- Message from John Riccardi
- Feature Stories
- School News
- Faculty Updates
- International Law Events at BU Law
Happy New Year from BU Law. I am pleased to share this second edition of our International Newsletter.
Our first edition highlighted the international pursuits and experiences of our students, both J.D. and LL.M. students alike. Here, we focus on our global community and the tapestry of perspectives that our faculty, graduates and special events bring to the Law Tower.
One of the features spotlights the world of international business arbitration through the eyes of one of the world’s leading experts—Professor William “Rusty” Park, BU Law’s R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law and president of the London Court of International Arbitration. You will also learn about the impact of BU Law’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, led by Professor Susan Akram, in the case of Nadege Dorzema et al. vs. Dominican Republic at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.
Global events on campus—a vital component of who we are—continue to inspire and engage. For an update, read about the 2012 conference “Still Waiting for Tomorrow: the Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises,” and the upcoming visit of Andrew C. Hall, the school’s inaugural Kleh Visiting Professor in International Law.
I hope you enjoy this passport to our international community.
Welcome to the world of BU Law!
John N. Riccardi
Assistant Dean for Graduate
and International Programs
An interview with Professor William W. Park
Professor Park began his legal career in Paris, practicing in the area of international business transactions. He then returned home to Boston University to teach tax and banking. In recent years, his scholarly and professional activities have focused on international dispute resolution. He is the general editor of the journal Arbitration International and president of the London Court of International Arbitration.
A native of Massachusetts, Park studied European history at Yale and the University of Paris. During his early academic career, he took a leave of absence from teaching to work as counsel to a multinational bank based in Geneva. Park later served as director of BU Law's Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law. He has held visiting academic appointments at Cambridge University, Dijon, Hong Kong, Auckland and Geneva. His publications include Arbitration of International Business Disputes, International Forum Selection, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration, International Commercial Arbitration and Income Tax Treaty Arbitration.
More prominent roles: Park’s more visible international roles now include his service as president of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), which traces its origin to 1883. He was recently elected the first American president of the Court, where, among other functions, he appoints arbitrators, hears challenges, and supervises the filing of amicus briefs on matters related to the health of arbitration. He also plays an increasingly prominent role in resolving disputes arising between foreign investors and host states related to allegations of expropriation or discrimination, particularly pursuant to the rules of the ICSID. Prior to assuming his work at the LCIA and ICSID, Park was active in the resolution of Holocaust-related litigation, serving as an arbitrator both in Zürich, with respect to dormant Swiss bank accounts, and in London, for Holocaust-era insurance claims.
International arbitration is a common way of resolving cross-border commercial and investment disputes, with the litigants opting for binding and final dispute resolution outside national courts. For most commercial and financial disputes, arbitration derives from an agreement to waive jurisdiction to otherwise applicable courts in favor of proceedings before a “private judge,” known as an arbitrator. Unlike mediation or conciliation, arbitration results in awards, which, through an extensive treaty network, have res judicata and litis pendens effect around the globe. A close legal cousin to commercial arbitration can be found in “investor-state” proceedings, which address alleged takings of foreign-owned property protected by investment treaties and free trade agreements.
Why is arbitration sometimes preferable to resolving international business disputes through the legal system?
Park: The word “sometimes” rightly suggests that arbitration may not always be the better choice. The devil lies in the detail. Not a few practitioners have committed malpractice on unsuspecting clients by drafting forum selection clauses ill-suited to the particular transaction, making unwarranted assumptions about efficiency, predictability and confidentiality.
Analogous mischief has also been visited in the world by some academics whose preferred adjudicatory paradigms derive more from ideology than from realistic assessment of the aggregate social and economic consequences of different forms of dispute resolution.
The word “preferable” begs another question: preferred by whom? Arbitration of international transactions often justifies itself to the business managers as a way to promote more level adjudicatory playing fields. In this connection, level remains a relative notion. In a stubbornly heterogeneous world lacking any supra-national judiciary with mandatory jurisdiction, arbitration enhances a certain measure of neutrality, both political and procedural, which in turn promotes respect for shared ex ante expectations at the time of a contract or investment.
In a domestic context, failed dispute resolution clauses may not matter so much. If a Boston seller must sue a Georgia buyer in Atlanta, the dispute will take place within a relatively homogeneous linguistic and procedural context. Proceedings can usually be expected to unfold in some variant of the English language according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. By contrast, if the buyer is in Athens, Algiers or Aix-en-Provence, the court action may proceed not in the language of Shakespeare, but in the tongue of Demosthenes, Mohammed or Molière, according to an unfamiliar code of civil procedure. In some parts of the world, there may be concerns about the fundamental integrity of the judicial system.
By contrast, through arbitration the litigants can convene a tribunal in a mutually accessible place, chaired by someone of a nationality different from either side, with proceedings in a commonly understood language, and according to procedural guidelines that give neither side an unfair advantage.
What types of business disputes are most often resolved through commercial arbitration at the LCIA? Can you give some examples?
