Around the Section of International Law - October 2018

ABA International Members,

There are a number of issues that I want to cover. As with last month, this page serves as a table of contents to connect you to the issues that interest you.


One of the many great values of being a member of ABA International is that we have the opportunity to fight for human rights and rule of law. A good example is the ABA statement condemning the mistreatment of Turkic Muslims by China, in which ABA International had significant input. In the same light, Section members desiring to understand the heartfelt perspective of a Chinese human rights lawyer will find of interest the book by Gao Zhisheng, Unwavering Convictions, published through our Section.

Also recently released was an ABA statement on judicial reforms in Poland, which includes comments from our Section.


In three months, we have three great Section programs.

The conference on Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes held in Moscow last month was a great success with over 160 attendees.

We just finished an amazing meeting in Seoul, which exceeded our expectations and goals. Panels included sessions on Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, the future possibility of doing business in North Korea, CFIUS reviews, F/RAND debate, cryptocurrency, Fintech in Asia, P2P digital platforms, impact of AI on the practice of law, cyber fraud, and equitable relief in arbitration. We also heard from the chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, and the new U.S. Ambassador to Korea, Harry Harris.

November6-10, ABA International shifts its focus to Mexico with panels on USMCA/NAFTA, recent Latin American and U.S. elections, trade and investments in a time of heightened nationalism, protectionism, future of ISDS, special economic zones, #MeToo movement, 3D remote printing, blockchain, merger control, FACTA and CRS. We will also have a panel of general counsels discussing issues important to them, and will have some prominent speakers including Gabriela Cuvas, president of Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rina Mussali Galante, anchorwoman and political analyst, Carlos Moeller, Inter-American Court of Human Rights Secretariat, and Edgar Manuel Bonilla, vice president of Comision Nacional Bancaria v de Valores. Click here to register.

In 2019, we will have two major programs. In the Spring, we will hold our Section Annual Conference in Washington, DC where the theme will be, “Other Voices in Private and Public International Law.”

July 2019 will see us in Oxford University for a program on leadership and the law, with tracks on the impacts of inclusion and disruptive technology. Speakers include a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, a UK Supreme Court Justice, and former dean of Oxford Business School. We open with a debate at Oxford Union on June 30, and finish with dinner at Blenheim Palace on July 2. We are saving July 1 for a pub crawl where we can learn about the history of Oxford and drink a toast to celebrate being there. Attendees will stay in an Oxford College (en suite arrangement so it is not like going back to college) and dine in halls reminiscent of those in the Harry Potter films.

Staying Connected

As Vice Chair Joe Raia noted in his message to Committee leaders, please join our Section’s more than 5,000 Twitter followers @ABAInternatl and on Facebook and ask your committee co-chairs how to get news to the Section’s social media platforms.

Our Section leadership directory for 2018-2019 is available. Find it on the website in the leadership portal.

ABA recently launched our new website and when you visit it, please log in and claim your ABA profile. You will be prompted to update your password and be invited to review your personal profile and communications preferences. Please take the time to do that. A detailed summary of the new features for the website are described in this ABA message. Of course, we have experienced some technical issues with the new website. Our technical staff has been working diligently to resolve those issues as quickly as possible and we apologize if you have experienced any inconvenience. We welcome you to fill out our Website Feedback form to report any problems you encounter.

The ABAConnect Communities for Section committees are being rolled out. These communities will replace our Committee websites and listservs with a more robust and nimble communications platform. We expect them to be up and running in mid-November. More information will be provided as we approach that time.

Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law

This is one of my favorite awards given by the Section, since Mayre Rasmussen appointed me and Alan Gutterman to succeed her as chair of the Asia/Pacific Committee – our first positions in ABA International. The Mayre Rasmussen Award for the Advancement of Women in International Law honors the memory of Mayre Rasmussen by recognizing distinguished lawyers who have demonstrated a career-long commitment to advancing opportunities for women in international law. Please submit a nomination online. All nominations must be submitted by no later than Friday, December 14, 2018.


Under the direction of Joe Raia, Section Vice Chair, our new Leadership Academy kicked off on October 8 by focusing on Committee Work – the Heart of the Section.  The program considered Committee leadership starting with fundamental principles of mission and values; top leadership skills; the requirements of planning, communicating and delegating; and then took up our renewed focus on communications and programs.  We will devote more attention to how communications and programs demonstrates the expertise and accomplishments of our Section and our members.  We have a great story to tell and we aim to tell it.

Invite a friend to join the ABA and Section of International Law!

Robert L. Brown
Chair, Section of International Law