March 2014 E-Update


From the Chair

Dear Colleagues:

Last month our International Legal Exchange (ILEX) delegation to Myanmar and Cambodia was a truly memorable experience, given the wealth of information that we learned in our meetings. For me, it was fascinating to see the developments in Myanmar since I had last visited over twenty years ago. However, so much work still needs to be done in both countries and we hope to contribute to these efforts long after this ILEX program. The mission of this year’s trip was to gain a greater understanding of the legal and business environment in both countries; develop an understanding of Rule of Law issues that they face; and to discuss opportunities to help build capacity for local lawyers and judges by engaging in a dialogue with local government regulators, practitioners, lawyers’ associations, jurists, and civil society organizations. High points of this year’s ILEX trip included meetings with representatives from the local bar associations; NGOs; the U.S. Embassy, including Ambassador Derek Mitchell in Yangon; Dr. Zaw Oo, a member of President Thein Sein’s National Economic and Social Advisory Council; and members of Parliament and government officials in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. In Cambodia, we were also able to meet with representatives from the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, LawAsia, and prosecutors, judges and officials at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – the Court charged with conducting Cambodia’s genocide trials. These international legal exchange delegations are an important part of our outreach efforts around the world and continue to engage and inspire new initiatives and collaborations, lawyer to lawyer. I was honored to lead this high-level delegation of Section and ABA leaders, including ABA Secretary Cara Lee Neville and the Section leadership for the next several years. Tremendous kudos go to Co-Chairs Sara Sandford and Louraine Arkfeld for organizing an amazing trip!

We’re now looking forward to the Spring Meeting in New York next week. I hope to see many of you there!

With best regards,

Gabrielle M. Buckley

Member News

CALL FOR ARTICLES: International Law News

Summer Issue Deadline: April 1, 2014
Theme: Southeast Asia

International Law News (ILN) publishes high-quality submissions on topics in our field. ILN editors are especially interested in articles addressing each issue’s theme. To learn more about submitting articles to ILN, please refer to the ILN Author Guidelines.

To submit an article or to ask questions about the process, e-mail Managing Editor Lisa Comforty at If you are submitting an article, please attach it to your e-mail as a Word document.

Ideas for future themes and articles are welcome.


Section Calendar

2014 Spring Meeting, April 1-5, 2014

Chicago, Illinois, June 6-7, 2014 Successful Transactions – What In-House Counsel Should Expect from their M&A and Antitrust Attorneys

Seattle, Washington, June 19-21, 2014 International Families: Money, Children and Long Term Planning

Moscow, Russia, September 2014 The 2014 Moscow Dispute Resolution Conference: ABA’s Sixth Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes
Save the date for our annual conference in Moscow – Registration will open this Spring.

Vancouver, Canada, November 17-18, 2014 North America Regional Forum
Save the date for our first North American Regional Forum – Registration will open this Spring.

Tokyo, Japan, February 2015 Asia Regional Forum
Planning has begun for our first Asia Regional Forum – Registration will open this Spring.


The Haiti Appeals Court recently reinstated the political violence charges against Jean-Claude Duvalier, and recognized that Statutes of Limitations cannot apply to allegations of crimes against humanity. This is a big deal for the victims in Haiti, but also for the global fight for accountability for large-scale political violence. Beyond the Duvaliers and their victims, this is an important step towards establishing the Rule of Law in Haiti, to the benefit of everyone from poor peasants defending their land to factory owners who need to count on contract enforceability.

Although the law is fairly clear, having it applied in this case was not easy. The government had adamantly opposed the prosecution of Duvalier, and due to a difficult political context the judges needed substantial personal courage as well as substantial political support from human rights groups, legal organizations, and other influential entities in Haiti and abroad to be able to make this decision. The ABA policy on the non-applicability of statutes of limitations to crimes against humanity contributed to this result in two ways. First, it helped demonstrate that international law did in fact establish the non-applicability. But perhaps more importantly it provided the judges with political cover to do the right thing by demonstrating that an influential legal organization in the U.S. agreed with the non-applicability finding.

Thanks to our International Human Rights Committee for taking the lead on this important policy initiative and for shepherding the position through the ABA processes.