Park: The LCIA administers cases which fall along the commercial and financial spectrum. An American pharmaceutical company, visited with large jury verdicts in product liability litigation, might seek reimbursement from its insurers in Europe pursuant to a policy providing for arbitration in London. Or a corporate acquisition might turn sour if the buyer and seller do not see eye-to-eye over which side bears certain contingent liabilities or picks up particular costs of the joint-venture process, which can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Is it common practice today for international business contracts to include a clause stipulating that commercial arbitration be used to resolve disputes?
Park: We normally want to haul the other guy before our own courts. Yet such “hometown justice” will not likely enhance economic cooperation. Agreements providing advance designation of a selected court or arbitral forum have been enforced for the past four decades through a line of U.S. Supreme Court decisions recognizing that American companies cannot have international trade and commerce exclusively on their own terms.
For cases based on free trade agreements and investment conventions, a contractual arbitration agreement is unnecessary, since the treaty itself obliges the host state to arbitrate.
Once a dispute is referred to the LCIA, how is an arbitrator (or a panel of arbitrators) selected for the case? Do the parties in the matter have any influence over the assignments?
Park: Often it falls to me or my delegate to appoint arbitrators. In many cases, however, the parties will provide that each side nominates an arbitrator, with the two party-nominated arbitrators selecting the third individual to “chair” the tribunal. Of course, if agreement on that third person proves elusive, selection again falls to me or my delegate. But the work does not end with appointment. An even more difficult duty lies in hearing challenges based on alleged bias of an arbitrator. At the end of last year, the LCIA published a book on the subject to provide guidance on specific circumstances likely to justify challenges.
Globally, there are numerous institutions administering arbitration cases. To what degree are there standardized rules, procedures and codes of conduct?
Park: Many provisions follow similar patterns across the spectrum of different rules. For example, a near-universal consensus exists today that every arbitrator, even party-nominated, must be both independent and impartial. In other matters, however, significant differences arise. For example, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris requires establishment of preliminary “Terms of Reference” to set forth the contours of the dispute. The LCIA rules contain a rather unique provision for joinder of third parties in certain circumstances. Arbitral institutions also differ in the method for fixing an arbitrator’s fees, with some opting for an ad valorem basis (calculated on the amount in dispute), while others permit arbitrators to bill on an hourly or daily rate.
Since your appointment to ICSID, the World Bank arbitration institute, you have arbitrated many so-called "investor-state" disputes. What is investor-state arbitration, and how is it different from commercial arbitration?
Park: Americans know investor-state arbitration through NAFTA, which provides guarantees against expropriation without compensation and discrimination based on the investor’s foreign nationality. There is a network of over 2,000 bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements, which provide analogous protections. Most simply, investor-state state arbitration relates to takings of foreign-owned property, direct or indirect, either by operation of law or de facto. For example, a multinational company might be aggrieved because its investment in “Country X” has been subject to what it perceives as a confiscatory tax, or modified rules for repatriation of earnings arguably impair the investment’s value.
Do all countries recognize the right of investors to resolve disputes through arbitration and the binding nature of arbitration decisions?
Park: Most countries have endorsed arbitration. Indeed, the United Nations Convention on Foreign Arbitration Awards may well be the most successful commercial treaty in history, operating to provide international currency to arbitration awards in approximately 150 countries. Nevertheless, fashion invades the realm of ideas no less than the length of ladies’ hemlines or the tilt of students’ baseball caps. Forty years ago, the so-called “New International Economic Order” attempted unsuccessfully to limit arbitration, an approach ultimately rejected by most countries, which came to see that the absence of an arbitration option put a chill on welfare-enhancing economic teamwork. Today the number of countries that openly reject international arbitration can be counted on the fingers of a single hand.
What accounts for the increased frequency of investor-state disputes?
Park: Economic relationships implicate different perceptions of what is fair and unfair, or what constitutes discrimination. Not surprisingly, divergent views also exist on how to value property interests.
Are there other “hot” legal issues or major trends in the field of international business arbitration these days?
Park: Folks differ on the appropriateness of requiring arbitrators to be of a nationality different from that of the parties. In practice, the issue arises only for the presiding arbitrator of a three-member tribunal case, or the sole arbitrator in cases decided by a single person. Traditionally, the assumption has been that a dispute, let us say, between a French entity and a British company would better be decided by someone other than a Londoner or a Parisian. However, a recent English case, Jivraj v. Hashwani, raised questions about that conclusion. The case itself concerned qualifications for arbitrators chosen by members of a religious group, such as the “Beth Din” within the Jewish community. Nationality requirements were seen as analogous. Some felt such limits should be rejected as a form of discrimination. Another subject that gets mooted at most arbitration conferences relates to cost and delay, or, more precisely, the best procedural techniques to balance efficiency and fairness so as to reduce expense and time. Finally, class action arbitrations have come into the news, both for investor-state cases and for arbitrations conducted within the United States.
You’ve been involved in international arbitration since the 1970s. How did you first get started in the field?
Park: One hot Sunday afternoon in August, my senior partner called me during a late lunch with friends at my apartment on the Ile St. Louis. He gave instructions to get on the next train from Paris to Toulon, in the south of France, where one of his clients risked losing two large ships seized by a local commercial court. After much coaxing, the fulminating business managers finally provided me a copy of their contract. This turned out to include an arbitration clause (which they had forgotten) permitting arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce. The rest is history.
What is a typical career path for a lawyer entering the field today? Is there a formal training process?
Park: In my generation, most lawyers who did international arbitration began with litigation departments of large law firms. Today, however, there are excellent degree programs in Geneva and London, as well as the Arbitration Academy in Paris, which has me delivering the General Course this coming July.
You teach a course in International Business Arbitration. Have you seen a growing interest in commercial arbitration among students?
Park: The course is always over-subscribed. One key component is the requirement of a seminar paper. Even the best of arbitration lawyers must communicate thoughts through grammatical sequences aimed at others within and outside their own legal cultures.
What advice would you give students who want to enter the field?
Park: Take a broad variety of courses. Be sure to have studied the basics, including commercial code, evidence, corporations, tax, securities and competition law.
What do you find most interesting or rewarding about the field?
Park: First and foremost, meeting people. It has been my privilege to chair tribunals including retired judges, ambassadors and professors far more eminent than myself, and to hear advocacy from some of the best attorneys in the world. Also high on the list would be the task of deciding cases and writing awards. Decisions must demonstrate why one approach or the other commends itself with respect to controverted facts or delicate legal analysis. For big-ticket items, parties expect arbitrators to communicate the “why” as well as the “what” of their decisions.
Boston University School of Law, along with co-sponsors, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), brought together some of the most influential international scholars, activists and counsel to address protracted refugee situations across the globe at an April conference held on campus.
"Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises" aimed to not only understand the scope of some of the largest and most long-standing conflicts, but to examine the existing legal frameworks, limitations and political tensions undermining the protection of asylum-seekers around the world.
BU Law students had the opportunity to work alongside representatives from major international organizations—including Human Rights Watch, United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Relief and Works Agency. For those seeking careers in refugee and international law, in particular, the real-world context and networking opportunity offered a rich supplement to their education.
The final phase of the summit focused on identifying potential solutions and policies that could reduce the widespread issue, hoping to incite international action.
Susan Akram and her Asylum and Human Rights Clinic students file amicus brief in response to the Guayubin Massacre
On the evening of June 18, 2000, 37 Haitians attempted to enter the Dominican Republic. When they arrived in Guayubin, a city about 30 miles past the border, their truck was shot at repeatedly by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic. Seven unarmed civilians were killed. Thirty others were wounded or injured.
Victims were repeatedly shot. The dead were left for hours before being buried in a mass grave. The survivors, including women and children, allege that they were forcibly detained by the military and never given rights to judicial or administrative processes.
The incident, known as the Guayubin Massacre, recently went to trial as Nadege Dorzema et al. vs. Dominican Republic at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.
On July 9, 2012, at the request of the litigation team on the case that included members of the McGill International Human Rights Clinic in Canada, the Asylum and Human Rights clinical program of Boston University School of Law filed an amicus curiae brief with the court. Written and filed in both English and Spanish by BU Law Professor Susan Akram, BU Law student Catalina Blanco Buitrago ('13), visiting LL.M. Timnah Baker and graduate fellow Shannon Jonsson ('11), the brief was joined by 35 other legal scholars—including co-signers Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, senior research fellow and professor of international refugee law at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and Caroline Bettinger-López, director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law.
According to the brief, this case showcases the "grave threat to the commitment to human rights in the Americas posed by the militarization of the Dominican Republic's border in response to irregular entrants and migrants from Haiti."
"The Dominican Republic's acts in this case were a function of the excessive militarization of border patrol and inspections, a dangerous and expanding trend in the American region," the brief states.
Akram, who teaches comparative refugee law and international human rights law, and also acts as supervising attorney in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, said that the issues in this case are "very compelling," and that their brief could "present the unique perspective of amici from refugee and migration law and policy experts."
"The issues about lack of rights for migrants and refugees have both a particular context in the Haiti-Dominican Republic relationship, and a more general context in terms of serious rights violations on many borders in the Americas relating to militarization of border policies," Akram said.
"Working on the amicus brief was an incredible experience from start to finish," said Jonsson, who worked as a graduate fellow at the AHR Clinic following her graduation from BU Law in 2011. "Our team at the clinic did a great job working through multiple drafts of the brief over the course of many months."
Catalina Blanco Buitrago said that the most rewarding part of the work was realizing how many people and organizations were willing to sign their names to the brief.
"It's one thing to shake your head in disapproval when you hear about the human rights abuses hundreds of miles away; it is a completely different thing to act upon that disapproval," she said.
"As a student who had only minimal experience researching international law and international law cases, there was a huge learning curve," Blanco Buitrago said. "I don't think anything else would have given me the opportunity to learn so much about international law in so little time."
In late October, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a decision in favor of the victims of the Guyubin Massacre, ordering the Dominican Republic to pay reparation and reform its laws. The judgement mentions the arguments set forth in Akram and her students' amicus brief.
