Hon. Patrick Lipton Robinson is Honorary President Emeritus of the American Society of International Law and a member of the International Court of Justice.
Following his call to the Bar in 1968, Judge Robinson began a long and distinguished career in public service, working for the Jamaican government for over three decades. From 1968 to 1971, he served as a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutions. Between 1972 and 1998, he served briefly as Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subsequently in the Attorney General’s Department as Crown Counsel, Senior Assistant Attorney-General, Director of the Division of International Law, and as Deputy Solicitor-General.
Judge Robinson’s long-standing experience in United Nations affairs dates back to 1972, when he became Jamaica’s Representative to the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, a position he held for 26 years. He played a leadership role on several issues in the Committee, including the definition of aggression and the draft statute for an international criminal court. From 1981 to 1998, he led Jamaica’s delegations for the negotiation of treaties on several subjects, including extradition, mutual legal assistance, maritime delimitation and investment promotion and protection. Judge Robinson also represented Jamaica on several other United Nations bodies, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and the United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations, serving as Chairman of that Commission’ s Twelfth Session in 1986. He represented Jamaica at all sessions of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and was accredited as an ambassador to that Conference in 1982.
As a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 1988 to 1995, and its Chairman in 1991, Judge Robinson contributed to the development of a corpus of human rights laws for the Inter-American System. As a member of the International Law Commission from 1991 to 1996, he served on the Working Group that elaborated the draft statute for an international criminal court. Judge Robinson also served as a member of the Haiti Truth and Justice Commission from 1995 to 1996, and was a member of the International Bio-ethics Committee of UNESCO from 1996 to 2005, serving as its Vice-Chairman from 2002 to 2005. Judge Robinson was elected a Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1998 and served as the Tribunal’ s President from 2008 to 2011. Judge Robinson has also served as an arbitrator in disputes under the ICSID Convention.
Judge Robinson is a Barrister of Law, Middle Temple, United Kingdom. He holds a B.A. in English, Latin, and Economics from the University College of the West Indies (London), an LLB with honors from London University, and an LL.M. in International Law from King’ s College, University of London, in the areas of the Law of the Sea, the Law of the Air, Treaties, and Armed Conflict. He also holds a Certificate of International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.
Gregory C. Shaffer is the President of the American Society of International Law, and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. His publications include ten books and more than one hundred articles and book chapters. His book Emerging Powers and the World Trading System: The Past and Future of International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press) won the 2022 Chadwick F. Alger Prize of the International Studies Association. Professor Shaffer’s work is wide ranging, but it focuses principally on international economic law, and law and globalization more broadly. It is cross-disciplinary, theoretical, and empirical, addressing such topics as transnational legal ordering, legal realism, hard and soft law, comparative institutional analysis, public-private networks in international trade, the rise of China and other emerging economies, and the ways international economic law implicates domestic regulation and social and distributive policies. He is currently working on a book project regarding the challenges to the rule of law from a transnational perspective, implicating both international and domestic law and institutions.
Professor Shaffer received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and his J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School, where he won the Carl Mason Franklin Prize of International Law and served as Editor on the Stanford Law Review. From there, he practiced law in Paris for seven years for Coudert Frères and Bredin Prat, where he was a member of the Paris bar. Professor Shaffer is a recipient of multiple U.S. National Science Foundation awards, was a Shimizu Visiting Professor at London School of Economics, a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Rome, a Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation and at the World Trade Organization, and winner of the Inaugural John Jackson Memorial Prize awarded by the Journal of International Economic Law.
He served for eight years on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, was a founding member of the AJ IL Unbound Committee, is on the board of multiple other journals around the world, and is a Book Series Editor for Hart-Bloomsbury. He has given invited lectures in over 25 countries.