An American Lawyer in Europe

Reid Whitten

Reid Whitten, an International Trade associate at Sheppard Mullin, and Vice Chair of the Section’s Law Student, L.L.M. and New Lawyer Outreach Committee recently moved to Sheppard's office in Brussels, Belgium. From Brussels, Reid will serve as a point person for the Section’s outreach efforts, setting up young lawyer networking events and Pathways Programs throughout Europe and will serve as a contact on the ground for any members or groups in the region that require local support. 

In addition Reid will be working with clients across Europe on compliance and investigation matters. His practice focuses primarily on FCPA and Anti-bribery regulations, U.S. and international sanctions, and U.S. and international export regulations including the ITAR and EAR. Many European companies are not fully aware of the ways U.S. regulators assert jurisdiction over certain international transactions and Reid will be assisting these companies to navigate the complexities of U.S. regulation on their international business. 

Reid has been an active Section member for more than 5 years now and has organized programs at previous seasonal meetings and is a frequent panelist for Pathways Programs haven spoken at the Fall Meeting in London in October 2013 and will be a speaker at the Spring Meeting Pathways Program in New York on April 1, 2014 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

For more information about the Pathways Programs or to develop a program at your school, please contact Membership Director Angela Benson at

Pathways to Employment in International Law Profile of the Month

Pathways to Employment in International Law starts the new year with its annual program at NYU Law during its International Interview Program.

For more information about the Pathways Programs or to develop a program at your school, please contact Membership Director Angela Benson at

Alexander A. Jeglic

The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law hosted its 4th annual Pathways Program on March 5, 2014. The program was sponsored by Bordon Ladner Gervais, The Canadian Commercial Corporation, and the Common Law Student Society. This outstanding program was attended by well over 100 students and had more than 20 volunteers.

The program organizer is Section member Alexander A. Jeglic of Canadian Commercial Corp and Co-Chair of the Section’s Canada Committee, who personally did all of the outreach, marketing, and planning along with student volunteers to make this event a tremendous success. The panel included Marcus Davies, Legal Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development: Criminal, Security and Diplomatic Law Division; Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada; Diane Sovereign, Cultural Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Ottawa; and Gerry Stobo, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais.

The Ottawa Program is a fantastic example of an expertly-executed program and we encourage other members around the world to work with the Section on bringing a Pathways Program to every corner of the globe. To host a program in your country contact Angela Benson, Director of Membership at

MIPIM 2014

Agnes Proton

The Section was an exhibitor at the MIPIM meeting in Cannes, France on March 11 – 14, 2014. Over 20,000 delegates attend this international real estate meeting and was co-sponsored by the Section’s Cross-Border Real Estate Practice Committee. The booth was staffed by several Section members including Terry Selzer, whose book on this topic “Cross-Border Real Estate Practice” was a featured highlight of the membership booth. 

Other members in attendance were Alessandra Tarissi de Jacobis and Ms. Agnes Proton. Ms. Proton was the onsite contact and organizer for the Section’s participation in this event and handled all of the onsite logistics. The booth itself is outstanding and served as an excellent conversation corner for prospective members to learn about the ABA and the Section.


Committee Activities

March has been one of the busiest months in programming for the Section’s committees, with eight new teleconferences and brown bag programs scheduled to take place during the month. While the month of April is mostly reserved for the Spring Meeting, committee programming will resume once again at the very end of the month.

Committees have also been busy creating newsletters to provide valuable information and resources to their members. New committee newsletters in the month of February included the Latin America & Caribbean Committee’s Legal Developments in Latin America, the International Commercial Transactions, Franchising and Distribution Committee’s Winter 2014 Issue, and the India Committee’s India Law News. Many Committee newsletters are available on the Committee homepages, which are located on the Section’s website.


Committee Programming

There were five committee programs in February. One program that stood out in particular was “U.S. and EU Sanctions Implementation of the Iran Joint Plan of Action,” sponsored by the Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee (ECES), and co-sponsored by the International Anti-Money Laundering Committee. The program was organized and moderated by ECES Vice-Chair, Alex Lamy, and ECES committee member Glen Kelley. This February 6th in-person/teleconference event took place through a simultaneous video conference at both the New York City offices of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP, and the Washington, DC offices of Baker & McKenzie LLP (see picture below). This program also involved a large number of cooperating entities, including:  Women in International Trade; Washington Foreign Law Society; Virginia State Bar International Practice Section; National Foreign Trade Council / USA*Engage; National Council on International Trade Development; and the D.C. Bar International Law Section. This program attracted one of the highest number of registrations for any non-CLE committee program to date, with 126 registrants, 104 total attendees, and 56 in-person attendees.