On April 23, BU Law was fortunate to host alumna Jessica LeCroy (’80), a former U.S. diplomat who is currently a senior business and strategic policy adviser in the Toronto office of the international law firm Bennett Jones LLP. LeCroy spent much of the day in individual advising sessions with students at the Career Development Office. She also visited Professor Virginia Greiman’s International Development and Project Finance class, where she spoke to students about her experiences in the Foreign Service and the value of legal training in alternative careers outside the practice of law.
LeCroy joined the Foreign Service three years after graduating from BU Law, following a stint as a corporate lawyer in Dallas, Texas. Early in her 25-year diplomatic career, she said, she was typecast as someone who could thrive in conflict zones, and this resulted in postings to some of the world’s trouble spots (Nicaragua, Georgia, Bosnia, Iraq). Later she served as national security adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. consul general in Toronto, and deputy director of policy in the Office of the Ambassador at Large for Counterterrorism, among other positions. LeCroy spoke candidly about the challenges of working as a diplomat, especially in assessing what had gone wrong in Iraq. But she also told one story about a chapter of her career when, against long odds, initiative and hard work paid off. We share that story here.
In 1992, Jessica LeCroy was assigned to the newly independent Republic of Georgia to help open the first U.S. embassy in Tbilisi, the capital. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, civil war raged in Georgia, including fierce ethnic conflicts involving separatists in the regions of South Ossetia, Adjara and Abkhazia.
LeCroy had been in the country for only a short while when she found herself talking to the Turkish ambassador to Georgia at a reception. As they chatted, the ambassador spoke about his vision and career-long efforts for a new oil pipeline running west from the rich oil fields under the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, a port on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, where the Turks had a large refinery. LeCroy listened with interest and asked a number of questions. The next day, the ambassador called her and asked, “Are you really interested in this?” He invited LeCroy to visit his office, and when she arrived she found an enormous map of the region already spread out on the floor. Together, she and the ambassador and his staff walked around on the map as he showed her various possible routes for the pipeline. These proposed routes began on the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the oil terminals in Baku, Azerbaijan, and then moved west through either Georgia or Armenia before turning southwest into Turkey. The ambassador also pointed out alternate routes northward through Russia, which was the only direction in which Caspian oil had flowed during the Soviet era. LeCroy and the ambassador discussed the benefits—local, regional and geostrategic—that would derive from a pipeline project: breaking the Russian stranglehold by diversifying oil supplies to new markets, including Israel; enhancing economic growth, independence and stability of the countries in the region with jobs, infrastructure and oil transit fees; and reducing environmental risks associated with congested oil tanker traffic through the Bosphorus.
Knowing that the proposed pipeline had the potential to be a global game-changer, LeCroy decided to send a detailed report to the State Department in Washington. She went to her boss at the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi and requested permission to work on the pipeline issue. Permission was denied. LeCroy’s boss wanted her to focus on the civil war in Abkhazia, a conflict that LeCroy had come to believe was “frozen,” with little chance of resolution. He also questioned the feasibility of a pipeline project in a country embroiled in three civil wars, with no functioning banking system and limited infrastructure. But after some wrangling, he agreed to allow LeCroy to pursue the pipeline issue on her own time, although he assured her that, while working in Georgia, in an understaffed embassy and an unstable living environment (little electricity, chronic water shortages, severe safety concerns), she would have no time of her own.
For a couple of months, LeCroy plugged quietly away at the pipeline issue during odd moments, gathering more information and eventually developing a 15-page memo. But she was reluctant to send the memo, fearing that once it arrived in Washington, it would disappear into “a bureaucratic black hole.” What she needed, she realized, was a precipitating event that would create circumstances where a proposal like this would draw interest—some kind of geopolitical event that would create headlines. “The Russians doing something—that’s what I thought would happen,” she recalled. “The Russians would do something to go after energy resources in the former Soviet republics; then it would be like a race to the moon, and this pipeline idea would certainly garner the attention it deserved.”
So she waited. Months went by, and then one day a Georgian casually mentioned an upcoming conference in London on Caspian oil, and that the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Bill White, would be there. This was not the type of geopolitical event LeCroy had been waiting for, but she saw her chance. She sent her memo by cable to Washington and also to the American embassy in London, noting that it should be passed to White while he was at the conference. Two days went by and she heard nothing. Then, on the third day, the embassy in Tbilisi received an urgent phone call from the London embassy saying that LeCroy’s memo had caused “quite a stir” and that Bill White would be changing his travel plans to come directly to Georgia from London.
As things turned out, it was weeks, not days, before White arrived in Georgia, but when he came he brought with him a large delegation, including representatives of the major oil companies and energy-policy experts from the U.S. government, to meet with Georgian leaders. The delegation’s arrival heralded a new level of U.S. involvement in Caspian oil development. In 1993, the first documentation was signed for the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline, which would carry oil from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Ceyhan, Turkey by way of Georgia. That same year, serious preparations began for the construction of a precursor pipeline—the Western “early oil” pipeline—which would transport Caspian oil through Georgia to shipping terminals on the Black Sea.
