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In This Issue

Member News
Send in Your News Items
This Month in the Section

Section Policy Comments

Upcoming Section Programs
Section Events Calendar
Eilat, Israel, May 20-24, 2012
Washington, DC, May 25-26, 2012
Mexico City, June 14-16, 2012
Boston, MA, June 15-16, 2012

Highlighting our International Partners
International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)
Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)

Upcoming Committee Programs
Join a Committee!
Commitee Homepages

International Family Law Desk Book
International Law News
The International Lawyer

Rule of Law Activities
New Partnership with the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
International Legal Resource Center
Program Support Fund
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers

Michael E. Burke

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve just concluded a fantastic Spring Meeting in New York. With more than 1,550 registrants, it was our largest seasonal meeting ever. The high quality of the more than 65 CLE programs and fun social events made the 2012 Spring Meeting the best seasonal meeting in Section history (so far). We were extremely lucky to have Michael Douglas speak on nuclear non-proliferation; Ben Ferencz speak on the evolution of international criminal law; Mellisa Fung speak about her experience in Afghanistan; and Professor John Coffee speak on securities regulation.

We were very pleased to have an opportunity at the 2012 Spring Meeting to meet with representatives from a number of our international partners, including AIJA, American Society of International Law, Barra Mexicana, the Bar Council of England and Wales, the Canadian Bar Association International Law Section, the Croatian Bar Association, the Korean Bar Association, LAWASIA, Law Society of England and Wales, the Ukranian Bar Association, and the UIA.  We value these important relationships and the collaborations we enjoy with these and other bar associations around the world.

The Spring Meeting’s success represents the combined efforts of many people over the previous 18 months. I know that I have thanked them before, but I would like to express my gratitude once again to the Spring Meeting Co-Chairs: Lisa Ryan, Fiona Schaeffer and Chad Schmerler; the Spring Meeting Planning Committee; the Program Chair(s) of each CLE program; the incomparable and indefatigable Section staff (especially Jessica Smith, Audrey Lamb, and Curry Wilson); our sponsors; and each member and future member who attended 2012 Spring Meeting.

Our programming for this ABA year is far from over. The Section will present eight CLE programs at the Third Annual Law, Business, and Society: US/Israel/Global Relationships, to be held May 20-24, 2012 in conjunction with the Israel Bar Association Annual Conference in Eilat, Israel. Specific programs will discuss Economic Sanctions versus Free Trade Agreements; Corruption, Money Laundering, Tax Fraud and other Corporate Crimes; Women's Rights, Civil Rights and Human Rights; The New Employment Relationship; and many more topics. This year, more than ever, there will be increased interaction between Israeli Bar and ABA International attendees through joint programs, networking breaks, a special breakfast meeting with the President of the Israel Bar, and receptions and luncheons for international practitioners.

On May 25-26, 2012, the Section is hosting the program International Families: Money, Children, and Long Term Planning, in Washington, DC. Join leading experts in the field of international family law for a premier conference to learn more about the international family.

We are also hosting a program in Mexico City, Legal Challenges and Opportunities of Mexico’s Increasing Global Integration: Finance, Investment, Trade and Competition Law, on June 14-16 at the JW Marriott Mexico City.  The event showcases opportunities for international practitioners in connection with global integration of Mexico’s economy, predicted as seventh largest in the world by 2025. Specific programs will focus on secured lending, competition law, real estate law, NAFTA, distressed mergers & acquisitions and environment/energy law. The conference also will afford participants time for debate and dialogue with leading experts and ample networking opportunities.

Also on June 15-16, the Section and AIJA are presenting a joint seminar on international employment law issues in Boston, MA at the Omni Parker House Hotel. The seminar will address recent developments and hot issues relating to public and private law impacting the international employment market. Visit AIJA's website for more information.

Finally, I hope you are already making your plans to attend the annual Section Leadership Retreat – this year in Chicago on August 1 and 2, just before the start of the ABA Annual Meeting.  The Retreat is a great opportunity to make new and renew old acquaintances, and to learn more about getting involved with the Section.  The Section’s programming at the ABA Annual Meeting starts on August 2nd and includes Presidential Showcase programs Nuremberg Revisited, Global Diversity, and Human Trafficking.  We are also honored to have Justice Ruth Ginsburg speaking on the panel Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and the Middle East.   You won’t want to miss the Retreat or the Annual Meeting!

