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

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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In my last post I provided a short history on international legal education in the United States. This time I offer the global equivalent: a (very) rough sense for the evolution of law school study requirements in a number of foreign countries, based on a combination of two UNESCO surveys from the mid-twentieth century and my recent research on contemporary practice.

Here are the results: Read more »

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day 6: Givat Haviva

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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On our sixth day in Israel, the students visited Givat Haviva, an educational learning campus with a focus on peace in the Middle East. After a short presentation, our guide Lydia Aisenberg took us directly to the Green Line (the 1947 UN Partition Line) that divides the town of Barta’a (or Barta) between Israel and the West Bank. Rather than speak of the conflict that surrounds the town as a negative force, Lydia explained the history of the Green Line, the cultural richness of the town of Barta’a, and what the division means for the future of the conflict.

Student Ellen French shares her thoughts:

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day 5: Dinner in a Druze Village

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Druze-villageThroughout the trip, the students had opportunities to immerse themselves in the culture of Israel. As part of this ethnic immersion, we enjoyed a dinner in a Druze village.  The Druze religion presented both some familiar elements as well as several that were unique to us. Student Samuel Magnuson recollects the dinner, shares background on the Druze, and gives his thoughts on their culture:

On Wednesday, March 11, after a full day in which we visited the Yardenit Baptism site, Haifa University, and the Bahá’í Gardens, we went to a Druze Village near Haifa for dinner. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me because we got to eat an incredible meal prepared by one of the women in the Druze village. I will explain more about what we learned about the Druze in a minute, but I must first discuss the food. When we arrived, we entered a dining hall where we sat at tables of about eight per table. The meal was family-style, meaning that the hosts kept bringing bowls of deliciousness for us to pass around. Of note, we ate stuffed peppers with arguably the sweetest rice I’ve ever experienced. We also had stuffed grape leaves, a really tasty chickpea dish, meatballs, Mediterranean salad, and a main dish of turkey with rice. While all of it was incredible, I must say that the stuffed peppers and chickpeas stood out to me, partially because neither of these dishes are ones I have been incredibly fond of in the States. However, the way the dishes were prepared that night (possibly because of the sauce) led me to eat seconds, thirds, and maybe fourths of each of these items. I also drank several glasses of what I thought was sweet tea . . . only to find out after that this was actually date juice. Fortunately, my stomach was prepared for such an altercation at this junction of the trip. Read more »

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day 5: Haifa University and Sulha

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Negotiation, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public
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Our Wednesday morning in the north of Israel started with a visit to Yardenit, a site at the base of the Sea of Galilee where it meets the Jordan River near the biblical baptism site. Then we all headed to Haifa University to meet with Professors Orna Einy, Moti Mironi, and Tali Gal–each of whom work in an area of ADR–to learn about their research. After a quick lunch with them, we then turned our attention to a wonderful guest speaker they arranged for us. In a combination of theoretical, spiritual, and academic learning, the students had the great pleasure of hearing Elias Jabbour speak about “Sulha”, or the traditional peacemaking techniques used in Arab villages throughout the Middle East.

Student Molly Madonia retells two of Mr. Jabbour’s stories and recounts his methods to making Sulha:

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day Four: Mount of the Beatitudes

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First thing on Tuesday morning, we headed to the Mount of the Beatitudes. While the grounds were among the smallest we visited, the impact the Church of the Beatitudes on the students was among the largest.  Student Natalie Schiferl writes:

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A First-Timer’s Reflections on Israel

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IsraelI don’t have a handy quote to use as an epigram, but I’m sure that someone has previously, and pithily, expressed the idea that we travel as much to learn about ourselves as to learn about others.  It’s the original form of comparative analysis, a chance to experience other ways of living and doing and thereby to reflect upon our own.  The immediate effect is (often) the experience of novelty – at root the same thrill that accompanies exposure to a new idea, taste, or sound.  “Here is something I haven’t seen before!”  The lingering effect is that of evaluation, an effort to understand.  We humans like to categorize, and so the urge is to place this new experience within our existing mental boxes.  But the fit is not always perfect. When that happens we have to adjust the boxes, and thus our sense of the world. (Of course, there is a danger here, too. We might be so tempted to place things in our existing boxes that we overlook differences.)

Why the holding forth on travel? I will tell you. I had the opportunity to accompany Professor Andrea Schneider and the thirty-three students in her International Dispute Resolution class on their trip to Israel over Spring Break. It was an amazing trip. We encountered theory in the classroom, and the reality of conflict, borders, and displacement outside of it. The people who showed us these things, both the theoretical and the concrete, are themselves deeply immersed in the effort to achieve peace and mitigate the consequences of conflict. Even what might appear to have been the more conventionally touristy parts of the trip – typically involving some historically and/or religiously significant site –served to underscore just how layered and tangled the region’s issues are.

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Israel Reflections 2015 – Day Three: Daphna Golan and Lifta

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On Monday morning, we were off for a quick stop at the open air market at Machane Yehuda and then a tour of the Supreme Court.  And then we had the distinct treat of our own personal tour of Lifta, a destroyed Palestinian village since 1948 right on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  Leading our tour was Daphna Golan, professor of law at Hebrew University and director of the Minerva Human Rights Program.  Daphna was also a co-founder of B’Tselem, one of the first human rights organizations in Israel promoting Palestinian human rights.  In short, she is a human rights activist extraordinaire.  She is also a big believer of experiential learning and decided that rather than giving us a lecture in a classroom, she would take us on a field trip.  It was amazing!

Lifta-gateway

Student Adam Marshall recounts his experience:

“Our trip to Lifta was arguably the best spontaneous adventure I have ever taken. While on the outskirts of Jerusalem, we were met by Daphna Golan, who is a professor at Hebrew University. Instead of sitting in another lecture and hearing from another professor, she decided that we needed to experience this part of Israel up close. What started off as a seemingly normal walk and talk quickly turned into a breath-taking experience of a historic and neglected Palestinian village. Read more »

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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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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.

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