LeCroy recalled working feverishly in those early years with dozens of international lawyers and government and oil consortium officials, solving problems and addressing concerns related to the pipeline plans. At one point the head of the Georgian Green Party (who would later become prime minister of Georgia, now deceased) protested a proposal to take the pipeline through a sensitive nature preserve. LeCroy successfully worked with him to have a re-routed line included in the original draft plan before it could become a controversial issue.
LeCroy served as head of the Tbilisi embassy’s political and economic sections from 1993 to 1996. She left the country before the two Western pipelines were completed (the “early oil” pipeline in 1998, and the BTC pipeline in 2005), but she has monitored their progress and impact over the years with a sense of satisfaction. In Georgia, the pipelines have helped to bring stability and prosperity. “There was a catalyst for economic activity,” LeCroy explained. “They had equity, something to live for, and they did not want to fight… Meanwhile, Abkhazia is still a frozen ethnic conflict.”
Today, Georgia continues to face considerable problems, even after the 2003 Rose Revolution forced out the corrupt government of former president Eduard Shevardnadze and led to democratic reforms. The World Bank listed Georgia as a top reformer as recently as 2008, and Transparency International has identified Georgia as one of the least corrupt countries in the region. Georgia is currently in free trade discussions with both the U.S. and the EU.
LeCroy’s early contribution in mobilizing U.S. involvement in the pipeline project is not widely known, although it is preserved in Foreign Service records. Still, there are those in Georgia who remember her determination in pursuing the issue. She recalled as a sweet memory overhearing the pipeline plan referred to by the Georgian phrase “kalbaton jesikas navtobsadeni,” which translates as “Miss Jessica’s oil pipeline.”
"Learn to embrace risk!" emphasized Mitul Desai ('98) on Feb. 9 to a group of BU Law students interested in pursuing international law and foreign relations.
For Desai, a senior adviser for strategic partnerships in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of South & Central Asian Affairs, taking risks has led to an illustrious career that has included practicing transactional and Intellectual Property law at a large firm, practicing in-house at a major pharmaceutical company, becoming a research analyst at an equity firm dealing with health and life sciences, founding a health sciences market research start-up company, and most recently working in the public sector.
Throughout his eclectic professional experiences, Desai has remained loyal to a broad set of principles, which include continual self-evaluation and blurring the line between personal interests and professional interests. Most important, Desai explained to the students, is not to obsess too much over a five- or ten-year plan.
"The world is becoming far more friendly to people with multiple interests rather than an obsession with specialization," he explained.
The lunch and advising session were part of an ongoing series of alumni-student meetings orchestrated by the Career Development and Public Service Office (CDO).
Andrew C. Hall named the first William & Patricia Kleh Visiting Professor in International Law
Andrew C. Hall
Andrew C. Hall—Holocaust survivor, celebrated leader in the fight against state-sponsored terrorism, and founder of Hall, Lamb and Hall in Miami—has been named the inaugural Kleh Visiting Professor in International Law.
Hall’s impressive resume of high-profile cases includes the defense of John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s former senior adviser for domestic affairs, in the Watergate trial, as well as the recovery of a multi-million-dollar settlement from the Sudanese government for the families of U.S. sailors who died in the USS Cole attack. An expert litigator, he has successfully sued Iraq and Libya, as well, and won judgment on behalf of a Cuban expatriate for damages stemming from the Castro regime—including the forced suicide of the plaintiff’s father. Additionally, his casework involves complex commercial litigation, professional negligence, securities litigation and arbitration, family law, personal injury, and wrongful death.
William Kleh with his wife, Patricia
Hall will visit the Law Tower in February to serve as guest speaker in several classes, conduct workshops with students and confer with faculty. On Wednesday, February 27, he will deliver a lecture, entitled "Taking On State Sponsors of Terrorism: A New Frontier in International Tort Litigation," to the larger BU Law community. Please visit BU Law's events page in the coming weeks for additional information.
This extraordinary opportunity is made possible through the generosity of Patricia and William H. Kleh (’71), who pledged $1M in February 2011 to establish the visiting professorship.
William Kleh is a Boston University overseer and sits on the University’s Board of International Alumni. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and a longtime supporter of the law school and University.
Creation of BU Global Programs and Interactive Web Portal
Boston University takes pride in being a global university founded on the principle of academic engagement within Boston and internationally. Starting from the nation’s first collegiate international exchange program, created at BU at the end of the 19th century, the global reach and impact of BU continues to grow. In order to provide leadership and support to increase the visibility, success and impact of BU’s extensive educational, research and service program activities around the world, President Robert A. Brown created BU Global Programs in 2011 and named Willis G. Wang as the vice president and associate provost for Global Programs. One of the first initiatives of Global Programs was to collect information on all international activities involving BU students, faculty and staff. This information, once compiled, was used to create the BU Global Portal and Interactive Map. Please click on the link to learn about the tremendous diversity of Boston University’s global activities.
