Archive for May, 2011

Prof. Franck on ICSID Awards

May 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Susan FranckProfessor Susan D. Franck, Associate Professor of Law, recently published her article, The ICSID Effect? Considering Potential Variations in Arbitration Awards, 51 Va. J. Int’l L. 977 (2011), in the Virginia Journal of International Law.

Professor Franck’s article quantitatively assesses whether International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes’s (ICSID) arbitration awards were substantially different from arbitration awards rendered in other forums. ICSID is a controversial subject, with the US re-drafting its model investment treaty recently and Australia rejecting investment treaties outright. The article examines variation in the amounts claimed and outcomes reached to evaluate indicators of bias. Ultimately, Prof. Franck’s results failed to reveal a reliable statistical relationship. In light of the initial quantitative findings, while recognizing the need for replication and methods to facilitate qualitative and normative assessments of ICSID, Prof. Franck concludes by suggesting that there may be value in implementing tailored reforms and structural safeguards to address arguable concerns of bias, improve the management of international economic conflict, and minimize a potential backlash to the international investment system.

You may find the article on SSRN here or at the Virginia Journal of International Law here.

Congratulations to Professor Franck.

Prof. Moliterno on International Judicial Ethics

May 12, 2011 Leave a comment

James MoliternoProfessor James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, recently published his article, Some Lessons from the International Judicial Front, 42 McGeorge L. Rev. 213 (2010) in the McGeorge Law Review, as part of the school’s symposium, “Judicial Ethics and Accountability: At Home and Abroad.”

In the article, Professor Moliterno discusses the complicated state of the judicial system in the former Serbian province of Kosovo. Old Napoleonic Codes exist, but slept during the communist half-century. Yugoslav laws remain. The laws of the 1990s exist but Kosovars hold them in low repute, as they were adopted by the Serb-controlled government that revoked Kosovar autonomy formerly granted by Yugoslavia. The law in force from 1999 to 2008 was adopted by UN directive and administered by the UN High Representative. The fledgling Kosovar Parliament has now adopted laws with strong Western influence.

Older judges and lawyers were educated in communist times. New judges and lawyers are educated by an uncoordinated conglomeration of NGOs in concert with the newly-formed Kosovo Bar Association and Kosovo Judicial Counsel. These judges and lawyers do not live in a U.S. culture or legal culture. They are not common law lawyers. However, the adopted lawyer and judicial ethics rules are loosely modeled on the ABA codes. In a tussle between U.S. and European NGOs and their relative influence, the U.S. style codes stand alongside the recent adoption of the French notary system, creating the common, Western European branch of the legal profession that generates official documents, especially regarding property transfers. The U.S. lawyer code, of course, does not contemplate such a lawyer.

Professor Moliterno’s article discusses the difficulty of teaching judicial ethics in such a legal environment.

Prof. Peppers on Hugo Black

May 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Todd PeppersProfessor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his article, Justice Hugo Black and His Law Clerks: Match-Making and Match Point, 36 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 48 (2011), in the Journal of Supreme Court History.

During his study of Supreme Court law clerks over the past decade, Prof. Peppers has found that the most fascinating aspect of the clerkship institution lies in the personal bonds that form between the Justices and their clerks. To that end, he spent time reviewing the law-clerk files in the personal papers of Justice Hugo Black, as well as talking with his children and his former law clerks. The article discusses two main elements of the clerkship experience that may not have otherwise been fleshed out: the Justice’s role as an Alabama-born Pygmalion to a generation of young clerks and the important role that tennis played in the clerkship process.

You can find the article here.

Congratulations to Professor Peppers.

Prof. Drumbl on Twilight of Impunity

May 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Mark DrumblProfessor Mark A. Drumbl, the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director of the Transnational Law Institute, recently had his review of Judith Armatta’s book, Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic published in the Law & Politics Book Review, 21 Law & Pol. Book Rev. 177 (2011).

The book, Twilight of Impunity, chronicles the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Milosevic was elected President of Serbia in 1989, President of the Republic of Serbia in 1990, and then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1997. In 2001, he was arrested. At the ICTY, Milosevic faced 66 charges involving genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes arising from nearly a decade of bloodbath in Kosova, Croatia, and Bosnia.

Milosevic’s trial ended on March 11, 2006. The process came to a close without conviction or sentence. Law did not draw the final curtain. The trial’s end came by way of death – Milosevic’s own – in his jail cell after four years’ of proceedings. In this regard, Milosevic cheated the very verdict his concerted dilatory antics had sought to postpone indefinitely.

Judith Armatta, a human rights lawyer and journalist, spent many days over nearly three years attending at Milosevic’s trial in The Hague. Twilight of Impunity emerges as the ensuing work product. Although she modestly claims that Twilight of Impunity is “not the definitive trial record,” Professor Drumbl claims that it serves as the definitive book about the trial.

