One of the key roles the Section plays is developing, and advocating, Association and international law and policy. We have a long successful tradition of turning ideas and initiatives into ABA policy, through the ABA House of Delegates and other avenues, and implementing that policy at the global level. These policy efforts help make the Section a vibrant and unique organization.
In that vein, we are pleased to report that on December 23, 2011, the President signed Public Law 112-74, which authorized U.S. participation in the share reallocation and capital increases of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The legislation also appropriated funds for the concessional windows of the World Bank (IDA) and the AfDB (African Development Fund.)Public Law 112-74’s objectives are the same as the objectives of the Recommendation and Report developed by the Section’s UN and International Institutions Committee, approved by the Section’s Council, and then passed by the ABA House of Delegates in Toronto in August. Subsequent to the ABA Annual Meeting, the UN and International Institutions Committee worked with the ABA Government Affairs Office to highlight the objectives of this Recommendation and Report in the key committees in the Congress (both House and Senate), the Administration and to the presidents of the multilateral development banks. Our members were told by Hill staffers that the Recommendation and Report was the first sign of interest in the subject and that it was very useful in educating members on the subject. Congratulations to the UN and International Institutions Committee, its leadership, and especially to Whitney Debevoise who worked tirelessly to ensure this important policy was approved and implemented.
In August 2010, the ABA House of Delegates passed a Section-sponsored Recommendation and Report that called for further steps as may be helpful to foster the understanding of courts, in the United States and abroad, of relevant developments in global finance and to ensure that judges can stay up-to-date with such developments. That Recommendation and Report was spearheaded by former Section Chair, Jeff Golden. We’re happy to report that, starting on January 16, 2012, P.R.I.M.E. Finance, an organization headquartered in The Hague, will open to facilitate dispute settlement, assist in judicial training, and develop library resources for complex, international, financial products and services. This organization is partly an outgrowth of the Recommendation and Report, a unique implementation of that Recommendation and Report’s goals, and the Section is a proud co-sponsor of P.R.I.M.E. Finance’s opening event.
The upcoming meeting of the ABA House of Delegates, which will take place at the Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, will consider a Section-initiated Recommendation and Report on data protection and privacy. To review this document, click here.
Following up on the successful Section-initiated Recommendation and Report regarding state referenda that preclude consideration or use of international or foreign law, the Section, let by its policy officer Ron Bettauer, has drafted a series of documents including fact sheets and press releases, to continue to espouse concerns over such referenda. These implementation documents will be updated to reflect the Tenth Circuit’s recent decision in Awad v. Ziriax.
The Joint Editorial Board of the Section and the Uniform Law Commission (“ULC”) met in mid-November in Nashville to discuss ongoing and potential projects for uniform state law. The Section has a long history with the ULC, including the approval, in 2008, of the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act, spearheaded by Section member and former Litigation Committee co-chair Guy Lipe, which has been adopted in 15 states. The Section’s current project with the ULC is the proposed uniform law on Asset Freezing Orders, colloquially known as Mareva injunctions, in which another former Litigation Committee co-chair, Steven Richman, serves as an ABA Liaison. The Section’s Council has also approved an initiative for a uniform law proposal on foreign interim relief orders, as a complement to foreign judgment enforcement, and that has been submitted to the ULC for consideration for a study committee. All of the Section’s committees are encouraged to consider proposals in their practice areas where a uniform law might provide necessary and appropriate relief in areas where gaps exist; this is an important part of the policy function of the Section.
In addition to implementing these important policy initiatives, several Section leaders recently have been appointed to positions in the government. Former Section Chair Don DeAmicis is now General Counsel of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Professor Patty Gerstenblith, former Chair and Senior Advisor to the Section’s Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee, has been appointed as Chair of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State. Professor Gerstenblith will serve a three-year term as chair of the committee, which advises the President on appropriate U.S. action in response to requests from state parties for assistance in protecting their cultural heritage, pursuant to Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.
International Family Law Committee Senior Advisor Melissa Kucinski has been appointed ABA/Section Representative to the Special Commission to review the operation of the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
International Family Law Committee Co-Chair David Starks has been appointed Section Liaison to the ULC Drafting Committee to review and potentially revise the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to implement the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children.
And Council Member Louise Ellen Teitz has been appointed as First Secretary to the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The Hague Conference is an intergovernmental organization, and is the premier international organization for private international law treaties and conventions. In her new role, Louise Ellen has primary responsibility for several international family law conventions.
We are making a difference in international policy, only made possible by the important contributions of our amazing volunteers!
Michael E. Burke
Reminder: Send items for “member news” to Steven Richman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Communications Officer, for inclusion in upcoming issues.
Appointments Process for FY2013 Underway
Click here for a full list of upcoming Section and co-sponsored programs.
REGISTER TODAY FOR THE 2012 SPRING MEETING! The meeting will be held April 17-21, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt New York. The meeting will feature over 70 CLE programs led by world-class experts, twice-daily networking breaks, daily luncheons with keynote speakers and evening social events at top New York City venues including the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information and to register, please visit: http://ambar.org/ILspring2012
International Women in Law Summit
Pathways to Employment in International Law
Upcoming Committee Programs
Wednesday January 25th 2012, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM “Financing Trade of Renewable Energy Products”
Tuesday January 31st 2012, 12 PM – 1:30 PM. “Unwrapping DG COMP’s New Procedural Package: What’s in it for You?”
Tuesday February 7th 2012, 12PM – 2 PM. “Finding & Recovering Stolen Assets: Money-Laundering, Corruption and Kleptocracy”
Wednesday February 8th 2012, “Careers in International Anti-Money Laundering”
Thursday February 23rd 2012, 12 PM – 2 PM. “2nd Annual Live from the L”
International Law News
Upcoming ILN themes and deadlines:
The International Lawyer
Individual articles from the Year in Review 2010 are now online. To view a copy of your committee’s submission to the YIR, please click here.
Program Support Fund
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers