2021 Virtual Midyear Meeting

The 2021 Midyear Meeting took place virtually on Thursday and Friday, November 11-12, 2021. Thank you to all who participated.

The American Society of International Law hosts a Midyear Meeting annually in late October or early November. The meeting encompasses several events, including leadership meetings of the Society's Executive Council and the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law; the Research Forum, which features cutting-edge international law scholarship by more than 70 authors; and the Practitioners' Forum. The Midyear Meeting has been held since 2010 in Miami, Athens & Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and New York.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
OPENING PLENARY
The Regulation of Online Speech: Facebook, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future

October marked the one-year anniversary of the operation of the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB), and its work has been closely watched by experts in cyber law, free speech, human rights, and security. At the same time, conversations about the role of artificial intelligence in managing online speech have become more prevalent, as politicians around the world consider regulatory actions towards global online service providers. This panel will examine the role of the FOB, artificial intelligence, and governmental regulation has played in the space for online speech and how recent political and legal developments might be shaping the future of online communication.

Speakers:

  • Anupam Chander (moderator), Georgetown University Law Center
  • Christie Edwards, ODIHR OSCE Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department
  • Mukund Rathi, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Corin Stone, AU Washington College of Law
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
ASIL Executive Council Meeting
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Dr. Renée Martin-Nagle, Eckert Seamans LLP

Dr. Renée Martin-Nagle is a globally recognized water expert and scholar whose broad knowledge of environmental laws and policy extends to both domestic and international regimes.  Her areas of scholarly work include freshwater, groundwater, unconventional water resources, PFAS, climate change, oceans and biodiversity.  She earned a PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2019, and her doctoral thesis, Governance of Offshore Freshwater Resources, was published as a book in 2020. As founder of the consulting company A Ripple Effect LLC, Dr. Martin-Nagle has provided consulting services, produced research and publications and spoken at international conferences on a variety of environmental, sustainability and freshwater issues.   Prior to beginning her focus on freshwater, Dr. Martin-Nagle enjoyed a 25-year career as a senior executive, manager and chief legal officer in the aviation manufacturing sector, the last 20 years as General Counsel of Airbus Americas.  The birth of her first grandson in 2007 inspired her to dedicate her professional energies to preserving the planet, and, while working full-time, she earned an LL.M. from George Washington University, graduating in 2010 with highest honors.  She "retired" from Airbus in 2011 as Vice-President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Head of Environmental Affairs, Board Member and Corporate Secretary and immediately joined the Environmental Law Institute as a pro bono Visiting Scholar.  Dr. Martin-Nagle currently holds a number of affiliations: Treasurer of the International Water Resources Association; President and CEO of A Ripple Effect LLC; Special Counsel at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC; Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute; Affiliate of the International Water Law Academy at Wuhan University; Member of the Water Innovation Accelerator Well; Secretary and chair of the Governance Committee of the Mount Aloysius College Board of Trustees, and Member of the Municipal (water) Authority of Ebensburg PA.

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Dr. Isavella Vasilogeorgi, Legal Officer, Administrative Law Division, OHR/DMSPC, United Nations

Dr. Isavella Maria Vasilogeorgi is a Legal Officer working for the Secretariat of the United Nations in New York. She holds a Doctorate and an LL.M. in Air & Space Law from McGill University, Canada, as well as an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of Athens, Greece, where she also obtained her law degree. She is admitted to practice before the Appellate Courts of Greece as a member of the Athens Bar Association. Before joining the international civil service in 2017, Dr. Vasilogeorgi was a Jean-Monet Module instructor at the University of the Aegean in Greece, and an invited lecturer in different universities in Greece, Canada and the United States. She was the inaugural recipient of the International Aviation Women's Association Scholarship at the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations. She had also served as legal adviser/researcher for the Permanent Representation of Greece to ICAO.
2:45 – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Rules and Standards in International Law, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, University of Virginia School of Law
  • International Law as Hedging, Trang (Mae) Nguyen, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Latin American International Law and the American Century, Sergio Puig and Alejandro Chehtman, University of Arizona and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
  • Discussant: Steve Ratner, University of Michigan School of Law
Ben Juvelier, American Society of International Law

The market for legal jobs is difficult right now and specializing in a particular issue, like international law, can make your job search even more frustrating. This session will discuss the steps that students and graduates can take while still in law school or in their early career to help themselves stand out in the search for an international law position. Topics covered will include targeted job searching, managing one's professional contacts, identifying appropriate international experiences, pursuing valuable volunteer and professional membership opportunities, and other practical issues that students can pursue.
4:30 – 4:45 p.m.
4:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Sean D. Murphy, George Washington University Law School

Sean D. Murphy is the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Since 2012, he has been a Member of the U.N. International Law Commission, which appointed him as Special Rapporteur for Crimes against Humanity. From 1987 to 1998, he served in the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser working inter alia on matters relating to international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, and international dispute settlement. A former President of the American Society of International Law, Professor Murphy has served as counsel, arbitrator or ad hoc judge, including at the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID and the International Criminal Court.
6:15 – 6:30 p.m.
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
2021 PRACTITIONERS' FORUM
Democratizing International Law Practice – Leveling the Playing Field?
A Conversation from the Year 2031

