Untitled Document
In This Issue

Member News
Send in Your News Items
Member Quoted in Press

Section Awards to be Presented
Award for the Outstanding Performance by an International Lawyer in a Government or International Organization: John T. Masterson, Jr.
Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Award: M. Catherine Vernon
Francis Shattuck Security and Peace Award: William H. Taft, IV
Louis B. Sohn Award for Public International Law: Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter
Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law: Professor Hope Lewis
International Human Rights Lawyer Award: Edgar Perez

Upcoming Section Programs
Section Events Calendar
2012 Spring Meeting
Eilat, Israel, May 20-24, 2012
Washington, DC, May 25-26, 2012
Mexico City, June 14-16, 2012
Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2012

Highlighting our International Partners
American Society of International Law (ASIL)
Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)

Epecially For Our Law Students and Young Lawyers
Pathways to Employment in International Law

Committees
Upcoming Committee Programs
Join a Committee!
Commitee Homepages

Publications
Cross Border Real Estate Practice
International Law News
The International Lawyer

Rule of Law Activities
International Legal Resource Center
Program Support Fund
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers

Michael E. Burke

Dear Colleagues,

The Section should be proud of its efforts supporting the just implementation of the rule of law around the world.  We have just returned from our ILEX delegation to Tanzania and Rwanda, and it was a life-changing program for many of us.  This was the second Section ILEX program in Africa in recent years.  Gretchen Bellamy, Nancy Stafford and Victor Mroczka put together a fantastic schedule in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Kigali. Section staffers Christina Heid, Katie Van Geem, and Leanne Pfautz were incredible in their support of the program.

In Dar, the delegation had meetings with Tanganyika Law Society; the Law Society of Zanzibar; the Tanzania Women’s Lawyers Association; Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association; Tanzania’s Ministry of Justice; and the Tanzania’s Law Reform Commission. We also held a roundtable discussion on international legal education with the Deans of the Law Faculty of the University of Dar es Salaam, the Law School of Tanzania, and the Open University of Tanzania Faculty of Law. In addition, the delegation participated in a roundtable discussion with local nongovernmental organizations on the issue of the rule of law and health. 

In Arusha, the delegation met with the East Africa Law Society, Pan-African Lawyers Union, East African Community, East African Court of Justice, and the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.  The delegation also participated in a roundtable discussion with prosecutors, judges, and defense counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

In Kigali, the delegation had meetings with the Kigali Bar Association, the Rwanda Young Lawyers Association, the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, the Rwandan Supreme Court, the Rwandan Development Board, and Rwanda’s National Commission on Human Rights.  The delegation also participated in a second roundtable discussion on international legal education with the Deans of the Law Faculty the Free University of Kigali, the Law Faculty of the National University of Rwanda, and the Institute of Legal Practice and Development.

The ILEX trip concluded with a one-day conference in Kigali, titled “Women’s Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: Successes, Challenges, and the Way Forward.” This was the first Section program in Africa focused solely on women's rights, and was attended by more than 160 registrants. Specific programs during the conference included “What are the Greatest Challenges Facing Women’s Rights in the East African Community Today, and How to Continue to Move Forward,” “International Conventions and Their Enforcement – Can the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, ICESCR, ICCPR, CRC, and CEDAW Play a Role in the Advancement of Women’s Rights in Africa?,” “Prioritization and Advancement of Women’s Rights – Can Rwanda be a Model of Success for the East African Community?”, and “Providing Greater Access to Legal Institutions and Bettering Enforcement.”

The ILEX program is one of the most important things he Section does-- at the most important level, it provides for an exchange. In this case,  lawyers from the US, Canada, France, and Argentina learning about the legal systems, and challenges, in East Africa. Having made valuable contacts, we will focus on some substantive projects to foster the rule of law in Tanzania and Rwanda.

On March 26th we hosted the Annual Appreciation Dinner for Department and Agency General Counsel. Since 1981, the Section’s leadership has hosted an annual dinner honoring the General Counsel (or their designees) of United States government entities  involved in international legal issues, the General Counsel of international organizations, and Counsel from relevant Congressional committees.  The dinner serves as a unique forum in which participants can discuss, informally, current international law issues.  The reception and dinner also enables the Section to express its appreciation for the work and support of General Counsel, explore new initiatives, and strengthen the ties between the Section and the represented entities. 