Professor Verene A. Shepherd, graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Cambridge, is Professor Emerita of Social History at The UWI. She is Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Director of the Centre for Reparation Research at the UWI, a published author of 7 books, a radio host and scholar activist, especially in the areas of women’s rights, human rights and reparatory justice. She is the immediate past Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies at The UWI. As a UN expert she has played a role in helping to implement the UN International Year for People of African descent and overseeing the drafting of the programme of activities for the UN International Decade for people of African descent while she was Chair of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Among her awards are the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, from the Gov’t of Jamaica; the Africana Studies distinguished Award from Florida International University and the 2017 UWI Vice Chancellor’s award for excellence in Public Service. She was recently elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She was one of the 70+7 women honoured for service to the UWI during The UW”s 70th anniversary celebrations as well as one of the 60 Women of Distinction honoured by the Jamaica Gleaner in 2020. She recently won the President’s award at the St Martin Book Fair. She is well-known for her scholar activism and for her lobby to establish monuments to historical figures and movement in Jamaica.
Sir Hilary Beckles
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is the eighth Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, and a leading economic and social historian. He is a distinguished academic, international thought leader, United Nations committee official, and global public activist in the field of social justice and minority empowerment.
Among other appointments and honours, Sir Hilary serves as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission on Reparation and Social Justice, President of Universities Caribbean, an editor of the UNESCO General History of Africa series. He has also served as Vice President of the International Task Force for the UNESCO Slave Route Project, an advisor to UNESCO’s Cities for Peace Global Program, an advisor to the UN World Culture Report, an advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Sustainable Development, and an Editor of the ninth volume of UNESCO’s The General History of Africa. Under his guidance, the Centre for Reparations Research at The UWI was established to lead the implementation of CARICOM’s Reparatory Justice Programme.
For his outstanding academic leadership and public advocacy, in 2015 Sir Hilary was invited by the President of the UN General Assembly to deliver the feature address during the sitting in which the period 2015–2024 was declared the UN Decade for People of African Descent. Further, in his advocacy for reparatory justice, Sir Hilary has been invited to speak before the United States Congressional Black Caucus, the British House of Commons, and the European Parliament on the right to reparations. In January 2021, Sir Hilary’s global advocacy for reparatory justice, equality, and economic development for people of the African diaspora was recognized with the conferral of the Martin Luther King Jr 2021 Global Award for Peace and Freedom by the US National Action Network (NAN).
Sir Hilary has lectured extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas and has published over 100 peer reviewed essays in scholarly journals and more than 20 academic books. His many publications include Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide in the Caribbean (UWI Press, 2015), Centering Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Societies (James Currey Press/Ian Randle Publishers, 1999), Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Black Women in Barbados and the Caribbean (Rutgers University Press/Zed Book, 1989), and White Servitude and Black Slavery: White Indentured Servitude in the Caribbean, 1627–1715 (Tennessee University Press, 1989).
He has received numerous awards, including Honorary Doctor of Letters from Brock University, the University of Glasgow, University of Hull, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, in recognition of his major contribution to academic research on transatlantic slavery, popular culture, and sport. In 2017, the Town of Hartford in the state of Connecticut (USA), declared 21st March, “Sir Hilary Beckles Day” in recognition of his global contribution to social justice and human equality. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Award for global advocacy, academic scholarship and intellectual leadership in support of social justice, institutional equity, and economic development for marginalised and oppressed ethnicities and nations.
Dr. Alberto Vargas is a Principal at the Brattle Group where he leads the Broker-Dealers & Financial Services practice. He was born in Mexico City, where he received a BS in applied mathematics from ITAM and where he lectured at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He holds a PhD in economics from MIT and has over ten years’ experience in economic consulting. As a consultant, he has led teams quantifying damages in forums including civil courts and international arbitrations in Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Most recently, he testified in front of a Royal Commission of Inquiry in Papua New Guinea on the overcharging by an international bank on debt issuances by that country’s government.
Dr. Coleman Bazelon is a Principal at The Brattle Group. Outside of his leadership in Brattle’s telecommunications, intellectual property, and sports practices, he has a long involvement in pro bono economic analysis. For more than a decade, he has served as the economist for the Martha Wright Petitioners who advocate for lower cost phone calls with the incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons. He also served as an expert witness for NAACP Legal Defense Fund in their litigation against the state of Texas’s voter ID requirements. Dr. Bazelon also serves on the Maryland and National Boards of the ACLU.
