The Study of International Law in American Law Schools: A Brief History

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Public
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As I’ve discussed in other posts, international law has a fairly peripheral role in American legal education. Only eight schools require their students to complete a course on the subject, and the range of international electives tends to be quite limited. Wondering whether this is only a recent phenomenon or instead something with deeper roots, I did a little research into historical practice. It turns out that scholars have surveyed the state of international legal education in the United States multiple times over the course of the past century. By combining their work—including two particularly good pieces by Manley Hudson (1929) and William Bishop (1953)—with a recent survey of my own, we can gain at least a rough sense for how the curriculum has evolved over time. Here’s what I found:

First, international law had a role even in the Founding era. In 1779, for example, the law of nations was added to the instructional duties of the “moral professor” at William & Mary. In 1790, James Wilson devoted a “considerable part” of his lectures at the College of Philadelphia to the law of nations, while James Kent lectured on the subject at King’s College just a few years later. According to Hudson, “the law of nations had a recognized place in the pursuit of a legal education, and it formed a part of the learning of many of the better-educated lawyers” of the period. Read more »

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day Two (Last One!): Gershon Baskin and IPCRI

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Negotiation, Public
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gershonbaskin2130_800Late in the evening on Sunday, March 8, we met with Gershon Baskin and Riman Barakat.

This was our last (official) meeting of a long day involving talks about peace and conflict resolution, and it way it was, as student Kelsey Mader called it, “the perfect way to end.” The rest of Kelsey’s recap follows:

We met Gershon and Riman at The Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), an organization in Jerusalem that focuses on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a focus on peace and coexistence.  IPCRI supports a two-state solution in which both the Israeli and Palestinian people would have a nation and place to call home.  Gershon and Riman were both on the founding team of this organization and are still working unwaveringly toward their goal of peace.  You can visit IPCRI’s website for more information: http://ipcri.org/httpdocs/IPCRI/Who_We_Are.html.

Gershon Baskin has been involved in many negotiations on behalf of Israel – very notably, Gershon negotiated on behalf of Israel for the release of Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s control in the Gaza strip.  Gershon had many pieces of insightful information to share with us regarding his experiences and his opinions about how Israel and Palestine should move forward, but what stood out to me most was the list of eight things he shared as vital elements to a peace resolution.  Those eight elements were: (1) Palestinian statehood; (2) borders; (3) Jerusalem; (4) refugees; (5) physical link between Gaza and the West Bank; (6) economics; (7) national resources; and (8) security arrangements.  This was the first time I remember someone so clearly articulating their thoughts about a peace resolution.  It hit me how complex and emotional this issue is – eight large, heavy, sensitive elements that must be a part to a successful agreement.  It struck me how idyllic peace seems – are we crazy to strive for it when there is so much that seems to stand in the way?  Or are we crazy not to?

Cross-posted at http://www.indisputably.org.

 

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Israel Reflections 2015: Vienna to Israel and the Lady in Gold

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Popular Culture & Law, Public
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adele-bloch-bauerWell, I had very high hopes for being able to blog while in Israel and those were quickly dashed between the total lack of sleep and need to reflect on what we were seeing!  So finally, now that we have been back for a week, I will start posting about the sights and visits that we had.  We stopped over on the way and spent about 8 hours running around Vienna.  This proved to be a terrific stop because we were able to link two different visits in Israel to what we saw in Vienna.  We started at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna where the famous Klimt painting, The Kiss, is shown.  Up until very recently, the Belvedere also housed a painting known as the Lady in Gold (seen above).  And you can still see t-shirts and mugs bearing the likeness of this painting through downtown Vienna.  But this painting is now longer there.