Ann and Bob Seidman retire from BU Law faculty
Longtime BU Law professors Ann and Bob Seidman retired last spring after teaching at the School for a combined 49 years. Together, their influence has spread globally—working in 30 different countries, co-authoring over 35 books and articles, and serving as United Nations consultants, all during 65 years of marriage.
Throughout their careers the Seidmans have focused on using the law to bring about democratic social change. They have helped draft the constitutions of Namibia and Somalia and served as advisers for legislative drafting processes in China, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
“One of the reasons why we’ve been invited everywhere, whether it’s China or Africa or wherever,” Anne Seidman says, is that “people have been very interested in this—how do you use law to facilitate development, democratic social change?”
As a testament to the demand for their research and experience, their co-authored manual Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change: A Manual for Drafters (with Nalin Abeysekere, Kluwer Law International 2001) has been translated into Arabic, Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese, Farsi, Macedonian, Russian, Sinhalese and Vietnamese.
The process they have developed, Bob Seidman says, is to “start out with a detailed examination of what’s going on in the society right now, and then you try and see in what way a change in the law can change the behaviors which constitute the social problem.”
Before BU Law, the Seidmans taught at the University of Ghana, University of Laos, University of Zambia, University College of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the University of Wisconsin. They were both Fulbright Professors at Peking University in Beijing from 1988-1989.
At BU Law, the Seidmans taught courses in legislative drafting and law and development and were co-directors of the Boston University Program on Legislative Drafting for Democratic Social Change.
Both praise their students. “By the time they get to be law students at BU law school, they’re very bright and alert,” Bob Seidman says. “The ones who take the subjects we teach are really interested in the subject.”
“You learn every time you work with students,” says Ann Seidman. “You get new insights.”
A number of BU Law faculty members have been active in the international arena in the past year, speaking or teaching overseas, publishing on international topics, collaborating with foreign faculty, and more. Below are some highlights.
Clinical Professor of Law Susan Akram recently completed a four-year collaborative project with Professor Michael Lynk of the University of Western Ontario, writing the entry on the “Arab-Israeli Conflict” for the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, April 2012). In March and July 2012, Professor Akram taught seminars on refugees and international law at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre.
In May 2012, Professor Akram and BU Law students Matt Zelle (’13) and Erin Hogan (’13) participated with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Sahrawi advocacy groups and CODESA (the coalition of human rights defenders in Western Sahara) at the Universal Periodic Review of Morocco at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. They helped organize and participated in a briefing on the report they submitted to the Council on the situation of Saharan human rights defenders in Morocco. They met with states' delegates on issues for inclusion in the final resolution of the Council on Morocco's record concerning Sahrawi human rights.
Professor Daniela Caruso has been named to the executive board of the newly launched Center for the Study of Europe at BU, chaired by Professor Vivien Ann Schmidt of the Department of International Relations. She is also secretary of the new Section on European Union Law of the American Association of Law Schools. Caruso’s latest article, “The Baby and the Bath Water: The American Critique of EU Contract Law”, will appear in the American Journal of Comparative Law (2013). She has also published recent papers on EU Law in the European Law Journal and the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, and lectured at Oxford, the London School of Economics, the University of Amsterdam and Harvard Law School.
Last October, Professor Stacey Dogan participated in a panel on "Trademarks and Market Access" during a conference to inaugurate the Center for Transnational IP, Media and Technology Law and Policy, at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. In July 2012, she opened the Law & Economics session of the annual meeting of ATRIP (the Association of Teachers and Researchers in Intellectual Property) in Chicago, with a talk entitled "Economic Tools in IP Analysis: An Overview."
Professor Pnina Lahav has a paper in the forthcoming book Israel and the United States: Six Decades of US-Israeli Relations (Westview Press), edited by Robert O. Freedman. Lahav’s paper is entitled “American Influence on Israeli Law: Freedom of Expression.” She is also working on a large project focused on the decision of England, France and Israel to launch a preemptive war during the Suez Crisis of 1956. The project is a comparative study involving the constitutional law of the three nations as well as international law. In addition, Lahav is working on a book about Golda Meir, who was minister of foreign affairs at the time.
In April 2012, Professor Linda McClain presented a paper, "Civil Marriage, 'Moral Disapproval,' and Tensions Between Religious Liberty and Equality," at Magdalen College, within the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England.
Associate Professor Kevin Outterson continues to work on global IP and health issues relating to antibiotics. Because antibiotics decline in effectiveness through resistance, new IP strategies are needed to incentivize both new production and prudent use, addressing both supply and demand. The global spread of resistant microbes illustrates the need for global coordination. In a recent project undertaken with colleagues at Yale and Calgary, Professor Outterson proposed a global prize-based mechanism for the creation and use of antibiotics, the Antibiotic Health Impact Fund. This proposal and related de-linkage mechanisms will be evaluated under an upcoming process at the World Health Organization.
In September 2012, Professor Kenneth Simons presented a paper, “Victim Fault and Victim Strict Responsibility in Anglo-American Tort Law," at an international conference on shared responsibility. The conference was organized by John Gardner and James Goudkamp and sponsored by the faculty of law at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.