Dr. Mamadou Hébié is Associate Professor of International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University. He holds a PhD (summa cum laude, avec les félicitations du jury), and a Diploma of Advanced Studies in International Relations - Specialization international law, from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He also graduated from Harvard Law School and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and is a recipient of the Diplomas of The Hague Academy of International Law and the International Institute of Human Rights. Dr. Hébié’s PhD thesis on Les accords conclus entre les puissances coloniales et les entités politiques locales comme moyens d’acquisition de la souveraineté territoriale (Paris : PUF, 2015) was awarded the Paul Guggenheim Prize in International Law in 2016. From 2013 to 2016, he was Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), in the Master’s in International Dispute Settlement programme (MIDS), and from 2018 to 2021, Special Assistant to the President of the International Court of Justice.
Professor Adrien Wing is the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she has taught since 1987. She also serves as the Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, and Director of the France Summer Abroad Program, and has previously served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and the on-site Director for the London Law Consortium semester abroad program. Professor Wing has also been a member of The University of Iowa’s interdisciplinary African Studies faculty and North Africa/Middle East faculty groups. Author of more than 140 publications, Professor Wing is the editor of Critical Race Feminism: A Reader and Global Critical Race Feminism: An International Reader, both from NYU Press, as well as co-editor of the Richard Delgado Reader. Her US-oriented scholarship has focused on race and gender discrimination, and her international scholarship has emphasized Africa and the Middle East. International law and Feminism, International law and Race, and the Arab world and women’s rights are among the topics of articles.
Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf
Hon. Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf is a member and former President of the International Court of Justice, and has served on the Court since 2009.
From 1975 to 1980, Judge Yusuf served as Somalia’s delegate to the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. He was Lecturer at the Somali National University from 1974 to 1981 and at the University of Geneva from 1981 to 1983. He has also been guest professor and lecturer at a number of universities and institutes in Switzerland, Italy, Greece and France.
From 1987 to 1992, Judge Yusuf was Chief of the Legal Policies Service of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) before becoming its Representative and Head of its New York Office from 1992 to 1994. From 1994 to 2001, he served as Legal Advisor (up to 1998), then Assistant Director for African Affairs to United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. From March 2001 to January 2009, Judge Yusuf was Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 2011, Judge Yusuf gained a seat in the advisory council of The Hague Institute for Global Justice.
Judge Yusuf is Founder and General Editor of the African Yearbook of International Law and a member of the Institut de droit international. He is also one of the founders of the African Foundation for International Law and Chairman of its Executive Committee. In addition, Judge Yusuf has authored several books and numerous articles on various aspects of international law as well as articles and op-ed pieces in newspapers on current Northeast African and Somali affairs. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Asian Yearbook of International Law, and a member of the Thessaloniki Institute of Public International Law and International Relations curatorium.
Judge Yusuf holds advanced degrees from Somali National University and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies at the University of Geneva, and honorary degrees from Université Paris Nanterre I, University College London, and KIIT University.
Dr. Mojtaba Kazazi is the former Executive Head of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), and as the Secretary of its Governing Council, in Geneva, where he was instrumental in setting up the UNCC and in resolving 2.7 million claims from over 100 countries. He also recently served as the Executive Commissioner of two international mass claims programs for payment of compensation to workers. Dr. Kazazi is a former judge of the courts of Tehran, worked extensively on the arbitration and settlement of claims before the Iran-Unites States Claims Tribunal, and has served as a vice-president of the Institut de Droit International, and a visiting scholar at the Graduate Institute, in Geneva. He currently sits as an independent arbitrator in different disputes, and serves as a board member of the Tehran Regional Arbitration Centre.
Dr. Ahmed N. Reid is an Assistant Professor of Caribbean History at Bronx Community College
of the City University of New York (CUNY), and a Senior Race Expert at the International Monetary Fund. He is the former Chair-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Dr. Reid’s academic work focuses on Caribbean social and economic history, particularly on the economic performance of plantation societies. He is author and co-author of several peer-reviewed journal articles, and the forthcoming book, Economic Growth in Jamaica during the Age of Abolition. He holds a B.A. degree in History from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and a Ph.D. in Economic History from the University of Hull, England, and was the recipient of the prestigious fellowship at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the study of Slavery Resistance and Abolition.