Untitled Document
In This Issue

Member News
This Month in the Section

Upcoming Section Programs
Section Events Calendar
U.S. and India: Key Legal Aspects of Cross-Border Business
2012 Spring Meeting - REGISTRATION OPEN

Highlighting our International Partners
Law Society of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Bar Association

Epecially For Our Law Students and Young Lawyers
Pathways to Employment in International Law
Rona R. Mears Student Writing Competition & Scholarship Award
Mentorship Program

Upcoming Committee Programs
Committee Leadership Nominations for Next Fiscal Year 2012-13
Join a Committee!
Commitee Homepages

International Law News
The International Lawyer

Rule of Law Activities
Program Support Fund
ABA Center for Human Rights launches new Justice Defenders Program
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers
World Bank: Law, Justice and Development Week 2011: Innovation and Empowerment for Development

Michael E. Burke

Dear Colleagues,

As we bring another dynamic and productive year to a close, I would like to congratulate and thank our busy Committee Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs, steering groups, and members. Our Committees are the lifeblood of the Section, and their activity these past few months has been impressive. Thanks, too, to Section Vice Chair, Gabrielle Buckley, and our excellent team of Division Chairs -- Ingrid Busson-Hall, Laurie Foster, Albert Garrofe, Melida Hodgson, Paul Lalonde, Victor Mroczka, Kevin O’Gorman, Anders Etgen Reitz, Fiona Schaeffer, Marcy Stras, Mo Syed and Erik Wulff -- who oversee our Committees. Division Chairs are some of the “unsung heroes” of the Section.  Each of them successfully chaired a Committee before becoming a Division Chair. In addition to serving on the Section’s Council, they are a critical resource to each Committee in their respective Division.

As many of you know, I became active in the Section by working on a Committee—the China Committee. Committee work can be highly informative and rewarding. Some of the best thinking on practical international law issues is done through the Section’s Committees. Committees can be places where you make lasting professional contacts, and where you can build your network and your professional brand at the same time. Section members can join as many Committees as they wish; in order to get active on a Committee, join the Committee’s Steering Group by contacting the Committee’s Co-Chairs and volunteering.

Our joint program, on December 7, with the Law Society of England and Wales titled “Capital Markets in the 21st Century” was a great success: 150 people registered, filling the Law Society venue to capacity. Attendees represented 55 law firms, 15 financial institutions, many regulators (such as the Financial Services Board of South Africa), and several trade organizations (such as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe). The program’s content was cutting-edge and the speakers were excellent. Our thanks to program Co-Chairs Adam Farlow and Dorothee Fischer-Appelt and the planning group—they are already planning for next year’s event.

Among the many member benefits generated by the Committees are the articles for the Section’s annual “Year in Review” issue of our flagship publication, The International Lawyer. For the upcoming issue, more than forty Committees have submitted pieces covering the entire spectrum of international law. We thank all of the Committee leaders who were tasked with meeting the strict deadlines for submission. It can be a real challenge for the Committees to fit the articles within the word count established by the Section, but in the process of condensing and honing the articles to 7,000 words, the Committee YIR editors produce a volume that is densely packed with useful information for busy practicing lawyers’.

Congratulations also to the Committees who have sponsored programs, teleconferences and webcasts this past Fall. One of the key goals outlined in our new strategic plan is to provide our members with cutting-edge, timely programs with world-class speakers and materials on issues that will enhance professional and practical skills. Our Committees have risen to the challenge and are already planning terrific programming through 2012.

I also want to thank my fellow Section officers for their continuing dedication and commitment. Without complaint, they have participated in dozens of conference calls and scores of e-mail communications over the past months. I appreciate all the time and effort they have devoted to the good works of the Section, as well as their friendship and collegiality. 

As we close out 2011, I want to wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to your involvement and participation in the coming year. I hope you will make a New Year’s resolution I guarantee you won’t regret. Mark your calendar now to attend ’the 2012 Spring Meeting in New York from April 17-21. I can assure you that you’ll be happy you decided to attend.

Michael E. Burke


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

Thomas Buergenthal, former judge of the International Court of Justice in the Hague (and recipient of the Section’s Louis B. Son Award in 2006), was awarded the UN Association of the National Capital Area’s Louis B. Son Human Rights Award for his life-long contributions, on December 8 at its annual Human Rights Luncheon on Capitol Hill. Aileen Pisciotta, Chair of the Section’s International Models Project on Women’s Rights (IMPOWR) Task Force and nominated by the Section, was recognized by the UN Association of the National Capital Area for her leadership in creating the IMPOWR Research Database (www.impowr.org) on women’s rights under the law. Congratulations!

In response to its Annual Plan for the next fiscal year, the ABA Board of Governor’s Program Evaluation and Planning Committee gave the Section its highest ranking (A-1) and commended the Section on “its impressive work and the breadth of activities in which the Section is involved. PEP applauds the Section’s collaborative efforts on joint programs and activities with sections, divisions and forums, state and local bars and international bar associations.”

The Section leadership has assigned working groups to assess progress on our Strategic Plan. Working groups will report back during a strategic planning session at the Midyear Meeting in New Orleans in early February. The working groups will focus the following questions: (1) Do we have the right/best Committee mix for our members needs? How do we improve access to, and deliverables from, Committees?; (2) What can we do, or do better, to increase the Section’s profile within the Association?; (3) What is the most effective way to develop and deliver content that our members really want?; (4) How do we improve our “policy voice?”; (5) How do we attract, maintain and increase a vibrant, diverse membership from around the world?; and (6) How do we generate non-dues revenue? If you have thoughts to share with any of these working groups, please send an e-mail to Section Director Leanne Pfautz at leanne.pfautz@americanbar.org.