It turns out the Lady in Gold is actually The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a well-known society woman in Vienna who commissioned the portrait at the turn of the century.  Unfortunately for her and her heirs, Adele was Jewish.  The painting was looted during the Holocaust, the name changed to hide its original identity, and it took a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2004 (Republic of Austria v. Altmann)  to get this painting back to the family — a niece by the name of Maria Altmann. Read more »

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MULS Conference to Consider Human Trafficking and Restorative Justice

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Category: Criminal Law & Process, Human Rights, Immigration Law, International Law & Diplomacy, Labor & Employment Law, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, Poverty & Law, Public
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MartinaVImage_0On Thursday and Friday, Marquette Law School will host an important conference, “Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking — From Wisconsin to the World.”  As the title suggests, human trafficking — for sex or labor — is a both a global human rights problem and a significant issue locally.  Hundreds of cases have been reported in Wisconsin, mostly in the Milwaukee area.  The conference is designed to raise awareness about trafficking and to help concerned citizens get involved in efforts to address the problem.

The Conference kicks off at 4:30 on Thursday with a keynote address by Martina Vandenberg (pictured above), who leads the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in Washington, D.C.  Vandenberg has worked on cases involving trafficking and other humans rights violations around the world.

On Friday, the Conference will continue with a full schedule of speakers and panels.  A panel of victim-survivors will share their experiences.  Local leaders and activists will discuss the impact of trafficking and current efforts to help victims.  Other speakers will cover the existing legal framework, potential legal reforms, and the international context of trafficking.

The Conference is sold out, but there will be a live feed that can be viewed by clicking on the “Watch Now” tabs in the pages linked to above.

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Some Perspective from Five Marquette Lawyers Who Are General Counsel

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Category: Corporate Law, International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Practice, Public, Speakers at Marquette
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You are the general counsel of a large corporation. Your company is involved in negotiations to buy a competitor and there are layers upon layers of complexity and risk. Is a lawsuit against the competitor a deal-killer or no big deal? Why is a key employee of the other company about to bolt for a third company? Business for your own company has been slipping. Do you need this deal to save your company or will the deal wreck what you do have? The questions—and the pressure—build.

Ray Manista, Cari Logemann, Paul Dacier, Julie Van Straten, and Frank Steeves in Eckstein Hall’s Appellate Room

Ray Manista, Cari Logemann, Paul Dacier, Julie Van Straten, and Frank Steeves in Eckstein Hall’s Appellate Room

Paul Dacier, L’83, outlined the scenario before a capacity audience in the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall on Feb. 20, and as he did so, he asked members of the audience how they would handle each step.

As Dacier’s story comes to a head: The CEO calls you into his office. “It’s just the two of you in the room and the CEO is sweating bullets,” Dacier says. He wants to know what you as general counsel recommend.

Read more »

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Congratulations to Marquette’s 2015 Jessup Team

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
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JessupCongratulations to 3Ls Xheneta Ademi, Tyler Nash, Frank Remington, and Patrick Winter for reaching the quarterfinals of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Midwest Regionals in Chicago this past weekend.  In its 56th year, the Jessup Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious moot court competitions.  The Midwest region is comprised of 21 teams.  Our Marquette team went 3 and 1 to advance to the quarterfinal rounds.

Attys. and Marquette Law alumni Juan Amado (Jessup, 2011), Matt Tobin (Jessup, 2014) and Drew Walgreen (MU moot court, 2013), as well as Professors Megan A. O’Brien and Ryan Scoville served as team advisors.  This year’s Jessup problem involved treaty interpretation in light of a claim of fundamental change in circumstances; a state’s use of countermeasures in response to an alleged breach; and, procedural and substantive issues resulting from a seccessionist movement.  Congratulations, again, to our MU Law School team for their tremendous effort in tackling these complex international law issues.

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More on Boehner’s Invitation to Netanyahu

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Category: Constitutional Interpretation, International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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As I mentioned in my previous post, House Speaker John Boehner recently invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on the subject of Iran’s nuclear program, and he did this without consulting the White House. Over the last few days, a number of commentators have argued that the invitation is unconstitutional because it interferes with the President’s authority over diplomatic relations. This morning I posted a response over at the blog Just Security; it’s available here.