On April 16, we will host our annual visit of the leadership of the American Bar Association to the United Nations, organized by our United Nations and International Institutions Coordinating Committee. ABA Day at the UN is a highlight of the year and an invaluable opportunity to discuss issues of central importance to maintaining peace and security, improving the quality of life and achieving rule of law in the world.

The 2012 Spring Meeting, will take place April 17-21 at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York, and already exceeds registrations projections – we are anticipating our largest Spring Meeting ever.  If you haven’t already registered, we hope you will also make plans to take advantage of this special opportunity to meet with international practitioners (both in-house and outside counsel), academics and government officials from around the world and to network with members of the Section of International Law. With more than 70 CLE programs, you can get almost one years’ worth of CLE credit in just three days.  The programs are terrific, and will give you the latest information to benefit your practice. On Tuesday, we will once again be sponsoring our popular International Practice Boot Camp in conjunction with the New York State Bar Association International Section – a great introductory opportunity for young lawyers and those who want to expand their knowledge of the key legal issues that arise in the context of international practice.  Also on Tuesday, we are once again organizing a Joint Swearing-in Ceremony at the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and kicking your networking opportunities off with a speed networking session.  If you can’t make the whole meeting, we have attractive day-only rates. We offer significant discounts to small firm lawyers/solo practitioners, government/NGO lawyers, young lawyers, law students, and others.   If you want to bring your colleagues (and I hope you do), we have attractive group registration rates (contact Jessica Smith at jessica.smith@americanbar.org for more information). The receptions—including at the Union League Club and at the Met—will be extremely fun (Section receptions usually are pretty entertaining). I look forward to seeing you in New York!

Michael E. Burke


MEMBER NEWS

Reminder: Send items for “member news” to Steven Richman (smrichman@duanemorris.com), Communications Officer, for inclusion in upcoming issues.

Sergio Karas was recently quoted in a Globe and Mail Editorial.


SECTION AWARDS TO BE PRESENTED

Award for the Outstanding Performance by an International Lawyer in a Government or International Organization: John T. Masterson, Jr.
The Award for the Outstanding Performance by an International Lawyer in a Government or International Organization  is presented to an individual who has demonstrated sustained, outstanding service in the field of international law, including contributions to the development of the international system or to the rule of law, for general professional excellence or for other purposes consistent with the Section’s goals, priorities or mission.  The Section has selected John T. Masterson, Jr. as the 2011-2012  recipient of this award.  Mr. Masterson serves as the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and previously served as the Deputy Chief Counsel for International Commerce and as a senior legal adviser to the International Trade Administration.  Mr. Masterson accepted the award at Section’s Appreciation Dinner for General Counsel on Monday, March 26, 2012 at the Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington.

Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Award:  M. Catherine Vernon
The Outstanding International Corporate Counsel Award is given to a Section member who is a practicing attorney employed as an in-house counsel, and who has made significant contributions to the legal profession and the furtherance of the practice of law in an international context.  M. Catherine Vernon is the 2011-2012  recipient of this award.  Catherine is the Vice-President and General Counsel at Formica Corporation and Co-Chair of the Section’s International Corporate Counsel Committee.  Ms. Vernon will accept the award, in person, at the Corporate Counsel Breakfast on Wednesday April 18 during the 2012 Section Spring Meeting Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Francis Shattuck Security and Peace Award: William H. Taft, IV
The Francis Shattuck Security and Peace Award is presented biannually to a person who has demonstrated significant creativity, initiative, and courage in the cause of international security and peace by implementing a strategy to address an ongoing international conflict.  William H. Taft, IV is this year’s recipient of this award.  Will served as Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State under President George W. Bush.  He also served in the Department of Defense, Department of Health, and Federal Trade Commission.  Mr. Taft will accept the award, in person, at the Luncheon on Wednesday April 18 during the 2012 Section Spring Meeting Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Tickets for the luncheon presentation can be purchased onsite until the day before the event.

Louis B. Sohn Award for Public International Law: Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter
In honor of Section Chair Louis B. Sohn (1992-93), the Louis B. Sohn Award for Public International Law award is presented to a person who has made distinguished, long-standing contributions to the field of public international law.  Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in Princeton and, until recently, Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State is the 2011-2012  recipient of this award. Professor Slaughter taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard University before Princeton, and serves on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, National Security Network, and Brookings Doha Center. She has been a long-time supporter of the Section and has participated in numerous Section programs. Professor Slaughter will accept her award, in person, at the  Luncheon on Thursday April 19 during the 2012 Section Spring Meeting Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Tickets for the luncheon presentation can be purchased onsite until the day before the event.

Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law: Professor Hope Lewis
Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law is presented periodically to individuals who have achieved professional excellence in international law, encouraged women to engage in international law careers, enabled women lawyers to attain international law job positions from which they were excluded historically or advanced opportunies for women in international law.  Professor Hope Lewis of Northereastern University School of Law is the 2011-2012 recipient of the award. Working as a human rights scholar at the intersection of gender, race, and disability, Professor Lewis has brought the impact and import of economic, social, and cultural rights to the forefront of academic and practical debate and, at a personal level, has served as a model mentor to her students and other women seeking a career in international law. Professor Lewis will accept her award, in person, at the Luncheon on Friday April 20 during the 2012 Section Spring Meeting Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Tickets for the luncheon presentation can be purchased onsite until the day before the event.

International Human Rights Lawyer Award:  Edgar Perez
The International Human Rights Lawyer Award  is given to distinguished foreign human rights lawyers who have suffered persecution as a result of their professional activities.  Edgar Perez is the 2011-2012 recipient of this award.  Nominated by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, Edgar stands out for his longstanding, continuous “hands on” work, at considerable risk and harm to himself, addressing human rights abuses of individuals and to fighting systemic violations in his country.  Mr. Perez will accept his award in person at the Section Council Meeting on Saturday, April 21 during the 2012 Section Spring Meeting Section at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. ABA International’s Council, the Section’s policy making body, will debates major policy initiatives. If you are interested in becoming more involved in Section leadership, attending the Council Meeting is an excellent way to get to know the current Section leadership and introduce yourself. The Council Meeting is open to all Spring Meeting registrants; everyone is encouraged to attend.


UPCOMING SECTION PROGRAMS

Click here for a full list of upcoming Section and co-sponsored programs.

THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE 2012 SPRING MEETING! The meeting will be held April 17-21, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt New York and 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

Eilat, Israel, May 20-24, 2012 “Law, Business, and Society – U.S./Israel/Global Relationships” – for more information and to register, please visit: http://ambar.org/eilat2012

Washington, DC, May 25-26, 2012International Families: Money, Children, and Long Term Planning” – for more information and to register please click here.

Mexico City, June 14-16, 2012Legal Challenges and Opportunities of Mexico’s Increasing Global Integration: Finance, Investment, Trade and Competition Law” - For more information and to register, please visit: http://ambar.org/mexico2012

Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2012 “The 4th Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes” – For more information and to register, please visit  http://ambar.org/moscow2012


HIGHLIGHTING OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

American Society of International Law (ASIL)
The American Society of International Law (ASIL) will hold their 106th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC March 28 – 31. The Section will be represented by Section Liaison to ASIL Lelia Mooney and former Division Chair Mark Wojcik.  Please visit ASIL’s website for more information: http://www.asil.org/annual-meeting.cfm.

Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) will hold their Mid-Year Corporate Counsel Conference in Jersey City, NJ March 28 – 31.  For more information, please visit http://www.hnba.com/news-events/midyear/


ESPECIALLY FOR OUR LAW STUDENTS AND YOUNG LAWYERS

Pathways to Employment in International Law
Mark your calendar for the Pathways to Employment in International Law Program series.  Enjoy a unique forum that brings law students and new lawyers together with experienced practitioners to explore opportunities for employment in international law.  To host a Pathways Program at your law school, please contact Angela Benson at angela.benson@americanbar.org.  Upcoming programs include:

  • American University Washington College of Law – April 5, 2012
  • Section Spring Meeting – April 17, 2012

COMMITTEES

Upcoming Committee Programs
Registration for the following Committee programs will be available on the Section website under the Events and CLE tab. To submit a non-CLE program proposal, please click here.

Monday March 26th 2012, “An Assessment of Modern Day Economic, Cultural and Social Rights: From Martin Luther King, Jr. to Today”
A free teleconference program sponsored by the International Human Rights Committee.

Tuesday March 27th 2012, “Recent Developments in CBP’s Office of Regulatory Audit”
A teleconference and in person program sponsored by the Customs Law Committee.

Join a Committee!
Membership in our committees is free, and it is never too early to get involved and start making contacts. Join a committee today!