Upcoming Committee Programs

Registration for the following Committee programs is available on the Section website under the Events and CLE tab. Submit a proposal for a committee program.

Anti-Corruption Issues When Selling into China, Part 2 of the Advice to Foreign Multinationals Doing Business in China on Vertical Issues Series, April 29, 2014
A non-CLE teleconference presented by the China Committee and the International Antitrust Committee

The New FATF Recommendations & the AML/CFT Methodology: May 6, 2014
A non-CLE teleconference and in-person program presented by the International Anti-Money Laundering Committee

Dealing with Your Distributors/Wholesalers in China, Part 3 of the Advice to Foreign Multinationals Doing Business in China on Vertical Issues Series, April 29, 2014
A non-CLE teleconference presented by the China Committee and the International Antitrust Committee


International Litigation Strategies & Practice, Second Edition

This thoroughly updated version of an ABA best-seller provides practical advice that can be readily implemented into the reader's practice. It is valuable to both the seasoned practitioner and the attorney who only occasionally encounters international disputes. Divided into three parts--The Essentials, Strategy and Practice, and Special Problems and Tribunals--highlights of this text include:

  • Communicating with foreign clients and lawyers
  • Differences and similarities between civil law and common law systems
  • International mediation
  • Obtaining evidence abroad
  • Enforcing foreign judgments in the U.S.
  • Application of attorney-client privilege in the international sphere
  • And more!      

More than 30 seasoned contributors offer their firsthand insights to make this volume an essential resource for practitioners involved in any international litigation.

Rule of Law

International Legal Resource Center

The International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) was established in December 1999, based upon the mutual commitment of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ABA to advocate around the world for democratic governance and the rule of law on a global scale. The ILRC, which is housed within the Section, identifies experts for requests relating to technical legal assistance projects, knowledge management, and advisory services worldwide. The ILRC also conducts assessments of draft and current legislation, gauges compliance with international standards, and provides legal research and substantive advice to governments on policy formulation. The ILRC is continuing to expand its range of capabilities and is flexible in responding to the changing needs of UNDP, other UN entities, multinational organizations, and their local partners.

The ILRC is always open to new members. Interested junior and senior experts can email Jacqueline Gichinga at To learn more, please visit the ILRC website. The most recent projects are highlighted in this report.

ILRC Expert Highlight: Judge David O. Carter, District Court Judge of the United States Courts

Judicial Trainings on Investigation, Prosecution and Adjudication of Cases Related to Financing of Terrorism (Kazakhstan and Tajikistan)

Kazakhstan: If you placed your hand in the handprint of the president, you will have wisdom.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) project in Kazakhstan seeks to promote a regional approach to counter terrorism in Central Asia and, at the same time, strengthen capacities of the respective states to address terrorism-related issues at the national level while respecting the rule of law. The office aimed to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation in terrorism-related casework and facilitate regional dialogue between civil societies and the states for the purpose of preventing radicalization and violent extremism that lead to terrorism. UNODC sought an expert judge to develop a training manual and deliver 2-day trainings to judges on effective adjudication of domestic anti-terrorism legislation, international standards and incorporating the rule of law in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

Judge Carter was selected for this mission. He shares his experience with us below.

UNODC organized a series of “Training of Trainer” courses for prosecutors and judges on the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of cases related to terrorism financing. We conducted several courses in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan to train local judges on how to adjudicate terrorism-related cases in a way that honors the rule of law. In order to ensure that the training was practically effective, we decided to focus on the implementation of domestic anti-terrorism legislation designed to curtail terrorism financing. There were other international experts and trainers recruited from the United Kingdom and from Israel.  This model of two to three experts in each course was particularly successful because the experience and style of delivery enabled us to provide case law samples from different countries.

