ASIL Cables

By: Jennifer Trahan | April 15, 2015 |

On Saturday, April 11, Michael Van Alstine (University of Maryland) moderated a panel on “Comparative Perspectives on Executive Unilateralism in Foreign Affairs.”  The panelists were Rebecca Ingber (Columbia Law School), Shiri Krebs (Stanford University), Heinz Klug (University of Wisconsin) and Gavin Phillipson (Durham University).  They examined the scope of executive power, respectively, in the United States, Israel, South African and the UK.

Rebecca Ingber started by examining the U.S. perspective on executive unilateral action.  She...

By: Jennifer Trahan | April 15, 2015 |

On Friday, April 11, Stephen W. Preston, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense, delivered a keynote speech entitled “The Legal Framework for the United States’ Use of Military Force since 9/11.”

The speech examined four topics:  (1) the legal framework for U.S. use of military force post- 9/11; (2) the legal basis for current operations against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL; (3) the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan and its impact; and (4) the legal framework for counter-...

By: Veronica Glick | April 14, 2015 |

On April 10, 2015, Paul Schiff Berman, professor of law at George Washington University Law School moderated a discussion on government surveillance and the right to privacy in the digital age.   The discussion began with each panelist expressing their view as to how the law is adapting to protect privacy in the face of advanced surveillance technologies.   Professor Berman then posed rapid response questions, fostering an interactive and lively discussion among the panelists. 

Katherine Jo Strandburg, Professor of Law at New York University...

By: Elizabeth Burleson | April 14, 2015 |

Elliot Diringer (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) facilitated a forum fielding US, EU, and China climate perspectives on how this December's climate talks are to cap a four-year negotiation toward a new global climate change agreement.  He provided context on how the Durban Platform sets forth a process to develop a post-2020 agreement with “legal force” that is “applicable to all.”  He further framed the discussion as one struggling to bridge the pros and cons of “bottom-up” and “top-down” climate commitments.  The crux of the challenge is to find a ratio of...

By: Michael D. Cooper | April 14, 2015 |

In recent decades, while the transnational movement of information, goods, and capital has become almost effortless, the movement of people has become increasingly restricted.  National security is the clear overarching paradigm, and no group is more affected by this focus on security than refugees.

The scale of the global refugee crisis is staggering.  UNHCR’s 2014 mid-year report indicates a total population of some 46 million persons, including refugees, IDPs, asylum seekers and others of concern to the agency.  Our moderator, Susan Akram of...

By: Eckhard Hellbeck | April 13, 2015 |

On April 10, 2015, Professor Andrea Bjorklund, McGill University Faculty of Law, moderated a lively panel discussing the role of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS”), in particular in the context of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”), concerns about ISDS, and potential alternatives.  The panelists were Mark Kantor, independent arbitrator, Georgetown University Law Center; Professor Ursula Kriebaum, University of Vienna; Simon Lester, Cato Institute; and Professor Jason Yackee, University of Wisconsin Law School.

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By: Z.J. Jennifer Lim | April 13, 2015 |

On April 11, the 2015 ASIL Annual Meeting held a session exploring ethical issues in a variety of international law-related settings.  The session was moderated by Dr. Zach Kaufman, a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow.  The panelists were Professor Catherine Rogers, Professor of Law at Penn State Law and Professor of Ethics, Regulation and the Rule of Law at Queen Mary, University of London; Ms. Brittan Heller, a criminal trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Mr. Fergal Gaynor, Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School.

At the outset of the session, Dr....

By: Elizabeth Burleson | April 13, 2015 |

This panel considered the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nexus of human rights and development.  Facilitator Siobhan McInerney-Lankford (World Bank Speakers) set forth six key questions: In the post-2015 development road mapping, what role do human rights measures (standards and principles) play in fragile states struggling with armed conflict(s)?

SDG Goal 16 effectiveness at address human rights; Ways to strengthen Goal 16’s capacity to ensure the respect, protection and fulfillment of rights in a straightforward achievable manner; Adapting development strategies...
By: Sarah Dadush | April 12, 2015 |

Are international organizations (IOs) keeping pace with ever-changing demands on their mandates, with the needs of a growing and increasingly diversified membership, and with constantly shifting global realities?  We often assume that public international organizations are slow to adapt and that they lag behind in meeting the demands of their constituencies.  As Stephen Mathias, Lisa Tabassi, Kimberly Prost, and August Reinisch artfully illustrated, however, such assumptions are put into question by the realities of IOs on the ground. 

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By: Sarah Dadush | April 12, 2015 |

The panelists discussed strategies for ensuring the sustainability of global commodity supply chains, in particular through innovative certification and partnership schemes.  Jenny McColloch, head of the McDonald’s sustainability initiative, recounted the history of her company’s work in this area, and its “3 Es” approach, which features Environment, Ethics, and Economics.   Since McDonalds does not itself produce any of the commodities that it uses as inputs, (e.g. beef, chicken, fish, palm oil, coffee, and packaging fiber), it partners with individuals and entities...