PUBLICATIONS

Cross Border Real Estate Practice
By Terry A. Selzer

In a cross-border transaction, you will guide your client through unfamiliar waters to ensure they safely reach their destination. This comprehensive book covers the areas that anyone conducting cross-border real estate transactions or operating a cross-border real estate practice needs to know. From the author's extensive experience in this area, the book discusses the most important issues, including practical advice about selecting a property for investment, conducting due diligence, learning about and understanding cross-cultural differences, differences in language and challenges of translation, difference in legal procedures and practices, and negotiating cross-border transactions. Cross-border tax issues also are discussed, along with some of the different types of agreements that are negotiated and drafted for cross-border real estate transactions. This book, in its final chapter, covers the closing of a transaction and registration of title to property.

2012   7x10   470 pages   paperback   Product Code:  5210216
$149.95 -- regular price
$119.95 -- International Law Member Price

To order or for more information, click here.

International Law News
ILN theme: Information Privacy and Security - Deadline June 27, 2012
The next article submission deadline for International Law News is June 27, 2012. International Law News is looking for high-quality submissions on topics in our field, especially articles related to the Fall 2012 issue’s special focus on Information Privacy and Security. See the Author Guidelines on this page under “Submission Guidelines.” Submissions must follow our Author Guidelines to be considered. For guidance or to submit an article, please contact ILN@americanbar.org.

The International Lawyer
The latest edition of The International Lawyer is now online. To view a copy of volume 45:2 please click here.

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.


RULE OF LAW ACTIVITIES

International Legal Resource Center
The International Legal Resource Center provides technical legal assistance to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other UN entities. Of noteworthy mention this month is the ILRC’s recent assistance to UNDP/Jamaica. The Private Sector Working Group on Tax Reform in Jamaica requested UNDP’s advice on ensuring tax reform while promoting economic growth. In a spirit of partnership and cooperation, the Working Group has come together in the national interest in an effort to reconcile the various interests of the private sector and present a unified position on the way forward for their tax system. It is hoped that this unprecedented unity will contribute to the successful implementation of a revised taxation regime that is transformational, comprehensive, equitable, socially responsible and geared towards the removal of one of the most significant binding constraints to high and sustained rates of growth in the economy. Accordingly, the Working Group prepared a draft proposal for consideration by the Parliamentary Tax Committee. The overall goal of the proposed tax reform is for Jamaica to have a tax system which promotes economic growth and acts as a catalyst for development; is characterized by simplicity, equity and competitive rates; and is administered in an efficient and effective manner.

Upon learning about the ILRC, UNDP/Jamaica requested that we provide a legal opinion on a draft tax reform proposal. The ILRC recruited a team of seven (7) tax experts working remotely from around the world to assist on a pro bono basis. Within a month, the experts reviewed the proposal and the ILRC submitted a report to UNDP/Jamaica. The report compiled the analysis, comments, questions, and recommendations of the legal experts on the tax reform proposal submitted by the Private Sector Working Group on Tax Reform to the Taxation Committee of the Parliament of Jamaica. The comments and questions in the report pertained to the broad substantive policies as well as to the tax design, drafting, and implementation processes. The report first examined a general assessment of the proposal, along with general comments and recommendations. More specific comments, questions, and suggestions were set out separately for the First-Tier Policy Reform Proposals, the Second-Tier Policy Reform Proposals, and the Third-Tier (Administrative Reform) Proposals. Recommendations were provided where it was thought that some additional contribution could be made based on the commentator’s experience.

For more information about the ILRC, please contact Jacqueline.Gichinga@americanbar.org.

Program Support Fund
The Section’s Rule of Law Activities are supported by the Section Support Fund through the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (donate online). These activities fall under the ABA’s fourth institutional goal, “to advance the Rule of Law,” adopted in 1983. ABA International has actively contributed to this vital initiative. The Section undertook its first overseas project in 1986 and, in the more than twenty years since, ABA International has implemented numerous short- and long-term legal capacity building projects around the world. The Section’s Rule of Law Officer, Jason Matechak, and Rule of Law Committee oversee ABA International’s activities in coordination with Section staff.

J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers
As a U.S. government designated sponsor, the ABA Section of International Law’s International Legal Exchange Training Program (“ILEX”) certifies international lawyers’ eligibility for exchange visitor status under the J-1 visa. International attorneys with a training offer from a U.S. law firm or legal office can apply for the J-1 visa through ABA International’s ILEX program. Trainees must complete the ILEX application, which is then processed electronically through the U.S. Department of State. To learn more about the program, please visit: http://ambar.org/ilex.