Job Opportunity – Richmond Law is looking for a Director of International Programs

The University of Richmond School of Law is looking for a Director of International Programs. The Director is responsible for leading Richmond Law’s international initiatives, including: the build-out of the LL.M., LL.M./M.B.A., and J.D. programs; the creation and implementation of a comprehensive strategy for increasing our international visibility, reputation, and attractiveness to international students; the initiation of co-curricular programming for international students within the law school; the development of academic and other support for international students, so as to maximize the quality of their experience at Richmond Law; and the oversight of other international opportunities within the law school for both students and faculty. The Director will be expected to travel as appropriate to meet personally with both prospective applicants and representatives from law firms, companies, and foreign universities, and will be a key partner with the Dean, the faculty, and senior leadership in identifying, assessing, and taking advantage of new international opportunities. Please apply online at: https://richmond.csod.com/ats/careersite/JobDetails.aspx?id=1027.

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Call for Proposals – International Law Weekend 2015

International Law Weekend 2015 (ILW 2015) – the premier international law event of the fall season  – is scheduled for November 5-7, 2015 in New York City.  The event is sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA).

The ILW Organizing Committee – composed of Chiara Giorgetti (Richmond Law School), Jeremy Sharpe (Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State), David Stewart (President ABILA, Georgetown Law Center), Santiago Villalpando (Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations), and Tessa Walker (ILSA) – invites proposals to be submitted online on or before Friday, March 20, 2015 via the ILW Panel Proposal Submission Form located here. ILW 2015 is scheduled to be held at 42 West 44th Street on Thursday evening, November 5, and at Fordham Law School at Lincoln Center on November 6 – 7, 2015.

The theme for 2015 is Global Problems, Legal Solutions: Challenges for Contemporary International Lawyers.

ILW 2015 will explore the many roles that international law plays in addressing global challenges. The aim is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate the ways in which international law provides fundamental tools and mechanisms to address emerging global issues. Panel proposals may concern any aspect of contemporary international law and practice.

For questions regarding ILW 2015, please contact conferences@ilsa.org.

Publication and Event Announcement: Litigating International Investment Disputes

I am delighted to announce the publication of Litigating International Investment Disputes, a book published by Brill, which I edited.

The book guides practitioners through the many complexities involved in international investment arbitration proceedings – from whether and how to initiate arbitral proceedings to the enforcement of the award and available post-award remedies. A full list of authors and table of content is available here. More information on the book is available here.

My hope is that the book will serve as a comprehensive resource for those who are new to international investment arbitration, as well as for the seasoned practitioners.

What is more, I am also delighted to announce an upcoming event to discuss the book with some of its great contributors.

On Thursday, October 30, from 4:00 to 5.30 p.m., George Washington Law will hold an event that will feature book contributors who will address topics such as selecting the arbitrator, representing the State, the award, and relationship of counsel/parties to the secretariat.  In addition to yours truly, panelists will include John Crook of GW Law, Eloise Obadia of Derains & Gharavi PLLC and Jeremy Sharpe of the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser; the discussion will be moderated by Stanimir Alexandrov of Sidley Austin LLP.  The events will be held at GW Law, 2000 H Street, N.W., with the panel in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (Lerner 101), and a reception thereafter in the Dee Kelly Lounge.  All are invited.  No rsvp is needed.

Hope to see you there!

News: US Supreme Court affirms 9-0 Second Circuit Dismissal of ATS Suit in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

The much-anticipated Supreme Court decision in Kiobel is out, finding in a 9-0 majority that “the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to claims under the ATS, and that nothing in the statute rebuts that presumption.” Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Kennedy wrote a one-paragraph concurring opinion. Justice Alito also concurred, joined  by Justice Thomas. Justice Breyer concurred in the judgment, together with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. Here is the decision, and here initial commentaries from Opinio Juris and SCOTUS blog. Opinio Juris has also posted a call contribution for a Kiobel Insta-symposium here.

Event Announcement: The Eritrea/Ethiopia Claims Commission: What Are the Lessons Learned for Future Claims Commissions?

I would like to let those interested (and in the DC area) know of a forthcoming event at ASIL’s Tillar House this Thursday, April 18 at 6PM.

A panel of experts will talk about the work and findings of the Eritrean Ethiopia Claims Commission, which was, as readers of this blog probably know, a very unique dispute resolution mechanism assessing state responsibility for violations of jus in bello (and jud as bellum). Parties agreed to resolve war claims through an international claims commission and the Commission awards applied and interpreted essential principles of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, and outlined applicable standards.

Speakers include Michael J. Matheson, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University School of Law, who will also serve as moderator,  John R. Crook, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University School of Law, Professor Sean Murphy, Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law at George Washington University School of Law, and your truly, Chiara Giorgetti, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law. More info on the event here. More info on the work of the Commission here.

Why are there so few women arbitrators?

The question of why women are severely under-represented in international arbitration is puzzling  (and was the issue of interesting discussion in this blog’s previous incarnation by Irene Ten Cate here). With so many qualified candidates, why are women not being nominated to sit as arbitrators in big-ticket international arbitrations?

In February 2013, our colleagues at Kluwer Arbitration Blog published the result of an interesting poll that addresses exactly this question.

The poll asked participants to rate three possible reasons why women continue to be underrepresented in arbitration. The three potential options were:

1. Generational issues: top female arbitrators and arbitration law firm partners active today graduated at a time when proportionally fewer women entered legal practice;

2. Party appointment system:  arbitrators are selected in a system that creates a barrier to entry and reinforces the status quo by favoring an elite of repeat players;

3. Time demands: the hours and travel required are incompatible with having a family and thus preclude women (who remain the main care-givers) to become arbitrators.

The data collected are analyzed in details in the blog. What is interesting is that the results of the survey depend to some extent on who replies. So, analyzing the data in terms of gender, women generally find that party-appointment is the main culprit, while men tend to distribute their response more equally among the three possible options.

Responses also vary depending on age. Thus, the 55+ age group attributes less importance to time demands, which instead are signaled as important reasons for the 31-42 age group and for the 18-30 age group.

Tellingly, party appointment was the category that both genders and all age groups ranked overall as the highest. Responses to generation issues were more difficult to explain, and one can see why as many female partners presently lead the most successful private international arbitration practice, which implies that qualified candidates exist for the most complex and high profile appointments.

Interestingly, time demands were considered to be more of an obstacle by younger generations than for older generations. Maybe this is because these are the women that are either thinking of having a family or have small children to care of, so time demands are real in their lives. One interesting question is whether time demands are assumed to be a reason by the appointing party – so that women do not get asked – or whether appointments are turned down by women because of time demands.

This remains important topic for discussion, and it would be interesting to see how we could be pro-active in finding a way to address it.