Michael E. Burke


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

At the invitation of former Section Chair and ABA President-Elect designate Jim Silkenat, Section leadership recently met with the Colombian Minister of Justice to discuss legal profession reform projects in that country, particularly the possible establishment of an independent national bar association. 

Alexandra Darraby has been appointed the Section’s Delegate to China’s State Intellectual Property Organization (SIPO) Council.

The Section has created a new Ad Hoc Committee on Amicus Briefs to be comprised of the Policy Officer, Rule of Law Officer, and relevant Section Leaders. 

Jonathan Granoff, along with Charles Moxley Jr. and John Burroughs, published an article on “Nuclear Weapons and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” in the April 2011 issue of the Fordham International Law Journal.

We thank our Law Student Division Liaison Rick Andrews, currently a 2L at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law, for his article in the February 2012 Student Lawyer magazine titled “Possibilities Abound with the Section of International Law.”  We couldn’t agree more with Rick and appreciate his bringing this to the attention of ABA law student members!


The Section is particularly pleased that the policy in opposition to bans on the use of foreign or international law in state courts has contributed to positive results in state legislatures.

The Section submitted comments with the Section of Antitrust Law to (1) the European Commission on its Payment Systems Green Paper; and (2) Brazil’s Administrative Council of Economic Defense new draft merger control regulations.  Comments can be found on the Section’s policy page.


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

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

Boston, MA, June 15-16, 2012Hot Issues in International Employment” – For more information and to register, please click here.


We were very pleased to have an opportunity at the 2012 Spring Meeting to meet with representatives from a number of our international partners, including AIJA, American Society of International Law, Barra Mexicana, the Bar Council of England and Wales, the Canadian Bar Association International Law Section, the Croatian Bar Association, the Korean Bar Association, LAWASIA, Law Society of England and Wales, the Ukranian Bar Association, and the UIA.  We value these important relationships and the collaborations we enjoy with these and other bar associations around the world.

At the invitation of former Chair and ABA President-Elect nominee Jim Silkenat, Section leadership recently met with the Colombian Minister of Justice to discuss legal profession reform projects in that country, particularly the possible establishment of an independent national bar association.  

International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)
The International Association of Young Lawyers will hold its May Conference in Hamburg, Germany May 3 -5.  The Half Year Conference will feature seminars on transportation, environment, and energy law as well as leadership meetings. Please visit AIJA’s website for more information.

Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
The Hispanic National Bar Association will hold their annual Legislative Day in Washington, DC May 8 – 10.  The Legislative Day serves to further the HNBA legislative agenda before Congress and executive branch officials through direct grassroots advocacy by its members and educates HNBA members from around the country about public policy issues and the federal legislative process.  For more information, please click here.


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 May 21, 2012, A Cast of Thousands: Corruption Risks and Enforcement in the Media & Entertainment Industry
A non-CLE teleconference and live in person program presented by the Anti-Corruption Committee

Wednesday May 30, 2012, the Transfer of Employee Information across Borders and Other Privacy Issues of Concern
A non-CLE teleconference presented by the International Employment 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!


International Family Law Desk Book
By Ann Lacquer Destin

International family law has emerged as an important subject in its own right and has become part of the everyday work of family court judges and family law practitioners across the country presenting a myriad of puzzles along the way.  This book takes a broad approach to the subject, bringing together the law applicable to a wide range of cross-border family issues. Designed to serve as a compact and useful resource and reference tool, the chapters that follow address marriage, divorce, the financial aspects of divorce, parentage and parental rights, custody and child abduction litigation, child support and intercountry adoption. Each chapter builds on the foundation established by treaties and uniform acts, and incorporates case law, the Restatements, and important secondary sources whenever possible. Included are extensive discussions of the international treaties that have come to form the basis for reciprocal relationships between the United States and more than 85 other nations, but it focuses on the law applied to these transnational family issues in the United States. Although written primarily for U.S. practitioners, it will hopefully also be of use to foreign lawyers and judges with an interest in understanding the U.S. system.

