left to right are Martina Vandenberg, Jenner & Block LLP, Mark Taylor, U.S. Department of State Office to Combat and Monitor Human Trafficking, Janie Chuang, AU School of Law, and Marcia Eugenio, U.S. Department of Labor International Labor Affairs Bureau.

Claire Duggan

OECD Secretary General Presents Shulman Foundation Lecture

The Hon. Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presented the 2011 Shulman Foundation Lecture on the closing day of a recent two-day conference marking the 50th anniversary of the OECD.

GW Law Co-Hosts ICJ Discussion

On June 3, GW Law and the American Society of International Law (ASIL) co-hosted a workshop titled The International Court of Justice: Rethinking the U.S. Relationship. The event was held in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State's Office of Legal Adviser.

GW Law was a natural venue for the event because of its many ties to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Former ICJ Judge Thomas Buergenthal recently returned to the Law School as the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence. The current ICJ judge from the United States, Joan Donoghue, previously taught public international law as an adjunct professor at GW Law. Sean Murphy, the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law, has argued before the ICJ several times. In May 2010, GW Law hosted a symposium honoring Judge Buergenthal upon his retirement from the court. That symposium was held at the Peace Palace in The Hague, home to the ICJ.

The workshop gave participants the chance to reflect on a variety of issues relating to the ICJ. The topics included contemporary U.S. attitudes toward the court, improving the U.S. relationship with the ICJ, and lessons from other international regimes, such as the WTO and the Law of the Sea, and from other states, such as the United Kingdom.

In addition to Judge Donoghue and Professors Buergenthal and Murphy, participants included former ICJ President Stephen Schwebel; David Caron, president of the ASIL; Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; Sir Daniel Bethlehem, Q.C., the former U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal adviser, and U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh.

Then-Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs, who delivered opening remarks, said the event was timely and effective. "GW Law is uniquely situated to support a discussion on the U.S. relationship with the ICJ. We were honored to have such distinguished international lawyers at the Law School and to have played a role in supporting a focused discussion on matters of great importance to international law and U.S. policy."

Exploring Chinese Law

Then-Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs accepts a welcome gift from Dean Zhenmin Wang of Tsinghua University Law School. Seated are Professor William P. Alford of Harvard Law School and the Hon. Elsie Leung, vice director of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the National People's Conference Standing Committee.

In June, GW Law hosted a premier group of Chinese law experts for a dialogue on rule of law issues. The event was sponsored by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, as well as Tsinghua University School of Law. Professor Donald Clarke was an active participant in the dialogue, serving as moderator of a panel on judicial system and reform and a commentator on the panel titled WTO & Foreign Investment.

The international connections and activities of faculty members such as Professor Clarke encourage these discussions, moving GW Law's international agenda forward. "Don's ties to Tsinghua and the Chinese legal academy made this event possible," said Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies Susan L. Karamanian.

In addition to the participants pictured here, speakers included representatives from Tsinghua, Peking University, Renmin University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Law, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, as well as Berkeley, Columbia, Georgetown, Michigan, Penn, and Yale Law Schools. "It was an honor to be able to host such a distinguished group of people," said Professor Clarke. "The quality of discussion was very high and a credit to the participants."

Delegation of Chinese Judges Attend GW Forum

Professor Thomas Morgan discusses the intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property law with a delegation of judges from China participating in a forum organized by GW Law on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Professorial Lecturer in Law Judge Randall Rader, JD '78, Associate Dean John M. Whealan, and Professor F. Scott Kieff also gave lectures to the guest jurists.

Claire Duggan

The Hon. Randall Rader, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, hosted the delegation at the court's Dolley Madison House.

David Simon