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

The Section is proud to announce its first ever conference in Mumbai! “U.S. and India: Key Legal Aspects of Cross-Border Business” will be held January 19-21, 2012. Please visit the conference website for more information and to register.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 2012 SPRING MEETING! The meeting will be held April 17-21, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt New York. For more information and to register, please click here.


On January 9, 2012, the Law Society of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Bar Association will hold events celebrating the Opening of the Legal Year in Hong Kong. ABA President Bill Robinson will attend and then embark on a two-week tour of Asia visiting Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo. With the assistance of Section leadership, President Robinson plans to meet with law students and professors, judges, local lawyers and law firms, and several bar leaders including from the Beijing Bar Association, Korean Bar Association, All China Lawyer’s Association, Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and International Bar Association.


Pathways to Employment in International Law
Mark Your Calendar for the Pathways to Employment in International Law Program series with stops around the country. Enjoy a unique forum that brings law students and new lawyers together with experienced legal 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:

  • NYU International Interview Program – January 2012
  • ABA Midyear Meeting – February 2012
  • ILSA Spring Conference/Jessup Final Round – March 2012
  • American University Washington College of Law – April 5, 2012
  • Section Spring Meeting – April 17, 2012
  • Suffolk University School of Law – Spring 2012
  • University of San Francisco School of Law – Spring 2012
  • Valparaiso Law Center – Spring 2012

Rona R. Mears Student Writing Competition & Scholarship Award
The 2012 Competition is underway; the topic is “The Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States is Being Revised. What Section or Group of Related Sections of the Restatement Should be Revised, Why and How?”

The deadline to submit an essay is Friday, January 20, 2012. First Prize is $1,000 for First and Second Place Winners and a $1,000 travel Stipend for each winner to attend the Section’s Spring Meeting in New York City, April 17 -21, 2012.

To find out essay guidelines and submission details please go to www.americanbar.org/intlaw

Mentorship Program
The Section is about to launch the second round of mentor-mentee matches next month. If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee please contact Membership Director Angela Benson at angela.benson@americanbar.org. Helping the next generation of attorneys and Section leaders is very rewarding experience.


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

Tuesday January 10th 2012, 11 AM – 1 PM. “Sex Trafficking from the Boardroom to the Classroom: Prevention, Intervention & Prosecution”
A non-CLE teleconference and live-in person program sponsored by the International Human Rights Committee and cosponsored by Europe, India, Russia/Eurasia, NGO & Not for Profit, WIN, Criminal Law, National Security, Corporate Social Responsibility, Refugee Law, Employment Law, Immigration & Naturalization Committees and ABA-IRR Women’s Rights

Wednesday January 25th 2012, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM “Financing Trade of Renewable Energy Products”
A non-CLE teleconference and in-person lunch reception and panel discussion sponsored by the International Trade Committee.

Tuesday January 31st 2012, 12 PM. “Unwrapping DG COMP’s New Procedural Package: What’s in it for You?”
A non-CLE teleconference sponsored by the International Antitrust Law Committee and cosponsored by the Europe Committee.

Thursday February 23rd 2012, 12 PM – 2 PM. “2nd Annual Live from the L”
The 2nd annual Live from the L Program sponsored by UN and International Institutions Coordinating Committee and cosponsored by GW Law School and ASIL.

Committee Leadership Nominations for Next Fiscal Year 2012-13
Watch for the 2012-13 Committee Leadership Appointment Nomination Form next month on the Section website. Nominate either yourself or a fellow Section Member for a leadership position in one or more Committees of the Section for the 2012-2013 ABA year.

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!


International Law News
Upcoming ILN themes and deadlines:
Summer 2012, Regional Focus: Africa, April 4, 2012
Fall 2012, Information Privacy and Security, June 27, 2012

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.


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.

ABA Center for Human Rights launches new Justice Defenders Program
The ABA Center for Human Rights is pleased to introduce its new Justice Defenders (“JD”) program, which will conduct trial observations and identify pro bono counsel to aid local attorneys representing human rights advocates who are the subject of retaliation for their advocacy efforts. The JD program is looking for volunteers to provide such assistance. The JD program covers the costs of deploying pro bono experts and trial observers.

To learn more, visit the JD program’s new website.

Potential observers and legal advocates can register their interests and background online. Cases can be referred online.

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 for additional information.

World Bank: Law, Justice and Development Week 2011: Innovation and Empowerment for Development

James Silkenat addresses attendees at the Section’s reception on the evening of November 15, 2011.
The ABA Section of International Law co-sponsored the World Bank Group's Law, Justice and Development (LJD) Week on November 14 -17, 2011. Senior officials from international financial institutions, international development practitioners, government officials, lawyers and judges, scholars and academics, representatives from civil society, and World Bank Group staff convened to explore how legal innovation and empowerment contribute to development. The event brought together over 700 participants.

International and domestic Section members enjoy the evening reception together. A special thanks to sponsoring firms, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Paul Hastings LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP!
Sponsoring firms, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Paul Hastings LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP made it possible for the Section to host the main reception on the second evening. Special remarks at this reception were given by James R. Silkenat, Partner at Sullivan & Worcester and Anne-Marie Leroy, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the World Bank Group. In addition, the Section also hosted a panel that primarily discussed the importance of partnerships with other professions and at the local level, utilizing assessments to guide policy decisions in nations around the world, and legislative reforms to enhance access to justice.

Michael Burke highlights Section initiatives at the panel on “Achieving Sustainable Development: The Lawyer’s Key Role.” Panelists included Section members and representatives from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and the World Justice Project.