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WashU Prof. Leila Sadat Gives TLI Lecture on Convention on Crimes Against Humanity

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Leila Sadat and Prof. Mark Drumbl, director of the Transnational Law Institute

Prof. Leila Sadat and Prof. Mark Drumbl, director of the Transnational Law Institute

On Friday, Feb. 21, The Transnational Law Institute at Washington and Lee University School of Law hosted its first spring lecture, featuring international law expert Leila Nadya Sadat of the Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law.

At WashU, Prof. Sadat  teaches in the areas of criminal law, foreign affairs, terrorism, and international criminal law. She has an extensive record of impactful scholarship and policy-making. In December 2012, she was appointed Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, and earlier that year was elected to membership in the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. Sadat has published more than 75 books and articles in leading journals and academic presses throughout the world.

During her talk at W&L, Prof. Sadat discussed her work on the Convention on Crimes Against Humanity, focusing on the legal definition of crimes against humanity, the persistent nature of these crimes world-wide, how international law might best respond, and the role of domestic courts in this regard. Her remarks offered insights regarding how international treaties are actually made, and the role that activists and non-state actors can play in this process.

The next TLI lecture is scheduled for Friday, Mark 7 at 2 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room. W&L will host Prof. Diane Marie Amann, Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. Prof. Amann will give a lecture titled “Children and International Criminal Law.”

W&L Law Professor Lyman Johnson Speaks at Upcoming “Love and Law” Conference

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment
Prof. Lyman Johnson

Prof. Lyman Johnson

Washington & Lee law professor Lyman Johnson will speak at the upcoming Love and Law Conference sponsored by the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics and hosted at Pepperdine University.   The conference will address questions about the role of Christian love, or agape, in law.

Professor Johnson will speak at a plenary session, Finding love in law where you might not expect it, on Saturday, February 7th.  He will address issues of Love and Corporate Theory.

Learn more about Professor Johnson’s scholarship here.

Professor Russell Miller to Speak Today at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies

April 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Here is the press release from the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies regarding today’s appearance by W&L Law Professor Russell Miller:

Kommers Miller cover image 5266-2AICGS, the Goethe-Institut’s Mapping Democracy Series, the German Embassy-Cultural Division, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association are pleased to host Donald Kommers and Russell Miller, co-authors of The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (2012), for a panel discussion on “The Constitutional Framework for German Democracy.” The event will take place at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St, NW.

This new edition, with its extensive treatment of the German law of democracy, comes at an appropriate time, shortly before Germany’s federal elections in the fall. In this discussion the authors will explore the constitutional facets of electoral processes in Germany as well as the broader notion of democracy in the Constitutional Court’s decisions. The book, an English-language commentary on German constitutional law, also features translations of more than 100 decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court. In her foreword to the latest edition, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls the book “a masterful text.”

Prof. Donald Kommers is a Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and Concurrent Professor of Law Emeritus at Notre Dame University Law School. He is the author of over 100 major articles and books and his next book, Germany’s Constitutional Odyssey, is expected to be published in early 2014. Prof. Kommers earned his B.A. in philosophy and English literature from the Catholic University of America and his advanced degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also studied law.

Prof. Russell Miller

Prof. Russell Miller

Prof. Russell Miller is a Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has been a guest professor in Germany and a frequent Research Visitor at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg.  He was a 2009/2010 Fulbright Senior Research Fellow to Germany. Alongside books in the fields of comparative law, international law, and U.S. constitutional law, Prof. Miller has published articles and commentary in the American Journal of International LawColumbia Journal of Transnational LawIndiana Law JournalJournal of National Security LawJournal of Comparative Law, and Washington & Lee Law Review. Prof. Miller graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Washington State University and his J.D. and M.A. in English literature from Duke University. He also received an LL.M. from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in 2002.