The global legal community has seen rapid change in the practice of international law over the past few decades. Technology and globalization arguably have contributed to easier, more efficient, and more economical representation of clients by firms, at least for those with access to technology. At the same time, a greater awareness of the impact of discrimination and implicit bias, the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and gender equality, and the need for positive environmental impact has led many in the industry to self-reflect and agitate for change. Newer investment treaties and multi-lateral agreements are reflecting these principles in their text, while increased access to capital through third-party funding has allowed the leveling of economic barriers and greater access to claimants seeking relief against States engaged in excessive exercises of sovereignty that infringes on medium to modest investments. The global pandemic of 2020-2021 accelerated these changes, making practitioners, clients, and tribunals use and rely on existing technologies while forcing us all to challenge untested assumptions and orthodoxy with regard to how we conduct our practice, even as it further exposed inequalities across the globe and within our national communities.

The 2021 Practitioners' Forum of the Society's Midyear Meeting will feature a roundtable of experts set in the year 2031 and looking back over the last decade of international legal practice to speculate on the possible changes that have occurred, including

  • Have we witnessed a democratization of the practice of international investment law?
  • Have we seen more and better opportunities for a more diverse, and more visible, college of international lawyers?
  • If so, what had to be done to get there?
  • Have the gains been shared equally?
  • What barriers remain to more equitable opportunities, and how can they be overcome?
  • What might international lawyers have done better over the past decade to better facilitate the democratization of practice?

Speakers:  

  • Chiann Bao, Arbitration Chambers
  • Leidylin Contreras, Directorate of Foreign Trade, Dominican Republic
  • Mélida Hodgson, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Catherine Rogers (moderator), Bocconi University
  • Emily Slater, Burford Capital
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Kristin Smith, American Bar Association

Kristin Smith directs the Atrocity Crimes Initiative, jointly supported by the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section and Center for Human Rights, which works through various projects to articulate standards and best practices in international criminal justice, strengthen the International Criminal Court and US support for international justice institutions, advance the legal framework on crimes against humanity, and to further research, public debate, and support for atrocity prevention laws and policies. She has written gender-sensitive analyses of reparations and the domestic legal framework in Iraq, contributed to a comprehensive gender analysis of atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and submitted technical comments to various international bodies such as the Review of the International Criminal Court. Prior to the ABA, she worked on issues of gender equality, reproductive rights and justice for sexual and gender-based crimes as a Legal Fellow at the Global Justice Center in New York, and supported the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute's international research and educational initiatives as a Fellow (including the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative). She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
M. Arsalan Suleman, Foley Hoag LLP

Arsalan Suleman is Counsel in Foley Hoag's International Litigation and Arbitration practice in Washington, DC. His practice focuses on representing sovereign States in international disputes, including before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, UN treaty bodies, and U.S. courts. From 2015-2017, Arsalan served as the Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the U.S. Department of State. He also served as Counselor for Multilateral Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2011-2015, and as the Deputy Envoy to the OIC from 2010-2015.  Arsalan is also the board chair of America Indivisible, a non-partisan, non-profit coalition effort to address bigotry against members of Muslim communities and those who appear to be Muslim from Black, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian American communities. He is an Advisory Board member of Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Arsalan is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D. '07), Trinity College Dublin (M.Phil '04), and Georgetown University (B.S.F.S. '03). He clerked for the late Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum (SDNY).

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
LUNCH PLENARY
The Role of the Academic in Government

The usual career trajectory involving academics and government lawyers in international law is to proceed from government into academia. However, there are a few academics who make the journey in the opposite direction, taking leave from their academic institutions to serve as counselors, advisers, or even political appointees in government offices. What impact does the scholarship of these individuals have on their performance in these roles? Are they able to bring the same objective engagement and in-depth study to the fast-paced environment of government service? When they return to academia, has experiencing the practice "from the other side" changed their scholarship? This plenary panel will address these questions with a cadre of academics who have taken on these roles.

Speakers:  

  • Oona Hathaway, Yale Law School
  • Darin Johnson (moderator), Howard University School of Law
  • Chimène Keitner, UC Hastings Law School
  • Mark Wu, Harvard Law School
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Sarah Lee, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Sarah Lee is a member of the firm's International Dispute Resolution Group at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. Her practice focuses on public international law and international arbitration. Ms. Lee regularly represents and advises corporations and sovereign States in disputes concerning a range of sectors, including the oil & gas, mining, telecommunications and financial industries. She serves on the Law Firm Coordination Task Force for the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center (SVAMC). Ms. Lee received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2016, where she was an executive editor for the Harvard International Law Journal Online. She obtained a B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in 2013. She is a native speaker of French and Korean and has basic knowledge of Spanish and Chinese.
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.