Around the Section of International Law - December 2018

ABA International Members,

Happy Holidays to all! As we close the calendar year, we can reflect on recent landmark achievements by our Section and look forward to some exciting works in progress for 2019.


Our Section has taken the lead in spearheading robust responses to attacks on the profession and the judiciary, and to highlight the urgency of protecting the independence of the judiciary as well as combat threats to lawyers and judges around the world through a series of actions coinciding with The International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, which falls on January 24, 2019 during the ABA’s Mid-Year Meeting. Additional work and programming are in the works addressing Turkey. Contact our Rule of Law Officer, Mikhail Reider-Gordon, for more information or to get involved in this effort.

In addition, Susan Burns, our Mexico Committee Co-Chair, worked with the Mexican Bar Association to draw global attention to new Mexican legislation that sharply reduced the salaries of federal judges, demoralizing the judiciary and opening the door to interference in the judicial function by outside actors. Susan’s efforts culminated in the Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson Re: Preserving Judicial Independence in Mexico, also tweeted here.

Hungary recently passed legislation eliminating the Hungarian Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over laws governing public institutions and functions such as elections, taxes and the police. The legislation created a new court system for the interpretation of these laws managed by a politically-appointed justice minister. Our Section has drafted a statement urging Hungary to rescind the legislation and is working with other ABA entities to fast-track its approval and publication.


The ABA and Section Midyear Meeting will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 23 – 27, 2019. More information and registration details can be found here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Section’s Annual Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. from April 9 – 13, 2019. Registration will open soon; we have a fabulous line-up of programs and networking events and Washington in the springtime is an experience not to be missed! Click the link for more information..

Diversity Plan

Thanks to the efforts of our Diversity Officer Adejoke Babington-Ashaye and her team, the Section has a new Diversity and Inclusion Plan. It describes our goals for engaging a broad cross-section of lawyers from around the world in Section activities and leadership. The Annex outlining the Plan’s implementation can be found here.


Attorneys are so busy taking care of clients that they often fail to take care of themselves. As a result, wellness among attorneys has deteriorated significantly. In response, our Section is creating a working group led by Deniz Tamer to help us identify how we as a Section, friends and individuals can help. She is recruiting members, so if you are interested, please reach out to her.

Say Goodbye to our old Committee Homepages and Hello to the New

Committee website homepages (called Dynamic Committee Homepages) will sunset on December 31, 2018. The new pages called ABA Connect communities will replace the Homepages from January 1, 2019 and committee listservs shortly thereafter. If you have not already done so, please claim your ABA profile at You will need to create a new password. The technology team in Chicago is working through glitches in the new infrastructure that are causing occasional data errors, so if you find incorrect information in your profile contact the ABA Service Center (US: 800-285-2111 or International: +1-312-988-5000) but also rest assured that a more permanent fix for these kinds of errors is coming in the new year.

Social Media

Finally, we encourage all members to join the conversations on social media about our Section, its activities and the practice of international law. We have over forty groups on LinkedIn. The largest group, ABA International, has over 28,000 members! Many committees have their own groups, so check under “ABA International: [committee name]” and join in if you are not already a member. We are also looking for committee members to serve as LinkedIn group managers so if you are an active social media participant please consider serving in this dynamic role, and contact our Technology Officer, Carlos Velazquez-de-Leon, for more information.

Robert L. Brown
Chair, Section of International Law