Visiting Professor Christopher Wheelan to Discuss Eurozone Crisis

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Prof. Whelan

Prof. Whelan

You are invited to a presentation by Dr. Christopher Whelan a Visiting Professor of Law at Washington and Lee. The recipient of a doctorate and a law degree from the London School of Econmics, he is a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. Since 2005, he has served as as a Visitng Professor (for one semester each school year) at W&L’s School of Law. During his academic career, Dr. Whelan has lectured and taught at, inter alia, the University of Texas, and the University of California, Berkeley.

TOPIC: “The Eurozone Crisis: Who is to Blame?”

DATE: Thursday, March 28, 2013.

TIME: 12: Noon.

PLACE: The Marshall Foundation, VMI Parade, Lexington.

LUNCH: Participants are invited to an informal brown-bag lunch after the program. The Marshall Foundation will provide drinks.

It is not necessary to RSVP, but questions and comments concerning the program can be directed to William Dawson at 464-4486. His e-mail address is: williamcdawson@hotmail.com.

All are welcome.

Professor Robin Wilson to be Featured at Religious Freedom Conference in Sydney

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson

Prof. Wilson

The University of Sydney in Australia is hosting a conference entitled The Scope and Limits of Religious Freedom in Australia.  W&L Law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson is the featured guest speaker.  Check out the conference announcement here, which provides additional details.  It will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2013.

Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Class of 1958 Law Alumni Professor of Law. A specialist in Family Law and Health Law, her research and teaching interests also include Insurance and Biomedical Ethics.  Professor Wilson is the editor of four volumes: Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context (with Sandra Johnson, Joan Krause and Richard Savor, 2009); Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008) (with Douglas Laycock and Anthony A. Picarello);Reconceiving the Family: Critique on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and the Handbook of Children, Culture & Violence(Sage Publications, 2006) (with Nancy Dowd & Dorothy G. Singer).  Her articles have appeared in the Cornell Law Review, theEmory Law Journal, the North Carolina Law Review, and the San Diego Law Review, as well as in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Faculty Profile: Erik Luna

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Erik LunaAs a new 1L entering Stanford Law School, Professor Erik Luna’s immediate intention was to become a corporate attorney, “…of all things,” he says now with a chuckle. Instead, under the guidance of masterful teachers in criminal law and procedure, he began a career of scholarship and practice in criminal justice that has taken him to positions in San Diego, Chicago, and Salt Lake City before his arrival at Washington and Lee in 2009.

Beyond the personal influence of mentors, Professor Luna discovered that criminal law is an intellectual exercise involving the philosophical and practical questions of where societies draw their ultimate boundaries for proscribed conduct, and addressing those who cross the line.

In addition, Luna finds the criminal justice system to be a fascinating tableau where lawyers acting as defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges pursue diverging and often conflicting values and goals. As a new graduate he experienced this first hand while working in the San Diego prosecutor’s office. However, he was drawn back into academia where he found a congenial atmosphere of rigorous analytical thought allowing for a deep and satisfying immersion in criminal law.

Professor Luna’s intense intellectual curiosity fuels his research interests in many areas of criminal law. These include Federal sentencing, the law of terrorism, the drug war, search and seizure law, prosecutorial discretion, and comparative and international criminal law. His scholarship is a forceful and prolific voice on these issues. His forthcoming works are impressive, including:

  • Robinson v. California: From Revolutionary Constitutional Doctrine to Modest Ban on Status Crimes, in Criminal Law Stories, (Robert Weisberg & Donna Coker eds., Foundation Press, in press 2011)
  • The Bin Laden Exception, 106 Northwestern University Law Review (2011) (solicited commentary on airport screening methods)
  • Spoiled Rotten Social Background, 2 Alabama Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review (forthcoming 2011) (symposium on “rotten social background” in criminal law)
  • The Law of Terrorism (casebook with W. McCormack, 3d ed. LexisNexis, forthcoming 2012)
  • Understanding the Law of Terrorism (supplement/treatise with W. McCormack, 3d ed. LexisNexis, forthcoming 2012)
  • Psychopathy and Sentencing, in Handbook on Psychopathy and Law (K. Kiehl & W. Sinnott-Armstrong eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • Sense and Sensibility in Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, 23 Federal Sentencing Reporter 219 (2011) (solicited for special issue, with P. Cassell)
  • The Prosecutor in Transnational Perspective (edited volume with M. Wade, Oxford University Press, in press 2011)

A recent professional highlight was acting as a visiting professional in the Prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands. Although there were many questions raised by this institution, he came away with a new appreciation for the efforts of the attorney’s there to hold accountable some of the worst offenders in the world.

