Russia and Georgia: The Use of Force and International Law

A Program at the 2009 Spring Meeting
Public International Law/Rule of Law

National Security Committee
Russia/Eurasia Committee



During a millenium which ushered in a new age of conflict, a resurgent Russia has claimed independence on behalf of two regions in the Republic of Georgia following a brief but violent conventional conflict. While legal definitions and rules of engagement against terrorism struggle to keep up with the rapid evolution of the battlefield, traditional conflicts for land and resources continue to flare up around the globe, along with their legal implications. What are the legal justifications for the use of force? This panel will discuss how international law both permits and proscribes the application of military might. Representatives from both Russia and the Republic of Georgia, joined by experts in the field, will investigate the legal questions which arise after diplomacy fails, and discuss the ever expanding avenues of dispute resolution and international law, through the prism of the Geogian Conflict of August 2008.

Program Chairs

  • John H. Harrington, Law Offices of John Harrington, New York, New York
  • Jonathan M. Meyer, New York, New York


  • John H. Harrington, Law Offices of John H. Harrington, New York, New York


  • Sean Murphy, The George Washington University Law Center, Washington, DC
  • Svetlana Shatalova, Russian Embassy, Washington, DC
  • Paul Reichler, Foley Hoag LLP, Washington, DC
  • Ruth Wedgwood, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC