January 01, 2018 ILN Winter 2018

Chair's Column— "International Law 101" and Much More

By Steven M. Richman

Our Section continues to demonstrate leadership in international law and the broader legal community by being a platform for promotion of the rule of law internationally, providing innovative, skills-based programing, bringing insights from world-class speakers, and delivering timely information on the forefront of cross-border legal practice and international law.

On January 12, 2018, we held our first all-day boot camp introductory program on international law at the ABA facilities in Washington, D.C. Attendees ran the gamut from law students to seasoned international practitioners. It is a way to provide substantive content concurrent with introducing attorneys in a variety of practice areas, and those new to international law, to the topic. The Section will host its second introductory boot camp to international law, to be known more colloquially as International Law 101, in Miami.

At the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, I moderated the Section‘s program on the “View From the Bench: The State of International Law,” featuring both Canadian and U.S. judges and cosponsored by the ABA Judicial Division. The program explored the current status of international law in judicial decision-making, including cross-border enforcement of judgments, international precedent, and the continuing relevance of, and attacks on, the place of international law in U.S. courtrooms.

At the Section’s Annual Conference in April 2018 in New York, we will continue the emphasis on the integration of public and private law. We are all human rights lawyers now, and the line between public and private lawyers continues to blur. Our programming will include a day of skills and methods that will mirror our substantive tracks through the body of the conference. Daniel Ellsberg, known for his release of the Pentagon Papers, will be one of our luncheon speakers, and we will open the conference with a plenary session exploring the rule of law in an age of international risk and instability.

We will hold our investor-state arbitration conference in Singapore on May 10-11, 2018, following our ILEX trip to converse with Indonesian practitioners, government officials, a Supreme Court judge, and members of the business community. Our other conferences include perceptions of risk in Africa (Cape Town, May 21-22, 2018), and health and life sciences (Copenhagen, June 10-12, 2018).

At the ABA’s Paris Conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (June 7-10, 2018), the Section will hold a program on corporate social responsibility and supply-chain issues. Human rights are a significant theme of this bar year for the Section.

Our Section continues to be a beacon for all those within the American Bar Association in the field of international law, and we continue to offer our resources, expertise, and assistance to the legal community, at the state, national, and international levels.