Despite this long trail of scholarship and honors, Luna can still keep things in perspective. “My classes are cops and robbers,” he smiles, “how do you beat that?”

Faculty Profile: Susan Franck

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Susan FranckProfessor Susan Franck has opened two new areas of international investment law for one common goal: improving international dispute resolution systems.

Professor Franck is best known in academic and policy circles for her scholarship on the empirical evaluation of international investment law.  This work has been cited in the U.S. Department of State’s Report of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy Regarding the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty and published in journals such as the Washington University Law Review and the Harvard International Law Journal.  Her groundbreaking empirical research not only generates new empirical research opportunities in international law, but also supports Professor Franck’s primary objective –  to create meaningful innovations in the dispute resolution process and consider how best to benefit from Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by using empirical tools to diagnose the investment treaty dispute resolution system.

Professor Franck’s beneficial ADR-based insights lead her to publish an article in the Minnesota Law Review.  The article explores how to use Dispute Systems Design to more effectively manage international investment conflict by minimizing the harm created by conflict at an early stage and by maximizing the benefits of ADR processes throughout the life cycle of disputes.  The concepts articulate by the article lead to a conference—International Investment and ADR—sponsored by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Washington & Lee Francis Lewis Law Center, the Transnational Law Institute, the American Society of International Law, the American Arbitration Association and major international law firms including Foley Hoag LLP, Arnold & Porter LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, and Shearman & Sterling LLP.

That conference did several crucial things.  For the first time in history, it brought together scholars on international investment and ADR scholars to explore the possible application of ADR-insights to international investment law.  Next, with the help of Washington & Lee and an innovative use of technology, it created a pre-conference “Collaboration Blog” to bring together stakeholders from government, the private sector and the academy to discuss their concerns.  The Blog generated nearly 150 podcasts, blog posts and comments and also lead to the creation of eight Weekly Digests synthesizing the blog content.  Ultimately, the in-person conference in Lexington then physically brought together a “Mini United Nations” where Washington & Lee was able to host speakers and commentators from the governments Argentina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Japan, Rwanda, Thailand, the United States.  The Secretary-General of the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association and the President of the American Society of International Law also offered their thoughts on the possibility of applying ADR to international investment law.

But the story does not end there.  Professor Franck’s scholarly efforts have taken root. The success of the conference warranted a major publication by the United Nations in June 2011. Investor-State Disputes: Prevention and Alternatives to Arbitration II features a preface from the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Rapporteur Reports from several Washington & Lee Students, keynote addresses from Professor Michael Reisman, Margrete Stevens and Lucy Reed, fifteen other expert reports about the role of using ADR to facilitate better international dispute resolution, and a legal research pathfinder to facilitate capacity building from the W&L Law Library.  Meanwhile, the International Bar Association has created a sub-committee on Investor-State mediation, which will explore the possible use of ADR for international investment disputes.   Early in September, the World Trade Institute in Bern’s World Trade Forum 2011 spent a morning focusing on opportunities to use ADR and Dispute Systems Design in international investment law. Meanwhile, in connection with a World Bank initiative related to Law, Justice and Development, in November, Professor Franck will participate in a panel entitled, “What Will This Fight Cost?  Mediation vs. Arbitration vs. Litigation”.   But most tellingly, ICSID, the World Bank entity tasked with facilitating international investment disputes, just issued a list of designated Conciliators for the first time in its history.  Four of the ten names on that historically innovative list were participants and speakers in either the Collaboration Blog the in-person conference in Lexington, or both.  We are pleased to see that Professor Franck’s ideas are launching opportunities for global change.

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