Prof. Drumbl states that fundamentally, her book about the trial – from front cover imagery through to text – is much more about him than it is about the tens of thousands of victims. She favors subject over composition. Hence, the trial story becomes his story. Some exception arise, he says, such as Armatta’s beautiful treatment of the pugnacity of witness K-31 in cross-examination by Milosevic. Still, the book remains about getting Milosevic and the herculean efforts international lawyers undertook to get him.

Professor Drumbl regards the book with praise, saying that “Armatta’s encyclopedic compendium is impeccably researched, meticulous, detailed, prudent, and careful. It distinguishes itself as a must-read.”

The full review may be found here.

Congratulations to Professor Drumbl.

Prof. Fairfield on Research in Virtual Worlds

May 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Joshua FairfieldProfessor Joshua A. T. Fairfield, the Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center, recently presented his article, Avatar Experimentation: Human Subjects Research in Virtual Worlds, 1 U.C. Irv. L. Rev. ___ (2011), in the “Governing the Magic Circle: Regulation of Virtual Worlds” symposium at the School of Law at University of California Irvine. The article will also be published in the forthcoming edition of the school’s Law Review.

Professor Fairfield, widely considered an expert on virtual world law, addresses the principles and laws that govern researchers observing virtual worlds. Virtual world users care deeply about their avatars, their virtual property, their privacy, their relationships, their community, and their accounts. These very characteristics that make virtual worlds attractive to researchers complicate ethical and lawful research design. The same principles govern research in virtual worlds as the physical world. Prof. Fairfield argues that the change in context can cause researchers to lose sight of the fact that virtual world research subjects may suffer very real harm to property, reputation, or community as the result of flawed experimental design. Thus, the article argues that researchers who put subjects’ interests in danger run the risk of violating basic human subjects research principles.

Virtual worlds are valuable research environments precisely because the relationships and responses of users are measurably real. Professor Fairfield concludes that human subjects researchers must protect the very real interests of virtual worlds inhabitants in their property, community, privacy, and reputation. To that end, the article outlines solutions and best practices for human subjects research in virtual worlds.

You may view the symposium website here. To view videos from the symposium, click here. You may read Prof. Fairfield’s article on SSRN here.

Congratulations to Professor Fairfield on the presentation and publication of this article.

Prof. Sundby on Zealous Representation

May 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Scott SundbyProfessor Scott E. Sundby, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law, recently published his article, The Conundrum of Zealous Representation, 8 Ohio St. J. of Crim. L. ___ (2011), in a forthcoming edition of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

Professor Sundby’s article uses Sharon Davies’s book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America, to discuss the ethical line between “zealous” to “overzealous” representation. The book recounts the fascinating tale of a murder that commanded national attention in 1920. Edwin Stephenson, a methodist minister, murders a Catholic priest upon learning that the priest had just married the minister’s 18 year-old daughter to a Catholic man. Adding to the emotional turmoil surrounding the case, the murder and the ensuing trial take place in Birmingham, Alabama during a time when anti-Catholic fervor is sweeping across the South. Stephenson’s defense attorney was Hugo Black, a rising star in the Alabama bar with a personal grudge against the district attorney.

Professor Sundby analyzes Hugo Black’s actions during the trial – especially his willingness to engage in tactics that draw off of the religious and racial overtones of the murder – as a way of thinking about what constitutes “zealous” representation of a client. By looking at how Black conducted the defense – building from vigorous cross-examination on up to a courtroom display that Davies quite rightfully terms “extraordinary” for its inflammatory potential – Prof. Sundby asks the question of whether Black at some point crossed an ethical line from “zealous” to “overzealous” representation.

You can find Prof. Sundby’s article on SSRN here.

Congratulations to Professor Sundby.

Prof. Bond on African Marriage Law

May 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Johanna BondProfessor Johanna E. Bond, Associate Professor of Law, recently published her article, Culture, Dissent, and the State: The Example of Commonwealth African Marriage Law, 14 Yale Hum. Rts. & Dev. L.J. 101 (2011), in the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.

The article is the first to explore the transnational applicability of recent theoretical critiques of marriage emanating largely from the global North. Critics of contemporary marriage charge that the state’s role in marriage regulation is obsolete, preferring to let contract law or generalized registration systems govern intimate relationships. Professor Bond rejects the notion that the state should minimize its role in marriage regulation. Indeed, she argues that a robust, rather than enervated, state response is necessary to combat inequality in individual relationships and to ensure equality among different types of intimate associations. Although the article explores marriage law in Africa as a case study, it also provides a blueprint for resolving broader theoretical questions regarding the proper role for the state in marriage regulation.

Congratulations to Professor Bond.