Co-published with the ABA Family Law Section

February 2012   7x10   300 pages   Product Code:  5210215
$119.95 -- regular price; $99.95 -- International Law and Family Law Section 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.


New Partnership with the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development
The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (GFLJD) aims at facilitating the identification, discussion, production and/or sharing of innovative and customized legal and institutional tools to address global, regional or national development challenges. It seeks to: (1) promote a better understanding of the role of law and justice in the development process, through structured South-South and North-South dialogues amongst relevant stakeholders and a research agenda that will facilitate and support the co-generation of knowledge; (2) strengthen and better integrate legal and judicial institutions in the development process, through the carrying out of relevant  capacity building initiatives; and (3) provide access to  an open repository of knowledge. The GFLJD will set measurable, sustainable goals for itself in these areas, and evaluate its progress.

The Section will serve as an Intellectual Partner providing in-kind contributions on a number of thematic topics. The topics will be coordinated through thematic working groups on these overarching themes:

  • Justice Reform/Rule of Law Reform
  • Private Sector Development and Finance
  • Environmental Law & Natural Resources
  • Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC)
  • Inclusion and Equity for Vulnerable Groups

If you are interested in contributing to any of these abovementioned themes, please contact us at introl@americanbar.org.  For more information on GFLJD, please review this PowerPoint presentation.   We will continue to provide you with details on the latest developments of this partnership. 

International Legal Resource Center
Review of Jamaica’s Tax Reform Proposal

The International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) 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) 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.

A New Frontier for a Federal Judge

About a year ago, the United Nations (UN) began the process of selecting three judges to fill positions on the seven-judge UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT).  The UNAT is the appellate court that reviews appeals from decisions of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, which hears employment-related cases affecting UN employees. 

The UN issued a job announcement soliciting judges with at least 15 years of judicial experience in administrative law or its equivalent to submit their applications and supporting documents, including exemplar opinions, to the Internal Justice Council (IJC), an independent body of the UN.  The IJC then screened the applications and narrowed the pool of candidates to about 40 international judges, whom the IJC examined and interviewed in The Hague in September 2011.  Over the next several months, the IJC prepared a lengthy written report, which included, among other things, the recommendation of six candidates for the three UNAT positions.  In January 2012, the IJC presented its report to the UN General Assembly for its consideration. 

On February 23, 2012, the General Assembly, elected Judge Rosalyn M. Chapman and two other judges (from France and Samoa) to the UNAT for seven-year terms, starting July 1, 2012.  As of that date, the international jurists comprising the UNAT will be from Ghana, Uruguay, Argentina, France, Ireland, Samoa and the United States.  Judge Chapman, who is a judicial member of the ABA, learned of the available UNAT positions from a member of the ILRC, and she has expressed her great appreciation for that referral. Through its close affiliation with the ABA and the Section, the ILRC is able to access to a wide and diverse array of talented attorneys, professors, judges and other legal and development professionals.

Judge Chapman has extensive experience as a jurist, administrative law judge and labor arbitrator.  Most recently, she served two terms as Magistrate Judge in the District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles and surrounding counties), until she retired on December 1, 2010.  Since then, Judge Chapman has served as a magistrate judge by assignment in the District Courts for the Districts of Arizona and Northern California (San Francisco and San Jose).  As a magistrate judge, Judge Chapman had an active and diverse civil case load, which included extradition and other international matters, and she has authored hundreds of opinions, many of which are published.

Prior to her appointment to the federal bench, Judge Chapman was an administrative law judge with the State of California, for which she conducted various types of administrative hearings, including hearings regarding both public employment and private employment matters.  Additionally, Judge Chapman was a certified labor arbitrator, who heard cases by the parties’ mutual consent and also on behalf of several public civil service commissions.  Finally, Judge Chapman has been a legal services attorney, litigating on behalf of low-income clients in California and federal courts, as well as a lecturer on the faculty of U.C.L.A.’s School of Law.  Judge Chapman obtained her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, and her B.A. from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

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.