Professor Robert D. Sloane began a three-year term of service on the American Society of International Law’s (ASIL’s) Executive Council, ASIL’s main governing body. He also recently served as a discussant at ASIL’s 2012 midyear meeting, moderating and commenting on a panel entitled “The Law of Armed Conflict: Training on the Ground, Virtual Battlegrounds, and the Value of Foreign Lives.”
In July 2012, Professor Frederick Tung traveled to Jinan, China, to present his paper, “Law and Project Finance,” at the Asian Law and Economics Association 2012 Annual Meeting, held at Shandong University. The paper, co-authored with Krishnamurthy Subramanian of the Indian School of Business, offers evidence that across countries, project finance offers an organizational and contractual substitute for investor protection laws. In the summer of 2011, he presented the results of his empirical work on the effect of bank CEO
compensation structures on bank risk-taking during the Global Financial Crisis. In June 2011, he presented his working paper, “Bank CEOs, Inside Debt Compensation, and the Global Financial Crisis,” co-authored with Ohio State University’s Xue Wang, at an international conference sponsored by Bocconi University (Milan). In July 2011, he presented the paper at the University of Hong Kong at the annual meeting of the Asian Law and Economics Association. In September 2011, Tung presented another paper, “Pay for Regulatory Performance,” at the annual meeting of the Canadian Law and Economics Association, held at the University of Toronto. Tung has also been a consultant on commercial law reform for the national governments of Ethiopia and Indonesia.
Last summer, Associate Professor Robert Volk, together with Susan Vik of BU’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs, taught an intensive one-week course at Chuo Law School in Tokyo. In his third summer teaching there, Volk taught legal English to a group of recent Chuo graduates and alumni.
Professor Jay Wexler presented his paper “Disapproval of Religion Under the United States Constitution” (PDF) at the conference “Religion and Constitution,” sponsored by the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies and held at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in September 2011. In February 2012, he traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, where he delivered lectures on freedom of expression under the U.S. Constitution at Chulalongkorn University and the Constitutional Court of Thailand, as well as a lecture on calculating damages in environmental cases at the Supreme Court of Thailand.
Lecturer in Law Spotlight: Jacques de Werra
Jacques de Werra comes to us from the law school of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where he teaches contract and intellectual property law as a full-time professor. His 2013 Spring BU Law seminar on international IP dispute resolution explores solving intellectual property disputes on the international level before state courts and specialized alternative dispute resolution bodies—particularly the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center—and teaches students to identify challenges and develop strategies for solving international IP disputes.
Lately he has been researching, teaching and lecturing on the issue and made a presentation on arbitration of international IP disputes for the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong in December.
De Werra is currently a faculty fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He authored a doctoral thesis at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and received his LL.M. from Columbia Law School.
Visiting Professor Spotlight: John Balzano
John Balzano comes to us from Yale Law School, where he was a senior fellow at the China Law Center and a Lecturer in Law. With a master's in East Asian Studies and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law, Balzano has a focus on China throughout his teachings, writings and research. Currently, Balzano is conducting research related to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and comparative Chinese-U.S. food, drug, and healthcare law and regulation.
This fall at BU Law, he taught a course entitled Chinese Law for U.S. Lawyers, and he will teach a course on transnational litigation in the spring.
“Transnational litigation is a course that every lawyer could benefit from in some way,” said Balzano. “It covers nuts-and-bolts issues of litigation in U.S. federal courts involving foreign parties, events or evidence, or issues of foreign law. My first year as a litigator I had three cases with complex transnational issues.”
Balzano also has given a presentation on LGBTQ rights in China at BU and plans to present more in the future.
Known as a hub for global engagement, BU Law hosts myriad conferences, symposia and lectures pertaining to international law each year—many of which are featured above. Click the title of each event listed below to learn of additional scholarly happenings taking place in the Law Tower in 2012-13.
The Promises of Constitutional Pluralsim: Lecture by Miguel Maduro
Organized in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Europe
"Constitutional pluralism" identifies the phenomenon of a plurality of constitutional sources, all equally legitimate. This plurality is a source of potential conflicts between different constitutional orders that need to be solved in a non-hierarchical manner. Maduro's focus was on the impact of constitutional pluralism on different dimensions of judicial adjudication and interpretation.
Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro is a visiting professor of law and Gruber Global Constitutionalism Fellow at Yale Law School and director of the Global Governance Programme at European University Institute. He served as advocate general for the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg from 2003 to 2009, authoring a series of path-breaking opinions. He specializes in European Union law, international economic law, constitutional law and comparative institutional analysis. He has been a visiting professor at several academic institutions, including the College of Europe (Bruges), the University of Chicago Law School and the London School of Economics. He is a graduate of the European University Institute and the University of Lisbon.