We held courses for 40 judges in Astana, Kazakhstan, from November 7th to 8th, and 25 judges in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from November 11th to November 12th. There was a parallel course for prosecutors, who were trained separately. The training sessions were very interactive and encouraged judges to grapple with case studies. Participants were presented with draft versions of a training manual, which they used as a reference as they worked through the case studies.

In Kazakhstan, 31 prosecutors (3 female) and 40 judges (21 female) attended. Both training centers, prosecutorial and judicial, in Astana are interested in cooperation with the UNODC on the topic of prevention of extremism and terrorism and criminal justice responses to detection of terrorist threats. The prosecutorial center had previously conducted a training course on religious extremism, but this was only limited to western Kazakhstan. This course was the first exposure to these judges and prosecutors on these subjects. The conference also addressed the problem of religious extremism, referring to misinterpretation of provisions of the law on freedom of religious expression, enacted in 1992. There are currently some 3,500 religious associations operating in Kazakhstan. One of the great concerns of the judges is the registration requirements for these religious associations. There is a real fear of returning extremist Al Qaeda fighters back into Kazakhstan, from where they were recruited. The concern is that they will foment action against the Kazakhstan government. There is a tension between the registration requirements and freedom of association.

In Tajikistan, the judicial training center invited 25 judges (3 female) from all regions of the country. The training center operated a parallel program under the General Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of the deputy head. A total of 30 prosecutors (all male) attended the training courses.

In Astana and Dushanbe, the national training centers under the General Prosecutor’s Office and Justice Institute/Council hosted the courses in the center’s venues. There was a mixture of judges from courts of first and second instances, and from military and supreme courts. A member of the Supreme Court acted as a moderator.

The national training center in Tajikistan does not benefit from state or other funding and relies primarily on external support from international organizations for developing curricula and conducting regular training for national prosecutors and judges. There is little training staff in the Tajikistan training center, and so acting prosecutors and judges with a specific experience and interest or pedagogical background are called on to assume the role of trainers for less experienced prosecutors and judges. The annual curriculum consists of a rough timeline and a wish list of training topics. In Kazakhstan, however, both prosecutorial and judicial training centers rely less on external support to define the training plans and conduct regular and independent training courses.

Three judges from the Golden Age of Kazakh history. They ruled with wisdom.

The general evaluation form in Kazakhstan showed an average evaluation of 9.1 to 9.6 for all five general questions (general evaluation, organization, length of course, quality of presentations, and format of course). The judges commended the explanation of judicial practice from the US and UK and stated that the materials and exchanges would be useful in their professional practice, even after retirement. Certain participants recommended more visual aids and practical examples from the Kazakh experts. Many judges and prosecutors recommended joint training with prosecutors and investigators in law enforcement.

In Tajikistan, the individual comments mentioned very high commendation for the discussions of challenges of adjudicating cases related to financing of terrorism. The judges highly appreciated the model of comparative examples from judges of other jurisdictions, and the opportunity to exchange experience on concrete issues of judicial practice. There is a need for more examples from domestic judicial practice. They would have liked even more time for discussion. There are some proposals and a need to hold training courses in other regions of Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, other than the capitals.

International Models Project on Women’s Rights Task Force

The International Models Project on Women’s Rights (IMPOWR) is a web-based collaborative database, organized under the auspices of the ABA, to leverage legal resources worldwide to empower the global community with information on effective reform and enforcement efforts on laws affecting women’s rights. It plays a unique role in supporting the worldwide implementation of the principles underlying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

IMPOWR is working toward developing new fundraising and programming initiatives to begin this new bar year and welcomes all suggestions for topics or outreach ideas. Contact us with your ideas or fill out the IMPOWR Volunteer Form to find out more about the various opportunities available for you to get involved with IMPOWR.

Program Support Fund

The Section’s Rule of Law Activities are supported by the Section Support Fund under the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (donate online). The Section Support Fund is used for activities to further ABA Goal IV: “to advance the Rule of Law.” The ABA Section of International Law actively contributes to furthering Goal IV. The Section undertook its first overseas project in 1986, and in the more than twenty-five years since, has implemented numerous short- and long-term legal capacity-building projects around the world. The Section’s Rule of Law Officer, Isabella Bunn oversees the Section’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 category. International attorneys with a training offer from a U.S. law firm or legal office can apply for the J-1 visa through the ABA International Section’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, click here.


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