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Some Historical Perspective on Netanyahu’s Address to Congress

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Category: Constitutional Law, International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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Today there’s some interesting news from the realm of foreign relations law: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give an address to Congress next month on the topic of Iran’s nuclear program, presumably to encourage legislators to support a hardline stance and perhaps to undermine the President’s ongoing efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution. To me, the noteworthy part is not so much the address itself, but rather the process by which it was arranged: the White House had no role. In fact, the Administration didn’t even know about it until today. John Boehner says that he invited Netanyahu without consulting officials from the executive branch because “Congress can make [such a] decision on its own.” The President’s Press Secretary responded that it was a breach of protocol for Netanyahu to plan a visit without first contacting the White House.

A couple of quick points. First, addresses of this type have a long historical pedigree. Consider these facts from the Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives, which has a fun website on the subject: Read more »

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Compelled Diplomacy in Zivotofsky v. Kerry

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Category: Constitutional Law, International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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To the parties and lower courts, Zivotofsky v. Kerry has been a dispute primarily about the nature of the President’s power to recognize foreign borders. But what if the law also raises another, entirely separate issue under Article II?

In a new essay in the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, I discuss the possibility that Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 is unconstitutional not because it recognizes a border or materially interferes with the implementation of U.S. recognition policy, but simply because it purports to compel diplomatic speech that the President opposes. From this angle, Zivotofsky presents a question about who controls official diplomatic communications, and recognition is beside the point. The essay is available here.

 

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The Problem with a Grand Bargain on the Senkaku Islands

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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Lately there have been a variety of proposals for cooperative solutions to the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Senkaku Islands, but these proposals seem to suffer from a common problem in that they misapply international law in ways that uniformly disfavor Japan. Today I published a short article with The National Interest to explain this point; it’s available here.

 

 

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Study Abroad in Giessen, Germany

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public
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2014 Program ParticipantsApplication materials are now available for the 7th Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, held each summer at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.  The program is a joint offering of the Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the Faculty of Law at Justus Liebig University.

This summer’s program will run from July 18 until August 15.  Participants choose two courses from among the following offerings, for a total of four credits : International Economic Law and Business Transactions, Comparative Law, The Law of Armed Conflict, and International Intellectual Property Law.  All classes are offered in English.

Each summer, the program attracts participants from Marquette, UW, other American law schools and students from all over the world.  This past summer, international students came from Turkey, Portugal, Togo, Ethiopia, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, Great Britain, Colombia, Germany and Australia, among other countries.  Courses are taught by an international faculty.  Students learn from each other as much as from faculty, as classroom discussions provide different perspectives that cut across legal systems and cultures.

Additional information and an application form are available on the program’s webpage.  Course descriptions are available here.  Brief faculty biographies are available here.

Law students considering a study abroad experience should consider these ten reasons for participating in the Summer Session in Giessen, Germany.

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Back From Japan: What I Learned

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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Recently I went to Japan as part of a small group of American academics and researchers who are interested in Japanese foreign policy. During the trip, we met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Coast Guard, and Cabinet Secretariat to discuss recent developments in regional security and U.S.-Japan relations. Unsurprisingly, many of the meetings focused on the Senkaku Islands. In this post, I’ll share a few things I learned.

There’s Still “No Dispute”

During the meetings, it quickly became apparent that some media outlets in the West haven’t accurately characterized current Japanese policy. Tokyo’s longstanding position has been that there’s “no dispute” over the Senkakus—the territory belongs to Japan and there is nothing to negotiate or even talk about. This view is of course controversial in China, which also claims the Islands, and the two sides have been engaged in a fairly protracted and tense standoff as a result. To reduce tensions and improve bilateral relations, China and Japan jointly released a four-point statement on November 7th. Sources ranging from The Diplomat to The New York Times reported the statement as evidence of a significant shift in policy: Japan would now recognize the existence of a dispute. On this view, the recent statement was a major concession to China because recognizing a dispute might open the door to bilateral negotiations that could have only one effect—namely, an erosion of Japan’s effective control over the territory. Read more »

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