Evaluating Claims about "the End of Men:” Legal and Other Perspectives
"The end of men," a phrase coined by journalist Hanna Rosin, captures the proposition that women have made such remarkable progress in all domains—and men have suffered such declines and reversals—that women are effectively surpassing men and becoming the dominant sex. This interdisciplinary conference, held at BU Law in October 12-13 2012, evaluated claims about "the end of men" and considered implications for law and policy. It examined empirical assertions about men's and women's comparative status in concrete domains, such as education, the workplace and the family. Feminist diagnoses of sex discrimination have fueled changes in law and policy, as well as in cultural norms. Should recent claims about the status of men likewise prompt redress? The conference examined how the data supporting claims about the end of men—and progress of women—look once differentiated by class, race, region and other categories. It provided historical perspectives on current anxieties about imbalances between men's and women's power, opportunities and status.
The conference also put "end of men" claims in comparative and international perspective, asking whether they are distinctive to the United States. This internationally focused panel included the following scholars:
- Pnina Lahav, Boston University School of Law
- Mary Anne Case, University of Chicago Law School
- Shahla Haeri, Boston University Dept. of Anthropology
- Fionnuala Ni Aolain, University of Minnesota School of Law
- Julie C. Suk, Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law
Papers and proceedings will be published in the Boston University Law Review.
The Long Road to Marriage Equality: 1970-2012 and Beyond
BU Law's Annual Distinguished Lecture featuring William N. Eskridge, Jr., John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School
On November 15, 2012, days after a historic election in which three additional states approved gay marriage by referendum, Yale Professor William J. Eskridge described how the LGBT community has gone “from outlaws to in-laws in a generation” at the annual BU Law Distinguished Lecture.
His address, entitled “The Long Road to Marriage Equality: 1970-2012 and Beyond,” offered a chronological account of how marriage has changed over the last four decades—particularly in the last four years—as landmark cases, European example and media coverage, among other factors, have helped rapidly turn public opinion.
Law students and professors who could not find seating lined the walls of Barristers Hall, and C-SPAN documented the lecture for a national audience.
The Future of Global Tobacco Control: Current Constitutional and Treaty-Based Challenges
A conference hosted by the American Journal of Law and Medicine
Many countries have enacted dramatic tobacco control legislation in the past few years, but the industry is fighting back. Battlegrounds include national constitutional laws, bilateral investment treaties, the WTO TRIPS Agreement and domestic IP laws. Recent examples abound, from plain-packaging legislation in Australia to the World Trade Organization’s ruling against the U.S. ban on clove cigarettes. The nuanced geographic and legal contexts complicate global regulatory control, which plays an important role in advancing global public health in the face of trade-related objections. What are the current legal challenges to global tobacco control regulations, and what additional obstacles lay ahead?
On January 25, 2013, this symposium will examine the common denominators faced by several countries with aggressive tobacco control legislation. Public health measures are being challenged with an ever-growing array of laws, but common themes emerge across the globe. Special attention will be given to cigarette packaging litigation in the U.S. and Australia.
All—including faculty, students and the general public—are welcome to attend.
A conference hosted by the Boston University International Law Journal
The wave of revolutions in the Middle East, beginning in Tunisia and culminating in the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, had been dubbed the “Arab Spring.” This dynamic series of events is currently witnessing its bloodiest period in Syria, while circumstances in Egypt, among other states, remain tenuous and dynamic. Particularly with the civil war intensifying in and potentially beyond Syrian territory, and with no resolution to Iranian nuclear standoff in sight, the global community remains on tenterhooks about the prospect of regional chaos or a catastrophe of global proportions.
Given the oil wealth of the region and the troublesome history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Middle East has long held a significant position in global politics and accordingly occupied a special place on the political agendas of Western governments and in the international community in general. Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has also continued to grapple with the challenges of understanding and responding appropriately and effectively to the ideological opposition and deterring threats to its national security.
To further understanding of the momentous legal and political challenges that continue to develop in the Middle East, BU School of Law and the BU International Law Journal will host The Next Season: Realigning International Law and Western Policy After the Arab Spring on February 8, 2013. Panelists will consider the challenges faced by the United States, Europe, and the international community in general in navigating the rapidly evolving political upheaval in the Middle East. Understanding these challenges is a necessary first step to designing effective policies to promote resolution within states and to achieve peace and stability globally.
Guests panelists will include:
- Lama Abu-Odeh, Georgetown University Law Center
- Ethan Chorin, Yale University School of Management
- Mustapha El Khalfi, Moroccan Minister of Communications and Government Spokesperson
- Bassam Haddad, George Mason University
- Haider Hamoudi, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
- Samuel Issacharoff, New York University Law
- Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe
- Evelyn M. Aswad, U.S. State Department
- Ambassador John W. Limbert, U.S. Naval Academy
- Saira Mohamed, Berkeley School of Law
- Kalypso Nicolaïdis, New York University School of Law
- William B. Quandt, University of Virginia
- Denis Sullivan, Northeastern University College of Social Studies and Humanities
- Nimer Sultany, State University of New York: Buffalo Law School
Taking On State Sponsors of Terrorism: A New Frontier in International Tort Litigation
BU Law's annual Kleh Lecture featuring Andrew Hall, William & Patricia Kleh Visiting Professor in International Law
Internationally recognized defender of human rights Andrew Hall will deliver the inaugural Kleh lecture on February 27, 2013. For additional information about the Kleh Visiting Professorship, see the full story above.